Dear New Fitness Enthusiast,
I’m so happy to meet you. I’m so glad that you are ready to get started on your fitness journey. I love the fact that you have raised your hand and said that you want something better for yourself. But I have a few problems. I have tell you some things that I’m not sure you want to hear. Will you help me figure out how to do these things?
How do I tell you that the years that you have spent being inactive won’t be undone in 90 days? That it will likely take years to reverse?
How do I tell you that the food you eat is more important to your physical change than the exercise regime you are so set on starting?
How do I tell you that this process won’t be linear and that your progress won’t be in a straight line?
How do I tell you that there will be weeks when you will do everything right and you won’t see any change in the metrics you’re tracking but that you need to keep at it?
How do I help you to see that it’s consistency that will get you results, not some flashy, well-marketed but unsustainable “method”?
Will you believe me when I tell you to focus on the big picture, on principals, and not to get bogged down in the minutia that the media spits out?
How will you feel when I tell you that getting stronger is the key and that getting “toned” is about body composition, not working a specific part to death?
How will you react when I have to break it to you that you probably won’t ever look like that girl or guy in the magazine that you idolize? Will you lose heart when I tell you that they probably only looked like that for a day, have had plastic surgery, used pharmacy “help” and then got a dose of photo shopping on top of all of that?
What will you think when I have to let you know that this isn’t some “diet” that you can stop following once you get to your “goal weight”?
Will you want to quit when you realize that you really will have to change your behavior if you want to change? Will you quit when you realize that means you may have to forgo your night out with your friends to watch the game, drink beer and eat wings?
What will you do when you reach that goal weight and realize that you still aren’t happy? Will you think “5 more pounds and then I’ll be happy”?
Will you think that I am some kind of “New Age” wacko when I tell you that if you really want to be successful, you’re going to have to find a deeper, more meaningful reason than fitting in to that new bathing suit?
Will you get ticked off when I tell you that your body doesn’t care why you missed yet another workout and that it only rewards what you have done, not what your intentions are?
Will you feel insulted when I have to break it to you that it’s not your significant other’s responsibility or their fault that you aren’t happy with your body?
Will you believe me when I tell you that you don’t have to be perfect? Or will you listen to that voice in your head that calls you a failure? You know, that voice right? It’s the one that says “Since you’re not perfect, you might as well quit.
Will you take my advice and get back up when you fall down instead of letting things spiral downward for days? When you do mess up, and you will, will you get right back to the gym or will you hide for a couple of weeks? Will you come up with “reasons”, however legitimate they may seem when you rationalize, to not come in?
How will you feel if I tell you that you need to love yourself at the beginning of this process if you want to love yourself afterwards? And that no amount of physical change will fill the void if you don’t?
Will you be able to look at your body at some point and accept it for the miracle that it is, or will you continue to see the faults, the negatives?
Will you figure out a way to appreciate the body you have and the things it can do?
Will you, at some point, focus on being the best version of you that you can be, rather than some mock-up of what society has told you to be?
How will you respond when you get bored doing the things that will help you progress? Will you stick with it and keep punching the clock? Will you keep showing up day after day, rep after rep?
How will you react when I tell you that it’s the boring stuff, repeated with effort and consistency, that works?
Is there a way that I can tell you that the journey is the important part and the result that you are looking for is really just a by-product of sticking to that journey?
How do I impart that if you buy in, that it really is worth it?
How do I help you to see the growth and empowerment that comes from consistently showing up and putting in work?
And how do I do all of this without coming off as harsh? How do I do all of this with compassion and love?
In the end, I’m not sure that I can make you see all of what I talked about above. Or maybe you do see it and just don’t care. It’s not my place to judge. After all, it’s your journey. All I can do is promise to walk it with you, if you’ll have me.