Getting fit is probably the least enjoyable new year’s resolution in existence. Humans on the whole are severely change-resistant (even people who “love change” hate change – stagnacity kills them); getting fit, however, is the epitome of torture. Pains erupt in muscles we forgot (or never even knew) existed. Sweat gets everywhere. Exhaustion levels rise on a daily basis until we feel like we’ve reached the breaking point. The worst thing about getting fit, though, is the massive physical block that stands between the states of unfit and fit. It takes more than a few weeks with a solid determination and an iron resolve to become fit.
Habits are the next issue. The reason(s) we were unfit in the first place were a combination of activity, emotional, and eating habits. If we want to get fit, we’ve got to break pretty much all of those habits. If we are, for instance, stressed all the time, we’re not going to get very far with fitness training (it keeps muscles and minds tense and prevents proper regeneration when we’re resting). Habits are tricky critters; people with (apparently) qualifications argue all the time about the “true way” to break habits (21 days? 67 days? 99999 days? self-induced trances?), but generally speaking, habits need to be replaced by either strict placeholders (very hard to do) or less detrimental habits. A strict placeholder would be replacing a chocolate bar with cucumber slices. A less detrimental habit would be replacing that chocolate bar with a few squares of chocolate. As far as health is concerned (although I’m not as sure about fitness), the gentler habit will help you more; completely shattering our daily average intake of any nutrient will put our bodies into shock/withdrawal for a while.
But if we can power through the blocks and successfully repair our habits, we’ll reach the goal: fitness. The thing I find funniest about fitness is that after it is in our grasp, it is relatively hard to lose it. This is, of course, because fitness is forged in the fire and flames of discipline and healthy habits, but trust me – it’s blasted hard to believe that fitness is easy to maintain when we’ve not reached that point yet.
If you’re trying to reach/regain your state of fitness, keep at it. I feel for you. I was fit a few years ago (sigh), and I’m trying to get back to that state again. The sweat and the tears are real.