It’s the reason so many people flock to gyms, to leave a point of pain whether it be physical pain, or more often emotional and arrive at a point of happiness. Something so many want yet so many fall short.
It is one of the burning questions- what does it actually take to make change? Proper change too- the type that people notice.
Often people mistake the barbell for a magic wand and enquire about training and asking if it’s possible to lose 15kg in three weeks. Is it possible? Sure- you could lop off a leg. Is it ideal? I would hope you answered with a resounding no.
The Prerequisites of Change
Considering the recent point- step one is incredibly simple yet implementing it is imperative to your success.
Step One- Recognise There is a Problem
Houston- we’ve got a problem.
Just like one colossal cheat meal didn’t result in you being chronically overweight, sick, tired and unhealthy- one solid workout will not remedy the ailment.
Understanding that there is a problem is often a confronting realisation when it comes to our mortality. But it is where we begin- recognising that the current problem is the manifestation of perhaps years of decisions where convenience was chosen at the expense of health and the couch was chosen over movement.
The thing with a problem however is there is always a solution- just be prepared that this one may be a long equation- if there is such a thing as an “end point” in health and wellbeing the destination is surely sweet- but the journey is where the magic happens.
Step Two- Ask for Support
Reversing poor health is of course a timely task, but it can also seem a lone task. Having the support of a loved one, a training partner or a personal trainer could be the secret sauce to turning it around.
If you are unsure of the best way to do this on your own- ask for help. Just like you would call an electrician when sparks are flying out of your light socket as opposed to “trying it out” for yourself- it doesn’t hurt to seek the help of an experienced and educated personal trainer.
Having someone in your corner offering direction, support through the lows and congratulations during the successes could be the make or break.
Step Three- Don’t Try Doing it All At Once
You could not fall off the wagon faster than you could if you just dove off of it- than when you try and change EVERYTHING at once. Trying to change your eating habits, the water you drink, your sleep patterns, incidental exercise, training program, supplementation, stretching and all the rest all at once is your one way ticket to overwhelm and the bottom end of a two litre tub of ice cream.
Take it easy- slow your roll and do things one at a time. Sure its slower- but its better for you. It’s sustainable and in the beginning, it is exactly what you need.
Start off implementing one habit at a time and try to kick it off with the important ones- think adding breakfast daily for two to three weeks and once that becomes the normal, then start adding two walks a week for a similar time and then onto the next habit.
You’re playing the long game now- take your time and do things right.
Step Four- Be Consistent
We mentioned above that neither the good nor the bad has or will happen overnight- consistency is key. Too often people get caught up tracking daily calories and end up filled with self loathing because they went 300 calories over their goal on Wednesday. It’s not ideal but in the grand scheme of things it isn’t THAT bad.
Of course if this recurs every day then it becomes a problem. Being 90% on point across the week is much better than 100% for three days. Expand things a little so you’re looking at your progress on a week by week level rather than micro-tracking the daily.
A good day or a bad day have little impact but a good or bad week will be noticeable. Those 300 calories on Wednesday may balance out with a lower calorie day on Sunday meaning your weekly calorie intake balances out. When day to day success or failure is measured by caloric intake can result in an extra 2000 calories across the week which essentially is adding an eighth day of eating to the week.
Step Five- Be Prepared to Work
In a perfect world the ShakeMaster7000 for sale at 3am on the channel you didn’t even know your TV picked up- will help you lose all the body fat you have plus add a few kilograms of lean muscle by merely shaking a phalace shaped object on a 45 degree angle, in front of the full moon.
Exercise professionals have been saying it for years- there is no such thing as a quick fix. If there was- we would all be shredded, or at least of optimal health. But we aren’t, we are smack bang in the middle of an obesity epidemic with billions of dollars spent on gimmick fitness items each year, so, go figure?
When we say be prepared to work we don’t mean hard labour. But you will have to sweat, you will have to be sore, you will have to say no sometimes when you want to say yes, and often say yes when you would much rather give a no.
This should come as no surprise of course- it just comes down to how much you want to achieve the goal. Enough to say no to junk foods and thirty schooners on the weekend? Enough to say yes to getting out of bed on the cold rainy day to go to the gym?
Step Six- Clarity
Be very, very clear on what you want to achieve. “Change” is very different for you, as it is for the person seated next to you. You might aspire to have a six pack, they might aspire to climb a set of stairs without feeling like they’re inches from death.
Be very clear- what are your short, medium and long term goals. How will you feel when you achieve them? What about if you don’t- how would that make you feel? What will you be able to do if you achieve XYZ? What new possibilities does that open up?
Be realistic and be clear. It will pay dividends throughout the process if you know the exact path you need to walk along.
Although there are many, many things to be mindful of when making change- it is about making the main thing the main thing. Building good habits, following a clear path and being prepared to do some work.
Once you start eating consistently, getting a good nights sleep and training hard not because you’re pursuing a training goal but because that is just what you do- you will be well on your way to making the kind of change that lasts long term.
The Hybrid Team