I was surfing the web yesterday, and I came upon a blog by J.C. Deen, a fitness trainer and a die-hard longtime fitness enthusiast. Before you get all antagonistic on me (particularly if you are new to exercise or new to attempting to lose weight), hear me out about the exercise on psychology.
Many people struggle to gain momentum in their training and diet routines, and because they see how far away they are from their goal, they eventually give up.
I think Mr Deen has captured something when it comes to the concept of psychology. Though it sounds rather Buddhist or rationalist in nature, it is important that when you are trying to achieve long-term results, that you focus only on the goals of the moment, so that you can think of taking the small incremental steps that will lead you to that goal.
Many of you are familiar with the late Zig Ziglar (who just passed away on 28th November 2012). He had faced a similar problem with weight control at 45, and he needed to get it under control. He needed to exercise, and he took action. What did he do? He focused and prepared mentally on small incremental moves and continued to build on it slowly.
He kept his pace up taking out each tiny goal until he hit the long-term goal of several MILES of running. Remember, he was fat, and he knew he had to change things. He did not deal in dread or self-loathing, he simply decided to reverse course and focused on the small things until the big things were achieved according to his plan. Read the whole post, but understand these words:
“The best and most sensible way to lose weight is to make certain it’s what you want to do. I encourage you to understand that in virtually every case where the weight loss is permanent, it has been lost gradually and is a combination of sensible eating and a regular exercise program. In my case, after 24 years of “roller-coaster dieting’, I realised that if I lost only 1.9 ounces on average every day for ten months, the 37 pounds I needed to lose would be gone.
That’s exactly what I did. I lost the weight; it’s still gone. Second, I got on a regular exercise program and committed to losing the weight primarily by jogging. On my first day, I literally ran one block. The second day I ran a block and a mailbox, then one block and two mailboxes, etc. I gradually increased to running a half-mile, then a mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, until I maximised at 5 miles.”
I personally hate using puns, but I will use one about running right here. Any permanent lifestyle change is A MARATHON and not a sprint. But within that rather stern statement, one has to realise that the steps all take time.
Zig Ziglar knew that if he lost a couple of ounces a day, he would be there in 10 months. J.C. Deen knows that with every super-set he builds into his routine, the closer he is to his personal best. It’s not about being the world’s greatest lifter or world’s best runner, its about meeting the goals you set for yourself.
One has to map out a plan, but one has to make the plan work one step at a time. One has to be mindful of what one is doing, but also enjoy the process of doing it so that the routine will not be so psychologically burdensome or even boring in some cases. You are the captain of your own ship, but you cannot cross the Atlantic Ocean in a day. It is a journey, and what is the most important part of that journey? It is plotting the course and enjoying it. Remember that as you begin any new lifestyle regime.