Comfortable Lies and Uncomfortable Truths in Fitness

I hate to say it.  It applies to me too.  If you only tell us what we want to hear, we’ll buy from you.  Of course we want fitness to be quick, easy, and cheap.  Much of the fitness industry is selling comfortable lies that all end in the same failure.  What kills me is when I talk to people that blame themselves for failing, not the crummy plan.  Why would so many people sell us comfortable lies that ultimately don’t work?  Because it’s easier to sell false hope both now and later.  It’s hard to sell false hope to someone who’s made awesome, sustainable, and life changing progress in their fitness and health.

What I would like to do is to make it harder to sell you comfortable lies.  To that end, I have some truths I’ve written.  Some of them may be uncomfortable but that’s okay.  I wouldn’t share them if I weren’t confident you can handle, enjoy, and benefit from them : )

Truth: We need to be hard on our choices and take it easy on ourselves.  You are not your choices.  Your choices do effect your outcomes.  If you eat fast food daily, drink too much, don’t move your body, stay up too late scrolling on your phone, and get terrible sleep every night you will be in terrible health after not too long.  Do poor choices mean you are a terrible person?  Absolutely not.  It means your choices are terrible, the results are terrible, and because you are a good person, you deserve better.  I’ve noticed a lot lately that in an attempt to avoid excess guilt, which is an issue, it’s harder and harder to admit any difference between good choices and bad choices.  These aren’t moral choices.  They are practical ones that effect us all in positive or negative ways relative to what we really want.  Be hard on your choices when it’s necessary but go easy on yourself.

Truth: The best way to make it easier is to “brush your teeth”.  If showing up to your workout continues to be optional subject to anything that goes wrong in your day, it is going to be much harder to get the results you want.  Here is a better way: brush your teeth.  Do you ever ask yourself if you feel like brushing your teeth?  Do you ever decide you’re just too busy to brush your teeth or its not worth the money?  Do you skip brushing your teeth because you got a crummy nights sleep?  Do you ever do any of that or do you just brush your teeth?  I’m guessing that asking those questions never even occurred to you.  Brushing your teeth is just the thing you need to do otherwise you’ll get cavities.  Once you get a couple other habits in the “I don’t think about it I just do it” category, getting and staying in great shape actually can be pretty easy.

Truth:  Moderation is not the same thing as immoderation + procrastination.  We are constantly being marketed to by candy companies, fast food companies, and all sorts of other things that are totally fine in moderation.  But what is moderation?  Do our obesity rates and other lifestyle related illness rates indicate that we are enjoying these things moderately in this country?  I think moderation means we enjoy these things in a way that does not make us sick.  Simple enough.  Eating whatever, whenever, in any quantity but saying we’ll shape up on Monday isn’t moderation.  That’s just immoderation plus procrastination.

Truth: Many cleanses, “diets”, or multi level marketed supplement companies are selling you very expensive disordered eating.  I’m not being cute here.  Anorexia is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat.  It’s serious and requires diagnosis by a qualified mental health professional.  You shouldn’t starve yourself.  It won’t work long term, can be harmful short term, and you don’t deserve it.  It breaks my heart when I see someone get sold what amounts to a really expensive borderline eating disorder.  It’s not healthy, it doesn’t work, and telling people they have to starve themselves is mean.  Are you dumb if you’ve gone down this route before?  Not at all.  Their sales and marketing skills are on point.  At the end of the day I just think you deserve better.

Truth: People who don’t make a living wage can’t do as good of a job helping you with your fitness.  We all want everything to be cheap, but we also know you get what you pay for.  I could probably drop prices at the gym if I cut the Coaches pay all the way down to minimum wage.  Of course, they’d probably be pretty stressed about making ends meet.  The reality is that getting help with your fitness and nutrition goals requires education, expertise, and hard work, all of which are worth a living wage in my book.  To my members, thank you for supporting us.  To any non member reading this, I encourage you to see the difference Veteran owned, locally owned, and living wages does for you.  I can assure you the team at the gym will knock it out of the park for you!

Truth: You can do it.  You really can.  I can assure you that members of On Target Fitness who get and stay in great shape are not smarter or better than you in any way.  Here is another thing I love about fitness.  Your past mistakes don’t matter, no one cares where you grew up or who your parents were, and each day you get a clean slate.  Change your day and you’ll change your life.  Get a workout in, drink plenty of water, eat the way you deserve, and get some decent sleep.  Do this consistently and you get to enjoy all the benefits, tax free!

Truth: Often times exercise is not enough; it’s just the start.  We teach an integrated, whole lifestyle approach.  That said, it can be pretty overwhelming to start with everything all at once.  The reason we are a gym rather than a nutrition clinic or something else is because I have seen the magic that a fitness routine can work for people.  Get your body moving and a lot of other stuff like eating well, drinking water, avoiding negativity, or sleeping well all get so much easier.  The truth is workouts alone probably can’t get the job done, but it’s the best first step I have seen.


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