What it takes

Every day you hear about different diets, lifting programs, fad gyms and supplements that are “guaranteed” to help you lose weight, get ripped, or both. Billions of dollars are spent every year by people hoping to become slimmer, fitter, and healthier. I am not writing here to dispel any of these products. In fact, I can say that the vast majority of them work (barring some with far outlandish claims). So why is that most people fail in attaining their goals if these products work as described? It is because they lack the fundamentals of their lifestyle choices.

This post is about those fundamentals that everyone needs to succeed. These qualities are not for health alone; they could be applied in any context of your life, be it your professional life or your personal. In fact, if you work on these fundamentals in one area of your life, say health, there will be far reaching effects on the rest of your life – for the better. So what are these fundamentals?

Consistency, Patience, and Determination.

Consistency is by far the largest contributor to success in attaining your goals. If you are consistent, you can achieve. Consistency means to adhere to the same course of action repeatedly. When you are on a diet, are you consistent with the principles of that diet, or do you wander off of it (often/occasionally/never). What determines the success of that diet is the answer to that question.

Consistency takes many forms, but in the context of health it would mean preparing your own meals with the right ingredients, at the right ratios (protein/carbs/fat), and possibly even the timing of those meals (such as in Intermittent Fasting/Leangains). You need to be consistent, and remain consistent, to achieve consistent results. Being fit, healthy, and at the condition you desire will require it. You must always remember that this is a lifestyle, not just a passing phase.

“Part of courage is simple consistency.”
– Peggy Noonan

So you have been dieting strictly, getting in the correct number macro’s and at the perfect calorie deficit/surplus all the while hitting the gym on a consistent basis, but you haven’t seen any results. Has it been 2 weeks? 3? 4? Starting to get discouraged? Don’t. This leads me to the next fundamental you need when evolving yourself – patience. Patience means more than just waiting for you to hit your goals. You have to constantly readjust your routines until you find something that works for you. This requires patience for yourself and your body.

You are eating perfectly and hitting them gym, but the scale hasn’t gone down much if at all. Have you been consistent for at least 6 weeks? If not, keep going. If so, it is time to readjust and try again for another 6 weeks. If your goal is to lose weight, and you are obese, did you know your metabolic rate is lower than average? Try out a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator, and if you are over 25% body fat, subtract even more from that because the calculator only gave you an average. Readjust your calorie count and your macro’s. Have the patience to know that you will achieve your goals – it only takes time.

“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. ”
– George Savile

Lastly, you need determination. Without this, your cause is hopeless. One thing I have learned over the years of self improvement is that there always comes “a time”. I do not always know when it is going to be for me, but I do know it is bound to happen in everything I pursue. This “time” is when you put yourself 100% into something and you get it done. I have tried dieting, quitting smoking, quitting substances I was abusing, getting rid of depression, all a mind boggling number of times. Then came “the time”.

The thing you need to realize is that there will be a point when you will fail. You will eat like crap, you will miss the gym, start smoking, whatever it is you are trying to change. Do not feel bad, guilty, or ashamed. Every single person on Earth fails. Your determination is going to be what sees you through so that you keep going; you keep trying. I guarantee that you will have a time when you will succeed. Determination, to me, is the act of picking yourself up time and time again, sometimes against overwhelming odds. Cultivate your determination; get psyched up every time you attempt something. Success is guaranteed only when you constantly fail.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
– Colin Powell

My goal for this post was to touch upon the three things you need to succeed, in almost every aspect of your life, but tailored to people trying to get fit. If you need someone to talk to, about whatever, you are welcome to email me at me@ealfonso.com or leave a comment on one of my blogs. After evolving my life in many different and positive ways I hope I can help others do the same. Good luck to you, in whatever you may be pursuing.