Getting back into shape: Yes, you CAN'T

To help you through the process of getting back into fitness, I’ve come up with a list of reasons why you can’t do it. That way you can be fully prepared to get back to the couch as quickly as possible if needed.
By Monica Hilton
April 20, 2020
Getting back into shape: Yes, you CAN'T

Every day, people all over our country decide that this is the day they’re going to get back in shape. Maybe the pants button just cannot stretch that far or the doctor has given a dire warning. Maybe summer is around the corner and covering up to feel comfortable is… uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just that gut feeling that IT’S TIME.

Whatever the reason, deciding to move forward can be a little exciting, and A LOT more scary, overwhelming and uncertain. But you were a college athlete. Or you used to work out on the regular. Or you’ve tried P90X. You got this.

To help you through the process of getting back into fitness, I’ve come up with a list of reasons why you can’t do it. That way you can be fully prepared to get back to the couch as quickly as possible if needed.

Reason #1: You’re really out of shape.

This is a tough one because everyone at the gym is already in shape, so you’re going to have a hard time fitting in. All the beautiful people in head-to-toe spandex will stare and judge.

TRUTH: First, no one wears head-to-toe spandex. Second, you’ve heard it before… fitness is a journey. It took more than a few days — and many cheeseburgers — to get out of shape, so it will take effort — and less cheeseburgers — to get back into shape. Set little, achievable goals ahead of time so you can celebrate the victories along the way to keep yourself motivated. And find a workout buddy.

Reason #2: You have no idea what you’re doing.

Since every gym is filled with muscle-y dudes in tiny tank tops that have vein-y biceps bigger than your head, you’re definitely going to stick out like a sore thumb in your normal workout shorts and a t-shirt. Plus, you struggled to lift a 50lb bag of dog food the other day, so why do they even have those 100lb dumbbells?

TRUTH: Fitness is a journey today as much as it was in your glory days. The first time you attempted to lift a weight didn’t automatically qualify you as a seasoned athlete. You had to learn. And now you have to re-learn with your “more well-seasoned” body. You can, and will, get there. Trust the process. And the process is easier when you find a gym you’re comfortable with. One that helps you create a fitness plan, shows you proper form and gives you options.

Reason #3: You’re too old.

You’re just going to have to live with the fact that every single person at the gym is 18 years old and looks like a fitness model. It doesn’t matter that their form is dangerous, they look amazing.

TRUTH: There is no such thing as too old to workout. If you need proof, contact me for links to articles about the oldest competitor on American Ninja Warrior (72 years old), the marathon runner (85), the BodyAttack instructor (81) or the downhill skier (95). What was that about being too old again? Explore your options.

Reason #4: You don’t have enough time.

Let’s be honest: Time is just not a luxury that you have. Other people must somehow be able to bend time and create an extra hour in their day because between getting the kids ready for school, going to work, full days of meetings, picking the kids up, taking them to… it it soccer or ballet today? Either way… dinner and all the other things, finding time for you is, well, impossible.

TRUTH: People who are busier than you are working out right now. A 60-minute workout is just four percent of your day. Most importantly, the people in your life who need you need you to be healthy. You can’t take care of others adequately if you’re not taking care of yourself. Your dreams of marathon play-sessions with the grandkids in the yard someday are unrealistic if you don’t focus on what it will take today to get there. One of my favorite fitness sayings is, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” And those excuses will rob your loved ones from the very best you that you can give them.

Reason #5: It’s too expensive.

If you’re going to do this fitness thing right, you’ll definitely need the most expensive gym membership in town, a personal trainer, personal chef and nutritionist, masseuse, and probably a stylist so your workout gear is on point.

TRUTH: First, understand that an investment in your health is important. A popular fitness chain uses the slogan, “$10… Why pay more?” Why? Because YOU ARE WORTH MORE. Do you need an entourage of assistants to keep your fitness and nutrition in check? NO. But is it worth the investment to find a place where you belong, where you’re comfortable and where you’ll find support? Absolutely. If you’re willing to pay $100/month for cable so you can watch an abundant amount of House Hunters, shouldn’t you be willing to invest in yourself so you can enjoy an abundant amount of life?

So there you go. Keep the list of excuses in one pocket for anytime you feel you want to return to the couch, and keep the list of truths in your other pocket for when you’re ready to go out and get the healthy lifestyle you deserve. And remember this saying: “When I lost my excuses, I found my results.”

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