When I began thinking about how to approach the topic of living fit, I decided to think about the average person. Let’s be honest! Fitness is different for everyone. You’ve heard the saying, “one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling?” Well the same is true with fitness. One person’s lifelong best fitness level may be nothing compared to another person.
Fitness is an individual thing, like your personality, your DNA and your weird traits and moods that make you so special to your friends who love you no matter what dumb stuff you say or do. Thank God for friends like those right? That reminds me of a story! On second thought, my mom reads this blog so perhaps I should skip the story.
So, back to fitness……
With regard to getting fit and staying fit (because staying fit should be the goal right?), who is the average man? Who is the average woman? Well, I didn’t dig up scientific research to determine exactly who the average man and woman are but I have been in this whole personal training game for quite awhile and if you were to ask me who the average man and woman are I’d say something like this:
The average man and woman are tired, sluggish, unmotivated, physically weak, uncoordinated, lacking physical stamina, overstimulated, stressed, undernourished, overfed and carry around at least thirty (30) pounds of excess body fat.
So once I came up with this idea of who the average man and woman are (feel free to disagree if you like), I was able to come up with the focus of this article.
So what do I recommend you consider doing and being if you desire to live fit for life
There are numerous accounts of the great Viking military forces that existed centuries ago and dominated their enemies on the field of battle. The simple thought of these warriors struck fear into all who knew of them.
There is a great lesson to be learned from the accounts of Viking battles. Supposedly, when the Vikings would arrive on the shores of enemy territory the commander would give the men the order to burn the boats. WHAT! Burn the boats? How would they ever get away if they lost the battle?
Well that answer isn’t hard to figure out. They wouldn’t get away, they would fight to the death. Consequently the Viking warriors were absolutely determined to win and win and win. They had no choice but to give their all. All their focus, all their effort, all their desire had to be put into the goal of victory or they would surely die. There’s a reason why their military greatness is still admired today. They left themselves no other alternative: win or die.
Of course nothing so perilous exists today, but the lesson is that if you want to win, be successful and conquer something, “burn the boats.” Leave yourself no other option but to be successful and you will find that your chances of success increase dramatically.
Don’t underestimate this step! Mental and emotional barriers are what destroy your fitness efforts. Remove these obstacles by leaving yourself no other option but to be successful in your quest for the fitness lifestyle.
- throw away (or donate) every single piece of clothing that is larger than your current size. Now!
- have a fitness pro make you a weekly authorized food list and pay someone to go to the store and buy those foods for you. Most teenagers will do it for $10. As a former body builder this worked great for me when trying to overcome my tendency to buy the wrong foods…..and therefore eat them. Plus it saved me a ton of time. More people are willing to do this than you may think. If you constantly buy foods you shouldn’t, you cannot yet trust yourself so stop the excuses! Pay the $10 or $20 and rest easy knowing you are eating right, it’s worth the cost!
- go buy some new workout clothes and buy them one size too small. Nothing too crazy, just snug enough for you to be aware that you are sucking that gut it. This will get you training harder and will get your mind set on fitting into those clothes comfortably. When you do get into that size comfortably, repeat this process of donating and trashing clothes until you get the body you want.
- join a CrossFit program. Just do it. Talk with the instructor, tell them your fears and concerns and they will help you overcome those while improving your body. This program will help you realize what you really are capable of doing and you’ll be amazed at how a group of motivated people help you stay accountable to your own fitness goals. A good instructor will take the guess-work out of your exercise and tell you exactly what to do, show you how to do it and lay out all the details for you to follow. You just have to show up with a heart full of enthusiasm and the mindset that you are ready to pay your dues. If you aren’t sure how to find the right CrossFit program for you, try Facebook – your friends will have plenty of options for you. A good rule of thumb is if the instructors aren’t going to take time to teach you everything you need to know before putting your efforts up against a clock, find another program. Don’t allow some mindless hothead hurt you, seek out professionals who educate and inform.
- if CrossFit is not your idea of what fitness is for you that’s fine. Find a program that resonates with you and/or hire a qualified personal trainer who shares your thoughts on what fitness is. This is a step that I consider to be almost unnecessary to mention…..professional guidance is something I consider mandatory so I won’t go into details. Find a program, hire a trainer. The bottom line is “appointment fitness” works. When you have an appointment that you’ve paid for and the professional provides a quality service while holding you accountable, you become successful. Make the appointment!
