We currently live in a culture of instant gratification. When you can't think of a particular word or the name of the movie you watched last night, you pick up your smart phone and ask Google. If you want something particular for dinner, you can find it at a local grocery store or restaurant. If you want to catch up with a friend, whether they are half way around the world or next door, there are many options you can utilize to connect with them.
Diet and fitness advertisements are finding ways to cater to the instant gratification we are used to. Shortly perusing the internet will tell you that there are countless ways to get skinny fast or lose that last five pounds.
Is It Working?
People are intrinsically motivated in different ways. Winning can be a strong motivator. Some people are motivated by what other people think of them. Other people are simply motivated by the merits of self-improvement.
With a string of fad diets and fitness gadgets that are everywhere you look, I'm not sure that people in need of a healthier lifestyle are being truly and intrinsically motivated. My suspicion is that diets attract people who live unhealthy lifestyles not the people that are already concerned about their health and wellness.
What is a diet?
It is a short-term guide to healthier living and, when the lifespan of the diet is spent, you don't know how to live healthy. You only know how to diet.
When it comes to fitness wearables, if you've never learned how to count calories, what food ingredients are good or bad for you, or how much sleep is normal, a fitness band will do you little good.
The fitness world would do itself good to separate itself from the culture of instant gratification and start advocating age-old, useful, and lifelong changes.
Just Do It
"Just do it" is something my husband has said to me a million times. I am lazy by nature and, when I don't want to make a home cooked meal or when I'm too burnt out to go for a walk, my husband will look at me with a scolding face and tell me to suck it up and do it.
It is a truth I have had to learn.
Living the fit life is about discipline. Discipline is a word that our world rejects because it's hard, it hurts, and because it can be ugly. However, discipline is the key.
Coupled with discipline is perseverance. You have to push through the times when you don't feel like it. Having a support group or an accountability partner helps immensely with this. Having someone say, "just do it" when you just don't want to do it can make all the difference in the world. It's even better if you can find someone that is willing to grow alongside you throughout your journey.
Living a healthy life is hard. Our world has made it hard. In this country, packaged products contain multiple ingredients that you can't even pronounce. You don't know where your local grocery store gets its meat and vegetables. We have to budget time to move our bodies. This is a new problem in the course of history and one that must be dealt with.
In the end, living the fit life is a decision and one that you must be determined to keep. It gets really easy on day 3 or 4 to back out. But if you can make it to day 21 (which you can!) a habit will be formed and it will only get easier from there. The hard truth about the healthy life is that you just have to do it.