We all want a healthier body and a healthier mind. But as the old question goes, how much do you want it? You never have to look too far, on social media or in papers and magazines, to see people who say “I tried to get fit, but it didn’t work. Now I’m happy the way I am.”. Which is great for them, of course, but how hard did they try?
This is not intended to be a criticism of people who fall off diets or out of love with the gym. There can be no question, following a healthy lifestyle is not easy. Eating right and doing the right exercises sounds like a simple prescription, but there is one drawback to it. Weight loss tips need to be balanced with the right workout for you.
Not everyone is the same. If there were that one superfood that gave you all you needed, and that one exercise regime that worked for us all, we’d all be in perfect shape. It’s just not that simple.
So, if you’re one of those people who keep trying – and failing – to get your healthy lifestyle in order, this one’s for you. I’m going to look at the three main reasons we sometimes fall short. One by one, I’m going to show you how to get past them.
Let me present to you the Hideous Hat-Trick of problems that torpedo fitness regimes!
Problem #1 – You Go To The Gym, But You Just Don’t Feel It
Make no mistake, a lot of fitness plans have run aground on the rocks of gym boredom. Enjoying your workout is an important part of sticking to it. If you find your mind wandering to other things, then before too long, those things replace the gym in your attentions.
Bribing yourself doesn’t work. You can’t tell yourself that if you get through this routine, you’ll go for a burger and a milkshake. All that will happen if you do this is that you’ll become reliant on that bribe. After awhile, you can find yourself skipping the gym but still having the treat.
You need to make going to the gym something you enjoy within itself. The adrenaline rush of exercising can be enough to do this, but if that doesn’t convince you there is more to think about. Pick the right workout music – something that makes you feel powerful. Wear gym clothes that make you confident.
You can also experiment with different times of day to go. If you can make the gym feel like part of what you do, that sense of obligation starts to go away. You might not enjoy going around lunchtime – so maybe go in the evening when it’s quieter. If you can make a few friends there, so much the better. You’ll go automatically if it becomes a social thing.
Problem #2 – The Results Take Time, And It Feels Like Failure
There’s a Homer Simpson quote which too few people realize is funny because it’s the opposite of what’s true. “You tried your best, and you failed. The lesson is, never try.”
A fear of failure can be a powerful disincentive for anything. Especially if you’re going to the gym and see people who seem like they were born there. They do their routine, they don’t look like they even need it and it seems easy to them. Meanwhile, every time you step on the scales or get the tape measure, it looks like you’re getting nowhere.
Those people who seem to find it all so easy were where you are now once. Getting it right takes trial and error. You need to change your routine until you have something that gives you results.
It might not come the first time or the second. It’s worth persisting with because eventually you will find that routine, and you’ll look and feel like one of “them.”
Problem #3: Your Body Seems To Work Against You
You never have to look very far to find examples of writers taking aim at facts of modern medicine. “Why do we provide gluten-free options in schools/workplaces?” the columnist will begin. They will go on to say “When I was younger, we didn’t have these options and did it do us any harm?”.
The answer is yes. It did. We know more today about dietary intolerances and allergies than we used to. We know more about everything medical than we once did. Did our lack of medical knowledge hurt us? Yes. That’s why it used to be commonplace to die in your forties.
Eating gluten, if you have a system that doesn’t tolerate it, can kill you in the long term. In the short term, it can make you very ill, and different people have different intolerances. So if a dietary quirk can make you sick, it can definitely affect a healthy eating and exercise plan.
If the diet plan you’ve been following isn’t working for you, keep a food diary and make regular changes. Does broccoli make you feel bloated? Find an alternative. Do you feel lethargic after eating eggs? Try another source of protein. The plan that’s right for you is out there; it just might be different from someone else’s.
It would be wonderful if people could find the thing that works for them at the first time of trying. It would be a dream if you could program yourself to lose weight and get toned with a minimum of experimentation. The truth is, the human body is more complicated than that.
What’s important is to realize that something being hard isn’t a reason to give up. Something not working initially is not a confirmation that nothing will work. You can live healthily and enjoy it, as long as you are prepared to put the work in to find your way. It may not be everyone else’s way – but you’re not everyone else.
Sometimes it might seem like there is a mountain to climb – but on the other side of that mountain, there is a life that you deserve to live. Are you prepared to take the first steps once more?