I was apprehensive about my vacation period this year as it meant a 3.5 week break in my routine. I knew the chances of getting regular gym access and following a structured diet was pretty slim. I also had (haunting) memories of my last long vacation to Canada where I ended up gaining several kgs, getting completely off-track and experiencing serious back and shoulder pain due to lack of exercise & cold weather.
The trip was similar to the one I took 2 years ago. It was the same place, for the same amount of time during the winter season. I faced the same challenges as before: limited gym access, yummy Canadian pastries (pancakes, donuts, apple pie) & most importantly a Punjabi mother I hadn’t seen in ages whose sole mission was to “bring back the charm on my starved-face”. I am screwed, I thought.
The one thing that had changed though was my mindset. I wasn’t tempted to cheat. This was a new feeling and amazing realization for me. I knew how hard I had worked to reach this point and this wasn’t allowing me to go off-track. Is cheating really worth sabotaging all the progress I’ve made? The answer was no. I still indulged here and there, but forced myself to compensate with my next meal to ensure I maintained my caloric intake.
The end result was I actually lost a couple of kgs (some of it might be muscle mass) but at least I didn’t gain fat. More importantly, the temptation to consume those apple pies, cheesecakes, & pancakes was gone.
This leads to the next point – a lot of people constantly ask me
“can you create a diet chart?”
“help me workout”
“how can I quit smoking?”
“how do I get motivated?”
But they’re asking the wrong question. It isn’t the how but why.
Ask yourself why you want to change. If it’s for the wrong reason (“my bf/gf wants me to”, or “to fit into a dress at a party” i.e. short-term goals) it won’t work or last.
I can’t help you. No one can.
It has to come from within. Only then will you be able to surmount the obstacles: the temptation to cheat, the firm resolve when a family member tries to pressure you or the difficult silence to maintain when someone says you look “too skinny” or “have lost your charm.”
Once you believe this is something you HAVE to do, not want to do – all these “obstacles” will disappear from your vision and become background noise. Your singular purpose will be to achieve your goal – no matter what.
Is it selfish? maybe
Is it extreme? yes
Does any of that matter? No
You do it for yourself and no one else.
Once you’ve answered the why we can focus on the how.