OK, but is it sustainable?

When I started with private clients more than 20 years ago, I inherited quite a few with similar stories. With minor variations they went something like: “I worked with a trainer a couple of years ago and it was really effective so I want to get started again.” Hmm…

This raised a couple of questions.

A. Why did you stop?

B. If that facility is still around (it was) and it was “effective” before, why not go back to it?

The answer to either question was the same. “Well, I guess I just burned out. I’d come home after a workout and have to lie down and some days even have to nap. But I was getting in great shape. It really worked!” The facility referenced was a bodybuilding gym, which produced award-winning (that’s men and women on stage in a bikini) participants. They were widely recognized and successful.

I’ll come back to this, but first I want to correlate that thinking with dieting. Low carb, low fat, low calorie, raw foods, fasting, cleansing, intermittent, fruitarian, paleolithic, keto, blood type, etc. As a path to dropping body weight (that’s water, muscle, bone density, body fat), any of these are “effective.”

My point is that to define something as effective, we have to first define the objective. The goal. The desired result. If getting on stage in a bikini is the goal, temporarily training like a bodybuilder (as good a hobby as many others) is effective. If temporarily losing body weight is the goal, any of the diets will do that.

But for most of us, those aren’t our goals. Our goals aren’t temporary. We want to be healthier, to feel better, to move with less discomfort, to have more daily energy and for many, to lose body fat, not body weight. Many of those original clients are with me still, and they’ll tell you that to achieve those goals, what we do has to be sustainable. And I guess I should define sustainable: Until We’re Dead! Keep moving as much as we can; keep working on improving our nutritional needs; keep building new lean muscle tissue, which we now know can still be done at any age and is The Key to almost every measurement of health from balance to energy; keep focusing on improving ourselves. Why? Because as a result we will feel better, move better and have more daily energy!

Let’s also make sustainable refer to the last 10 to 20 years. Not the past 10 to 20, our last 10 to 20. I don’t know about you, but one of my goals is to try to prepare now so I will spend as few years as I can living in discomfort or pain, with limited mobility, while dependent on others for daily life. We’ve all lived long enough to know we don’t control all that, but we also know we absolutely can affect it. As you commit to finding ways to improve your years, please choose paths you can stick with until you’re…well, you know.