Commitment: a pledge or undertaking
Challenge: 1. A call to someone to participate in a competitive situation or fight to decide who is superior in terms of ability or strength. A task or situation that tests someone’s abilities. An attempt to win a contest or championship in a sport.
- a call to prove or justify something.
Look I used that headline to grab your attention. No this isn’t about relationships, well, maybe, in another way. I do want you to ask yourself though, when you have thought about your health and wellbeing before and you made the decision to not act, what was it that held you back?
Or did you do a ‘free trial’ only to end up sore and think “what on earth is this?? No way, uh uh, nope, never again!” Was it a ‘no lock in contract’ you jumped on and at the end of that first period you didn’t really get into it and so just stopped going?
The fitness industry has over the years relied on before and after pics, celebrities, and even on shakes and now celebrity shakes and apps! And all the while we have seen our health indicators overall drop. Type II diabetes has increased and cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of people world wide, not to mention now the correlation being seen between obesity and severe reactions to COVID 19.
Some of these illnesses are preventable with preventative measures, yet they increase year on year and the fitness industry grows year on year (well maybe not 2020 due to the COVID -19 pandemic) I feel like it is because we the fitness industry have helped you guys fear the commitment.
What commitment do you ask? The commitment to turn it all around, the commitment it takes to make an actual long term, sustainable, lifestyle change. We have conditioned you to think you can do it all, have the body of your dreams, live a fit and healthy lifestyle all in only 12 weeks, oh no, 8 weeks, oh hang on maybe just 21 days. And there is no ‘lock in contract’ once you are done.
I can see what this has set up, more yo yoing or worse still just complete drop offs. Don’t get me wrong I have been guilty of it, two week trials, month to month memberships, 8 and 12 week challenges, but I have learnt a lot in the last 13 years of being in this industry and seeing what has actually helped people.
The answer is some empathy. An understanding of where you are at and what you are facing, looking to change from where you are right now to where you want to be in the future. It really won’t be all that easy at times, it will have moments where you are sore and sorry and where you don’t think you can keep going.
Overall though, I can tell you that from all of the other people that have had success in the past and continue to do so, they all will tell you that the positives outweigh the negatives. You won’t have to give up your favourite food, not even for a short time. You can continue to drink coffee, yup it is fine. You will do some exercises you really discover you love. You will achieve things you didn’t think you could and in turn feel downright awesome because of it. And the thing with it, it can’t have an end date. If it does, if there is a pause or a relax period, then it is just a money spinner for a fit biz, nothing more nothing less. Look realistically, starting people off on a weight loss regime is the easy part. Those first 5 or 10 kilos people want to lose are the easiest to shift. Not trying to make it a small thing, but when most people start an exercise or nutrition program the kilos drop off reasonable quickly in that first month or so. Most people starting out haven’t done any organised exercise for some time or have cut their calories a lot and so the weight comes off.
So that business with all the short term before and afters may not be the one that has it all together, they may be an awesome starting point. But how many people have they got to a point that can say they have been able to maintain that lifestyle for two, three years or more?
I am not being critical here, shit, my business was like this for the first four or so years. I apologise to the people back then, I was pretty bloody clueless when it came to sustainability. I could get the fat off you early and fairly quick, I just really didn’t know how to go about keeping you going long term. Most of the stuff they teach us in our fitness qualification is how to help someone lose weight. The extent of long term went something along the lines of, ‘once your client has reached their goal weight congratulate them and transition them to a maintenance program.’ Yep, that was about it. There was no component on how to actually place someone on a maintenance program. And what I have discovered is that, there really isn’t one. Your body will try and outwit you, not literally, but it will get used to a stimulus you throw at it, so a ‘maintenance’ program still actually needs to keep challenging you long term, you have to keep getting that body to adapt in a positive manner.
What I am conveying here is to look past the glitter, after all, all that glitters is not gold.
If there are promises of getting you in amazing shape through an 8 week challenge, by getting you to ‘weigh in’ regularly.
If there are conditions attached like getting on body analysis machines, weighing and measuring too much, severe caloric restrictions, having to attend X amount of sessions, double up sessions in days, fucking run.
I am actually pretty bloody sick of seeing people hammer themselves on stuff all calories while someone delivers a session with someone cheerleading and not correcting form or just counting fucking reps, shit use your app for that.
We see people with myriad problems in our industry; How does that cookie cutter program of restrictive dieting and shit loads of sessions pan out for the person with a history of eating disorders they have not revealed to you? Because honestly, not many people will reveal that problem to us. And please if you are reading this, and you have a history of disordered eating, and you are looking at a program and there are scales, body fat calibrations, calorie counting, smash fest sessions in it and all manner of glamorous looking fitspo models in their marketing, politely excuse yourself and find somewhere that wants to see you succeed in your training and nutrition.
Somewhere that encourages you to eat your fruits and veggies. That wants you to train 3 to 5 hours a week and only do more if you are looking to really go places in a chosen sport or athletic pursuit.
Yes you can have all the things you want, you just have to commit. Commit to you and being better than yesterday.