You’ve probably heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, well so is the road to obesity. There are many people who have the best intentions to get fit, but they just don’t follow through. Why? While I know there are many reasons for people’s inability to turn their good intentions into good actions, I want to tackle 5 of the most common problems. Each day this week I will post one problem and one solution.
#1 Can’t Get Started: All Talk No Do
This person talks about it often, but that’s about it. They may even subscribe to every diet and fitness magazine and health blog. Getting fit is at the top of their mind, but at the bottom of their to-do list.
Maybe, despite all their reading, they still don’t know exactly what to do. Maybe they don’t know how to start or maybe they are just not ready. Whatever the case, they probably have many excuses of why they haven’t been able to do it.
Sadly, people around them will get frustrated because this type of person is often cranky, uncomfortable, and complainy. It’s like their body is tired of being overweight, but their mind isn’t actually ready to make the decision to lose it. Therefore, they are in a constant fight – and everyone around them suffers from the internal squabble.
Solution: This person needs to listen to their body and do what they know they need to do to be happier and healthier. They need to quit procrastinating and making excuses, and except the responsibility for their actions (or lack of). If losing weight is really important to them, they need to make it a priority in their life and move it to the top of their to-do list – because it isn’t going to happen on its own. This person should join a gym, have accountability and may need to even hire a trainer to get them started, since they haven’t been able to start on their own. The most important step for this person is the first step.
This Week’s Mantra:
So, if you’re like me, you’re ready to get the weight off from the holidays, or maybe you need to lose a few pounds you’ve collected over the years. Either way, you’ve probably set some goals and are ready to get started – at least your brain is.
My brain says, “I am sick of feeling fat. I’m tired of clothes not fitting like I want them to fit. I’m tired of feeling tired and crappy. I’m tired of looking bad and feeling bad. I really love feeling fit and looking my best” And, although all those thoughts fill my head, which SHOULD motivate me to make a change, my body says “I DON’T WANNA!“.
Didn’t my body get the memo? Why is my body not fired up to get this fitness party started?! Well, I dug deep to uncover some of the reasons why I think our body is so slow to join our brain and begin to tackle our goals.
1. FAT PROBLEM
When we’re heavy, we’re sluggish and sometime even depressed. Our body is slow to respond to our brain’s desire to be fit because our body isn’t convinced it has what it takes to do what’s required. We know it will take work, and our body isn’t thrilled about it. We don’t even like the way we look in our workout clothes, which is another downer. If we don’t like what we see in the mirror, our knee-jerk reaction is to pout and hide. The more we hide and pout, the more depressed we get because our brain knows what to do, but our body isn’t ready to do it. Then we have to deal with guilt on top of fat.
SOLUTION: Our first mistake is thinking working out is an option. We can’t wait to “feel” like working out. We just have to start doing it, whether we feel like it or not. As we get in a routine, our body will begin to change and pep up. Exercise naturally improves our thoughts and fights depression. After a few days of regular exercise, our body will begin to look and feel better. The more comfortable we get in our skin, the more confident and extroverted we become. Once we start getting these results, they will keep us going after that.
2. PRIDE PROBLEM:
When we’ve been in better shape before, it’s easy to think people will notice how much we’ve slipped, and that is embarrassing. We know when we grab a set of dumbbells that we’ll probably have to lift lighter and not be able to go as hard as we once did. That too gives our pride another big hit.
SOLUTION: I hate to break it to you, nobody cares. Seriously, no one cares how much we lift or how fast we run. Most people won’t even notice what we’re doing. We are the only one that’s let down, so we have to get over it. Our body bounces back fast. If we were once very fit, but now we aren’t, our body will respond quickly – as long as we just get our butt to the gym and stay consistent. But if we want to succeed, we need to leave our pride at home.
3. ENERGY PROBLEM:
When we eat poorly and gain weight, we get lazy. We lack the energy to “feel” like working out – and laziness breeds more laziness, so the more we give into those lazy feelings, the worse we get.
SOLUTION: The first step to breaking the lazy cycle is eating healthy, low-calorie small meals. Smaller meals take less energy to digest, so we will have more energy to do other things (like exercise). Healthy fuel (food) also gives improves our energy levels and will power us through our workouts. Eating often (every 3 hours) keeps our metabolism up so we are more energized throughout the day. Once we get our fuel down, we can have better workouts – and the combination of the two will provide a powerhouse of energy.
4. TIRED PROBLEM:
While energy often stems from poor food choices, being tired may not have less to do with food and more to do with activity. Many people struggle with being too tired to workout, especially after a long hard day at work. When we are tired, we tend to be less active. We eat more, and drink more. The more we eat and drink, the more tired and stressed we become. We gain weight, which wears our body out, and we become more stressed, which wears us out even more. The added stress causes us to lose sleep. When we lose sleep, our body gets run down and we get sick more.
SOLUTION: Workouts with intense bursts of intensity boost both our mood and energy. Consistent challenging exercise improves sleep so we are more rested and energized through out the day. Exercise also helps relieve stress and release pinned up anger and frustrations. As our energy increases, so does our productivity. We will perform better at work and we’ll discover that the discipline in the gym will overflow in other parts of our lives. All in all, the one hour in the gym will improve how we spend the other 23 hours a day and we’ll be able to handle work, stress, hard labor and many other obstacles with much more ease.
5. BUSY PROBLEM:
We’re all busy, so it’s super easy to come up with a long list of responsibilities that get in the way of our workout. But, we can busy ourself right into the grave if we’re not careful.
SOLUTION: If we have a busy problem, we likely have a priority problem. We are “letting” our current life get in the way of our future life. We know what we want, but we aren’t prioritizing our schedule so that we get there. If we get better with managing our time, we can be better at managing our weight and workouts. Time management is a requirement for anyone who wants to get fit. We can’t just expect to have time left at the end of the day. We have to limit time we waste on other stuff and make time to invest in our future. We just need to make every minute count.
No matter what your problem is, the solution is the same. Just Show Up Anyway.
My Mantra Pic for DAY 4 of 30 Days of Motivation: