Sorry, It’s Hard – Getting in Shape

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Me, near my heaviest
Me, near my heaviest

In the past couple of weeks I have seen several articles about contestants from “The Biggest Loser” gaining back the weight they lost. These articles just reported the information and did not provide alternative solutions. The feeling these articles left me with was why bother trying to lose weight. I was a little disappointed by that message. It is hard to lose weight and get fit. We all know that, so being told that doesn’t help.

I am not a doctor or nutritionist or personal trainer. I am just a person who has been near 100 pounds overweight and has yo-yo’ed my weight for the last 10 years. I understand that it is better to lose weight the “healthy way”, gradually through diet and exercise, but that doesn’t always cut it. We need understand that we can’t make the long march of weight loss without getting off track once in a while.

It is much easier to sit on the couch eating pizza and watching “My 600 Pound Life” than it is to go to a vigorous martial arts class followed up by a low calorie protein shake. I know, I’ve done both!

Me, training a moth ago
Me, training a month ago

The point is that getting into shape is challenging and being challenged over time means that you need to expect failure once in a while. I was in a self-defense oriented martial arts class years ago and something the teacher said has stuck with me. The teacher said “If you get into a knife fight, expect to get cut”. When you expect it, you are better able to address it since you are not surprised. This principal applies to fitness as well. If you are making drastic changes to your lifestyle, you will have setbacks.

Expecting the setback will help reduce the disappointment and the feeling of failure that one can feel when weight loss goals are not met. My past experience was to fail, feel bad about myself and eat and eat and eat… I have changed a bit now that I expect to occasionally fail. I fail, feel bad about myself and eat, then recognize that an occasional set back is okay and get back on track. No one is perfect. Expect the occasional setback, get over it and get back on track.

Everyone is different. There is no silver bullet to get fit. Fitness takes effort. If you are like me and have been or still are very overweight, just keep working. Get professional help (trainers, nutritionist) if you can, build a support network and work hard. There is no straight road to success. When you fail, recognize it as temporary and get back on track.


There will be failures but there will also be successes. It took me years to get out of shape. It is unrealistic to think that I will get back into shape quickly. Be patient, work hard, stay focused and you will reach your fitness goals.

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