Health and Fitness Column: My eight truths about being fit for life

Melissa Vogel is a fitness trainer, host of the Bomb Mom Podcast, keynote speaker, model, actress, a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and mother of three daughters. Photo by Melissa Vogel.

By Melissa Vogel  
Health and Fitness Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider 

There is so much false information out there about health and fitness. It’s extremely difficult to know what is true and what is a false advertisement so another company can take your money. This article will break down some of the myths about your health and fitness journey and shed some light on what is really required to hit your goal this year.

The good news is that it’s possible to break the “mom bod” or “dad bod” stereotype. When you put yourself first and you feel confident and strong, you’ll notice that you’re a better parent, employee, co-worker, partner, and friend.

Through the right workouts, nutrition, and mindset, you can get there! If you have the right mindset going into your fitness journey, your body will listen because your mind is in control. When your mind and body are connected and both moving towards the same goals, you’ll see results!

I once saw a post about the eight truths about being an entrepreneur and I could completely relate. They were very similar to what someone would go through on their journey with fitness. It doesn’t matter if you’re already fit and down 30 pounds or if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey and don’t really know where to start. These will resonate with all of you!

1. You’ll suck at first.

This isn’t to scare you or to be a downer, it’s to warn you! It’s no fun being blindsided. Everyone wants to kill their fitness journey, but the truth is, you will suck! Don’t be surprised when this is harder than you expect and you want to quit, because you will. Everyone faces that point in their fitness journey at one time or another. Think about when you start anything new. You don’t start out at anything as a pro, right? So why would you expect to be a pro with your fitness when you’re a newbie?

There will be days when your alarm goes on and, instead of getting up to get your workout in, you’ll have actually hit the snooze button and missed your workout altogether. There will be times when you go to work out and have this plan of what you’re going to do and you get two sets into it and feel like you’re about to die. It’s just going to happen! There’s no way around it. It’s all a part of the process.

2. It’s in your blood.

Your ancestors worked out! They were into fitness too. This is a comment discussion with my clients because we are truly fighting an uphill battle. Between the polluted air we’re breathing in, the GMOs we eat, and what our crops are sprayed with, we have a lot to offset. Our ancestors didn’t have to work against those obstacles. They walked, hiked, and traveled by foot everywhere they needed to go. Men went out to hunt and women cooked the food and made the pots for the food to go in. They performed so much manual labor. They were insanely active because they had to be to survive.

So when I say it’s in our blood, it truly is! We have so much technology now that we don’t have to do all of that, but if you want to stay strong and healthy, you better be active! Our bodies are designed to move, so get moving! Your body will thank you in the long run.

3. It will take twice as much time and money as you think.

When we think about our fitness, usually people have goals. Maybe they want to lose a certain amount of weight in a set amount of time. Typically people want results in about six weeks. Double that time. If we’re being totally honest, if you want to really hit your goals, plan on three years. I know that’s not at all what you want to hear, but it’s true.

I’ve been on my fitness journey for about six years now and over that time I’ve learned so much. What’s cool about this though is that I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, even better than when I was playing college volleyball, doing two workouts a day, and working at gyms just to survive. I’m in better shape now than I was back then! But it took time for me to learn what I should eat, how much protein I need, and how much I need to exercise to see results and feel good.

Also, it will take more money than you think. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Fitness is not free. Yes, you can join a gym for about $10 a month, but if you really want to become amazing, lean, and ripped, you’ll need help. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. We don’t all start out knowing exactly what workouts we should be doing and what we should be eating. That’s why trainers and coaches exist. But this will cost you money.

Remember, you get what you pay for. You don’t want to be guessing at your fitness. For example, I wouldn’t go into a classroom pretending to be a teacher and act like I know what I’m doing. I definitely don’t know how to teach students! So why do people go into the gym and just guess what exercises they should be doing and how many reps and sets they should be doing when trainers exist for a reason?

I have 20 years of experience in fitness and know what works, what doesn’t work, and how to help you avoid injuries. I know what works because I’ve put in the time! If you want to go to the next level with your health and fitness, find someone who knows that profession like the back of their hand. When you do find that person, just know it will cost money. But when you find someone who knows what they’re doing, you will see results! Also, remember that you are an investment, not an expense. Repeat that again. You are an investment, not an expense. When you think of it like that, you will go so much further in your fitness journey because you realize that you’re worth it. You deserve to be healthy, fit, and strong for life.

