One of my good girlfriends — like many of us — oscillates between being super on top of her game (a la P90X and Insanity) and being 20 pounds overweight. It’s painful to watch her cycle through her moments of feeling like a failure when they inevitably come. Over the years, I’ve tried to reassure her along the way and remind her that she can get back on top of it, just as she’s done many times before.
She’s currently coming out of one of her low times after having packed on some pounds in a stressful period of her life. What’s amazing, though, is that something seems to have clicked for her this time because instead of trying to get back into tip top shape in one month’s time, she has decided to commit to upping her fitness level over a full year.
I practically whooped with joy when she calmly told me that she decided to make that change (instead of crash dieting and punishing her body with grueling workouts over a short period of time). When we talked about what inspired the change in her approach, she admitted that a huge part of it was from seeing me and a number of our friends slowly but surely change our lives and fitness levels over many, many months and years.
Stop The Cycle
I know I talked about this in the last post — with regard to inspiring your kids and family to healthy habits — but I think this is just more proof in the pudding that by choosing to take care of yourself and lead a healthy lifestyle, you’re impacting more than just your self and immediate family members.
If you’re only thinking short-term when you begin a workout regimen, you didn’t put the pounds on overnight, so how can you expect them to go (and stay) away overnight? I’m willing to bet that there are probably lingering habits there as well — such as emotional eating, excessive drinking, not eating breakfast, etc. How long have you had those habits for?
Can you see why going with a diet fad or quick-fix program ain’t gonna cut it for the long haul, just based on those initial questions?
Magic Pills Don’t Exist
Plus, time has shown us over and over again that there is no “magic pill” that will do the work for you. And when those purported “magic pills” do come around, think about the havoc they wreaked on people’s health! Remember Fen-Phen and the ugly heart-related side effects that came out after widespread usage of the drug? EEEEK! #justsayno
As my friend is doing — and as I and many other people I know have done — for the greatest long-term results and benefits, I strongly recommend that you fully commit to getting into the best shape of your life over one year’s time. What does that kind of commitment look like? Ideally, working out 5 days a week — even if only for 20-30 minutes at a time — and eating better/right.
That way, it’s not some crazy goal to lose 20 pounds in 20 days; instead, you can slowly but surely find the right balance and regimen for you. For example, as you’re starting out, if you’re going from not working out at all, try this:
For the first week, make your goal to work out once. That’s all. Just once. Who can’t do that? Then, the next week, make it your goal to work out twice. Bang! The third week, three times. Boom chaka laka! The fourth week, four times. KA-BLAM! The fifth week, five times. KA-BLOOEY!!!!
Will there be weeks when you work out more than 5 times? Sure! Will there be weeks when you “fall off the wagon” and only work out 3 times? Absolutely. Get back up, dust yourself off, and recommit by getting those 5 workouts in again the next week.
All you have to do is commit. Right here, right now. Commit to being the best version of you. Commit to making healthy choices. Commit 110%, and there’s nothing else, because you’ve committed to you. Your health. Your life. Your best self!
What are your workout keys to success when it comes to staying on track with your regimen? You know I love hearing from y’all!