If you want a different body, then you have to make the time to build it. Sometimes I think I get my messaging wrong when I try (mostly in vain) to get people off the sidelines and into the fitness game.
I spend a lot of time pushing back against the idea that fitness is complicated. There’s a lot of noise out there about what works and what doesn’t, but there’s a remarkable consensus from people who know what they’re doing around what needs to be done to make a body stronger, leaner, and more mobile. Especially in the very beginning, you need to learn basic movement patterns like the squat, hinge, push, and pull; and you need to do these movements with progressively heavier weights while also eating vegetables at every meal, protein at every meal, and starchy carbs in moderation. That combined with walking a few days a week usually yields results with which people are incredibly happy.
I find it remarkable then when people come to me and voice objections right away when I tell them what the pathway to their goals looks like.
“Oh, I can’t give up my shows.”
“I like wine too much.”
“I don’t want to join a gym.”
“I have 8-pound dumbbells. Is that enough?”
“I only have 20 minutes a day to work out.”
“Working out is boring.”
“I’m too busy.”
Do any of these sound familiar? Ever used any of these excuses yourself? Chances are if you’ve said or asked any of these things then you’re not actually committed to the process of change. You have the body you have now because your lifestyle looks a certain way. Now you’re telling me that you don’t want to change anything about your lifestyle but you want a different body? Nope. Nope. All the nopes.
You have to make the time. You have to make the effort.
Fitness isn’t so much about discipline as it is organization, but you do have to make the effort. One of the things our gym offers free with personal training is lifestyle coaching, and we walk people through a habit-based curriculum focused on nutrition and body composition. A common theme from the feedback we get is that setting the 20 minutes a day aside to think through the “lessons” feels overwhelming. The pace is slow, so the first few assignments are things like “eat slowly” or “make time for yourself today.” We’re not talking advanced calculus. But just the process of taking the time to read a little and learn about habits feels like too much because of the 20-minute time investment.
If you can’t take 20 minutes a day for yourself, and remember, we’re not even talking about changing behavior, cooking, working out, or sleeping more, then you don’t have much hope for changing your body. The very first step in body transformation is giving yourself the permission to take time for yourself. This is not vanity or narcissism or selfishness. This is the foundation for success.
Over the next week, I’m challenging you to take 20 minutes for yourself, whatever that means for you. It could be taking a walk, reading, sitting in a dark room without speaking, meditation, or organizing the next day. The point is to take 20 minutes devoted to enhancing your quality of life. No one else can do this for you. Before thinking about taking big steps (like going to the gym or eating more vegetables), see if you can take this small step: make time, take time for yourself.