I suffered a back injury in January 2014, and instead of rehabbing it or trying to ease back into things, I went an entire two months without working out at all. At the time, I was at the gym working/coaching/managing, on average, 12 hours a day, and it felt like the longer I was there, the less motivation I had to work out.
It wasn’t the “I don’t have time to get to the gym,” or “I don’t have the money to afford a gym membership,” or any of those excuses. I WORKED at a gym. I was there ALL the time. I had a free gym membership. So what was the problem? I really had no excuse. I just truly didn’t want to workout. I had no motivation whatsoever. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes you just lack that motivation, and it can be really hard to get out of a slump once you’re there.
I have never been someone that could work out alone. I’ve never had that kind of motivation. I always thought that to improve I needed to be working out every day for two hours or more, and if I couldn’t do that, then why workout at all? I had an “all-or-nothing” mentality. Why do anything if I couldn’t do it all and to its full intensity? It wasn’t a good place to be in mentally.
In 2015, I transitioned to a different gym, and I was finally at the point where I just wanted to workout again. I was unhappy with my body and finally was motivated to do something about it. I decided to just start taking class with everyone else and modifying the things that hurt my back (I also started going to physical therapy to rehab my back). Class was only an hour long, and it was fun taking class with friends that pushed me, motivated me, and inspired me. I quickly realized that I didn’t need to be working out for two-and-a-half hours every day to see improvement. Every time I took a class, I felt like I was 1% better for trying. I still might not be the best or the fastest or the strongest, but I know that I have slowly improved and that makes me happy.
Since I decided to gradually ease my way back into working out, I have slowly and safely lost 30lbs of fat over the course of two years, and I’ve been able to keep it off. Some might say that is a long time! Well it might be to some. However, I knew that the slower I went, the easier it would be for me to maintain once I reached my goal. I've stayed consistent in working out (4x/per week), and I've taken a different, more relaxed approach to nutrition. I eat pizza once a week! I’m now able to squat more than I was able to before I hurt my back. I could never do pistols, bar or ring muscle-ups, ring dips, strict toes-to-bar, unbroken chest-to-bar pull-ups, handstand push-ups, etc, but I’m now able to do all of those things. It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen because of the consistent work I put in, and that makes me extremely proud. No one else can put in the work for you so stay consistent, put in the work, and never stop trying to get better.
As we transition into the new year, I want to remind you that in order to get "fit", you do not need to spend hours in the gym or go on any "diet". I promise you can still lead a healthy lifestyle without needing to go to any crazy extremes. You don't need to be an "All-or-Nothing" person in order to get healthy and strong. It's okay to be a "Little-Bit-of-Something" person instead. Going to the gym 2-3x/week could ultimately be more sustainable for you rather than going to the gym 5-6x/week. That's great! Do that, and don't beat yourself up because other people are doing life + fitness differently than you.