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It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

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I remember growing up and first learning to work out.  I saw two buddies of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while and they were jacked.  They had put on a lot of muscle and looked great.  The kind of change where you go, “Dang dude!!!”  This was during my college years, so I began working out too.  I did work out for a bit, 3x a week at the gym and watching what I ate big time, but nothing that ever really lasted too long.  I thought I was serious but after a few weeks, it wasn’t worth it.  A few years later, it became serious.

When It Got Serious

It became more serious after my second son was born.  No, it wasn’t the birth of my son that made the difference, it was my sister-n-law pointing out my gut in a picture of me, shirtless, on a bike.  Not a pretty picture, so it was a wake-up call for me.  But this time, I didn’t go HAM with working out and eating right.  That would have been too much.  I decided that I was simply going to add weight lifting to my life.  I decided I would lift weights 3x a week and eat whatever I wanted.

That Was Working

By just adding exercise to my life, 3x a week, I found that I had no problem keeping at it.  After about 5-6 months of just having exercise in my life, I said to myself, “I wonder if I would see a difference if I tried to eat foods with a lot of protein in them.”  So, I kept lifting weights 3x a week and just tried to eat more foods with higher protein content including protein shakes.  After about 5-6 months of doing that, I could see my body becoming more muscular.  I wasn’t lean and trim, but I was muscular and “thick.”  I was strong.  I remember having a conversation with my wife and her saying, “Well, I don’t want you to get really big.”  I didn’t want that either, yet I like that she saw the changes and the direction I was going in.  Then it was time for another change…

Another Change

I then decided I would cut back on the major food in my life that was probably putting on the most bad weight…ICE CREAM.  Oh, I love ice cream.  I’d have a big bowl every night.  One 1/2 gallon of ice cream would only last me two nights.  So, I decided that I would only eat ice cream on the weekends.  I didn’t realize it then, but the 5and2Guy was being born.  After about 5-6 months of only eating ice cream on the weekends, I saw my weight dropping.  No, I wasn’t what you would consider lean and trim, but I did look more muscular with a little less fat.

The Takeaway

In college, when I tried to be serious about my health and fitness, I failed because I came to hard out of the gate.  I tried too many tough changes before I was ready.  This happens to many people.  New Year’s resolutions come to mind as people make these drastic changes and then don’t have the discipline to see them through after a couple weeks.  Instead, we have to understand that health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.  You can’t go hard out of the gate.  You need to make one change at a time and get use to that change.  Once that change is comfortably in place, you can make another positive change.  Small changes over time is how you make longer lasting changes in your life.  What small change can you make today that will change the rest of your life?

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