January, of course, is known in fitness as the month everyone comes back from the craziness of the holidays to get serious about their fitness. Gyms are full and every other advertisement on TV is for a weight loss product. Well, I noticed something very similar right after Labor Day. The Groupons, the TV commercials, magazine articles and even the clothing sales all point to a re-commitment to fitness.
I can understand that. Summer always seems like it is going to be the time to get the most out of our fitness. All those evenings we envisioned going for long walks on the bike paths or at the MetroParks get taken up with other things. Even though it is light outside until later, it is also hot and humid. We travel, go to the pool, take the kids and grandkids to Zoombezi Bay and Cedar Point and next thing we know, it's Labor Day.
I am all for recommitting to fitness if you feel like you have gotten off track. Definitely! But what I would really like to see all of us move towards is consistency. And I mean radical consistency, where we keep up our work outs and our meal planning through the long, hot days of summer as well as the cold, short days of winter. Through the holidays. Through vacation. Through work and kids activities and home projects.
The thing is our bodies need the same basic things no matter what. We need consistent cardiovascular activity, strength training, and fresh, whole foods. We need good sleep, lots of water and healthy ways to deal with stress.
It's September. It was dark last night when I left class at 8:30. It feels like everything is changing so quickly. Take a look ahead and see where it is you want to go. Can you see yourself on January 1st having created real consistency in your life that got you right through the Fall season? What would that feel like?
If you get to thinking that fitness is all physical, I want you to remember the truth. Fitness is about your self esteem. Think of how many times you knew what to do, but didn't do it. Then think of the times that you decided on a goal and set out to accomplish it. You did it, despite all the obstacles. That is the goal of fitness, to create a consistent sense that I do what I set out to do. I know what to do and I do it.
The way to do that is set some small goals for yourself this week. Write them down and send them to me. Then no matter what, and I mean no matter what, do them. Not for the calories you'll burn. Not for the miles you'll put in. Do it for the boost you give to your soul when you get to walk around all day knowing that, "I did it!"
That creates self esteem and belief not only in the process, but in yourself. And that is what changes your life.