The SLOW road is sometimes the best path to take.
We live in such a fast-paced society. We have all become a little impatient with everything and are demanding instant results in whatever we do – fitness, weight loss, business success, our bank accounts even if it is with reference to life-long habits that are ingrained in us. I am not immune to this type of living and thinking. I wanted to jump my way to growth and improvement, rather than take little steps to get there.
I’ve pretty much done it all: 7-day meal plans, Naturopath detoxes, Body Trim programs, Weight Watchers, three-month challenges, six-month challenges and more recently a 12 month commitment with a trainer/nutrition coach. It wasn’t until the later that I finally realised these quick fixes NEVER work. Only the past 12 months have I finally learned that listening to my body and reacting to it’s biofeedback system is the best way for me to get lasting results. Only during the Covid slow-down that have I realised that slow and steady will always win the race. I suppose I have always been a bit of a tortoise rather than a hare. And sometimes, this approach has resulted in burn-out and disappointment. I have struggled to manage all my goals and when I don’t reach them quickly. I’ve tended to get frustrated. But one thing I never did was give up.
So now, I am trying to focus more on creating consistent micro-improvements, listening to my body and doing what it tells me. For example, I’ve learned that I can’t eat too many raw or cooked veggies – my gut just doesn’t sit well with the bloating and extra fibre. I know that high energy carbs (rice, pasta, bread) are not my friends. I invite them to my plate very occasionally. Managing a long list of food intolerance’s is no longer a burden – just the way I have to eat to make my body work more effectively and efficiently. Lifting really heavy weights on a consistent basis is not always kind to my body – so I am now adding more variety to my training program by using kettlebells, fitballs, bosu, trx and dumbells.
But this is ME! This is not the prescription for everyone. What I am saying is that you need to figure out what YOUR prescription is. There is NO one size fits all.
The other area is GETTING HELP. Trying to figure it out entirely on your own is not productive. You will always have an answer or an excuse to combat what your body is trying to tell you.
Here are some simple tips:
- If you are constantly tired – go to bed earlier! Set up a night time routine, just like you do with a baby: quiet time, a hot bath/shower, no technology, meditate, read a book. It doesn’t matter! Just experiment and find out what works best for you. But stop yawning and telling everyone you are tired. It is boring.
- If you are stiff and sore, do some stretches. Go to a class, follow some online stretches, just make up your own. Simply see it as a priority, make it a routine and stick to it. But stop telling everyone you are stiff and sore. It is boring!
- If your jeans are too tight – stop eating so much and start moving more. Or, as Craig Harper says, “It will be 2025 and your pants will be even tighter”. Yes, that sounds simple and ties in with the title of this blog. It may take you a while to find the best path that works for you. Understanding that it will take more than three weeks for your pants to fit you better is the first step.
- If your pee is the colour of a 60 year-old malt whiskey, drink more water!
- If eating a whole block of chocolate makes you feel ill for two days, don’t eat it! And if you can’t trust yourself (like ME!) don’t buy it to start with. Telling yourself you will only have one piece is just bullshitting yourself.
- Be consistent. Write down your plan, tell people about it, (but only tell those who will support you – not sabotage you), and STICK to it consistently. Not just on Mondays. Not just when there’s a full moon. Do it every day that ends in a Y! Don’t drink bone broth during the week and eat pastries all weekend. Be authentic and stop lying to yourself.
- Don’t give up if you stuff up. Making a little mistake is just that – a mistake. If you make the same mistake every day, then we need to chat a little more about identifying, owning up to and changing habits.
- Identify your worst habit and work on changing that first. (see Number 6 for my big one!)
- Make micro-improvements. These are small changes that help you improve something small that will ultimately have a huge impact on your results. It’s about asking, “WHAT CAN I DO TO BE JUST 1% BETTER TODAY THAN I WAS YESTERDAY?” It can be great to focus on big goals and meaningful habits, but micro-improvements can be particularly powerful during stressful times because they don’t add too much pressure on you to make big changes. Creating extra pressure for ourselves only results in more frustration, higher cortisol levels, less sleep, less recovery time, more stress and no results. But that is another blog for another day.
- Celebrate your success – and don’t be shy about it. Shout it from the roof tops. Be proud of your achievements. But remember some people won’t enjoy seeing you succeed. I had to tell myself this 50 times over before sharing these photos.