From Fat to Fit: Hitting a Wall

Many of my clients seek out personal training because they’re overweight. Christine is one of those clients, and over the next few months she’ll be sharing her progress with us. This post was originally published on May 22, 2013. I'm reposting it here because I've moved my blog to this website.

Athletes who participate in endurance sports often talk about “hitting the wall”—the point at which their glycogen stores run out and they are overcome with sudden fatigue and loss of energy.

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But I think there’s another wall that we often hit—the one that comes when we cultivate a new habit with great passion for a few weeks, but then life gets in the way and we lose our motivation to press forward.

My Weight-Loss Program Lapse

I hate to say it, but that’s where I’m at right now with losing weight and getting fit. I’ve made substantial progress over the last month and a half. Yet here I find myself having gone four days in a row without working out. And though I hate to admit it, I haven’t been following the paleo diet as strictly as before. What gives?

I’m not going to lie—life’s been hectic lately. But the truth is—and I’m saying this for myself as much as I am for you—I don’t feel as good today as I did a week ago, and I think a lot of that has to do with my lack of exercise.

Studies show that exercise boosts mood, reduces anxiety, improves self-confidence, increases productivity, and sharpens memory, among other benefits. But I don’t need science to tell me that. Over the last few days, I’ve felt sluggish, fatigued, and sort of foggy in my head—the exact opposite of how I feel after a workout with Andrea.

How to Find the Motivation to Work Out

So what am I going to do about it? How am I going to get back to exercising after losing my momentum? A wise person once told me that you can’t wait around for motivation or it will never come. Rather, you need to act, and in that action, you’ll find the motivation for further action.

Of course, the challenge is taking that initial step forward. Fortunately, the same wise person also told me that the key to doing things you don’t want to do. First, make it doable, and then reward yourself after you do it.

That’s why as soon as I finish this post, I’m going to put on my running shoes and go for a long walk around my neighborhood. It’s nothing compared to what I was doing before, but it’s a start. And when I’m done, I’m going to reward myself with a big bowl of cherries from the farmers’ market.

Starting an exercise routine is hard. Getting back into one is, too. Start by setting a realistic goal—like calling Andrea or scheduling an appointment at your local gym. Once you’ve done that, give yourself a reward and recognize that even that little step is quite an accomplishment.

It only gets easier from here. Before you know it, you’ll be light years ahead of where you are now in terms of your fitness. So don’t wait—take the first step today!

For more information on Andrea’s personal training programs, call (760) 658-4708. Images courtesy of University of Kent and yuan2003 via Flickr Creative Commons.