I have had some clients who have been training with me for longer than a year. If you compare the person they are today with the person they were a year ago, the improvements are vast and amazing. But yet, their journey is not complete. There are still milestones they have yet to achieve, and things have yet succeeded in doing. If you asked me, I would say the Journey to Fit & Fab is long. Take the longest ultramarathon you can think of, multiply that by a 100. That long. In fact, I would even say that that journey, is and should be never ending, because you can always be a better, fitter, faster, stronger version of you. Always. But let’s face it, a “never-ending journey” does not sell well, and not everyone wants to invest with no end in sight. So to set some expectations right for some of you, let me lay the cards on the table for you. This is your journey.
1. Push Start.
You start thinking about adopting a healthier lifestyle. For whatever reason (health, weight loss, sports) you know that you need to start doing something about your lifestyle for you to gain some changes. This is step number one. Pressing the start button. Making a decision to get up and go.
You start asking around. Make some appointments with friends of friends. Ask about gyms, classes, bootcamps, diets, the works. You join your friends on Sunday runs. Whichever choice makes the most enticing offer, you go for it.
The first week or so, commitment is that damned word these trainers keep throwing at you. Your body is sore, you can barely walk normally to work, every painful step yells out to you to quit. This is where you must push through. Make yourself go. Keep calm and carry on.
4. Smooth sailing.
The dog days are over. The muscles are slowly forming, your stamina is worth bringing up in conversations, the runs, or the workouts don’t get easier, but you enjoy them more. You love the feeling after each session. A month into your program, and you finally muster the courage to step on the scale, hoping to see a drop in your weight, AND……your weight stays the same. You wonder why, because friends and colleagues have been telling you, that you look slimmer. You, yourself, feel great! So why isn’t it showing any difference?
Interjection: Let me shed some light here. You are getting fitter and stronger. You’re building more lean mass. Your heart is getting stronger. But the weight will only go down if your whole metabolism changes. Metabolism = The usage of energy in your body. Changing your metabolism takes time. It requires a whole lot of physiological change to happen. I’m talking more blood capillaries, larger muscle fibers, increased mitochondria, blabla-scienticgibberish-blabla. The bottom line is, a lot of stuff have to happen and it’s not like you can buy these things from the supermarket. It takes time.
About 5-6 months into your program, you are now extremely dependent on exercise. It is your must do every day or every other day. It is THE feel good factor. You like it, but not as much as you need it. It sounds negative, but it actually isn’t. You’re just habitualizing it. This is your lifestyle now. It is part of you. Every workout you do would not bring about big changes anymore, but you’re fine-tuning yourself within. You’re working on the details now. Getting that 1 second faster, lifting that 1 pound heavier, pushing that 1 push up more in a minute. To keep yourself motivated enough to keep on pushing your limits is going to be tough. But lucky for you, motivation can now come from other things. You fall sick so much less. You’re no longer panting from running around with your 5 year old. You can go up the stairs and down without breaking a sweat. You start to change your shape. Dress sizes are dropping. Many things in your wardrobe now cannot fit you.
Interjection: You can now see bigger changes. Physiologically, your resting heart rate should be significantly lower. This shows that your heart is way more efficient. Your blood pressure is at a healthy number. This shows the arteries and vessels are cleaned up. There’s now a spring in your every step. This just shows that you’re feeling pretty darn happy about yourself and what you’re able to do! And of course, you’re finally looking like the young, fit person you aimed to be. This just shows that you have made your body go through all the necessary changes to make it a lean efficient energy producing machine.
You’re finally there. You’ve completed that marathon in under 4 hours. You’ve climbed Mount Kinabalu without getting air lifted down. You’ve gone for your high school alumni dinner and wowed everyone. You’re there. You feel fantastic about your achievements. You look back and realised it was hard, but definitely not impossible. You look forward. Where can you go from here?That’s your choice.
Your journey would vary from your peers. Everyone goes through a different journey, with different scenes. Even the length of your journey might vary. Many things come into play throughout this journey. Your will power being the most crucial. You decide how you want your journey to pan out :)