1. Most view fitness as a temporary means to an end.
Let’s face it; most people step in the gym to look better for the opposite sex. I understand that’s generalized and some may take offense. I promise that vanity is a large driver for the average individual to begin a fitness regimen; unless you have unhealthy habits already, have been diagnosed obese or morbidly obese, or are reaching an age where you actually consider your health (post-children and after receiving bad news from a medical professional), then your main driver is vanity. This is perfectly acceptable, because that vanity will translate into lifestyle changes that become habits into old-age.
Understanding this, it’s also quite clear that when it’s time for people to consider wearing less clothing (ahem, Summer called) they consider exercise. This isn’t inherently wrong but then again, it really is. Why? Because your health and fitness goals don’t happen overnight, and sure as shit aren’t permanent if you give yourself a deadline and short-term need for those goals. I support your temporary endeavor since you are putting the time and effort in. However, I don’t support giving up on that goal simply because it’s time to stop showing off. You wanted this for a reason; keep that reason and morph it into a long-term goal. Looking great naked doesn’t require a beach or an age; it requires a sincere want and lifestyle change.
2. It’s part of a punishment/reward system.
How many times have you told yourself, “I’ll go to the gym this morning so I can do this tonight!”? If you say never you’re a dirty filthy liar-- and no one likes dirty filthy liars. You can be the epitome of fitness and I can guarantee that scenario has happened at least once. Of course it has. It’s called discipline; the same thought process happens when you do chores, study, work, whatever—you inconvenience yourself now to reward yourself later. Given that logic, you’re destined to fail.
Exercising isn’t the inconvenience; not having results is the inconvenience. Exercise is the reward. It just so happens feeling better, sleeping better, and looking better are all bonuses.
3. You’re probably exercising for someone besides yourself.
Who are you working out for? Your girlfriend? Husband? Kids? I commend you for that; that’s very selfless of you. Seriously, you’re a champ for that.
Let me ask you a question: Has anyone ever asked you to help them move? Of course they have, because moving sucks and unless they’re Captain Incredible Octopus, they’re not making it happen by themselves. So you help them because dammit you’re a great friend. Six hours later you’re sweaty, tired, and reminding yourself never, ever, to help anyone move again.
That’s what happens when you exercise for someone else. It’s well intentioned and brings results but in the end you quit. You quit because there’s a whole lot of time commitments and energy involved in results for someone else. Those people aren’t in there sweating with you; they can’t feel what you feel. It’s wonderful that someone could inspire you to better yourself, and at the end of the day bettering yourself should be your own personal journey, and one that may be difficult, but you pace and pace and pace until you make it. You know how they climb Everest? Putting one foot in the front of the other. That’s what you’re in the gym to do.
4. It can really, really suck.
I love exercising. It gives me the best high, and the high continues as long as I feel I’m making progress. I’m a gym junkie and hold no qualms admitting it. I’ll tell you right here and now that when the weights coming down on top of me, the only thing pushing me up some days is that I don’t want to die under that weight. All the vain goals, all the high feelings, all the rewards I see all fly out the window when I hit that bucket and need to muster the courage to get back up.
If exercise were easy, there wouldn’t be such a disparity between peoples’ fitness levels.
I’ve been cussed out before by clients. Why? ‘Cause exercise isn’t easy. Things that aren’t easy tax us. We can reach our breaking points if we’re paying too much tax to this endeavor. Alas, we can’t give up because guess what? We worked too damn hard to reach where we’re at, and we sure as shit aren’t finished yet. No, we’re not finished yet. So keep on keepin’ on; stay hungry, hustle your ass, and reap the benefits of your hard work because no one but you put the time in sewing it.