For years, we’ve all been struggling with some extra weight around our bellies, and with the unnecessary pounds we gain after every holiday meal. How incredible does it sound to just rub the back of our ears and POOF! All gone! To take a magic pill that just curbs our appetite. We don’t have to do any work whatsoever. No sweat running down our backs as we peddle through that 5 a.m. spin class, and no wait lists we find ourselves on no matter how early we try to sign up. All that time and effort we put into our physical health we can now use towards watching another episode of the newest Netflix series. The Saturday night classes are now replaced by popping pills and injecting hormones into our bodies in order to get into shape. Do we really want to live like that?
We’re living in a world of instant gratification. With Amazon Prime delivering packages within hours of ordering, with a click of a button that downloads the games that literally just launched not even 30 seconds ago and now with pills and injections that make us lose weight without even moving a muscle. What ever happened to enjoying the process, to work for the end goal?! What kind of enjoyment are we getting out of life when we can get whatever we need in the snap of a finger with zero or little effort?
Physical activity bumps up the production of your brain’s “feel good” hormones called endorphins. When working out, the production of these hormones build up creating a healthy “high” that lasts a few hours after the workout. Those of you who exercise have definitely felt this at either all or at least some of the days that you’ve left the gym. Exercise also improves mental health by reducing anxiety and depression and improves self esteem and cognitive function. We sleep better when we train, our energy level skyrockets, and our social life benefits due to the positive mood shift. All in all, we just feel better. Now tell me, what in the world can be better than all of that!
As easy as all these new medicines and trendy diets are to lose weight, we’re losing out on the process. We’re forgetting about how good it feels to put in the effort and actually see the results from all the work we did. Call me old fashioned, but I rather work for something than just taking the easy way out. Isn’t that what we try to teach our kids? You want those tickets to the playoff games? Earn it. Work for it. Get those straight A’s and the legend seats are yours. Come 5 minutes early to davening and you got yourself a new pair of AirPod pros. How much more gratifying are the results when you see the work you put in.
Losing weight and getting into shape can be super frustrating. The older we get the more stubborn our bodies are. Sure there are times when we want the easy way out. Sure there are times when we tell ourselves that we put in the time and the effort and we’re still not where we want to be. Listen to me. Trust the process. It takes time. Sometimes more time than you’re willing to give. Just don’t give up. Don’t turn to outside measures that will make you happy in the moment, but won’t make you feel good about how you got there. The journey is your own.
It’s what you make of it.
Remember to stay true to yourself and to not give in to the instant gratifications that life throws at you. When you take advantage of the time it takes to get to the end goal, and you make it your own, the prize is that much better.
Be you, just stronger
Shana Katz is a personal trainer and founder of Sweat With Shana. To contact her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram @sweatwith.shana.