Hey! Welcome to youtrainyou.com. If you have been reading our blog, welcome back.
If this is your first time here, then welcome as well. Although this isn’t our first post, it might be the best place to start.
In fact, this might be the thing people struggle most with, how to find the time to workout. It’s tough to start if you are new to structured exercise, it’s intimidating. It’s also hard to get going if you are trying to get back to working out.
Hey, it’s tough if you are consistent with working out, but on this particular day you have seven other things to do that seem just a little more important.
So, how do you fit in? And more importantly make it a permanent part of your life.
The Generic Trainer Response
“Did you get your other workout in this week?”
“No Rodney, I’m sorry I didn’t, I just didn’t have time to do it.”
Rodney’s temperature is rising as he quickly prepares a motivational speech that will make Client X never miss another workout again. He won’t say what he always says this time, but then emotions get the best of him and it slips out:
“You didn’t have time? Really? Don’t you mean you didn’t make time?”
“There is no such thing as not having time. We chose what we do with our time, and you are making a choice to not exercise, prepare healthy meals, or make this a permanent part of your lifestyle. I can only help you so much, you have to learn to help yourself.”
Client X, looking discouraged, and little annoyed says, “That’s easy for you to say, this is what you do for a living. Of course you are going to choose to eat right and exercise enough. You don’t even have kids!”
Now Client X is right, Rodney doesn’t have kids, but he ignorantly presses on:
“I don’t mean to be insensitive, but that’s just an excuse. I understand having kids is busy (he doesn’t…), I have nieces and nephews, and sometimes I babysit. I get how hectic it can be (he doesn’t…), but anything other than making time to get your workout in, or plan out a few meals for the week is an excuse.”
Rodney continues, although now Client X has stopped listening:
“Why don’t you put your other workout in your calendar like an appointment with me. Just remember, it’s an appointment with yourself (cheesy). Put your phone away so no one can interfere.
“Also, on Saturday or Sunday, book two hours off so you can cook some meals for the week. You can make some recipes I gave you (Client X is cringing at the thought of making Pizza’s out of Eggplants again). They are easy to make, I swear. Sound good?”
Client X, who stopped listening after Rodney said he “sometimes babysits” feels defeated. Making time for their health and fitness just seems impossible to fit in consistently. They really are trying, but it just seems too hard.
We All Have The Right Idea, Just the Wrong Approach
I feel awful about this conversation I had with countless clients. I really didn’t have a clue. I mean I had the right idea, just the wrong approach.
By the way, I have an 11-year old step-son and 2 year old daughter now. “I don’t have time” makes a lot more sense to me than it used to. But I was never going to learn this until I had my own children. Thank you Kalem and Sydney!
What I was saying to the client above was not wrong. I just went about it in the wrong way. The approach I used was lecturing, vs. encouraging. Instead of helping them find slithers of time in their schedule, I was expecting perfection. Do everything you need to do now and the results will come. Easy right?
No!! Not by a long shot.
So now that I have two kids, and a busy life, how do I fit it all in?
All Or None Doesn’t Work
When many people start trying to live a healthier lifestyle, they try to go all in at once. They try to do a 180 within a few weeks:
- Get a Gym membership or buy some gym/cardio equipment
- Potientially hire a personal trainer
- Get a meal plan to follow
- Try to drink more water
- Try to stop having a few drinks on the weekend
- Turn down the junk food being offered by your spouse
- Try to drink less coffee
- Try to get to bed earlier
Does that seem overwhelming to you? It does to me! And perhaps there are other things that you would have on your healthier lifestyle list that I didn’t even include here.
There are a small percentage of people that make these massive changes in a short period of time, but they are the minority. Most of us fail miserably when we try to do it this way. Hence, the term yo-yo dieting, treadmills being clothes hangers, or big gyms that make more than half of their revenue on members who don’t show up!
There is a better way, I promise.
Stop Being So Hard On Yourself
I don’t really have much else to say to this. We are all too hard on ourselves when we are trying to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Instead of focusing on the few things we are doing right, we hone in on the things we are doing wrong:
- I missed my workout today – ‘I’m so @#$%^& lazy!”
- I had fast food twice this week – “I’m a pig!”
- I didn’t lose any weight this week – “What’s the point?”
- I’m two months in and have lost 5lbs – “I feel like giving up!”
Seems harsh doesn’t it? I’ve heard all of these statements many times from many clients. I’ve said them to myself as well. Let’s flip this around a little and see if it still sounds so bad:
- I missed my workout today – “First one I’ve missed in a while, maybe I need the rest.”
