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The other day I was working out at the gym and the song from Rocky IV “No easy way out” came on.  For all you cheesy 80s songs trivia buffs, that song was sung by Robert Tepper. I don’t think Robert Tepper is doing much these days but it is a good workout song. In fact, it is an anthem. In the song it says “there is no easy way out – no shortcuts home.” This is pure genius (note the sarcasm).

Anyway, deep down we know that big goals take time, but part of us wants to believe there is some magic pill or product that will safely dump all our body fat and give us the body we want in 30 days or less.  It’s like seeing your parents put gifts under the tree when you were a kid but still believing in Santa Claus. Sorry if I ruined that for anyone.

Oh sure, there are lots of shady marketers who don’t give a crap about you and only care about seperating you from your hard earned money with false hope and promises. They will tell you things like “you don’t need diet and exercise” and that they have “done studies showing that their product burned a gazillion percent more fat than exercise and diet alone.”

I’m sorry to say that any program calling itself easy and telling you that you can have the body you want without the work, is a modern day fairy tale. There still is that part of us that wants to believe it is true. Maybe just this once it will work and once again our hopes dash as the latest fat blaster shake or pill fails us once again.

Enough is enough. Get real with yourself. Fitness is a lifelong journey. I’ve always said it is two steps forward and one step back. There will be times you are in the zone eating and training like an Olympian. The other times are just life. Sick kids, work projects, vacations and other challenges will throw you off.

I’ve been at 5-6% body fat and one other trainer told me the hardest part about getting there is realizing you can’t stay there. Well yes you can, but then you won’t really have a life. I love fitness and it will always be a part of my life but I accept there will be wins and losses in this department and life is more than a scale, weight or body fat percentage.

Those of you starting down your path to better health and fitness don’t know this yet, but the journey truly is more rewarding than actually hitting the goal. Every time I have accomplished something big, I have reflected back on the journey versus the goal.

I was in college when I was trying to earn a football scholarship (3 year process). I remember being out on the track at night doing extra sprints and agility drills to get faster and more agile listening to my boombox in the rain.  I remember my mindset of “I will do whatever it takes to get this” because I wanted it so bad.

Then there was learning Spanish (3.5 year process). I remember going into a local Mexican store and stumbling over myself trying to speak to the owners who later became good friends of mine.  I remember going to Cuba where I was forced to speak and think in Spanish for over a week with no contact to the U.S. It was tough and gave me headaches because I was concentrating so hard but I loved the challenge. Even the mistakes I made were great for learning.

In the fitness realm, I did my two physique shows in 2 years plus one powerlifitng meet and it wasn’t the getting on stage that I think about. It was doing the hard workout when it was cold and dark at 5:30am. It was the culture of discipline I had with my eating and use of Advocare products. These things built character and gave me confidence that flowed into other areas of my life.

With my business, it is a real challenge because there are so many moving parts and it has challenged me to grow and learn things I never would have if I had just remained at the health club. I have not yet arrived here but the process has been well worth it. It has bought me closer to God and made me look at my business as my ministry rather than just a way to support my family

Each big goal has shaped who I am today and the thing I like most about them is they all were tough and took time. No one appreciates anything that comes easy. If it comes easy, it either won’t last or it wasn’t a good goal to begin with.

So whatever journey you are on, I urge you to stick and stay. Like Napolean Hill says in his book Think And Grow Rich,  “winners never quit, and quitters never win.” Persistence and consistency will equal success in anything you apply these two concepts to.

So put on Robert Tepper as your favorite cheesy 80s psyche up song, crank it up and get to work!