- find 2 ways (not food) to reward yourself for fitness successes each month. Massage, spa days, a weekend get-away, hire a personal trainer to teach you new things. Find what motivates you and what you’ll enjoy and fall into your world of fitness and motivation and reward yourself for a month of fitness well-lived. Remove any concern or fear of investing time and money into your fit lifestyle, it’s worth it!
- eat single ingredient foods. In the beginning, try to limit foods like casseroles, gumbos, and gourmet preparations that are made from many different ingredients. These foods tend to work against your fitness goals. Once you become more aware of the foods that you need to eat to support your fitness goals you will begin learning how to prepare multi-ingredient foods that are within your plan. My example below is a typical meal I’d eat an hour or so after training really hard. Each food is single-ingredient so I know exactly what is going into my body without any guessing.
|Meal Example #1||Meal Example #2 ||Meal Example #3 |
|8 oz. grilled chicken||8 oz. flank steak||8 oz. tuna steak|
|1 cup black beans||1.5 cup white rice||1 cup quinoa|
|1/2 avocado||3 cups green salad||2 cups broccoli|
|1/2 grapefruit||2 tbsp. olive oil & lemon juice mixed||1 sliced tomato|
Learn a lesson from man’s best friend.
Do you have a dog? Well if you have ever had a great dog like my dogs Dea and Sebastian (affectionately known as Mommy & Fatty), then you know what I’m about to say. These two wonderful creatures are my most treasured gifts. They give me more happiness and enjoyment than any other thing in my life. Why? Because they are unconditionally devoted to me and I to them, we are partners, best friends, we are equally in love with each other.
When I think about my dogs one thing sticks out. I sometimes feel bad when I’m gone from the house for many hours. I feel like they’ll be lonely and upset with me for ignoring them. But it never fails, I come home and there they are patiently waiting for my return and eager to greet me with love and attention. The thing that most impresses me with them is their unwavering patience. I’ve gone on long trips and my dog-sitter has told me how day-after-day they sit in the front room looking out the window waiting for me to return. This is an amazing trait that we as humans can learn a lot from. More importantly, patience is something everyone in pursuit of the fitness lifestyle must possess. Being motivated, eager and determined are emotions and feelings that are necessary to achieve fitness too, but patience is what will keep all your other emotions and desires to be fit going strong.
Every single person I know who has set out to get fit and failed has lacked patience. Every single person I know who has set out to get fit and succeeded possessed patience.
Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Of course the process of getting and then living fit requires a great number of actions, desires and conditions. But patience is central to all of these. Without patience, you will grow increasingly disappointed in your progress and begin to allow yourself to spend your time doing things other than training, eating right and staying focused on your goal of living the fitness lifestyle.
The next time you think about quitting, giving up, canceling that training session or “starting over on Monday” remember man’s best friend and the unwavering patience they exhibit. Then remember that fitness is a culmination of many processes, actions, desires and successes that build on top of each other and go ahead and regroup, refocus and get back to it.
- get your time, schedule and life in order. Quit letting petty little things keep your from training and eating right. Practice the art of “NO!” Get good at telling people who fail to handle their business “no” the next time their poor time management skills try to cause you to work late or pull into a drive thru for food.
- stop meeting! Meetings rarely accomplish anything except keeping you from being productive. They are a tremendous waste of time. Very VERY few things need an actual meeting. With e-mail, text and phones just about everything can be more clearly defined and accomplished using technology. Use it! But, don’t fall into the trap of spending countless hours checking and re-cheching email and social media – it’s wasted time and you have things to do.
- set weekly goals based on performance. I will train 40 mins. of cardio on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I will eat a large serving of vegetables at every dinner this week instead of rice, pasta or bread. I will drink 1 gallon of water every day this week. You get the picture. Fit habits lead to a fit body. Set goals that promote the habit of living fit and the results will come.
- track your meals. Write them down in a notebook. You will be amazed at how this simple process will keep your attention on eating well.
- seek professional advice and instruction. No matter what you want to do, there is an expert who can help you prioritize it to reduce the stress it may place on your life in the short-term. You will not regret working with a qualified fitness pro. They will help you a great deal.
These are a few of my thoughts on getting fit and living fit for life. Of all the things I know to be true, few are as important to keep in mind as this:
Regardless of who you are, where you live, what you have and who you know, a fit lifestyle is available to you.
In the end, the excuses have to stop and actions have to begin.
Here’s to a long, fit life!
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