It is totally ok to admit that you have a lack of willpower to exercise. I was once there, and in fact, I spent years in that position.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer as to why you might have the lack of willpower to exercise. But in this article, I am going to attempt to unpack the things that might be holding you back.
Before getting started, I encourage you to download our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). Our FREE workout plans will make sure that you can’t use lack of knowledge as an excuse to hit your goals.
Unrealistic expectations thanks to the media
The media is guilty of making us feel inferior when we see these insane transformations of the stars. But it’s not just movie stars that fuel the fire. It is commercials, social media, the news, etc…
I even wrote an article on how actors get in shape so fast. It’s all a trick. The secret is that they are already in shape, but maybe with just a little bit of extra fat. So when they have 3 months to get in shape for a role, they just call up their personal trainer and nutritionist, and make it happen.
Here is the thing. Shocking transformations sell. And it can be great marketing for a movie coming out. If actors can give the appearance that they were significantly out of shape before filming, and then miraculously got into shape just in time for filming, that would be something to talk about in interviews.
We have all seen those pictures of Vin Diesel standing on a balcony looking like a slob. And then next thing you know, he is in great shape. I am always skeptical of these pictures. Why? Because in almost every interview that Vin Diesel took part in after that talked about his miraculous transformation.
Celebrities and their agents know how to work the system. They know how to get people talking, which ultimately leads to more interviews, and more promotion of their “insane transformation.”
Moving on from celebrities, you also see a lot of crash diets or fitness programs marketed that purport drastic weight loss in a short amount of time.
This unfortunately promotes unrealistic expectations for end users. Learn more about setting realistic fitness goals for beginners.
Who is your circle of influence?
Your circle of influence, or the people that you spend the most time with are extremely important when it comes to deciphering your lack of willpower to exercise.
Why? Because if those closest to you don’t support your desire to get into shape, you will ultimately be less likely to do it.
Let me give you an example. A friend of might was obese. His parents were obese too. And of course his brother was obese. His parents would buy both of them all sorts of bad foods like ice cream, cookies, chocolates, etc…
Not only that, but when my friend expressed his desire to get into shape, his parents actually laughed at him. They even asked him why he wanted to get into shape.
Now you can see how negatively your circle of influence can affect your desire to get into shape.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do about your parents being negative. But you can learn how to recognize the negativity and use it to your advantage.
I promise you that if you go to the gym regularly and you are consistent, you are going to meet people who will end up becoming your friends. And guess what, that will be your new circle of influence that will of course help you get more willpower to exercise.
Not prepared to be in it for the long haul
A lot of people who start working out don’t realize that it is a long term commitment. They want to just jump in and out at their will.
Surprisingly, this is one of the attitudes that leads to lack of willpower. Why? Because we know that it is going to take time to build the body that we want. And we know that if we can’t commit that time to bettering our lives, we might as well not do it.
Or at least that is what we keep telling ourselves.
Here is the truth. Even working out 1 day per week is going to improve your life. Just show up. Even if you don’t think you are doing that great. Just go through the motions.
One thing that I love about my gym is that they have TVs everywhere. They always have some sort of sports game on. I find this really helpful in keeping me motivated while working out. I can’t explain it, but it just does.
Maybe you can time your gym session to coincide with your favorite football team’s game.
The key here is to make sure that you are doing everything you can to build better habits. Even little habits add up. You can learn how to make exercise a habit here.
What to do about it
Ok, so you have a lack of willpower to exercise, now what? Your expectations are killing you. Here is one way that you can frame your mind to get better. Ask yourself, am I getting better every day?
Do not judge your progress based on what you see in the media or other people that surround you. Base your progress off of your own self.
I used to be the type of guy that would see Chris Hemsworth and wonder why I can’t get that body overnight. But when I compare myself now to my previous self, it is a night and day difference for the better.
What about your friend group or your circle of influence? I will admit, at first it might be a little bit lonely if you aren’t surrounded by supportive people. But you know what you certainly can do about it?
Hit the gym, work on yourself, and develop new friendships.
Here is one of the best things that you can do to jumpstart your journey. Set a schedule for yourself. Go to the gym 3-5 days per week, but only spend 5 minutes in the gym. Yes, 5 minutes.
I know it seems foolish, but this is going to get you in the habit of actually showing up at the gym. In time, you will realize the benefits and you will be able to step up and start a nice little routine for yourself.
Main Point: Lack of willpower to exercise?
If you have the lack of willpower to exercise, you are not alone. Just the fact that 73.6% of the U.S. population is overweight tells us that the majority of our population struggles with it.
But just because the majority of the population is overweight does not mean that gives us a free pass to think that is ok.
There are many health risks with being overweight, especially obese. And we know that fact alone doesn’t stop people from slipping into a lifestyle of instant gratification and laziness.
Just know that it might be the people who you surround yourself with that are affecting you the most negatively. Or maybe it is the media, social media, or any other outside influence that you might not be considering.
If you think that these things might be affecting you even remotely, I have a task for you. For one week, don’t log on to any social media platforms. Avoid the news and any other forms of entertainment.
I know this sounds extreme, but try it for one week and see if your attitude changes. I know for me, it definitely did. You might just need a reset of what you think is normal.
Lack of willpower to exercise will come and go. But if there is one thing that I know works is by measuring your progress. Literally measure your weight, your waist size, leg size, and all.
This is going to give you a benchmark that you can come back to and say “I beat that.”
Then next time your lack of willpower hits, you can see what you have done and make it a point to beat your past self.
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