A Series: Built One Brick at a Time

Everest is tall, start with something shorter:

I didn't just wake up one day and start running mile after mile, I didn't suddenly have this great endurance to ride my bike for hours on end, and I certainly wouldn't have dreamed of logging lap after lap in the pool.  I woke up one day and decided I wanted to try something great and really had no idea where it would take me, how it would change me, and if I had known how many times it was going to knock me on my ass, I just may not have started.

I have been thinking a lot about how my fitness journey began and all of the ups and downs that were part of it and I felt inspired to write this series to help everyone out there that are standing on the precipice of their own journey.

The process of changing your lifestyle isn't black or white, you have to become comfortable with living in the gray area.  Changing habits is a series of decisions from the moment you wake up, till the moment you go to bed and it can be difficult to navigate with 100% success, every single time, every single day.  The fact of the matter is that you aren't going to make the best decision every time, but that's ok.

A lot of people that I talk to about their journey get focused on the bad decisions they made earlier in their day and allowing that bad decisions to steamroll the rest of their day, which in turn will steamroll their week, and thus lead them to failing whatever goal it was they were trying to reach.  You have to start the process with small hurtles that are easy to get over and will add to your confidence to make good decisions each day.  Say for example every time you go to the grocery store you buy a candy bar at the checkout, then make it your goal to not buy that candy bar; its an easy, small decision that will give you confidence to make other good decisions.  Repeat this process until that urge is gone and then find the next small hurtle to conquer.

On the flip side, if you are at work one day and someone orders pizza and you make the decision to eat some, well then enjoy that pizza, but you have to remember it does not ruin the entire process; go home that evening, workout a little extra, have a salad for dinner and you are right back on track. If you buy that candy bar at the checkout, it doesn't mean you have lost everything, you just have to set yourself up for success the next time. 

These moments during the day are always going to be there, whether this is the first day of your journey to change or you are on year 20 of being fit and active.  You have to be mentally ready to navigate these decisions and you have to remember that this is indeed a journey and making one bad decision doesn't mean the end, it just means you have to win the next decision and move on with your day.  Your goal in the end might be as tall as Mt Everest, and I say go for it, but you are going to have to get over a few smaller hills on your way to the top.

 

Kasey Palmer