How do I stop being a couch potato?
It’s hard to turn off the Netflix after a hard day at work. So what can help you succeed in getting off the couch?
It’s usually not the physical or nutritional aspects of training that end up derailing you. Its mental. Time and again, I see truly motivated people fail. They may have the time, money and the physical stamina to make changes, but unless you have the strategies or help to defeat what I call the three enemies of fitness, odds are you will rationalize your way back to the couch and low-carb ice cream, fooling yourself that tomorrow you will start exercising.
That’s where I come in. I guarantee, I’ve heard almost every excuse. I even try to use them myself, sometimes. But true fitness starts with mental fitness and defeating these three monsters. Let’s talk about some of the ways to do that.
What are the three enemies of fitness?
Number 1 – Inertia
What’s true in physics is true in the physical … and the mental. Inertia, according to the dictionary, is the property of matter to remain at rest or in the same motion unless acted on by an external force.
Even if science hadn’t proved this, it’s easy to see it in all kinds of ways. Stuck in a Facebook or Twitter loop, lying on the couch watching TV, unable to force yourself to get up, indulging in addictive behaviors whether it’s slot machines or drinking. Set in motion along a path or at rest, you tend to “stay in your lane” far too easily.
That’s why the key word in the definition of inertia is “external.” Unless you have the willpower of a superhuman, it’s hard to break out of it yourself. You need a push or a hand to hold. I’ve learned over the years to start with finding what is causing a person’s inertia and find what push will actually break them out of it.
Again – almost NO ONE can break out of their own inertia on a regular basis. Especially to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. There’s no need to be ashamed in asking for help – because if you ask, you usually get it.
Number 2 – Pack Mentality
Over and over, I see someone well-meaning start an exercise and fitness regime, usually by themselves. New Year’s resolutions, a bad break-up, kids leave for college … it’s time to get fit.
They read a few articles and start heading out to the gym.
Once you’re in the gym, you see all the other people working out together. Your sweat and aches don’t compare to all the fun you see some people having. Humans are social animals. Instinctively, we seek out our tribe.
What if your tribe has always been the book club and wine on Wednesday nights? Or six-packs on Sunday with your buddies watching the game? Or trying the hottest restaurants in town with friends?
Your friends may be supportive of your fitness goals … but they aren’t committed like you. Book club will come first for them. You may want to make both things a priority, but ultimately, you’ll end up having to make a choice … and it’s hard to say no to your friends and some pinot noir.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you want to commit to yourself — commit to be fit, you are in for a marriage that really lasts until death do you part. True fitness has to last the rest of your life. Making that commitment can feel like a lonely path.
That’s why a trainer is so important. Someone to ease the burden of that commitment. Someone who has walked down the aisle many times, and knows where the support is most needed. And if you stay true to your vows, you might just make it out of the gym in time for book club.
Number 3 – Rationalizations
I’m sure I haven’t heard EVERY rationalization, but I’ve heard every type. “I don’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger,” “I want to love life and not be a slave to counting calories,” “Can I never eat nachos again?”
I love nachos and will never tell you that.
HOWEVER, I will tell you to stop ordering them every week. Rationalizations are excuses and excuses are fears. It’s okay. We all have fears. Sometimes the only thing that can get us through that fear is another human being.
I’ve had clients yell at me, break down crying, walk off … yet, they all come back. Fitness tends to peel back the layers and expose the most vulnerable parts of people. That’s okay.
What a good trainer does is get you out of your head. Crack a joke, verbalize what you are doing in the moment to help focus you, even literally hold your hand if you need it.
I know why fitness is important. You only get this body and this lifetime. No matter what you want out of life, or how long it will take you to achieve it, your body will help you. The longer it stays flexible, strong, and active, you have a better chance at living the life you want.
That’s why I do what I do. I like living the life I have and want to help others do the same.
If you’re ready to say “I do,” to your fitness goals, call 702.761.6506 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org