How many times around new years have you made a resolution to yourself that this is the year I get to the gym and build the body I have always dreamed of. So, you get up the first week of January all excited and ready to get started, you try out all the local gyms and pick the one that’s right for you. You go shopping for workout clothes and sneakers if shopping is your thing at least. If you’re a guy, you’re watching a few videos on how to do certain movement and finding programs online, and if you’re a woman you’re checking the classes and which you’d like to try. You start to clean up your diet by reading labels, articles, maybe even books and eating out less often. You have mentally prepared yourself and you’re ready to roll.
That first week is brutal, you’re sore all over and go maybe the first few days only, but you promised yourself this year is different, so week two you’re going five days no matter what. Week two, you made it all the way to Thursday, but co-workers are going to
happy hour, and you tell yourself I did such a good job this week I deserve it. Friday comes around and you’re too hungover or tired from the night before and working all day, so you say I’ll make the day up over the weekend. On the weekend, you’re hanging out with your friends, your running errands, and catching up on those shows you missed during the week, and before long it’s Sunday night and your gym is closed. No worries, week one I only made it a few days and week two I went three, this week I’m definitely hitting five times.
For the next few weeks and into February, you’ll go anywhere from 1-5 times a week depending on what’s going on in your life and how motivated you made yourself that week. But eventually the weather starts to get nicer, and more people are out and about, so you start doing other activities after work, and before long the idea of getting in shape and eating right becomes just that, an idea. As a lifelong avid powerlifter and bodybuilder, I can tell you like clockwork, January the gym is packed and I hate it, but as the weeks roll on people start dropping like flies, and before long the gym gets back to normal.
So why is it that you are so motivated to get fit and build your dream body, yet you can’t seem to follow through? The answer is simple, Fitness is just not that important in your life and you’re not really doing it for you. If you can’t say no to a happy hour, dinner out with friend or co-workers, or that show that starts at 9 PM and you got out of work late so no gym, then you don’t have your priorities in order. And when I say you’re not really doing it for yourself, I mean there are outside forces that made you feel insecure about your own body in some way that you felt you needed to change. It could be all your friends are skinny and you hold a little more weight, or all your friends are jacked and you’re skinny. It could even be media and their portrayal of what the right physique is that motivated you.
How can you say that I was so motivated? Motivation is short lived, you can be motivated by many things throughout the day that can easily take precedent over the thing you have just motivated about two seconds ago. To succeed and get into the shape you want takes dedication, the kind of dedication you give to your friends, family, significant other, and career. Getting in shape can’t be a recreational or social activity you do with friends, it must be a part of your everyday life. There will be days where you are going to have to say no to happy hour or dinner, and others where you’re so tired you just want to sleep, and you’re going to have to fight through it.
Make no mistake about it, trying to attain your dream physique is no easy task, but what is easy that’s worth fighting for? You didn’t just wake up one morning and have all the positive things you have in your life, you had to sacrifice and work hard, becoming fit is no different. There have been countless times where I have had to say no to drinks or dinner with friends because I had to work out, or they were going somewhere I couldn’t order anything within my diet plan.
How do I then balance the life I want with the body I want? Simple, you have to understand where health and wellness fall in your life wheel, and make the necessary changes to reach your goals. I wrote a post called “A guide to creating your personalized wheel of life to happiness”. Follow the guide and evaluate why you want that body and how it fits with the rest of your life. Maybe you’ll realize I’m just insecure and really don’t care about changing my body, then you just need to work on coming to terms with who you are. We as humans can attain any goal we want, it’s just a matter of making sacrifices in other parts of our life and not just being motivated, but most importantly being dedicated.