I have to admit I used to be one of those serial start-and-stop exercisers. Each missed opportunity to go to the gym (that I was paying for, regardless) or to take a walk in the neighborhood was justified by a “but, tomorrow.”
When “tomorrow” didn’t happen, then came the pity party followed by lost motivation. In the meantime, a hurried life had me running through the drive-thru for “healthier choices.” As you can guess, this type of behavior does not yield weight loss.
Most people who aim to lose weight will seek a healthier diet and start exercising because they know that’s what they must do. There’s no way of getting around it. But what separates the people who see results from the ones who don’t is consistency.
For some people, the weight will come right off. For others, they must stick to a clear plan and not deviate from it. In both scenarios, sustainable loss comes only when there is a dedication to doing what it takes and sticking to it. And when the goal has been met, you must continue on the same path. As people who’ve lost a significant amount of weight will tell you, there’s even more work to maintain it.
I do sympathize with busy people, such as single moms, who can’t get away to exercise. But all it takes is the right mindset. You have to want it bad enough. If you’re not dead set on seeing a goal all the way through, there isn’t any amount of motivation that could keep you from saying, “but, tomorrow.”
So before we can train our bodies, we must train our brains. Proper diet and exercise must become the thing that we have to do, whether we’re overweight or not. It should be an investment or a chore that is crucial to our everyday lives, just as working, taking care of our children and paying bills are.
Thirty minutes to one hour of exercise at least five times each week may seem like a lot of time but it’s not. Think about it: We tend to make time for things we feel are important to us.
For the budget-friendly exercisers, it takes ingenuity. Don’t have any weights? Use canned goods. No park nearby? Walk or jog in your yard or use a walking DVD. Live in a two-story home? Get some cardio by climbing up and down the stairs to get the heart rate up. If you have a computer with Internet access, you can go to YouTube or a fitness site for a workout video of any kind.
Getting to the right mindset will be a different journey for every individual. Your perspective of health and fitness could be sparked by the fact you’re at risk for chronic illnesses, or you can’t buckle a seat belt. For some, it’s the idea of fitting into their high school jeans. Whatever it is, use it as a platform that’ll lead you to consistency.