OMG working out is so hard…
With great power comes great responsibility and unfortunately, the responsibility starts and ends with you. You deserve to be the fittest, strongest, healthiest version of yourself and for that to happen you need to overcome the trials and tribulations you will face during your fitness journey. Here are four key issues that seem to always crop up whenever people are discussing why working out is so hard.
The Lack Of Support!
You will be surprised that friends, family, colleagues and even in some cases your significant other can react negatively to your new health and fitness journey and be unsupportive as you try to make changes. More often than not it all comes down to jealousy and their own insecurities. People hate to feel like you are surpassing them in some way or another. A lot of your long term relationships may have become complacent and comfortable, and subconsciously you are seen as equals. So when you decide you want to become a better version of yourself the other person starts to feel left behind.
Remember, this is their problem, not yours. the fact that you are now on your new fitness journey shines a light on their unhealthy choices and this may force them to not be completely supportive of you. Be prepared, because rather than use you as inspiration to also become a better version of themselves, you may be on the receiving end of some shady comments and your progress sabotaged.
Working out is so hard because at times you may feel like you are in this alone. As crazy as this sounds you will be surprised at the number of times someone makes the decision of becoming healthier and fitter and friends are lost in the process. You are elevating yourself to a better version of yourself, a higher level even, and as a result, you might simply outgrow the friendship.
You might not want to stay out late because you value the benefits of sleep, you may not want to go for Mcdonalds because you are now conscious of what you put into your body. Your idea of an enjoyable evening may be an after-work spin class rather than after-work drinks. Slowly but surely you will start to evolve into a new person. It’s your life and you deserve to be the happiest and fittest version of yourself whilst you live it.
Of course, I’m not saying this is definitely going to happen and that becoming fitter means you are going to become a loner. More often than not your circle will be proud of you and see you as an inspiration to kick start their own fitness journey. But when it comes to your friends, family and your partner I recommend talking to them about your new mentality and even trying to include them in your journey.
More likely than not you will want to surround yourself with like-minded people, and they can easily fall into that category without being left behind. People that share the same aspirations and views on life as you do and you will then no longer want to look back at the old you because you have reached a better version of yourself.
Exercise Isn’t Easy
The main reason that people think working out is so hard and don’t get fitter and healthier is because it is simply not easy. Fitness is hard, physically and mentally. Whether you are squatting, doing bicep curls, sit-ups, running, swimming or even walking. That initial shock to your system hurts and as a result, a natural human instinct is to run away from pain. What many don’t realise is that muscle soreness is a good thing, it’s a sign that you’re getting stronger, and is nothing to be alarmed about.
During exercise, you stress your muscles and the fibres begin to break down. As the fibres repair themselves, they become larger and stronger than they were before. Now there is a difference between good muscle soreness and bad muscle soreness (or joint pain) and if you are suffering from the latter then definitely stop what you are doing and seek medical advice.
When you start exercising you may feel sore or achy for a few days after. Rest and having a minimum of 8 hours sleep will improve this feeling, but this pain is (and should be) a perfectly acceptable one to push through.
Mentally, exercise is just as painful because you are having to reevaluate how you live and to be honest that can be very daunting. People take for granted the introspective effort required to become fit and healthy. You need to evaluate your entire lifestyle and be willing to take action and make changes in order to become a healthier version of yourself. You have to get rid of routines that might be bad for your body and find positive alternatives in every facet.
You will have to drop out aspects of your life that might be enjoyable in the short term but can be detrimental to your health in the long term. That Saturday night takeaway routine will have to either be dropped completely or you will have to find a healthier alternative. Waking up early to fit in 30 minutes of exercise, having to have a bowl of salad while the whole office orders pizza can all be painful at first. Why we say at first is because you are now making the conscious choices to live a healthier and better life and those changes take time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t make these changes quickly and easily, you are trying to reprogram your mind and that restart will take time. Working out is so hard for those who are not willing to commit to the process completely.
Lack Of Knowledge!
This sounds absurd considering that there are so many resources available to get this information. Google, YouTube, social media, blogs to name a few. However that’s the issue, the plethora of information sometimes makes it difficult to not only understand an issue but to also effectively make a decision. The information overload for beginners, in particular, is so common and what makes them believe working out is so hard. Which workout to start, what diet to start, which trainer to listen to can just result in a state of confusion and ultimately fitness paralysis.
All this can be simply combated with the following;
Find an expert and trust them.
Find an expert that has experience in reaching the fitness targets you are trying to achieve and trust them. You can use all the resources mentioned earlier to find these people. If your goal is to lose weight, find a trainer that has either gone through these experiences themselves or specialises in this department with their clients and trust their coaching and advice. They have been there and done it or they deal with people on a daily basis going through the same journey so they understand the pitfalls you will face. For example, if you are a woman trying to lose weight, your best source of coaching and advice may not be a male bodybuilder.
Keep an open mind when it comes to your fitness journey because you can still gain knowledge from little tips and golden nuggets of information everywhere. Understand the fundamentals of what you want to achieve and don’t be afraid to tailor these to your lifestyle and training style. For example, to lose weight, fundamentally you need to be in a calorie deficit, how you go about achieving that is up to you (HIIT & Intermittent Fasting can help you achieve this). Also if you want to become stronger you must lift more over time, whether that is by adding more weight, more reps, or more sets is up to you but fundamentally this needs to be increasing over time.
All the above is pointless if you are not willing to put in the hard work and graft to achieve the body you deserve. It will feel like working out is so hard then it may be because you came into this process thinking this would be a quick fix. Expect it to be hard but I guarantee the hard works is more than worth it.
Ok, I am going to assume you are on social media, if not then this might still apply nonetheless. Statistics show “Social media engagement with attractive peers increases negative state body image,”
We live in a day and age where increased advertising of Size 0 models, “natural” bodybuilders and photo-shopping of images are prevalent online and cause an increase in the number of people with a distorted body image. It’s completely understandable to think you are not healthy if you are surrounded by the world/media advertising a specific body type as “healthy”.
Do not compare someone’s day 500 to your day 1. Use social media only to follow motivational fitness pages that will keep you mentally focused. What a lot of these so-called “fitness influencers” won’t admit to their followers is that their genetics are the main reason for their physique. They themselves know working out is so hard and therefore won’t tell you about the procedures they have had or dangerous supplements they have taken to look that way.
My advice is to definitely do some sort of exercise, not just for your physical health but for your mental health. Regular exercise is proven to have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress and you don’t have to be a fitness freak to reap the benefits. Aim to do at least 20 minutes of cardio a day for one week, I guarantee you will start to see your mindset changing.
Daily exercise has taught me to love and accept myself and I know it can/will do the same for you.
Working out is so hard for those who aren’t aware of these pitfalls. You are now in a great position as you now know what to expect on your journey and how to navigate through it.
Best of luck!