Torres column: A burning desire leads to commitment leads to results
Here are two indispensable virtues you need to succeed in your weight-loss and health goals: desire and commitment. These two virtues are correlated. The bigger your desire to reach your goal, the more committed you will be to your program. On the other hand, the less desire you have, the less committed you will be.
Let me explain further. We can guess that all people who are enrolled in a weight-loss program have a desire to lose weight. But the reality is that many of these people do not. They just want all the benefits that a healthy body weight provides. Many people want to enjoy many active recreational activities and fit in clothes that they fit in when they were younger. But they don’t want to pay the price. This is one of the reasons they opt for easy ways out like surgery, diet pills, hormone treatments, diets and so on.
A burning desire means that the person is willing to sacrifice anything to get to his or her goal (except his or her personal relations, integrity and health). Not many people have a burning desire. I remember when I started to exercise. I was at the gym six times a week no matter the consequences. Back then, I had to work two jobs, one after the other. My day started at 6 a.m. and ended at 2 a.m. My first job started at 7 a.m. and finished at 4 p.m. Then, my second job started right after the first one ended, and I’d be finished by midnight. I’d drive to the 24-hour gym, work out for an hour and drive home. I had a burning desire to improve my appearance. Now that I’m where I want to be, all I have to do is maintain it.
I heard that where we spend the most energy to move anything is at the beginning. Think about a car, ship or airplane. The same rule applies to any goal. Just like any object, once we are moving toward the goal, things gets easier.
I have a burning desire to help people to be happier and achieve their fitness goals, and also to open a nonprofit organization to help animals all over the world, and I’m working on it. I prefer to sacrifice all distractions that keep me from moving toward my goal. This is one of the reasons I take the time to write these columns (to put all my ideas together takes me around one to two hours).
I have some clients that have three to five children, own a business, have physical limitations, are older than 70, and have stressful lives, yet they continue fighting obstacles and negative thoughts.
Conversely, I have found some people that have fewer limitations and yet they make excuses. It is easy to conclude who has a burning desire to get to their goal.
This leads to the level of commitment that the person will devote to his or her program. People who don’t have a burning desire to be fit, lose weight and be healthier are simply not committed. They come out with all kinds of excuses to avoid their program. As a result, they never reach their goal.
I don’t blame anybody for not having a burning desire. Such a thing is not easy to discover in yourself, and not everyone understands the need for a healthier life, which helps wake up the desire to exercise. However, if you are ready to enjoy a healthier life and you want to kindle that burning desire, here are some tips for you:
First you need to understand that exercise, eating healthily and dealing with stress is good for anyone who wants to improve his or her life. Once you understand that, you need to think about your past and the suffering that a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices have caused you, such as diabetes or other diseases; the chance you had to ride your bike, but you had to say no because you didn’t think you were fit enough; the time when you wanted to be part of a sports team, but you didn’t feel in good enough shape and had to turn down the offer; the time when your kids or grandkids wanted to play with you and you simply did not have the energy. Or when you wanted to wear those pants that looked good on you in the past but you could no longer fit in them.
Now think about your present problems. The doctor bills you must pay because of the insulin you are taking only because you are not exercising and improving your eating habits. Think about how difficult it is to climb stairs or carry your luggage when you are traveling, that this summer is gone and you did not want to go to the beach because you lacked confidence in your appearance.
What will the future bring if you continue a sedentary lifestyle? I’ll let your imagination work.
I know it sounds a little depressing, but this pain is part of what drives me to be healthy and to achieve other things, such as building my future organization. When I see people mistreating animals I suffer so much that I get upset. But being upset won’t help me or the animals. So I use this pain to get out of my comfort zone and help push myself to achieve my goal.
Now let’s talk about the real you, the one who wants to conquer the world. You are going to think about all the benefits that exercise is bringing to your life. When you finish reading, I want you to close your eyes and bring these ideas into your head, smell them, feel them, listen to them.
Think about the pleasures exercise and eating healthily are bringing to your life. No more medicine, no more “no” to any recreational activity. Now you are playing with your loved ones. You are hiking the hill that you always wanted to. You are riding your bike with no boundaries. Those pants that you were thinking about giving away are now fitting like never before. You can go to sleep every night restfully and without pain. You are not getting older but stronger and more aware now that your body is rejuvenating. When you are traveling, you are carrying your luggage and helping the elderly or beautiful woman who needs assistance and you feel proud because you can. You are not depending on anyone anymore. Your quality of life has increased thanks to the effort you have put into improving your health.
Wake up your burning desire to lose weight and get healthier. Burning Desire = Commitment = Results. This is the only way to get what you want. There is no way out. I hope my words have changed your thinking pattern, or cognitive thinking, as psychologists call it. My dream is to make a change in this world, and I hope I spent these two hours writing this in a productive way.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.