When I began training people for fitness, more than a couple of years ago, I was quickly disenchanted. It did not take more than a couple of months for me to lose a lot of my initial excitement at the prospect of helping people to finally achieve their hopes and dreams. I was not only disenchanted, I was downright astonished and discouraged. Why? Because it didn’t take long at all for me to realize what the largest problem of our society really is; what the number one contributing factor to people’s health issues and obesity really is. And, what I saw… I couldn’t believe. And, you just may not believe it either. What quickly became evident made me absolutely hate one aspect of my new-found, beloved job. That thing, that very powerful “contributing factor,” the thing easily common in 7 out of 10 clients, was… Laziness. Pure, plain and simple laziness!
Everyone wants to have a great body. Everyone wants to be healthy. “No one” wants to exercise! There’s a problem here; a fundamental problem. The human body simply is not designed to be truly healthy without exercise. You may be thin, but “thin” does not equate to “fit”. You may have a great shape, but that does not equate to being healthy. Being fit and having a good shape are two entirely different things. A super model has a great shape, but may not be able to run one measly mile without exhaustion or may not even be able to do 10 pull-ups or even 5! The body simply will not be healthy without exercise and, if it is not healthy, it will not shed excess weight. The mere act of sweating alone causes the body to rid itself of toxins! We don’t lose weight to look good, we lose weight to be healthy. Looking great is just a fringe benefit. This not only comes with exercise, but keeping a younger appearance and looking healthy comes with eating right too.
But, back to the main issue. I simply could not believe what clients would want. I could not believe what they were saying to me. I could not believe that even after I would tell them exactly what they needed to do to get themselves fit, in shape and regain their health, they would… not… do it! It is as if there is an invisible wall that keeps people from simply getting up and engaging in a physical activity. And, the excuses were always frequent. Now this is probably the most tiresome and nerve wracking thing about being a trainer, from my point of view. You see, what I wanted was to help people to learn how to get fit and help them on their way. But, what I found out was that what the people wanted from me was for me to give them some sort of “easy out”. Like a small pill or something that they could just take and “viola!” no more fat! And, forget about giving them something to do while they were at home or away from me! I had to learn the hard way that they just were NOT going to do it. Unless they already worked out regularly, I may as well only have them train while I’m standing over their shoulder, ’cause that’s the only way it’s happenin’.
First of all, the excuses were always exactly the same. Person after person, week after week, I heard, “I have a bad ankle,” “I have a bad wrist,” “My knee is bad…” Now mind you, none of this ever comes up in my initial health assessment. Not at all. They conveniently “pop up” about two weeks into it. But, there’s more, “My kid has practice I have to take him or her to,” “My so-and-so has a birthday party.” YEAH, a birthday party! Well, they knew they could see me anytime that day or the next day. Here’s another common excuse, “My body just has a slow metabolism.” Man! This was the biggest misconception to ever hit the world! You have to realize that the word “metabolism” is just a fancy term for your body’s rate of burning calories in a given period of time! This is also related to our “having energy” or feeling energetic. “I just don’t have any energy,” they say! Fat, scientifically, is stored energy! Do you realize that having an energetic feeling, created primarily by natural testosterone, comes only after and if you exercise? Not before. Sure, you’re tired at first. But, that goes away. The testosterone boost lasts and makes a significant difference on your energy levels, your health and your strength. Strength and “energy” isn’t just handed to you on a platter! It’s created… by YOU. What do you think happens when we exercise? Our metabolism, goes up, up, up! The rate at which your body burns calories goes up! The rate at which your body is making changes goes up! Your body’s ability to process energy goes up! And, all of that stays up for hours, possibly as many as 24, after you’ve finished with your session. Now that’s a good return on your investment.
Now, granted, there are definite genetic dispositions; and, I won’t kid you about that. And, there are definitely ways to train smart and not have to beat yourself into the ground for hours every day. But, If you’re just sitting there week after week, day after day, then you must expect your metabolism to be and to stay very, very low. That’s exactly what you would be causing your body to do. That habit is not helping matters at all.
“I have to work” is the most common excuse made for not taking care of our health. This one I can understand but this excuse always precedes the eventual drop out and quit, also, just like the rest… the result is the very same as the others. So, you must choose your end result. You choose your end result. If you choose the one that at least 66 percent of we good ol’ Americans do, you’ll need every dollar you make at your job for medical bills anyway. So, work really, really hard. Save up too, because your family may need the extra bit of cash if you’re going to pass away of heart attack, stroke, collapsed lung, cancer, enlarged heart, pulmonary embolism, fatty Liver Disease, dyspnea, hypoventilation syndrome, or diabetes by age 50, right? Not that there aren’t other causes of death associated with being unfit…
But, more importantly is this. It really doesn’t take all that much… to get a little more fit! I don’t give a red cent what you think you’ve been through that no one else in the world has had to overcome. If you think you’re an exception, then you just haven’t been listening. As Tony Little would say, “You can do it!” Don’t get me wrong. There’s a ton of stuff to learn and we could always strive to do a little better. But, the basics are, well, basically the same. I mean, if a person just exercises doing something that they know how to do, even if only for half an hour a couple of times per week, their body will reap the benefits of this and will actually change to some degree. You simply cannot invest into exercise and come back empty-handed. It’s a scientific impossibility. Exercise has its own rewards. It has a positive effect on the body and the mind every single, solid time we do it. The problem is when we get into thinking that we need to look into the mirror every other day and find a skinny person or big muscles. It’s not about being skinny or muscular! It’s about being healthy and it’s about taking control of yourself, your life and your body and it’s about loving the ones you love enough to stick around for a while! It’s about doing what the body does most naturally, which is moving. And, the “skinny” or a great body… well, that will come in time. But, for now, I ask you, “What is your lifestyle?” “What is your daily habit?” Why would you be healthy? Have you made a lifestyle choice to commit to regular exercise from now on? What would your body say if it could tell you what was wrong?
Honestly, our bodies are only reflections of our actions or inactions. Our countenance is, indeed, just an outward “manifestation” of our inner health. If you’re sitting there and know that you have never really done what it takes to stay fit, then my professional and “highly technical” advice to you is this: “Don’t be such a wimp and start bullying yourself around!”