So it’s that time of the year when gyms are empty, people are concentrating on shopping and bank accounts are getting drained. Ironically as we all watch the NFL and College Football athletes perform at the highest level, physiques echoing the training and sacrifice made to their bodies for the glory of the sport, we somehow manage to ignore our own.
There is little to no chatter made about the gut getting fatter and the muscles atrophying as we consume beer, burgers, hot dogs and chips, while screaming at the television as Eli Manning gets another pick. No, we forget the months of arduous gym training and cardio repetitions as they get dashed to the side in lieu of “Game Day”.
Guys within “the know” understand this activity; it’s the final steps of the yearly dance. You know the dance don’t you? Well let me break the steps down for all of you who may not realize them, it goes a bit like this:
Step 1 – January-March: New Year Resolution Excitement – The gyms are packed, personal trainers are banking and everyone is on that new diet. All of the fat bodies are suddenly talking nutrition and it’s all about prepping for the bikini during the summer.
Step 2 – April-June: The gyms thin out, people start getting “too busy” for the gym and “too broke” to eat correctly. People skip from one easy diet to an easier one that allows them to magically eat whatever they want. Their physique has gotten worse over the course of time, rendering step 1 worthless.
Step 3 – July-September: Show and prove time, the ones who stuck it out are bragging to the ones who didn’t about the new waistline and how they dropped 2 pant sizes etc. The quitters get back into it after seeing people who looked like them in January achieving progress through their dedication. The misconception however is that the” lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks” diet was a bit too hard to stick to so their expectations are higher than what can actually be accomplished. They compare themselves to the friends who stuck it out (which is the worst thing you can do) and then begin to feel hopeless after a couple weeks.
Step 4 (The Final Step) – Holiday Season: So here we are after the summer show-off time. People have been to the beach, club and bars to showcase their sexy new bodies in string bikinis, thongs, Ed Hardy shirts and Under Armor. Now they feel as if they deserve a reward for the hard work accomplished during the year. They can just go back to their trainer in January and its business as usual right? For the people who quit back in April, they figure “it will be my New Years resolution come January, no big deal”.
This vicious cycle of steps is what keeps gyms opening all over the country and keeps the pockets of smart, snake oil salesmen disguised as diet gurus, rich. There will be new machines to make swaying your hips and doing a push-up easier. You will be told that it only takes 8 minutes a day, but they will never tell you for how long. They will show ads with people who live fitness lifestyles working out on their machines while in your mind’s eye you begin to think that they got their physiques from the machine they are using. Can’t you see that you are getting played?
Working out and living a fitness lifestyle is only easy if you can make it past the boot camp caliber first phase of everything. Learning to say no to foods that will hurt you (and there are a lot), sticking to a workout routine and making it a lifestyle as opposed to a chore. Taking the time to educate yourself instead of listening to some 17 yr old trainer at LA Fitness or Gold’s Gym. This last portion is the most overlooked and under-appreciated piece of the diet puzzle. People simply do not take it upon themselves to learn about their bodies, and the fact that there are so many resources available online and off, boils it back down to aloof laziness. Guess what? Laziness will not make you look good next year, no matter how many resolutions you wish to the magical fitness fairy.
This holiday season you should really try to challenge yourself. Do a bit of studying on caloric intake, cutting and weight-loss then try to keep things humble these next 2 months. Is mama’s apple pie really all that necessary? Must you have more stuffing and cranberry sauce than the actual turkey meat this Thanksgiving? It is up to you to test your mettle in this, I know that nothing I can say or do will convince you more than yourself so I leave you with this. Imagine how easy it will be to stabilize your eating habits after the New Year if you can survive the fattest 2 months of consumption this year? I’ve thrown my chips into the ante pile, how about you?See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.