You have to know that getting a personal trainer is just one piece of the puzzle though. So much more goes into being fit for life, like still being active when you are not at the gym, eating healthy, and being motivated and inspired. That’s what I love about my Busy to Bomb program. Through my program, you get all of the pieces of the puzzle. It’s a lifestyle change that you will carry with you for the rest of your life if you’re willing to put in the work.

4. Think six-plus years to arrive at the dream you have.

This relates to the points I touched on above. If you really want to dedicate yourself to your fitness and health, it is going to take some time for a true change to happen. If you’re thinking, “Holy crap Melissa, that’s a long time! I don’t know if I can do that!” I want you to break it up into six-month chunks. Can you dedicate yourself for the next six months? Six months is a lot less scary to think about. It’s going to take at least that long to break the bad habits you have and start to form new ones. Plus, it will take time to find the person that you work well with, that you look up to and that will help you get the results you want. So yes, it will take a few years.

5. It will test you in every way, including your resolve, willpower, patience, loyalty, and character.

Your fitness journey will test you in every single way possible! Here’s the kicker: when people get tested, they quit! Your body will fight! Not at first, especially if you have more fat to lose. Your body will realize you’re working and creating a deficit so the weight will come off in the beginning. You’ll think to yourself how awesome you’re doing and you’ll be motivated to keep going until your body plateaus. Especially for women. Your body will hang on to fat, just in case it wants to procreate again.

Ladies have a uterus and the body knows it needs to protect that area. This is when it will get hard and you will either push through and reach your goals or you will quit and go right back to where you started. When you have a kid that gets sick and throws up, you will miss that 8 a.m. workout. So, will you give up or will you wait until your kid takes a nap or goes to bed for the night and still get that workout in?

6. It will require everything you have, both tangible and intangible.

What do you have access to? Weights? Equipment? A gym membership? Great! It’s going to require that. It’s going to take all of the tools you have. It’s also going to require what you don’t have. What do I mean by this? The things that you wish for, hope for, and desire. You have to use both the things you do and things you don’t quite yet have to get you to where you want to be.

7. It will be the key for you to discover who you are.

Who do you want to become? When people join my program, they go through a kind of onboarding process. Think of it like an orientation. Why? Because I need to get them in the mental space of fitness before I even start physically training them. I need them to start discovering who they are. At first, this looks like a goal that they set. Then it moves into who they want to become. What are their dreams and goals?

You have to start by discovering where you’re at now and where you want to be. As you change throughout your fitness journey, you will find that who you become will change. And that’s okay! Your fitness journey should induce a lifestyle change, which will change the person you are. People around you might not like the fact that you are changing. But you have to be okay with the change and realize that these changes are good and that they will keep you healthy and fit for life.

8. There is more than one way to achieve these goals.

There is more than one way to work out. I don’t want my clients to just do one thing, like lifting weights. I have some people who come into my program that already have a personal trainer or love going to their spin classes. I encourage these people to keep that in their routine. If there’s something you love doing that gets you up and active, keep doing it! If you love doing Zumba, keep doing it! No, it’s not going to get you ripped, but it gets you moving and gets your heart rate up. I will never tell people to stop doing something active.

The problem that people have is that they think there is only one way to get fit. If they go to a boot camp class and start seeing results, they think they must keep doing that class and never change it up. Well, guess what? Your body will get used to it and you will stop seeing results. I’m not saying to stop going to the class, especially if you love going, but just know that there are other ways to achieve your goals and when you switch it up your body will respond quicker. You also won’t get bored with your workouts when you mix them up a little.

This also goes for food. There are so many things you can eat that are healthy and will get you lean. Sticking to only one way of eating is not fun. Variety is good. But sticking to one diet, like Keto for example, isn’t for everyone. It’s not something many can sustain. See what works for you. There are so many possibilities. You have to find what your body responds to well, and it won’t be the same for everyone. Just because your friend started some diet that helped her lose 10 pounds doesn’t mean it will work for you. There is more than one way.

Now that we’ve gone through the eight points, I want you to go back and read them again and write them on a sticky note. I want you to remind yourself of these points. Like I said in the beginning, whether you’re well into your fitness journey or just starting out, everyone can relate to these points and it will help to be reminded of them occasionally. Your fitness journey isn’t going to be easy and that’s okay.

Melissa Vogel is a fitness expert with more than 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. She is a fitness trainer, host of the Bomb Mom Podcast, keynote speaker, model, actress, a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and mother of three daughters. For more information, visit


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