If fitness were easy, we’d all be in great health. But when life throws you a curveball, don’t doubt your fitness program.
When starting a new fitness program or diving into a new way of eating, it’s entirely normal to have high hopes and a lot of enthusiasm. For most of us, the best part of the journey is actually the beginning because the plans are being laid, visions of success are in your head, and . . . you haven’t had to do the work yet! As with anything worth doing, improving yourself physically requires dedication, consistency, and lots of hard work. This may be why so many take up training only temporarily, and why we all have times where we lay off.
Laying plans and setting goals feel fun and rewarding, but always remember that knowing what to do to reach your goals and actually doing it are two entirely different things. If this weren’t the case, there would be no careers like fitness trainers, coaches, or dieticians. Yes, there are many people seeking professional guidance for the experience and know-how of the practitioners, but in this information age it’s easier than ever before to research what you need to do to improve and take the reins into your own hands, yet these career paths are still thriving! When starting a fitness journey, whether on your own or with help, don’t discount this fact. If it were simple and easy, everyone would be fit already and no one would need help to do it!
Anyone can eat and train perfectly for a couple weeks, but life isn’t perfect. Enthusiasm and resolve are always highest at the start of any process, and because of this strict discipline and adherence is often seen the most in the first two weeks of any new training program. Having high enthusiasm and being fresh in the beginning of the race makes this level of dedication easy, but remember that any goal is a race of endurance, not a sprint. It will likely take months (or sometimes years) to get to where you ultimately want to be, and in that span of time it is all but guaranteed that there will be setbacks, stumbles, and hiccups. The key to long term success in any endeavor is not perfection, but persistence. If you’re not perfect 100% of the time, but you do absolutely as much as you can even when work gets slammed, you get sick or injured, or something traumatic happens in your personal life, nothing will stop you from getting where you want to be.
Life always throws these curveballs at us. No one is spared from them, but even under perfect conditions, progress is never linear. Your body is not a machine, so even if you could lock yourself in a controlled and isolated environment, your progress would come in fits and starts. You may notice next to no progress for a few weeks with perfect effort, then see a rapid surge the following few weeks under the exact same conditions. Look at a graph of a stock on the stock market and try to view your fitness progress the same way. It may go up and down day to day and even week to week, but when you step back, if you’ve been doing what you need to do, the whole chart will be trending upwards towards where you want to be. So if you’ve laid your perfect plans, have a coach or social support system, and have been putting in the work consistently, don’t doubt your progress! Remember to take a step back periodically and look at the big picture, and if you’ve been doing what you need to do the results will come!