Getting Back In Shape - Are You Winning?
Every fitness journey starts with a desire. For the average human, commonly the desire is to return to a level of fitness they once knew and felt. And sometimes, the desire is simply to obtain the feeling of being fit for the very first time. Where do you start?
Be Realistic About Where You Are
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to return to a previous level of fitness. But, let’s be honest. How long ago was that? What’s your lifestyle and level of responsibility now versus then? What’s your current level of conditioning? What is your current capacity to do work and how does that coincide with what you’re imagining your workout schedule or routine to look like?
Job...family...obligations...these are realities that can, and will, influence your return to peak performance. You need to account for how all of these things go into your plan.
Have a Plan
You have a plan for that big project the boss expects you to complete this month, right? S/he charged you with the responsibility of this important project because you have the knowledge, experience, track record and skill to get the job done! You’ve sourced all of the key elements, organized your team, and have checks and balances in place to ensure execution of your plan and delivery of your goal, yes?
How’s the plan to get back in shape looking?
Not quite so sure? That’s totally OK! You’re an expert on Project-X at ABC, Inc....NOT a health & fitness expert. Enlist the help of some qualified resources! A personal fitness trainer is a great place to get started. Think of them as your Return-to-Fit Project Manager. You might not need them for EVERYthing. But, having them there to start and to point you in the right direction could save you a lot of frustration, time, or even grief in the long run (think injuries or set-backs). Consistency will be key and frustrations will arise. A solid personal fitness coach and/or a well-organized schedule of fitness classes can help with both.
Don’t Try to Get Back in Shape to Get Back in Shape
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “OH...I definitely need to work out for a while BEFORE I meet/start with you or join one of your group fitness classes”, my company would be called The Bank of Red Dot Fitness. The ridiculous notion that a person needs to get fit before starting a fitness program is rooted in the fear of gym-barassment. Go back to Planning (above) and think through this one rationally. Then find the right fit for you and the elements that are important for the successful execution of your plan.
The reality is, the 5.5 minute miles you ran back in college has now turned into a 15 minute mile shuffling/walking on the treadmill. Accept the fact that you didn’t get out of shape overnight and that getting back into shape is going to take some time...maybe a long time depending on your current health and physical circumstances. Commit to looking at the big picture and not trying to win the game of health & fitness. WARNING: this is much easier said than done.
Don’t Quit Before You’ve Started
Above all, scrap the exit-strategy from your Get Back In Shape plan. Commit to the plan to be successful over the long-haul. Looking for the quick fix and then backing up your decision to get started with, “It’s cool, I can cancel in 30 days”, is a ridiculously unstable platform for success. Plan to plan. Execute the plan. Embrace the experience. And, don’t beat yourself up for not winning.