I recently had a conversation with a client about motivation, exercise, and nutrition. She told me that it’s hard for her to exercise because “she doesn’t like it.” This sparked an interesting conversation between the two of us. While I cannot speak for all trainers because everyone is different, here is what I said to Jane. “This may come as a surprise, but I don’t really like to exercise either.” She was in total shock. “What do you mean you don’t like to exercise?”, she asked.
I realized a long time ago that I needed to look at exercise and nutrition the same way as taking the garbage out. I highly doubt anyone “likes” to take the garbage out. It just something you do. Eating properly and staying active is the same thing. You don’t need to love to exercise in order to do it, and you don’t need to love broccoli in order to eat it.
I am human. I do occasionally (once a week or so) indulge in adult beverages, eat chips and salsa and enjoy double-doubles from IN-N-OUT, however I could certainly do it more often. It’s fun right? I could sleep in until 9 or 10am everyday, wake up, eat a breakfast sandwich with hash browns at Bagels & Brew, have a chicken enchilada (or two) for lunch, and then have a few beers while eating pizza and wings at night. Oh, and that hour of training where I am out of breath, sweating, and fatigued from muscle soreness, yeah, I could skip that too…. But I don’t.
It took a while to change my mentality. If you’re always looking for exercise to be enjoyable and broccoli to taste like pizza then you may be searching for a long time. Not everything in life is supposed to be fun or easy. In fact, it is the tough things – accomplishing those things that we are resistant to that makes us stronger. Exercising and eating healthy is no different. Don’t for one second believe that I exercise 5-6 days a week because I LOVE IT. That is as far from the truth as it gets. However, in my head it’s a natural entity. I do it because my mind is in “Auto-Mode”. With that perspective my brain does not resist and it makes exercise and eating healthy much easier.
Not everyone is the same. Some people LOVE IT and that’s great, however, if you don’t love to exercise or eat right and often feel like NOT doing it, you are not alone. Many people including myself are in the same group. My neutral-minded approach has kept me consistent with exercise and healthy nutrition for the last 20 years.
Dan Tatro – CSCS