Last week I reminisced about how tough it is to start from scratch. The good news is that things get better quickly. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy nor am I saying that you’ll have a beach-body overnight. What you need to do is to embrace the process.
Day 1 was a battle. During that first workout I doubted myself and my abilities. I felt weak, physically and mentally. The second workout was even harder. It was similar to the first day’s workout. A 3-round warm-up followed by a 10 minute EMOM of thrusters and 40-second planks and finished off with a 7-minute AMRAP of kettlbell swings, sumo-deadlift-high-pulls and squats. I felt even more lethargic and useless than the previous day.
On day 3 I started feeling better. Not necessarily because I was physically coping better with the workouts but because psychologically I was patting myself on the shoulder for sticking to the plan. I identified my problem, I made a plan of how I was going to solve it and for the third consecutive day, I was sticking to the plan. I started to embrace the process and that made me happy.
On day 4 I “upgraded” from the 20 kg kettlebell I used on Monday to a 24 kg bell. That in itself was a little victory. The second hooray came when I was able to accelerate the pace during the workout. Something I was not capable of doing on any of the previous days. In the span of just 4 days feelings of utter uselessness and self-doubt were replaced by a sense of happiness and determination.
The “happy-feelings” stem from the fact that not only was I busy solving my problem (of being unfit and overweight), I could feel that I was solving my problem. Happiness is a work in progress because solving problems are. Happiness is not waiting for you around the corner. It’s a form of action.
Instead of being discouraged by unrealistic goals, focus on the steps needed to achieve the goal rather than the goal itself. Every completed step, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, will motivate you to take the next one, and the next one, and the next one.
The process is simple, but it’s not easy. There will be “lapses of concentration”, moments when you take your eye of the ball. My “lapse” came on day 5. It was my wife’s birthday. A joyous occasion celebrated with good friends, good food and copious quantities of wine. My Saturday workout didn’t happen. But Sunday’s did. That’s the trick. Don’t beat yourself up about a “lapse of concentration”, move on.
I’m ten days into my eighty-day plan. I did 9 workouts. I lost 1,8 kg. I’m happy.