I was catching-up with a friend the other day. Facetime of course. We ended up stumbling upon what I think is a very relevant subject: the inability of a lot of people to consider their future-self; opting instead for immediate gratification & short-term gain.
Now of course, we all have moments where we do something we know isn’t good for ourselves in the long-run, but is good in the moment. That's normal. The Ben & Jerrys chocolate fudge brownie ice cream I had today was phenomenal.
The issue is when those ‘moments’ become routine behaviours. And when those behaviours are regarding our health.. things can get ugly.
We aren’t helped either. The health & fitness industry pumps out diet after diet, product after product, all centered around the idea of achieving some idealistic goal in a short amount of time.
Often the producers attempt to play on two key emotions: Fear & Desire.
They remind of us our insecurities whilst providing us with a wishful idea of our future-self.
And of course, when we’re aggressively bombarded with these offerings through social media, the chances are we’re going to fall victim.
Unless you know the reality.
And the reality is that if an offering sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Most diets or products offered are simply a way for someone to make some quick cash.
And let’s be clear – health isn't a short-term game. It's definitely not achieved through 8 weeks of eating 800 calories a day. Health is the outcome of the choices we make in our daily lives - and that's surrounding more than just nutrition.
Yet the offerings we see remain focused on providing short-term results. Any diet/product/offering suggesting you can achieve a significant goal within a short period of time will result in the following, 99% of the time:
So, if these offerings aren’t the answer, what is?
Looking at the Bigger Picture
Forget your fictitious goal of losing 5 stone in 5 weeks (obviously, this is an exaggeration). First, it’s just not happening, second, ask yourself this: is what you're doing sustainable for the rest of your life?
Whatever changes you want to make, if you want to achieve them, and for them to be permanent, lifestyle adjustments are necessary. That means changing the set of routine behaviours you currently operate on. It might not mean anything drastic. Maybe you just need to stop snacking so much & and start walking more. On the other hand, a more significant overhaul might be needed. If that's the case, no problem - you've just got more change to make.
Either way understand that if you want to experience positive change - and you want that change & those feelings to stick around - then a long-term approach is non-negotiable.
And you know what's great? By focusing on optimising your health, any goals you do have will be achieved as a by-product of doing so.
Rant over, here’s what I'm trying to say:
Don’t get caught up in the bullshit out there – there’s a lot.
For now, forget your short-term wants. Improvements in health should take precedence. Focus on building & maintaining a sustainable process. When you do that, your desired outcome will arrive naturally over time.
Christian Lawal Personal Training.
Personal training in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Sevenoaks.