The Missing Ingredient
Getting fitter, leaner, healthier and stronger as a result of your efforts in the gym and by following a healthy nutrition plan feels amazing. It's something that you can be proud of and know that you are becoming a better person as a result. It inspires other people to follow in your footsteps and it motivates you to keep doing the things that you need to do in order to look after yourself and have a healthier and happier life. On the flip side, feeling as though you are working your ass off and not getting anywhere feels like complete shit. You feel as though you are giving up time, money and putting all of this effort in for diddly squat. It's not a nice feeling at all.
But what if the reality of the situation is that you are not focusing on the right things and you are simply just being impatient? If you've set yourself a goal to lose 20kg and you have only lost a few kilos but in the meantime you have lost heaps of cm, you're able to get through a full class, you have more energy, feel better and can lift heavier weights, why do you just focus on the fact that you have only lost a few kilos???? It's crazy!! I am a firm believer that exercise and nutrition needs to be about becoming a healthier version of yourself. There are so many measures other than weight loss that you can use to see whether or not you are getting results. Those are the things that you need to focus on.
We have become so impatient in just about everything that we do. We hate to be on hold, we hate when traffic is slow, we hate waiting in queues, we hate waiting for food in restaurants, and we sure as hell hate waiting for results! I truly believe that's where we are going so wrong!!! Here's the thing, if you lack patience when it comes to your exercise and nutrition, you are setting yourself up for future pain. Think about it......you didn't become overweight, lethargic, unfit and unhealthy overnight. This has happened as a result of weeks, months, years, perhaps even decades of mistreatment to your body and your mind. Yes, I call it mistreatment, because I believe that eating healthy, nutritious foods and engaging in regular exercise is displaying kindness to your body, whereas being inactive and consuming toxic, fat and sugar laden foods is being about as unkind as you can get to your body (and mind, but that's a whole other topic for discussion). If it took that long to get to where you are now, how can you possibly expect that to change overnight?? The really cool news though, is that if you start to make small changes, you will notice small changes along the way. Those are the things that you need to celebrate.
Changing your health, losing body fat, getting fit, getting strong etc needs to be a gradual process, with baby steps along the way of things that you can maintain for the rest of your life. If you can't maintain it for the rest of your life then what is the bloody point???
Think about it......look at some of the extreme approaches that come as a result of impatience:
* Replacing all meals with shakes.....most of them are packed full of sugar, expensive and eventually you will get completely sick of the same shit, different day. Eventually you will throw in the towel. All the results that you gained will be just as temporary as the 'diet'.
* Calorie counting....YAWN...eventually you get sick of having to worry about the amount of calories in every single piece of food that you will just go back to eating what you were before, and your body will probably do the same, if not worse.
* Cutting carbs and eating a diet full of fatty meats etc.....Eventually (it may take awhile) you will end up with blocked arteries, heart disease and a wide range of other complications. Once again, this is a whole other topic of conversation.....
* Going to the gym and training for two hours a day, every day.....eventually you are going to end up injured, sick and have to take time off. You will end up losing motivation, depressed and your body will be in a worse state than it was before you started.
ONLY MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR NUTRITION AND EXERCISE HABITS IF YOU CAN KEEP THEM FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!
Make small and gradual changes that don't necessarily overhaul your entire life. Do this and you will increase the chances of maintaining these new behaviors. A lack of patience leads to engaging in activities that we just can't maintain and also often ends up in illness or injury because we haven't looked after ourselves.
As difficult as it is, YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT! Patience is so often overlooked and something not even thought of when people are starting to change their lives to become fitter and healthier. But it is like the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder in a recipe. Small, easily missed, but without it you could ruin the entire thing. Look at all of the different aspects of your life that will improve as a result of eating better and moving more rather than just weight loss. You will find that there will be so many more things to celebrate and you will see that your efforts are being rewarded.
Set yourself up for success, be kind to yourself and remember, great nutrition and movement should never be punishment. It's about giving your body what it wants and needs!
Til next time,