Nothing sparks motivation for a fitness routine like that unsuspecting beach photo. Why? Because there you are. You’re not showing your good side, sucking in your gut, or posing. It’s how the rest of world sees us and often times we’re not ready for such a cold dose of reality.
Facing reality is often the hardest hurdle in any fitness plan…no matter where we are. It takes an objective view, and vantage point from the outside looking in, to really help us really improve. It really is worth the time to evaluate your current state of health, fitness, and athletic performance. Go into it open-minded and be prepared to get to the bottom of the habits that you need to change to improve the quality of your life.
Step 1 of our fitness plan is the most critical step. In order to define our starting point, we need to do the honest self-assessment discussed above. We need to not only weigh ourselves, but we also need to measure ourselves as well. Before we can plot a path to where we want to be, we have to know where it is that we’re starting from. We also need to write down what it is that we eat each day and how much we exercise. Again, these self-assessments are well worth the time and effort that you put into them. Many people keep maintenance logs on the their cars…why not keep one on your most valuable possession: YOU.
Most of us think we’re in better shape than we really are. Our minds tend to tell us what we want to hear and shield us from the reality that many of us would rather ignore. And sometimes it takes seeing a photo of ourselves to give us a jolt. This jolt is not a bad thing. It’s far better to face the facts and deal with them than it is to live day-to-day in a state of denial. If you don’t have a good picture to motivate you, try a full-length mirror or put your height & weight into a BMI calculator to see where you are and need to be.
A self-assessment is only depressing if you plan to do nothing about it. Otherwise is in an extremely empowering and positive experience. Measuring your waist or hips as you write down your fitness goals is like standing at the bottom of a mountain trail and envisioning the view from the top. There’s a lot of hard work to get from one point to the other, but it’s well worth the journey…not to mention the view ;-). Best of luck!
You can find this article and other motivational fitness information in the September 2008 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.