Wouldn’t it be great if we set our health, fitness and fat loss goals, started on week 1 and went straight through to week 12, 16 or 20 is one clean sweep.
If we could just progress every single week without a challenge in sight. Wouldn’t that be the dream program- a led to b, b led to c, c led to d and so on without ever having to take a step back.
This is the path that so many people expect to follow when they get started, but alas, it never happens. In all my years coaching people I have never, ever, ever, ever seen someone achieve their main goal in 1 clean sweep.
No matter how much time has gone into the program, no matter how committed the client is, no matter what fitness level the client is at, it still never happens.
Now that doesn’t mean that the client doesn’t get to their goal in the timeframe they set out. Very often they do. It simply means things didn’t go exactly as planned so they had to adapt along the way.
So why don’t things ever go exactly as planned?
In one word, LIFE.
Life is and will always be happening
There’s no escaping it. If you are on this planet then you are part of it and you’re going to have to achieve your goals on it’s terms, which is something that many people never fully grasp and accept.
A common theme among those people who never achieve the quality of health, fitness and life that they want is that they always waiting for the right time which, in the vast majority of cases, is always now (as with everything, there are exceptions of course- accidents, illness, major life events, etc.).
Waiting for the right time is literally waiting for life to stop. Life doesn’t do a weekly reflection session where it decides whether to drive forward or rest up for a week! It continuously drives forward.
So what do I mean by life happens?
- Car doesn’t start
- You pick up a virus
- You trip and hurt you leg
- You miss a session because you had to work late
- The electricity got cut off during the night and ruined all the food you prepared
- Your kids get sick
- Unexpected travel with work
- You move house
- You have an unplanned meal instead of the perfectly planned one
- You slip back into an old habit (e.g.. you quit smoking 20 a day but had 2 Saturday night- thats still 138 less than you were having!)
- You get hit with a big unexpected bill
- You get stuck in traffic so miss a gym session
- You slip it out
- Your shift changed at work
- You have an appointment that clashes with your training (tip- just reschedule your training time)
This is normal LIFE stuff yet so many people use these situations as excuses to quit their exercise program or stay in the rut that they swore to themselves they wold get out of. ]
If this resonates with your situation then there must come a time when you get started with a real commitment to change your circumstances regardless whether or not ‘the time is right’, because if you don’t you need to accept that your circumstances will never change.
What normal progress looks like
We have a ton of clients who have completely re-vamped their quality of life through a real commitment to their health and fitness and none of them have ever gone more than a few weeks without life throwing them a massive obstacle.
But because they accept that this is normal, they are able to work around it and move forward again.
Normal progress often looks scrappy. I’ve seen several clients achieve 5 chin ups one week, struggle to do a single chin up the next week and then get 6 the week after.
- I’ve seen clients lose 10lbs, gain 3 and then drop 5.
- I’ve seen clients set out on 12 week programs, do everything right with their nutrition and training but trip on a cat 4 weeks into their program.
- I’ve seen clients quit smoking for 4 months, go back on them for a week and then quit them forever.
- I’ve had clients struggle to turn up for their training sessions once a week, and then make 4 sessions a week look like the most natural thing in the world 9after we sit down to see where the problem lies).
- I’ve had clients struggling to accept that they couldn’t drink 6 pints of Heineken 4 nights a week if they wanted to see the results they wanted.
- I’ve had clients put their necks out from sneezing and picking up half-empty shopping bags and still stay on course with their goals
- Clients on the verge of quitting because their weight loss was slower than they though who ended up losing over 60lbs
3 steps forward, 1 or 2 steps backward is how most people achieve their goals.
And all this because of family commitments, the weather, old habits dying hard, old injuries, unrealistic expectations, freak accidents and other life occurrences.
You need to expect ups and downs and accept that they are part of the journey and that nobody escapes them. Sometimes they are the most important part of the journey because they teach you so much about yourself- they are definitely not something to be afraid of or defeated by.
Don’t use them as excuses to stay in your current situation if you are truly unhappy with it. It won’t serve you in any beneficial way and you’ll only look back in regret at what could have been.
Get yourself fit, get yourself healthy and enjoy life as much as you can.