A common theme I see every year at about this time is an increase in search results for “exercise” and “fitness.” This is because so many people will put “losing weight” as their New Years Resolution. Unfortunately, most of these people are likely to give up shortly after starting. Can health and fitness be more than a passing fancy?
Go Beyond the Passing Fancy of Fitness
When I say, “fitness,” what’s the first thing that jumps into your mind? I bet it has to do with exercising, flexing your muscles in the mirror, or attending a gym. In reality, it goes way beyond an outward appearance.
Being fit benefits your internal organs as much as it does your outer shell. Looking good in a swimsuit is really just a side-effect of building a healthier body. Everything from emotional stability and clarity of thought to being able to deep clean your house without getting winded is affected.
Because there are so many benefits from being healthy, why don’t more people focus on it? Unfortunately, that’s a difficult question to answer as everyone has their own excuses.
I can’t afford a gym membership.
You don’t need to be in a gym to lose weight and practice healthy behaviors. In fact, I lost the vast majority of my weight without stepping inside a gym. Sometimes even the simplest of changes in your daily habits can create profound results.
I don’t have time to exercise.
This is a common statement I see around the Internet often. The truth is, any physical activity is considered “exercise” in some form. It’s all about getting the heart rate up without hurting yourself. Even a desk jockey like myself can acquire some form of fitness by making better use of time.
I don’t have the money to buy healthy foods.
This is a situation I actually lived through. Not having the money to buy groceries often means you have to buy cheaper, and far less healthy, alternatives. However, you can still save money buying food if you follow proper portion sizes.
For example, three ounces of chicken is a serving – not a three-piece meal from KFC…which is 990 calories by the way depending on your sides and drink.
I’m not motivated enough to lose the weight.
And this is the crux of why so many people fail after a few months of trying. A lack of motivation can be devastating to a diet or exercise routine. And in reality, this is the most honest statement anyone can make. Instead of being dedicated, they see fitness as a passing fancy or a fad.
I’m proud of who I am and don’t want to change.
OK, so I am not trying to dive into fat-shaming here. But people who believe they are OK with being overweight or obese because they are beautiful on the inside need to realize the internal damage that is happening. This is speaking from someone who is still considered obese by the CDC.
Decreased cognitive abilities, joint pressure, bone degradation, organ failure and many other issues are happening within. It’s OK to relish in being a “beautiful overweight person,” but bear in mind you’re also cutting your lifespan.
This isn’t to mention how you’re also more likely to rely on others for some of the most mundane of needs. You don’t have to lose the weight and look like a stick figure, but you could accomplish more by being at a healthy size and putting effort into some kind of fitness.
Getting Serious with Health and Fitness
Some people seem to just jump on the health-and-fitness bandwagon quite easily. Others like myself know there needs to be a change but can’t seem to fully commit. And this is a real problem for those who want to go beyond calling fitness a passing fancy.
For instance, I know the benefits of exercising and eating right…and I do well throughout most of the day. Then night comes along and I just can’t seem to hold on to my ideals.
This may have to do with creating an habitual way of life. For more than a decade, I’ve lived a certain way and now I am trying to change all that.
Don’t Push too Hard
I have a tenancy of pushing myself way beyond my physical limits. After a workout routine that I feel I can do, I usually wind up nearly passing out. In fact, I crumpled onto the floor of Safeway after visiting a gym last week.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is beyond weak. I tried to do the same routine I was doing last year and failed miserably. The problem is just that, thinking I can just jump in where I left off.
To avoid pushing too hard, find your limits. Fitness is a life-choice, not an instant get-thin-quick scheme. Find your base-line and then work to improve the results.
For example, I learned that I cannot lift as much as I thought I could – so I will reduce the weight and lower the reps until I can exercise without passing out.
Pushing too hard can also include dietary issues. I see a lot of people who don’t want to eat healthy but still want to lose weight. While it’s possible, the body still needs a balance of nutrition to operate efficiently. And for Pete’s sake, don’t try to starve yourself to lose weight. You only cause internal damage, which some of it is irreversible.
It’s Not an Instant Fix
Achieving optimal health and fitness is not something you’re going to acquire overnight. Everyone wants to jump on the fast-lane of health and assume it can be done in mere weeks. In reality, it depends greatly on your personal physiology. Not everyone will have the same experience.
In essence, health and fitness are methods to rebuild your body. It takes a lot of retraining of the brain as well as muscles. Just because you jumped on the latest fad diet, don’t expect to drop 40 pounds in a month.
You need to be dedicated and focused if you want to avoid pitfalls that led you to being unhealthy in the first place. Instead of unhealthy habits, you need to create some new ones to focus on living longer.
In a way, it’s much like being in recovery for a drug addiction. In fact, many of you may have addictions to food which go into mental stability and comfort. Don’t assume you can find the best diet plans and be “fixed” completely. Some of you may still need counseling of some sort – I know I do.
It Will Change Your Life
Restructuring yourself is going to change many aspects of your life. Once you reach your goals, you may have a completely different daily routine than you did before you started. This isn’t a bad thing, though, especially if it helps you live longer.
More often than not, changes for health and fitness are overwhelmingly positive. From strengthening a sense of confidence to making better decisions at work, you may find more opportunities open in the vast majority of your lifestyle.
A lot of people view health as a passing fancy because they simply don’t want to change. Which is fine, as long as you’re being truthful with yourself. Change is difficult for many, and it can be frightening as you think of losing life as it is. However, who’s to say change is a bad thing?
A caterpillar changes into a butterfly. A sprout poking from the ground changes into a mighty evergreen. A seed changes into a magnificent rose bush. Don’t assume change is going to lead to bad things. You may be inadvertently denying your own brilliance in the long run.
Don’t let it become a passing fancy as you’re able to benefit from health and fitness in some fashion.
Listen to Your Body
Your body will begin calling out to you in a myriad of ways. Morning exhaustion, muscle fatigue, shortness of breath and heart palpitations have potential as side-effects of something far worse than merely being tired. The body may be trying to tell you that fitness is not a passing fancy and you need to do something about it…soon.