Today’s post is for those of you who are in a rut or are down right frustrated with your progress towards your health and/or fitness goals. If you’re thinking “hey that’s me!”. Then you NEED to read this.
I see this one ALL THE TIME. So let’s just play out a scenario. Let’s say this “someone” is named “Dick”. You see, Dick gets really excited about changing his not-so-good health habits. He gets not only a new gym membership, but even clears out his refrigerator and pantry of all the junk food he has lying around. Hell, he even goes out and buys a $1,200 bike from his local shop! I mean, the dude is serious. He means business. And not only that. He is freaking PUMPED about it!
Starting to sound familiar?
So one week in and he’s hit the gym 4 times already. He’s logged 30 miles on his new ride. Breakfast every morning. A green veggie with dinner. No more Big Macs as those have been replaced with grilled chicken on top of a bed of greens and low fat salad dressing at lunch. Soda? Nah, man. Straight up water from here on out. Dick is feeling good! More energy, sleeping better, more productive at the office. And he’s even lost 2 lbs! Right about now he’s thinking “this shit’s easy!”.
3 more weeks pass. Dick is down 4 pounds overall and still feeling really good. He’s still been making it to the gym, but last week was really freaking crazy so he only got in twice instead of 4 times, but he’s still seeing progress and he’ll get back to 4 times next week. Also, because Dick lives in Indiana and the weather decided to crap all over us, Dick didn’t get out on his bike. Not a single time! But next week’s forecast looks better so he’ll get out for sure. He’s gonna go for 40 miles this time!
“Man oh man” Dick thinks to himself, “that last month was brutal”. You see, Dick went to a wedding and, let’s just say there were a lot of festivities. Dick wasn’t feeling good enough to get back to the gym for 2 days following that bender! And then Tracy retired at the office after 36 years of loyal service. The party was a big one and there were plenty of leftovers to last the rest of the week. And then Little Dick (that’s Dick’s son) caught something from some other stupid kid at school who shouldn’t have been there in the first place… but Dick digresses. So Dick had to take a couple of days off from work to stay home with his precious Little Dick. Well, that meant he had to work overtime to get caught up and therefore just couldn’t find the time to get in to the gym. He did, however, get the chance to get in a few bike rides while Little Dick was sleeping during the day. And Dick did try (and succeed with pretty good success) to eat well. He is still down 4 pounds overall after 2 months and he’s feeling not too bad about that, but he knows he could be doing better. “Next week. No matter what. I will be fully back on track! 4 days in the gym. 50 miles on the bike. I’m determined. No excuses, Dick. No excuses”
Another 7 days in the books. Dick was successful! Well…. mostly. He managed the gym 3 times this week and also managed 35 miles on his bike. All this despite the fact that for whatever reason he hasn’t been sleeping well lately. We’re talking 3-4 hours a night, at best, of restless sleep. So kudos to Dick! Unfortunately, his diet this past week was pretty off point. A couple of missed breakfasts that lead to early runs at lunch to the golden arches for his favorite 99 cent heart attack. And a few after dinner pints of Cherry Garcia may have snuck in there as well. But Dick worked out almost as much as he said he would, so he deserves a treat for his hard work and dedication, dammit.
A full trip around the sun is now in the books. Summer vacations, holidays, parties, illnesses, a broken wrist from a fall off the bike, and a move into a new home on the other side of the county. “Whew! That went fast!”, he thinks as he decides to step on the scale he has been avoiding for the past….. well, he’s not really sure how long it’s been, but it’s been a while.
“Shit. Are you kidding me?!”, he says aloud. “After all the hard work I put in?!”
Another year older and 5 lbs heavier.
“This shit isn’t so easy after all……”
Okay, I’m done with my fake story telling. So what happened to Dick?
Did it sound familiar?
It should because this is what has happened to most of the people who reach out to me for my services. Try as they might (and believe you me THEY DO TRY), they just can’t figure out how to get it done. And the answer is usually this:
They are really good at being consistently inconsistent. With diet. With exercise. With sleep. With…. well…. most things. And I’m not going to pretend and sit here like I’m not guilty of this as well from time to time. We all are. But it’s a matter of how consistently you are inconsistent.
So if you are stuck in a rut. Hit a plateau. Are frustrated beyond belief. Take a good, hard look at what you’ve been doing. 3 months of hardcore dedication to your health isn’t gonna cut it. It takes much longer than that. How long you ask? Well, it depends on where you are starting from. But know this:
It Takes A Long Time.
Come back to me after 2 years of being on top of your diet and exercise routine 80-90% of the time and I’m guessing you’ll approach me with a smile on your face. Not the look of disappointment I see all to often.
It isn’t sexy. It isn’t easy. It can get boring and really, really tough at times. But it’s worth it, man. It is so worth it.
Moral of the story?
Don’t be a Dick.