Trying to keep a fitness campaign running is hard. Especially when your only focus is to lose weight.
When you start a fitness regime it's common that you do it to lose weight. How about doing it to improve performance instead?
You've realised that your weight is an issue. But often, people also realise their fitness level is also an issue.
For example, running for a bus, climbing the stairs or some other simple activity is hard. Harder than it should be.
So, instead of working on losing weight, why not focus on getting stronger instead?
The thing is you see, one thing will lead to another.
Getting stronger means you'll lose weight. Losing weight doesn't always mean you'll get stronger.
When I first started my fitness campaign, the only thing I could focus on was being able to walk a few miles.
Then, it was being able to run a few miles. After that, it was being able to run a lot of miles.
This wasn't me being a genius fitness guru. It was a pure fluke. Coupled with a determination to push myself to new limits.
Either way, the result was that I got stronger and I lost weight.
I know that if someone had said to me at that time: "Go to the gym to workout to lose the extra timber..."
I would have started with good intentions.
I wouldn't have kept it up, though. It would have all felt to slow and pointless.
But because I started out with the desire to walk 10 miles as fast as I could, it focussed my mind. Munching a lettuce leaf and sucking my belly in, trying to feel thin didn't ever come into the reckoning.
Likewise, when I was out walking one day, my running goals kicked in. I was walking so fast that I started to jog to ease the strain on my legs.
That was it, I was going to be a runner. What happened next? Did I think: "Ooh, I'll lose weight faster..." Or, did I think: "I'd like to run a marathon..."
It was the latter for me. It crossed my mind that weight loss would likely speed up, but that was never the goal.
I got many things wrong as I transitioned into a runner. But that's a story for another day. Achieving specific goals like running 10K or whatever, means you do the work to hit that target. It means you aren't bouncing around trying to get thin.
Trying to get thin never works. Well, it might for some people. But it never has for me. And it's never likely to.
My current fitness efforts involve me brisk walking for over 60 miles a week. I spend hours in my garden mowing, digging etc at the weekends.
I reckon that keeps me healthy. In fact, for a 53-year-old with a resting heart rate of below 50 BPM, I'd say I'm doing alright.
So, if you want to keep a fitness regime going a sustained period of time: plan to get stronger, not thinner. That way, both will happen and you'll enjoy it too.