Fitness Follies: How to avoid failure with fitness

Setting goals is so very important when it comes to fitness and embarking on an exercise program, but what if goals, depending on what they were, could actually be a deterrent in the gym?

The real reason goals don’t work as far as fitness goes is when you set ones that are unrealistic. A lot of that can be traced back to how we view body types, fitness and have little understanding truly of what it means to be “healthy.”

You have to be honest with yourself, where you are at this point and what would be considered a reasonable goal if you’re picking up the weights or hopping on the treadmill for the first time in a while.

Someone who has gained a few hundred pounds in the last year or two isn’t going to be able to drop that weight in six months. Understanding that it took years to gain weight might be the biggest revelation you can have before you attempt to lose it, knowing that you might be 12 to 18 months away from finally getting back to your “goal” weight.

Unfortunately, our exercise culture has turned from longevity and being healthy for the long haul into instant gratification, watching television shows about makeovers and losing weight and how that process can happen so very quickly.

A show like “The Biggest Loser” actually was more harm than good. It showed massive amounts of weight dropped one week after the next, but what most don’t realize is that they’re at a confined location where all they do is exercise and have dietician monitoring how they eat from one celery stalk to the next.

That isn’t realistic, and what it did was breed a culture of exercisers who joined a gym for a few months, didn’t lose weight and quit anyway. They didn’t have 24 hour per day trainers or live at a camp where fitness is the first, last and only priority you have for months.

How we view fitness as a society and what our definition of “healthy” is also can be a hurdle. Who doesn’t want to have a flat stomach, washboard abs and look great in a two piece bikini or bathing suit?

But having a flat stomach shouldn’t be tops on your list. Instead, think more about dropping pounds with a more consistent, fat burning and muscle toning workout. Your stomach might not be completely flat but it will thank you when you see it more toned, not only there but in your arms, legs and butt, too.

One mistake men and women make consistently is trying to also do too much, too soon. You shouldn’t be doing CrossFit or cardio kickboxing when you haven’t worked out intensely at all or it’s been quite a while. You’ll end up injured or harming your body.

Failing at fitness is quite common.  Most of that rests squarely on your shoulders, mostly because you set goals that were far beyond expectations, and while your intentions were good, they also were misguided at best.