We have become a nation of instant gratification. Thanks to technology, we expect things to be, literally, at our fingertips at any given moment. Because of this, when we don’t receive the favorable results we’re after, we tend to think the effort isn’t worth it and we move on. But some things take time; in fact, they take an entire lifetime.
Some people have completely “let themselves go” for years, and then might expect to be able to transform themselves in their first 30 days back in the gym. This rarely, if ever, happens. So, in order to be successful, what we are really looking to transform are your HABITS. They say that the best way to create change in yourself is to change the way you see a situation (your paradigm), so start with how you look at weight loss and getting healthy and fit to see if you can “see it” in a way that will motivate you to do it in a way that will allow you to stick with it long term.
I personally don’t LOVE working out, but love how I feel after I do it. I love being able to do more things in life that I want to do, regardless of my age because I am in better physical shape. My main reason for eating healthy is motivated by my need for energy and the mental focus it demands to run a business: and when I eat foods that slow me down or make me feel crappy, I just can’t function at a high level. Dozens (hundreds?) of times a day you will find yourself facing the same decision: is what I want in the future more important than what I want in the moment? Do I want the “quick fix” or do I want to make a lifestyle change?
A healthy lifestyle is not something achieved in a matter of moments… that is why it’s called a lifestyle. A diet is not a lifestyle: it’s a temporary fix for a permanent issue. There will always be temptation to eat, or an excuse not to work out, but when we change our way of thinking and view it as a lifestyle change we’ll see daily gratification in our new habits.
There are a few things you need to ask yourself and truly understand before diving into a healthy lifestyle change:
- What is your motivation to improve your life? Why are YOU doing this?
- Do you have kids and want to lead by example?
- Do you think if you lose weight and keep it off, it opens the romantic possibilities?
- What has stopped you from making these changes before? Do these obstacles still exist? How can you eliminate them? If you can’t, how do you move forward?
- When you’re faced with temptation, how do you handle it? Do you have the ability to stay on course or do you cave?
- Am I happy? What makes me happy?
- How do I get where I want to go? What is my long-term (and short-term) plan of attack?
If the thought of these answers overwhelms you, you may not be ready to make a lifestyle change, and that’s ok. It’s a lifetime of work and dedication. Come back in a month and ask yourself again. Taking the first step is always the hardest, but once you do, you won’t look back with regret.
Phil Dozois, Owner, Breakthru Fitness