- I had fast food twice this week – “Big Macs are delicious! Now time to get back on track.”
- I didn’t lose any weight this week – “I can’t expect progress every week. It’s normal to hit plateaus”
- I’m two months in and have lost 5lbs – “I was hoping for more, but my energy has improved and my pants fit better! I also know I can keep that 5lbs off for good by sticking to these new habits I’m developing”
As you can see from the two examples, nothing has changed, other than the way the situation is perceived.
When we stop being so hard on ourselves, and change our perspective on our progress to a more positive outlook, things don’t seem half as bad. In fact, they seem pretty good!
If you have spent years, or in some cases, even decades adopting unhealthy Exercise and Nutrition habits, then try to give yourself a little understanding, a little self-compassion when things aren’t so easy when you start make changes towards better Health.
Most importantly, give yourself the very thing it took to get where you are now, TIME!
Stop thinking it can be done in 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, or even 6 months.
First Things First, Make It A Priority
Finding the time to workout and eat healthy, and not just from January 7th to February 16th, but do it consistently, as a habit for the rest of your life. So how!?
I’m definitely not the first one to tell you that it’s not easy. Shelley and I truly love to workout and eat healthy, but we have days that we feel like we just don’t have the energy, or we may be headed out of town to visit family for the weekend.
So how do we make time for it? We always make exercise a top priority in our lives. If you make something a priority you will make time for it, that’s it.
Your kids are important to you right? Or Grandkids? It’s never a question to make time for them. It’s a habit to give them a bath, make them supper, read to them at bedtime, or if you are Grandparents, take them for a night or weekend to give Mom and Dad a break.
It’s automatic because it’s a priority for you. Staying healthy and in shape for each other is a top priority for Shelley and I, right up there with our two children. So we always make time for it, week in, week out.
We also do it together, so it’s time well spent. It’s a workout to help our individual health, and it’s quality time together as a couple to help the health of our relationship. It’s another opportunity for us to connect.
If this all makes sense to you, then your next question might be:
How do I start to make exercise and eating healthy a priority?
What Can You Do Today?
We are all guilty of procrastination! Have you ever said:
‘I’ll start fresh on Monday.” But then Monday never comes.
If you are a parent, or Grandparent, as many of us are, then you are all too familiar with putting everyone else before you. In the year that followed the birth of my daughter, Sydney, I lost 25lbs. As good as that may sound to some, it wasn’t for me:
I now had a newborn baby girl, my 9 year old step-son, Kalem, and Shelley who was breastfeeding. Sounds pretty standard I know, but for any fellow parents reading this, you know how your own needs now take a back seat.
Our little Sydney also lost over 15% of her body weight in the first week, so her and Shelley were re-admitted to the hospital. Now luckily Shelley’s mom was staying with us for the first three weeks to help out, and what a blessing that was for our son, Kalem. We would not of been able to do it without her. Thanks, Grandma!!
Fortunately, after about five days, Sydney gained enough weight that we could take her home, for good!
In the months that followed, lots of workouts were missed, lots of meals were skipped, and lots of take-out was eaten (Dairy Queen, Chinese Food, Pizza, and A&W were our favorites!). And sleep, to quote the Dad from the Incredibles 2:
“Who keeps track of that?”
All of these new ‘habits’ led to me losing 25lbs. How did I lose weight from eating take-out? Lots of times it was my only full meal that day. I wasn’t just losing fat, I was losing muscle as well from not consuming enough Calories. So how did I get back on track?
When Sydney was around six months old Shelley and I decided to book a minimum of two hours a week to workout together. That’s how we started to slowly get back to where we are today.
We knew we could commit this much at that point, and do it consistently. That was our, “What can we do Today?”
We didn’t really pick a date, we just knew it was time to start getting our Exercise and Nutrition habits back to where they were before.
We started slow, with a goal that was realistic to us. Now two years later, we workout 4-5 days a week, cook all our meals at home, and thankfully get more sleep. I gained my 25lbs back, plus a few more!
And Shelley, well she lost all her baby weight, plus a few more lbs, and looks fantastic. Check out the pipes!
Make it Easy, Make it Stick!
So don’t wait until next Monday to start something to help yourself feel and look better. Start today with something you know you can do, and then pick a small goal you know you can stick to. Here are some examples:
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight
- Drink one extra glass of water today
- Plan a healthy meal and make it with your spouse
- Get out for a walk
- Take the stairs at work
- Read our post on Core Training and try a plank
- If you have a workout plan you used to follow, do it today or even do part of it
Start small, start simple, and you’ll have a much better chance at making it stick, I promise you! Please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.
All the Best,