The New Year will soon be upon us and that means resolutions about losing weight are coming. Come January 1st gyms will be packed and again they will empty out once February/March hits.
Why do people give up?
People fail to create a habit and make fitness a lifestyle. Not accomplishing either makes it difficult to stay on track. If you expect results, fitness cannot be a hobby.
To succeed, a change in mindset is necessary. Fitness needs to be among your top priorities and its reach needs to be seen in almost all aspects of your life. Working out is only enough at first. The first 2-3 months are easy, you show up to the gym 2-3 times per week, do your hour or so of work, and go home feeling good. At first, especially for those who are sedentary, this works quite well. The sudden increase in activity will cause an extra burn in calories that was nonexistent before.
Your real challenge will begin after the initial weight loss. This is where more effort is needed and interestingly enough where most people fall off. In this stage, body reconfigurations do not happen so easily – the infamous plateau.
So what exactly happens here? The body starts to become accustomed to the new you and reaches a balance. Little to no weight loss occurs and the frustration can lead to a fall off and the return of old habits. Many fail to see the threat and think they are different. Here is some hard news to take in – you are not different. Unless there is some great life changing situation the reasons are very similar across the board – you failed at making fitness a lifestyle.
So how can you avoid this fall off? How can plateaus be avoided? How can one stay on track for the long run?
First of all, do not make fitness a hobby. If you are serious about wanting to change your body, this will be easier than you think.
Secondly, get help – get a personal trainer or join a small group training gym, and get a coach. Joining a small group training gym or getting a personal trainer will ensure that your workout has variety and you don’t hit plateaus.
Next, get your diet in check. Diet is often overlooked and dealing it in the beginning will help you stay on track longer. Initial weight loss will also be greater if your diet is in under control. Simple manipulations of caloric intake can help you keep progressing long term.
Lastly, and most difficult to accept, realize that loved ones are the biggest saboteurs of fitness goals. The unfortunate truth is that intentionally or unintentionally loved ones can get in the way and cause derailment. This happens a lot with significant others – the best scenario is when both are on board. Sometimes this happens because your progress is a reflection of others failures to change their bodies. Most of the time it is not intentional – a grandma giving you extra portions of food, significant others baking for you, mom getting you that dessert you love, or your coworkers getting pizza for lunch. These are acts of love not intentional sabotage, which makes them even worse. You need to involve those around you and make them understand that you are trying to make a change and these acts while kind do not help you. Once those around you understand the direction you want to head in and that you are unwilling to change they will come around to your side.
Progress takes time and they do not require a well-defined start date like January 1st 2016. If you decided you want to lose weight, get in shape, and change your life, do so now. START RIGHT NOW!
“The moment the alarm goes off is the first test; it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win — you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline that too translates to more substantial elements of your life …”
-Jacko Willink (retired Navy Seal) on why he has three alarm clocks
This is your first alarm, choose to get out of bed and start now.