Home » Fitness » Maintenance, a path less trodden -Journey to a fitter me.

Maintenance, a path less trodden -Journey to a fitter me.

Image Courtesy- kickboxingdiva.com

Image Courtesy- kickboxingdiva.com

You are familiar with the drill, the rigor, the sequence, the intensity. You know it all. You have reached the desired goal. Your bathroom scales have consistently shown you ten kilos lighter than when you began a few years back. You are happy and positive with the achievement. You know it was possible only because you had set your mind to achieving it. Yeah, you had your coach to help you along the way but in the end it was all YOU. The coach herself said that. So you become smug.

When your coach announces that she will not be able to continue to train you because she has decided to pursue bigger goals, you are supportive. With all the bravado you can muster, you assure her that you won’t fall off the track that you have been laid out. You will continue to make wise food choices, workout regularly (why, you may even commit thrice a week) and keep her posted on your progress. You even joke, ‘God forbid, I need you again!’

Then for the first few weeks you give yourself a ‘well deserved break’. You are mentally relieved that you don’t have to wake early to make it to the workout; you find more time to do other things.  You snooze that extra hour, meet a friend for coffee, watch a movie and spend some ‘catch up’ time on whats-app and social networks.  You pamper yourself and boy it feels good.  When your family and friends look at you with envy and say that you look younger, fitter and agile for your age, you tell them that all it needed was consistent effort.

Then the schools close and the family decides to go on a vacation.  You convince yourself that you will get back to your workout schedules when you are back from the holiday. Your vacation was going to be ‘active’ anyway. How much damage can it do to stay off exercise for a few more weeks?

All too soon, four months have passed by.  You are yet to restart your workout. You get used to not setting aside time for exercise, not thrice, but even once a week. Who has the time? There is always so much to do. Then one morning you decide to check if the batteries in the digital weighing machine still work. You cannot believe your eyes when the numbers soar up to 3 kilos plus than how much you weighed just a few weeks back. It definitely must be a faulty battery?

Soon afterward, your coach reaches out with a cheerful ‘Hey what’s up! Want to catch up for lunch?’ It is the beacon of light you were hoping to see to shake you up from your disinclination for activity. You are both relieved and guilty at the same time. You agree to meet with enthusiasm. You look for the most flattering outfit you have in your wardrobe to make you look the same as you did four months back.  Who are you fooling?  One look at you and her eyes take in all the details. She is too kind to point out and tell you to your face that under that entire pretense that you are in control, she knows just how much you are spilling out. Yeah that is right. That is exactly what I got told.

Anybody who has been on an exercise regimen under the watchful eyes of a coach or a trainer will agree with me.  When we decide to continue to walk the path of maintenance independently, we often fail. What is it about working out alone that is scary or boring that we just don’t seem to even want to attempt it? Does that mean you are addicted to your coach? Wasn’t it ‘all your doing’ that you achieved what you did? Then what stops you now?

I am not the first person who has felt this way. All the people I have known during my years with my coach have either fallen off the track or continued working out with other trainers. Even though I have managed to include other forms of exercise (yoga, for example) and continue to walk the daily 5km, when it comes to weight training, I am just not enthusiastic about doing it on my own.

If you are someone who is an exception to the rule and have managed to stick to the discipline of working out no matter who is watching, then tell me how you do it! But, if you are like me and many of us who are slack and need a coach or trainer to keep us engaged, engrossed and disciplined about exercise, then come on, we have to form a group and fight it!

Either way, write to me.

This is in continuation of the series of blog posts that I had written two years back in March 2013 that you will find on this blog. The link to the first of the posts of the 8-part blog titled ‘ Journey to a fitter me’ is here.

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7 thoughts on “Maintenance, a path less trodden -Journey to a fitter me.

  1. I said goodbye to my trainer early Dec and I was extremely scared. But then I have been working out without a trainer (2-3 days a week) and surviving. My sessions are not so intense. I don’t come back home unable to climb the stairs but I feel good. How do I do it? I owe it all to music. I have a peppy playlist that I plug on the minute I step into my gym gear & it keeps me moving. I keep changing it. Every day I spent 5 minutes figuring out what I want to listen. It has sort of become my push. I don’t listen to music with my trainer but as I weaned off my trainer (I started off with reducing my trainer sessions. From 3 sessions a week to 1 session) I started leaning on music. The beats are the ones I don’t usually listen to. High energy/dappankutu/gana and everything in between. I still don’t know how it works but as of now, music is the only thing that gets me to the gym and for that I am grateful.
    You can do it! Get those sneakers on and move

    • You said it, Vinitha! I am so glad music helps you keep to your commitment to stay fit. I have my teen daughter who has begun taking fitness seriously. She is my motivation!

      • It is great that your teen is into fitness. I am trying hard to set an example for my 5 year old. I want her to grow up around parents who workout regularly and put their health first. It is a process (especially when a lot of our foods lean on ghee and sugar). Good luck

  2. Arthi, I needed this post. Not in the vein you meant it but kind of similar. My kids were into competitive swimming for the past year. I found a group, walked for an hour and a quarter every day. Then in December, got into the pool for lap swimming. Really conquered several fears until I swam one whole kilometer on Saturday. It was all going well – they swim, I swim, we come home…no dependencies on who watches the kids.

    Then son quit and tooled around there anways while daughter got promoted to a higher batch. She’s not into competitions, interested only in getting technically good. So guess what, this promotion means she wants to quit too. I agree, don’t want her to do something she’s not interested in. Inside, I worry if I can keep on this journey. The swimming really, really works for me with my knees and all. Now they want to try out athletics, two days a week there’ll be a pool near by. The other days….sigh! I was doing so well on the weight loss goals.

    I know I can’t do it without some structure. I already have no trainer. This is even more hanging loose. If I don’t have to be somewhere for someonelse, it will be hard to make the effort…socialization to do more for others than for myself. Sigh! Have to pull hard and the vacations start in one month. You need to prod me with tiny pins, please?

    • Sangi, I know what your fear is and it is not unfounded. People who work with a training schedule are more likely to stick to their regime than people who work out ‘ laissez faire ‘. Sweat not, (pun intended) buddy, the tiny pins are at my disposal.

  3. Fully agree and have gone through this cycle in the past. I am better at it nowadays and the one cliched idea that has worked is to keep achievable short term targets and post-it. Being able to run for 30 mins at 9 or do a specific weight range and repeats on couple of resistance machines. I’ve given up on others. Music works great for me, but using invasive headphones beyond a 20 min range I hear is not good :(.

    Supervised workout was more structured and specialized. The trainer was able to push limits and get a mix of activity sequenced to surprise muscle groups, also there is little prep or rest time between workouts, since he is lining up weights and workouts. This keeps the burn going. I struggle to replicate that constant burn and yes burn is important.

    So set your targets keep the burn going…

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