Dangers of Instant Gratification
Our society is moving at a faster and faster pace each year. We have access to more services and products from across the globe than ever before. TV is on demand our shopping can be done from the sofa and the advent of internet shopping has seen delivery times reduced to less than a day if you are willing to pay. Today I am going to talk about the dangers of instant gratification and its impact on achieving your health and fitness goals.
Health and fitness has exploded into the pubic conscience in the last five years and the traditional gym model as we know it is no longer the “go to solution” for those who are serious about their health. People want a new service that is tailored to them and they want it delivered in the most time efficient and easily accessible manor possible. The out of date gym model can no longer deliver this and people are becoming smarter than ever about seeking out the answers they are looking for.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about fitness specialists like Cross Fit that deliver a specific style of training, I’m talking about In-Home trainers like Fundamentally FIT that work around busy mums, family and working from home. I’m talking about the growth of online training, YouTube and meal planning sites like the Body Coach. I’m talking about a raft of new businesses that are eager to populate this growing sector of the industry.
So what’s the problem with more choice I hear you cry?, and the answer is nothing. My concern for the average customer hoping to look and feel better, perform well at a chosen sport and still have time to run a business and raise a family, is that this choice can and will become confusing and eventually debilitating.
My typical clients are already bombarded with diets and recipe ideas for this month’s new craze, fashionable training kit you must have to lose weight e.g the FitBit, and questionable new exercises that are simply trying to reinvent the wheel.
All of these things have a place and I am pleased that the industry is open to new things. However with the level of information now being put to people it is very easy to see why so many are just plain confused. This confusion often sees people jump from one thing to the next at rapid pace without ever fully trying or understanding the last program or diet they tried.
Health and fitness is an organic process of learning what things do work and do not work for you. We are all individuals and have different needs. The loss of patients when instant gratification is not achieved will only further the problem and will likely see the individual give up completely, leaving them feeling like a healthy balanced lifestyle is totally unachievable.
I have worked with many who feel my own message is just too simple to be correct and that they must need to cut more calories, stop eating a certain food group or train every single day. This is information overload and its going to become a very real problem as people become accustomed to getting more and more of what they want and desire instantaneously.
Reality Vs Myth
The hard truth is that it takes time, hard work and patients to get all of the pieces together that work for you. Fitness is not and never could be something you could achieve over night or in six weeks’ time. If you have gradually gained 1-3 stone over the last 2-3 years then why do you think it can be lost in six weeks? The answer is, that’s what the media wants you to believe and that’s what you would like to believe. Sadly we all know this not to be true and it only makes the disappointment and confusion greater when we remember it.
A steady weight loss of 1-3lbs per week will mean a loss of three stone could theoretically be achieved in 14 weeks or 3 and a half months. However if weight loss slows to 1 lb per week or stops for a few weeks (hiccups along the way) then this could quickly increase to 42 weeks, or 10 and a half months and counting. The Six week instant gratification plan may look very appealing now, but how often does it actually work and how often can you actually keep the weight off for?
To maintain your weight loss you also need to build lean muscle to help increase your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn calories at rest. Six weeks would help you make a good start towards this goal but it wouldn’t give you the toned abs, bum and biceps that we all seek so desperately, and it will not equip you to maintain your weight loss long term.
The same principle can be applied to bulking up and building muscle, running your first running event or completing an obstacle challenge for the first time. All of these can be achieved with great end results but if you only ever rely on the quick fix solutions and don’t make a realistic long term plan then you will be left feeling short changed, unhappy and confused as to why health and fitness is so elusive.
Be realistic and stop thinking the next magazine, website,social media guru or tv program has a magic bullet that nobody has tried. Set your goals and work out what is realistic in the time you have available. Find yourself a trainer or professional who you share the same values and who’s message resonates with you personally, not what your friend is doing. Finally give it time and be prepared to work hard. The biggest danger of instant gratification is that it causes you to forget that the things worth most in life have to be worked hard for.
Ask yourself this next time your feeling overwhelmed
“can I see myself doing this in 6 weeks, 6 months and 6 years from now?”
If the answer is no then the chances are its not the best fit for you.
Fundamentally FIT Ltd