Step it up, people.

March 12, 2010

Let me begin my saying that i am well aware of the strong opinions and debate surround this topic in particular, but today i feel it necessary to get my point of view out there.  Being in a profession where i see so many different life struggles, it seems that everyone i meet relates every single issue or problem in their life back to their weight.  You would not believe how often i hear that the reason or cause of a person’s weight gain is due to their money problems, their family issues, a job that they hate, or my personal favorite: a lack of time.
Seeing as it is my job to help them find their true healthy self and reach the goals that they have in their mind, i rarely ever find myself criticizing their theories on how they arrived at such an unhealthy way of living.  However, i am only human, and i do find that i am thinking to myself, “Why are you making excuses, do you think i am judging your reasons for letting yourself go?”  As harsh as this may sound, the one thing i cannot stand hearing come out of any of my clients mouths is the word don’t.  This is the one word that will send me over the top and i begin to question their motives for reaching a healthy point in their own life.  If they really wanted to be there, “don’t” should never be a thought that crosses their minds especially when used in such phrases as “Well, i don’t really have much time”, “I don’t think cardio is my thing”,  “I don’t respond well to strength training”, or ” I don’t want to take part in any classes.”  My simple response to any of these:  “Okay, you tell me why you are here.”
I have been criticized many times for my all-or-nothing approach to fitness, but i truly believe that EVERYONE possesses the amount of motivation required to reach ANY goal that they have in their head, and it is my job to help them find it.  The problem that i cannot and will not remedy is not having a goal and not caring enough to create one.  This person truly does not believe that they have it in themselves to do what is necessary to live a healthy lifestyle and is usually left to drown in their excuses.  Yes, i will literally stand up and walk out.
I’m sure some of you just mumbled what a jerk i am or stopped reading.  But for those that are still here (thanks!) know that 75% of the people i have told that i cannot help if they do not want to help themselves have come back and lost more weight and found more success in their lives after this little form of intervention.  I have developed great relationships with some of these men and women and i find that their stories are often all the motivation they need to find their true self again.  What they find is that they are also motivating others (including me) in the process, and there is nothing more i love to see than a person enjoying themselves during a workout.  YES, even those women or men who sit on the recumbent bicycles and gab for half an hour or coming in to watch their favorite show or read a magazine.  They could be at home, feeling sorry for themselves.  You all may not know that us trainers are watching you and inspired by each and everyone of you no matter if you are reaching your goal of making it to the gym 3 nights a week, or you have just finished your first marathon!  Never be ashamed to start a fitness regimen, you are taking a step in the right direction and no one can ever find anything wrong with that.  And for those that try and tear down any goals that you may have, know that doing yourself a favor is far more productive than doing anyone else a favor (health-wise).
I want to leave you guys with a great article i just read about Jaime Oliver.  He has a new show beginning soon which outlines America’s food systems, specifically what we are feeding our children.  This to me, is THE most important issue that needs attention in our countries (US and Canada) today.  One great quote from the article is that “Food companies should make education a central part of their business. ” This could not ring more true.  If food companies spent half of the money they waste packaging their foods in exorbitant amounts of paper and plastic on programs that convey just how much a healthy diet can lead to a happy life, their products would sell themselves.  Here is the link to the article.
In hopes that i may be able to do a little bit of bragging about my own Elementary school, i have to congratulate Colorado’s efforts in developing a healthy school-lunch distribution program which includes fun events like these. Way To Go, Indian Ridge!  How fun is that?  And by popular request, i want to share with you guys another form of cardiovascular activity that i am in love with, mainly because i get to ride this beautiful monster around…

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11 Responses to “Step it up, people.”

  1. Katie said

    Whohoo! Say it like it is. It drives me INSANE when people that I work with tell me “Oh, you’re so lucky to be thin” and when I tell them it’s all about my lifestyle, they say “well, I’m just not a morning person” – and I literally have to walk away. It’s not about “being lucky” – it’s about working hard to be healthy and take care of yourself. Whether that means finding the time to exercise BEFORE work (even if you’re not a ‘morning person’) or getting your butt in gear after work – it just takes EFFORT. I’m so glad you agree. :-)

    • Adam said

      That is one of biggest pet peeves as well! Walking away is the only option in that situation because you feel like tying them to you and running. I don’t understand how anyone with common sense doesn’t understand the word effort.

  2. Great post! I think it’s helpful to stop people in their tracks when they say words like “dont”. I tell them, “Well if you don’t or can’t do something you wont. Turn everything into do and can.” Say, “I do have twenty extra minutes in the morning to exercise” or “I can take ten minutes to chop veggies for the week on a Sunday afternoon.” Positive thoughts bring positive actions!

  3. you have such an interesting opportunity to work with people in this area of their lives, which is so important! it must be irritating to deal with people who are so self defeating, but i believe ANYONE can overcome that and be on their way to health!

    • Adam said

      It is irritating which thankfully USUALLY ALWAYS leads to extremely rewarding! :) And you are right, anyone can overcome anything they set their sites on and commit to.

  4. kbwood said

    i love what you said!! i love meeting opinionated people too! im ALL About speaking your mind. totally agree- excuses are not cool at all.

  5. Oh don’t even get me started. As a yoga teacher do you know how many excuses i hear for why someone can’t do yoga? “not flexible” is my favorite. Hello, try it! Practice. Work on it. Dont just bitch about it, try it! Keep after it. Professional athletes who stop training dont re enter the NFL or NBA…they have to practice! Same with everyone. I hear you Deane, trust me, it’ so hair tearing when i hear the excuses :)

  6. I couldn’t agree more – I’m very all-or-nothing with exercise, and it frustrates me no end when people say they ‘can’t’ do exercise – I ‘couldn’t’ run when I started, but I ran 16miles on wednesday! People just have to get off the butts, work at it, then they get good at it !!
    Good for bigging up Jamie Oliver too, he totally changed schools in England – all vending machines are banned from schools here :)

    • Adam said

      Congrats on 16 miles…that is a pretty big accomplishment that you should be proud of :) And the British school system is way ahead of NA’s.

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