Have Some Goals, A Plan and Do What You Love
Now that you’ve made the resolution to get fit how do you chose what’s right for you?
A few months ago I had the opportunity to sit in on a talk given by Mark Kruger, a former contestant from season 5 of the TV program "Biggest Loser". For those of you who are not familiar with the Biggest Loser, contestants who are eligible come onto the show are typically morbidly obese and have weight loss goals of 100 lbs or more. The three month season involves extreme training via cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, and a very strict nutrition regimen. Mark, a native of New Bedford, MA – started the show weighing in at 285 lbs and finished off losing 98 lbs. The talk Mark gave was held at Swansea Total Fitness to a group of individuals who were participating in Total Fitness Clubs' "Fall Fitness Challenge" and club members who were beginner exercisers looking for motivation to move forward with their own fitness routines.
Have Some Goals
Mark explained that while on the show he was "in a protected bubble" and all they had to do while "on the ranch" was exercise and focus on what they were eating. They didn't have to worry about all the responsibilities and challenges that we all face in our day-to-day lives that can become distractions and easily throw us off course. So needless to say after the show ended and he got back home, without the safety of the ranch, it hit him that dealing with the reality of everyday life combined with maintaining all the weight he'd lost was going to be a much greater challenge than he had anticipated. That being the case, Mark decided that he needed to have something "to shoot for" and since he enjoyed running, he was going to set a goal for running a marathon. The goal have him something to prepare himself for and made him accountable to his training so he would be ready for such a race.
Have a Plan
Mark succeeded at achieving his goal. He not only prepared for that race, but many. He went on to explain that in the month before meeting with us he not only ran one marathon, but six marathons. As I was sitting there I thought to myself…oh no, this group of beginner exercisers are going to throw in the towel right now. Marathons?…six? Wow. But then Mark hit the nail right on the head and said to the group, "What I'm doing is extreme because that's taking me to where I want to be and to where I got to, following the show."
"I don't recommend that anyone do what I'm doing (because I'm crazy), but do what you need to do to reach your goals" he said.
This not only got everyone laughing, but got them thinking. I myself thought wow, this man who, a year before his "Biggest Loser" journey started, was not doing anything. He was a self proclaimed "couch potato" and over 100 lbs. overweight. Less than one year later this man is running marathons, participating in triathlons, teaching spin classes, and motivating others to get moving. Mark truly is an inspiration and ultimately a success story because he incorporated planning and goals into his strategy.
He said what he does is hard work but it is doable. The key to success is knowing that it takes time and planning; and involves things like scheduling his training and planning out his meals. He said he loves this process because he is healthier, feels great, and it works for him. Bottom line, do what works for you.
Find What You Love To Do
There are so many options out there in the world of Fitness – classes, training sessions, races, walks, sports competitions, local pick-up games, the list goes on. There's got to be something out there that peaks your curiosity or better yet, gets you on a program. It could be as simple as a walking program to get you ready to walk in a charity 5K, taking a dancing class, or running your first marathon. Let internet search engines be your friend. Look up local races, pick a month that you want to do your walk or race by and then pick a race. Map out your training schedule with a little help from an online resource, get a friend on board, or hire a trainer to get you on your way. But most importantly find something you will like to do (love is a strong word). Find something that you will like enough to get you through it and in the end you will be so proud of what you have accomplished.