Okay, you have a fitness goal. You’re dedicated to losing 30 pounds, or gaining 10 pounds of muscle, or maybe losing 5 inches off your waist, or reversing your pre-diabetic blood sugar levels. Whatever it is, you’re dedicated – you’re serious about making it happen. You tell everyone that you are going to do this, and you get a program set up for you to be able to do it. You start reading stuff like this blog, you start getting dialed in on your nutrition – this is happening.
And so it does. You lose 30 pounds. You reverse your diabetes. That is awesome! You stuck to the program, you disciplined yourself, you were consistent, and it worked. It always does when you do it right.
Now here is the key to keeping the weight off, or keeping the inches off, or whatever the goal is… are you ready for this key? I’m not sure if you are, because America doesn’t seem to be able to deal with it. If you love fast food, soda, watching TV, and hate exercising, this key is bitter medicine, but it’s the truth, and when you can deal with this one simple truth, you can use this key. The key is – exercise and proper nutrition should be your lifestyle. LIFESTYLE!!! It is NOT a temporary project. All that stuff you were doing to meet your goals is the stuff you should be doing for the rest of your life – assuming you met your goals in a proper, healthy way.
When people make exercise a temporary project, one of two things happens. 1) You give up before you meet your goal, because when the results don’t come as fast as you’d planned, you start to doubt the program, and then you start to doubt whether it’s actually possible for you to meet your goal. And that plateau moment almost always happens in the course of a workout program. The other option is 2) you do meet your goal, as suggested in the first few paragraphs, but then you stop working out, and you stop caring so much about your nutrition… because you did what you set out to do, so you can stop now, right? See the problem yet? You’re going to go right back to the way you were because you’re going to go right back to your old lifestyle.
This is why fad diets are always a terrible idea. In the very conception of a diet is the idea that you get results because of the diet but you only do it for a limited amount of time. And in order to get the results the diets have to cut corners and do some things that aren’t even in line with how your body is supposed to function. Believe it or not, one of the most certain predictors that you will gain weight is if , right now, you are on a diet. As soon as the diet is done, you go right back to your previous lifestyle. So don’t go on a diet – just eat like you know you’re supposed to. Whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and very limited amounts of added/refined sugars.That was easy.
This is also why hyped up exercise programs are a bad idea – unless you plan on continuing the lifestyle. You just can’t look at exercise as something you’re going to do until you get what you want from it and then stop.
This is something very difficult for people to want to learn. It requires discipline. People become slaves to their tongues, to their habits. But the good news is this: if you get on a program, and you pull a Nike (just do it – love that motto) then you start to enjoy it, and you start to create a momentum, and you can stick with that momentum and that mindset. Even though it’s difficult to get started on a workout program and begin to be consistent about it, there’s always a point where you start to enjoy it – when you realize you’re doing something good for yourself, you start feeling better about yourself and a lot of things, and you know you’re doing the right thing. Hold on to that feeling! And start telling yourself that this is who you are.
It should be the way you are. It can be the way you are. Your body and your mind thrive on exercise. Start telling yourself that fitness is just a way of life for you. It needs to be.