Let me see a show of hands if you mastered riding a bike on your initial attempt. Like, you didn’t fall….no training wheels….you just got on and rode. Or maybe you started speaking a foreign language fluently the moment you first heard it. Perhaps you opened up a cookbook and became a master chef instantly after making your first recipe.
No? Didn’t happen? To me neither.
Yet most of us did learn to ride our bikes, but only after a ton of practice and likely experiencing a few spills. Some of us are bilingual but we didn’t learn that new language overnight. It took plenty of exposure and repetition to eventually become fluent. And those master chefs….I’m pretty sure there were some culinary nightmares along the way.
Most everything we’ve ever mastered in life took a lot of consistency and practice before we got it right. So how does this relate to fitness?
Glad you asked!
If there is anything I have learned in the past several years about obtaining fitness goals it’s this: IT TAKES CONSISTENCY. Notice I didn’t say perfection (which doesn’t exist anyway…so don’t bother chasing after it), I said CONSISTENCY.
In my years of training clients…the ones who have been most successful have been those who consistently show up. They make a commitment to themselves and they work hard. Whether they are trying to lose weight, become stronger or just eat a little better; they all had one thing common….they worked at it consistently.
So why is this so hard for so many people? I mean, we’ve all had to work hard throughout our lives to accomplish so many things. This isn’t a new philosophy …why is it so dang tough?
I believe it’s a combination of many things…but 2 particularly stand out to me.
1) We now live in a world of instant gratification.
2) We still want to believe the “quick fix” promises that seem to be in never ending supply.
Think about it. Technology has come so far in such a short period of time that we can now have instant access to each other via social media and texting. We can watch TV and movies on demand with our phones and computers anytime we like, take photos with our phones and no longer have to take them to be developed before we can see them (yeah, I’m showing my age!). We can even deposit checks, order pizza, Skype with other people nearby or in a different part of the world…all with our phones. Instant gratification. So becoming healthy should work the same way right?
That’s where number 2 comes in. The quick fix. Who hasn’t watched infomercials that promised us if we just “take this pill made of a certain kind of berry” or “spend five minutes a day on some gadget without breaking a sweat to give us flat abs in two weeks” or “eat only 800 calories a day while injecting bodily fluids from another human will give you the body like you’ve never had before.” All quick fixes.
The kicker is; they don’t work. At least not long term.
I too have tried a quick fix or two in my day (not the injecting bodily fluids from another human…just for the record). I was a product of the 80’s after all where tiny butt’s and size zeros were the ultimate goals. But the quick fix never lasted. Nope. I never got rid of the “junk in the trunk” no matter which “miracle product” I chased after.
So after years of “quick fixes” and failures, what finally worked? Consistency. Consistency with better food choices. Consistency with regular workouts and consistency in finding ways to move my body a little more every day. Not very flashy or exciting is it. It sure won’t sell infomercial spots on TV. But that really is the “secret” to getting long term results.
If you are wondering why you might not be getting the results you’ve been hoping for…ask yourself, “have I been consistent with my workouts and nutrition….or have I been consistently inconsistent”?