The rule of lifetime leanness


There is a saying that “fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.” It’s true, indeed because the real goal of any successful weight management plan doesn’t end once we lose those unwanted weight/fat but rather it’s simply the beginning of a much longer-term goal which is the maintenance. This is the critical part where many dieters fail as a result of failure to adapt or a result of an inappropriate adaptation to the new lifestyle changes. Our everyday lives are not linear at all. It could be any lifestyle changes such as change of career/ jobs, relocation to another place/ country, change of marital, financial status, etc. and so forth. Guess what, these environmental changes can strongly affect our relationship with fitness because to many people, fitness stuff be it exercise or diet or both are the first thing to go when such lifestyle changes occurs. Just like what I have discussed in this blog , fitness is not a switch which we can be turn on and off. An effective and successful weight management is a result of consistency and dedication. Whatever eating pattern or plan we choose, it should be molded according to our lifestyle and not the other way around.

I don’t know if you ever heard of Malcolm Gladwell, the author of a popular book called “The Outliers.” In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines the causes of why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, and how two people with exceptional intelligence, Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes. Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

Now, you may be wondering if what’s the relevance of this 10,000 hour-rule in the context of weight management? Let me explain. I strongly believe that this 10,000 hour rule applies in general. Our fitness goal does not end after reading a diet book nor a fitness article. It takes a lot of reading, researching, observation, investigation, application of acquired knowledge into reality, etc. While part of success is being at the right time and place, those two factors are beyond our control so it just makes sense to focus on the things that we can do something about and that is to increase our knowledge(awareness) about fitness stuff be it nutrition, exercise stuff, thermodynamics, etc. Without awareness, we can never come up with the most appropriate solution on a given situation.

I still remember that four years ago, when I started embracing fitness, I totally got lost on how to begin my fitness journey. I wish I had someone out there who had guided me towards the right direction but just like what people say, experience is the best teacher because it allows you to learn through several trials and errors. To some people, they quit when they fail in their weight loss journey without realizing that that failure was simply an opportunity to oversee what works and what doesn’t work. There are many events in this life that are not in our control but how we respond to this events are definitely in our control.

Before I go too far, I posted my own diet story in this blog. I’m not saying that I have a great-looking physique nor I’m the Mr. Know-it-all type but in the context of maintaining a long-term weight management, I have successfully done that and until now, my years of leanness are still expanding. There are many people who asks me if how do I do it(meaning how do I stay lean while being a family man and while working double jobs). Before, I always thought that I was simply dedicated to fitness as a result of my intense passion for it but now, after reading the Outliers book, it made me realized that the other reason why I can manage my weight so effectively despite of my hectic lifestyle is because of the amount of time that I logged in it.

Does it mean that I’ve spent 10,000 hours reading fitness stuff or exercising? Well, not necessarily but parts of it are because it also includes my observation on what’s going on in the reality, investigation of the studies that I have researched, reading various fitness articles and browsing different fitness websites and so forth. My point is, people who are serious about staying lean for life must educate themselves about fitness stuff whether it’s nutrition-related or exercise or both. This is the only way of arming ourselves with adequate tools to achieve a long-term weight management. There is always a way to solve a specific problem when it comes to managing our weight albeit, it highly varies from person to person’s case/ situation that’s why I created this blog. Just keep in mind that when it comes to fitness-related stuff, everything are complex. We can never take things on it’s absolute level that’s why we should also learn how to think rationally. An open mind allows more opportunity that’s why we should heed any fitness advice with a grain of salt including mine.

Many people around me often asks me for some diet/ exercise advice. Some people are sending me private messages in Facebook while some of my friends, former classmates and even my coworkers also asks me for advice. I actually take it as a compliment because it means that they value my opinion but the thing is, I cannot just give them some random fitness advice. Fitness itself is such a very complex matter because every person’s situation is different. I cannot just give them some generic diet plan and everything will be solved instantly.
I explained here why generic fitness advice should be avoided.

If you are reading this blog, you may think that we need to become a fitness geek in order to successfully manage our weight. The answer is sort of and it depends… It depends because some people can get away with simple lifestyle modifications while some people needs a more complicated approach. Whatever level of fitness geek you may have to reach, what matters most is to embrace fitness as a part of your life. The more time you invest in it, it will pay you back in return.

For the time being, I will leave you this song from New Radicals because the message of the song is related to this blog post:

  1. September 19th, 2011
  2. January 8th, 2012

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