I will be back soon!
Why do we wait for Monday to start things? Why can we not make a commitment to change something, anything, and it start that day or the very next morning (for those late day revelations)? What does a clean week have to do with anything? Life is not set up in nice organized rows stacked on top of each other. It’s a long line with one day after another. Seems to me that if you want something or you know you need something, that starting or making those changes are necessary now vs later. Monday is not a special day. Now is the moment. You are motivated now, you made your declaration, so waiting seems counterproductive. Makes me wonder if there is a bigger issue. Do we really want these changes? Are we saying what we think others want to hear? If you have been saying you want something, anything, any change, adding or deleting something from your day or life. Do it the minute you state it. Feel the power of acting on your proclamation. It’s a great feeling! Yes, there is fear, but use it to propel you not stop you.
I am an action person. I do not hear others state a proclamation and not hear their excuses too. Excuses are just that…excuses. They are not reasons for not doing something, they are just excuses for not acting. Other forces in this world are not keeping you from your goals, you are. You and your excuses.
Think about what you have been wanting to change for a while. Just one, you can think about all of them, but land on one. Now take it and act. No excuses. You want something, then make it happen. Only you can do this. Only you can make a change. If you came up with even one excuse, then you need to work around it. The rest are just excuses.
Don’t have the time? Make time: get up earlier, skip the tv time, do short burst of moves instead of one long workout.
Don’t have the money? Walking, running, jumping jacks and other body weight movements are free. There are countless videos and Pinterest workouts, also free.
Too old? No such thing. In fact, there is no person too old to exercise. Walking, water walking, chair yoga, etc.
Kids keep you from it? Oh, this just an excuse because there are countless moves that can be done with kids either holding, keeping them close or with them joining in.
Back hurts? There are plenty of moves that help the back. Also, plenty of back friendly workout plans, no one said you had to squat your body weight or start running. Yoga, Pilates, stretching, Thai Chi, etc.
Too overweight? Pounds are never an excuse. You need to start slower, consider walking, swimming, etc.
Already thin? Weight is not the only reason to workout. Health is why one should exercise. You can be thin and unhealthy just as you can be overweight and healthy. Thin does not equal health
No more excuses, act!
In a world where everything happens fast, immediate gratification is key. We want it all and we want it now. That is especially problematic in the health and fitness field. You hear the ads: rapid weight loss, faster muscle building, drop 2 sizes in 2 weeks. These ads wouldn’t be out there if there wasn’t a person to buy into it. The bad news is the only one getting immediate gratification is the company taking the funds. There are no fast ‘gains/losses’ in fitness. You may hit a number fast but you won’t keep it. You cannot drop 2 dress sizes in 2 weeks without negative consequences to your health. Sadly, you cannot expect to keep it off either. The process that got you there is not a lifestyle change that will support the new weight level. In fact, if you go back to what habits got you to whatever weight loss you reached, you will likely gain that weight back too. I have yet to meet anyone who lost a ton of weight fast and kept it off. But I have met plenty of people who have lost weight slowly by making health changes that fit their life and kept the weight off. So with this said, you cannot expect immediate gratification in the health and fitness realm of your life.
There are some areas that changes make big differences in health in a relatively short time. If you cut out sugar or processed foods, you usually feel horrible for a few days and then in a couple weeks feel fantastic as the toxins leave your body. The same can be said for those who give up meat. You feel hungry until you understand how to eat meat free properly (many people drop meat and don’t replace the calories, thus starving themselves). Giving up sodas or sugary drinks also has a fairly quick change for the body and how it feels and for some also see weight loss. But even with these changes, you need a couple weeks to a month to notice or feel the benefits of the change. So still not immediate gratification.
Look at health as a long term plan. Make changes that bring the bigger impacts on health and practice patience because they will happen.
Way back in the 80’s trainers may have said “no pain, no gain”. We know what they meant by that statement. That you had to push yourself past your comfort zone in order to affect change in the body. But ‘pain’ is not the goal. General discomfort is ok, but pain is a tad beyond what they meant. Discomfort is feeling heavy, hot, sweaty, muscle burn, moments of heavy breathing, etc. I personally enjoy these feelings; they are not pleasant nor feel good by any stretch of the imagination, but I love the ‘discomfort’ of a workout because I know it’s making me stronger, fitter, leaner and heathier.
You need to find that line between pain and discomfort. Discomfort from effort will affect changes in the body. Whereas pain will hinder the effort and ultimately stop progression towards your goal. For example: you are running and your body feels heavy and awkward and your muscles are complaining…that is discomfort. You can adjust your stride or give yourself time to adjust to your rhythm to find your groove. But if your right knee starts to experience a shooting pain with each step, then you need to slow to a walk and listen to your body. There could be many reasons for that pain. Most people know exactly what it is and why it hurts. If you are unsure, you need to consider stretching, more involved warms ups or even visiting a sports medicine specialist to determine cause.
To reach your goals, you do need to push yourself. You need to work hard enough to make a difference in your body if difference is your goal. Discomfort is part of that process. So exercising won’t always be pleasant, but there should not be pain. So maybe the new saying should be “get comfortable being uncomfortable”.
Life is a roller coaster ride at times and bad moods make their way into your life. Often they mess with a good workout plan or a good diet but they don’t have to. I have had some of my best workouts when mad. I also found that exercise really helped me come down from my bad mood. Often feeling as if the problem lost some weight itself and not as big a challenge.
Wallowing in misery is not the best medicine. In fact, I have found that if I just workout, I can get the mood to go full circle. I push myself fueled by the anger or frustration and I exhaust myself and allow myself to find some peace. It’s very therapeutic and gives meaning to the saying “…exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant”.
Oh I regret working out. Said no one, ever.
I run a FitCamp and often at the end of a workout one of my beloved attendees will tell me they didn’t want to come for whatever life reason they had. Then they often add how happy they were they came. Not once did anyone say they didn’t want to come and how awful their decision was if they did.
Life may be like the instructions on a plane. When the air masks drop, put yours on first, then assist others around you who need your help. When things are tough or life gets stress filled, you need to take time for yourself so that you can continue to serve those around you. If you allow your own health and wellness to drop, those around you will be served by half of what you have to offer.
Not sure how we came to live in a world where taking care of yourself is seen as selfish and ‘shelf-able’. Most physical professionals train and practice to make sure their craft of choice is up to snuff. But what about the profession of life? If you have kids and the busy schedules that accompany kids, you need the health and stamina necessary to keep pace. Skipping personal workouts, sleep or choosing unhealthy meals to make sure everyone’s life is on point while yours goes by the wayside is a contradiction on priorities. You have to put on your ‘air mask’ (health) first, then you will have the full ability to take care of everyone else around you.
This could also be an opportunity to show your loved ones how their own health is a priority. Pretty hard to tell a little one they need to be active when they know you skipped your ‘activity’ earlier that day. Or not to snack when a healthy meal is more important yet they watched you eat something less than healthy as you rushed them off for school.
I am not saying forsake your loved ones, I am saying don’t forsake yourself. You need to take your own health serious and prioritize it equal to those around you. Because no one has ever come to me and said they regret taking such great care of themselves.