Happy “it’s a new week” boys and girls. Actually I’m writing this post on the eve of a new week meaning I am finishing out my weekend and thought I’d share some various insights and thoughts with you while they are still semi-fresh in my head ’cause we’re also dealing with the whole “time change” thing here in the USA which messes with my head for a day or two. If you don’t have to deal with that, consider yourself lucky, but I digress…..
Since we just finished off Halloween, it’s safe to say a good number of you reading this probably had a piece or three of candy and maybe some other treats as well. It’s also safe to say some of you might be going through self imposed guilt for having candy and treats.
There is a candy poster that has been circulating for a while now with various candies and then the specific exercise you need to do to work it off and “negate what you ate”
I will say this again and again… you cannot go out the next day and “work off” what you ate. It’s plain crazy. And I can tell you that you didn’t pack pounds on over night from having a few pieces of your kids candy…. really.
What you can do is enjoy it, have fun, and then the next day just get right back on track with your eating and purposeful exercise. And I don’t mean crazy kill yourself workouts either, those won’t change anything but perhaps, make you sore.
So we’ve established this, right ? Don’t think you can “undo” what you did the day before… you can’t. You CAN change your next day, and the one after that. That’s what leads to success.
Ok my other thought is on our bodies and how we can build strength, endurance, and overall fitness in them through the physical activities we choose. This thought came to me today while I was riding my bike plowing out a 23 mile ride with hills, inclines and some flat roads thrown in for fun. It was a perfect and spectacular day and I just couldn’t stay inside and not be out “in it”
I was thinking how some of those hills were getting easier for me to peddle up faster, and less winded. I was thinking how when I started taking them on a few months ago they seemed harder to do….well probably because they were harder….then…
but I’ve also been incorporating this route in my long runs and my body is slowly been adapting to what I’ve put it through.
That is such a cool thing.
When I talk with people who are wanting encouragement or help on their health and fitness journey there can be frustration and disappointment because they don’t think results come as fast as they could or should.
It’s in our nature perhaps, to have high expectations or want some instant gratification. But our journey of health and fitness can be compared to a marathon and not an all out sprint.
We’re in it for the long, slow, steady haul.
In the beginning we might not even be able to run to the end of the block. We might barely be able to curl that 5lb weight for only a few sets before our muscles get shaky. The idea of doing more than one or two push ups seems almost impossible. Cycling for long rides and being able to power up big hills without feeling like you don’t have enough air or leg power seems to be just how it’s gonna be for you….
Until… one day…. you realize….
You’re running for miles now.
You can lift heavy weight for many reps before your muscles get shaky.
Push ups still suck but you’re into the double digits doing them now
Or…. the realization you’re taking on those big hills on a bike like a boss and killing it.
All of these things require time and time to allow our bodies to build and adapt to what we demand of it. The same can be said of changes going on inside of our bodies as they adjust to the physical demands we put on them. I told my husband I was feeling a lot stronger on the bike, especially taking on big hills. I think I’m pretty physically fit and I guess, other than perhaps elite athletes who I think of being in peak physically all the time, we all can continue to push and challenge our bodies to new levels of strength and fitness. I don’t think we ever really “arrive” at a level of fitness, there will always be room for more growth.
I try to remind people that even though they can’t SEE some changes for awhile, things ARE happening in their bodies.
You can’t give up or quit just because you don’t “see” things yet. You can’t measure your strength and physical fitness with your eyes but trust that the work you are doing will begin to show up when you realize you can push yourself harder and on to newer and tougher levels of physical activity.
Do you give yourself time to let your body change ? Is it hard to be patient or do you want instant, speedy results? Or can you view it as a marathon and not a sprint in your fitness journey ?