Ever tried eating a whole Elephant (ears and all) in one sitting?
I was overweight most of my life. In fact, I didn’t have a good relationship with the mirror until recently. So naturally when my friends (from back in my High School days) called me over to join them at the gym, I just leaped at the idea. At the time it sounded like I was going to meet a live Unicorn or something.
Now, the guys who invited me over were in good shape already. So none of them were in it to“lose weight”.In fact, if we were to line up next to one another, I would easily stand out as the guy who was comparatively “wider”. I mean, I probably had the width of two of them combined.
And as they had already been working out for a considerable amount of time, they had their whole workout routine all mapped out. All I had to do was follow along.
So, when the day finally arrived, I was all pumped up and ready to wiggle and rattle. That was until they told me that they were gonna start out with a run around the Grounds.
What!? Run? I thought they were going to the “gym”, where running is considered a felony. Who runs for a “warm up” anyway? Besides, “running” was what made me quit Tennis a few years earlier.
If they had just hit the ball to where I was standing, and not made it too difficult to hit, I would have stayed on.
But, I was the newbie and they had graciously offered to show me the ropes. So, I just went along with it. But after about 5 minutes into the run I was gasping, choking, croaking and even heard my legs make some kind of clanking sound. And after swearing under my breath the rest of the way, I realized that I was still alive. Yeah! I even checked my pulse just to make sure.
Then, it was time for the real thing. And even though I dreaded going into the Gym for even more torture, it actually wasn’t that bad. Sure, I didn’t have a clue what was going on. But after heaps of curls, twirls, swirls and a whole lot of groaning and yelping, we were done for the day. Awesome! I am officially “fit” (or so I thought). Back again in 2 more days.
But my state of bliss didn’t last too long. The next morning, I felt like a couple of Elephants had played Squash whilst using me as the ball. Needless to say, I never went back.
A few years later I had a similar experience, where some of my Brother’s friends called me to join them for a quick morning run (probably about 2 miles in all). And as you can guess, that too was a one-time thing.
Following that episode, I labeled myself as “destined to be fat” for about the next 14 years. Talk about a short break!
But now I know better. Just as most people, I too was suffering from the dreaded “instant heroics syndrome”. It’s basically the syndrome that makes us believe that success in any endeavor is an overnight achievement. And that talent,health,fitness, and wealth are things we’re either born into, fall into or just roll into.
In fact, one time I thought that Carl Lewis (a legendary athlete I had watched growing up) set his first hundred meter record, right after they detached him from his umbilical cord and gave him his first dose of bottled milk.
I later came to realize that there’s a reason why we don’t see a whole bunch of kids in diapers walking out of College Entrances.
And that’s because we are designed to grow “gradually”, starting with the phase of making weird faces, drawing on walls, doing science experiments on the cat and so forth all the way til we graduate from College (or not).
And that slow, steady and progressive approach (referred to as “Kaizen”) gets results every single time, no matter what you’re trying to achieve. Obviously, depending on your starting point, the time that it takes to see results may vary.
So, the Principle of Kaizen works every time, but not on its own. That’s because everything in life is designed to work in unison and harmony with another element or a composite of elements, much like the coexisting of yin and yang. It is the application of Kaizen into ALL of these individual elements that create the Fusion that leads to the desired outcome.
For instance, Weight is not JUST about exercising daily. Refraining from Processed foods, drinking a ton of water and eating right are just as important. As is your sleep.
So, for the exercise part, you could maybe start out with a simple and slow 10-minute walk around the block. And when your body falls in love with the new regiment (possibly after 3 weeks), you can kick it up a notch by lengthening your walk by further 3-5 minutes. And once you settle into that, kick it up by another 3-5 minute and so forth until you can comfortably manage a 30-minute walk. Then you can start increasing the speed on your legs gradually over the coming weeks until you have transformed your snail walk into a strong power walk. And at some point when the whole power walk begins to feel like a walk in the park, you can graduate onto something more fun like P90X3 (which is what I’m doing now).
The same Kaizen approach will then need to be applied into your nutrition. So, you would start out by replacing maybe just one food item from your regular meals with a healthy smoothie or an egg salad. And then after a month or so, you would switch a second food item (or meal) with another smoothie or egg salad or maybe a few nuts and so forth until you have replaced all your regular meal items for at least 6 days, with ALL fresh produce (fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, eggs, and milk).
And when these individual Kaizens finally merge, you have got yourself some serious butt-kicking Fusion energy, that will propel your engines and strive for even higher ground, almost on autopilot.
So, don’t fall into the “I can do it all at once with the backing of my Grandma” or the“I can do it in just 60 days” trap that I fell into years ago. That only works if your emotional pain is at a boiling peak.