Tag Archives: consistency

12 Days of Fitness 2018: Day 1 – Weight Loss Once and For All

(This is part 1 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful health and fitness tips over the holiday season)

I see a lot of people hopping from diet to diet. Many of you have tried several diets in your lifetime, and you’ve come to the conclusion that they didn’t work. You might have lost a little weight, but you didn’t maintain it. And weight maintenance is a requirement for a successful lifestyle change. You blame the program for our failure. Either that or you beat yourself up.

Weight Loss Has Nothing To Do With Intelligence

A lot of people who struggle with weight loss are very successful in other parts of their life. They have good jobs. They have good friends. They have a family that loves them. They’re smart people who are having a hard time losing weight, and they can’t understand why it’s so hard to figure out. Some of the brightest minds in the world are experiencing a real struggle to lose weight. So don’t view yourself as lacking in intelligence just because you’re having a hard time reaching your goals.

Losing Weight Takes Practice

Weight loss (and maintenance) is a skill you have to develop over a lifetime. You have to practice it. There’s likely nothing wrong with the majority of the programs you’ve tried. There’s a good chance they’ve worked for a lot of people. It’s natural to think the program doesn’t work for you, but in reality, you likely didn’t persist long enough through the struggle to realize your true potential. Think back to when you learned to ride a bike. When you fell off did you say, “this bike doesn’t work. I’m going to get rid of it and get a new one that will work better.” No. You stuck with it. You figured out why you failed and you put a plan in place so it wouldn’t happen again. The same goes for weight loss programs. It’s not about avoiding the struggle. It’s about seeing those struggles as opportunities for growth and learning how to navigate them. You push forward and you grow. You find the parts that work for your personality and adjust the rest. You make the program your own. Then you become the new habits you’ve created.

Consistency Beats Perfection

So many people expect perfection from themselves, so at the first signs of failure they run the other way. But you have to let that perfectionist attitude go and understand that the struggle is a natural part of the transformation process. You need it to grow and change. So work on taking consistent action and be patient. Commit fully to your journey. Work through the tough times and don’t give up. This is going to take time. What you do today doesn’t always show up tomorrow. It’s a cumulative effect over time. Make more of the good choices and fewer of the bad ones. When you make a mistake, learn from it, let it go, and then move on. Keep pushing forward until you reach the next opportunity to grow. Every barrier you break through raises the floor of your success. Don’t avoid the struggle. Attack it head on.

See you tomorrow for Day 2 of the 12 Days of Fitness

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

 

 

 

 

Two Keys to Workout Success

If you ever need a good laugh now and then, run on over to your local grocery store and take at look at the magazines and tabloids that adorn the checkout line. All the answers in life can be found there; how to make more money; how to have a loving relationship; how to dress like the stars; and my favorite, how to lose enormous amounts of weight in as little as five days. WOW!  This also happens to be one of the places where people turn to for their exercise advice or “miracle” panacea.  What is unfortunate is that in any of these publications, all that changes is the month and the cover.  The information inside is just recycled and repackaged to what sells.  When it comes to exercising or working out, there are only two “secrets” you really need to understand.  Even more amazing is that they are not really secrets either.  So whether you like cardiovascular exercise, strength training, core exercise, yoga, Pilates, etc., these two things bar none will get you results.  They are intensity and consistency.

Intensity

The word intensity can send shivers to most people.  Working under extreme exertion or to the point of complete exhaustion is usually what comes to mind.  However, intensity in this context merely describes how hard you are working during exercise.  Intensity can be measured and determined in numerous ways: heart rate; power output (wattage); rating of perceived exertion (RPE); amount of rest between sets; amount of weight used; speed per unit of time; etc. Contrary to popular belief, sweating is not an indicator of how hard you work. The intensity of your exercise is highly correlated with the desired outcome.  If you want to lose weight you need to burn more calories. If you want to gain strength, you have to lift heavy weights.  But in order to keep seeing and getting results, you also need to vary the intensity.  Otherwise, you will be working tirelessly, getting no where as if trying to climb an icy slope, and eventually burn out or stop. Applying the principle of intensity is not enough either; you need to be consistent.

Consistency

The word consistency is just as it says; something that is done repeatedly and with regularity.  Consistent behaviors lead to consistent results.  As the old adage says, “Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.” So yes it’s true, stay consistent with your exercise and you will see and more importantly, feel the results.  Conversely, being consistent does not always mean success either.  If you are consistently inconsistent with your exercise, the results speak for themselves.  Without its partner intensity, consistency is good but it just isn’t enough.  The best example of this is the avid exerciser who works out everyday, doing the same things the same way and in months or worse years, they still have not changed.  The focus of your workouts should always center first on being consistent, creating a healthy habit.  No exercise program ever developed works if you are not consistent. Then make sure that you find a way to measure your exercise intensity, or how hard you work, and regularly manipulate that.

There are numerous factors that contribute to success.  The depth and detail of these two subjects can be discussed beyond the scope of this article .However if you grasp these two simple concepts (secrets) and start with that, you are already on your way to success.  Change is difficult, but to change is to embrace and move on, not sit and wonder what you are doing wrong.  It is more likely what you are not doing right!

 

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.