One of the biggest reasons why some people fail to reach their fitness goals is a lack of patience. Oftentimes someone will start their fitness journey and improve their diet and exercise, but the results they are hoping for don’t come as quickly as they hoped. Since every area seems to be taken care of and nothing seems to be missing, they feel frustrated and quit. In these situations, the reality is that there was one thing missing: time.
There are multiple other reasons why people who get into fitness with expectations for immediate results don’t usually make it. Quite often their downfall occurs when they miss one workout or eat one unhealthy meal. The reason for this is because they feel like in order to reach their results immediately; they’re going to have to be perfect. So when a mistake occurs (and they will occur), they have trouble letting that mistake go. Therefore, they’ll often feel the need to do more in order to “make up for it” which ends up with them becoming so overwhelmed by their ever-increasing responsibilities that they quit.
As much as we encourage our members to stay consistent in order to achieve optimal results, remember that one bad meal or one missed workout isn’t going to undo your progress. There’s no need to feel bad about it; be kind to yourself! There’s no need to “make up” for it; pick up right where you left off!
Another reason why expecting immediate results can lead to failure is because often times, when someone expects quick results they tend to bite off more than they can chew. They do this because it seems like that’s what is required in order to achieve those quick results.
An example of this would be someone who is going to start working out again and they decide that in order to get the best results possible as fast as possible they must pick the hardest workout program possible. So they commit to a “hardcore” program they saw in a magazine that consists of 2-hour long workouts 6 days a week, and they also decide to completely overhaul their entire diet and go from eating fast food every day to eating rice, chicken, and veggies for every single meal. It doesn’t take long before all of this becomes too overwhelming and draining to handle, so they quit.
Maybe the examples I’ve provided sound familiar to you, or remind you of someone you know. If there’s one thing I could help people who have experienced this understand, it would be that if they had committed to a more sustainable diet and training program that gradually progressed over time, and they were patient, they would have had a much better chance of achieving their goals. It would take a more realistic and healthier time frame than they originally hoped for them to reach those goals, but they would be more likely to get there.
When we see someone with a body that we admire, it’s common to feel frustrated with ourselves and have thoughts such as “why can’t I look like that?” If you’ve ever experienced feelings like this before, keep in mind that when we look at someone who has a body that we admire, all we can see is their physique. What we can’t see is every weekday morning for multiple years when they got up at 5 am to give it everything they have in the gym before going to work. We can’t see the endless hours they devoted to preparing their meals ahead of time to ensure their nutrition would be on point. We can’t see the times when a busy schedule, low energy, difficulties in a relationship, or stress from work left them feeling drained and yet they still pushed through their workout. We can’t see the times they plateaued, and had no noticeable results to motivate them, but they didn’t quit because they knew that this is a journey and they’re in it for the long run.
I’m not saying that you have to do these exact things in order to succeed on your fitness journey, I’m simply saying that it takes more hard work over a longer period of time than people tend to realize.
Before you start to feel discouraged by the amount of time and effort that it takes to achieve the level of fitness that you really want, try viewing this long-term commitment to your body in a more positive way. For example, one “off” day suddenly doesn’t seem as significant when it’s one day out of multiple years. Remember, you’re in this for the long run, so even though there will be peaks and valleys in your progress, as long as you stay dedicated it will always be tracking upward overall and bringing you closer to your goals. It’s just a matter of time before you get there!