sac·ri·ficeˈsakrəˌfīsnoun1. an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
Whoa, wait.. Okay we aren’t talking about THAT kind of sacrifice! I’m talking about giving something of importance or value for the sake of other considerations. It seems like being able to sacrifice things would be so easy, but it can be the hardest thing in the world. Think I’m kidding? Try leaving your cell phone at your house for an entire day while you are at work, see how that goes.
This is an aspect of fitness most people neglect to focus on. People look at losing weight and think about having to eat better and workout more, but long term success isn’t that easy.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result.” – Albert Einstein
This quote can be directly related to most peoples fitness plan. They will diet and exercise for a couple of months, shed some unwanted weight and then go back to what they were doing before. They gain the weight back, get frustrated, and do it all over again. It’s a vicious cycle, one many people get caught in.
One-way to help get over the hump to make sure you have some tangible, attainable goals. When you are setting up your goals, keep in mind the sacrifices you may need to make to make that goal a reality. This is where there is a big difference between those who will succeed and those who will not. To see results, there has to be a sacrifice. It’s not just going to happen, you have to work at it.
Now the sacrifice needs to match the goal.
If you’re looking for a 6-pack, and a magazine cover body, guess what? You’re going to have to sacrifice A LOT. If you’re looking to drop 5lbs when you have a high body fat percentage, the changes might not be as drastic. As you succeed and move on to new goals, and different changes to your bodies composition it will require more and more sacrifices.
Here are 3 simple, but not easy, sacrifices to make:
1. Time. It takes time to see results and changes, but it also takes time to exercise and eat right. Buying groceries, preparing your meals, eating, planning out workouts, doing the workout, stretching, sleeping more. The list of to-do’s adds up. When starting off you can see pretty good changes by simply changing a few things in your diet and exercising a bit more. As body fat starts to drop though, the effort needs increase, which means more time needs to be allocated to these things to see further success. This is always hard for people, as they do not prioritize themselves enough to put aside the time for their own health, they prioritize the needs of others ahead of their own. Spend time on your health, because very few people will and when you don’t have your health, what will you really have in the end?
2. Booze. Seriously, drop it. If you want to see big changes, you need to be able to drop the daily drinks. This doesn’t mean you can never have wine or beer again, it just means that you’ll have to sacrifice a few nights out with friends and make alcohol consumption more of a treat every once and awhile. The nightly drinks, the stress drinks, the drink because its the weekend. There is no reason to be consuming alcohol so frequently as it is, let alone when you are making a change to your health and wellness. Remember it’s a poison on your body, it will make you retain fat, slow down your metabolism, lead to unhealthy food choices, dehydration, poor sleep patterns and much much more. The further you get towards your goal, the less alcohol you will be able to consume to see your body change.
3. Food. More specifically, fast foods/comfort foods like: Ice Cream, Chips, Deep Fried, and Refined Sugar foods will need to be reduced. The lower your body fat gets, the more sugar you will need to cut, and the more vegetables will need to be consumed. When starting out it will be relatively easy, it’s cutting out something here or there, eating a bit better a couple times a week and still see results. As you get closer to your goals, there will need to be more sacrifices to see more of a change. Dropping the high sugar and the higher fat food will help become leaner, but giving up junk food isn’t easy. Remember, you are what you eat.
Remember though, the sacrifice has to meet your goal. You don’t need to completely cut things out right off the bat, start off slow and see what is realistic to you. I’m not writing this to tell you to not even bother, or to detract people from getting started. I’m trying to help people prepare for the plateau that most people will reach where you need to figure out if you are happy and content with the changes you’ve made, or if you can realistically make a trade off to see the results you want.
If you’re not seeing results following a plan, sit down and truly take a look at what you are doing. Did you sacrifice your down time to go for that run? Did you sacrifice the beer on Friday after work? Did you sacrifice the time to make your meals for the week, or did you get the fast food burger instead? Is the plan not working, or are you not working? Be honest.
Your health belongs to you, and you are going to make the final decision on what you do or do not do on a daily basis. Everyone is capable of making changes, but it’s not going to be easy, in fact it’s going to be hard as hell to get where you want to. You need to be ready to make some sacrifices, but know that the sacrifice will be worth it in the end
CSEP – Certified Personal Trainer