Is it Sustainable?

IS IT SUSTAINABLE?
Are all thing things you are setting out to do in order to reach a particular goal something you can:
  1. Maintain for the entire time required to achieve that goal?
  2. Sustain once the goal is achieved? (*not entirely applicable if goal is a high level sport or once off achievement that requires large scale unbalanced sacrifice. But should still have instilled some longer term sustainability)
  3. Turn it into a habit? Meaning… That old bad habit WAS ME before, this new habit IS ME now.
If they’re not.
STOP.
IDENTIFY WHAT IS MAKING IT UNSUSTAINABLE.
SEEK HELP.
MAKE CHANGES.
GET BACK TO IT.
If you constantly attack a goal with absolutely outrageous tasks and targets that you would in no way be able to maintain once the intended length to achieve the goal is over, you will fail. 100% of the time. Even if you achieve the goal, you aren’t going to maintain it.
Why?
Because these lifestyle changes you are making in order to burn fat, feel healthier etc need to eventually become habitual. Habitual change happens when you can… make it a habit. If it is something you simply cannot do routinely it won’t become a habit. Like:
  • Eating 1200 calories a day
  • Doing HIIT every day (for CrossFitters, that’s like doing 5 Round Fight Gone Bad every day… ha! no thanks)
  • Going from never keeping a food diary to skipping all the way forward to counting your Macro’s
  • Just counting your Macro’s in general (even if you have done a food diary and tracked calories before, it is still so damn hard)
  • Cutting out sugar and bread FOREVER
  • Committing to 5+ mod-hard training sessions a week when your current level of activity involves going from the couch to the fridge.
When we pick goals and force ourselves to do unsustainable tasks to complete the goal this is what happens when it gets difficult:
STOP.
DON’T IDENTIFY WHAT IS MAKING IT UNSUSTAINABLE.
BLAME THE TRAINING METHOD OR DIET.
GIVE UP.
WAIT 6-12 MONTHS.
DO IT AGAIN WITH A DIFFERENT TRAINING METHOD AND/OR DIET
(wait a second!!! Isn’t it interesting how fad training methods and fad diets seem to pop up about as cyclic as your consistent un-sustainability? It is almost like these companies are sitting there waiting for you to fail again. Then… they… POUNCE!)
Our box has just started a challenge with this exact question in mind:
“Are these changes I am making today sustainable, so that when I fit into a size 8/can run 5km non-stop/have energy to get through my day/am fit enough to keep up with my kids, I can then stay that way, forever?”
Now, this next part is important…
Let’s just say your goal is to go from a size 16 to an 8 (notice I’m not using kg’s here). Currently your diet is significantly less than desired and you are barely active. You are at point A.
The required lifestyle to be around a size 8 and stay there requires significantly more discipline towards your food intake and activity level than that of the person described above. Not a drastic unachievable level of discipline, a healthy level of discipline. The size 8 lifestyle is point B.
To go from the habits of a person at point A to the habits of a person at point B in one single hit WILL be unsustainable. There are too many changes to be made in one go, it just simply will not happen.
So we need to make small incremental changes that CAN be sustained before making another small incremental change.
Eg.
Week 1 – Start a food diary and work out 3 times a week.
Week 2 – Based off the diary, increase my veg and protein intake and back off the junk just a little. Train 3 times a week and start to find ways to get my NEAT up.
Week 3 – Continue to include more quality nutrition each day and back off the junk little by little. Train 3 times. NEAT up.
Week 4 – Find an achievable calorie and protein target and track it. Train 3 times. Keep getting my NEAT up.
Week 5 – Same but let’s train 4 times.
Week 6 – Same
As the weeks go on you will find these positive targets begin to become habits, they are YOU now.
But again, in order to create these habits, every time you make a small change to your tasks you MUST ask yourself… can I sustain it for the week?
If not, don’t do it yet, reassess next week.
If you did have a go at a new task and it was currently unsustainable, no biggie, just step back a bit.
Here’s a good example of what happened with a few members during the challenge this week…
A small handful felt they had a pretty good grip on their food so they decided to skip ahead and try create, track and consume a macro split.
It was hard, it was confusing, it was a complete headf**k.
It was unsustainable. It caused some significant worry and frustration for the week.
But!
The great thing these guys did next was:
STOP.
IDENTIFY WHAT WAS UNSUSTAINABLE.
SEEK HELP.
We guided our crew to just focus on calories and protein targets and it has been so much more manageable since.
Creating habitual change is the ONLY way to achieving your health and wellness goals. Creating new positive habits are impossible if you can’t sustain them.
Make your changes sustainable.
Happy Thursday!
Stu.
Tip: If you focus on just tracking calories and protein and make nutrient dense choices 80% of the time, your fats and carbs will balance out well enough. For 99% of us, tracking macros is an irrelevant waste of time and energy, so don’t bother… because why? It’s UNSUSTAINABLE. aaaand the goals associated with consuming a macro split aren’t relevant to any person except elite level athletes and bodybuilders preparing for stage, aaaand we all know how many people end up psychologically following years of bodybuilding… due to restrictive dieting (and focussing so much perceived success on the aesthetics that don’t bring true happiness)
If you want to learn more about creating habitual change for the benefit of you health and happiness. Reach out to us. We run free trials, we coach you through everything you need to know, we change lives. Head to the home page and join a free trial class today! 🙂

If you want an A-Z on how to step by step improve your nutrition until it becomes habitual and a non-issue, sign up to our onliny Nutrition Course on The Box Bag. Click here https://theboxbag.thinkific.com. The course is only $12 p/m, not contracted, plus you can reach out to us as often as you like. We also offer a free 101 module with tips on exercises, nutrition, mobility and recovery.

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