This happens all the time. Dude is ripped in high school or college while playing sports, graduates, gets abruptly thrown into the real world with an actual job, and then proceeds to eat like shit and fall out of shape. As a fitness Coach, I’ve seen this happen quite a bit. Most of the guys who come to me for help are in fact former athletes that fell out of shape. Life got in the way, they stopped working out and pigged out on Chinese food 5 times a week, and gained 25 lbs in 2 months. Oh hey, that’s me. Yeah, that’s my story. But man did I love that Chinese food. Anyways, to make a long story short, I made a decision to change my health and got into the best shape of my life. That was in 2008. Now I’ve helped thousands of other dudes like me go through the same journey. Getting started on that journey, though, can be one hell of a journey itself. What I’m going to do is give you my top 7 tips to help you get back into shape.
(1) Make a decision and stick with it. What is up with this indecisive bullshit? That’s not how I function. If I make a decision you better believe I’m sticking with it. Stop saying you’re going to start working out and eating healthy and then go to Cheesecake Factory and chow down on a 3,000 calorie burger and fries meal and say afterwards that you will “start next week.” A year later you’re still planning on getting started. If you’re tired of feeling like shit and want to get your ass back in shape, make a decision and never look back. Stop procrastinating, start now!
(2) Realize that your diet is shit. Let’s face it, you eat like shit. If you think french fries are OK to eat because they are made from potatoes, you’ve got some knowledge to gain. Oh and that’s me again. I literally was the guy who thought that fries were healthy. Goes to show how much knowledge I had on nutrition back then. It’s just a wee bit different now. I guess sarcasm doesn’t play well in a blog. My knowledge on nutrition now is night and day to what it used to be. That’s better. But if you want to get back to your former self or even surpass you’re former condition, it’s going to take some work on your nutrition. In fact, the nutrition aspect is the most important part in getting results. We’ve all heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen,” but as cliche as it is, it’s true. When I started my journey back in 2008 I made some drastic changes to what I was eating. Your best bet is to find a workout program that has a nutrition plan with it. I tell the people I coach that your results will come from 80% nutrition and 20% workouts. After making those changes back in 2008 and not skipping a workout for 90 days, I got into the best shape of my life.
(3) Get your wife’s support. There is nothing worse than you wanting to make changes and get back into shape and then watch your wife shove her face with pizza while you’re eating grilled chicken and brown rice. Awful. It’s important to sit her down and talk to her about the changes you want to make and why you want to make them. First, explain that you are doing this for her and the rest of the family. You want to not only look better for her and feel more confident, which will subsequently improve your sex life, but you want to be a better example for your children. If you eat like shit, they eat like shit. If you eat healthy, they eat healthy. You are a leader by example. Second, tell her how much it would mean to you if she supported you and even joined you on this journey. If she refuses, then you have a shitty wife. Sorry, but it’s true. A good wife supports her husband and vice versa, especially it’s a positive step forward for the entire family. Get her on the same page as you, eating the same things, working out with you, and things will be a hell of a lot easier.
(4) Get yourself a workout or support buddy. When I first started my journey after college I went to my best friend and asked him if he would like to commit with me. I did so for a few reasons. First, because he’s just as competitive as I am and I knew he would push me to the max. Second, because I could use the accountability and support. He agreed and we both lost about 20 lbs within our first month. I would go to his place to work out and then he would come to mine. Unfortunately, he blew it his knee while playing a pick up basketball game and had to stop, but the time we did work out together played a major role in why I achieved such quick results. Get yourself a workout partner or even an online fitness Coach to help you out. Any accountability and support will help.
(5) Holy shit, have some patience. I don’t know what the hell is going on with our society, but everyone wants results instantly. It just doesn’t work that way. I’ve got people I Coach who get pissed that they didn’t achieve their weight loss goal of 25 lbs within their first week. For real? Come on. Results will come over time, just as long as you commit yourself. In all reality, you can expect to lose around 1-2 lbs per week. If you’re a former athlete, though, like I am, sometimes results will come quicker. There’s this thing called muscle memory, which basically means that you’re muscles will respond quicker to working out than someone who has never worked out before. It’s glorious. But you still need to have patience.
(6) Set goals. I’m a goal oriented guy and you should be as well. I recommend that you set realistic goals and do so on a monthly and weekly basis. I’m not a big fan of setting long term goals. You can create them and keep them in the back of your mind, but your shorter term goals will ultimately lead you to your long term goals. When I say “realistic,” I mean don’t expect to lose 70 lbs in a month. But if you want to lose 3 lbs a week, in 4 weeks that’s a total loss of 12 lbs. In 2 months that’s 24 lbs. If you’ve got a large amount of weight to lose, just stay focused on achieving those weekly and monthly goals. Write down your goals as well. Once you write them down, put them somewhere you will see them every day, like on your living room wall. Seriously, that’s what I did. Or you can put them near something like your computer.
(7) Plan on this being a lifelong commitment, not a temporary change. It drives me crazy when people plan on making a change just to lose 25 lbs for the beach or a wedding and then quickly go back to their unhealthy ways afterwards. I’ve seen far too many people go from being obese to incredible shape and back to being obese. These changes you’re about to make absolutely have to be permanent. Not only will you look and feel better, your self-confidence will be permanently increased as well. Does that mean you can’t have a cheat meal or drink alcohol? Absolutely not. In fact, I encourage it every once in a while. If you want to have a few beers with your buddies or chow down on some pizza once every few weeks, go for it. But overall do your best to remain healthy.
So there you have it, 7 tips to help you get back into shape and stay in shape and healthy for the long run. I’ve done all these things and continue to do them to this day.
My name is Josh Spencer and I'm a husband, father, online fitness Coach (since 2008), soon to be author, and holistic healing advocate. Since 2008 I've helped thousands and thousands of people make a change in their health! I believe that in order to make incredible changes you have to have the right mindset, nutrition, and workout plan.