How To get Healthy and Fit For the Long Term

What’s Your Rush? How To Get Healthy and Fit for the Long-term

Getting back in shape after any type of hiatus from working out is tough. We want to rush it and lose that weight — yesterday. Yet, there are some reasons why it’s not such a good idea to rush the weight loss — especially if you want to be healthy and for the weight loss to stick for the long-term.

Here’s how to make time, space, and energy to get your body back and enjoy the process.

How-To-Get-Healthy-and-Fit-for-the-Long-termGuest post by Anne Samoilov

The problem: You want to fit in those skinny jeans (that dress, your bikini, etc) … by YESTERDAY, but you’ll settle for the weekend! You look around and there’s no shortage of get in shape fast products, diets, and trainers who want to get you in shape fast. Everyone is rushing to reach their goal weight, fitness level and, yes, to fit into those darn jeans! Lately I’ve been trying something different and taking the time to calm down my urgent need to lose a few pounds. I’m relaxing into the day to day of getting back into shape. It’s not easy for me, because I also like to see results. But what’s stopped me or slowed me down really is this question:

Is it possible to stop rushing the process, but still challenge yourself enough to see results?

If you’re like me, then maybe you honestly feel the pressure and guilt to get your eating and workouts back on track. You feel a genuine urgency.
  • Maybe you’ve had a recent diagnosis that makes it a real priority for you to get control of your health.
  • Maybe you just don’t feel comfortable with the way you look or haven’t been feeling so great lately.
  • Maybe you saw the scale this morning and were shocked by the number on the scale.
What usually happens to people is they feel that urgency and dive in without a real plan. They miss the importance of the process and how the process leads you to consistency and habits that stick.

Results vs. Process

Most of us really want to lose our belly fat or get rid of cellulite or tighten up our entire body. Knowing what we want is not the issue. It’s that we want it now. RIGHT NOW. Even though it’s taken us X number of months to get OUT of shape, we expect the turnaround to be fast… we want the weight to melt off after only a few days of eating healthy or working out. And the health and fitness industry is right there, encouraging us to focus on the results vs. the process too! So, why should we stop rushing it and focusing on getting the results as quickly as possible? Won’t it take FOREVER to reach our goals if we don’t push hard and fast? Not necessarily.

Lessons Learned

Here are three lessons that have proven true for myself, my workout buddies and many of my pilates clients over the past 5 years.
  1. Focus, dedication and results do not necessarily mean working out for hours on end.
  2. Consistent action does not require you to go insane on your body and overdo it.
  3. Stressing yourself out because you aren’t at your ideal body weight isn’t actually helping you shed any of that unwanted weight. (This is perhaps the most important point about weight loss that most people don’t understand!)
So, in the end, rushing your fitness isn’t doing ANYTHING to help you reach your goals. Rushing hasn’t helped me and it likely won’t help you.

A few signs you may be rushing it

  • you’re thinking about losing weight 24/7
  • you’re not taking time off from your workouts so your muscles have a chance to repair
  • you’re hopping from diet to diet looking for the kickstart that you think your body needs
  • you’re trying to cut caffeine, sugar, eat more veggies, eat no processed foods all at once
  • you’re still not feeling healthier, losing inches or getting the results
  • you’re encompassed with an overall feeling of anxiety whenever you think about your health and fitness
If you want to stop rushing the process and still challenge yourself enough to stay motivated and committed to your goals, here are a few things to keep in mind: Forget fast fix claims. Read the Live Well 360 blog, which is all about making fitness fun and part of your life. Make each workout count. A focused effort for 30-minutes can be more effective than an hour long workout. Push yourself for a concentrated period of time and then let your body rest. Enjoy your meals. If you are monitoring what you eatthat’s great and important to your overall success, but don’t spend meals with your calorie counter or dreading your next bite. Enjoy the company of the people around you, engage in the moment with them, and make the process of eating something more deliberate. Set the table, eat with others, eat healthy foods that you genuinely like eating and allow meals to be more like a celebration instead of torture! Alas something you enjoy again. Keep it simple. Err on the side of simple, whole foods. Do workouts that you can do anywhere. Remember that you want to build a healthy lifestyle that you can actually sustain. Tackle new habits one at a time. Don’t try to build too many habits at once. I tried to cut sugar, caffeine and flour all in one swoop, and it back fired big time. So, I restarted and focused on cutting sugar first. Since cutting most of the sugar out of my diet, I’ve been able to lower flour easily and now I’m onto caffeine. But it’s taken time. I don’t rush it! Say No. You don’t have to do everything all at once, so say no to yourself, to others who want to “push” you and be really clear with yourselfif something doesn’t feel necessary, right or like you’d even enjoy it. Say NO.

Why Rushing Fitness Is A Problem

Remember that there is a big difference between challenging yourself and rushing yourself. Rushing leads to that anxious, frazzled, I’m not getting enough done fast enough (or good enough) feeling. You’ve probably already got enough in your life to be stressed out abouti.e. work, your kids, money, your family, friends, you know… life. Ask yourself right now…

Will rushing the results get you the quality of life and happiness that you want?

The alternative to always rushing is to always be aware. On this path to improving your health or getting in shape you are much more careful and deliberate about what you do and when. You take time to evaluate what your body needs the most, decide which areas you’ll focus on first, and make better decisions that lead to your improved health. Instead of feeling like you’re not doing enough, you make each workout countshowing up and working it with enthusiasm and focus. Instead of forgetting workouts on a regular basis, you make space in your life for those 30 dedicated minutes of activity. Instead of just doing activities, workouts or diets that you think you’re supposed to do — maybe because someone else told you it was the right thing or that it worked for them, you take time to understand what you need and then get to it with clear intention. When we make that “white space” to really think about our goals, what matters to us, what being in shape even means to us, then it clarifies what we need to do right now… and then each step on our journey becomes more natural and makes sense. Drinking that green smoothie isn’t a struggle. Going to the noon yoga class is easy. Finding time to go to the farmer’s market is effortless.

Taking the First Step

In order to stop being a “Rush-er” you have to completely change your perspective regarding your health and fitness. The first step to re-igniting your fitness journey is to make time every week to think about what you’ve accomplished during the past week. Ask yourself questions like:
  • How was my stress level?
  • Were my workouts challenging enough?
  • Did I eat foods that helped me feel clear-minded, full of energy, and focused?
  • What can I do differently or increase this week?
Simply setting aside space to evaluate your week will make you more aware of what speed you’re running at and allow you to make adjustments, keeping yourself focused and on the right track. Believe it or not, I do this often – and it works!

Now It’s Your Turn

Write a comment below and evaluate your last week of healthy living. Did you rush yourself? Did you overdo it? Did you under do it? Did you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or frazzled? Or, did you feel excited, enthusiastic and happy? And finally, were you encouraging or rushing yourself?

About Anne

Anne Samoilov is a productivity coach and project manager who uses her background in health and fitness to teach women how to achieve their goals using Simple, Daily, Consistent Steps. Check out her blog at where she writes articles to help you gain clarity, be more productive, feel less stressed and reach your goals.
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