My point is, we want things and we want them fast. This same thinking applies to our desires with fitness. I can start doing sit ups, but if I don’t get a six-pack in a week I’m out. That is the routine. Most corporate America workers can relate to the term “rat race” and that routine my friends, is the “rat race” of fitness. The truth of the matter is it takes time to get results. I can say it over and over again, but you didn’t lose your amazing physique by spending a week at McDonalds. So how do you stay motivated long enough to see results?
First, if you’ve started something, worry less about whether or not you achieved your goal and congratulate yourself for taking a step in the right direction. There is a famous saying by a wise teacher named Lao Tzu that goes like this “The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step,” and he couldn’t be more right. It’s important to realize that losing weight, bettering your health, or toning those abs for pool season is all about consistency and not giving up, but it also has to start somewhere.
Now that you’ve begun, you must know that every person’s body is a completely different machine. There are many factors that come together to make our bodies function at the capacity at which they do. This is a major factor in the fact that the time frame to which a person sees results varies, regardless of the program, diet, or exercise they are doing. People may or may not respond to stimuli the same as one another, nor should we. We all have different starting points, different goals, and different nuances that we must consider. Embrace it, this is your vehicle!
That being said, there are many ways to measure results. It’s become more evident within the fitness world that the most important measurement tool is not the scale. As we evolve, there is significant research to show that a person’s weight is not a clear indication of either their health or their fitness level. Yes, it plays a large role in many things, but not when it comes to the results from fitness efforts. Losing weight will still be a part of your goal, but if you use multiple tools to help measure the results of your efforts you will see the changes. DO: take your measurements and document the date, take before pictures, keep a list of changes your making in your diet, and keep a log of your feelings throughout your program. There are changes taking place within your body from the minute you start to exercise, you just don’t see them yet. Stop grueling over it every.single.day.
It can’t be said enough- have a good attitude and stop thinking negative. Allowing yourself to fill your brain with negative thoughts like “I can’t do that” or “Gee, I’d love to lose 30 pounds but that will never happen” or even “I guess I have to go workout now,” will not only drive everyone around you nuts for having to listen to such negativity, but it increases the stress in your life by making yourself feel trapped. When you’re stressed not only do you experience mood changes, fatigue, and a vast array of other negative emotions but you also release a chemical into your body called Cortisol. Cortisol is highly destructive when released in excess in the body and because of this your body holds on to every ounce of fat you have until your cortisol levels balance. This is a fundamental principal for weight loss or lack thereof. My point is, it does you absolutely NO GOOD to stress or worry about the fact that you haven’t lost weight. In fact, you might have only lost 1 pound this week because you were so stressed about losing 10. Get rid of this attitude= take a step closer to reaching your goal.
We know that achieving our fitness goals is a matter of cause and effect- if I do this then that will happen. The results will come if you stay motivated consistently enough to get them. That is simply the facts! To help with this, focus on other reasons you’re working out; there is an overwhelming amount of research that connects exercise to brain function, energy levels, hormones (stress being one of them) and overall wellbeing. This means it’s not just about losing extra weight or having a killer body (although those things are great too!) Simply put, exercise is something we ALL NEED to be doing for ourselves. The exciting part is, believe it or not once you start and are consistent it can become something you enjoy…even when you never thought you would. So instead of letting your efforts be another reason to add tension or struggle to your life, allow it to be a stress reliever and a time you get to take for yourself. It works.
Finally, enjoy yourself! Since we know that it takes some time to see results, it’s going to be vital that you commit to something you enjoy doing. There are a ton of options that can get you moving toward your goal and keep your interest. Try adding something new in or changing up a workout to keep from getting bored, go back to an old sport you used to play. The more you can look forward to, or at least not dread, the greater your chance for success… And success is what we want!
I’ll leave you with this: One of the biggest similarities between people I work with that reach their goal versus people that don’t, is that they stayed consistent. They may have had a bad day, or two. Sure, they felt like snoozing the alarm or eating another Oreo, but they chose not to. They consistently chose the option that brought them closer to their goal. And let me tell you, there’s no part of them that isn’t glad they did.