Do You Have the Same New Years Resolution Every Year? How to Get Fit and Stick With It
Is your New Years resolution to get fit this year, again?
Stop focusing onthe new shoes with separated toes, the wristwatch that can read your pulse underwater up to 50 feet and the shirt that wicks sweat from your skin.
Start focusing on your health.
Buying these products before doing any hard work is just a form of procrastination. You truly don’t need anything more than willpower and basic knowledge of fitness.
Why does getting fit have to be a resolution at the end of the year? Start as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the day you’re currently calling “the first day I will workout” on your mental calendar.
You don’t need buy anything to workout if (drumroll please) You have shoes, you have an old t-shirt, and you have shorts.
I cannot stress this enough. There is nothing stopping you. I understand why you are afraid of starting. The $60 billion dollar weight loss industry does an amazing job of making you think that this is more difficult than it is. Imagine reading through 3 pages long Mens Health Magazine.
Page 1: How to lift a weights and run on a treadmill.
Page 2: Don’t eat fast food
Page 3: 1 Hour workout
You need to shake the weight loss industry’s idea that working out and getting fit is a monumental task that requires planning and organization. Start getting in the mindset that working out is part of your life . As a beginner you don’t need any special plan, supplement or diet pill to see awesome results. If you want to grow muscle, eat more healthy calories than you burn and lift increasingly heavy things. If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories than you exert. In both cases you should also work do cardio.
Men, if you are thinking that you need supplementation to look great, the body in the photo to the right was achieved before steroids, supplementation, diet fads.
The main reasons I wasted so much time before getting fit:
I was shy about lifting weights for the first time in front of all of the “pros” in my gym.
The first month was a difficult because I was worried about hurting myself and looking like an idiot. So, I asked a friend of mine who had been working out for years to show me the ropes. If you don’t have a friend who can help you, hire a personal trainer for 1-3 sessions to get comfortable with using the machines or free weights without hurting yourself. If you don’t have the money for a personal trainer there are thousands of YouTube channels with quality advise and instruction. At the very minimum you can refer to the sticker on a machine to teach you how to use it. It usually will also go as far as describing which muscles are targeted.
I thought I didn’t have time for it.
The truth was that I didn’t make time for it. My easy excuse was “I don’t have an extra hour and a half a night.”
If you’re currently making no time to workout anything is better. If you start spending twenty minutes walking in the morning you’d probably be doing more than you are now, which is better than nothing. I realized how stupid this excuse was when I found myself playing on my computer for an hour or two before dinner. Do an audit on your time and try to find 45 minutes to 1 hour 4 times a week to dedicated to going to the gym. You would be surprised how much time you waste when you try to account for all of it.
It doesn’t matter what I do I will always be skinny.
I told myself I’d forever be skinny. Maybe you tell yourself you’ll always be fat. The truth is that I had never gave an honest effort to working hard towards a goal. I would instead say that my body can defy all physics because no matter the amount of calories I’d consume I wouldn’t gain weight.
My catalyst however, was when my body began complying with the laws of physics after returning home from college. I remember feeling excited watching the scale climb from 155lbs to 170lbs because I had always felt too skinny. Quickly thereafter I shot up to 195lbs, when I realized I was getting fat.
Other excuses I’ve heard or have said myself are:
- I don’t want to get overly muscular (or skinny) – If you could magically get huge muscles in an amount of time that you can control, there would be no fitness industry.
- I don’t really care what I look like/ about my health – Then why have you read this far?
- I have a bad knee/back/ankle/hip/ etc. – If you go to physiotherapy they will likely offer you stretches and exercises to heal your injury.
- It’s too boring – All physical activities bore you? Find a sport you like instead of walking on a treadmill.
- I’m already skinny – Unfortunately skinny doesn’t mean healthy.
How do you continue going to the gym?
Take a before photo and track your progress.
Take a photo of yourself before you start so you can see the differences that you’re making. Focus on a few features and watch them change before your eyes. This will serve as motivation to keep pushing, and more importantly to stop you from losing progress by having a week off because your lazy and eating unhealthy.
Make it a routine.
I workout on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. If I eat terribly or have a late night out on Friday I will usually add a Saturday morning workout out of guilt. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it so it doesn’t feel like it’s interfering with your every day life. It took me under a month to begin feeling like I want to go to the gym. Once you solidify the routine, you will naturally begin to follow it without thinking of it.
Understand that your health is directly related to the quality of your life.
Not only will working out make you feel better, you will also notice that you are naturally happier from the dopamine released while working out. Your confidence will skyrocket from looking better will as well.
Did you know that people who are fit attract more respect?
People who are unfit also experience the opposite because people tend to associate overweight bodies with laziness.
Set goals for yourself.
Set goals that will require you to push yourself. Test your maximum push ups and set a goal to triple it. As a beginner you will be amazed at how quickly you will improve. This will further your confidence and continue giving you reasons to stick with it. By setting goals you will feel a self-obligation to keep pushing when you’re getting tired of the gym.
Get social with your fitness.
If you find working out alone tough you’re not alone. Many people find it very beneficial to get a work out buddy or join a cycling club, running club or pick up sport team. It’s a lot harder to quit on someone else than it is to quit on yourself.
The Tip of the Iceberg
Fitness starts in the kitchen. Unfortunately getting into the gym is only 10% of the battle. Eating healthy is where you will really begin to see results. It’s much easier to eat 1000 extra calories than it is to burn 1000 calories.
Working out but eating unhealthy is like paying for college without attending the classes. In other words it’s stupid. If I was forced to do one or the other, it would be eating healthy. The truth is though, that missing a class here and there likely wont ruin your school year. In other words, eat healthy most of the time but don’t be afraid to have a few drinks with your friends or a big meal with your family.
There is another major industry that is trying to trick you.
The food industry spends an insane amount of money on making you think that the following words mean healthy:
All Natural – There is no regulation on the use of All Natural on product packaging. Technically McDonalds can slap it on their BigMac boxes if the lettuce is all natural.
Reduced Sodium – Unfortunately as consumers we are often made to believe that changes like this make prepackaged foods healthier overall.
Sugar Free – A product can be labeled sugar-free if it contains less than 0.05 grams per their serving size. This is usually achieved through light sugar alcohol substitutes.
Brown bread, Multi grain and Whole grain – Multi grain and whole grain are not actually much better than white bread. To call a product multi grain would mean that you have more than one grain in the mix. Popcorn, which has little dietary benefit, counts as a grain and is often used as a cheap substitute. Whole grain is also misleading because this can be achieved by using the whole grain of any grain. For example a whole oat or barley grain on the crust. Whole wheat is the entire wheat kernel which is what most dieticians refer to as the healthy option.
Gluten Free – If you don’t have a gluten intolerance there is no reason to purchase these over priced food items.
A good rule of thumb when eating healthy is; if it’s green and grows from the ground put more of it on your plate, if it’s rice, bread or pasta etc. reach for the least refined (least white in colour), when it comes to protein limit beef and pork as they are the fattest. If it comes prepackaged it’s likely not nearly as healthy as the packaging may make you think.
This year make lifestyle change to be more healthy. Allow yourself to enjoy the new fit you and enjoy the feeling of extra energy and confidence as your body repairs from years of abuse. Apart from what the major industries surrounding health may want you to think, getting fit and eating healthy is simple. Work hard and eat clean. You will thank yourself.