When I think of the word ‘change’ I think about things that happen quickly like:
- Changing my clothes
- Receiving change from a payment and
- Changes in the weather (if you live anywhere near South Bend, IN you know what I’m talking about)
Transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.
Health isn’t just about what your body looks like and readings like blood pressure and cholesterol. Having total health involves developing a positive dialog with yourself and respecting your body for the unique qualities you were blessed with. Believe me, if you don’t like yourself at your current weight shedding 10 or 20 pounds isn’t going to make you love yourself any more.
Think of it this way…is your opinion changed about someone who doesn’t treat you well just because they lose weight or get new clothes? Probably not. So why would your opinion of yourself change over night just because you lost weight?
As your body changes you have the opportunity to write a new script about what you tell yourself when you look in the mirror. Start complimenting yourself, start noticing the things that make you unlike anyone else and love yourself for those qualities, start being thankful for your current abilities and improvements, and start recognizing that you were wonderfully made.
If no training or true effort is required to achieve physical fitness goals what’s the point in even setting them? If hard work isn’t required what actually differentiates a couch potato from an olympic athlete?
Increasing ability is a process of training and preparing your mind and body to achieve limits you never thought were possible. It has just as much to do with gradually increasing your strength and endurance as it does developing the ‘mentality’ to keep you in the game.
Let’s take distance running as an example. It goes without saying that you can’t go from the la-z-boy to the start line of a half marathon without some training. A solid training program for a half marathon will include a mix of interval and strength training along with gradually increasing the mileage during endurance runs. The gradual increases and mix of exercises help to protect your body against injury while increasing your cardiac and muscle endurance for the race.
But there’s also the mental portion of the race that your body needs time to prepare for. You need time to develop the “I can do this!” attitude. You need the confidence and the courage to push through when it gets hard and all you want to do is stop. And just like developing muscle and endurance – being mentally prepared doesn’t happen over night.
Milkshake or apple? Fries or broccoli? Pasta or a salad?
For some of you the ‘right’ choice may be easy. They may be foods that you actually prefer. But for those who need a dietary transformation it can be daunting to give up all the ‘good stuff’ for the ‘right stuff.’
In order to achieve sustained weight loss you need to re-train your taste buds so that you appreciate the taste of foods without all the fat, sodium and added preservatives. If you think you can go from eating burgers to broccoli overnight and enjoy it, I think you’ll probably find yourself bingeing on a burger and anything else you can get your hands on in the not too distant future.
Slowly incorporating better choices will allow you to adjust without complete deprivation of everything you’ve become accustomed to eating. It will also help you to identify the true differences in taste between foods heavily laden with additives versus those with pure and natural flavors.
If you haven’t done it yourself you know of someone who has tried the latest weight loss fad and has experienced significant loss. At first everything is great! The weight is dropping off and compliments are abound! But it’s only a matter of time before the new clothes are suddenly ‘shrinking in the wash.’
Any diet or fitness program that guarantees immediate results should also caution of how quickly those pounds will come back on (and then some) when you deviate even just slightly from their program.
Quick weight loss is usually the result of starvation and deprivation and not a reflection of learning how to live within your limits. Where as sustained weight loss is accomplished by learning about portions, understanding calories in versus the calories you are burning and fueling your body with the right combination of nutrients.
Think about it this way…you lose a dramatic 10 pounds in one week. Great! But now you have to sustain that loss and possibly lose more. What happens the next week when you step on the scale to discover a loss of only a couple of pounds or worse none. You then will likely do one of two things – starve and deprive more (sending your body into a metabolic shutdown) or give up and pack back on the 10 you lost.
You didn’t gain it overnight and it’s not going to come off that quickly either. Accept the process and celebrate the gradual decrease because maintaining and building on a 1 – 2 pound weekly loss is much easier to do than a 10 pound loss.
These are only a few of the reasons that ‘time’ shouldn’t matter when transforming your body. If you are willing to change be willing to do it for all the right reasons. Embrace the process, but more importantly, learn to embrace yourself along the way so you experience a thorough, lasting transformation.