by Madeleine St. Marie


In today’s society, we are overburdened by an abundance of technology and are rewarded with instant gratification. We can connect with people on Facebook, upload photos with instagram, and shout out our thoughts almost immediately into cyberspace in 140 characters or less on Twitter. We can grab a meal quickly at McDonalds or Carl’s Jr. Things happen quickly, and they happen pretty easily. When this is combined with humanity’s resistance to change, we find ourselves embroiled in an interesting quagmire. It’s even worse when this is applied to weight loss – magazines promise you better abs in just 15 minutes a day, informercials extoll the virtues of a new device that will get a more shapely, better muscled you in just three weeks!

Basically, we think that we can undo years of?negligence?in just a few weeks with minimal effort. Obviously, if it were that easy, we wouldn’t be facing increasing levels of obesity in America.

In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of really, truly wanting change?for yourself. Part of wanting this change, though, is realizing and accepting that it’s going to be really difficult. And not only is it going to be difficult, but that your results are not going to be the same as the next person.

Eating right and keeping up with a fitness program is difficult for everyone, not just people starting out. Believe it or not, your trainers have the same gripes and groans about working out that you do. Sometimes, we don’t want to get out of bed. The last place we want to be is the gym. For example, I want to eat cheeseburgers every night and Jon had a well-documented fight with Joe-Joes recently. If you have the MyFitnessPal app (and you should, because it’s awesome, and even if you don’t have a smart phone, you can access it on the web), you can actually see the struggles your trainers and fellow clients go through everyday. Even for the people that look like working out comes easily and naturally, it’s difficult.

What helps to mitigate the difficulty of working out is finding something that you enjoy and?helps improve your fitness level. Private training may seem like the great idea but it may not be the right?idea. Personally, I am not that into going to the gym for its own sake. I do not like pumping weights or using machines. I am also not good at motivating myself to go; when I had a membership to a big box chain, I didn’t go very often, and when I did, I just used the?elliptical?for 10 minutes before leaving. That’s not really doing anything to help.?What I did find enjoyable, however, was taking hour-long walks around my neighborhood. I enjoyed kickboxing and dancing and found that I had the best results when I did something that I actually enjoyed.

Zumba, for example, is extremely popular because it doesn’t seem like you’re working out, despite the fact that it’s a great cardiovascular workout. However, not everyone feels comfortable dancing, and therefore it’s not a great workout for them because they can’t get over the fact that they feel uncomfortable and awkward. The fact of the matter is, if you go into your training session – no matter what it may be – and are actively miserable and spend the entire time complaining, then it’s not the right format for you. The right format might not give you the results you want as fast as you want them, but you’ll find it to be an infinitely more enjoyable experience.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that if you work out, you are not going to instantly get ripped and super thin. People have different body types and their bodies are predisposed to do certain things. Some people can easily put on weight and muscle, while others lean out and can’t seem to bulk up no matter what they do. Some people “win” the genetic lottery so that they can be held up as examples of beauty within our society, but we have to accept our bodies for what they are.?I will never be a size 2, and that’s ok with me. I can’t look at what I see on?the cover of Cosmo?and think that I’m supposed to look like that – those women are airbrushed within an inch of their lives and for the most part, they’re several inches shorter than I am.

Remember: this is supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be a little uncomfortable, because if it were easy, then you wouldn’t have to be working so hard in the first place. And you’re not the alone – we’re all right there with you, from the most in-shape trainer to the newest newbie of the bunch. We’re all struggling, silently cursing the author of a workout. Success happens when you stick to it despite the difficulty and come back for more.