Why People Fail With Fitness
While, this is a rather extensive topic that warrants far more than this entry. I will break down each paragraph into a later entry. I feel that there cannot be enough discussion on this particular topic. We all know people who struggle with fitness. The statistics do not lie. Currently 70% of Americans are obese to overweight with roughly 18% of children being obese as well. This is a true epidemic and while the numbers are alarming to most people, we need to look at the trends to understand the way society is reacting, and despite an ever increasing fitness, health, and wellness industry growing every day the numbers show us that over time these statistics will only get worse. We are projected to have 50% of Americans being obese not overweight, but obese by the year 2030. Obesity is when you are not only overweight, but you are so overweight that it impacts both your morbidity and mortality. So the question that needs to get explored is not just how did we get here, but why despite the knowledge that we have are we continuing down the same path.
The first reason you fail with fitness is that you are more likely to buy into a complicated lie than a simple truth. In today's climate especially, we do not look to take accountability. If fitness is complicated then it is not our fault that we are not in shape. So when you hear that you need to work out for three hours a day, and only eat once a day, and take these hundreds of dollars worth of supplements and exercise at this facility it all gets rather convoluted and you think to yourself wow I don't even know where to start. This mindset gives an easy out as to why you are not in shape, or merely doing better for yourself. The harsh truth is the vast majority of individuals would see amazing benefits by simply tracking what they eat and their level of activities, and doing more and eating less. If you are looking to lose weight the law of thermodynamics tells us that if we eat less calories than we burn we will lose weight. Yes, it can be literally that simple. When we are told that this complicated system, new product, variation of old method, magic pill, supplement, eating pattern, ect.. is the thing, the one thing that can get you in shape, it alleviates you of the simple truth that you are not in fit due to the fact that you did not prioritize fitness in your life, instead you tell yourself the lie that you are not in shape, because you did not have this thing before.
This of course bring me to the second reason you are not fit which is that you do not prioritize fitness in your life. You very well may enjoy fitness. I have never met some that said that they prefer to be out of shape. However much like success in anything in life it does not simply happen. It is not a genetic lottery that determines if you are going to be overweight, obese, or in shape. It is going to be the work that you put forth, and yes not just the fact that you are working, but also the amount of mindfulness that you put into it will influence your level of success. YES, simply working on your fitness is enough that you will most likely not end up in the upper spectrum of things and end up being obese where again your lack of fitness level will literally impact your morbidity and mortality. However, the trap of simply doing something which is enough to curb you from the upper ends of the spectrum is often not enough to inspire you to keep going. It is the equivalent of going to work to simply avoid being bankrupt. The second your boss starts to pressure you, you're ready to move on and start to dread going into the office. With fitness we see a parallel every new year. People come in droves to the gym to start there New Year's resolution so simply stop due to cold weather, being sore, or not seeing the instantaneous results bolstered on social media, but more on that later. Let's make a different parallel. In every office there is that one person. You know them the one everyone smiles at, but secretly hates, the person who is always the first one in the office and typically the last one to leave, the one that always gets praised by the boss, that same person you hate when they get the promotion over you despite your longer tenor over at the company. In fitness this is your friend, you know them if a guy always takes their shirt off in the summer, if female always wears those damn halter dresses with the open backs hugging their body, you always tell them how amazing they look while quietly judging their vanity, and how much work they put into looking like that. They are your frenemy. You go to the gym and workout and maybe you even diet, but they are the one that looks good. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! What's the difference? Well in both cases it tends to be the same. It is true that they can be more genetically gifted or just better at the job, however it can also be true that they have a specific idea of where they are looking to be and focus on achieving that goal. We have all heard the quote "Failure to plan is planning to fail," when we are not mindful in the things we do when we hit resistance it then becomes harder to impossible for us to push through and see the success that we are looking for. If fitness is a priority for you then you should approach it like any other goal, know exactly where you are looking to be, break it down into phases going from point to point with smaller goals in-between, and break down each goal into daily and weekly activities knowing exactly what you are looking to get from those activities.
You fall into the insta trap. The insta trap is one of the more modern reasons that people fail at fitness. When ever you go onto social media you are smacked in the face by a tidal wave of fake promises being perpetrated by profiteers that wish to make money off of your suffering. What sounds better is not always the truth. If I told you that you can burn 10 lbs of fat in a month if you follow this program, as opposed to the truth I will do the math in a minute for you, or that you can burn 2-5 lbs of fat in a month and lose some water weight and that is a more realistic goal for you to achieve what sounds better?? OBVIOUSLY the 10 lbs bigger better results always sound better. So here is the math. 1 lb of fat is widely considered to take 3,500 calories to burn. There is some margin on this, but for simplicity reasons we will use that number. In an intense workout you can burn somewhere from 200-600 calories
, if that workout is very intense and typically involves running. So across 7 days a week with a 500-1,000 calorie a day decrease in caloric intake, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic,
, diet you then get your 700-1,600 calories a day which is roughly 21,000-48,000 calories a month which is if we diet hard and exercise intensely every single day. Is this honestly what you will do?
I find it more sustainable to take smaller steps to decrease the overall impact to your lifestyle and keep things more sustainable. If I told you we are going to workout with a moderate intensity 3-5 days a week and decrease your caloric intake by 250 calories, which if you drink a latte this is just drinking your coffee black, we will have a net caloric deficit of roughly 500 calories / day and lose 1 lb of fat a week and can do that forever, or until you hit your fitness goals, yes it's less sexy of a program, but it is one that you can follow with 100% certainty. Which link will you click on? BE HONEST? 10 LBS Right?
Look it's time we stopped failing. You need to take accountability for your fitness. Fitness is simple. Thermodynamics sounds fancy, but it really just means how many calories do you burn verses take in. Get out and move, pay attention to what you eat and eat nutrient dense foods. Be mindful of your fitness don't just track what you do, but look at it and adjust it to fit your specific goals. Be patient don't fall for the sales pitch. Take your time and realize that fitness is a lifestyle not a destination.
You got this!!!