In physics, inertia is defined as the property of matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force. I believe this description is applicable to one’s mental state as well, especially when it comes to getting fit.
This time last year in 2011 I was fairly overweight, exercising occasionally and not thinking about my food intake. Just when I thought I had done enough, I had coffee with World Health Store Founder Drew Campbell who encouraged me to go the distance again and try to not only lose weight but bulk up a bit. I was bitten by the health bug and couldn’t resist the challenge.
At the time of writing this piece, I have reached the nine-week mark of the World Health Store 12-Week Challenge, and lost about 12 kg while reducing my body fat by about 6-8 percent. Over the next three weeks I will make a final push to really shed as much weight as possible.
But the challenge doesn’t stop there. I’ve known people who went on temporary health binges only to gain the weight back by reverting to their old habits of indulgence. While a fitness challenge is a great starting point, it is only a starting point. The real challenge lies in maintaining that healthy mental momentum and resisting the temptation to return to a couch potato lifestyle.
Certainly I have been faced with temptation plenty of times. I would wake up thinking “Maybe I can skip the workout today” or “I’ll have some oily gaifan and make up for it later.” Committing to my program has produced results. I feel much more alert at work thanks to morning exercises. I used to dread having to spend so much time cooking my lunches in batches, but I’ve now gotten used to it, and I’ve even developed some interesting, healthy recipes to spice things up.
I’m glad that my mental inertia continues to be a healthy one. My body acts differently now than before, such as feeling un-energetic on days I don’t exercise, or my skin feeling very refreshed when I eat more fresh fruits and veggies.
It’s been great so far, but it never stops. I’m going to continue to seek out different exercise programs and new food ideas and recipes. If you’re reading this and you’re a contestant, I hope you surpass your goals and continue to improve your health long after the challenge is over. For everyone else thinking about improving themselves, stop thinking. Just do it! I know, I’m ripping off Nike’s slogan. But you have to admit they’re on to something.