If you want guaranteed results follow these four overarching principles and you will become the Hottie McHotpants you've always wanted to be. I can actually guarantee that, and the best part is you barely need to know anything about exercise and nutrition.
Step #1 - WORK HARD.
If you have no intention of putting forth a decent effort into your health and fitness ventures, you will not succeed. Save yourself the time reading this, save yourself the time and money signing up for a gym membership, save yourself the overall hassle.
I'm not saying I expect you know what you're doing. Very simply, just commit to working hard in whatever capacity that may be and I GUARANTEE YOU WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS. The best part is, anyone of any ability level can work hard, because it is relative to you and only you. If step one isn't a problem, move it on down the line.
If you do body weight squats and push-ups every night, that's it, but push yourself to work up to the maximum amount of your capabilities, you will get results. If you chose to only do cardio, that is fine! Cardio is great! It is misleading though, because most people who do cardio do not work hard. Even if you can only do 2 minutes, as long as that is as hard as you can work, I completely and sincerely applaud you. That is more effort than most people give. the thing is, that 2 minutes will soon turn into 3 minutes, then 5, then 10, then 30, and AGAIN, I guarantee you, you will be a cardio animal!
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Step #2 - BE CONSISTENT.
Working hard can be an easy concept for people to get a handle on. What isn't easy is being consistent with that work ethic when life's circumstances become suboptimal. The thing is, life is usually never truly optimal. Waiting and waiting for a convenient time to get serious about your health is a recipe for certain failure. Starting healthy habits and then putting them off when things gets tough is entirely too easy to do.
Whether you are just starting exercise or already have a great foundation established, make the commitment to be consistent with this ever-important goal of achieving and sustaining your health. You already consistently do a lot of things like brushing your teeth twice a day, watching your favorite show every night that you know is ridiculously stupid, and walking your dog or child on one of those retractable leashes. You don't stop doing any of those things just because you had to stay 35 minutes longer at work do you? Why would you stop taking care of your health?
Life is always going to seem to have a way of kicking you while you're down. Maybe you could benefit from having a shift in your perception on that point, but if you can't that's fine too. Just accept that you aren't the only one who is "busy." If you ask anyone, most people tell you they are busy, and I would probably agree with them.
I'm busy too. I commute, I have a dog, I brush my teeth, I get stressed about bills, I work late, but I still get it done and that's because I have to. I'm hardly an enigma. There's a lot of people I know who do it better than me, but seriously stop feeling sorry for yourself. Pull up your bootstraps, work hard, and be consistent with no excuses and again I can guarantee your results even more than in step 1.
Something here has to have resonated with you. Make sure you never miss out on the gettin' the goods.
Step #3 - BE HONEST.
That step 2... Wowza. Got away from me a little bit there, but I think it is all extremely relevant. If you can perform the previous 2 points decently well, you're going to be in good shape, but there is a little more you can do yet. If you find yourself performing steps 1 and 2 without any results to speak of, ask yourself honestly whether you are truly working hard and whether you are truly doing as good a job as you can do at being consistent.
What is your response?
Could you have worked any harder on that cardio session you had? I know you only had 20 minutes, but couldn't you have ran maybe 1 mph faster for a little bit? Okay, maybe not the speed, but what about 1% more incline? It's not much but it's something.
When you started you said you were going to get to the gym at least 4 times a week, and even 5 if possible. What happened to that dedication last month? You only went twice a week and that was begrudgingly so, and you know you won't get results with attendance like you did when you started out so strong.
The thing is I expect you to deal with some of these hiccups. I certainly still struggle sometimes, and I'm the freak who enjoys all this stuff to begin with. All I need you to is be honest with yourself about where you're at and what things need to change and you will be a fitness phenom in no time at all.
If you made it this far, admit it, you're hooked. There's plenty more where that came from!
Step #4 - LEARN.
Bear with me on this. It's important.
Do you have a job? Did your job make you learn anything before you started? Even anything trivial or small? Why did you care enough to do that? You probably enjoy the notion of getting a raise. You hopefully try to perform your job at least adequately, if not to the best of your ability. Sadly, your job is likely just a means to end. Gotta pay the bills, gotta provide for your family, gotta buy Starbucks every morning, gotta get those sick kicks in that one commercial, ya know, the light up ones.
So, a job is something you care about out of necessity. Your health is something you care about because you know you should, but the knowledge you think you need to have is intimidating and even paralyzing. You started somewhere at your job though, and you continued to learn new, more difficult, things as you went. You got better and more efficient at the tasks of your given field, and the same things that were once challenging have now become minor hurdles.
Approach your health the same way. I do not want or expect you to know everything about exercise and nutrition when you start. If you can perform steps 1, 2, and 3 to the extent that they have been described, you are already going to be sitting pretty. You'll probably already have some pretty great results. Step 4 is going to ensure that you continue seeing all of the results that you want. Soon enough, the entire realm of exercise and nutrition will be as straightforward to you as your job.
It's not even so much about actually learning everything there is about exercise and nutrition, but rather being open to learning itself. Even better than that would be learning what things work best for you, which only can be discovered by performing steps 1, 2, and 3. Time is on your side. Being healthy is a lifelong commitment. However long it takes, practice one thing at a time and learn what is most effective for you.
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