When you start or modify your workout program, begin by asking yourself a few questions. Do you like the way you feel now? Why? Do you have past injuries that should be dealt with? What are the exercises that you love and loathe? In this initial conversation, the number you see on the scale is relatively unimportant. However, you should ask yourself two important questions whose answers are on scales.
Question 1: "On a scale of one to ten, how would I rate my current fitness level?"
The answer to this question establishes a baseline of your current fitness. When answering this question, evaluate how efficiently you can walk up a flight of stairs, how easily you can get up from a chair, or whether getting out of the car proves challenging. Consider whether you walk at a slow or brisk pace. Is a brisk walk challenging? Can you do a push-up? Can you do a sit-up? Yes? How many? Is a trip up the ladder an injury-in-waiting? Can you run for 10 minutes without stopping? Based on these reflections, confidently or gingerly place yourself on the scale. That's it.
Question 2: "On a scale of 'couch potato' to 'professional athlete', how committed are you to achieving your fitness goals?
This question has nothing to do with your current health and everything to do with how badly you want your current health to change into something better. If you want it as bad as a pro wants it, you'll go after it with fury. You'll be unstoppable in your quest. If you want your life to change and are as motivated as a couch potato, you'll accept the first excuse you can find to quit.
If your fitness level is at a 3 and you've got the drive of a pro to make big changes, you're going to be successful. The caliber of change should be measured by an increase in your fitness level. A bi-product of this change will be weight loss, increased muscle mass, strength, power, and speed. You'll look and feel healthier.
So today, your first challenge is to ditch the scale for about a month. I'm not kidding. Put it away. Then, on one piece of paper, write out the following two scales:
My Current Fitness Level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
My Committment to Improving My Fitness
Couch Potato Weekend Warrior Fitness Buff Semi-Pro Professional
Give yourself one reasonable goal with a deadline.
- I will do 5 boy pushups by Christmas.
- I will do the plank for 15 seconds by the end of November.
- I will run for 5 minutes straight in 4 weeks.
- I will learn a proper squat.
- I will attend a class at my gym three times a week for one month.
But most importantly, HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!
Keep it fun. Keep it interesting. Keep going! This is your life and your health! DO IT!