We’re bombarded by marketing messages promising incredible weight loss in a matter of weeks. Whether it be a social media influencer’s latest challenge or a new app, we’re told we can lose weight fast. This may be true. If you severely restrict calories and do a ton of exercise, you probably can drop pounds but it’s not a sustainable solution to a fit lifestyle. Did you know that 90 percent of people who lose weight gain it back? A sobering statistic to be sure. But, it’s avoidable, if you consider losing weight and getting in shape a long game.
It takes at least a year to see change that will last. This is because it’s not about cutting calories and exercising more. It’s about developing sustainable healthy habits and that takes time. If you go into it knowing that, your mindset changes. It’s not about punishing yourself for a short time but more about taking care of yourself for a long time.
Take me for example. I’ve been exercising for years but consistently resistance training for the last five years. I’d say the first two years were more experimental with me figuring things out. Then I obtained my personal training and nutrition coaching certifications and really propelled my own training through that new knowledge. So, for more than three years I’ve been training myself building muscle on my thin frame. My goal is not to be “skinny fat” but to have muscle and curves so my clothes fit better, I feel better, and I avoid muscle loss that comes with age. As I approach 50 I’m more mindful than ever about mobility and making sure I can continue to move freely. I also pay close attention to my diet making little changes here and there to stay on the healthy side. If you look at my frame in 2011 versus today, you’ll see a huge difference. But it took five years to see that difference.
If you’re someone who needs to see quick wins to stay motivated, don’t worry. You still can. Set smaller achievable goals to keep you going. Those of us who have been lifting for a long time are jealous of “newbie gains” that people who are new to training experience. The muscle comes on fast and furious in the beginning but it does level off. And after you gain it, it’s SO easy to keep it. Much easier in fact.
As for your diet, in the beginning you may need to pay strict attention, tracking your food and maybe even weighing it, depending on your situation. But, over time you get used to knowing how much to eat and what foods are best for you. Tracking is not a forever thing. Building the habits is.
I’m rambling at this point but I write this post to provide perspective on obtaining the holy grail of fitness for life. You, too, can be fit by any age. Just give yourself time and take the steps required to make the journey. It’s never too late and there’s never a better time to start than right now. If you are ready and need some support, contact me! I would be honored to help.