Once again, I thought long and hard about how to approach this topic, but the simplest way to say it is – going through a health & fitness journey alone sucks and often just doesn’t work. For so many years I tried and failed to do it on my own. The desire was there, and I did use the word “tried”…
Many, maybe even most people out there just can’t do it alone, and if you’re one of those people…I get it. I’m not gonna say it’s not your fault because, frankly, I don’t think there necessarily is anyone at fault…it’s just freaking hard to go it alone. In the last week I have really embraced, openly, the “group effort”. I became a BeachBody Coach and immediately set out to start a P90X Challenge Group to help people make a change, stay with it, and succeed (more on that later). Today, on Hump Day no less, I want to talk about how to get over the hump of sticking with your health & fitness decision by not having to go it alone. You might think twice about your impending solo act.
I’ll come right out and say it – going it alone sucks. Some people out there have the drive and motivation needed to make change happen without anyone else there to push them, encourage them, and do it with them. Looking back, I was not one of them. I recognize that. I had my fiancee Megan there with me from before Day 1. When the decision was made to start…we decided it together. I tried for years to do it alone, and it never stuck. Without anyone there to help motivate me…it was so easy to just say “nah…not today” or “God Almighty this is too hard…I’m out”.
Nah, I’m Totally Capable, I Can Do This!
Ok, that’s great! There are people out there who can get it done on their own. People who are SO motivated…SO driven, that they could not only complete a fitness program on their own…they could climb Mt. Freaking Everest on their own. I wish I was one of those guys. I mean, I probably am NOW, but then again, NOW I’m fit, healthy, and I enjoy this stuff. I’m talking last August, when I was 300 lbs and hadn’t started this whole thing yet. That guy wishes he was driven enough to do it alone. If you’re one of those people, I encourage you to go for it and make it happen. You are the kind of person who helps motivate others towards their successes.
Why Should I Have Others?
No Easy Outs
I have found, over the course of the years, that not having someone else doing it with you and committed to it…there are a lot of easy outs. For one, nobody is there to see you quit. It’s really easy to quit when you don’t have anyone to answer to…nobody to witness it. It’s like it never happened! I feel like that’s one of the top reasons people are…OK…with giving up. It’s not ok. You’re only letting yourself down. It’s so easy to fall prey to the “I Don’t Feel Like It” Syndrome when you’re on your own…easy for The Napoleon Complex to overtake you…to just plain lose motivation!
I can’t TELL YOU how great it is to have someone there reaching milestones with you, achieving successes with you…just generally sharing in the experience. It was great to get through a workout, look at Megan 5 feet away, and high five her after we finished a workout. The look we gave each other after finishing the last workout of week 1 was of such accomplishment, relief, and joy…in that moment we knew we could do it – if you can get through the first week you can get through it all…and we had done it! Sharing that with her was great! Working with a partner I was able to lose my limits and achieve new heights I never would’ve dreamed of before…I’m running a half marathon in a week and a half for crying out loud!
Likewise, it’s great to be able to share in your struggles and work through it together. We were both practically dying on the floor together during some of the more intense days during some of the programs we did…but we looked at each other, reaffirmed we could do it, and kept going. You keep going for yourself, you keep going for them…whether it’s because you want to succeed for them or because you want to challenge them to keep up…it’s because they’re there. They’re doing it too. That other person can make the difference. They can also help to shield you from outside influences too…help keep you strong. When you’re in it with someone else, they can help defend against the Haters.
If you’re doing your workouts with someone else…they’re gonna know if you didn’t do it. Maybe because you work out together, maybe because you check in with each other…but they’ll know. Whether they give you crap for not doing it or whether you feel guilty all on your own…having that other person can keep you honest and get you to do it on a day you’d otherwise say screw it. Knowing that other person is tracking their progress and will be showing you their before/afters can also encourage you to work just a little bit harder throughout the course of the program instead of taking it easy on yourself. Besides…if you’re gonna commit, why not go whole-hog?
THIS IS NOT A NEW IDEA
Working out with others is by no means a new idea…workout classes, CrossFit gyms, etc…there are countless people, groups, and organizations that use and encourage the buddy system or the group mentality. Why? Because it works. Having a community of people all in it together makes it work so much better.
What About That “Challenge Group” You Mentioned?
Many BeachBody Coaches out there (probably all, really) run “Challenge Groups”. Each coach, I’m sure, does it differently. The idea, no matter how, specifically, they do it, is that a group of people (maybe 5, 10, 20…depends on the coach) all do the same program starting on the same day. They check in on a special Facebook group (or through some other method, again, depending on the coach) and talk about their progress. People in the group will talk about their struggles and successes, share in their accomplishments and difficulties, and seek advice, guidance, and motivation from the rest of the group and their coach. The coach is usually always there to actively guide and encourage the group members and provides tools for success to make sure each individual can achieve their fitness goals. Some coaches run their group for the full duration of the program, and some run it for a month or two. The idea is to help make sure, again, that each individual has the support, encouragement, and tools necessary to achieve success.
I am running a P90X Challenge Group. My group will be pushing play for Day 1 on Monday, October 28th. I’ll be starting to put out information and guidance for them this weekend, getting them ready and preparing them for the challenge to come. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Darrell@SoTHISIsFitness.com, make an account on www.TeamBeachBody.com (identify me as your coach – coach id 301487 or screenname SoTHISIsFitness – I’ll find you), or request to join the “So Fit” Family facebook group. You can get the program through me at www.BeachBodyCoach.com/SoTHISIsFitness . If you’re interested, you likely need to order by Friday or Saturday in order to have it in-hand in time.
I’m SO excited to have the opportunity to help people achieve their goals and finally attain success. This is the first program I did…it’s what started me on the path to where I am now! It’s great to see that it’ll also be the first program like this for a number of people who have already committed to the Challenge Group. I’d love to help you too! That’s the whole point of this blog.
So why do it alone?
I’m sure there’s someone you know that also wants to make a change. Someone else who’s having the same thoughts go through their head that are going through yours. Try feeling it out among those you know and see if someone wants to join you. Maybe you’d rather go through a challenge group or online support community (like the So Fit Family) to find your encouragement and motivation. Whatever the case, know that you don’t have to do it alone. It’s always better together. Happy Hump Day!