What are some of the great rom-coms out there? Let’s see, how about “When Harry Met Sally?” Let’s not forget “Bridesmaids!” Ah, yes, “The Wedding Planner and “The Wedding Singer” (one of my personal faves). And perhaps the greatest love story ever told, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
Now, what the hell do rom-coms have to do with your health and fitness? Think about it for a moment. Think about the passion and effort put into the relationship by both characters. They do whatever they can to be with each other. They stay up late. They call into work sick just so they can spend more time together. They talk to each other on the phone for hours on end… about absolutely nothing, but they don’t care. They don’t mind the silly and cute little quirks. This goes on for weeks. Months. They fall in love. They get married. Credits roll.
Now, look at your health and fitness goals. You start a new program. It’s beautiful. You know this is THE one. The one that will finally get you looking like Taylor Lautner from the Twilight trilogy or Jennifer Anniston from… well… just about anything (girl does not age). You’re setting your alarm an hour early to get up first thing in the morning to ensure you get your workout in before your workday starts. You don’t mind the soreness the next few days after a good workout. You’re getting into the gym after work 5 days a week and not complaining at all because you remembered to set your DVR to record the latest episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” (Don’t lie, you know you still watch it!) This goes on for weeks… months.
Then… then, what?
Have you ever considered why a rom-com ends after we see the lovebirds get married?
Because that’s when the real work comes in. It’s after the wedding and the initial honeymoon phase that reality sets in and folks realize that making this thing work requires… effort. They’re tired after a long day of work. They don’t want to stay up all night talking. They’ve used up all their sick days so no more calling in. Remember those silly and cute little quirks? They’re not so silly and cute anymore.
Same thing with your health and fitness, right? After the initial “shine” wears off, reality sets in and all the sudden you’re hitting the snooze button or skipping your workouts after a long day of work. You’re not taking the time to prep your meals and snacks ahead of time. You’re eating Subway multiple times per week because it’s quick and “healthy.”
How do we ensure our health and fitness “love story” ends up like Allie and Noah from “The Notebook?” They died in each other’s arms at a ripe old age, in case you forgot. We do this by buckling down and being willing to put in the hard work, even when the excitement of the new health and fitness journey dims.
The idea I am constantly reminding my clients of is, action begets motivation. You can’t wait until you’re motivated or inspired to take action toward achieving your health and fitness goals. You must commit to the process consistently, even when you’re not feeling it.
Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, a successful marriage would be one that has lasted at least 10 years. Ask any couple that has been married for at least that length of time and I’m sure they’ll admit there were plenty of times they wanted to throat-punch their spouse. But they stuck with it. They didn’t give up. Even if the relationship isn’t perfect, they’re not letting the credits roll on their marriage.
We must have the same approach with our health and fitness journey. We don’t have to “divorce” ourselves from our existing program(s) and “marry” a new program every month because we weren’t perfect, or boredom is setting in.
How can we get passed the challenge of wanting to quit our health and fitness journey once the credits have rolled? Remind yourself what your actual health and fitness goals are. Remind yourself why you started your health and fitness journey in the first place. Identify potential challenges that must be overcome and develop strategies to overcome them, and be willing to stick with your journey even when the honeymoon phase wears off.
The credits don’t need to roll on your health and fitness journey. You’re the director. Make your health and fitness “rom-com” last a lifetime.