Column: Danny Donohue - fitness is about the long game

Danny Donohue writes about the need for patience when getting fit.
Dan DonohueDan Donohue
Dan Donohue

I had a question this week from a new starter while we were warming up before a session. They’d tried different types of exercise, different forms of dieting, but still they weren’t getting the results they were hoping to achieve.

They wanted to know where they were going wrong.

Seconds later, we’d reached the crux of the problem.

There was zero patience being shown, and very little consistency being established.

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Like many people, she’d wanted instantaneous results and hadn’t been getting them.

In all fairness, she’d never reached out for advice and had long been trying to go it alone and this is something we’ll cover later in other columns but, first things first, comes habit or, more to the point, the creation of sustainable habits. Creating habits takes time.

It can take up to three, four, even five weeks for them to become second nature and something that requires little thought in order to do them.

This is where patience and consistency comes into play straight away.

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Something as simple as the task of upping your consumption of water is a task within itself.

People often become sidetracked by a break in routine – holidays, long-weekends – and that’s cool, learn to accept that these things are going to happen and rectify them at the earliest opportunity.

Second, adapting your lifestyle and making changes can often be difficult. We are so used to the routine and habits we are in, we can’t free ourselves from the shackles of monotony long enough to make it count.

Again, this is going to require patience and consistency. If I had a quid for every time I’ve used those two words in the last decade of time spent within this industry, I’d be writing this article from the Maldives and not from a coffee hall in wet and windy Lancaster!

Along the way, we’re going to fail and that’s usually

followed by beating ourselves up.

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Not in a literal sense, obviously, more in a deluge in overconsumption of self-pity or an over indulgence of food.

We fail, it’s cool. Just go with it.

It’ll happen, but it’s not the end of the world.

Don’t devalue your ability to follow through on something you want to achieve. You’re only human, after all.

September often presents many of us with a second January.

A time to wipe the slate clean.

If this is you, make yourself a promise that when January comes, you don’t need to wipe any slates clean.

Why? Because you know what you need to do in order to remain consistent. You know how much patience is required because you’ve shifted your mindset to

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understand small failure is acceptable and will happen and you are willing to allow your efforts and, more importantly, the time that is needed in order to change your life in the way that you want to change it.

For the better, with patience and consistency and with the acceptance of life’s imperfections.