At 6:15 a.m. this morning it was raining. It was chilly and dark and gloomy and the rhythmic sounds of the falling rain induced a type of hypnosis that caused me to stare at the window vacantly instead of getting out of bed, getting dressed and going to my exercise room to workout. Now this is not the first time this has happened to me. Sometimes I open my eyes and cannot believe what a beautiful day it is. So beautiful, that I must lie in bed to enjoy the pure awesomeness of it. Other days it’s the softness of the bed or the coziness of the comforter or…
The fact is that on some days any old excuse will do, as long as the result is that I can remain in bed instead of working out. Fortunately, on most days I successfully fight the urge to stay in bed and I actually use my exercise room 4 or 5 days on most weeks. Although, it would definitely be more simple and incredibly more appealing to sleep in. It is also more appealing to get a burger for lunch instead of making a salad; to eat cookies instead of a piece of fruit; to have dessert instead of skipping it because you know you are full and don’t need it anyway.
If you are out of shape and/or overweight and really want to lose weight, but just can’t seem to do it, the reason is simple. It is just easier not to. Now I know this is an oversimplification, but it’s true. Here is the fact: There is absolutely no exercise or fitness regime that will work for you if you don’t use it consistently over a long period of time. Most of us are not trying to lose weight that we just gained in the past month. We have gained weight slowly over the years for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with poor diet choices and lack of enough exercise. Interestingly enough, even though we know this, we expect to drop the pounds in a week, a month, or certainly in three or four months, right? Even though it is possible to lose weight quickly through crash diets, pills or supplements, healthy, long-term, effective weight loss is best achieved through nutrition and exercise routines that are implemented as lifestyle changes, not quick fix programs.
Here’s a challenge: buy a treadmill, an elliptical or whatever type of aerobic equipment you prefer. (Or join a gym) Now here’s the catch — actually use it. Use it for 45 minutes a day four times a week, ensuring that you work up a good sweat during at least 30 minutes of your workout. Add in some weight training twice a week as you progress. Change your diet to make more healthy choices (we all know what healthy choices are) — not just some times but most times, i.e. 6 out of 7 days a week – and don’t overstuff yourself when you eat. Do this consistently not just for a month or two, but as a lifestyle commitment. You will lose weight.
And the next time it’s rainy, gloomy, chilly and dark outside when you awake at 6:15 a.m., just close your eyes and snooze for another 15 minutes. After all this hard work, I am sure you will deserve it.