I’ve never been a big negotiator, even at yard sales and swap meets where you’re expected to haggle. It makes me uncomfortable.
I’m sure this weirdness can be traced back to some childhood issue. It was probably over trying to negotiate with my mom to switch from Cheerios to Captain Crunch, debating the age I could start wearing makeup, or getting my parents to agree to let me go to NYC to see Aerosmith perform.
I lost every time, so why bother trying again?
Flash forward 50 years and I’m in the same place.
If you tell me something costs $25 I’m not going to try to get you down to $20. If I don’t feel the antique egg beater is worth full price, I just won’t buy it.
I take the same attitude to fitness, but I have good reason.
First a short back story. You may have noticed the “CSCS” after my name and wondered what the heck that’s all about.
Let’s make this a quiz! See if you can guess the title behind the acronym. Which one of these three does CSCS stand for:
A. Crazy Super Cat Savior
B. Caffeinated Silly Cosmetic-powered Superhero
C. Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
In all honesty, any of these works.
I volunteer at a cat rescue, so “A” holds true. I am hooked on coffee and buy makeup as if I’m going into an underground survival bunker with the crew of America’s Next Top Model, so “B” also pertains.
If you guessed “C,” congrats! It’s a true, legit nationally-recognized, gold standard, fitness certification.
Although I have a total of four certifications (in addition to NASM, ACE, ACSM), I’m proudest of the National Strength and Conditioning Association CSCS because it’s the toughest test to pass. It’s largely based on Olympic style lifts (e.g. clean and jerk, the snatch, etc.) and sports training all the way down to understanding how muscles work on the cellular level while performing these moves.
It took me close to a year to prepare for it.
A big part of my studies involved learning proper form, the way to correctly perform each exercise.
There would be no negotiating if I got something wrong on that test. Either it’s wrong or it’s right. “But I don’t want to do squats that way,” would not fly.
When it comes to exercise, many rules are simply science. In other words: non-negotiable.
When talking about the number of reps, for example, research shows that between 12 and 15 reps (at a weight where the last few reps are a challenge), you stimulate the muscle to become stronger and hypertrophied or more “toned.”
When you can do a lot more than 15 reps you’re training the muscle for endurance more than strength. (If you check out any of my videos on YouTube it’s why I recommend this range in nearly all my exercises.) So doing 100 reps using 3 lbs. will leave you exhausted but not much more toned.
Several non-negotiable rules apply to overall success in weight loss and getting in shape, too.
Specifically, regardless of your approach, your ability to reach your goals comes down to three, non-negotiable, factors I call the three Cs:
They’re actually all interconnected. Let’s break it down…
I’ve talked about this many times, but judging from the emails and conversations I have with women, it’s still a major obstacle.
If you are not consistent with your efforts you won’t see change. BAM! Non-negotiable. You can’t work out when you’re in the mood or eat a fast-food meal one day and a kale salad the next and expect a flatter tummy.
Theoretically, you can do an 80/20 split, where you do all the right things 80% of the time, but if you’re bad at math like me, it’s hard to know what that even looks like.
My recommendation: strive for 100%, and you’ll probably be closer to 80%.
This brings me to number two…
Expect changes to be challenging at times. We live in a time where we can buy toothpaste online and have it delivered the same day, be able to see and hear someone across the world in real time, and find out anything we want by asking our phones.
So we expect weight loss and getting in shape to follow suit in this efficient, timely and no-muss, no-fuss fashion. The only problem? Our bodies have not changed at the same rate of technology.
Not even close. In fact, we have the same basic parts as our primitive cousins, Oot and Groot, minus the protruding forehead, unkempt toenails, and the propensity to throw poop at fellow cave people during arguments.
This means when you first cut calories you will likely be a little hungry at times. When you start exercising or trying a new exercise you may feel sore. Both of these get easier and diminish over time.
Then once you start seeing results it gets even easier, trust me.
This one’s a biggie. Making a commitment means the difference between saying, “I will try it,” and “I will do it.” The former gives you a way out.
Commit to making changes and sticking with them. This doesn’t mean you’ll never backslide, have a bad day or fall off the fitness wagon. Just get right back on. Don’t look back, get depressed, or beat yourself up.
You need to make up your mind to stay on track and stick with it no matter what. Onward!
A bonus tip! Actually, I like using odd numbers and didn’t want to end at four. Plus, this one starts with an A, which messes up my “3 Cs.”
You need to hold yourself accountable for your actions and/or work with someone who will hold you accountable.
Think of it. When someone depends on you to show up, aren’t you more likely to be there even if you’re not really in the mood or are too tired? You don’t want to let the person down, even if it doesn’t bother you to skip that workout.
Ditto for food journaling.
You can train yourself to become accountable by journaling online and posting your progress publicly, for example. Or, if you’re less of an extrovert or feel intimidated, find a friend or workout buddy to keep tabs on you.
A word of warning: This can be easier said than done, as many people eventually flake. Make sure to find a motivated partner.
Do YOU struggle with any of these four non-negotiable rules? Let me know in the comments section below….
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You CAN do this!
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.