I’m still getting used to having people talk to me about my little project relating to weight loss and fitness gain, but I’ve noticed a trend lately; I’m getting quite a few comments along the lines of “that’s awesome” (which is superbly motivating for me) followed by something like “but I could never do what you do” (which is massively self-defeating for them).
The thing is they are looking at the current version of me, the current version of my routine, and deciding they couldn’t possibly do it.
the old me
On the main journal page there is a picture of the old me – overweight, completely unfit, an expert in making excuses and serial gym joiner/quitter.
If I could jump in a time machine, bring the old me into the current time and show him my blog, I’m pretty sure I know what he would say…
“that’s awesome! But I could never do that…”
Old me would be doing what other people (maybe you’re one of them?) do when they see where I am today – forgetting the entire process that has brought us to the current situation.
The fact is that back in January I was pretty damned pleased with myself for doing a bit of walking. I actually got excited about GOING FOR A WALK!
I struggled to do 10 knee pushups in 10 minutes, my body refused to do crunches (it caused cramping in my arm pits of all places!) and I was a little over 142kg in weight.
the old perspective
Not only did I have all the excuses under the sun, I had a long-standing attitude that I would eat to enjoy and that’s all that mattered. I also had a perspective where I actually didn’t see myself as being particularly overweight. At times I had a self-image that would more closely reflect where I am today if truth be told. I kept telling myself I was fine, and I guess I bought the story over time.
Every now and then I would get a rude awakening through photos or catching glimpses of myself in a window. But I just made the same old excuses, vow to do something about it “one day” and promptly continue to do the same as before.
getting to here
There’s no mystical secret to the changes I’ve seen in the past 4 months – the 20kg loss, the massive improvement in fitness, the regular gym sessions, the occasional half marathon row, drinking water etc. etc.
These have all come through two key methods:
- Small changes in habits and mindset
- Repeating step 1 on an ongoing basis
Just do something that takes you towards the goal EVERY SINGLE DAY. No excuses, no massive “hero” effort, no biting off more than you can chew and no letting yourself off the hook.
it can work for anyone
Do you doubt this approach will work? Just read through a selection of my Daily Journal posts and the progression becomes obvious. If “old me” had attempted to do one of my current gym sessions, I’d have wound up in an ambulance, or in a morgue!
But that’s not how it works.
Start out by choosing one simple activity that you enjoy, or can find a way of enjoying. Walking or cycling a short distance for example. Build that into your daily routine so you are doing it regularly, enjoying it and it becomes a habit.
At that stage you’ve already done the hardest work of all. Everything else will flow from that by simply taking baby steps towards your goal, each and every day!