Saturday, September 14, 2013

Slow and Steady Wins the Race


There’s a lesson to be learned from the tortoise and the hare, besides the fact that trash talkers rarely prosper. It’s that making small consistent steps towards a goal will eventually lead to accomplishing that goal. When I decided to improve my diet and regularly exercise, I was focused on sustainability. I wanted to make changes that worked for my lifestyle and that I would be able to maintain long-term. The key to sustainability for me was small, incremental changes. In fact, I had been making small changes to my diet since 2009. First it was switching to whole wheat whole grain everything, then came cutting out virtually all fast food and red meat, only drinking water, reducing my sodium intake, and increasing my intake of fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Don't mind all of the labels!  I've heard too many horror stories about sleazeball companies searching for before and after pics on the internet and then using them to try to sell their products.  I don't want to become one of those stories. These pictures are close to 5 years apart. It takes time but change is possible if you're consistent and persistent. 

My diet today has completely changed from what it was 4 to 5 years ago. The good thing is because I introduced changes one at a time, I gave my mind and body the chance to get used to those changes. When I started regularly working out at the beginning of 2013, I wanted to apply the same principle. I started with 3 days a week, adding an additional day after each month until I got to 6 days per week when I did Insanity. I’ve since come back down to 5 workouts per week and that works well for my lifestyle. What I hope you take from this is that you don’t have to make Goliath-sized leaps to accomplish your goals; small steps can be equally effective. We live in a society obsessed with instant gratification, which can affect virtually every aspect of our lives. Often with physical health, instant gratification very rarely leads to sustained gratification.  Apart of my healthier lifestyle is that I now value the latter much more than the former. 

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