Monday, June 20, 2016

There Are No Quick Fixes

After talking with a close friend I was inspired to post some thoughts. We were talking about the time it takes and daily effort for achieving/maintaining or working towards improved health (or anything really). Since I'm obviously interested in food and nutrition this hits home with people always wanting quick fix diets. For those that work in the fitness world they get the same unrealistic requests from clients. It's not a topic I've done research in, but if we think about it, we're often trying to reverse or undo years of habits overnight.

Change is hard! Some people want to get back to a past 'ideal' version of themselves, which may not even be possible after puberty, pregnancy, and maturation. This totally relates to the time concept that's been on my mind. We're looking for the pill to 'fix everything', the cream to reverse aging, the workout that is quick but shows results - we're looking for easy, but often these things are inevitable (sorry, we're all getting older!) or take a lot of hard work.

You have to consider the behaviours, environment, and other things (often stressors) that led to where you are right now. Perhaps you've never eaten many vegetables, perhaps you don't know how to cook or have never gone for a run. How can you expect to cook more healthfully at home and run a race without taking the first small step towards that very large goal? I think there is the desire for immediate results and also the fear of failure. I know I don't like to struggle at things, but I know that it takes time to learn a new skill or change an old habit. I am passionate about personal development and working towards being my best self, but I also think I've finally learned that I will always be a work in progress.

It shouldn't sound defeatist to accept that there are no quick fixes, but I also consider myself a realist. It should motivate us that each thought or motion towards our goal is a success. The promises of quick fixes or miracles should automatically make us alert to start questioning the information. I know we've heard it before, but 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'!

Some things may come easy to you, some may be hard, and others may be things you will work on for the rest of your life. This is where the concept of sustainability can come in - what can you start doing today and continue to do into the future; not what can you do for a week/month before you revert to past habits.

I'd love to hear about the habit you're working on or your thoughts on quick fixes - comment below!

Steph Langdon, RD