January 27, 2013 by mybattlebuddyfitness
Some of you might not like what I’ve got “hot and fresh out the kitchen” for ya’ today. But…it IS better than a kick in the pants. Or maybe it IS a kick in the pants. Either way, hopefully this will be THE kick in the pants that some of you need.
As a personal trainer, I’ve become so accustomed to hearing all kinds of reasons why people are overweight and unhealthy. Most commonly, I get the following (in no particular order): (1) Not enough time; (2) No money for a gym membership; (3) Too tired to workout at the end of the day; and (4) Injuries/suffer from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, ankle pain, knee pain—you name it. While I am both SYMpathetic and EMpathetic to all of these reasons (let us not forget that I once carried around a 60 pound elephant too), I think it’s time for me to give you all a little dose of tough love.
Here is the harsh reality: at the end of the day, THESE ARE ALL JUST EXCUSES.
I have had the privilege to work with some AMAZING clients in the past, and through my experiences with them I have learned just how tough humans can be. Jennifer Rumple (The Biggest Loser’s Season 12 at-home winner) started her journey at 330 pounds. Do you know how much pain she endured while she lost 145 pounds? This incredible woman had a knee FRACTURE and we still trained her for a full marathon (26.2 miles), which she successfully completed. A couple of months later, she went on to complete another full marathon! Now, I’m not telling you to go out and run if you are injured—I am simply saying that WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY.
I once had the pleasure of working with a woman who was recovering from intestinal cancer. She’d had most of her small intestine removed and had NO muscle tissue left in her stomach. She had spent the previous year bedridden, so she had NO endurance and all of her muscles were completely atrophied. I have met very few people in my life who are as determined as she was. She did everything I told her to without complaints. She ate so cleanly that she put me to shame. On the days that we didn’t have a session, she was in the gym diligently doing her low-impact cardio that I had assigned her. After just two months together, she had dropped over 10% of her body fat and was able to do full sit-ups—which was a remarkable achievement for someone who just months earlier had to roll over in order to get out of her bed in the mornings.
I can think of one hundred reasons every single morning why I shouldn’t workout on any given day. Just yesterday I woke up and thought about skipping my workout, simply because my To-Do list was so long that I just couldn’t conceive of taking time out of my day to exercise. And then I had a cup of coffee and a little pep-talk during which I reminded myself that I would feel like poop if I didn’t workout. This is a regular occurrence in my world, and I actually love exercising, so I can totally understand where many of you are coming from…It is SO easy to think of reasons why you should skip your daily sweat.
My advice here is simple: stop wasting your time thinking of reasons why you SHOULDN’T exercise. If you want to wrack your brain about something—wrack your brain about the reasons why YOU ARE HOLDING YOURSELF BACK.
Below are some really common excuses and my tough love response to each of them.
(1) I don’t have money/transportation for a gym membership—
(A) Buy a couple of workout DVD’s for your living room (I can recommend several really good ones. I have Jillian Michaels to thank for helping me lose a good 20 of those 60 pounds).
(B) Run/walk the stairs in your house for 30-45 minutes each day. Don’t have stairs? Set a timer for yourself and zoom around the house. Bonus task: scrub your kitchen floors, run the vacuum cleaner, sweep the garage—you can totally work up a sweat doing these tasks, AND the house will be cleaner!
(C) GO OUTSIDE! Gasp! I know, I know. “But it’s winter! It’s cold!” Unless you are battling temperatures below 20 degrees, you can safely bundle yourself up and get outside. Walk for an hour. Run for 40 minutes. Leash up your dogs and take them with you. The fresh air will make you feel human again.
If you are unsure how to properly dress for exercise in the cold weather, here is a link to a simple explanation of how you need to layer yourself.
(2) I don’t have enough time to exercise—
(A) I call bull#*&% on this excuse every time. My husband works 16-18 hour days, and you know what? He gets up every morning at 4am and works out. I realize this is not something most people will do—heck, I sure as hell am not getting up at 4am to workout—but I can guarantee that if you think you don’t have enough time to dedicate ONE HOUR of your 24- hour day to your health, happiness, and sanity—you’re dead wrong. Remember – ONE HOUR is only 4% of your entire day.
(B) Worried about what to do with your small children while you’re at the gym? See my responses above. It’s so important for your children to see you making health and wellness a priority. They are not going to grow up and hold it against you that you taught them the importance of healthy living through your own example.
Also, keep in mind that many gyms offer childcare these days. If that’s not an option, check to see if your gym allows children to be supervised by you in group classes. I just attended a spin class this morning, in which two women brought their children and had them sit behind their spin bikes and play while they worked out.
(3) I have injuries—
(A) Step #1- If you are seeing a doctor that tells you exercise is bad for whatever it is that ails you, go see another doctor.
(B) Step #2- Go see a physical therapist. I guarantee they will get you on the right track, and I guarantee that will tell you that you NEED more movement.
(C) There is ALWAYS a low-impact option for you. Jennifer Rumple spent HOURS in the swimming pool while recovering from her knee injury. Swimming pool not an option for you? Get a knee brace, some good shoes, and walk. Hells bells, put on an episode of “Sit and Be Fit.” Please, just DO SOMETHING.
I came across this awesome quote that was posted by one of my closest friends, which I think will be a very fitting way to close this post.
As always, let me know your thoughts and please, PLEASE let me know how I can help…
“No treadmill? Roads don’t exist to be gawked at.
No weights? Furniture.
No machines? Gravity works wonders for crunches and pushups.
No stair machine? Climb some real stairs, a tree, who cares? Just go up.
No money for healthy food? Then no money for PopTarts. Coupon. Subway.
Harsh? You don’t see success by wishing. So get out and DO IT!”