The Key Is Consistency over Time
It’s been about two weeks since I last posted, so I thought I’d give an update on my progress in the fitness area. It’s mixed. The good thing is that in the last week, which is when I really got serious (I spent the week before dilly dallying around mostly until about midweek), I lost a kilo, which is just over two pounds. Last Monday, I took measurements and set goals and one goal is to try to lose a kilo a week. But when you are over 50 and your lifestyle involves food and social events that are not conducive to furthering your fitness goals, it’s tough. I blew it a lot. But I did one thing well and that was to workout or be active every single day. And I tracked my progress.
Fitness is always an internal journey as well as a physical one. We win or lose the battle in our heads long before we see the results on our bodies. It’s about being consistent over time, more than it is about being really good at anything we do. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in, in recent years. Walking is tough for me and I’m not fast. I can ride my bike, but the bike I’m riding these days is much heavier as am I, so I’m pushing hard when I have to climb even the slightest of inclines. It’s easy to look at how much fitness I’ve lost over the last two years and become discouraged. It’s a mental battle before it becomes a physical one. On October 21st, I just decided to get started. I set a goal to get out and walk every day for at least two miles. On some days I was just under that goal, on others I was well over it. By the following week, I logged a couple of days where my walking distance was six or seven miles. Last week I exceeded my weekly walking goal of ten miles after only three days in. Since the weather was nice, I added bike riding into my activities and I headed back to the gym for some strength training. I took two days of rest after ten straight days of activity. Now, I won’t keep that up, but I needed to force a daily exercise time into my schedule. I had to be okay with the fact that it wasn’t at the gym every day but that I was getting out and doing something for one hour a day. I hoped I’d lose weight. I wasn’t holding my breath about it though, because like I said, I really didn’t modify the eating too much. My big goal was the exercise, and I’ve got that underway. Now I can continue that progress and add in another small goal. Mental determination translates into physical fitness success.
The idea of consistency over time, is one that I suppose I was aware of, but I needed to be reminded of this. I tend to want instant gratification. If I want a pair of new workout sweats I go get them. If I want new shoes I go get them. If I want to lose weight, I want it to be gone now. Not a year from now. The reality is, everyone I know who has traveled this road of losing a significant amount of weight (and by that I mean more than 30 pounds) and keeping it off, has taken the long road. This makes sense. There’s a mountain of information out there that says losing a couple of pounds a week is healthy. Too much weight coming off too quickly is not healthy. There’s another reason this makes sense: the habits that created the unhealthy lifestyle take time to remove and replace with healthy habits. I had to work on making myself more active. It used to be a daily part of my life. I let it go when life got stressful and I started traveling for work. I now have to work it back into my life. And that is just one of a hundred changes I know I will need to make by the end of my weight loss journey. My first and highest goal is to increase my level of activity and stay with it. Ten days later, I’m feeling like it’s a part of my day that I look forward to, so now I feel ready to focus on another small goal or two.
I don’t drink enough water, so for this week, I’m going to focus on doubling my water intake. I’m not going to stress myself out about food just yet, though I’m becoming much more mindful about what I put in my mouth and when. I also know that sleep is important. So, for this next ten-day cycle or so, I’m going to focus on drinking double the amount of water, and getting a quality night’s sleep, every night.
I’m also going to go to the gym four times for strength training/week, while continuing my daily walks. The weather here and Vilnius has finally changed. Gone are the cold, sunny autumn days. They’ve been replaced by warmer, wetter weather. I still intend to walk. If I have to, I’ll use the treadmill at the gym. Bike riding might be out for a while however. We will see.
I can feel a difference in just ten days. I can do more and go further than I could. My endurance is increasing, as is my energy. I am stronger now, than I was ten days ago. Ten days from now I will be stronger yet. My body is recovering well after exercise and I’m not unduly tired. I keep telling myself that every day I get out and do something is success. I’ve got it started, now I just need to keep it going.
Posted on November 2, 2015, in Health & Fitness and tagged achievement, aging, bike riding, consistency, exercise, fitness, goals, motivation, progress, setting goals, walking. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.