Every year millions of people make the resolution to finally get fit “this year.” Gym memberships spike, fitness equipment sales soar, and diet gurus’ clientele surges. Then, right around the three-month mark, people throw in the towel. It’s a phenomenon those in the health and fitness industry set their watches–or calendars, rather–by. If you’re tired of the start/stop cycle, here’s a few tips to make 2017 your year for transformation. Don’t stop me if you’ve heard them before. Instead, open your mind and take a fresh look at these simple things that can make all the difference in the world.
Be Your Own Real-Life Success Story
Seeing celebrities hock workout equipment or gush about how the newest diet helped them lose weight and/or build muscle might increase sales, but it doesn’t do much to improve the results you get. It’s actually part of the problem. Quitting is easy if you try a new workout or diet and don’t look like the spokes-model within a few weeks or a month. Remember that, #1, those people are paid to make a success of looking great after using the product and, #2, they also have access to professional help like doctors, dieticians, and personal trainers to make sure their before and after pictures look good enough to sell the merchandise. The bottom line is, psychologically, you don’t see those testimonials as real-life successes.
The answer is to be your own real-life success story. To accomplish that, Helpguide.org advises that you take a step back and make sure your expectations are realistic. Don’t expect too much too soon but, rather, set small, reachable goals that an average person can accomplish with some reasonable effort. Ignore what the celebrity rep looks like and focus on what you want your results to be, not at the end of the road, because there is no end, but at the beginning of the next stage. It’s a journey, not a destination, so each milestone you reach is a success story in itself. Lots of “real-life” people have transformed themselves, and you can do it, too.
Do It for the Right Reasons
Real-life people who have successfully stuck with exercise and/or diet modifications usually have one thing in common: they do it for themselves. WebMD puts that at the top of the list of tips that help you stick to a health and fitness plan. It’s called being internally motivated because you’re not doing it to please someone else or just to look good for others’ benefit, like for a wedding or class reunion. Some people find it easier than others to find their motivation within, but if simply wanting to lose weight and get in shape isn’t enough to make you want to work out day after day, look around at other motivating factors that still qualify as internal.
Tony Peace is an ideal example of a real-life person who is a transformation success. He was a long distance runner, so he was in fairly good shape to begin with, but he was thin and didn’t have much strength. Initially, his motivation came from getting a job that required he be able to lift and load 100 pounds. Once his transformation became noticeable, though, the motivation shifted to become even more internal. Sure, it helped that he was strong enough to do his job, but he’s a self-described work-in-progress who loves challenging himself by adding 20 pounds to his front pause squat or doing 15 reps using weight that was a one rep max a few months before. Tony admits it feels great when people comment on his transformation, and it does help drive him, but the bottom line is that he still works out and sets new, more aggressive goals to challenge himself and stay strong for his job, rather than to please anyone else.
Don’t Dismiss the Value of Support
You won’t stick with a health and fitness regimen if you’re doing it for someone else, but Julie Kailus of Giam says you also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of getting support and encouragement from others. The celebrity spokespeople get it from their hired support team, but real-life people can get it for free from family and friends. In Tony Peace’s case, it came from his parents. When they joined a gym for their own health, it was terrific motivation that Tony describes as “unmatchable” because not only were they setting an example, but they could encourage each other, too. It’s not always convenient to try to synchronize schedules to go to the gym together, but it really does help to make plans together when you can. It’s also easier to talk to someone who is in it with you and understands, at least on some level, what you’re going through. They can commiserate and encourage when you have setbacks and will be the first to give you a high-five when you hit milestones.
To Supplement or Not?
Real-life people who aren’t getting in shape for a competition don’t need to go overboard on the supps. Like last week’s article advised, keep it simple. Real-lifers like Tony stick to the basics, like protein, multi-vitamins, Omegas, and maybe some creatine for a pre-workout boost if muscle-building is the goal. Cheaper is usually not better when it comes to supplements, though, so don’t waste your money or your time if you’re not willing or able to buy quality. Beverly International is the brand all the pros use, regardless of what you see them selling in the pages of muscle mags. The nice thing about Beverly is that, if you’re serious about making 2017 your transformative year, they’ll set you up with the whole shebang: nutrition, training plans, and supplements to maximize your chances of success.