Gut Check: Can You Handle “Slow” Progress or Setbacks?

I’ve been training for almost fifty years.  And “progress” in my training, nutrition, and lifestyle does not come as quickly as it did when I was starting out.

Neither will progress come as quickly for you.

There are reasons for this.

If you start a diet or training program and you’re basically out of shape and unconditioned–assuming the program is good–you can expect pretty dramatic results (in the beginning) if you stick to it.

But the more conditioned you become, the smaller the noticeable gains will be. Think of the elite athlete. They are so finely tuned they are looking for very small gains to give them the edge over the competition.

Once you’ve embarked on a health and fitness program, you need to begin thinking like the elite athlete.

The Expectation Trap

Understanding that health and fitness gains typically come slower, the more healthy and fit you already are, is key to gauging progress. For example, over the past week, I’ve been consciously adding more water to my diet, to flush out the junk, and to get my body working more efficiently. Proper water intake has been linked to many health benefits, and particularly, I felt a need to increase water intake for improved sleep, which has been a challenge for me for some time.

While I can say that I have experienced some improved health benefits, including some improvement in my sleep, I have not experienced a huge difference. At least not yet.

What I’ve noticed is something similar to other lifestyle changes I’ve made over the years–based on what someone has said, or someone’s stated experience is using a particular strategy, an expectation has been set up in my mind to expect a particular outcome in a particular length of time. That’s what’s known as a setup, my friend! Continue reading “Gut Check: Can You Handle “Slow” Progress or Setbacks?”