Time has always seemed to be the biggest hurdle for clients when talking about their fitness regimen. If there were only 25 hours in a day, no one would have a problem working out. It would be just enough time to add in that workout. When I hear someone say “I don’t have time to exercise,” or “I don’t have time to food log,” I try to be understanding. I listen to their reasoning and try to create a plan that will accommodate their “limited” time, but after completing my 1000th assessment of 2012 and listening once again to the words: “I just don’t have time for that,” It hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s time for just about EVERYONE to take a good look at themselves in the mirror and decide if they will “have time” to reach their goals in 2013.
Each time someone says: “I don’t have time for exercise…” What I’m hearing is: “I am unwilling to make time for exercise.” I grade hundreds of food logs each month! I see the social events, the dinners out, the “Girls Night Out”, the movie theater popcorn, the tailgates, the BBQ’s, the holiday parties, the birthday parties, the anniversaries, the family vacations, the Super Bowl parties, the “I had a bad day at work so I’m going to drink this bottle of wine” nights, the list could go on forever. Am I saying these things are wrong? No, and I will be the first to say you only live once so have a little fun! But those logs, along with my conversations on the workout floor, also tell me another story. They tell me that almost EVERYONE has a little more time on their hands than they realize. You, like many other people, may not want to come to the realization that you are simply UNWILLING to sacrifice what you enjoy to live a healthier lifestyle.
I fully admit that I can be a culprit of this as well. I tell myself that finding time for my workouts is soooo hard and that eating a healthy diet and planning ahead is soooo time consuming. Some days I just can’t seem to “find the time…” See! I said it too!! This is when I realized that we should not define finding time for exercise as “hard” work. We shouldn’t even describe losing weight as “hard” work. People perceive this to be such a difficult thing but it is exactly that, their perception. When it comes to health and fitness, I define “hard” as having no solutions. An incurable cancer, a birth defect prohibiting exercise, a debilitating injury from a car accident that leaves someone paralyzed from the neck down…these are things that are “hard” because there is no good solution. Losing weight and staying fit; these things are easy and we should feel blessed knowing we are fully capable of exercising. You have every resource, every tool, and as an AFS client, you have a good understanding of exactly what you need to do to get there. If you do not fully understand, ask your practitioner. You’re paying for it! Failing to utilize your practitioner as a resource only gives you yet another excuse to slack off.
As a fitness practitioner I am never going to sit in my office and tell someone what they want to hear. I am not going to sell pointless gimmicks or supplements that do not bring my clients closer to their goals. I’m sure I could make a heck of a lot of money selling lies and false hope but that is not what we are about. We set realistic, measurable, science based goals and help develop a plan to achieve those specific goals. That’s our job and we love doing it. It is your job to be honest with us. What are your goals and what are you willing to put in to get there? If you want to look like the woman on the cover of shape magazine but you are only willing to commit to two weight loss classes / week, let me just bring you back down to earth. The fitness models you see are genetically gifted human beings. They store a proportionate amount of fat mass in their upper and lower body (something that cannot just be earned), they never miss a workout and are on a strict 24/7 diet. These people eat, breathe, and sleep fitness. That, accompanied with photo shop, gives them the perfect physique you see on the cover. For someone to set that type of goal, but only dedicate 2 hours of their time each week, is not only a slap in the face to the professionals who work day in and day out to maintain that level of fitness, it is a joke. You are the only one who can control how much time you will dedicate to this process. We tell you which roads to take, you control the speed limit.
Before you decide how much “time” you can dedicate to the process, take a good hard look at how important you consider your workouts to be. Are you willing to give up that glass of wine each night? Are you willing to have one less dinner out/week? Would you be willing to give up an extra hour of sleep? Little things will add up and deplete your “time” tank more quickly than anything else. I’m sure if you take a second look at your schedule, you would have no problem finding 3-5 hours/week to dedicate to exercise (that is only 1.7%-3% of your time).
“But you guys don’t offer classes that fit into my schedule.” I hear it every week. This is where you UTILIZE your fitness practitioner. Just let them know what you have access to and they will get you a workout. All you need for a good workout is your own body weight and a 6×6 foot floor. Will that workout be fun? Not necessarily. Will it be effective? Very! Sorry to burst your excuse bubble, but if you aren’t currently getting 3 to 5 days of consistent exercise it has nothing to do with your time. It has everything to do with your unwillingness to put in the work! Yes, it is that simple.
Finally, the last mistake we all make is setting purely aesthetic goals. We want to look good in the mirror, I get it. But not all of your goals should be based on how you should look. Consider how you feel, the health benefits and preventative maintenance you are doing for your body! If you have not read Jared’s latest blog called “Do Assessments Mean Everything?” I would really encourage you to read it.
I want 2013 to be everyone’s healthiest, fittest year to date! In order for that to happen, 2013 has to be excuse free. Make your diet and exercise a priority. Pick your workout times and schedule them just like you would anything else. Pick and choose when you have time (or available calories) to eat out. Limit the number of adult beverages each week. Yes, this will take some sacrifice, but if you want to make the change it is something that you must accept. This being my last blog of 2012 I’d like to leave you with some words of motivation… Remember in 2013: “I don’t have time” = “I don’t want to.”
OUCH! The truth hurts!