about the guy who wants better abs

Back in early April, I made the decision to get in better shape. This decision wasn’t really a new one, but came with some new motivations. While many of the reasons behind getting in shape were the same (losing weight, feeling better, getting healthy), my motivations for sticking with it shifted. I joined an online “challenge group” where we had to check in daily about how we did in our workout and diet, whether we succeeded or failed.

This was just a slight change in philosophy from my other failed attempts to work out and get in shape. By having some accountability – albeit digital – I was able to stick with a diet and workout plan for 60 days and loose about 15 pounds.

While this was all well and good, I found myself disappointed. While my weight loss was nice and my quality of life had improved, I hadn’t found what I thought I wanted. You see, I was doing the Insanity workouts which are a part of the Team Beachbody family of workouts. One of the main reasons I got into it was for the fundamentals. This is a longer workout because it includes a lot of warmup and stretching. Also, it doesn’t use weights or bands – just your own body weight.

But, what I got seduced into – and I guess I didn’t realize it – was the “before and after” photos used in their marketing campaign. If you have ever watched a P90X or Insanity commercial, what they are really selling is a quick and intense workout with amazing results. And, while I like to fancy myself as being above all of that kind of nonsense – I fell into the trap.

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I did finish the 60 days and I did look and feel better. But, I didn’t really see the results I saw in the pictures.

Then, I read this article (he uses a little bad language in it if that is an issue for you) from a certified personal trainer about the deceptive ways these pictures are procured and used to sell the product. It was a really fascinating article.

What was interesting is the author had nothing bad to say about the workouts themselves. These workouts are a great way to get into and stay in shape.

But what he does argue agains is the idea that starving yourself and beating yourself up for 60-90 days does not make for a healthy lifestyle long-term. These photos sell an idea that is not sustainable or even true.

This week as we talk about persistence, I was forced to think about my own journey to get in better shape and be a better person in the image of Christ. Because in so many ways – namely in my desire to become more fit – I have fallen off. I didn’t really get the results I thought I would get so maybe it isn’t worth it.

Or maybe there is something to this persistence thing. It seems to me that persistence is deaf to failure. Just as my two year old will ask for the same thing over and over and over again until he gets what he wants – so must I devote myself to things I know are good and right over and over and over because I know it is the better way.

So if my own “cause and effect” expectations are not met – who cares? Maybe I will never have ripped abs or be a world class writer. But maybe in the end I will become a better version of myself – something a little closer to what God made me to be.

How have you fallen in love with “quick fixes” and fell out of persistence? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “about the guy who wants better abs

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