“I can’t breathe, I topple when I try to balance, and I am not strong enough. If only I was lighter, thinner and stronger I could get fit like the other people at the gym. I am just too fat to get fit”
My fitness classmate was expressing what I had felt just a few years ago. These destructive thoughts would justify the delay of starting a fitness journey. “Why start, it’s beyond me”.
We have all had similar thoughts at times. Even the fittest and healthiest of us have binged over the holidays and thought “I have already broken my diet, and had a few days of inactivity, I’ll start the healthy eating and exercise next week”.
An occasional splurge should never be a problem, we all need one, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of being able live the active life and have fun adventures without feeling drained.
Nothing prevents us from taking action than ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to be enjoying fun activities and adventures? Feeling healthier is a choice, nature doesn’t have to take its course.
It’s never too soon to begin the process. The two things that hold most of us back most are the fear of change, and a tendency to focus on the pain instead of the gain.
In the past I felt caught in the “too fat to get fit” mentality, I justified a delay of action, and became inactive. Eventually I realized that change doesn’t just happen. It’s something you have to focus on.
How can we filter through the noise of commercial solutions? We have all seen the miracle shakes, the latest fitness exercise equipment, apps, gadgetry and intimidating gyms full of people that look nothing like you. The fitness industry can be confusing, there are no shortage of gimmicks and exaggerated promises.
I was very overweight and unhealthy before I was lucky enough to find a great health professional that was able to clear through the fog of fitness technology, focus on the benefits of outdoor adventures and motivate a change that built from my starting point rather than the average, fitter, gym member.
Nicole was able to build a custom path to fun activities through fitness for me. She took a creative approach, focused on individual interests rather than the typical score sheet of reps from the gym. In the early days of the transformation Nicole would focus on finding the activity that would spark the interest to take the action to make change. For me, the activity that I found most pleasure in was hiking. The training activities focused around balance, strength and stamina that would support better hiking which would build confidence and drive continued fitness through increasingly challenging adventures.
With Nicole’s help I was able to gradually lose 100lb, and eventually conquer the Manitou Incline, then Pikes Peak, then a 100k bike rides and the Ascent. Next year I am signed up for my first ½ ironman.
I now know that you are never too fat to get fit, and it’s never too soon to start the transformation, at 53 I can attest to it never being too late. My advice is to find a health professional that has done it before, that makes fun adventures the goal and fitness the side benefit, and that can spark the motivation to conquer the fitness challenges.
-David Sweetman; Colorado Springs