Which is not something that anyone looking for quick fixes wants to hear. Hell, even I don’t want to hear it sometimes, even though I know the facts, and have demonstrated it works! However, consistency with food and exercise will lead to achieving ones goals, be that losing body fat or gaining muscle.
I’m not all that great at receiving compliments, though it’s nice to get them. I’ve had a few this year about my weight loss. I’ve learnt to say thank you and acknowledge it, because it’s a bit daft when people deny things that are clearly true 🙂 However on the back of this a few people have asked me what I’ve done. And they generally don’t like the answers. I’ve trained hard (trained not exercised, though that’s another post), I’ve watched what I’m eating, including the ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins (no thinking clean or healthy eating, whatever they are, will solve it all), and I’ve been tee-total for a lot of weeks.
Is that a sacrifice? Well, the not drinking often is. But it’s also a choice. It comes down to what I value most at a given point in time. And for me, being healthy and strong is important. It helps my long-term health conditions and gives me a body I am a lot happier to have than if I don’t do these things.
It means that I eat things that fit my macros when I would like to have a large burger and chips. It means I make sure I am active even when tired. That I get up early to fit in training before work, or make the effort to do it after work around social commitments. It also means that I have to make time for it at weekends around plans with the husband or friends. Then I do all of this consistently, week after week.
I’m in no way complaining. I chose to do this. But that’s what it takes to get results. A six or twelve week plan may provide short-term results with a drop in water weight, or a really low-calorie diet may drop the number on the scale but both fat and muscle is lost. Be mindful of the longer term when looking for solutions! There is no point dropping weight to regain it (and more) quickly. It’s also not sensible to have crash diets when trying to improve sporting performance. The body needs fuel to perform.
I appreciate it is not always easy. That temptations, stresses, and interruptions happen. That unexpected meal out. The injury limiting movement. Sure things have to adapt sometimes. But you do have to decide what you want, and then act accordingly. Train around the injury. Make the best choices you can from the menu when out, and stick to non-alcoholic, sugar-free drinks. Treat yourself to a new gadget instead of the bottle of wine after a hard week. If you don’t have the intrinsic motivation to pursue fitness goals, that’s cool. But don’t make excuses. There is a good blog post by Mike Samuels on why Motivation is BS that covers some of the issues around acting according to goals. He also has an excellent post on Why We Get Fat which covers some similar ideas, such as being good all week then undoing it all over the weekend and justifying extras.
For those who think this comes easy to me it, then maybe it helps to realise I was overweight as a teenager, hated most school sports (still do – netball WTF?!), and have had my fair of life events that meant I had to deviate from the exercise and sensible eating route. I’ve had to work at this, and educate myself.
Would I be as consistent if I didn’t have external motivation as well? In this case needing to make weight and then be able to compete in various Kettlebell competitions. Maybe not quite, but as alluded to above, I’d still need to be 85% consistent in order to maintain a body and health that I was happy with. Being mostly on track all of the time is far better than being very good for a short space of time, then going back to old habits or just giving up.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes I do go to BrewDog and have some awesome strong beers. That I go over my macros, or eat things that don’t fit the desired ratios (hello cinnamon and raisin almond butter 😉 ). That I’m sat writing this post today having been very inactive. (Though I am actually being slightly sensible since I’ve come down with an evil head cold and my sinuses always suffer badly.) But 90-95% of the time I eat and move for my goals. And it is something I can live with and is, therefore, sustainable. It is a lifestyle.