Every January, at every gym I’ve been associated with for the past 35 years or so, hundreds and hundreds of people start over in a process that they will soon (in 6-8 weeks) quit. Why? Unrealistic expectations about losing weight and in shape. They aren’t looking for slow, but steady progress-they want results, and they want it right now. They are looking for a miracle, and they keep setting themselves up for disappointment, year after year. In these days of instant, 24/7 gratification, they can’t understand why the weight doesn’t fly off and the muscles don’t grow fast enough right NOW!
If folks would just stay with the program, and be realistic about expectations, they would see that teeny, tiny bits of progress, over time, will yield big results. I tell my clients to relate this investment to their health to that of compound interest. When you invest money, the compound interest doesn’t make you wealthy tomorrow, or in a week, or even in a year. But, maybe three years or five years from now, you’ll notice a difference in your bank account. It’s the same with health and fitness. Using the same small actions, done most days, and compounded over time, yields huge dividends for your health down the road.
As Jeff Olson says in his fantastic book, The Slight Edge, “our society is sliding rapidly into an ever-increasing economic crisis of poor health stemming from an epidemic of adult-onset diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and a score of other chronic illnesses that have steadily fed a monstrously overgrown health care system, tax system, and social security system. The cause of this is no mystery, and neither is the solution-not to those who know how to recognize the slight edge at work. Our entire health crisis is nothing but one set of little decisions, made daily and compounded daily, winning out over another set of little decisions, made daily and compounded daily. We look for the cure, the breakthrough, the magic pill. But the solution already exists. It always did. Is it magic? Yes-the same magic that caused the problem: the power of daily actions, compounded over time.”
In other words, stop looking for the quantum leap; start building it. Stop looking for the miracle, and BE the miracle. It’s easy to do, but just as easy not to do. Only you, by your seemingly small daily actions, can decide which direction you go. The power is in you.
Stay well (and make good choices)
John R Blilie, MS
Ps. I highly recommend ready The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. It sure changed the way I look at my own choices.