Little amounts of effort and sacrifice equal little results...
Anyone embarking on a mission to be in great shape should first be honest about what you are willing to do before you start looking for results. If you are only going to workout once in a while, keep skipping workouts, putting in little effort and you are not willing to say 'no' every time someone offers you a piece of cake, then don't torture yourself by expecting to see the best results. I know I wouldn't see any if I started canceling my workouts and eating all the crap that came my way everyday. Being consistent is the most important part of seeing results.
I recently had a friend ask me what he should do about getting in shape. My first instinct was to tell him to do what I do. I workout regularly with weights and cardio, I eat only non-processed foods, and I say no to eating all junk food and drinking alcohol. When I told him this he said, "well, I don't like any of those healthy foods, I hate working out, and I love eating my treats."
I said, " well, I feel the same way.. join the club." Then he asked me how I do it, and I told him that I am just realistic about it and I like how it feels to walk around so fit. The feeling of being fit is better than being fit to look a certain way. If the world was blind I would still be fit for how it feels to me. I love being in shape and I am willing to do what it takes to stay there even though it's hard and not so much fun to give up all the good stuff. Being fit and strong is a great feeling.
My friend wasn't willing to go that far to get in shape and that is totally respectable. It's all about how much you are willing to do and knowing that your results will coincide with what you put into it. Everyone is different and there is no 'right' way to do it... just find your balance in where you are happy. Maybe this friend will be able to make some improvements by making smaller changes in cutting portions, not eating as many treats, and doing a bit of exercise, but he knows that he won't be looking the best he possible can anytime soon and he is fine with that. Everyone has a different level of what they are willing to do. If eating all the goodies everyday is the biggest pleasure you have in your life and you can't give them up, then don't!!! There's nothing wrong with that, but just don't ever bitch and whine that your body isn't looking so nice it is a trade off..
The thing that is NOT respectable is when someone expects the best results possible and they are not doing any work and giving up nothing. I've had people complain to me about their results when they are drinking alcohol every weekend, eating candy bars everyday, and dining on fast food. What do they expect to see? If you aren't doing what it takes you have no grounds to boo hoo about your lack of results.
Since I'm a realtor, I like to use this analogy for expecting fitness results. I would like to be the best realtor in town, that would be great! But am I willing to do what it takes to get there? No. I am not willing to put in all the time and effort needed for that. So I will never be crying that I'm not number one in real estate because I am not even coming close to doing what it takes.
It's the same with fitness. Everyone would like a great body, why not? If you are willing to do what it takes then you will see great results. If you half ass it and aren't being consistent and are unwilling to makes the sacrifices necessary (eating crap all the time), you aren't going to get there to be your best.
Finding time for the workout....
I think the biggest excuse for not working out (besides not liking it) is that there isn't enough time for it. Sorry, but that's not a valid excuse. Everyone is very busy everyday and fitting in workout is just a matter of making it a priority.
I have a neighbor who has the most beautiful garden and I see her working in it everyday. She is also about at least 100 pounds overweight. She says she doesn't workout because she doesn't have the time. But she has the time to keep her yard beautiful. Not having the time is just an excuse, if she really wanted to be in shape she would find the time but being fit just isn't a priority. Everyone has different priorities. As long as she is happy that is all that matters.
My yard looks like crap. I hardly do any work on it and it shows. When I see people like my neighbor with such amazing yards I say, " I wish I had the time to make my yard pretty." The truth is, if having a nice yard was a priority for me I would make the time, but I don't. I do making working out a priority though, and even at my most busiest times when all hell breaks loose, I will squeeze in the workout.
Working out regularly is always a daily challenge for me, but some days are harder than others. Sometimes when I really am not feeling it at all and want so badly to not workout and just sit on the couch,... I bribe myself with a reward. I think, ok.. if I do this workout then I will get to go play with the dogs, or go buy a new book or magazine. I never use food rewards and I think that is a bit of a contradiction if I did. Wouldn't that be similar for example, to someone who hit a 3 month mark of not smoking and to celebrate... went out and smoked a few packs of cigarettes? or somebody who stopped drinking who goes out and gets wasted? After working hard for a long time you get to a point where is isn't even worth it to eat crap and you will look at it differently... Eating some crap isn't a reward, it is punishment to your body.