Looking after ourselves is important.
Whether we're trying to lose weight, build muscle or just make a few changes to our habits, from time to time we need to turn inwards and make sure we're doing what we can to keep our bodies (and our minds) healthy and strong.
But when we spend too long focusing on ourselves, everything else can start to fall out of balance.
Here's how turning my gaze outwards again helped me get over some of my insecurities about how I looked, felt and performed in the gym.
It's awesome to focus on our own health goals and needs. Some would consider it essential.
What's not so great is phasing out every other area of life to the point where we become obsessive and, dare I say it, a little narcissistic.
After all, fitness should expand our lives, not make them smaller.
Yes, paying attention to what we eat and getting our arses moving now and again is important. So is sleep, rest and a little time for meditation.
And yes, we need to be a little selfish now and again in order to make that happen.
But when we think about these areas too much, we can throw the delicate balance that is our lives (and our priorities) completely out of whack.
How does wise old coach Dorian know?
Well, because wise old coach Dorian was once (in the not too distant past) a certain kind of self-obsessed arsehole.
The kind who was way too concerned with how much he deadlifted, the measurement of his bicep and how many frickin calories he ate every damn day.
It's not that none of those things matter (wait, actually, none of those things matter), and it's not that I only cared about those things...
...It's just that they took up way too much space in my life - physically and mentally - for what they were.
The worst thing?
The things that gave me so much confidence, actually started to drain confidence from me.
I was never strong, muscular or fit enough. I constantly compared myself to some sort of impossible, unrealistic standard. In short, I felt like sh*t.
So yeah , things were out of balance.
Now, quite a few things in my life over the past few years have contributed to changing this (my wife, family and cat deserve special mention here), but a huge turning point for me was when I started this business and began to work with people on their health and fitness goals.
Because all of a sudden, my world got a lot bigger.
I had way less time to think about my own stuff, because I became a lot more interested in the people I was trying to help.
Look, nobody here is saying that you drop everything and become a fitness professional, or quit your job and devote your life to charity. And you should definitely look after yourself - physically, mentally and every other way you need to. But when we get (and stay) involved with a cause (paid or not) that we're passionate about and focus on helping others, it can really help with putting things into perspective.
It builds a kind of social and emotional fitness that is difficult to find in a new gym PB.
Don't get me wrong, I still train almost every day. I still pay attention to what I eat, and I still do my best to be an example of what sustainable health and fitness should look like. But I worry about where that takes me a lot less. And I look, feel and perform a thousand times (rough estimate) better than I ever did before.
Being in some kind of service to others can give us a feeling of control over our lives. We feel valued and learn how to value ourselves.
It seems weird, but the bigger your world gets, the stronger, fitter and healthier your body (and your perception of it) is likely to be.
Looking for some support with your own health and fitness?