Ladies and Gentlemen, I finally finished it. This blog, that’s what I finished. I must have sat down 5 or 6 times to write this piece. But, it didn’t seem right. How could I, a finely tuned personal trainer who coaches clients in St. Louis, MO and online all over this great land, possibly write about something (Motivation) that I struggle with myself?
It was then that I realized everyone is fighting this same battle to some extent; trainers and gym novices alike. It’s an age old battle, but a tough one none the less.
The struggle with motivation is a battle we create in our heads. Go ahead and recite this line with me (I know you all know it), “I don’t think I’m going to work out today… I’m just not motivated.”
That ladies and gentlemen is an excuse. It’s not a reason. And I personally recognize that now.
It took me eight years in the fitness industry helping clients build muscle and lose body fat but I finally realized what was going on and it was a revelation that helped me understand the difference between motivation and discipline.
What is motivation? Well, when someone is motivated it makes life very EASY. There is a want inside that can outweigh any and every negative thought. It could be a thing, a person a thought and/or desire. It tends to be something we see in others or something that we covet more than anything.
Regarding your fitness goals/desires, we have a tendency to dive in head first with reckless abandon but after years of sitting on the couch eating Lays and Pop Tarts, you might realize sticking to a program to build muscle and lose fat is not easy.
Matter of fact after just the first couple of weeks it becomes apparent there is quite a bit to this getting healthy thing such as meal preparation, scheduling workouts, getting adequate sleep, cutting out the sugar, or even cutting back on eating out.
There are so many more things that could be added to this list and we all have our vices and comforts. But isn’t that exactly what got us into this mess?
Committing to a lifestyle change can be overwhelming and uncomfortable but as we tell our personal training clients on a daily basis, without challenge there is no change.
“But how can we do that without motivation, Nick? You just made it sound so hard”. You’re right, I did. And it is, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. It takes some planning, a little time and a lot of patience to be successful and develop discipline.
For example, on Sunday’s I want to sit and relax. I don’t want to make grilled chicken or hard boiled eggs for the week. I don’t want to blend my “green snot” drink as my wife affectionately calls it. But I “have to.” At least that’s what I tell myself.
See that right there? The part where my inner dialogue becomes a helpful voice in doing what I don’t want to do. That my friends, is what discipline looks like.
You see Discipline, when not fueled by motivation, is simply you being able to tell yourself to do something even when you don’t want to do it and there are a good many people that don’t understand that concept.
And guess what, It’s HARD! I STILL fight it. Other trainers and avid gym goers fight it because we are human.
I like a giant piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory just as much as the next person.
Pair that with any of their giant entrees and you have yourself a meal. A high calorie, high fat meal and if you do this enough guess what you won’t have? The physique you envisioned, the fitness level you need to enjoy your hunts and the longevity to prevent disease and hunt on your terms for as long as you wish to hunt.
Why: Because you traded your outcomes for instant gratification (beer, cake, pizza, sitting on the couch vs. going for a run) and took the easy way out vs. being disciplined and sticking to your program.
Motivation isn’t the hard part of living a healthy life. When motivation is there, everything flows naturally. There are also times when that motivation just is not there. That’s where the work begins. It’s also when laziness can creep back into our lives.
I am far from perfect but everyone has 24 hours in a day. There has to be a burning desire to achieve your goals on the inside in order to develop discipline. You have to be willing to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to anything to make it happen. Motivation believe it or not isn’t necessarily what keeps you going.
Do you ever wonder what separates champions from those who do not excel in life?
Champions do the work even when they don’t feel like working. Champions have discipline.
I’ve lived this way. I made the excuse, yes, the EXCUSE that I wasn’t motivated (and probably will again at some point because I am human). I have used the perceived lack of motivation excuse and I have skipped workouts.
I’m trying to drive home a point here folks, so stay with me: Those negative thoughts running through your mind telling you “I’m too tired to workout today?” That’s the old you telling you not to change. It’s that last beer, that piece of cheesecake, that Large Stuffed Crust pizza, that giant box of sauce-ified chicken from your favorite Chinese food restaurant (All my own personal weaknesses) that is whispering to you, “go ahead….you deserve (insert delectable treat). Go ahead and sit on the couch. You can
Stop listening to that voice and start taking actions that will develop discipline.
Small changes because you can’t change years of bad habits and negative self-talk in a week. Take my word for it. We have to be willing to work for a long time, remain vigilant and stay patient to achieve our goals. We have to have discipline within ourselves, without having to count on other people (Although accountability partners work wonders).
It’s something that often times we have to teach ourselves. It’s not in a book, blog or journal article.
Discipline has got to be found within yourself. Because that’s all we have, when motivation runs out.
Nick Lape is the head trainer for Fit To Hunt. He excels at matching movement to muscle and has helped clients all over the United States train for a wide variety of big game hunts.
If you would like to work with Nick you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jeremy Koerber, ACSM Exercise Physiologist
First off to all of my fellow dad’s I wish you a happy Father’s Day. It is an awesome privilege and responsibility to be the patriarch of a growing family and you owe it to them to be the best you can possibly be as a dad, provider, husband and employee. The problem is, the wear and tear of the daily grind, long commutes, early mornings/late nights, coaching little league and mowing the yard can wear a man down. So much in fact, some let themselves slide a little. Okay, some slide a lot and even more rationalize that it is okay to let that growing belly fall over the belt buckle embracing a popular mindset called the Dad Bod.
