“I've seen and swam and climbed and lived and driven and filmed. Should it all end tomorrow, I can definitely say there would be no regrets. I am very lucky, and I know it. I really have lived 5,000 times over.”
― Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict has the right idea. Although he is at the top of his game, it wasn't always that way. He put in the time and effort to get where he is. Sure there were setbacks and days of doubt during the journey but it was surely worth it as Cumberbatch will be known as one of the most influential actors of his generation.
Let me go to the opposite end of the spectrum- the healthcare field. I do want to brag on my wife for completing her long and arduous journey of grad school through one of the top schools in nation. During the 6 year trek, we had days (many days) where we couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn't until the last year and a half that we could imagine the end of this nightmare. She dealt with many long days in the operating room to only be plagued with tests and papers due the next day. Needless to say, if she hadn't of had that fire to complete her task at hand, it would have been forgotten long before it was completed. She knew the journey was the hardest thing she's ever been through, but doesn't regret it one bit.
Fitness, nutrition and well, life can be exactly like this. You start off optimistic, glass half-full and then the daunting tasks of daily life set in. The window of passion for good and wholesome life choices quickly wanes when faced with the pressures of the world and those less motivated as you. Some of these choices are internal, some external, some preventable, some not so much. Whatever you are confronted with, it tests those original decisions you made to shed those pounds, get ready for that race or prepare for a new lifting PR. Give up or keep going?
This post is to point out the weaknesses in your life that are stopping you from achieving more than you thought in a shorter time span. Sacrifices must be made, but how quickly are you willing to change your old habits and replace them with something foreign? Your mind at first says sure, reality says, eh-not so fast.
There is a reason there are hundreds of quick-weight loss companies. They do work- for a quick time. They are often unsustainable long-term and may even be down right dangerous. You need to learn to skip the quick fixes, skip the friend who isn't much of a friend at all, opt out of that meal that will wreck your goals and drink that extra glass of water.
So what's the answer? Be a turtle. Turtles take their time, make the best decisions for the path that they take and are able to complete the tasks at hand with the long-game in mind. Introduce new changes into your life slowly. One new change per every two weeks is a good start. Think about it- by the end of one calendar year, you will have changed 26 different things. It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing, it can be reducing the amount of coke that you drink by one can every couples weeks, adding 5 minutes to your workout routine or adding a new vegetable.
The all-or-nothing mindset is a dangerous game to play. Some people may have to operate that way, but it often ends in miserable failure where one's mental toughness is simply not enough to adhere to the overly-strict lifestyle. Its possible, but just heed the warning that relapse into previous habits is more likely than not.
Whatever your goals are, keep them posted where you can see them and be reminded of them regularly. Be the turtle, slow to adapt, slow to pace yourself but successful in your endeavors. Run the race with endurance. Good luck and give us a shout out with thoughts/habits that have helped you achieve your goals!
Quality Nutrition = Quality Training
Eating smart not only makes your feel better and exercise more efficiently but aids in a lifestyle that is less prone to disease and other health complications.