Let me first say that the journey to fitness is just that – a journey. There is one exception for this idea, which is that this particular journey has no ending. There is, however, a beginning. This beginning is a choice to face a lot of obstacles, but that is so worth all effort, and any hardship. Committing to an exercise regimen, and clean diet plan is a personal, and life changing experience. All I can say is that once you start this journey, there are a lot of aspects to living in this day and age that will always work against you, but if you can resist those things and work hard, you will start feeling a power that you may never have known. It is both a power that comes from knowing your physical capabilities to the point of intimacy, and the self-confidence that comes from being profoundly comfortable in your own skin.
Personally, I have found it is about finding what works for you, and your own body. Everybody is built differently, and everyone’s body works differently. I have tried, over the years, what seems like a million different methods to getting the body I want, and even that idea keeps changing. I have tried doing tons and tons of cardio, cutting carbs, Crossfit, eating less overall, counting calories, steady state cardio, weightlifting, eating sugar-free, and multiple cleanses. Some of these things worked well, and some not well at all, but the point is that this is just for me. I was experimenting, trying out everything, in order to figure out what works for my body. I could say that I have found it, but that would be foolish. There are so many things to learn and try out, and so many resources available out there, and in my own gym, that I cannot say when I will find the perfect formula for me. I can say, however, that I am enjoying the journey.
Over the years, while working at a gym, I have had the opportunity to witness so many people start their own fitness journeys and, I have seen them both fail and succeed. I thought it would be a good opportunity to, at this point, talk about some common factors for failure, because I have beaten back these obstacles myself, and for anyone who is struggling, it is important to know that these things can be pushed past, with minimal effort. I looked up some common causes for failure online, and they go as follows:
1) Goal Setting – Setting goals is huge, and it is very important to set specific goals. An example of a vague goal would be “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to tone up.” These goals give you no sense of urgency, nothing tangible to achieve, and so leave you more open to failure in the long run. A better goal would be, “I want to fit into this smaller dress size in time for a big event next month,” or “I want to lose this much weight by this date.” It is so important to make manageable goals for yourself, and make sure they are healthy goals as well
Tip: I found it works better to set your goals with a friend, so you have someone to hold you accountable for missing a workout, or cheating with your diet. Also, tell other people about your goals, so when that date comes around, you have something to live up to.
2) Responsibility – Ultimately, you are the only person standing in between you and your fitness goals. You have to take responsibility for your own actions, and not make excuses. This is because at the end of the day, you are the one who decided to skip the gym that day. You are the person who decided to eat fast food. You are the one who chooses if you go get your workout done, or if you just lay on the couch and eat chips.
Tip: I found that having a workout buddy really helps this, so if you both make plans to meet at the gym, you are much less likely to skip a workout. This is very much a personal thing, and very difficult, because you have to hold yourself accountable. If you miss a day, make a note of it. If you don’t reach your goals, look back at all the days you let yourself miss, and understand, it is on you.
3) Looking for the Quick Fix – This happens all the time, and where people want to lose weight now, without any large effort on their part. I do have to draw your attention to any fitness model, body builder, or athlete whose bodies are admired, and note that this did not happen overnight. The bodies we look at in magazines have been achieved by hard work and dedication. Look for a routine that you can stick to in the long run. The quick fixes always seem to end in a quick weight gain immediately afterwards.
Tip: Do your homework. Talk to a trainer. Figure out a meal and workout plan that you will be able to stick to over a long period of time. Personally, I would rather reach a long term fitness goal than a short term one, and the long term goals are easier than you would think to get to, it just involves a lot more consistency!
4) Managing Time – There is always time to get to the gym. Throughout the week, there are times outside of work, or school, or whatever you do that dominates your week, where you can get to the gym. It is all about finding those times and sticking to them. There is always time to do your meal prep. It is about looking back up this list and realizing it is your responsibility to yourself and to your goals to do these things. I am totally guilty of coming home after work and being too lazy to come into the gym, using the excuse of being “too tired.” This is one obstacle that just has to be pushed past, and that little voice that says, “it’s too much work,” just needs to be shut up. There is a point where you need to listen to your body and rest, but you need to differentiate between that point and just being plain lazy.
Tip: I found, when working a very busy schedule at an office job, that it was way easier when I worked my fitness routine into my schedule, so it was no longer optional. I would go to the gym straight from work so I couldn’t go home and face that choice, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
5) Not asking for Help – There are an abundance of resources out there to help you. It is okay to admit you have no idea what you are doing! Looking back to where I started, I can honestly say that I had little to no idea what I was doing when I started at the gym. It is about taking your pride down a notch, and asking for help. Everyone has to start somewhere, and your fellow gym-goers are no different. At our gym, members help each other with no question, because there is nothing to be gained by watching someone else struggle. It does not help your fitness goals by letting another person drown in theirs. Personal trainers are such a great resource, whether you know one, or just ask a trainer on the gym floor for help.
Tip: Next time you are at the gym, ask a trainer a question that has been bugging you for a while. Everyone has one. It could be, “If I eat this a lot, could that be a reason why I’m not reaching my goals?” Or it could be “I don’t think I’m doing this exercise right, can you help me?” There is no shame in asking.
Thank you for reading!
If you have any questions, please comment below, or contact the gym. We are always willing to help!
Our website: http://sandcastlefitness.ca/