I ripped myself out of bed at five this morning and pushed myself out into the 15F air. I’m not a morning person by any definition of the word, so the fact that I had pants on at that hour was truly a sign of my dedication. It was still dark as I drove to the small gym near my neighborhood where I was meeting with a personal trainer for an initial consultation.
I’ve hit some important milestones over the past year. Last summer, I hit my goal weight and fell into a comfortable spot in my healthy BMI range for the first time in my life. I’ve stuck to a fairly aggressive cardio routine that has me in the gym 5 days a week. This week marks seven months since I fully committed to a vegetarian lifestyle and I’ve made huge strides in learning about proper nutrition.
Still, I want more. While I’m at a healthy weight and “look fine” (so I’m told), I’m not completely where I want to be yet. My middle is soft and my arms are weak. I want to be FIT. I want to wear a bikini for the first time in my life by the time I’m 33. (That’s in July for those keeping score.) I’ve half-assed it on the weights without results for long enough, so I’m making an investment by working with a trainer to get me to that next level. I’m insanely pumped for this next part of my journey.
I follow a lot of health-focused pages on various social media outlets. Recently, one of them posted a quote from Kenneth Blanchard: “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results.”
Mr. Blanchard was referring to business when he said that, but it can be applied to any goal you want to achieve.
I’ve been called “obsessed” when it comes to health and fitness because I get down when I miss too many workouts or overindulge too many times in a row. While some people call that an obsession, I call it being focused and accepting nothing less than what I set out to achieve. At the risk of being extremely cliche… you can’t sit there and talk the talk… unless you get up off your butt and walk the walk. Don’t just think about it or wish for it. DO IT. You’re going to be uncomfortable and you’re going to want to quit. But blasting through that is one of the greatest feelings you can possibly experience.
I’ve written a lot about figuring out what’s been keeping you from reaching your goals. Any goal. Personal, professional, whatever. And while that is indeed key to moving forward… you actually do have to take that first step. I spent a lot of years THINKING about how I wanted to be fit before I ever took the first step for REAL. I remember that day like it just happened. I stood on the edge of the treadmill that had been collecting dust in my basement and forced myself to just walk for 30 minutes. I was extremely out of shape, so it was hard for me to do and the next day, I didn’t want to do it again. But I did because as hard as it was, I was tired of spinning around the drain into a life of discontent. Before I knew it, I was walking five days a week on my lunch hour. Nothing crazy, just walking and creating a new habit. From there I started upping the pace. Before I knew it, I was running, cycling, playing pick up sports and trying any physical activity I could. My diet started evolving. I was feeling better… more confident. I was changing… and it all started with one thirty-minute walk.
I’ve told you before… it’s going to be hard. Not only do you have to contend with the things going on in your head, you also have to deal with those around you. People in your life… people you love… are going to try and discourage you, even if that’s not their outright intent. They might call you “crazy” or “obsessed” or offer up excuses to deviate from your determination. Don’t let them. In many cases, I’d venture to guess that they’re simply trying to convince themselves that their own missteps are okay by subconsciously inviting you to join them on the path that leads to disappointment. When you feel like you want to quit or that what you’re going after is impossible… envision yourself reaching that goal. How AWESOME is that going to feel? Then get excited about where you can go once you get there.
No more “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Do it today. Go start NOW. Seriously, right now.