I remember being incredibly frustrated that the weight I was trying to lose after I had my third child wasn’t coming off as quickly as I wanted it to. It was disappointing, it was discouraging, and it was disheartening that I wasn’t seeing the immediate results that I longed to see. Immediate as in, “I did 10 crunches, where’s my six pack?!” We live in a society where we have learned to expect things immediately. Our patience and understanding of the process of things has diminished in this age of Siri and Google. Unfortunately, we expect that same immediacy with exercise results. And you know what? It doesn’t happen.
And when it doesn’t happen we tell ourselves there’s no point in continuing. How sad we are.
It’s a Journey, Friends
But the important thing to remember is that fitness is a journey. It’s one of the few things in life that we can’t rush. If we cheat and try to extreme diet our way out of weight gain, we end up causing damage to our bodies and they revolt by gaining the weight right back – and then some! That, of course, leads to more frustration, more discouragement, and less commitment to exercise.
The cliché “fitness is a journey” is absolutely accurate. It’s a series of baby steps to a healthy lifestyle vs. a sprint. It’s not one workout paired with instantaneous results and a size zero body. It’s not a six pack after doing 100 crunches or a 60 second plank. A stronger, healthier body and lifestyle takes time. You’ll start to see results in a few weeks, but to get to your ideal body weight or shape, it’s going to take years.
And, when you stop to think about it, that makes sense. You didn’t gain weight or lose muscle overnight, so it’s not going to come off overnight. You also can’t expect to run a marathon the first time you lace up your sneakers. It takes time to build stamina and strength – both physically and mentally.
Your goal should be a healthier lifestyle – for the rest of your life, not just the next six weeks or six months. It’s a process of changing your habits and improving your choices over time. And when you make those small changes consistently over a long period of time, you do see dramatic results. You just have to be patient – which is the opposite of our instant-gratification conditioned society.
So, you have a choice. You can look at fitness and healthy living as a journey and be patient with your results and your progress or you can get frustrated that you aren’t making progress fast enough and quit. It’s really that simple in terms of choices. You’re worth the long haul, friends. Don’t short change yourself by only committing to yourself for a few weeks or a month. Commit to yourself for the rest of your life, because you’re going to be there for the entire time.
You control your outlook and perspective, so choose wisely. You’re worth it.