Staying in shape is hard and it takes a lot of work.
Look how many people are not in shape.
Perhaps 95% of the population realistically. Which isn’t all that surprising given the nutritional and physical demands that go into it.
But what makes the 5% who do stay fit do so?
Maybe it’s for muscle gain, endurance capability or vanity. Or it could be to compete in an event or to impress someone.
Regardless of what a person is trying to achieve by staying in shape, I think the bigger picture is what they are getting away from by staying in shape.
The challenges of eating well and working out pale in comparison to what you will face if you dont.
Let me explain.
Let’s say you were 100 pounds overweight and you lost those 100 pounds.
You gained a better physique, more mobility, less pain, more strength and endurance, etc.
Conversely, let’s say you are 100 pounds overweight and do not lose the weight.
You lose your life.
You lose the energy to play outdoors with your kids or go on a hike with friends.
You lose your health as you are at risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and more.
You lose confidence, drive, and ambition to try things because of your physical state.
Doesn’t it seem like you should get into shape just to avoid how terrible the alternative is?
It’s tough to be diligent with food choices and staying active multiple days per week. There are days when the last thing you want to do is eat one more chicken breast or go to the gym for leg day. Sometimes it is downright terrible both physically and often times more so mentally.
But, when you truly examine the alternative it puts things in perspective.
Bluntly put, it could be death.
Maybe not for the majority of you, but in the some cases, absolutely.
When you think of it that way, how can someone put in no effort to positively bolster their health and well being?
It is an example of killing yourself by doing nothing.
Those who make great strides in their fitness are people with great work ethic and mental fortitude. I don’t take what they have done as an easy road whatsoever. It is brutally challenging.
It takes day in and day out commitment. Every single week they commit to their health in order to stay on track. It takes tremendous mental strength and willpower, which are very difficult to keep long term.
However, the path of doing nothing is far worse.
It’s all about weighing your options and knowing that you will gain a multitude of positives from being healthy, but you will also walk away from many negatives.
The loss of the negatives is the real key.
There is a part in one of David Foster Wallace’s books where he talks about the thought of someone jumping from the window of a burning skyscraper.
The idea is not that the person jumping from the window truly wanted to do so, but the alternative of staying inside the building was so horrible that jumping from it was actually the better option.
Yes, that is more dramatic than staying in shape versus not, but conceptually it is identical.
The road of health and fitness is very challenging and will often leave you frustrated and wanting to throw in the towel. But when those hard times come, just think about the alternative.
Being a capable human being should not be taken for granted. Be happy you can wake up and use your arms and legs. Be grateful you have the ability to go to a gym and strengthen your body. Be content that you have access to food that can nourish you and keep you functioning properly.
Do not leave your health on the table because the alternative to not staying in shape is far worse than the challenges it will take to get there.
If you have any questions about how to progress your health and feel better, send me an email right this minute at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com (I answer all emails)