Within the community of formerly-obese fitness junkies, there is a common mantra. We tend to go around mumbling about ‘Lifestyle Change’ to anyone who will listen.
I’ve touched on this theme several times in passing, but it deserves its own discussion.
“Lifestyle Change” is code for ‘if you think you can only diet and exercise until you reach your goal, you’re going to gain it all back. The change has to stick… forever.’
We don’t want to scare you off, though. We reference “Lifestyle Change” to soften the blow.
But, what we have learned is this: No one who keeps significant weight off is ever able to return to their comfy-cozy, curled-up-all-day-eating-their-favorite-foods lives.
Know those Biggest Loser contestants who go back home and gain it all back? They didn’t get the memo on Lifestyle Change. They thought a quick fix was possible. I can’t blame them – I yo-yoed for years because I avoided the Lifestyle Change. Lifestyle Change felt way beyond me.
When I got started, I couldn’t even think about tackling forever. When I got started EVERYTHING felt hard, painful, and deserving of my constant animosity. The thought of enduring such torture for the rest of my days was WAY more than I was prepared for.
I didn’t want to be heavy anymore, and I knew something had to change. Beyond that, I couldn’t even process.
I was ready to consider a few months – maybe even a year – of hard work, but I didn’t think I had anything more than that in me. I certainly didn’t think I’d ever actually embrace the hard work that is fitness.
I still wanted to believe the infomercials. CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN 60 DAYS!!
If you’re where I was when I was thinking about getting started, if yo-yo dieting feels normal to you – then you’re the person I am talking to when I hint about the importance of a ‘lifestyle change’.
I don’t want to feed you propaganda about how quick and easy shedding obesity and adopting fitness can be. But I don’t want you to fear that such a change could mean biting off more than you can chew.
The benefits of Healthy & Strong far outweigh the comforts of sloth (oh, I do adore sloth… it’s easily my favorite deadly sin), but you need to feel them for yourself.
None of my sporty friends were ever able to convince me that I’d be happier if I got fit. I hated dieting, and I hated exercise. How could working things that I hate into my daily life POSSIBLY make me happier? Nonsense.
But, of course, they were right.
These days, if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and the children have me wanting to tear my hair out before 8am, I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. As much as I would never have believed it one short year ago, the light at the end of the tunnel lies on the other side of a good workout.
I know that if I work an hour of sweating into my day, I’ll be as right as rain on the other side.
I still find fitness to be hard work, but now I know that it’s worth every struggling minute. It’s worth the full-scale lifestyle change, because this lifestyle is happier, more confident, less stressed-the-eff-out.
Healthy & Strong had to become integral parts of my identity.
So, go ahead. Don’t be afraid. Change your whole identity.
It’s the stuff of superheroes.