We’re always in such a rush. We want everything right now. Our relationships with other people can’t seem to survive the period of separation it takes to drive to work in the morning. We have to have text, video chat, messenger, or live video just to stay in touch with everyone all the time.

Our entertainment has to be delivered in the fastest way possible. If someone developed a retinal video implant where Netflix could stream video to our eyeballs, it would sell out in minutes. Fewer people are going to sporting events because it’s easier and faster to just watch it on TV.

Unfortunately, this is also how people think of their fitness. How fast will I get in shape? When will I get a 6-pack? How long will it take to lose the fat on my arms? These are the most common types of questions we get asked.

This mindset is so flawed it’s almost impossible to respond in a way that the person asking doesn’t feel discouraged before they’ve even started. The first thing that needs to happen is a change in mindset.

This starts with redefining what fitness is. Fitness is NOT being skinny. Fitness is being healthy, able to move and engage in physical activity without limitations. Fitness is being able to handle what life throws at you on any given day.

Fitness is a state of being, NOT a destination. Being in shape is like being happy. You don’t get happy and then you’re done. You want to stay happy. You won’t always be happy. Happy is something you strive for.

Ask someone you think is in shape if they are in shape. 9 times out of 10 they’ll say they still have work to do.

Once you understand that being fit is a series of habits created over time, then you’ll start to understand that there is no real time frame you can put on it. You can set goals that will help you gauge your improvement but being “Fit” is subjective, nebulous, and a fluctuating target to shoot for.

This is why goal setting is important when you start on the road to fitness. This is why having a coach or mentor to keep you on track is so important. (We’ll have to get into that rabbit hole another time)

Whatever goals you set, here are some things to consider if you’re wondering how long it’s going to take to get there.

How long did it take you to get out of shape?

How old are you? How long has it been since you maintained an active lifestyle, or worked out regularly? Have you been eating healthy or not? There are so many factors that lead to how you got out of shape and how long you’ve been that way.

What realistic expectation is there that you can get fit in any fraction of that time?

How willing are you to work hard consistently over time?

It’s not going to be easy. You have to make changes in your life. Your schedule, habits, activities, time with people, all of it may have to change in one way or another.

That’s not even taking the actual working out into consideration. You’re going to be sore, tired, and frustrated as you exercise and learn how to work your body efficiently.

Can you remember why you’re doing it, and keep working hard consistently?

Food food food

You can’t outwork a bad diet. It’s that simple.

Here’s our basic nutrition guideline: Maintain a diet of meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Eat until satisfied, not full.

Learn the mantra “Never hungry, never full”

Obviously, there is more to it and we highly suggest working with a professional to make sure you’re doing it right.

Most important!

Quick is not the answer

Get over the fact that it will take time and it will take effort. The worst thing you can do is try to shortcut the process by using shakes, supplements, wraps, or who knows what else is out there that will help you “Lose weight in 60 days” or give you “3 secrets to lose fat.

That’s it, folks. Eat the way nature intended, and move your body the way nature intended. Remember fitness is a series of habits developed over time. Start small, get help, be patient.

If you’re looking for a program that can help you get in shape in Ellicott City, Ellicott City Health and Fitness has CrossFit, Boot Camp, Personal Training, and Nutrition services that can help.

We’ve made available a 5 step guide that you can use to find a program that can help you make all these improvements. Go here to DOWNLOAD it now.