Willpower is the Key to Fitness

I am a personal trainer and a fitness coach. One thing I can always be sure of this time of year is questions about how to lose weight. People ask me about different exercises, they ask me about the best “ab” moves, and sometimes they even ask me about nutrition but it’s rare. The one thing no one ever asks me about though is also the most important aspect to true fitness and health; willpower. I know a lot of people that want to lose weight. I also hear a lot of wishing for fitness, and hoping for change. What I don’t hear about very often is commitment to make it happen.

All the diet and exercise advice in the world is useless without the will to act on it. If you are not willing to commit one hundred percent to a program then the only thing I can guarantee you is eventual failure. I really cannot emphasize how important this single concept is: fitness is a lifestyle. It’s a total commitment resolved to living better, from the way you exercise to the things you eat, to getting sleep, avoiding stress, and eliminating waste. I’m not fit because it’s my job. In fact ever since becoming a trainer tending to my own fitness has actually become extremely difficult. I spend so much time training other people that my own program can quickly be pushed to the background. I have to make time. Let me say this again, I HAVE TO MAKE TIME. No excuses, no whining, and no compromises; that’s just what it takes.

My particular field for want of a more simple description is CrossFit. It’s the circle I move in, the sport I follow, and the direction I maintain. In this field there are literally thousands of people with a ton more responsibilities and demands on their time than myself, and they make it work. More than that, they dominate and excel. Some people will read this and say “yeah but they have more money, more time, more gear, more magic fairy dust.” Yes these things are nice and, yes they make it easier, but they don’t make it happen, just as steroids might make gaining muscle easier; in the end the body builder still has to commit to hours a day of gym time and hard work. For every rich privileged aristocrat who does well in sports I can show you ten downtrodden and dirt broke success stories who overcame an endless parade of adversity to reach the top.

Here’s the thing, I’m not asking you to go to the CrossFit games or make the NFL, all I ask is that you stop sending me a parade of excuses and simply commit to doing the work I give you. Stop telling me about how much you want to lose weight and just do it, show up, grunt, sweat, and move. I promise you if you would just exercise a little more willpower and execute the plan I prepared you’d see results. Success is all about willpower. You cannot succeed if you do not have the will to see it through. If you’re not willing to miss TV time, get up earlier, forego drinking, and do some things that are uncomfortable you might as well just sit back down on that couch and tear open a bag of chips. This change you want is not about good intentions or hope. It’s about action and dedication.

As you move into the New Year do one thing and I promise this will be the year those resolutions actually come true; stop talking about it and just do it. Don’t make excuses, just start moving.

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