Today’s theme is one I revisit with nauseating frequency. Patience. I think it’s the one thing that makes the difference between success and failure, where lifestyle change is concerned.
When I started this whole thing, I had 3 decades and 80 pounds worth of bad habits to reverse. The pounds weren’t the problem, they were just a reflection of the habits. Again, 3 decades worth of habits. It took 3 decades for those habits to produce the body I had at 35. 3 decades. Why do I keep repeating 3 decades? To really drive home the point I want to make here. It takes time and patience not only to reverse those habits, but for the new habits you make to change your body.
It was a good 6 months before I had new, healthy habits firmly in place. It was a FULL YEAR before my body really started showing the effects of those new habits. 4 YEARS IN I still have vestiges of the old habits evident in my body and my appearance.
This is not an overnight process. It takes time. It can take YEARS, depending on how many years your old habits were in place, creating the body you had when you started changing things.
Be patient. Focus on how you feel and what you can do. Those changes happen much sooner than aesthetic changes, and are the signal from your body that you’re on the right track and making progress. If you feel stronger, more energetic; if you can lift heavier weights or run a little longer; if you have more patience; if you start to crave fruit instead of cake: these, and other subtle changes, are the ways your body communicates that you are making progress, long before you start to see changes in the mirror and on the scale. Progress is progress. Stay the course and take the long view. It is WORTH IT to keep going. If you keep going you will ‘get there’, even if it takes longer than you hope. If you give up, you will stay right where you are.
This scared me a little. I’m young. How do I prevent bad habits from forming?!
Make good habits now, Sarah. Regular exercise, healthy diet, good sleep habits. And you’ll be set for life.
Thanks for the advice! I really enjoy & respect your blog BTW:), there seems to be soo many myths and general crap regarding fitness, health & well being out there- but your blog has sound info I think, and you know your stuff.
Hi, I just found your blog and I love your posts! I can especially relate to the June 17 post Your Self Discipline is Showing. I think I have definately put too much pressure on myself for wanting to be “ripped” like the fitness models. I am a mom of a 3yr old and have really started making my health and fitness more of a priority over the past 2 years. I have done workouts like P90X and recently another program designed by a fitness model. I got great results and people commented on how good I looked. After Christmas I took a “break” from working out hard and “got soft” during that time. I felt guilty about not being as “super-fit” (as I like to say) and kept focusing on how much definition I could get back. I think you hit it on the head. Being fit & healthy isn’t about how ripped you are and although I’m still wanting to keep fit and gain strength, I don’t need to be a ripped mamma to do it. (sorry for the long post!) Than you for the inspiration!