We’re approaching the time of year when I see a big uptick in the amount of people who want to change their bodies and maybe their lifestyles–immediately! Although we like to see quick changes while we’re still energized and motivated, the truth is that lasting change occurs slowly and gradually. Adopting a new lifestyle that you can maintain is a process, not an overnight express. It’s likely that if you try to change too much too quickly, you probably won’t keep it up and you will fall into old habits again. Instead of tackling everything at once, I try to solidify one change at a time with my clients because real change happens from the inside out.
Starting on the Right Course
So often, new clients are impatient because I don’t make the huge, drastic, initial changes that they think should be made. They want great results–and fast! But that’s not true in most things in life. Very few people are overnight successes. And those people you think are overnight successes likely aren’t. You may see their success today, but what you haven’t seen is the years of trials and failures that it took to achieve today’s results. Fortunately, good fitness usually doesn’t take years to achieve.
Small, gradual changes yield better results over time… results your are more likely to maintain and continue as a welcome, new fitness lifestyle. Think of the ship captain who sets off for distant lands. He charts his course, making small changes along the way… a few degrees here, a few degrees there until ultimately he arrives at the desired destination in due time. Imagine what would happen if our captain made all of his changes at once? He would end up at a destination he hadn’t intended, and probably take a lot longer to get there too. Getting fit requires focus and attention on the right things. By focusing on one or just a few things at a time, you’ll be on the road to better success and personal fitness.
First Steps in Making Real Change Happen
One of my more recent clients is someone who had lost 100 pounds on her own before she came to me. After being faced with a few stressful life challenges, she decided that changes needed to be made to chart a new course in her life. She knew that lasting change would take place slowly and require a shift in both her thoughts and opinions about food, exercise, and self-care. After making changes and yielding some results on her own, a neighbor (who happened to be a client of mine) referred her to me for guidance on making more impactful changes in her new health routine.
We started a functional strength training program and added intervals to keep her heart rate between the fat burning and cardio training zones. We beefed up her nutrition plan, literally. (Yes we added grass-fed beef.) We added better foods and more quality calories that were more suited for her new active/athletic lifestyle. The key point here is that much of her initial weight loss was from a “fad diet.” True to form, this diet worked for a period of time to drop some weight but was not sustainable for long-term, healthy living. To her credit, I admire the courage and trust it took for her to put aside her existing beliefs and opinions in order to take on what I was teaching her.
This client has made great progress. She is stronger, has much better muscle tone and stamina, better balance and endurance, and a much healthier relationship with food! Most importantly, the vast improvements are in the intangibles: the things that can’t be measured by scale, calipers, tape measures or even pictures. Her attitude, confidence, and improved sense of self were the biggest results when making the decision and choice to Change Herself from The Inside… Out!
“Dare To Believe”
~ Damian Fisher