So as I eagerly shared with you in my last post, I have jumped more into the world of cycling with the purchase of my first professional cycling bike ( I wanted to sleep with it after I brought it home. Put it outside?? haha)
In the week that I’ve had it we’ve been getting acquainted with one another. I have to take a little time to do that.
Being on a new bike is like buying a new car.
You simply have to spend some time with it to see how it responds, and how it handles under you. You learn how much you can push it and how fast you can stop when you do push it. You learn how fast you can go on curves 😉
Actually, I’m being good and haven’t really pushed the speed a lot yet.
There is also time for your body to adjust to the differences as well. Being on a bike that is sized and adjusted to my body, obviously positions me very differently from my other bike that I had adjusted as much as possible for my arms and legs.
Therefore, I’m feeling it in different ways after a ride. As much as I’ve wanted to take off and go ….for miles…. in this week I’ve kept the rides short… usually between 8-10 miles. It gives me enough time to settle in and adjust but not so much that I’m uncomfortable later.
It’s hard mentally knowing what I can do, but keeping it in check to allow myself time to adapt to the changes with the new bike. If I jumped in and took off on my usual route which hits somewhere between 20-25 miles…. I might not be feeling so great the next day and left feeling like I wanted to do nothing because I hurt.
I cannot take an all or nothing approach to conditioning myself for new athletic adventures.
To continue strong in my training means being practical to my approach in training if I want to make consistent progress.
Yet… so often when I’m talking with people about health and weight loss there is an “all or nothing” approach to it.
I must give up everything to be successful. No fun. Nothing good. Lots of exercise. Rice cakes and celery sticks, here I come.
I will just eat whatever. Exercise doesn’t matter so much. I’m ok the way I am. I’ll get to it…someday… maybe… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it.
An all or nothing approach to weight loss and fitness never works either.
In fact, it’s designed to fail.
For instance, things that make me cringe. You’ve seen those “30 Day Challenges”? You know, something like get up to 3,000 squats by the end of the month or a zillion pushups?
Ok, I might be slightly exaggerating but the effects would be the same. If you crawled off the sofa and just started pushing your body hard with activities it wasn’t used to, well, most likely by day 2 you’re gonna be so sore you’ll be using that challenge chart to start a fire.
Maybe you just decide you’re going to go start running and try a few miles.. and you haven’t even done walking miles yet. It could be anything.
When you just throw yourself into it with no preparation, your body will let you know it’s not happy about it.
You had that crazy moment of going after it “all” approach… and now you are paying for it… which is when you decide the “nothing” approach is probably better.
What a vicious cycle! No wonder so many give up frustrated and discouraged with the process and quit.
What if, you built a plan, that was gradual, consistent and sustainable? A plan that allowed your body to adapt to the changes you were putting it through?
Much like I cannot just get up and run a marathon without months of training or do a really long ride on a brand new bike without some adjustment, you cannot just jump in to extremes and expect long term success.
Beginning with a few days a week, alternating days with low intensity exercise will allow your body to adapt and prevent extreme soreness with will sideline you. Each week you can add a little more to what you do.
Learning to slowly make daily dietary changes will keep you from feeling deprived and then later binging because you’ve restricted yourself so much. A slow steady approach adding in new healthier choices, cutting back on not so healthy choices, learning to eat enough to satisfy your appetite, but not to much, as well as learning to eat when you’re truly hungry are all positive habits to building nutritional success.
Implementing these things gradually and consistently will take away the “all or nothing” approach, which will lead you to permanent and long term success.
Tell me… have you done that in your quest to lose weight or develop an exercise regime? Have you taken on an all or nothing approach? Did that work?