Clearing That First Hurdle

Change is hard. Human beings are programmed to fear change of any kind, preferring to seek shelter in our comfortable, self-constructed boxes. But true satisfaction is found outside that box.

Shove the excuses in your back pocket, break open that box, and do something you’ve always wanted to do but have held off doing due to lack of time or some other such excuse.

You’re never “too old” to make a change and there’s always enough time in the day, so what’s holding you back? Unhappy with something in your current situation? Change it! If you’re committed to lasting change and work hard enough, success is your only option. We all know anything worth fighting for takes hard work, but the reward of a job well done is so worth it in the end.

First of all, figure out a goal you most want to accomplish. Do you want to lose some weight but don’t know where to start? Maybe that goal is to lose 10 pounds by Sept. 1. Doable, no? Hell yeah it is, no matter the obstacles you face, change can be accomplished if you have the internal fortitude to see it through to the end.Write it down, put it somewhere visible where you’ll see it every day so you’re accountable to it, and start taking steps towards achieving it!

Start with baby steps. If you dive in head first and change too much at once, sticking to it will become a chore. You don’t need to adopt a strict fitness model diet (and they aren’t perfect year-round anyway) right out of the gates, but map out your daily diet right now (BE HONEST) and pick away at certain things you could stand to live without. Two creams and two sugar in that morning double-double? Maybe substitute a sweetener like stevia (bring your own if you have to) or request splenda in place of that sugar. Cut your cream intake in half. I bet within a week you won’t be able to tell the difference in taste, and you’ll be shaving significant calories from the bottom line.

 How much exercise do you get weekly? Is it a big fat ZERO or maybe a modest evening walk here and there? Then start with three sessions of cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Swim, bike, SPEED walk, whatever, just be consistent with it for at least four weeks. If the scale hasn’t budged or the changes stop yielding results, don’t quit. Bump up the cardio by another day or five more minutes a session and find another item or two in your diet you can live without. The tortoise may not look good out of the gates, but it always crosses the finish line. Be the tortoise. Make this a lifestyle change, not a crash diet.

Note: If you binge, so what! Every one has moments of weakness, and there will be plenty of temptations with summer barbeques and special occasions forthcoming this summer, BUT those who succeed in their goals don’t dwell on these momentary lapses in judgement. They get back on the horse the next morning and grind it out. What’s in the past is long passed. Besides, that surplus of carbs will give you an extra boost for your workout the next day anyway. 🙂

Posted in


Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.