I started this post a while ago and I was inspired to continue with it because of a series of blogs and articles I have been discovering on the WWW.
It seems to be a trend, and one that I can personally relate to, that we sometimes give up on our fitness and diet goals because we set the bar too high.
For example, working out 6 days a week is just simply unrealistic for many people. For myself, I tend to stick around four or five workouts a week. Pushing myself to workout six days a week is exhausting and my body simply needs a break. Recuperation is just as important as exercise; the two should go hand in hand. Tired muscles cannot perform correctly which leads to injury (check out my post on injury). Furthermore if you really really hate cardio, deciding to adhere to the popular cardio-lore of 30 minutes a day is just torture. Why not start with one or two? You might surprise yourself when you start looking forward to your cardio sessions…
Another example; eating only foods that fall into the ‘green zone,’ or ‘ridiculously healthy’ zone (think 0-point foods on weight watchers) is not maintainable, really for anyone. We can go on extreme diets and maybe they last three days, a week, even several years in extreme cases. But we all relapse because our bodies love balance. Giving yourself a little of what you really want is actually healthier than constant deprivation, believe it or not…
Diet and exercise is only maintainable if you make it your goal to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle is what I believe dieters and those just starting off in fitness are reaching for, however we get confused by all of these ‘do-it-fast!’ fads we are exposed to. The problem is literally written in the title. This lifestyle doesn’t happen fast, as a matter of fact it doesn’t really ‘happen.’ A healthy lifestyle evolves from setting tiny goals for yourself everyday, reaching them and triumphing in the achievement. Ten tiny goals later you have achieved one larger, much more attainable, goal.
Changing who you are is not a realistic goal. It should not really even be a goal. For someone who just really can’t go a day without that nice wrap-it-up-late-night bowl of ice cream, omitting it is simply not fun and it’s not fair! So don’t. Think instead about maybe cutting down the portion size, skipping a night here and there, and focussing on other healthier adjustments you can make to your daily routine without getting rid of what really makes a happy you.
It’s a goal, it’s a small goal, and it’s not a goal you can’t wait to reach just so you can go back to the way things were. Moving forward is always the goal. When you take a HUGE PAINFUL leap to reach something crazy only to fall right back, have you actually accomplished anything?
The slower your pace, the further you will go.
Hmm…Turtle and the Hare anyone?
I can tell you that failing to reach a huge goal is a terrible feeling for me. Juxtaposed with the feeling of elation after accomplishing a little tiny one, I know which way I’m going.
What about you? Ever feel ecstatically happy after accomplishing something trivial?