This a Guest Post by Chris Albert, USMC Veteran
(NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Sports Nutrition Specialist).
If you’re interested in learning more from Chris, join his free Fitness Academy, where he provides members with free workouts for the gym and at home every single day along with weekly nutrition advice:
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So you’re looking to lose weight. It’s been a while since you worked out. You stopped some time ago because the main reasons you trained and ate well are now in the past. You’re not chasing tail anymore, and you’re riding a desk, or a piece of machinery, or a car seat most of the day. As far as food goes, you’re at the whim of your wife and your kids and what they want, or whatever you can find lying around at work. You don’t have time to worry about anything else right now.
But the other day something happened. You were in the bathroom and you looked in the mirror. The person standing there was someone, but it wasn’t you. Well, it’s definitely not who you want to be.
And then, you remember. You remember what it was like to have your whole life in front of you. You remember the thrill of being admired. How people used to look at you when you were young and full of energy. But now, at this moment, you have problems with your wife even noticing you when you walk across the house.
And here’s the thing: you’ve probably got a lot of years left. If you’re in your 30s, 40s, or even your 50s, you’ll probably be living at least as long as you’ve lived so far, but you’re wondering what those years are gonna be like.
It’s amazing how many men give up on themselves once they’ve settled down and had families. We get married, have kids, and something in our minds click that tells us that we shouldn’t be taking care of ourselves anymore.
But that’s faulty logic. To be a good father, a good husband, good at your job, or good at anything, you need to be at your best. No one wants a parent or a spouse that hates himself or his life, and despite how much you may try, it’s really hard to cover it up if you do.
So what should you do?
One of the biggest problems is that you feel resigned to your fate. Like there’s no way to improve yourself considering the life you currently live. You don’t have the time, the money, or the energy to get into shape, and being in shape isn’t your priority.
Well here’s the truth of the matter … that’s a lie. And the worse part of it is that no one else told you this lie. It wasn’t the government, your wife, your boss, or your parents. It was you. You told it to yourself to justify giving up. You may be miserable, but being miserable is easier than being happy. Being happy is actually difficult because it takes work to get what you want and to create the life you want to live.
So here’s your red pill/blue pill moment. You can either continue the way you’re going and nothing will change, or you can follow the tips I am about to give you and put yourself on the path to changing your life for the better. The choice is always yours.
1. If you don’t have time, make time.
There’s only one reason why I’m able to be an entrepreneur: I get most of my work done when others are sleeping. For example, I wrote this blog during an early morning writing session at 4:15 AM. I do all of my writing in the early morning because the rest of my day is filled with phone calls, meetings, and other people trying to impose themselves on my day. If I tried to work from 9 to 5, I wouldn’t get anything done. But when I wake up at 4:00 AM, it’s like I have superpowers. I get more done between the hours of 4:15 AM and 8:15 AM than I do for the rest of the day. Then, after that’s done, I go and I train.
Before you go crazy, I’m not telling you to wake up at 4:00 AM. I’m simply telling you that there is a time in your day where you can get some exercise in. It could be in the early morning. It could be on your lunch hour. It could be in short 10-15 minute spurts throughout the day. Or it could be on your living room floor at night while the rest of the family is watching TV. Wherever that time is, find it.
2. Understand that training doesn’t need to take hours and it doesn’t require a gym.
It doesn’t even need to take a half-hour. You can do 100 burpees in 15 minutes. You can do a kettle bell Tabata circuit in 4 minutes. You can do a pushup series in 10 minutes. You can work on your pull-ups a couple of minutes at a time several times a day by putting a pull-up bar on a door you pass through regularly. If you truly want to get in shape, but you don’t have time to spend hours in the gym, invest in a kettle bell, a pull-up bar, or some dumbbells. Or don’t invest at all and just do some bodyweight work. Training is free and it can be done anywhere. If you need ideas for workouts, we give non-gym workouts daily to people who sign up for our free fitness academy, and you can sign up here.
3. Don’t make dieting complicated.
If you listen to most fitness experts, they’ll tell you to start your diet by counting every gram of protein, carbs, and fats. Yes, meeting your macros and getting yourself into a calorie deficit is a really effective way to get lean, but it’s only effective if you put the time into doing it. Otherwise, you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of telling yourself that you’re going to start your diet without ever actually doing it. What you need to do is to break your diet down into the simplest terms possible. Eat mostly vegetables at each meal. About 2/3 of your plate should be covered by them. Have a serving of protein about the size of the palm of your hand. If you’ve worked out that day, have a serving of potatoes or rice at about the size of your palm, but only at the meal after your workout. These are very simple rules, but they are effective.
4. Drink Water.
Being dehydrated can decrease your mental and physical performance by up to 50%. It steals your energy, and when your energy is down, you start to crave junk. Dehydration can also increase insulin resistance and increase your potential for fat storage. As a rule, drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water, plus an additional 10 ounces. Keep water around you at all times. Carry a bottle with you wherever you go.
5. Eliminate Sugar.
I don’t like telling people that they can’t eat things, but you really shouldn’t eat sugar. By sugar, I do not mean fruit. You shouldn’t overeat fruit, but having 1-2 pieces of fruit a day can be beneficial, and eating whole fruit will also give you a good source of fiber. But avoid fruit juices. There is no fiber in the juice and you’ll get as much sugar from it as drinking a soda. Avoid candy bars, cakes, ice cream, and the candy tray at work. Sugar will steal your energy, ruin your insulin sensitivity, and add to your fat stores like nobody’s business. Does that mean you can never enjoy dessert again? No, it doesn’t. It means you can enjoy dessert even more when you have it on special occasions.
These are the five simplest things you can do to turn your fitness around. I say simple, not easy. Doing these things will require discipline and willpower, but these things are simple in that they require simple decisions on your part. What I want you to understand is that your health, your fitness, and the quality of your life as you get older is largely in your hands and that it is realistic for you to regain control over your body.
I also want you to realize that it is worth it. Years put back on your life make it worth it. Opportunities to enjoy life and to be happy make it worth it. The ability to function properly for the rest of your time that you are on this Earth definitely make it worth it. Your possessions mean nothing if you cannot enjoy them, and your family will be better served if you are healthy and happy.
Finally, understand that this is not an exhaustive list. What I had laid out here is a way to get started. If you want to know more about optimizing your mind and your body, check out our basic courses at www.warriorsouleducation.com.