The Urban Dictionary was kind enough to provide a definition for the term which is “a male body type that is best described as ‘softly round.’ It is built on the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique.”
That’s right ladies. Your man has met his duties to reproduce and is now comfortable residing on the couch with a Dorito stained tank top and matching protruding belly. He got the girl, he passed on his genes and now he can quit. It is a dangerous mindset; not just for the dad in question but also for the message he is sending to both the mother of his progeny and his kids.
In this day and age, strong men are few and far between so if you are a dude and you are reading this I am going to tell you why you need to reject the dad bod mindset!
Be a provider:
I was fortunate enough to grow up around strong men and when I say strong men, I mean men who were physically fit. No, they didn’t go to the gym; they were farmers who could carry a baby calf, throw a bale of hay over their head and carry buckets of water forever. As a personal trainer who has been training clients in St. Louis, MO for 20 years, I was enamored by the physicality of the men who influenced me to be strong. I wanted to be like them. Grandpa was a fisherman, hunter and physical specimen. These men worked from sun up to sun down and had both the strength and stamina to provide for the family.
Today is a different time and you may have never set foot on a farm or hunted a deer and that is totally fine but you are still a provider. You need the strength and stamina to be successful in your job. To put in the hours, make the sale or nail that presentation as you climb the corporate ladder. All things you can do if you are not in shape but a task that can be much, much easier when you are healthy and fit.
I have told my personal training clients for years that being fit will give you confidence that will be felt in the board room when you give that presentation or in the field when you make that sales pitch to a prospective client. When you are physically fit you will also project confidence and this will give you an edge over those who are not. You may not have to literally hunt or grow your own food but as the provider for your family you owe it to yourself to be fit.
Be careful little eyes:
I am constantly reminded by my wife when she scolds me for colorful language that my kids are listening and learning from me. That song that goes, “be careful little eyes what you see” got me thinking a few years ago about the image I am projecting to my kids. Was I being a good role model for them?
This would mean I not only clean up my language but also demonstrate healthy
behaviors such as regular exercise and healthy eating habits.
Wouldn’t a personal trainer and wellness coach always exercise and eat healthy? Not as much as you might expect. Exercise wasn’t the issue. Eating my fruits, veggies and cutting back on the Bud Light were the main culprits. They fought their mother when it came to eating their veggies so how do you think that looked when I said it was important but didn’t eat them myself? Zero street cred with the kiddies. Since that realization I have cut back on the beers and made a concerted effort to model healthy eating.
Dads, what are you doing to be a role model for your kids? They are learning from you and will copy your physical activity and eating habits.
Let me be clear; you do not have to be a body builder, marathon runner or super fit. You don’t need a six-pack or chiseled chest (although the wife may think differently) nor do you need to drink green smoothies and wear a fit bit everywhere you go.
You do need to be mindful of the image you are projecting to your kids because your habits are being emulated and copied. If you want healthy kids that will turn into healthy adults, be mindful of what those little eyes are witnessing today.
What about her?
Now I am not sure if there is a definition for mom bod but the ladies aren’t immune to letting things slide but tread lightly gentleman. Until you expel another human from your body let’s give the girls a little bit of a pass if they don’t possess the same flat tummy or firm backside they had back in the dating days. But let’s also not forget that the physical attraction that drew you two together in the first place needs to be addressed.
If you are a former gym rat and now find yourself a shell of your former self due to work, coaching little league, striving for yard of the month in your subdivision it’s okay. You may not have the same amount of time to commit to the gym as before but come on gentleman, don’t throw in the towel and give up!
Jam packed schedules and Father Time will make it harder and harder to have that college summer bod forever but you owe it to yourself and her to do what you can to look and feel your best.
She may not ever say it but she’s thinking it. Don’t argue…she’s thinking it. I am a personal trainer who has heard many a female client lament on the b cups and expanding waistline possessed by the husband/boyfriend and their wish that they would take better care of themselves.
This may not be the top reason to avoid the dad bod mindset but if you have been married for a while and are not…how shall we say this….not happy with the action of yesteryear, consider eating a few less doughnuts, hit the gym a little more and see if your bedroom extracurricular activities pick up. Hint: They will.
You need to be around:
Now everything listed above are great reasons to reject the dad bod mindset but the most important one is that you need to be around to raise your kids (and grandkids), get to retirement and keep that twinkle in the wife’s eye; Something hard to do when you are six feet under.
That may sound a bit dramatic but I can attest that what you are doing now will impact who and what you will become 10, 20, 30 and 40+ years down the line. If you are doing it all right (working hard at the job, coaching your kid to crush a fastball and making sure you apply the right amount of weed & feed to get that emerald green yard) but fail to take care of yourself, you are failing and failing big, my friend.
This goes deeper than eating more veggies and lifting a few weights. This includes managing stress, getting your age appropriate health screenings and a yearly physical on top of exercising and eating right. It sounds exhausting but it isn’t. It requires some effort on your part, a little planning and some big picture thinking.
I bet you are a hard worker. One of the saddest things I have had the misfortune to witness more times than I care to count is to watch a dad work hard all of his life only to neglect his health and succumb to complications from diabetes, heart disease or cancer early in his retirement years.
Buddy, we need you around and to increase the odds that you are here for the long haul to provide for your family, raise your kids the right way and see your grandkids…shoot…see your great-grandkids, you need to completely reject the rationale that having a dad bod is okay. It isn’t okay but you have the power to change it. And now, you have the reasons why!
If we can help you lose the dad bod give us a call at 314-807- 8634 or email us at email@example.com
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!