It’s now the first week of March, and now that the initial spark of motivation from our New Year’s resolutions has faded, I’m starting to see and hear the same tired old excuses trickle back into the online fitness communities.
“I’m too busy at work/school/home.”
“I was too sore/tired from xday’s workout to do my planned workout today.”
“I was soooooooo hungry/bonked out/PMS’ed that I couldn’t resist the chocolate/cookies/Twinkies/ice cream/pizza at work/home/my parent’s house.”
“My (fill in the blank with body part of your choice) hurts!”
Well, boo hoo hoo. I guess it is now time for my annual spring ass-kicking motivation rant.
The thing about an effective cut is that it will never be comfortable or easy if you’ve moved past the adrenaline rush of uninformed newbie enthusiasm. Once you are in decent shape and have acquired more knowledge about nutrition and exercise, losing fat means your belly will always want more food, your muscles will always be somewhat tired, sore, and worn out, and your now over-educated brain will overflow with excuses to justify extra food and more days off for recovery/improved performance/lean mass preservation.
I hate to tell you this, but the fact of the matter is that with very few exceptions, most of us just aren’t that elite. Yes, that includes me AND you, dear readers. (Ultra marathon runners like Julie and MarathonP can ignore this last statement.)
This is simply what happens when you are working out intensely while at a caloric deficit, and, alas, a caloric deficit is the only guaranteed, scientifically-proven way to burn off the fluff without resorting to surgery. And when you are already close to goal and have cleaned up just about everything in your diet and are posting some decent weights and speeds at the gym, guess what? You will need not only any old caloric deficit to get even leaner, but strict compliance to VERY clean and consistent eats indeed and workouts that push you harder (and very possibly longer) than the ones that got you to 20% body fat.
At some point we all have to ask ourselves if it is worth eight or more weeks of feeling less than 100% in order to achieve our fitness goals, because we all know where cheating on meals and skipping workouts will take us:
If looking like a fitness model were as easy as eating 50% clean and working out in a half-assed way for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week on the rare occasions when we weren’t feeling tired, out of sorts, stressed out, sore, bloated, or otherwise not absolutely perfect, don’t you think there would be more Monica Brants sashaying around the gyms, malls, and grocery stores?
As Tom Venuto so aptly put it:
“It’s not supposed to be easy. Disciplined people succeed; undisciplined people don’t…Nothing changes by doing what’s fun and EASY.”
So to all of my fellow fit wenches and future fit wenches out there who feel themselves slipping off the path to summer bikini goddesshood a mere two months into 2008 — I say it’s time to bitch up, knock off the wussy girl excuses, and get back on the clean eats and workout wagon 110%. Set your goal and don’t stop until you get there.
Remember, it will only get harder as you age, and the last time I checked, every last one of us is getting older by the minute.