Lately I haven’t been able to get this thought out of my head—nothing changes overnight.
I know we’ve heard this before, but I’m facing this mental hurdle for the second time within a year, and I think it’s a conversation we should all be having.
Last year, I had to condition my mind to understand that my body, and the things I didn’t like about it, weren’t just going to change overnight.
This year, I’m having to condition my mind to understand that my body, and all of the work I’ve put in, also isn’t going to change overnight.
I’ve been overly stressed and busy lately, and because of that I felt like my body took a hit for it. I hadn’t been training at the level my expectations were set to, I was injuring myself left and right (because of the stress, NOT because I’m turning 28 in a month). So, mentally I was not only overwhelmed, but that mentality was coming through in my training and causing me to get really down on myself.
So I did what I always do, I went back and read something I wrote to myself in November of 2015. This is a habit I’ve formed that I recommend to anyone.
When I set out on my fitness journey, I wrote letter to myself explaining why I wanted this. So when I wanted to quit or I was questioning myself, I could read it and hear from myself the reasons why I can’t let myself down. It wasn’t anyone else’s expectations, it was my own words reminding me why I started all of this. One line sticks out now more than ever:
“This is your life now.”
For me, fitness wasn’t ever about shreds and gains, it wasn’t about how many abs popped, or the veins the appear in my arms (but I mean they don’t hurt). It was building a body that would honor and support the life I want to live.
So I’ve written a new letter, but this time, it’s addressed to all of you, because this is something we all could be reminded of sometimes.
Dear fit fam,
Nothing changes overnight.
Whether you’re brand new to the fitness journey, or you’re 10 years in, I promise this will be something you struggle with. Accept that now.
Those 20 extra pounds that seem like they came out of nowhere won’t vanish with a good nights rest. And that 6 pack you’ve spent so much time perfecting, yeah that also isn’t going to just disappear in that slice of pie you indulged in yesterday.
This is your life. The things you choose to do everyday build who you are and what you are to become. If you make sure that the habits you’re forming align with your goals, I promise you that with time and consistency, you’ll reach them. So unless you work at it every day, those 20lbs won’t disappear, and unless you’re eating the whole pie once a week, your abs will stay put.
It’s also key to understand that shit happens. Yeah, you heard me right, shit happens.
Life will never be perfect, and there will be days that you have to choose life over training—or my personal favorite is when life decides for you. But that doesn’t mean you wake up the next day and give up, it means you handle your shit, get up, dust it off, and get back at it.
Spending any amount of time punishing yourself for life getting in the way won’t do anyone any good.
So my fellow humans, accept that this is a journey you’re on, it’s not an express lane and you can’t ride herd on someone else’s life. It’s your life to live, and the work you put it will be the results you get out.
One day at a time.
It’s all too common in the fitness world that we get trapped in the sunshine and rainbows of inspiration that our journey’s have to offer—it’s rare that people get vulnerable about the real life struggle and insecurities we all deal with. I can’t stress enough that we’re all human, and life is bound to get in the way and your expectations might need to adjust accordingly.
The key to success isn’t measuring how many weeks we can stay on target, it’s understanding that the bigger accomplishments come from overcoming struggle. It’s not allowing yourself to curl up and live in a state of abandon.
No matter what keep moving forward, never lose sight of your goals, and one day—even if it’s not on the timeline you expected—you’ll get there.