“The good news: getting lean and healthy and staying that way for life is actually pretty simple. The bad news: if you want different results than you’re getting now, you’re going to have to do something different”. Let’s face it: the problem with wanting to lose weight or eat healthier is that we want it without really having to change too much.
For everyone, there is a magical effort-to-results ratio. (I talked a bit about this in my post on “Ideal Weight” which you can read here). This ratio is about the results we want to achieve vs. the reality of what we are actually willing, able and prepared to consistently do (effort) in order to achieve them.
Let’s dig into this. Take a look at Beth’s graph.
She WANTS to be “skinny girl” but what she is actually prepared to do is not going to meet that result. She then has the choice to either stay “chubby but healthy” OR increase her effort.
Similar to Beth, as you continue along your health journey, you will need to figure out your own “sweet spot” as it comes to efforts vs. results (keeping in mind that there are many factors involved). For example, you may be in your forties, and the effort NOW required to maintain “skinny girl” is totally unrealistic for your lifestyle. You too, always have a choice: either change the effort you’re putting in, or adjust your contentment with the results you are getting.
Now, let’s look at Tina’s graph: She really wants “smooth thighs” but the effort she can give sustainably won’t allow that, because Tina ain’t got time for a rigid training program, no alcohol and a 100% on point diet (hehe). She may be able to work at eating healthy more often (closer to 80% of the time) and get improved muscle definition (adjusting her choices or contentment with results) but the chances of her getting to that smooth thigh result are slim to none because she is NOT PREPARED TO DO WHAT SHE NEEDS TO DO ON A CONSISTENT BASIS in order to achieve that result.
All of this is meant not to depress you, but rather to empower you: it all comes down to choices. And the choices we make about our health and nutrition also have to fit into our overall lifestyle and happiness. I love what Dr. Yoni Feedhoff (a Canadian MD specializing in weight management) says: “Live the healthiest life that you can enjoy”. I think that is just the best advice.
More good news: this is not something you are going to do overnight! Not even close. Find a way to make time your ally and not your foe. Remember that we overestimate what we can do in the short term, and underestimate what we can do over the long term.
If I had to create my own graph, this is how it would roughly look.
So it comes down to this question at some point: What are you consistently willing to do to both be happy in life and be happy with the results that those actions give you? If you’d like some help figuring out your sweet spot, and working at building up your own healthy habits, reach out! There are about a thousand steps between where you are now and where you may want to be. You only need to take that first step to begin.