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Sticking to it

Posted: January 13th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle | No Comments

By Blake and Gwen Beckcom | Fitness

Consistency is often a wandering target of “on again, off again” frustration. The problem is, the older we get, the easier it is to lose our gains, and give up.

Sticking to anything can be challenging. We know what we need to do. We know what we ought to do, but with the overcrowded year-end work pressures and holiday “must attend” events, your best intentions can go awry. Once your fitness routines get “crowded out,” making a comeback can be so daunting that it becomes a recipe to give in and give up.

Blake Beckcom, a trainer and gym owner, monitors a client’s workout. (Courtesy of Fitness Together)

If we are strong, healthy and a bit lucky, we can reasonably expect to make it to 75 or 80 years on average – some longer perhaps and regrettably, some shorter.

But here’s the thing; at about mid-40, we start losing about 1 percent of our lean mass annually, and if female, we can add in 0.3 to 0.5 percent bone loss mass on top of that. The downward slide of our health simply intensifies with age. It stinks but what are we going to do about it?

Those are pretty good reasons to keep chipping away. You say you are busy, overwhelmed, not up for it, and have no time. Understandable.

Try “show up 95.” It is a great mantra to live by and train by. I have used it for years now. First, if I just “show up” to my workout, I have won on several fronts:

  1. I feel better about me, in that I did not give in to temptation to bail.
  1. I am still making progress against my goals, in light of what I am up against in the other areas of life, which are trying to crowd this out.
  1. Since I showed up, I might as well give it at least a 95 percent “best effort” because of how I feel, in terms of my work/life stress, my rest (or lack thereof), and the amount of time I can devote to this workout. I will use what I have in me, nutrition-wise, to fuel that “best effort.”

All workouts are not super human. They ebb and flow, and that’s OK. It’s the continuity that counts most. When I look back at the workouts that I forced myself to “show up” for, not really being that “in to it,” for whatever reason – those workouts were some of my best, in terms of feelings of self-worth, continuing to make some progress, and, in keeping at it, over the long term. Not to mention avoiding giving back the hard fought gains to date. Missing workouts is a slippery slope that we all need to stay off of, including me.

Apply the same principle to your nutrition: show up 95. If you simply “ show up” for your breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner/snack basic meal frequency, that is, to actually do it … and do this 95 percent of the time … and concurrently, eat clean 95 percent of the time … lather, rinse, repeat … and just keep doing it? Lo and behold, over time, this process becomes habitual.

You will easily realize when you are coloring outside the lines in terms of the 5 percent cheat zone, missing a quality snack or bonified “meal,” and recognizing more readily the sweets, salty foods, alcohols or what have you. You will become more “mindful,” which is a big key in determining triggers that drive us to good/bad or indifferent nutritional choices, and timing thereof. Then suddenly, all of this stick-to-it determination that sounds so difficult is actually a lot easier. You feel better about you and that creates momentum, which helps you keep going.

Our main goal these next weeks is to maintain momentum in what we have accomplished year to date, and not give back one iota of our gains to this point. No gains, no set backs, just maintaining is goal No. 1. If you “show up 95,” you’ll have a leg up on your 2017 resolutions and they will be far easier, as you won’t have to make up on any lost ground. Be ON PURPOSE – we can do this!

—Blake and Gwen Beckcom run Fitness Together Mission Hills. Contact them at fitnesstogether.com/missionhills.

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