Why is fitness improvement such a struggle? Why does changing habits seem so hard to do? Let us begin by examining some of the key factors that contribute to the problem. Let us examine the contributing factors to our struggle with our fitness. First, most people do not truly understand the powerful impact and multiple benefits of fitness. Therefore, they may not feel as motivated to pursue fitness improvement with the fervor, priority and energy it requires and deserves. As in most situations, when we attempt to go after something without a wholehearted effort we fail. Without commitment based on a strong conviction built on a solid foundation of understanding the connection between the benefits of improved fitness and a much higher quality of our life, we will fail to realize success and the realization that better fitness can enable better health, relationships and wealth.
Second, the current approaches to fitness improvement are fragmented, and they lack a comprehensive approach. Most of these approaches (plans, programs, etc.) are based on a very narrow view of the problem and the challenges faced by those struggling with their fitness conditions and the consequences thereof. All these companies offering "solutions "to our fitness struggle seem to just want to sell us books, memberships, food, medications, treatments, surgery, and or some type of equipment. It is a multi-billion dollar annual market and with no end in sight. Many of them have one mission: to take your money and run. Moreover, they usually leave you right where we started, and sometimes-even worse: Out of shape and struggling all over again, if we had even stopped doing so.
Let us examine a typical approach to getting in shape. Many motives drive us to attempt to get in better shape. So whatever the motive is we tend to jump right into some kind of action after we make a decision we want to do something about it. We, in most cases, get into some diet (of the month) and/or start doing some form of exercise. Some of us may seek professional help and others just ask a friend or family member what worked for them. Some may buy books or seek information on the web to help them along the way. So what happens? We may or may not lose weight because of our effort. If we lose it, we may or may not keep it off for the long run. Typically, we tend to bounce back to our old habits and routines over some time and slowly but surely, we gain some, and sometimes more weight than that we lost. We are unable to sustain the strange diets we get into and/or the exercise routines that we start. The equipment we purchased ends up becoming a storage apparatus in one of the rooms in the house. In addition, some of the special food we bought for the diet becomes a lab experiment in the fridge or kitchen pantry. Then many of us tend to repeat these cycles repeatedly. The struggle continues and we, in most cases, get bigger or get stuck in a heavy weight and out of shape condition.
Ultimately, in order to end our struggle successfully, we need to adjust the way we live our life. Simplistically speaking, we just have to develop a better approach to enable us to eat better and be more active. The challenge we face is that over time we have developed a set of habits and routines by which we live our life. These are so engrained in us thus, we are oblivious to them. Thus, they are rarely examined because they are mostly unconscious to us. It is a human version of an autopilot. What we do, when we do it and where we do it, etc. tends to have some routine and/or habit associated with it.
In order to develop a successful better approach we need to examine these routines and habits we live by and we need to evaluate their impact on us and on those we care most about. Once we understand that, we need to determine which need to be adjusted, which need to be eliminated, and what new ones need to be created, to better serve our new approach.