This post is gonna hurt.
We wish we could tell you that getting in shape is easy, that once you start to exercise things are fairly straightforward and happiness and contentment will surely follow… but that would be a lie.
Getting in shape is tough. If it was easy everyone would be ripped and shredded and flexing every Friday. So here are 4 painful truths that you need to hear before you start your fitness journey.
1. Just because you exercise it doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want
What a downer! But unfortunately, you can’t exercise away a bad diet. 80% of your workout is your diet, and even if you’re killing yourself in the gym you won’t achieve the results you want if you’re eating too much, not eating enough, or eating crap.
Also, the numbers just don’t add up. My Friday night Papa John’s pizza works out to roughly 3,500 calories, and you would need to pretty much run a marathon and a half to burn that many calories.
So I’m afraid that you’ll still need to track your food intake when you start working out. Sorry.
2. You can’t spot-reduce fat
Ever wonder why you don’t have a 6-pack after repping out a load of crunches? Well, unfortunately, you don’t get to decide where you lose body fat from (that and crunches are actually kinda useless, but more on that another time). If you want a flat stomach then you’re going to have to lose fat from EVERYWHERE!
3. The gym isn’t a quick fix
Think how long it took you to get out of shape. When was the last time you were really active? If it was when you were 10 years old, then it’s going to take a while to get back into shape.
Getting in shape isn’t always a straightforward process. There will be stops and starts, high points and low, mistakes that you need to make and plenty of things you need to learn about yourself and your lifestyle before you see a huge amount of change. Don’t give up! It takes time and no one is expecting you to be perfect, not even your PT.
4. Abs won’t (always) make you happy
You may have dreamed of having washboard abs or a big ole pair of pecs for years, but the painful truth is that you won’t automatically be happy and fulfilled when you reach your fitness goals.
Yes, you’ll look great and be more confident stripping off and strutting along the beach, but a 6-pack doesn’t always equal happiness. There will always be someone bigger, stronger, or fitter than you, so it’s vital that you’re proud of yourself at every step of your fitness journey.
It’s great to have these physical fitness goals, but while you’re training it’s equally important to look after your mental health too.
Don’t give up
We know this was a fairly depressing post, but now that you know getting in shape is going to take time and effort you can prepare yourself a little better, right? The main thing is to start doing something, get yourself moving and challenge yourself to get stronger and fitter in a way that won’t kill your spirit.
If you need some added support and motivation, then we highly recommend checking out Fitter, Confident, You. Gay personal trainer and all-round lovely chap Matt Boyles has developed a program specifically for gay men to help you not only get in shape physically but work on your confidence and happiness as you train.