These past 8 weeks, the local gyms I travel to for my own “destination workout” have been fraught with frenetic activity, lines waiting for cardio equipment, people waiting for weights and machines, all of which are accompanied by the wandering of new potential “gym rats” on club tours. In general it is an overall sense of a cram fest of people all tackling this year is going to be the year. We regulars know it’s only a matter of time until we see the herd thin, leaving the long haulers behind to continue the plod up our individual fitness hills. This month the inevitable thinning of the herd reaches its peak, which on the one hand gladdens me from an over crowded locker room, waiting on equipment perspective, to a saddened sense of loss for all of those people that gave up on this year being THE year so soon in their journey.
Several factors usually bring an early end to the motivation to get fit.
Many times we simply bite off more than we can chew. Instant gratification desires fueled by internet speeds, smart phones and commercialism drive us to unrealistic expectations of getting in shape. It took your entire life to get to the place you are. It will take time to get you from where you are today, to where you need to go. It’s just not a 6 week process and blam you look like a movie star. The Biggest Loser phenomenon is not reality. Take a long term view and set small appreciable goals to mark your progress along the fitness highway and be a long hauler. This is about your life; your lifestyle, and your longevity.
You have to believe in yourself and you have to realize you will have set backs. “It’s just too hard.’ “It takes too much time.” “It costs too much money.” “It’s taking longer than I thought.” “I can’t do it.” “It won’t happen to me.”
What if you could trade ALL the days between this day; today, and the day your Doctor tells you bad news, or you slip and have a nasty fall or some other accident, trade those days of doing nothing, for doing something to fight against it? If you could trade ALL the days between this day and that day; you would trade all of those wasted days of inactivity, for days of fighting for your life in a heartbeat. Believe in yourself. Don’t doubt, just do. You never know what you may be training to prevent, or get through.
The herd is often thinned by poor outward results due to poor inward nutrition. Nutrition takes effort; the use of a food diary, and learning about appropriate calorie intake for your metabolism given your body composition and goals. My belief is 70% of the fitness equation is about what we eat. Do you train so you can eat whatever you want to? Or do you eat to maximize your energy, ward off disease, fuel your workouts and prolong the quality and duration of your life? You simply can not out train bad nutrition. Do the homework. Do the discipline consistently, so you’ll know when you are coloring outside the lines.
The Commitment Itself
You have to have a strong “why” in the commitment equation to start your fitness program. Strong motives with intent and purpose will ward off the desire to quit when the going gets rough at home or work; you hit a plateau, or catch a cold. A short term finite goal, like say working out to go to a reunion, usually ends the working out, when the reunion is over. Use short term goals like birthdays, reunions, vacations, anniversary’s and the like, as motivating commitment boosters along the journey. Define the “why” you are getting in shape in a broader confine. What’s in your family gene pool? Will any of that come knocking on your door one day? Now there’s a commitment builder.