National Public Radio ran an item today called “Why Doctors and Patients Talk Around Our Growing Waistlines.” Doctors have not been taught the best ways to approach weight loss in medical school. A study at Yale Medical School found that many health professionals view the obese as lazy and unmotivated.
This leads to push back from obese members of society saying, “my doctor doesn’t understand and doesn’t listen.” Then both sides stomp off in a huff. This morning there’s some discussion going around the ‘net about things doctors don’t do. One point in particular caught my attention.
People complain that the process isn’t fun.
Fitness isn’t always a party. Can it be fun? Absolutely. As your fitness level improves, the fun factor goes up. In the beginning, it’s just not going to be fun. The more limits you have, the less fun it is. If you struggle to take 15 steps without gasping for air, there’s a limit to the fun you will have. Until your base fitness improves beyond a snail level, there will be a lack of fun.
You will not find a single obese individual who is now in shape who found the first stages of the process fun. The morning alarm would go off and it was a struggle to get out of bed and do one more stupid day of cardio. I would growl in frustration as I looked at my tub of cottage cheese and a coworker was chowing down on a chocolate bar. People would wave pizza and popcorn under my nose to tempt me.
The fun came later. It came when I was dropping weight and my friends stayed fat. It came when I could sprint for Metro and others would miss the train. It came as I realized how much power and control I possessed.
There are real limits people face when trying to get in shape. It’s tough to know what you need to eat. Cost of a gym and food is a factor. As a trainer one thing I do is go shopping with clients to show them what to get. I’ll work within the confines of the house and show them ways to get things jump started. The thing is, I can’t make this fun for you. I can’t make it exciting to eat the right foods starting out. I can’t make it a barrel of monkeys to go out and walk around the block. I freely confess that beginning fitness is not always going to be fun.
You need to make a decision.Do you want this? Do you want this badly enough to deal with doing boring soup can curls because you can’t afford a gym membership? Are you willing to march in place in front of a mirror because you can’t walk outside? Will you eat food you don’t like now, for the promise of a healthier body tomorrow?
Brushing your teeth isn’t fun. You still do it. Fitness is no different.