There are so many more things available at the click of a mouse in our modern world. You can buy virtually anything you want without leaving the comfort of your own home. You can even work from home – I do!
The “pleasure principle” is the psychological term use to describe our basic human instinct to seek pleasure and gratification and avoid pain as much as we can to satisfy those needs.
It can be as basic as the need to breathe, or as complex as the need to buy the new Jordans.
When we don’t get that instant gratification, our psychological response is anxiety or tension. So we basically do the adult equivalent of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his way.
So you can see where I’m going with this…
You aren’t going to achieve your health and fitness goals overnight.
We know that right?
Or do we?
Are your expectations realistic? Well probably not. But it’s not your fault, its just what we’ve been groomed to think and expect.
The crazy before and after pictures that litter social media make you think you can do it all so quickly. So when you don’t have that same reaction you have the natural response of “anxiety or tension”.
You start to think something is wrong with you, or the plan you’re on doesn’t work, or maybe you’re just meant to be this way.
Ok so if you shouldn’t expect it overnight then what should you expect?
We can get basic here. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionists published a study that determined that an effective long-term fat loss plan should allow you to lose .5 to 1 percent of your body weight per week.
And for muscle gains, aside from the “newbie gains”, you can expect about 1-3lbs of muscle gain per month.
So those are the official numbers, but lets look at how this plays out in real life…
Lets say you have a rough go of it and have trouble sticking to your plan. As a result your progress has been modest.
But instead of getting discouraged, you get motivated and have a perfect week. All your food was on point, you kicked ass in the gym and have no regrets.
You step on the scale, or get your body fat tested, and…(wah, wah, wahhhh) nothing changed.
What’s happening here? Why didn’t it change? Well, one good week out of the blue hardly ever results in big results. It can! But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t.
It takes consistency. One good week followed by another good week, get the fat burning/muscle building ball rolling.
It’s important to understand what expectations are appropriate and realistic to truly succeed.
We can avoid “anxiety and tension” by first understanding that changing your physique does not happen immediately. You can take instant gratification in knowing that you did what you needed to do TODAY. You can have that gratification again tomorrow by doing what you need to do then.
Take it one day at a time. Execute that day, and in time the results will take care of themselves.