One step at a time is good walking.
– Chinese Proverb
Let’s say you set a goal to travel around the earth. To do so, you would have to travel 25,000 miles… At a speed of 100 miles per hour, it would take 10 1/2 days to make the trip. Without stopping to rest, refuel and enjoy the sites along the way, this would be impossible.
The same is true when it comes to weight loss and muscle gain.
Just as it is impossible to travel the surface of the earth in a day, it is equally impossible to drop 10 pounds in one week. No matter how many reps you do in a workout, you will not double your strength in a few days! More so, why would you want to torture yourself to that point?
Although there is a lot of pressure from your doctor, your family, your friends and most importantly, yourself to lose weight or gain strength, you must recognize that it is not a race. Similar to traveling the earth, there are many beautiful milestones along the way that can and should be appreciated. Every level of progress, whether its the ability to perform more reps or a few inches lost along your waistline, you should stop and enjoy the moment. I truly believe that this is the main reason that fad, “detox” diets fail. People get in a rush to lose weight. They feel the pain, and eventually eat away their sorrows to only gain more weight. When you stay present in your program, you appreciate every rep and every step towards your goal.
When eating healthy fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins, you appreciate the energy and nutrients that nature provides to fuel you. When you eat your guilty-pleasure (as you should if you are eating healthy most of the time), you slowly eat it and enjoy the experience. That way, you do not need to continue eating until you feel full, because, in fact, your “feeling” is already experienced in every moment that you take a bite.
During exercise, every rep is the focus of that moment. You are not racing to hurry up and finish your workout. No, you appreciate the immense complexity of your body and become totally thankful for your ability. In this sense, you become alive. A diet doesn’t become torture. A workout doesn’t become a chore. It becomes a mode of meditation, appreciation and realization that life and the path to your goals is not a race (wait for it… wait for it..), but a journey.
Enjoy every step. Feel every rep. And when you make it around the circumference of your goal, you will see how much you have improved since you started.