So it’s been a while since you quit the local league, and you’ve been getting a little soft around the middle, one day you almost have a severe cardiac event walking up the stairs at work and you decide enough is enough. Today is the day you turn it all around! (No… Monday. Monday is the day you turn it all around!)
So what do you do?
You throw out all the junk food in the cupboard, you go out and buy a new $300 pair of runners, and fill the fridge full of chicken breast and fresh veggies.
Monday morning you hit the ground running (pun intended). You wake up bright and early to start your new exercise regimen, you take a packed lunch to work, you are full of energy and motivation, you feel great, you should have done this years ago!
Tuesday rolls around, and things take a turn for the worse. You snoozed your alarm 9 times, now you don’t have time to get that exercise in, you also don’t have any food prepared for the day so you grab a sausage roll from the servo on your way to work. You buy something from the café for lunch and by the afternoon you feel lethargic and defeated.
Wednesday morning comes and you wonder who you were kidding to think you could turn it all around overnight, you are disappointed in yourself for not sticking to the plan and you think maybe this whole thing isn’t for you.
This sordid tale is all too common in the industry, trying to completely overhaul your lifestyle over the course of a few days is not likely to stick.
The changes are too many and too drastic, and when something inevitably doesn’t go to plan (life gets in the way) it’s very easy to feel like you have bitten off more than you can chew.
Instead, take a gradual approach and focus on creating a solid habit before moving on to the next goal.
Instead of going from zero activity to trying to run 5k every day, try committing to going for a walk 3-4 times a week, if you can manage that for 3 weeks, you can upgrade that goal or move on to a different area.
Instead of telling yourself that “this is the last Big Mac meal ever” try just being 100% on point with your food on the weekdays, and have a few treats on the weekend (note: a FEW treats does not mean a heist at the Krispy Kreme factory.)
Gradual changes are much more likely to become permanent; they also signal that you are committing to a long term lifestyle change and not some quick fix to get that ‘beach body’ by next weekend. An average nutrition and exercise plan executed for 6 months will yield far better results than a fantastic plan executed for only 2 weeks.
The bottom line is that the most important thing when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, is consistency.