Working Out Sucks ... But It Doesn't Have To

With a few attitude changes, you can turn working out into a positive experience.
With a few attitude changes, you can turn working out into a positive experience.

I know what you’re doing. It’s January, and once again you find yourself trolling through the myriad of new diet and "beef’em" up fitness books hoping and praying that someone out there really gets what the average Jane and Joe need out there. And most of what you probably found were the usual get-into-your-bikini in three weeks hype (like you’ve ever owned one to start with) or six packs in six weeks fantasy. Well, when your belly is so big it’s got its own zip code, you're dreaming if you think your middle is melting away in short order!

Don’t give up hope because here comes a breath of fresh fitness air to help guide you to a healthy and toned body and mind. Chuck Runyon, CEO and co-founder of Anytime Fitness, sat down and penned a maverick new approach to taking better care of yourself. In his book, Working Out Sucks (Perseus 2012), Runyon launches The Fitness Rebellion™.


Redefine What Fitness Means to You

No, this doesn’t mean you run away from fitness. Instead, according to the book, it’s “an uprising of people redefining fitness on their own terms. This goes beyond tight abs and treadmills. It’s about celebrating the little wins and victories, and giving voice to the sweat haters and excuse makers.” Runyon and his co-authors Brian Zehetner and Rebecca DeRossett, are throwing out an open invitation to men and women who’ve been sidelined on their couches, confused by diet and fitness misinformation, multimedia over-promises and frank lies about how to achieve their personal wellness goals. The Anytime team wants to pluck every one of those unhappy campers - could this be you? - from their easy chairs, take them by their collective hands and guide them to the health and wellness they so deserve.

How does he pull this off? First, with an attitude change. With a clippy, witty style, Runyon puts it out there declaring up front that he and his team “gets it” and understands your frustration. On the one hand, he’s telling you “Yea, it seems that working out sucks,” when you have to take the time to work it for the results you want. But at the same time, he makes a powerful case for getting off your rear ends to save your own lives - and, oh, looking great and feeling energized as a bonus.

Throughout the book, he speaks in your language, a “no B-S” push for a gradual change in your lifestyle. By doing so, Runyon and the Anytime folks are staying in touch with the new trend to ditch the muscle mania and instead encourage people to integrate simple small steps into their mental attitude, nutrition as well as physical activity.

It Won't Be Easy, But Results Are Possible

What really caught my eyes, quite frankly, were the stories from real people. We can read the rants and raves of experts all day long, but does what they’re recommending really work? I flipped the pages until I saw the pictures. There’s Chastidy at 22, weighing 308 after the birth of her second child in 2010. How many of you can relate to her when she shared her terror about joining a gym and being seen in a public place in her workout clothes? As a physician, I know it’s about the judging issue - what are people really thinking about you as a seriously obese individual? But she did what all of you have to do. She sucked it up, buried her fears and marched into the gym. Was it easy? Heck, no. She slugged it out, fighting the daily urge to quit. But with the encouragement of her Anytime fitness professional, as well as the love and support of her family and friends, she kept showing up, sweating and high-fiving herself on the way out the door. One year later, she’s down 150 pounds and literally hit the pavement running by completing her first marathon.

Running a marathon is not required to celebrate a victory like this. What’s important is that you get how important it is to start your journey today - no excuses. Don’t believe any of the media misinformation and hype about overnight weight meltdowns. Tiny little steps is all it takes.

How about you:

1) De-clutter your kitchen of anything that doesn’t qualify as a whole food. That means those bags and boxes of what I call “science fair projects” that are jam-packed with refined and processed sugars, fats and salt. Ditch’em!

2) Dig out your sneakers, socks and comfortable workout clothes and walk outside for 30 minutes today. Do it alone or take a friend - dogs count! Be conscious of how your mind and body feel. If you’ve been sedentary, just take it easy and go gradually.

3) Put some altitude in your attitude by creating powerful, positive mantras and motivations to keep you going, especially when you’re faced with 24/7 stresses. Instead of an excuse generator, become a hope making machine. Where there’s hope, there’s constant inspiration to lead you to success.

All great life journeys begin with a single step. Get up now and gift yourself with a healthy body to live your dreams. You can do it!