The one important piece of knowledge that can make or break your fitness routine

When I was new to fitness, here are a few things that happened to me -

  1. Missed an entire week of workouts due to an over-demanding boss
  2. Messed up my food, badly (feasted on desserts and fried food)
  3. Binged on alcohol like there was no tomorrow
  4. Ended up feeling miserable and had daily thoughts about giving up

If you’re as dramatic as I am, you may find yourself making statements like “I don’t need fitness, I’m fine just the way God made me!”
 But if God made you overweight, out of breath and lethargic, chances are you don’t want to stay that way…

Here’s the one piece of knowledge that helped me, that bailed me out my situation. It was the realization that I should stop beating myself up when things didn’t work out. It’s stupidly simple, but effective. Because things rarely work out. Or as I like to put it —

Shit happens — deal with it

Despite all the planning and preparation — sometimes you just can’t help but miss a workout. A sudden night out (because someone asked you to), family wedding with deliciously heavy food (because you had to) or binge drinking with friends (because why the heck not!). 
The bottom line is, shit happens. Life doesn’t care for your gym schedule. Workouts will be missed, beers will be had, and bellies will be filled.

The important thing is to wake up the next day and try harder.

In the words of Rocky Balboa —

If you’re still keen to miss as few workouts as possible, then try pinpointing the reasons you usually fail to workout.

Is it lack of time?

Let’s be clear — lack of time is not a problem, it’s just an excuse.

If Barack and Michelle Obama can take 45 minutes out of their busy schedules to workout, I’m pretty sure you can too.

And if you think workouts will tire you out, think again. Studies show that exercise increases mitochondrial production. Mitochondria are tiny power plants that produce energy to meet the required energy demand. 
Ultimately, more exercise equals more energy.

Start prioritizing

Is it lack of confidence?

You see your friends & neighbors killing it at the gym while you stop to catch your breath. You wonder if winning Dominos’ “most frequent customer” award will be your only achievement in life.
 
Well, you’re not alone. If this was easy, everyone would be fit. So take a deep breath, bless your heart for putting up with you, and get on with it.

Easy solution — start working out at home or walking outdoors. Forget the gym to start with. You don’t need fancy equipment to get fit. Pick up a reliable in-home program from a certified trainer. There are plenty of great options on the internet, including ours.

Does trying something new scare you? (It can also change your life)

There are places in life where we’re very comfortable - our jobs, our homes, or our books, we just love to stay within these comfort zones.

Any new activity — like fitness, can be incredibly unfamiliar and challenging.
So don’t be afraid of looking weak or foolish. Remember, every pro was once a beginner and every expert was once an amateur. 
 But trying something new is always worth it. Like learning how to combine bananas with peanut butter. (if you haven’t, try it now!)

Here’s a nice Chinese proverb I pulled off the internet for you —

Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it

Now despite all of this, if you’re still unable to workout, there’s still one thing you can do -

Focus on your diet

If you’re unable to dedicate time to fitness, focus on your diet. Get a good nutrition plan. You have no idea the effect a well-planned meal can have on your body. Meanwhile work on easing yourself into a fitness habit. But start somewhere, do something!

Lastly, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back

In the beginning, it’s important to focus on the positives, the small victories — like turning up to the gym, or overcoming the impulse to rub cake into your face. 
 
 Because a new habit takes at least 21 days. Getting up in the morning, sweating it out…it’s not glamorous, it’s tough. So be prepared to fail sometimes but keep your eye on the prize, it’s there for the taking.

Oh and don’t beat yourself up. It’s not worth it.