I hit the 6 month mark in my fitness journey in January 2016. Phew! Down 25 kilos (55 pounds) and down to 22% body fat (from 40%). Here are some lessons from the road, for those who may want to know:
1. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It certainly wasn’t EASY, but it certainly wasn’t more than I could take. The physical difficulty at the start melts away much faster than you’d expect. Probably the most difficult part was training myself to adopt a new routine. The routine itself isn’t hard. But the transitioning out of the old and into the new took a lot of thinking about. You have to do a lot of clean meal planning and meal prep. You have to see your meals as fuel. Timing is almost as important as the content of them.
2. It is more fun than I was expecting. Part of that is down to me: I knew I wanted this to be a lasting change, so I actively made friends with people at my gym. Luckily it (MacFit Akatlar) is a very friendly place, compared to other gyms I’ve been a member of. A huge part of it was made more fun by my personal trainer. We have a lot of laughs during training, which certainly helps.
3. There are no shortcuts. To do right by your body, you take care of your nutrition and you take care of your exercise. Period. This is your mantra: LEARN TO ENJOY THE PROCESS AND THE RESULTS WILL FOLLOW. Find yourself a trainer who will also direct your nutrition. A good trainer is worth whatever you are paying him/her.
4. Being fit and healthy feels soooo much better. More energy, never cold anymore ever, stress levels are soooo low, glowing skin, constant endorphin high, admiring yourself (not just your reflection in the mirror but your self discipline).
5. You need patience. Your body responds very quickly but still, it takes some time. You are trying to make changes, but not so fast that it is self-torture. And be patient with yourself in getting used to the process.
After 6 months in, I learned what it would take to reach my goals, I was certain I would reach my goals, and even after I reached them, I knew that wouldn’t be the end of the journey… just the start. Maintenance is the actual journey.