More important than your exercise or diet program is your self-discipline. It doesn’t matter if you workout hard for a week, or stick to your diet for 3 out of 5 days. What matters is how you act in the long run. How many “little cheats” did you let yourself get away with this week? How many workouts did you skip in the last month? Or the last year? The little things add up.
Don’t make excuses for your own lack of discipline. It isn’t about just making yourself go to the gym or something you enjoy on some level. It is making yourself do the things you don’t want to do. The best physical therapy patients are the ones who tirelessly perform the repetitive boring physical therapy they have been prescribed. Day after day for hours on end. This might also mean you can’t workout for weeks or even months. You watch your body go away and you feel soft but you stick with it. That is discipline.
There are some things you do just for the sake of building discipline. Do it just to do it. Or as a very successful client of mine likes to say “Do it because no one else will.” For example if you are a pasta lover you might cut out all pasta for a year. Not just because it is making losing fat difficult but to see if you can do it no matter what the situation, not matter how hungry you are. Challenge yourself. As an adult, no one is making you do anything. You have to be the one to make the rules. You have to be the one to discipline yourself. Think about what you allow yourself to get away with during the day. Do you lay in bed for a half hour or do you get up when you wake up? Do you let yourself mindlessly surf the internet for an hour then complain you don’t have time for things? If you were paying someone by the hour would you let them do the things you let yourself do? I bet if you really look at yourself you just don’t have much self-discipline. It will spill over into all aspects of your life for the better. It takes time to build discipline and a tremendous sense of honesty with yourself. This is where most people fail.
We are experts at lying to ourselves and making excuses.
- “I need to look at internet videos to unwind.” No you don’t. You just enjoy it.
- “I need to lay in bed because mornings are tough for me.” Shut up. They are tough for everyone.
When you look around at people who are in the kind of shape you want to be in do you think they enjoy dieting? Do you think they hate cheesecake, or sugar in their coffee? Of course not. They have just build the habits of self-control. Working out is tough. It takes time. Dieting is even tougher. Food is delicious. It isn’t easy and it isn’t supposed to be. Stop looking for the easy way out or shortcuts. It is hard work. The most successful athletes I train don’t look for excuses or freak out if they don’t have pre workout caffeine. They just go. They don’t give themselves a choice.
In all likely hood your diets haven’t failed. Your workout programs weren’t wrong for you. You are just lazy and self-permissive. Be tough on yourself and you will be a tougher person.
Are you ready to make first step? Make a decision and create workout plans.