People ask me often, “How long does it take to get in shape?” In reality, it is all a matter of opinion. It depends on what your opinion of being in shape is. If you watch shows like the Biggest Loser or see Jared from the Subway commercials, you see people that have made incredible progress in losing fat and getting in shape. But are they in shape to your standards, or how about the standards of a top fitness model?
This women has an incredible body, but is it realistic or even healthy for everyone to expect to achieve this type of body? Not really, so don’t beat yourself up over it and work on getting the best body that you can get, not what someone else looks like.
The problem that a lot of people have is that they try and hold themselves to the standards of what we see on TV or in the popular magazines. The best advice that I can give you is to only measure your progress against you. If you start out being 40 pounds overweight and lose twenty pounds, you made incredible progress, but you are still overweight. Should you be down on yourself and upset because you still won’t be appearing in Shape magazine anytime soon? No, you shouldn’t!
Measure yourself against where you started and where you are headed, not against the latest Hollywood stars like Taylor Lautner or Megan Fox. They don’t usually look this way all year long, most will train and diet hard to get in shape for a photo shoot or movie. The other thing to consider is that they are stars and on the big screen for a reason, they are the elite at what they do, which is look good. Do you get upset at yourself because you can’t throw a football like Tom Brady or score goals like Sidney Crosby? No, you don’t or at least you shouldn’t. It’s the same way with fitness and getting in to shape.
Of course we can all strive to look like these people, and with the right amount of work you may look as good or even better, but don’t expect too much from yourself to start. If you lived the same lifestyle that they did and had the time and access to trainers, chefs, etc., you can make incredible progress too. The fact is though that, we are not living like them. We have real jobs, kids, responsibilities, and many distractions that are pulling us in many directions. Sometimes, we hardly have time to breathe, let alone find time to workout.
So let’s talk about what you can do for yourself and what you can expect to lose or gain in your body shaping efforts. First off, you need to take note of where you are at now. How much do you weigh? What are your measurements? How do you look? How do your clothes feel?
Get a grip on where you are at. Then you need to have a clear and defined goal of where you want to be. How much do you want to weigh? What dress size or what size waist? Be specific and then set a time line as to when you want to achieve your goal.
Some experts will tell you to write out your goal as if you are already at your desired weight, such as “I weigh 175 lbs and have a trim, lean body.” The problem with this is that if you weigh 200 lbs. and read this statement each day, you will probably think to yourself, “Yeah right, I’m not lean, I’m overweight! This isn’t true.” A better way to write out your weight loss goal or any goal for that matter is to add, “I am in the process of” before it.
Example: “I am in the process of becoming 175 lbs, with a lean, trim body and great abs.”
This will actually be a true statement and your subconscious mind will not fight you on it. You can read this everyday in the morning and before bed and not have the internal struggle that you are lying to yourself. Try this and I am sure that it will work great for you.
The biggest reason that we quit our weight loss or dieting routine is because we feel that we aren’t making any progress. If we are making progress, we feel inspired and that we are getting something out of it. We actually begin to work harder and like a snowball picking up steam rolling downhill, we keep making progress.
So the key is to make progress quickly and once the novelty wears off and its starts to get harder, you can look back on how far you came. This will inspire you to continue and to stick it out through the tough times. As you are measuring your progress, don’t be too hard on yourself. There are many times that you can drive yourself crazy by weighing yourself too much and worrying about every fluctuation of the scale. Sometimes you will eat less and workout harder than normal, only to find that you didn’t lose any weight or even gained a pound. This will happen, just stick to it and keep pushing forward. There are many reasons that this will happen, don’t worry about it. Think of the long haul, not the little bumps in the road.
So if you are still wondering how long it takes to get in shape, you should now realize that it really depends on your specific body and your definition of being “In Shape”. Just be realistic and get in to your best shape, not the shape of those on the big screen. Don’t let someone else’s definition of the perfect body affect how you look at yourself. There are so many people, especially young girls that have such a low self esteem or opinion of themselves, because of the “Hollywood image”. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You should strive to have a lean and healthy body, but not to the extreme. How many people do you see that will jeopardize their health all in the name of getting the perfect body? Look at all of the people that take dangerous diet pills, steroids, or human growth hormone. This isn’t healthy and it isn’t worth it. I am pulling for you. Let me know if you have any questions and I will help you.