Rome was not built in a day. And so is the case with your health!
I totally believe in the phrase,
We often overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year!
And this has been one of the most vital lessons to learn for me in my fitness journey.
For years I could really never understand the psychology required to maintain a fit body and fit mind. We all know what we need to do to keep ourselves hale and healthy. Even if we don’t know the minute details, we ofcourse know exercising is healthy, sleeping well is healthy and eating a good and nutritious diet is essential for finding fitness.
In fact, this fact is corroborated by the kind of excitement that you would find in the gyms and the nearby parks at the beginning of the year. People are in a gung ho state and they are willing to put in the hard work. In the month of January, your notepad is filled with your new year resolutions. You even wake up early in the morning and put in all the effort required. You have even bought a new pair of tracksuits for your morning jog.
I mean you totally believe in the month of January that health and fitness is something that you really need to work on! However, you notice that after few weeks you start to run out of steam. You start feeling the pressure of work and a busy life. You start to struggle with time to get to the gym. And even the treadmill that you bought just in case there is rain and you can’t go outside, starts to gather dust and becomes the hanging place for your bath towel, shorts, etc.
Did you ever wonder why it happen? Every year and year after year. I have been through all this of course. and therefore I would like to share with you some of the reasons that I found! And later I am going to give you few ideas that you can implement into your life to come out of these hopeless circles.
REASONS WHY I COULD NOT SUSTAIN MY FITNESS
#. Too much obsession with the results
In this time-starved world, we try to do too many things in too little time. The result that we want to see is dancing in our heads. For example, I often noticed that being overweight is what propelled me into action. When I would go to the gym, I would remove my shirt and look at my abs every single day. I would go and measure my weight too often.
Seeing no results, I would turn hopeless! I would try for some more days and seeing no results, I would get disheartened!
The world is crazy to get the results at an unbelievable pace. I am part of the world and therefore I am not crazy. But sorry dear, that’s not the way to find your fitness and lose weight. All you can do by joining the courses like “lose weight in 30 days’ is lighten your purse and cause terrible damage to your body and hopes!!
#. Lack of health culture
Culture is something that you don’t question. You accept it or rather embrace it. You take great pride in your culture. So, culture is a phenomenon that is valued by the members of society.
Unfortunately, very few people care to really be fit and healthy. Of course, who would not like to be fit! But fitness is not treated as valued. It is taken for granted until you have lost it. As a result, we behave callously with our mind, body, and spirit. We torture ourselves as much as we can to extract promotions and prestige.
Big parties are thrown at nights where we eat to our delight. Marriages, Birthdays, and other such social functions. Even if you tried to find your fitness, your culture that promotes extravagant behavior will not let it happen.
# . “What is there to learn?” It’s all so simple
Some of my friends came to me to learn to be fit. They saw that the set of things that I was doing was working for me. So, they approached me. They were curious to know what I did that clicked.
For that matter, anyone would do so. We all get curious and want to unravel the mysteries behind miracles. With the kind of transformation I became, I had all the ears. And I also did my best to help them. I shared with them the lessons that I learned.
And offered them extensive help through well-structured course. But, it ended there. I don’t know if it was ego or the fees that I asked them to pay that put them off. Or simply lack fitness culture in our society. We live in a society that values money more than virtues. No wonder we keep the most essential life skills out of the scope of formal education as we consider them a waste of time and money.
However, I am optimistic about the future as I do have people who grabbed the opportunity to find fitness and change in their lives.
In the light of the above, here is a list of things that you can do to find your fitness. I call them fitness protocols. I have installed these fitness protocols into my life.
KAIZEN: SLOW AND STEADY
Japanese have the concept of Kaizen. In simple terms, it means “0.1%” growth every day. If you aim at very small improvement every day and keep doing it consistently, then you can potentially improve the state of things.
The concept of kaizen can be applied to finding your fitness. This is in contrast to what the fitness industry is shouting in your ears. The Kaizen concept focuses on being consistent and steady at your efforts.
After many years of failed new year resolution to boost my fitness, I realized that the idea of new year resolution is a futile idea. So, I kind of became balanced with new year resolution idea. I stopped getting over enthusiastic about the new year rush to boost my health and fitness.
Instead I told myself that I am getting into it for a long haul. Months or even years to really get the body and mind that I am at peace with. I stopped trying too hard to get fit too fast.
NOT RESULT ORIENTED, BUT PROCESS ORIENTED
You can’t get the results if your process is faulty. This is so simple to understand. Then why we don’t deploy the same principle to our health, fitness and well being.
Look at what you are doing on a daily basis and assess it. Do you feel that you are getting the work outs in a right way. Do you feel that you had put in the right kind of efforts?
SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
May be or may be not! Try repeating the process again and again. And eventually you will start seeing the anomalies. If you are not, then, you need to hire a coach or consult someone who can walk you through with the right processes.
Don’t be under the impression that fitness is too simple matter to be left to your own common sense. If you need professional advice, go for it.
YOUR BEHAVIOUR NEED TO REFLECT YOUR VISION
You need to create your identity to have an appropriate behaviour to your vision to be fit and healthy. Think of the personality you want to be like. Create your values around that identity.
Then, it will be easier to associate with those values and behave responsibly. Then you will not end up eating anything that is served on your plate. You will not pick the extra scoop of ice cream and feel guilty later. You will not get up late and feel that you have committed a crime.
Get to know why you want to be fit and healthy. In my case, I had the late realisation that my body and my mind are my best companions in life. I can only suffer if I am not keeping them hale and healthy.
This has helped to me build a positive relationship with myself. I often tell people to work on their mindset. I counsel the people on this. You can take the right actions only when you have the right mindset. People give in to the challenges easily because they have failed to work on building the right kind of mindset. So, mindset training is very important.
MEASURE WHAT MATTERS
You need to keep an account of your daily actions like you do for your money and budget. I have cultivated the habit of jotting down my actions daily. How much I ran, what time I ran, What was feeling like while I was running etc. I maintain a note of all these.
For the past 3 years, I am keeping a note of my runs. So far, I have run 5000 kms plus. You need to quantify your actions. Until you do that you can’t be sure what you have been doing. This is part of the process.
Please don’t confuse this with the results. Here we are focussing on making the tiny results part of the process. We are not bothered whether this is leading to any weight loss or feeling better. Those parameters are assessed once in a while. And not on a daily basis.
So, your process need to be quantifiable.
LEARN AND GET EDUCATED ON FITNESS
Ask yourself these questions.
Why do we sweat?
What is that makes physical activity so relevant?
Why meditation can help you?
These and questions like these if you kept asking yourself daily, your tendency to behave better will increase and improve. So, what I am trying to tell you is that being in learning mode will help you to follow what you learned.
As a matter of practice I listen or read something before I work out. This helps me to be clear headed and give my best efforts as I know that I am doing the right thing for myself. This realisation need to be with us most of the time.
MAKE FITNESS AS A WAY OF LIFE
I now live a fit life. I eat what is good for my body and not what is good for my taste buds. When you build your health with the full awareness, you become honest and accountable in your actions. Then, your life changes.