So you tentatively step out of your car with your gym bag in hand and begin to make your way across the lightly snow dusted parking lot. It's been a while since you've been here, a little wiser maybe, a little more extra padding against the cold from the holiday festivities, maybe. But you're here and that's what counts. Unfortunately, so is everyone else.
You open the door to see a mad house! It's like an amusement park. There are lines for the cardio machines with signs that say an hour and a half wait from this point. There's the blaring music of a fully ramped up cardio kickboxing class with half the class looking super fit going in the right direction and the other half going in the wrong direction but pretending it's the right direction. You see the super muscular meat heads grunting and groaning looking like they are about to pop a blood vessel taking up the whole dumbbell area. Well, there's no way you're going over there so you make your way over to the machines.
Suddenly...everyone in the entire gym stops what they are doing and turns to stare at you. They begin pointing fingers and laughing. You sat down on the machine facing the wrong way and somehow got tangled up in it. What? How the heck did that happen? How the heck are you supposed to know how to use these machines anyway? You're mortified.
Huh?.... You blink and look around. Actually that's not what happened at all. Everyone is still sweating and running and lifting and probably worrying what they look like just as much as you. Someone walks up to you and asks whether you are you using that machine to which you hastily reply that you aren't and you decide the sauna will be a excellent choice for your workout on this snowy day.
So don't get me wrong. Gyms can be great and exercise is fantastic for you. I should know I was the Assistant Department Head of one and a personal trainer for years. But you should ask yourself the question,
"Why am I doing what I am doing?"
For most people it's to lose the weight that they want to lose. Fair enough. And then you should ask,
"Is this the best, most efficient, most effective way to accomplish that goal?"
This is where the answers get interesting. Our culture says yes. If you just took a look at the New Year's Eve celebration on Time Square in New York you would have seen the majority of the crowd wearing purple Planet Fitness hats. One of the first thoughts that pops into our head when we think it's time to lose weight is "I need to go back to the gym" or "I should start running."
In my time as a personal trainer I have trained hundreds of people from CEOs of companies to amazing stay-at-home moms. I found one of the biggest myths is that exercise alone will help you lose weight. There would be people that I would train 3-4x/week for hundreds of dollars a month that may only lose 6lbs in 6 months. Why is that? Well, I think most of us know but we don't want to admit it. We so quickly throw out the statement, "You can't outrun a bad diet." And yet we try to everyday. In fact, we are trying to sprint at breakneck speed away from the fact that we may have to eat different than what we want, we may have to change things and be a little uncomfortable, or we may have to get rid of some of the junk food in our home.
That's why I quit my job at the gym and started my own online weight loss and nutrition coaching company because I wanted to focus on what was going to make the most difference in people actually accomplishing their goals. So if you would like some help clarifying your goals for the next year and having the support and accountability to reach them let me know. If not, that's fine. But ask yourself,
"What is the biggest limiting factor to me accomplishing the weight loss and health that I want?" It may be exercise, but it may not. Figure it out and then only focus on changing that one thing until you change your habit.
P.S. We extended the 20% discount of the entire year of coaching only until Jan. 16th.