5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Exercising

5-things-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-exercisingOver the years as the pounds piled on and I felt more and more depressed about the state of my life….  I started to realize that I had to do something about my health and fitness.  No, I didn’t run out and buy a Shake Weight.  I was smarter than that.  But looking back now and reviewing my particular path to success… I see lessons and clues that I think are at the heart of why I made it.

When the starting gun fires and you take the first step on your fitness journey, you are bound to make some horrible mistakes… after all, it’s part of the process.  But these are the things, that if you keep them in mind, you will find success with health, fitness, and many other things in life.  Here are 5 things I wish I knew when I started exercising.

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Exercising

1. There is no silver bullet.  No pill, no shake, no fast, no juice, no too good to be true bullshit that will get you any kind of meaningful life change.  I once drank only lemon juice and syrup for 10 days.  This is what desperation looks like.

There’s only one thing that’s a “silver bullet”, and it’s not a silver bullet at all.  It’s reality and it’s called work.  Hard work.  Sweat.  Not “peddling on a stationary bike while you read a book” work… this is focused, intense, soul-grinding, sweat producing work.  And it’s the only thing that’s real.

Everyone has to start somewhere… and you may have to ease into exercise with the lighter stuff.  But if you don’t progress to the real deal, then your life will not progress either.

2. Fitness is not a goal.  There is no endpoint.  While short term goals are great for motivation, long term commitment means understanding your underlying “why”.  You want to be happier, you want to be around for your kids… whatever.  These goals are lifelong and so are the habits that get and keep you there.  It’s great to lose that 30 pounds and I fully support you doing it…  but damn it, don’t quit!!!  Otherwise, guess where you are headed back to?  Shitsville, population you, that’s where.

The day you start, the moment you take that first step… tell yourself…  “this is my new life”… this is who I am.  And after enough sweat, enough self flagellation, and cursewords… it will be so.  And you will love yourself in so many ways that you could not before.

3. You can’t do this for anyone but you.  While you may be trying to exact revenge on an ex or prove something to someone… that motivation will fade long before you have enough time to change your life permanently.  These may be great little starting motivators, but in the end this about you.  It’s ALL about about you baby!  The only thing that will make you do what you have to every single day (or at least most days) for the rest of your life is the ability to connect with yourself and your own why.  Health is really just about loving yourself… and when you do, you even begin to love the stuff you don’t like about you.  Some of your worst perceived traits become your biggest motivators and strengths.  Plainly put, this is living and growing.

4. Planning is everything.  You have to have a plan man.  You can’t wing this stuff.  While you may think you know a thing or two about fitness and eating right (and you may actually), I guarantee you still have a lot to learn.  We all do.  Find plans and guides.  Execute routines.  Build habits.  Bust out the spreadsheets and get nerdy with it.  Obsess!  Learn.  Blah blah blah.  Just freakin’ do it.  Or else you won’t.

5. It’s all about what you eat.  Exercise is great.  Even if you are huffing down Doritos Taco’s for lunch… you will get some benefit out of exercise.  But you will never get to where you truly want to be until you follow this cardinal rule.  You ARE what you eat.  And if you eat crap, your insides are going to run crappily (is that a word?).  And you cannot out exercise a bad diet.

Please don’t make this mistake.  It can take a lot of hard work and make it mostly ineffective.  The day you decide that you want to live a healthy lifestyle, make a commitment to good food.  Nothing else should go into your body, and after a while… your body won’t even let it (don’t ask).

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Exercising

So go forth and prosper.  Follow these 5 things I wish I knew when I started exercising and find yourself light-years ahead of where you were yesterday.  It may seem stupid simple… and it is.  But never underestimate the ability to ignore the obvious in order to justify the convenient.

Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach

I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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5 Responses to “5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Exercising”

  1. Great read! Printing this one out and posting it up. Thanks Ryan!

  2. #3, in my opinion, is the most important one! But they’re all important. Love your blog posts, by the way, Ryan. Informative but funny.

    • THANK YOU THANK YOU Heather! I really appreciate the feedback. And I agree, #3 is the good stuff and what really keeps me passionate about this stuff!


  1. Talking Fitness On Smartlife... aka Ryan Goes On TV AgainCoachRyanGillespie.com - February 13, 2014

    […] I got to talk about fitness (my favorite subject).  The topic originated from my blog post “5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Exercising“.  I really enjoyed writing this article and I enjoyed talking a bit about it on the show.  […]

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