Now What?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you met your goal, you lost the weight, you fit into that dress or pair of pants you’ve been trying to fit in?  In a lot of ways, it’s just like getting that job you wanted or a date with that special someone. Once you’re there, the real work starts. With fitness goals, we often don’t see it like that. It’s as if reaching the goal is the end of the road, when it should be the beginning. I think that all too often, when someone starts a fitness routine or diet, they have a goal weight or size that they are trying to reach. This is great, but then what? If you get there, what do you do after you get there?

When I was doing bodybuilding shows, I had a beginning, my contest prep date, and an end, my show date. After that I would go back to my normal questionable habits. All the things I had cut out to get in shape I would add back in. I wasn’t doing it for the long haul. An example would be bacon. Being southern, bacon was a staple in my morning routine. But when I was preparing for a show, I would cut out bacon and most of my high-fat breakfast foods for twelve to sixteen weeks. After a show, one of the first things I would do is go to a breakfast place and have all of my favorites. I would get really uncomfortable, which would happen every time for several weeks until my body re-acclimated to the amount of fat that would bombard my now clean system. This is what happens to most of us, we reach our goal, get close, or get to the end of the time that we said we were going to be on a diet, or designated program. We go right back to what we use to do no matter how uncomfortable it makes us. This unfortunately takes us back to where we started or worse, beyond it.

Remember that a good plan allows for you to reach your initial goal, and then allows for you to progress towards subsequent goals, without any finite endpoint.

Think of a computer game with only one level, it wouldn’t be much fun and most likely people would get bored and quit. That sounds like fitness to me. This is the time of year that people put great energy towards short-term result with no plan, no idea where they are really going, and maybe anticipating failure because that’s what they have experienced in the past. This is a recipe for disaster, and is something I see all the time. Clubs and weight-loss places are often more than willing to take the uninformed customer’s money, knowing they won’t succeed. I often hear people say, “I just need a jump start,” or “I’m just going to do this for a couple of weeks,” but then what? You go back to what you were doing, which wasn’t working in the first place? I’m not a real believer in doing something to get you started for the short term. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.

If it’s time to make a change, then let’s make some real changes, ones that can be done for life. Then you have something to build on, instead of going back to what you used to do. All too often, I have to hear about plans that have no chance to succeed, simply because the plans don’t teach you anything about making better decisions, getting new and better habits, and there’s no time to practice them. Without new habits and time to practice, there is no chance for success. It’s the new habits that dictate real success.

The point to all of this is if you’re being sold short-term solutions without lifelong habits, then they are just taking your money and they plan on doing it multiple times. They know that if you have any success at all, you’ll be back. What you want instead is a plan with life skills in it that you can build on. It’s always great when a plan comes together. Just make sure that your plan is alive so that when you reach your benchmarks, you have somewhere to go, and you won’t go back where you came from.

As always, your success is what I’m working for, so if you need help, please let me know. If you know someone that may find this post helpful, please forward it to them. It may be the encouragement they need to get them going in the right direction.