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:
EXCUSE (k-skyz) Relieve, rationalize, explain, pardon, condone, exempt, rationalise, apologize, justify…
Training for a body building show can be pretty intense. The training, additional cardios, extreme dieting, and keeping up with all the supplements (listed below) can all be pretty overwhelming even when things are going smoothly. Then add an injury to the mix and you’ve got new beast to battle.
Steve Pfiester is not the only one to suffer a devastating injury prior to fitness event. Most athletes face some kind of injury at some point in their career. For Steve, it’s was a torn MCL and medial meniscus just 10 days prior to his bodybuilding show in Daytona. When something like this happens, it can throw you into depression fast if you let it. Key word: “Let“.
You can let an injury take control of you, or you can take control of it. The choice is yours. For Steve, he decided to go forward and do the contest despite his knee. As part of the preparation, I had to mix his music for his night performance and I wanted it to reflect his circumstance. In search for a motivational sound bite, I had a feeling Eric Thomas ”The Hip Hop Preacher“, known for encouraging athletes, would have something cool that would fit Steve’s situation- and I found one of the most profound statements I’d heard in a long time.
“It’s not about making excuses, it’s about making adjustments”.
In addition to all Steve’s normal training and dieting, now he had to go to Dr. Stepanek’s office to get cold laser therapy twice a day, which he felt was really helping. In addition to therapy, he had to ice his knee as many times a day as possible – all between clients, training, eating, teaching boot camps and running a gym.
He also had to adjust his workout routine around exercises that didn’t hurt. Hamstring curls and squats were impossible, but leg extensions and straight leg dead lifts were okay. He had to keep up his cardio, so he traded running outside for melting fat on the elliptical in the gym. And, he had to do it all on less sleep because his knee pain kept him up at night.
His knee required him to adjust the way he walked and performed even simple tasks, like getting in and out of bed or putting his pants on. He even had adjust his clothing around wearing a brace, and he added compression socks to his daily wardrobe. Adjustment was his middle name.
Making adjustments can be a pain (sometimes literally), but necessary when you want something bad enough. However, most of us use the tiniest excuse to stop us dead in our tracks. Instead of listing all the things you CAN do, we use that one thing to convince of the things we CAN’T do.
It wasn’t that Steve wanted to win a bodybuilding show that bad. He didn’t need another trophy or the notoriety. He needed to follow through with what he had planned. He needed to reach his goal, which was to do his very best – not necessarily to BE the very best.
Steve showed up, knee brace and all, and won both his weight classes. But, even if he didn’t win, he knew in his heart he did his very best with his circumstance – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s not about perfection, it’s about dedication.
What excuse are you allowing to paralyze you right now? For every excuse you are using, someone else is overcoming. Just because you have a good excuse doesn’t mean you have to use it. Finish what you started.
No matter how sorry you feel for yourself when the day is through, you need to workout. No matter how stressed you are or how tired you are, the bottom line is you NEED to workout. It will make you look and feel better and you’ll be SO happy you did it when it’s over.
The more often you resist the temptation of skipping a workout when you have a bad day, you will have an automatic response to work off your stress in the gym instead of at the bottom of an alcoholic beverage or taking your stress out on your kid, spouse or dog.
A fit you is a less stressed you, a healthier you, and a better you. Workout No Matter What! Believe me, I’m the queen of pity parites, so I promise to practice what I preach and improve on working out no matter how my day goes.
If you have a fitness goal, then there are steps you have to take, much like a career, to get you there. Here are a few things to think about.
1. Have you lost focus?
2. Are you so honed in on the “job” you have forgotten the reward?
3. Are you just punching the proverbial clock and forgetting that a big pay off requires big performance?
Maybe it’s time to rethink things!
You’re training for a purpose. You have a goal of how you want to look, feel and perform. If I had to guess, you don’t want a small reward, or an occasional bonus – you want a BIG pay off.
Big pay offs take work. It takes dedication. No high-end executive got where they are by calling out sick. When their boss asked them to do something, they did that, and more. They weren’t late, they showed up with a smile, and they didn’t complain. Does that sound like you in the gym?
Are you giving your workouts everything you’ve got, as if you are up for the next promotion? I’ve got news for you – you ARE up for the next promotion. If you continue pressing on, you will experience a whole new kind of promotion that no boss or economy can ever take away from you. Work hard! Because hard work pays!
It’s time to climb the fitness ladder – all the way to the top!
I may not be the STONGEST
but I will get STRONGER.
I may not be the FASTEST
but I will get FASTER.
I may not have the BEST BODY
but I will get a BETTER BODY.
Success is not about WINNING, it’s about DOING!
Don’t let your pride stand in the way of making improvements. We can all get frustrated at our weaknesses, but we need to get excited about our progress. Quit focusing on what you aren’t and focus on what you are becoming. I may never be a champion, but I sure can train like one – and so can you.
Do YOUR 100% and never, EVER give up! That’s all that matters: You becoming a better you!
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