You want to change your life?
So many people have a desire to be in shape and healthy. Admittedly, they struggle though. They know they eat bad and don’t exercise enough. It’s not that they don’t want to improve, it’s just a struggle to keep it going. So what does it take to actually accomplish long term results, and why do so few people accomplish it?
I remember one of the hardest things I’ve ever overcome was whiplash in an auto accident, but not because it was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I was hit from behind while sitting at a red light. My doctor told me I could exercise, but I only could use about 30-40% of my current intensity for the next 6 months. I decided not to exercise because, if I couldn’t do my normal routine, it wasn’t worth doing. Instead, I stopped exercising, babied my injury, lost muscle, and gained body fat. Six months later I walked in to a gym, realized how weak I was, and walked out 10 minutes later. I repeated this pattern every 2 to 3 weeks. Walked in, lifted a couple of weights, struggled because I couldn’t do what I did before, and walked out before any of my old workout buddies saw me. It took me 3 months before I started working out regularly again. My obstacle handled me that time.
Let’s start with where you are at the moment and compare that to where you want to be. When you imagine the end goal, it usually involves weight loss, and adapting a healthier lifestyle. This isn’t anything new for most people, and you have probably walked down this road before. Can you do a quick exercise for me? Think back to the last time you tried to take this journey. What happened? What derailed you and kept you from accomplishing your goal. Was it an injury, a death in the family, moving to a new location, or did it just fade over time? You may feel that it was a one-time thing, and it’s possible that it won’t happen again. Afterall, I don’t plan on having whiplash again. That’s not the point though. The issue is that you are able to be side-tracked. There is no doubt that you will encounter more obstacles in the future, but how you handle those obstacles will weigh heavily on your success for the future.
How do you know if you handled your obstacles or if your obstacles handled you?
- If you were injured, did you exercise other body parts, or did you just take it as a sign that you should stop?
- Did the death in your family prevent you from going on walks (some exercise is better than no exercise) just to clear your mind?
- When you moved, did you try to find a place to exercise or scout out hiking/biking trails or did you wait until you got completely moved in?
- When you quit reaching your goals, did you reach out for help, or just quit because you figured you were doing the best you could?
When you truly change your habits to obtain a healthy life, you must be able to overcome any obstacle you face.
Let me get back to my story. I kept trying over and over again until I was able to realize that I had to face reality. Where I was with my health was the result of my actions. Sure there was an injury, and yes, it was unfair, but it was time to move on. I started with working out just a few days a week and gradually built back up to being consistent over time. Since that time I’ve been in several severe auto accidents (yeah, I know, you don’t want to ride with me), hurt my lower back several times, worked for different companies, lived in a few different cities, and got married. All of these life circumstances required me to alter my fitness lifestyle, because at this point, my life is different. My life always includes some type of fitness component. That cannot change. Being healthy is a priority no matter what obstacle I encounter.
How about you? What obstacle derailed you? Are you currently struggling with an obstacle, but ready to overcome it? Are you ready for a life change?