Lose weight fast, build muscle now, and other mythical quests

Lose 15 pounds in 10 days!

photo by Alan Cleaver – flickr Creative Commons

Get six pack abs in 2 weeks!

Meet your fitness goals without getting off the couch!

If those headline sucked you in, you should probably just stop reading now.

Sorry, but lasting results don’t happen instantly. No ‘mystery diet revealed” is going to help you drop 15 pounds of fat over the weekend. There’s no workout program in the world that will make you look like a Men’s Health cover model in three weeks (unless you’re almost there already). Probably not in three months either.

There are no magic pills, formulas, shortcuts, or tricks that will get you real results without real effort. When those pills and fad diets do “work” (and by work I mean either as placebos or some harmful effect like dehydration or artificial appetite supression), the temporary “results” are usually off-set by a nasty rebound.

What’s the big hurry, anyway? It takes years to get overweight and out of shape. Why should reversing that be different? Isn’t the whole need for instant gratification, have it all, do it NOW part of the problem in the first place?

Real change takes time. And work.

Maybe that sounds like a drag… Putting in serious effort might be more than you want to give to the project of re-formatting your body. If so, that’s cool. There’s nothing wrong with NOT being fit or lean if those aren’t your priorities. You’d just be wise to accept that it’s not going to happen without the effort, instead of looking for the quick-fix.

But if you really want to drop those extra pounds or be able to run a 5K or just get out of bed in the morning without wondering when that new pain developed, you’re in luck. That effort I’ve been talking about?

It’s totally worth it.

And the best part is this: If you’re really lucky, the effort becomes the passion. Working every day to make yourself better, stronger, more capable, healthier? Seeing results, breaking plateaus, setting goals and exceeding them and dreaming up new ones? What could be more fun and more rewarding?

Step one is simply acknowledging that it’s going to take some work.

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