Whether your goal is to improve your overall fitness, health and quality of life, or to get completely jacked and shredded, you’re going to have to make changes to your habits and behaviors. And change is hard. Establishing new habits is hard. Finding something that works that you can do consistently is hard. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that this stuff is a walk in the park.
We live in a “right now” culture that doesn’t exactly promote delayed gratification. Just looking around social media, you’ll see plenty of ads for magic pills, potions and assorted quick fixes. Even in the fitness community, you may see images of super lean, muscular individuals and wonder why you don’t look like that yet, even though you’ve been training hard and watching what you eat.
When you’re anxious to change, it’s natural to want it all to happen right this minute. The temptation to clamp down or put the pedal to the metal is real. Go all out. Go hard or go home. Right? Not so fast. This is a friendly reminder that if you’re struggling with the process, stop and breathe for a minute.
Regardless of whether you have a lot to lose or you’re already lean and need to dial it in for a more specific goal, the reality is that changing your physique takes time. Oftentimes, it takes a lot more time than you might expect.
Those huge weight loss transformations? They don’t happen overnight. It’s not uncommon for them to take years. And what you may not see is that they had numerous setbacks and challenges along the way.
The ripped physiques you see? They took years to build, decades even. And that’s decades of consistent effort, not decades of a few months “on the wagon” interspersed with years of “off the wagon.”
So, focus on the big picture. Ignore the noise, nail the important principles, and do it in a way that works for you. Now do that consistently and for a long time. This is what will bring you results. Not quick fixes, majoring in the minors, or running yourself into the ground. It’s true that extreme goals require greater attention to detail, but that’s a topic for another day.
I know it’s incredibly hard when you’ve been putting in hard work and you’re not where you think you should be. The first step is to evaluate whether you’re really covering all the important bases. Make sure your calories are in check. Make sure you’re getting enough protein. Make sure you’re following a solid training program. Look at things like stress and sleep. But if you’re already doing the important stuff, maybe you just need time.