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Fitness Starts with Patience, Motivation, and Integrity

Think of a moment in your life when you got really excited about starting something new. What happened? How many times did you get fed up? Can you count the times you haven't finished something you started? This seems to be a common trend when starting a fitness plan. Changing your fitness means changing your life.

Have you ever asked yourself why?

Before we even start questioning what stops us from completing our fitness goals, we need to examine the reasons why we start them.

Have you felt at any time that you had mixed feelings about doing something? It didn't feel right, or you weren't sure what you should be feeling? This same type of questioning needs to be done in regard to your health and training.

When I see a client for the first time, I ask them, "What has stopped you in the past from accomplishing your goals?" I've heard my clients say they spend too many hours at work, it’s too hard, they don’t have enough motivation, it’s too expensive, or they chock it up to laziness. I tell my clients all the same thing: those are excuses, not reasons. But now we can dig deeper and get to the root of why we sabotage ourselves.

For the purpose of identifying these tools , we will incorporate them towards our fitness goals. Before you start your grocery list or training schedule and before buying all your supplements, identify these three elements—patience, motivation, and integrity—in your task.

Something deep down within us gives us the drive to get going, wanting to look and feel better. Something in us, not necessarily the same thing that gets us started, becomes the reason we can't finish.

Quick diets have become a society killer. They promise you something, and when you see it doesn't work as quickly as you would like, or you cannot sustain it, then your self-esteem gets shot and you quickly end up grabbing a chocolate chip cookie.

So now, before you start anything, check in with yourself and let's review the three principles.


What is your time frame for accomplishing your goals, and why is this time frame important to you? Your answer could range from "I have my whole life” to “three months." Is it realistic, and can you sustain this expectation given your current lifestyle?

We’re examining our patience for the task. Regaining our health doesn't happen overnight. Adding 10 pounds of quality lean muscle is a long life commitment. Patience is important because it shows your commitment to yourself.

Without patience, there can be no integrity. Shortcuts lead back to square one. At times, if you find yourself back where you started, you find you've dug an even bigger hole. What do I mean by digging a bigger hole?

In an attempt for quick results, we are willing to sacrifice something that we deem unnecessary. This comes from our ignorance. In the case of adding lean muscle mass and cutting body fat, shortcut solutions are common today with so many diets and training gimmicks. We can easily start shedding body fat if we cut food, increase cardio training, and start using supplements that will hurry up the process even more.

However, this is where we sacrifice our internal integrity for external benefits. Food is needed for fuel and recovery. We also store fuel when we don't need it in that moment. By not eating a properly balanced diet, we cause a certain kind of imbalance in our body that causes a domino effect. Our current diets and physical training are two of the numerous reasons for the increased population of cancer patients and heart attack patients. It is extremely essential that we don't sacrifice our body's need to stay nourished with the right quality of foods.

The process is slow and requires endurance, but it is as rewarding sticking with it as it is starting it. Take this with you: if we learn to build patience, then we are building a pattern of consistence and we will be less likely to struggle and give up on ourselves. This will increase a habitual response in which our bodies start to adapt to better, healthy living.


What motivates you to become fit? Motivation is as powerful a tool as action. Here we find the true source of our commitment. No one goes into something without expecting to finish. I don't recall anyone ever telling me “I'll start this until I don't feel like it anymore.” Do you want to lose 10 pounds and sustain it with complete health? I am amazed at the number of people who, after only a few weeks, are willing to give up so easily. Perhaps you need to know what's at stake.

How do we examine our motivation? Do you want to just live, or do you want to live with vitality? If you’re young, you have time on your side, but many people don't realize time doesn't factor into aging like our lifestyles do. The reasoning behind anything you do has to start with a deep burning desire. This desire is a very powerful tool to succeed that you will need quite often on days you’re feeling emotionally unstable.

Anytime the moment comes when you feel it gets too hard, remember what motivated you to start. Visualize how you felt when you saw the long term results.


How does your integrity fit into this timetable? This is where everything originates. This is where we find our motivation and build our patience. Integrity is based on our awareness of our values and the building of inner honesty about those values. Without inner honesty, we live in a fantasy. Integrity is a part of who we are and how people see us. It comes from something deeper than ego which ultimately destroys us. Building integrity is preventing destruction.

Let's say you tell yourself, “I need two months to lose 20 pounds of body-fat and add ten pounds of muscle.” Is that reality or fantasy? What makes this fantasy as opposed to reality? Fantasy is the belief that we can do this in the amount of time suggested. Now two months pass and you haven't lost 20 pounds of fat or gained 10 pounds of muscle. What went wrong?

Inner honesty is the core of our progress and integrity. Our integrity defines who we are and how we spend our time. It tells a story that begins with us and journeys deeper within us, removing each layer we put in front of us, as layers ultimately become our down fall. Layers blanket our integrity by making it so we can no longer feel or see what drives us deep down.

When I first started training, I had no concept of fitness fundamentals. I wanted to get big muscles like all young guys new to the weight room. That's all I wanted. My motivation was that it was cool to have well-defined muscles, and guys with muscles get all the girls. I didn't have much patience. I thought the more you trained, the faster you put on size, so I over-trained and over-ate. At that time, my ego spoke louder than words. It was masking my inner integrity. I trained for the next four years in stages that went from one extreme to another.

Today I have developed a keen sense of internal balance. I am motivated from my inner honesty and I know my body and how it works. I feel stronger and healthier than I ever have before. Externally and internally my body is in its best shape, and that is a bi-product of something deeper. This comes from Patience, Motivation, and Integrity. Once truly realized, the rest seems to fall into place."

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