My trainer told me today about a woman who worked out for a couple of years, but didn’t make a lot of progress until lately. Something changed and now she’s keeping all her gym appointments, working hard, and seeing a lot of progress. “What clicked?” he asked.
I think what motivates some people to follow the advice they are given and stick with a program long term is that they have set a concrete, measurable goal that isn’t about a weight or about what they look like. The woman he pointed out to me wants to run in a race. That was my first goal, too. A goal like that makes the workouts and the diet part of “training” for something that is happening on a specific date. You are either ready or it happens without you.
The reality is that there is no finish line for this. To be healthy for the rest of your life, you have to make healthy choices and do healthy things.
After a while, the workout routine is set and it’s a habit. After it becomes a habit, you start to see positive results and it becomes something you look forward to, even if you don’t love every part of the training. I really don’t love hack squats. But I love what they are doing to my legs. I’ve seen the woman he was talking about on the treadmill. She doesn’t always enjoy the activity, but afterwards, she’s glowing and smiling. And her eyes sparkle more than they used to.
I read another blog about how the author treated working out like a second job. I can see her point, about it being a priority to show up to “work” on time, doing your best, etc… but maybe she treats it like a job so she won’t feel guilty about spending the time on herself. We aren’t supposed to do that, you know. I rationalize the time I spend working out as my “menopause/stress treatments.” Yeah, that’s how I rationalize it. But what do I really think? It’s my “recess”. It’s my hobby, my downtime. I don’t drink, watch tv (much), take naps, go for mani/pedis, get massages, or shop for clothes. I lift. That activity “clicks” with me.
But the bigger “click” was the realization that I couldn’t do this on my own and that I needed guidance. For years, I tried to do it alone and it didn’t work. So I became a student and found good teachers. I may ask questions, but in the end, I always do what I’m told. I know how this works. I tell my students every day what they need to do to be successful. In this area, I’m the student.