Be the tortoise: Slow & Steady Always Wins Out In Fitness

slow and steady always wins out in fitness
Image by Christine Wagner

When I was a young and naive college boy desperately in search of muscles—I tried various workout routines.

I wanted attention grabbing arms with jaw dropping abs. I thought this would instantly make me a ladies man.

It didn’t.

Muscle and fitness magazines promised me a new body in 4 weeks.

I woke up on the 5th week and looked the same.

Various supplement companies seduced me into buying their products—promising me insane strength and progress.

All I had to show for it was stomach aches and overdraft charges.

I tried to shortcut my fitness.

Nothing resulted from it besides depression, a crappy social life, and feelings of defeat.

If you’re anything like me, odds are you want to excel in life and fitness. Patience isn’t the strongest suit, especially in today’s world of ‘overnight Instagram transformations’ and ‘overnight rags to riches stories’. Those click bait stories cause us to make irrational decisions and marginalize ourselves.

What goes unnoticed in a overnight success story is how hard those individuals had to work for that particular moment of glory.

Many of the writers, celebrities, and everyday fitness people we look up to, at one point—were down on their luck and felt lost. They didn’t wake up the next day and magically transform themselves. They put their head down and went to work with the goal of winning that particular day.

Just as the tortoise stays his course and approaches the race methodically against the hare—you need to do the same with your fitness goals.

Slow and steady always wins the race

One of the key ingredients to success in life and fitness is to stay persistent with your actions. Far too often, we have a tendency to quit if the fruits of our labor doesn’t appear rapidly.

Fat doesn’t immediately come off just as companies don’t immediately become billion dollar empires. It took months to acquire the weight you want to vanish; therefore, you need to expect months to rid the excess weight off.

The body is only capable of losing so much weight in a given time period.

Don’t let this get you down, but instead let this remove some unneeded stress among yourself. Here are 4 reminders as you go along your slow and steady journey to success in life and fitness.

1. Don’t obsess over the how or when, but focus on your ‘why’

At the beginning of any new endeavor, motivation is high and adrenaline is fueling your actions.

But, after the initial excitement has worn off, people have quit calling about your new endeavor, and life returns to a steady routine—will you stick around to reach the finish line or call it a day?

When the blues and mundaneness of everyday life starts to creep back into your life—remember why you wanted to do all of this at the beginning.

Remember how awesome you’re going to look and feel in your new physique. Remember how the confidence of accomplishing your fitness goals will catapult you into doing great things in other areas of your life.

Just remember.

Write it down somewhere that is visible to you everyday.

Get clear on ‘why’ you want to succeed with your particular fitness goal and nothing will stand in your way.

2. Keep an open mind

Fitness isn’t a dictatorship. Instead, fitness is a choose your own adventure where you decide the rules.

Succeeding in the long term with fitness requires you to find a particular method that fits your desired lifestyle. Slow and steady progress only becomes a problem when you’re miserable throughout the process.

Don’t be afraid to try various eating strategies until you find your sweet spot where it feels effortless.

3. Give doubt the cold shoulder and run away from the haters

Nothing flushes your goals down the toilet quicker than dream killers and negative individuals. If your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or anyone else is constantly killing your motivation, or disrespecting your aspirations—run the hell away from them!

We’re already our own worst enemies with guilt and self-doubt (especially when we’re trying new endeavors). The last thing we need is more doubters and haters.

Don’t let those kind of people get to you. Some people don’t want to see you succeed because then they’ll have no excuses as to why they can’t get off their ass and be remarkable.

A simple solution is to never hangout with someone who gives you bad feelings in your stomach. If I feel anxious or a heightened sense of uneasiness being around someone—I’ll cut them out of my life.

Is this cold? Maybe, but I love myself and value my time—as should you.

4. Stay in your lane

slow and steady always wins out in fitness

Before you want to accomplish anything in life or fitness, you need a vision. This is important because you have a metric in place everyday to help you make decisions.

If any situation or decision isn’t in alignment with your purpose in fitness and life—don’t do it.

You’ll see gimmicky fitness products promising rapid weight loss in 6 months or 6 figure businesses overnight. If it sounds too good to be true—it probably is.

The more connected and aligned you are with your vision—the easier it’ll be to show up up each day. Sometimes the reason why you aren’t succeeding with a particular goal isn’t because of effort, but instead, because that goal isn’t in alignment with who you are.

If you can’t workout 5 days a week, stop lying to yourself and be honest and go back to 3. If you have trouble with binge eating in social environments, admit this to yourself and prepare beforehand by eating a snack at home.

Just remember to stay focused and slow and steady will take you to the promise land.

Do you have trouble staying patient? If so, what’s one thing you’re doing to work on this?