We live in an age of instant gratification where everything must happen right now.
We have fast-food restaurants on every corner, powerful smartphones in our pockets, microwaves in every home, and my favorite self-check-out in all the stores.
Patience is a lost art in today’s society.
Think about this for a minute: how many times do you see a fitness infomercial promising you this and that?
“Twenty minutes once a week, and you can look exactly like you want!”
My favorite part is the super ripped lean guy and skinny little woman they have on these commercials.
These “experts” are paid models who do this all year round. Their job is to stay in phenomenal shape to trick you into buying the quick-fix fitness gadget.
There is not a quick fix or a magic pill to getting fit. But, if there was, I certainly hope I discover it because I will be filthy rich!
While there isn’t a quick fix to getting fit and healthy, here are 9 universal truths I’ve found that apply to every person trying to make a change for the better in their diet and fitness.
Truth 1: Your Attitude Must be Right
This truth is often the toughest one for most people. Trying to change bad habits of not working out and eating whatever you want is difficult for anyone. But, it’s like anything you do in life; YOU have to want to do it. Being mentally prepared to spend time in the gym and working out will only be part of it.
Most people don’t realize that about 85% of what you will look like is based on your diet. So getting your mental focus and willpower on your nutrition is very important, especially if your goal is fat loss.
Truth 2: Consistency Breeds Success
How long would you have a job if you missed work once or twice a week every week for several months? I’m guessing not long. It’s the same with your fitness goals.
Staying strict on your nutrition plan every day is essential to your overall goal. Yes, you will have a lapse here and there but staying 95% on your plan is better than 0%. So if you slip up, get right back on the plan.
Do not miss workouts.
Let me say that again: Do. Not. Miss. Workouts.
Even when you have every excuse and opportunity to miss, you must get it in. Every workout builds off the last one.
The consistent grind of eating right and working out is what will get you the results you desire.
Truth 3: Patience is Power
You mess up your body by not drinking enough water, staying sedentary, and eating unhealthy food. Years of this pattern gradually take a toll on your body.
So a few days or even a couple of months of eating better and exercise will not fix years of damage. The results will come if you’re doing things right. They will not come fast enough for you, but that’s where you have to be patient.
You won’t see the results of today’s eating and workout until about two weeks from now. So you must think in terms of long-term success.
Stay the course; grind it out every day! As Brett Underwood use to tell me, “the slow and steady turtle always wins the race.”
Truth 4: Hard Work Pays Off
It’s not enough to show up for a workout. You have to show up ready to work hard. Push yourself, do more than last time, add more weight, work out faster or longer. These are things that will yield you quicker results.
You will have days that you’re not on your game, and you don’t get after it like you wanted to, but that’s ok. Like life, some days are good, and some days are bad.
The more good we have, the better we make our lives.
Truth 5: Honesty is the Best Policy
I have some buddies that were selling some weight loss supplements, and they swore by them.
“Oh, I have lost x amount, and I’m down three pant sizes.”
Funny how they still looked fat and soft as warm jello.
Being honest with yourself is tough sometimes. But, unfortunately, that’s how we get fat and out of shape.
You keep hiding how bad you have gotten and then turn to acceptance of your size and shape. You fool yourself by getting bigger clothes, avoiding mirrors, and closing your eyes as you get out of the shower. But, of course, you are just lying to yourself, so you don’t feel like such a failure.
Be your worst critic but don’t be too negative. We need a motivating factor but not a depressed, beaten down spirit. Find your balance and attack your weak points. Be proud of what you accomplish along the way.
Be honest with yourself! Because no one else will.
Truth 6: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
This truth goes for a lot of things in your life but especially with nutritional planning.
Plan ahead, have your meals prepped for at least 3 days. Be prepared; it’s that simple.
Plan out your meals. Also, have a backup. For example, I keep two or more quest bars with me at all times.
Sundays, I usually plan out my week of food. Then, I mass cook so that I don’t have to cook much during the week. That makes life much easier for me and keeps me from being even more fat than now.
