Pushing the Boulder
You start exercising to lose weight, and after the first 10 days you feel sore, proud, and a little disappointed that your 6-pack abs are not already starting to show. Sound familiar?
You’re not alone. When you make the decision to lose weight and give your all to your workouts, it’s not unusual to expect results right away. But unfortunately, these things can take a little time…
I look at weight loss strategies like this: dieting can lead to quick yet fleeting results, and the likelihood of gaining the weight back (and then some) is very high. But when you decide to take a more long-term approach – and combine exercise with subtle food changes – the results can be slower to show at first, but your patience will pay off!
I liken the second approach to pushing a heavy boulder: at first it seems nearly impossible to get it moving, the weight of it is so great that your muscles burn trying to push, your brain whispers doubtful mantras at you while you lean into it a little harder. But then! It budges, and as it starts to move you don’t need to push quite as hard. Momentum picks up where your might left off, and now you can see how it’s not so impossible after all. Sure, there are bumps here and there in the road that slow it down, requiring you to give it an occasional push, but as it rolls, most of your effort is in guiding it towards the destination.
The same is true for exercise – what seems so hard at first becomes easier over time – as you get stronger, your body’s ability to learn new things also improves. Your increased energy spills into other parts of your day, making you naturally more active without consciously meaning to. And this subtle increase in activity, in turn, gives you even more stamina, so you perform better in your workouts. As you start to weigh less, the activities become even easier and more natural, and you find yourself taking on more challenges. Sure, there are weeks when you spend too many hours at the office or fight a cold, so getting active again may require and extra push here and there; but overall you find that those pushes are fewer and far between, and that most of your energy is going towards gently guiding yourself towards your goal.
On those days when you feel the bump in the road and are tempted to give up instead of giving a push, remember the boulder: once you get it moving again, you may just forget how heavy it was to start. 🙂