Photo Credit: Danielle Cerullo and Unsplashed
Often, when I am talking to people about fitness, I get the question, “Where do I start?” It is an interesting question and one with no easy answer. Each person is so different.
Some people want to build muscle and others want to lose weight. There is no right or wrong answer. Each person has to set his or her own goals. As a personal trainer, I can help you through your journey, but you have to set the agenda that is best for you.
So, before you start your fitness journey, here are some important questions from PJ Striet to ask yourself:
1. Why do you want to work out and/or change your nutrition?
2. Why is that important?
3. Why now?
4. What happens if you DON’T get in shape, change your eating habits, lose fat, get healthy, etc.?
5. What happens if you achieve success and reach your goals? How is your life going to be better and different?
These seem like very easy questions, but they are not. To answer these questions honestly can be difficult but it is the only way to start and complete a program. Fitness can be complicated, and often there are mental and physical barriers that get in the way of success.
So, before you start your program, be honest with yourself. You have to be! Success is found in the honesty.
Here is the worst kept secret about working out. It is 90% mental! That’s right. The mental exercise is greater than the physical exercise. Whether you are going to the gym the first time, or you are trying to do a 400lb deadlift, a lot of your success will come from your mental approach.
If you decide you cannot do it, you will not succeed. If your feel success is possible, you have won half the battle. Anyone working with heavy weights knows that you don’t just walk in the gym and squat 300 lbs. A positive attitude is not folly.
But you have to have a belief in yourself. You start with small goals but keep the bigger goals in mind. If a person wants to lose 50 pounds, that will not happen overnight. But, by losing a little weight, day-by-day, over time, one day you will step on the scale and you will have reached your goal. I know when I went from almost 300 lbs. to 208 lbs. I felt pride and success that I had rarely ever felt.
Now, when I am having tough times, and the scales will not budge and my workout seems dead, I remember that feeling of satisfaction and it pulls me through. After the holidays, I put on weight like many of us do. I decided to drop the holiday bulge and move forward. Using the lessons that I had learned before, I dropped 35 lbs. and I now weigh 192 lbs. That is a weight I had not seen since I was 21.
The same is true with lifting weights. A person does not go to the gym and lift 300 lbs. on the first day, but if that is your goal, it takes work. You build the process slowly and with determination.
And what if you don’t reach your goal? If you did the process right, there was still success. You would still be stronger than before. You would still have more muscle and be more physically fit than before you started. Setting goals is the ultimate win/win. You can fail and still be better than you were before. That is the beauty of fitness. As long as you trust the process, you will be a winner.
Also, fitness gives you an opportunity to do a complete self-analysis on yourself. It can be difficult, but it is a worthwhile process and when you are honest, you are on your way to success. There is power in truth!
Don’t hesitate to set your goals high. If you fall short, you are still way ahead of where you are right now. Dream big. You owe it to yourself. No one ever went wrong with trying for great things.
So, go ahead and take that before picture of yourself. You don’t have to show it to anyone, but when you reach your goal you will be glad that you have it. I keep my “big boy” picture on my desk. I keep it not to embarrass myself, but to remind myself of what I have accomplished. It motivates me to this day. It is a reminder of my accomplishments.
So, go ahead and ask yourself the tough questions and answer them honestly. Your success is waiting for you. Walk through that door and be the best you, you can be!
Joseph St. John