Someone once said "it may not be easy, but it will be worth it." That really is the truth... if you want to make a change then consistency is key. I'm not just talking about fitness and health, but also in our work, daily habits, leisure activities and diet.
We're taught as children to write our name over and over again before we can write it without thinking. The same when we learn to ride a bike, or tie our shoes. We don't just do something once before we perfect the task; sometimes it takes years of hard work before we get to where we want to be. Yet as adults, why do we so often give up on a task way before we should?
We live in a society today where most things can be given to us within minutes, or even seconds. In my opinion however, things worth having don't come easily, and sometimes we have to learn this the hard way! Most clients come to me wanting to "improve their core" or "lose x amount of weight". It can be done, don't get me wrong, but how much effort are we willing to put in, in order to achieve these goals? Neither of them are solely about exercise, but decent nutrition and good levels of sleep too. Avoiding smoking, drugs and excessive drinking for the best results, but at the same time being able to maintain a good work-life balance.
We need to remember that marathon runners don't just train once. They might start off only running a few miles, with short breaks every now and then. They must then build their distance, which in turn also will improve their health. Alongside this, they should consider strength training within a gym setting in order to strengthen the joints and muscles that will be used. They'll continue on this cycle of building distance and building strength, whilst also looking at flexibility and mobility to improve their running technique. Safe to say, it's very unlikely they'll have only run once or twice before competing in their marathon - it's something they would have worked on for months, several times per week to achieve the best time possible for their level. It might also be dangerous to run this distance without any training at all.
The most successful of clients that train with me complete 4-5 sessions per week (whether all with me, or some sessions off their own back; gym classes, YouTube videos, self-lead sessions etc). They eat a balanced diet for the majority of the week -they're still allowed our treats of course, but fuel themselves with decent, nutritious food for 95% of their meals. They sleep for 8 hours (sometimes more!) per night, and stay thoroughly hydrated each day. As much as I guide them on their best options, it essentially comes down to THEIR level of consistency, and that's not something that can be taught.
In the same way we should be consistent with healthy food and regular exercise to make a change to how we feel within our bodies, it is also important to be consistent with self-care and socialising; meeting up with friends, meditating, listening to a new album, time away from screens, or perhaps a hobby that isn't technology based. We wouldn't expect to put on lots of weight after one unhealthy meal, so why do we expect we can lose weight after one healthy meal and a sweaty exercise session? I know this is a bit of a dramatic way of trying to look at things, but sometimes we need to hear it in this way. So, it brings me back to my first sentence of the post... "it may not be easy, but it will be worth it." Consistency is the absolute key in order to make a change - whatever change it is that you're aiming for. You got this💪🏼