Prioritize Your Time

Okay, so you started a fitness regimen, and now you’re about to join the ninety percent of people falling so far off the map you’re somewhere in the Antarctic perimeter. Hey, I’m going to judge your progress all I want since you’re about to judge my flat earth beliefs. So, now that we’re on the same page from a judging standpoint, I’ll go ahead and rip apart your excuses that are probably time, work, and vacation related. Actually, I have other ideas, since I’ve covered time and work in the past, so I’m only going to cover a sliver of time and work and cut to the real pre-summertime chase. And it is pre-summertime, because country music stars are in town, much to my dismay. You know, can they for once get someone good in Pittsburgh? I mean, really! Look, over in Cleveland there is Xandria, Delain, Leave’s Eyes, and Epica playing this year alone. And that doesn’t count support acts from Kobra and the Lotus, Hammerfall, and others. At least Pittsburgh gave me Nightwish back in February of 2016, the best band to ever walk the face of mankind. But come on, Pittsburgh, what is it with you and your love of country music? You’re steadily killing fitness regimens one artist at a time.

Right, so now that I’ve zeroed in on why we’re experiencing (or going to start experiencing) difficulties in our priorities thanks to Kenny Chesney (every June or July), Eric Church (was it last week?), and who knows who else, Todd Matthews is going to tell you how to fix this. First, I suggest starting with Oceanborn and working your way to Wishmaster, but you should have it your way and keep listening to whatever distraction you please, and I’ll just tell you what needs to be done.

When summertime rolls around, we have longer days, where the sun begins to rise as early as six in the morning, so take advantage of it. This means you have to wake up earlier so you can get a workout in before work! Why before work? Because how many of us say we’re going to go after work and despite our “good intentions,” never do so? There you have it, check and mate. Unless you are already in the habit of hitting the gym after work, stop lying to yourself, saying it’s going to happen because you have everything packed in, because it likely isn’t. Get up early, and get there before you start your workday. Not only that, but you’ll feel more energized at work. Furthermore, you’ll be much more likely to stick to a nutritional plan! Isn’t that the toughest part? And I don’t mean a twelve-hundred calorie fad diet, I mean a nutritional regimen that is going to get you results that requires eating the right amount of food at the right time.

The first key to success is to rise early. Why? This is because our productivity level shoots through the roof when we get into the habit of waking up earlier. Think about this: I woke up at four in the morning, ate breakfast, and immediately began a query letter that I’m drafting to hand off to literary agents. After that, I did my morning high intensity interval cardio workout, before getting ready to come into work at nine. What do most people do? Sleep in until seven, and you already lost hours of productivity. This is because our bodies like to relax more in the evening, and your procrastination is going to last days, months, years, decades, generations. You get the gist of this.

Are you going to a concert on Friday or Saturday evening and are scheduled to workout the next day? In this case, I suggest you exercise self-control. This means you need to stick to your nutritional regimen and honor your commitment to workout the next morning. Seriously, we should’ve learned self-control in the second grade, and if you failed to have done so at age thirty, forty, or even higher, then grow up. Hey, I’m a twenty-six-year-old kid and do I have to sit here and type that I possess more self-control than most adults twice my age these days? That’s sad, but in some cases, it’s true. Once again, you need to honor your gym and nutritional commitments. If you don’t, shame on you. If you’ve wanted to change into the body you’ve always wanted and you’re still skipping out on workouts and not meeting your nutritional intake because of some concert, bonfire, or picnic, then you lack discipline. Hey, this is a twenty-four-seven thing here, and it isn’t something you pick and choose when you want to do this or do that. If this sounds like another job, then you just told me you’re either not disciplined enough to follow through or you’re lazy.

People sometimes ask me why I speak such a harsh truth. Well, this is because in fitness, you get many who want things to be sugar-coated. They want you to tell them the bike and treadmill are their keys to fat loss. They want you to justify their constant use of machines. They want you to tell them they’re doing great simply because they’re in the gym every single day but doing the same workout time and again. Let me ask you something: What good is that if I did this? What kind of benefit am I handing to you if I said, “Yeah, keep doing your dance classes seven days per week, it’s going to melt the fat off you and you don’t even have to change your nutritional habits.” What if I said that? I wouldn’t last in this industry. If I told someone who was trying to lose weight that their awful dieting methods were working, then I’m in the wrong just as much as they are! Look, I’m trying to help, and by telling things like they are is the best way to help. If you don’t want to hear anything of it, I guess you’re either too proud or too ignorant to see it the way it needs to be seen.

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