The same goes for your workouts. Again, it would be best if you had some idea of what you’re doing for each workout. Proper planning will keep you mentally prepared and focused on the task.
Truth 7: You Can Make Excuses or You Can Make Progress
This one is easy: Don’t make excuses.
“Oh, I had to eat out, so I had the extra carb burger with extra fat.”
“Well, we had pizza on Thursday at work, so I gave in to peer pressure and decided just to take the rest of the week off and start fresh Monday.”
“Well, the one guy was using my leg press, so I decided to do 5 more minutes on the bike.”
If you’re a parent and your child comes home with a bad grade, you ask why. The child then goes on to tell you it’s the teacher’s fault; it’s the kid sitting next to me, it’s his fault, the child gives you 5 reasons why it’s not their fault.
Do you see the problem here?
I hope so because if you don’t, please stop reading anything I ever put out again.
The lesson is this: You are responsible for yourself. Take responsibility for your own life and actions; do not blame everyone else and everything around you.
My advice is to refer to #7!
Truth 8: Variety is the Spice of Life
It amazes me that women can find every sale and every cute pair of shoes on the internet but will sit and complain about eating the same old foods and doing the same workout routine.
While you’re spending hours on Pinterest, why not look up healthy meals or new workout ideas instead of the usual things you lookup? There are tons of recipes out there to keep your meals from being boring. The same goes for workout routines.
Guys are just as bad.
“Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are arms and chest days!”
Listen, bird legs, get in the squat rack, and this time don’t use it for curls. Squatting will burn triple the calories that curls will burn. The other cool thing is that the leaner you get, the bigger and better your chest and arms look. Win, win!
Another idea for adding variety to your workouts is to join a group or a class. My Darkside groups are a prime example. I have women who do my class on Monday and Wednesday, then take Buti Yoga or step class two other nights. Varying your exercises helps keep freshness and variety in your routine. For example, I keep the basic lifts I need for me in my routine, but I will switch it up every week cause I have exercise ADD.
Switch up your routine every 2 to 3 weeks to keep it fresh. It’s hard work to lose fat, but it doesn’t have to be stale and mundane.
Truth 9: Every Win is a Win, No Matter How Small
We need to know that all this hard work, patience, variety, and consistency is paying off. But, people have to see the light at the end of the tunnel eventually.
Monitor your progress, so you know all this hard work is leading the right way. There are several ways to do this, including:
- body fat testing
- body measurements
- looking in the mirror
The worst way to monitor progress is the scale! Yes, the scale; your best friend, your worst enemy, the one thing that can make you feel sexy or make you feel like a fat cow.
Without going into a ton of detail here, the scale only measures weight! It does not measure fat lost or muscle gained or if you’re holding water that day.
There are other ways to measure your progress that are less vain.
- You’re using more weight on the bar than you did three weeks ago
- You’re doing ten non-stop push-ups instead of six
- You’re doing three pull-ups unassisted instead of all assisted
- You ran a mile faster than ever
- You’re holding a plank for one minute instead of 45 seconds
All of these are indicators you’re getting stronger and better.
Don’t limit your total success to a number on a scale.
There’s worth and value when you put the time and work into something. It means more to you if you know you had to sacrifice for it.
Instant gratification doesn’t give you a sense of value for anything you have done.
These 9 truths about diet and fitness are the truths that no one wants you to hear to keep selling you quick fixes. Whether it’s a lack of variety, going off your diet as soon as you get too hungry or bored with food choices, blaming other people for our faults instead of taking responsibility, not celebrating small victories – we’re all guilty of these things at some point in time.
The takeaway from this article is that if we want success – whether it be weight loss or muscle gain- then there needs to be accountability when making decisions. It starts by understanding how the human brain works and what motivates us before any decision is made: consciously or subconsciously, making positive changes easier than ever!
I hope this article has been helpful for you to see some of the ways that you can get fit and stay healthy. We’d love to help you on your journey to a better life through exercise and nutrition. So contact us today and speak with one of our trainers about our available programs.