As I work with clients these are perhaps the most frustrating words I can hear coming out of their mouths. Its not because I don't understand. Believe me I've used those words many times myself in the past and yet, my life didn't change until I stopped using them and neither will yours!
It goes kind of like this:
I just can't get myself to stop eating...
I can't seem to get up in the morning...
I can't find the energy after work...
I want to workout, but...
Tony Robbins once said; "The person who uses the word but all of the time usually has a big one!"
That may be a little harsh and yet it is the truth. There is a country music song playing lately and the line that sticks out to me is: "Sounds like life to me."
We all have things that get in the way of some of the things we want to do. Life will continue to happen all around you every single day for as long as you grace this world with your presence. Its inevitable! The only question then is; What are you going to give your focus to?
I constantly hear people say they would love to work out but they have kids and they just can't find the time. That one sentence has both of those disgusting words in it! In fairness, I don't have any children, in fact I'm not even married or dating at the moment and so yes, my time is my time and yet...
I work 14 to 16 hours a day almost everyday and still find the time to go for a run. And I realize, fitness is my business and so it would seem to most people that it should be easier to workout right? Wrong! Most of my time is spent in front of a computer, writing, typing, blogging, emailing, designing training programs.
And before I got into endurance fitness training, I worked 7 days a week 12 to 14 hours a day running a car dealership and that is definitely not conducive to a healthy lifestyle!
So how do I find 2 or 3 hours to train each day?
Its all about how important my health is to me.
If you constantly find yourself saying, I want to but... your health is just not that important to you no matter what kind of lip service you give it. If its really important to you then you will wake up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later or find a way to get someone else to watch the kids for a short period of time. If its really important, you will make the time.
I know you're tired! And, if you will just get with the program you will little by little find that you have more energy and vitality. You'll find that the time you spend with your kids or your spouse or doing whatever else you have to do in life will be so much better because you made your health a priority.
I hear over and over again; my kids are my priority! I completely, one hundred percent, unequivocally agree that they should be! And consider this...
If you don't take care of yourself... who's going to take care of your kids when you can no longer do so because of your health. You have to make the time. Period! You have got to make your health an absolute must. If you are the type of person who thinks its selfish to take time for yourself then don't think of it that way. Think of it as taking time to make yourself a better parent or spouse or lover for those other people in your life. If you fear not being there for them to give them what they need... it should be pretty easy to imagine what it would be like if you weren't around and I doubt you want that!
If you have found a way to get yourself to the gym or on the treadmill or out the door there's still one more thing we need to address.
Are you going through the motions or are you really working on improving?
When you first start out exercising, we take great care to make certain that at least for the first four weeks or so you don't push yourself too hard as your body gets used to its new demands. Where the problem comes in is most people never get out of that initial conditioning phase. In other words, they start going through the motions and as the same workload becomes easier they start to see diminishing returns and don't understand why.
As you're aerobic conditioning improves you have got to continue to challenge yourself. How much?
I'm glad you asked...
With runners, as we begin to increase mileage we use a rule of thumb of no more than 10% increase in mileage per week. If a runners long run is 4 miles one week, the next week we would increase it by 10% or basically a half mile and so their long run would then be 4.5 miles.
On a treadmill you should be using the same sort of principle for speed or time or both. If you are walking at 3.5 mph for 40 minutes, the next week I would suggest 45 minutes at the same speed of 3.5. The next week I would suggest 45 minutes at 3.9 mph (10% increase in speed).
This is where can't and but come into play. It is going to be a little uncomfortable if you are pushing yourself. I expect my clients to experience mild discomfort when they are training. I'm referring to a low threshold soreness. I am not talking about sharp jabbing pain. You should be able to increase the speed on your treadmill by .1 or .2 or .3 mph in a week without extreme and sharp pains up to a certain speed. If you can not then we need to address your form because something in the way you're moving is causing a problem.
My point is... you will have some soreness, I would be lying if I told you otherwise. You never get more out than the effort you put in!
This is usually where I hear a whole bunch of I can'ts! I just can't go any longer or I just can't go any faster than 2.3mph...
When you say you can't, guess what... you're absolutely right! As long as you tell yourself you can't, you will never ever as long as you live be able to. That applies to everything in life and you can absolutely take that to the bank!
When you stop saying I can't or but and start saying I can and I will things will start to change. When you start to push yourself to go farther or a little bit faster or maybe to jog a little or even run... that's when the magic will begin to really happen!
Every day will not be perfect! Guaranteed! And yet more of them will be pretty darn good. There will be times when you do everything right and get what is seemingly zero results. If you were here with me and we took you to the lab and did all of the latest testing and then trained together everyday, there would still be weeks where you didn't feel like you made any progress. Part of that is simply your body responding quickly to its new challenges and part of it is the fact that everything you do does not result in an immediate weight loss. You are improving your cardiovascular strength and endurance, you are building muscle. Never forget that your overall body composition is changing. You may not experience weight loss all of the time as you gain muscle and lose fat and yet I'll bet you clothes will fit better!
And now I'll get off my soapbox and just repeat.
Start saying I CAN and I WILL!
Now go get active!