This post will be something a little different. In some respects, it will still have some of the same underlying themes, but reality is about to come to your door — in a HUGE way. This might have a little more “bite” to it than normal. So, let’s get to it.
How many of us (raise your hands — no seriously — raise your hands) have something they want to change about themselves? Okay…put your hands down. Let’s dig a little deeper — how many of us would like to change our body image, such as? No, you don’t need to put your hands up for this one. But if you answered, “me” to these questions, pay attention. If you are the ultimate specimen right off of the Men’s Health or Shape magazines, I hope you still choose to read on. There might be something you learn too.
So, for those of us (yes, my hand went up, too, for both questions) that want to focus on changing something about ourselves, where do we start? Well, that is the trickiest part. We don’t know where to start. So then what? We don’t start. We become lost in the many ways to start and only want to do the one that will work…the one that will get us to our goal the quickest…the one that is the easiest. I get it. Me, too. I feel overwhelmed most days, drowning on others, and not sure which way is up on occasion. I have no idea if anything I write makes a difference or not, how reading one article leads me to 20 new ideas, and I question just as much as you do. We are in the same boat. Trust me.
4 days ago, I started something new. I will admit that my mid-section is not where I want it to be. I want to look like those women do on the cover of Shape. That is my confession. Don’t hold it against me. But this post is not about why…that will come later. But here is what I want you to think about — if you start something (it really doesn’t matter what it is), when do we expect results? You can say it…we know the answer. Okay…here it is…immediately. Being realistic, I have to admit that my less-than-ideal core did not get that way overnight, yet I expect it to change overnight. I am just kidding myself. You are too. But my expectations are set even before I start. I am doomed for failure just because I will do what everyone else does..we give up. The title of the exercises are meant to give me better abs in 30 days. 30 days! Not 4!
Is there a disclaimer of what happens if I don’t have the obliques of Xena, the Warrior Princess, within the time I commit to doing these crunches and planks? Nope. Will I have muscles that are stronger than they were 30 days before? No doubt.
But this post is about something bigger than my new dedication to push-ups and exercises to build my triceps. What happens when we don’t get the results immediately? WE QUIT!!! We think what we are doing isn’t working, when in fact it is, but we are too impatient to wait for the results. For example, if it took someone 3 years to get a muffin top, it won’t disappear in 4 days. I am not telling you something you don’t already know.
Here is what you need to do to stay on task (whether it be with planks or anything you are working on):
1. Write down your goal. Make it something meaningful and not so easy to get. If it is handed to you, you won’t appreciate it as much.
2. Understand that it will take time. Keep it all in perspective. Be consistent will give you more results than changing things up all the time.
3. Results are not always what you see. Do not be discouraged if you don’t know if it made a difference or not. You already know that not doing it doesn’t.
4. Stay committed. Whether you are in it for 30 days or the long haul, stick to the promise you made. Broken promises, especially the ones you tell yourself, lead to regret later.
5. Work hard. Don’t short cut it. Either do it or don’t.
6. Find inspiration. Post a picture of what you want so it will remind you of why you do it. Words can be very powerful. Find quotes that inspire you to keep going.
7. Be accountable. Most of us never like being called out — but it does “right the ship.” Keep the right people close who will be honest with you. Even if you don’t like it.
8. Don’t stop. Keep going forward. Don’t let others distract you from your goal. You are not doing it for anyone else but YOU.
9. Keep your mind right. If your attitude isn’t where it should be, then the rest of you will not be there either. Attitude + Effort = Change
10. Turn around! Look at what you did…what you created…what you accomplished.
Don’t give up. I know it is difficult to keep going, especially when it feels like it doesn’t matter. I understand completely. But you know what? The satisfaction and sense of achievement I feel cannot be replaced or supplied by anyone else. It comes from me. For you, it may not be something you want to change about your body…maybe it is a dream you have hidden for years. Maybe it is going back to school. Maybe it is looking for a job. Maybe it is being a professional athlete. But what you want doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you strive towards something and it is what gets you up in the morning. It reminds you that you have work yet to do. Every day.
And just to show you that I don’t know if the “30 day ab challenge” is the one for me, here is a picture of the 5 pages pulled from the internet or magazines that prompt me to do all the 10 things I mention above. I am going to keep doing what I have to do to get where I want to go. I don’t know if the one I picked is the right one or give me th results that will make me “bikini worthy.” But I have to start somewhere. This is just one thing I am working on.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©