In a recent post, I decided to break down some barriers to starting up a new habit — exercise, in this case. I went through conquering fear, how discipline can be more liberating than we think, and how hard work can be hacked by injecting a little bit of fun. (It’s really that simple.) Last but not least, we’ll tackle the most troublesome of all — results:
The mountain of hard work required to achieve the results we desire is so steep that we rather relax under a tree’s shade watching others struggle uphill.
Have you ever peered inside a gym? What you’ll likely find are streams of fit-looking people on treadmills, lifting weights, and generally sweating up a storm. This imagery may entice you to walk in, but — most likely — it will scare you far, far away. The reason is because we usually see people in gyms exerting themselves intensely, achieving some kind of exercises that we feel way too inadequate to even try. This all makes sense, yes. But guess what? Most of these people couldn’t attempt such feats at the beginning — because they probably started off really slowly.
The first week of January represents the best week for gyms because everyone feels like starting off the new year in shape, a new person. Over time, these gym-newbies start flaking out, showing up less and less as the exertion seems too intense and the results too weak. This also makes sense, yes. Who would want to continue beating themselves up if the results aren’t showing?
Me, that’s who.
Results are peculiar, at best. The slower they manifest themselves, the longer they last. If it takes longer to get rid of those extra pounds, you are more likely to keep them off. Your mind and body are now accustomed to putting in extra effort, to exercising, to going after your goals — and the pounds slowly melt off. Chances are, you will continue your journey and will continue slowly achieving more long-lasting results.
The other option? Hit the gym for a week, lose a few pounds. Hit the diner, gain a few pounds. Hit the gym, lose a few pounds. If you ask me, that kind of yo-yo’ing fast bodily response really isn’t going to motivate me or get me where I’m wanting to go. It’s in our human nature to put instant gratification ahead of all else, but is that the optimal situation?
Slow, methodical effort for long-lasting results — yes, please.
[Image credit: zfeelings on tumblr]