Fitness often seems like an insurmountable mountain. No matter how hard you try, you just feel like you are not moving the needle. You want tangible results and you want them sooner than later. You work your ass off but feel discouraged when you don’t feel like your effort is reflected in your results. This isn’t a unique problem, in fact, its pretty common. Maybe you made a series of poor decisions and you feel like you sabotaged all of your hard work.
I want you to change the way you look at your fitness. Imagine you have a big stack of paper. Each sheet represents a workout, a meal, or your recovery. Every moment that adds to your fitness is a sheet. This stack of paper as a whole represents where you are with your fitness. When you have a great workout, you add a sheet to the pile. When you enjoy a well balanced meal and get 8 hours of sleep, you add a sheet of paper.
On the flip side, you take a sheet away when you go out for beers after work. You take a sheet away for missing a workout and you take a sheet away when you eat like crap. Maybe you had to stay up late and finish a project for school, take away a sheet.
The purpose of the paper metaphor is for you to recognize that one bad moment doesn’t undo all of the hard work you have accumulated and one amazing workout isn’t going to grow the stack like crazy. We are the sum of all of the decisions to this point. The goal is to keep stacking paper but realize that the road to your goals isn’t going to be linear. Sometimes you will stumble, its cool, you’re human. The most important decision is the next one. There’s nothing you can do to change the past, but you can change your trajectory with just one decision.
One of the worst ways to track your own progress is to compare your stack of paper to someone else’s stack. The former college athlete that has been stacking paper for 25 years is going to be in a different place than you and thats ok. Keep your eyes on your own stack and keep stacking!