If I had a dime for every time someone told me, “I’ve tried everything and still can’t lose weight/get fit/tone my arms!” I’d be writing this from my own private island in the middle of the South Pacific.
Such is not the case. I’m in my home office without an island in sight, yet I still receive these emails without compensation.
Like so many trainers, when I began my career in 1995 (let’s have a moment of silence for that era), I got into the business thinking I could rid the world unwanted poundage, inspire the uninspired and share the wonders of fitness to the world!
In other words, I was completely off my rocker.
Bottom line: It’s not that easy, and not everyone gets the same results.
In fact, on average, more than half of new exercisers quit and go back to their couches and ditch this whole crazy get-fit idea after about six weeks, studies show.
So if you decided to get fit this past January 1, chances are good you’ve fallen by the wayside, so to speak, by now.
If not, good for you! You’ve beaten the odds.
If so, I have a few tips that may help.
Let’s take a look at why so many people fail to see results and what you can do to avoid becoming a statistic.
1. FITNESS FAIL: You set unrealistic expectations
Going from zero to 100 mph in the form of “not working out at all” to “working out every day” is not going to happen. Sure, you may do it for a week or so. But if you’re doing the same routine over and over each day, one of a couple of things is bound to happen: you get bored or suffer an injury.
Both are motivation killers.
Or, you start working out with the intention of dropping a bunch of dress sizes within a short period of time or attaining a weight you haven’t seen since junior high.
FITNESS FIX: Start from where you are and set small goals. Instead of striving for exercising every day, give yourself a day’s rest in between. Or, better yet, do something active but different on those days.
2. FITNESS FAIL: You do a little and expect a lot .
Performing a couple sets of ab crunches and expecting to see changes is like eating a salad and wondering why you’ve not yet lost weight.
Technology allows us to download books in seconds, receive groceries within hours and view movies on demand.
Our bodies did not get the same memo.
Regardless of the speed of technology, not a whole lot has changed within the human species. Metabolism, digestion muscle building, and other bodily processes did not upgrade with the same speed, unfortunately.
People who see results stick with a routine or workout for weeks or even months before expecting to see visible changes in their bodies. Of course, you’ll experience other benefits such as sleeping more soundly and feeling more energetic fairly quickly. As for that definition you want to see in your triceps? You’ll need to hang in there a bit for that.
But when that day rolls around you’ll be ordering a case of tank tops to celebrate.
Trust that change is happening beneath the surface and will soon make itself known.
FITNESS FIX: Patience and consistency win the race! Do the right things and focus on the process, not the outcome. Results WILL happen as long as you stay on track… which brings me to my final point.
3. FITNESS FAIL: You’re not doing it right
This refers to several issues and usually refers to one of the following:
– You’re using poor exercise form from either copying someone else at the gym or trying to “wing it” on your own
– You only do the things you want to do, so your program isn’t well rounded
– You do a little of this and a bit of that, cross your fingers and hope for the best
– You put in zero effort but still expect results
FITNESS FIX: Do your due diligence. Be sure the advice you follow is from a qualified professional, not simply someone who looks the part. It’s one reason why I talk about my background — four national certifications and 20+ years of real life experience and a nutrition degree — because many people who give advice don’t have the qualifications. It’s better to do 10 reps in perfect form than 20 sloppy ones that result in an injury.
NOTE: I offer a ton of tips and advice on my blogs (like this one!) as well as more customized, paid programs. Check out THIS PAGE for more info.
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Do any of these tips hold true for you? What steps will you take to start making progress? Leave a comment below! And be sure to share this post with your ageless after 50 friends.
Til next time…
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.