If I were keeping tabs on the words I hear most frequently (not counting Spiderman, Bubba, and the ever-popular “mine!”), I’d guess the list would look something like this: motivation, diet, fat, skinny, time, afford, and (the biggie) CAN’T. Today, we are gonna take a look at each and every one so I can tell you why I just don’t like ’em (“motivation” being excused from admonition).
Although, to be fair, let’s include motivation in this discussion, since it is the Homecoming Queen of fitness words. Just why is it so popular? Well, I know I could not have started on my yellow brick road of fitness without it. Picture motivation like the ruby slippers (or, in this case, ruby sneakers) – they get you started, keep you going in the right direction. But in the end? In the end, it’s really just YOU that’s making that happen. You can pull from all the extraneous sources you can find – infomercials, magazines, music, instructors, challenge groups, gym buddies – but when it comes right down to it, YOU are the one that’s throwing those punches, lowering into lunges, and running that race. Everything else is just the frills. They’re very nice to have and pretty to look at – but completely unnecessary. You can have the best running shoes, the most workout programs, the heaviest weights. But if you’re not clickin’ your heels together, my pretty – you ain’t never goin’ home. Motivation without discipline will not get you to the wizard. And the wizard? Well, that’d be me. I’ve got lots of fancy words, but I’m still just like you. I push play or lace up my shoes every day even if I’m not feelin’ it. That’s not motivation, friends. That’s discipline. And it’s far more important.
The next words – diet, fat, and skinny – well…those are the whiney little bitches of the fitness world. These are the words coveted by those searching for quick fixes and sympathy and false compliments. They tell you they look “fat” in the hopes that you’ll declare it isn’t so. They switch from low-calorie to low-carb to cabbage soup to starvation on an hourly basis and describe how their lives will magically come together when they reach that “skinny” state. As though happiness can be found in a size…And here’s the funny thing…I used to be in that group. I only cared about slimming down. I gave nary a thought to what I could do. My goal right in this moment is to convince you that “skinny” is not your end goal. I want that word banished from your vocabulary. Replace it with “fit” or “strong.” Think about that for a moment. Think about the connotations of “I want to be skinny” and “I want to be STRONG.” What, in all actuality, will you gain from simply being skinny? A jeans size? A small top? Now tell me – what will you gain from being strong???? The possibilities are limitless. Expand your life, don’t shrink it.
Now, about the next two – time and afford…According to many, no one has the time or the money required to be fit. Really? I can only speak from personal experience, but I rather enjoy doing so, so listen up. I’ve got four kids from toddlerhood to nearly double-digits, two cats, two refusing-to-be-house-trained dogs, a brand-new business, and a burgeoning career. Is my life different from so many others? No. If we’re to believe the myriad Facebook updates and tweets, we’re all overloaded with work, chores, and children’s sports. Your schedule does NOT make you special. A workout is ONE HOUR of your day. Relinquish fifteen minutes of social networking. Fifteen minutes of sleep. Half an hour of television. Wow – is that simple or what? So now I’ve fixed your time situation. Now then…you can’t afford to be healthy and strong? Is it less expensive to purchase medications on a monthly basis? Say you spend $200 on a program that you can use FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE…is that more or less than a lifelong prescription of heart/diabetes medication? Hmmm…
And if you’d like to tell me how it’s more expensive to eat organic, fresh, and nutritious…please save it. Save it for those days I’m feeling fit and fabulous while you’re feeling exhausted and petulant. You know, those days when I can run away and you have no hope of catching up. Because that’s pretty much gonna be my reaction every time. Plan ahead. Shop at farmer’s markets. Know what your family will eat and how much. Guess what? We now know that we will burn through eggs like nobody’s business – but veggies tend to hang around a bit longer. The meat rarely makes it to leftover status and fruit is the most popular snack. Guess what I buy the most of? Oh – and know what else? The entire family benefits. Is your child’s future health and lifestyle too expensive? Or do you enjoy knowing that the bag of Doritos you just handed over will be their future battle – just the way it’s yours now?
Which brings me to CAN’T. Barring any serious medical issues – shut the f#$k up. You may not be jumping into Insanity or running a mud race. I didn’t start there either. But for 99.9% of the population, there is something you can be doing. Click on this link and tell me why your situation is more daunting than his: http://youtu.be/qX9FSZJu448.
As I often say to my children when disciplining them, “I’m not saying this to be mean. I’m telling you because I care.” And I really do. About each and every one of you, whether I’ve met you or not. Whether I speak to you every day, only on social networking sites, or you read this blog secretly and like to think I don’t know…I want you to be fit. And I can help you with that, because no matter where you are on your journey, chances are – I’ve been there too. My only requirements from you? No excuses. No whining. No CAN’T.
We just don’t do CAN’T around here.