As I’ve meandered along these past years on what I refer to as my “journey” in fitness and nutrition, I’ve had opportunity to talk to a lot of people who are on the same path, or trying to stay on it.
Some are successful and have found the right “blend” that works for them, the thing that is sustainable allowing them to keep after it day after day and still live their life.
Others are still struggling, battling against various issues that push them back from staying on that road to success.
I’ve seen people excitedly get started and then I’ve watched the excuses start creeping in. Excuses for eating poorly or not getting exercise. Excuses for why there isn’t a loss on the scale. These reasons seem justifiable to them.
And I know as well as anyone how you have to battle back against excuses that creep in and try to side track you. Because in the beginning, they always do. And it’s easy to give into them because you haven’t been grinding it out long enough to make these things a habit.
You haven’t been doing enough purposeful exercise so it’s easy to tell yourself that missing today won’t matter… until it bleeds into the next day… and the next… and then you aren’t doing it at all.
You haven’t trained yourself to turn a blind eye to the box of donuts in the office break room or pass on eating seconds because you mentally know and understand these practices won’t support your current health goals.
So many things go into our success ( or lack thereof) when it comes to our health and fitness goals.
So many things must be done and built into new habits to contribute to our success. Without building these skills, we will keep sliding back to where we’ve always been.
It takes a measure of discipline, hard work, and the ability to have days we fall and get back at it.
It’s all those small things we do consistently that lead us to where we want to be.
If there’s one thing that stands out working with people ( and those who get discouraged and give up) it’s this….
No matter what you tell someone, those small things, done daily, add up.
Unfortunately, they have thoughts that all their weight will magically go away in a week or two, forgetting they’ve been adding it on for months or years.
They start exercising and get frustrated that their body is reminding them it hasn’t done work like this in a long time, if ever. And trust me, if you don’t think you’re “out of shape” before you start an exercise program, you do when you’re body is gasping for air or aches the day after you’ve done something.
It is enough to make you want to quit before you even get started.
Raise your hand if you’ve been there. Yeah, I have too.
But when you decide you’re in it for the long haul, and you settle in to just living life, and then you just do those things that need to be done as a part of your life, changes will happen.
It’s the small things.
Yeah, I know in the world we live in today it’s all about instant gratification, quick results, no discomfort, and easy results.
Sorry. It just doesn’t play out like that in regards to health and fitness.
Small choices we make, small moves we make, small daily consistencies, add up.
I was thinking the other day, plowing up hill after hill doing a 5k run for the duathlon how doing it was hard work, but work my body has adapted to and learned to respond to. My heart and breathing are strong but not in that horrible way when I was out of shape. I also have a fast recovery heart rate now as well so when I finish, it doesn’t take long at all to be breathing normal again or have my heart rate back in a much lower zone.
Of course it wasn’t always like that. When I first started taking on hills, depending on size, I’d maybe do part way up, and then reverse my route. As I got stronger I walked strongly all the way up. As my cardio system got stronger too, I could walk them and not have my heart pounding so fiercely or be breathing as hard like a fish out of water.
Eventually, I was just all out running them. It’s such a cool feeling when my body just kicks in and does what it’s been trained to do.
The steep grade of the hill and how my legs feel pushing up it. How my body position shifts. How my breathing changes to a deep even rhythm to push on.
Small choices and activities led me to that point. Small choices also led to weight loss, getting stronger and doing more athletically.
I cant stress enough to you… if you’re on a mission to get fit, to get healthier, to lose weight. to train for an Ironman, whatever your goals are… those small choices you make each day will get you to where you’re going.
You might feel like what you do today doesn’t matter or it’s not “changing” anything. You might feel like that longer morning walk wont result in anything or skipping on that extra treat won’t matter, but it does. Do that in a week, you’ve made progress.
And don’t forget, there is SO much going on inside you that you don’t see. Changes, growth, energy being built from what you’re doing, fat leaving, muscles growing. Your body beautifully adapting to the new changes you are putting it through.
All from those small, daily, consistent things you do.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit.
The reward is big when you don’t.