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Needs versus Wants

At the kitchen table, I laugh as my son sings a holiday classic. It’s an early rehearsal for the upcoming Christmas program. Yet, as we bust into the holiday season, it’s EXACTLY what I want to talk about: Needs versus Wants.

What do you want for Christmas? Maybe you want to be leaner, muscular, a fitter version of yourself. Maybe you just want to be healthy and mobile. Or maybe, thanks to Internet, TV, etc. you’re striving to be what “they” say you should look like!! No one wants to be told that they should exercise or they shouldn’t eat that. The trouble is you’re comfortable in your lifestyle (WHINE).

Let’s face it. Change is a bitch! But you face your needs and realize that it is just a down right punishment. You crack down. You are in the gym running 60 minutes all out on the treadmill followed by neck breaking crunches. You eat salad, cut out sugar, follow the famous apps on your phone to track your calories. You stop drinking alcohol. You cut out caffeine and suffer through intense migraines for 2 weeks. You set yourself up for monthly challenges only to find yourself 3 days in face first in the apple pie, sucking down a healthy Diet Pepsi maybe mixed with a little Bacardi only after you choked down a whole pizza!!

So, why? Why did we fail? We did this for 2 weeks, suffered with migraines, doing exercise that would kill anyone and lost NOTHING! Why do we go to extreme with our needs to get to our wants only to quit because there isn’t instant loss? Oh goodness, the feeling of failure, anger, frustration builds so deep. Of course, there is no one who understands, you are all alone. You are different than that person over there, they didn’t or don’t face your struggles. You did everything short of writing to Santa and still that all elusive present isn’t under your tree.

We all come to a time when we realize that we, the adult, put out the milk and cookies and buy the presents for the tree. It’s not magic. But you are also not alone. I need to be honest. I was 160 LBs at my max and used to cry to my mom about being heavy and begging for some SlimFast only to be dipping my Oreo cookies in it. I wanted to be thinner but I was nowhere near doing anything about it. I faced my demons. I’m a personal trainer, which doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle. It just means I understand your struggle.

We all struggle with wanting things to be easier. We want a magic pill from the doctor, have them place us on a liquid diet, cut our calories to a stunning 600 a day giving you the things you can eat, a tummy tuck, liposuction and the new thing, freeze the fat. I am not here to argue that these techniques don’t work or are bad for you. I am here to remind you that they are only meant to be a temporary solution to start you on the path of success. Like it is up to you to pay off the credit card bill. It is also up to you to keep on that positive fitness path!

We want all the presents wrapped and paid for so that all we have to do is pad down the stairs on Christmas morning to enjoy the spoils. You are not a victim of a program not working if you decided that your old lifestyle was okay to revisit. However, we all do it! We blame the doctors for giving up on us, they took away the whatever plan you were following. We feel abandoned, defeated and the vicious cycle starts all over again. The day after Christmas we make excuses until New Year’s and our next resolution. The question is, how can we help you find the resolve to understand how to balance your wants and needs all year long.

So, what can be done? How can SCC Fitness help you? Here are some tips:

1. If you are not an avid exerciser, do your homework and find yourself a reputable trainer to teach you how to move correctly first and then start to push you through workouts. Cardio, kids, isn’t the way to drop the famous LBs you stacked on your behind. Research shows that the addition of lean muscle amps up that metabolism and helps you burn more calories. So find a balance between both!

2. Find yourself a fitness family that helps keep you accountable. Showing up is really half the battle. Not to brag, but SCC Fitness does have some rockin’ supportive members.

3. Diet…ugghh! That word SUCKS! So, let’s talk about lifestyle. Ask yourself these questions…is sugar bad? Is too much alcohol bad? Is too much caffeine bad? Do I know what a portion is? There is so much information out there to help you with all of this. As a personal trainer, we can only give pretty general and limited information. However, there are an extensive amount of very reputable dietitians who are educated in helping you with specific types of questions that you may have. Getting help is not a sign of weakness!

4. Remember, you don’t have to do a total overhaul. I have my bad habits but I have them under control. I enjoy a glass of wine. I don’t indulge in a bottle. If you don’t have control over certain things, seek out professional help. Getting help is not a sign of weakness!

5. Your SHIT BUCKET. Deal with your closet of skeletons. Not with your personal trainer, not with the friend that tells you want you want to hear but someone who will walk with you and hurdle your crap…food addiction, alcoholism, abuse, etc. Deal with those things that keep you trapped in your vicious cycle. Getting help is not a sign of weakness! (Are you catching on here??)

6. Having support system in place. You need to be sure your family and friends are on your page. Be open and honest.

7. Lastly, be patient, be loving, be humble. Your body does a lot for you. You guys have been through a lot. Bashing it isn’t going to make it stronger or leaner. If that was the case, I would bottle it and have sold it by now.

As you go into the holidays and you are heading to the pie, ask yourself, Do I need this?.. especially if it is your second piece!!! If I don’t need it, what do I want more, goals or pie?

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