I’ve been thinking a lot about fitness for the past few years. Trying to understand why some people can do it and others can’t. Some keep at it until they cross the finish line, and others never seem to get out of the starting blocks.
Sure, for some, it’s easy. They were fit when they were younger, stayed active, and never really got out of shape. But these are the exceptions. For most of us, if we were active, somewhere along the line, things changed, and we quit moving.
Like the high school athletes that didn’t get a scholarship, and so they quit playing in college. Then they got a job, got married with children, and had even less time on their hands.
And even collegiate athletes aren’t immune. Once they stop competing, and start their lives, they’re much less active, but usually keep eating like they did when they were competing.
Time has a funny way of catching up with us. It seems to take so long getting there, but when we look back, it’s all a blur, and it went way faster than we thought.
It’s no wonder we’re caught off guard. Our metabolisms slow down; we lose muscle tone, and all the while, we’re getting fatter, without really changing our weight. Then we get so busy, that when we finally stop to take inventory, we’re like…where did that come from?
Then we have the people like my pastor Jon, who finally got tired of being tired. In less than a year, in his 50’s, he’s lost over 65 pounds. Here’s how. He started watching he eats, and started walking and riding his bike, and coming up to the gym and lifting some weights. That’s it! That’s his secret. He watches what he eats, and gets regular exercise.
The irony is that when people he hasn’t seen for awhile run into him now, they wonder if he’s sick. If he’s sick! We’ve got it all messed up. It’s backwards. When people run into us and we’re overweight, they should be wondering why we’re sick that way! Not when we’re thin.
Sure, we’re all designed to be a little different. For some, it’s pretzel thin (called an ectomorph). Others will tend to be more muscular (mesomorph), and still others will tend to be bigger boned, and can be on the rounder side, a little more soft and fleshy (endomorph).
Whatever your body type, you can still be close to your ideal lean weight. Anything over that means your body has to work much harder than it needs to, just to get around. No wonder people feel sick and run down all the time, and have back and knee problems. It’s all that extra weight they have to carry around.
Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more obese people with motorized carts that help them get around the store. It’s nice that they can get out and about now, but it might just make the problem worse for them. By eliminating walking altogether, they could be consigning themselves to a life in that chair. A life without movement.
Now, I’m not accusing overweight people. Certainly, some of them have had some serious physical problems. But I know several chronically obese people that have had enormous health complications because they’re obese. Just last week, I watched a special that showed one morbidly obese individual who loved to eat, and wouldn’t stop.
And in most cases, they don’t have to stay that way. It’s almost never too late. I’ve seen people lose 80 and 100 pounds, over the course of a year. Many people have lost 50-60 pounds, and even more have lost 30-40 pounds. The rest of their lives can be completely different.
It doesn’t mean it’s easy. Of course not. You’ve got to take your hand off the fork and step away from the table. Make a decision to quit eating the junk—you know what’s good for you and what’s not. Quit eating the things that aren’t.
Start eating things that are good for you, like fruits and greens, and whole grains. Knock off the pop, and start drinking more water. You’ve also got to sweat, and even hurt a little, to take the weight off.
Finally, you’ve got to quit blaming other people, and quit blaming your circumstances. You’re not too busy. Remember when I wrote about the woman who jogs, pushing a baby carriage with twins, with two dogs tied to leashes running on each side? I saw her again earlier this week. She’s removed all your excuses. If it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way.
Sometimes when people lose 50-60 pounds, I’ll have them go back and pick up a couple dumbbells that equal the weight they lost. Or put a couple weight plates in a backpack and then put it on, and walk around for a little while.
It’s always the same. They’re amazed at how heavy the weights feel, and can’t wait to put them down! But so many others are still walking around with that weight, because it’s still a part of them—they can’t put it down.
You have an ideal weight. You were designed to be that way. You were made to move, and to enjoy movement. It’s possible to get there.
For some of you, it will take a little longer. Some of you can do it in 3 or 6 months. It might take some effort, and giving a few things up, but think about what you could gain. Are you ready?
Time isn’t very forgiving, and another year will pass, whether you do it or not. The question is, how do you want to look and feel when you’re looking back?