I almost walked past a window of home fitness equipment
store this weekend, but I was lured in by an interesting bike that combines a
bicycle and elliptical: Elliptigo. Have
you seen these? A street bike with
gears, chain driven with pedals and the motion of an elliptical. The manufacturer claims it’s the best of
running, cycling and elliptical trainers that delivers a “low impact high
performance workout outdoors.” They
come with a price tag of $1,700-$3,400; depending upon the model. What could be better than a smooth motion
cardio machine that allows you to work out, burn calories and enjoy the
outdoors? Nothing stands between you and
the road; nothing except a line. A big,
fat, not so imaginary line that one must cross to make the conscious decision
to commit to changing behavior. In the
fitness industry there is usually a defining moment that brings someone into
the gym. Something happened to make that
person draw a line in sand and commit to not crossing back over it. They choose
that day as the day to change.
With the excitement and lure of this sleek new bike surely
eager purchasers will not allow it to collect dust in their garage, right? The sales person at this fitness equipment
store said nothing was more frustrating than delivering a new elliptical to
someone who bought a treadmill from him 2 years prior, only to see it sitting
in the basement with very little mileage.
They paid thousands of dollars for fancy equipment and it sat there. On Craigslist there are thousands of
treadmills and ellipticals for sale with one common descriptor in the ad, “Like
new or barely used.” Even I watch
infomercials in awe because they make exercise look, easy, fun and
affordable. On the video everyone is
smiling, laughing, clapping, and giving high fives. So, you order.
The video arrives and you eagerly do it once or twice, but
at home it’s just you, the couch and the DVD player. Insanity, Brazilian Butt, P90X, Hip Hop abs
and all the other ones on the market have one thing in common….creative marketing. It’s not that they have come up with the
secret to weight loss or attaining a six pack; it’s not necessarily that they
aren’t effective. They just know how to
package and sell to you! Think about it:
Do you know anyone not using their gym equipment or membership? Maybe it is even you. There are always
really good reasons to not work out.
You’re working late, working early, long commute, I’m too busy, the
kid’s schedule, no time, no money, aches and pains, too embarrassed, the gym is
too far, doesn’t open early enough, I can’t lift weights, I can’t do cardio, I
need high impact only for results, I can only do low impact, wife won’t let me,
husband won’t let me, kids come first, and finally, your reason (insert here!).
It’s not until you have your defining moment, say enough is enough and DRAW
THAT LINE IN THE SAND.
I had mine in 2003.
My closet was full of clothes from size 8-16. The day I couldn’t fit into my size 16 jeans
was the day I drew my line in the sand.
That day I decided enough was enough.
I could not, would not, buy a bigger size! That day I chose to put my health
first. I put ME first so I could be fit
physically and mentally. Right up until
that defining moment, I made those excuses why I couldn’t exercise. The reality was I was exhausted. I had two young toddlers and felt drained all
the time. I know now it was the
combination of poor diet and lack of exercise, not the demands of being a mom. I began to work out regularly without
excuses. I marked the days and times on
my calendar and treated them like appointments I couldn’t miss. I scheduled everything around my workout time
because it has to be that important.
Doctor appointments, volunteering at school, play dates, cleaning,
cooking and even my home based business all took a backseat to my
workouts. It was my time to DRAW THE
LINE in the sand!
Think about this. How long does it take to get fast
food? I’ve seen people wait 10-15
minutes in a drive thru line to get their value meal which can cost a minimum
of $20 for a family of four. Do you ever
walk into Starbucks and out in less than 2 minutes while the drive thru has the
same 6-8 cars in line? My staff laughs
at me because my fast food meal costs me $11 and consists of a rotisserie
chicken and bag salad. Is there anything
faster than walking into a grocery store and grabbing that strategically
located chicken and wow, just a few feet away, a bag of mixed lettuce? Are you
really saving time or money at the fast food restaurant?
Let’s face it. Diets are tough. Diets fail people. Diets
force you to change everything in your nutrition program all at once. You might be able to sustain it for a few
days or weeks, but you always end up focusing on what you can’t have instead of
what you can. Instead, start with changing one bad habit at a time. My first
step was to give up sodas, followed by fast food. Make small changes to your
diet and as you adapt and maybe even plateau, make additional changes. Change just one thing today.
It’s never too late to change. Everyday I come across people
in their 70’s, 60’s and now even 50’s and 40’s, that are scratching their head
in disbelief because they have Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,
hypertension and high cholesterol. They
take a plethora of medication to control these chronic diseases that ultimately
shorten their life span. Didn’t they
know they needed to change their diet or exercise? For years we have been inundated with health
professionals on television programs, in newspapers and magazines with studies,
articles, ads, journals, blogs, quotes and testimonials from professionals
testifying to the FACT that a healthy diet and regular exercise WILL reduce the
chance of having a heart attack or stroke, reduce blood pressure, lower
cholesterol, favorably affect the body’s ability to use insulin to control
sugar glucose, lower stress and even boost endorphins which lowers the effects
of depression. The reality is they’re
just saying, “The heck with it! I’ll
take my chances.”
Since I entered the fitness business I have had the pleasure
of seeing many Success Stories and most of them start the same way. When desperation finally meets opportunity,
there is hope for big gains. Men and
women of all shapes and sizes have joined our gym, most because they have drawn
that line in the sand. Some are fitness
enthusiasts looking for something different from what the mainstream gyms
offer. Some just want a good way to kick
start their fitness program. Still others are looking to make significant
changes to their body composition. This
is what is most inspirational to us. We have had several members loose
significant weight through commitment to fitness and lifestyle change. Most
recently, Cody Ellis, one of our high school students was working out, but not
loosing the weight he needed to. He had a frank conversation with Next Level
Fitness & Performance owner Colby Schreckengost, who challenged him to
“Give one month of healthy eating a try.”
He lost 10 pounds that month and his journey began. Today he is 57 pounds lighter, a confident
student entering his first year at VMI. He is sure without his weight loss, he
would not have met the physical standards required by VMI.
About 18 months ago Brenda Fry joined our gym, but had never
exercised. She didn’t think she could do
our program because she was overweight, over 50 and had bad knees. We encouraged her to stick with it, we
adjusted and modified exercises to suit her fitness level. After losing over 120 pounds she is now
sprinting, squatting, shuffling and more confident than she’s ever been in her
life. Bill Campbell, another member
completed one of our 8 week fat loss challenges and told me even his skinny
friends call him “skinny.” We love to
celebrate these successes because each of them had their defining moment where
they drew the line in the sand and never crossed back over.
If you still haven’t had your defining moment, consider
this: Would your kids rather eat fast food than have you in their life a little
longer? Are you willing to lose a
little sleep and get up early to fit in a workout? Can you take the first step? No matter where you go, our gym or another,
make sure it is a program that inspires you, offers support, accountability,
variety and nutritional coaching. Surround yourself with people that motivate
you and workout in an environment that celebrates your successes – not
theirs. Today, right now, make the
commitment and draw your line in the sand!
Micciche Kavounis is General Manager of Next Level Fitness and Performance
lives in Warrenton, VA with her two boys. She entered the fitness
industry in 2007 after almost two decades in the travel
industry and President of Destination Travel, Inc. in
Maryland. For more information about Next Level and their programs visit
their website: www.NLTraining.com or call 703-754-0161.