If your goal is to improve your body composition (get leaner, lose some weight) answering these questions HONESTLY is crucial. How long did it take you to get where you are? Were you in much better shape just a year ago? Or have you been neglecting your health for years? Maybe you’ve never paid any mind to what you put in your mouth or including some physical activity in your routine.
The Expectation Equation
If you’ve set out to “get in shape” in 2017, your answer to the above questions is CRUCIAL for determining what your expectations should be.
Transforming your body is HARD WORK.
Changing your lifestyle is HARD WORK.
Lasting, significant change takes HARD WORK.
If you’re 35 years old, 30lbs overweight and haven’t stepped foot in a gym or eaten a full serving of vegetables in a day since high school – IT TOOK YOU 15+ YEARS TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW. Thinking you can undo that damage in 30 days, and maintain those results by cutting out gluten or drinking green juice everyday is simply NOT REALISTIC.
Let’s say you LOVE playing video games, you game for 2-3 hours EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., and if you don’t – you crave it. Now let’s say you’re forced to go without video games for 30 days – “I can manage that.” you’d say, “This could be really good for me.” When that 30 days is up, what is the FIRST thing you’re likely to do?
The time away might have been nice, the extra fresh air probably felt good – but the cynic/realist in me suspects you might go back to playing your video games, perhaps more aggressively than you were before. Now replace video games with sugar/gluten/junk food WHATEVER it is you were depriving yourself of. It’s nice to have a catalyst for change, a jumpstart to put you on the right track – but are you prepared for what comes next?
If you’re on a cleanse, you’ll need to go back to eating REAL FOOD.
If you’re on a shake diet, you’ll need to go back to eating REAL FOOD.
And you can’t go back to the way things were 30 days ago, that didn’t work – that’s how we got to where we are in the first place.
What’s your game plan?
Ask someone you know who has drastically transformed their body how long it took them and how they did it. The people selling the quick fixes most often didn’t use those products to get where they are.
Armed with your realistic expectations, set up your game plan:
What are your goals? Do your daily behaviours (what you eat, how you sleep, how often you exercise, your stress levels) align with the goals you’ve set out to reach? If not, what behaviours are you willing to change RIGHT NOW, TODAY, to make it happen?
Don’t wait until tomorrow, take your first action step today.
Not getting enough sleep? Go to bed 30 minutes earlier – tonight.
Looking to start a fitness routine? Stop at the gym on your way home – today.
Need to get more vegetables in? Start planning tonight’s dinner – right now.
These steps might change, and so might your goals, but remember:
“We can always revise and revisit once we’ve acted. But we can accomplish nothing until we act.”
– Steven Pressfield