The power & importance of Consistency
In this blog post I want to share my experiences wrt being consistent in the past 1 year. Everybody know the magic of compounding and the results it gives over a period of time.
I have two interesting stories on how being absolutely consistent in physical health and mental health has really given me unbelievable results.
1. My Weight loss journey: From Borderline Obese to Slim and Fit (April'21 -June'21)
It has been almost a year since the Covid Lockdowns began in March'20 and like everyone else I've been confined to my home and to my bedroom to be precise. Eat-Work-Chores-Sleep has been the only routine I was following for the past year. In the beginning like everyone else I was just trying to adapt to the new situation and out of boredom and lack of much activity I just resorted to eating to kill time and keep myself occupied. This was not just the case with me but with majority of the people across the globe. There was growing concern that extended lockdowns has made a lot of people obese and overweight due to lack of physical activity.
I remember very well that I weighted around 68-69 Kgs prior to lockdown and just a year later Feb'21-March'21 I was around 75-76 Kgs. In Dec'20 I was around 78-79ks which the peak I've ever been. The main reason was just mindless eating or all kinds of processed foods like noodles, other Indian snacks without any knowledge of its implications. I clearly remember the trouble I had faced when I had to bend forward to pick something from the ground as my belly was obstructing me to bend forward with ease.
The wakeup call for me was when I was jogging in the lawn in our society and I could literally feel my man boobs bouncing. I knew I needed to make changes because just jogging and running once in while wasn't going to cut it.
I enrolled in FITTR without much thinking and hired a coach. Thus began my journey towards weight loss. I just followed everything what my coach said without any doubt as he was the expert. I followed a calorie deficit diet for 3 months and tracked everything that I was putting on my plate. I worked out 6 days a week and regulary took photos of my progress.
Initially I was just doing simple stretches and moved onto minimum weight of 2 kgs. Later as my body got used to these exercises I moved onto doing Upper Body and lower body exercises. Now many may be wondering How did I have access to Gym in the midst of a lockdown? Well I fortunately ordered a set of dumbells and a barbell rod from Amazon just before the country went into the second lockdown. I just did full body workouts with a pair of dumbells! That may sound really dumb but the truth is you really don't need sophisticated machinery to help you loose weight. A good pair of dumbells can go long way if you do it right under guidance.
Below is a picture of me before I started my weight loss journey.
This is me when I exited the program after 3 months.
In a period of 3 months I lost almost 7-8 Kgs. I weighted around 67-68 kgs before getting on a maintenance diet. I currently weigh around 70kgs which is optimal.
My main takeaways from this weight loss journey was
- Compounding takes time to build initially and eventually snowball into something bigger.
- Having a mentor who keeps track of your journey is very crucial. No wonder high performance athletes all have coaches and a team to help them out.
- Accountability partner:- I used to drop a message to my coach everyday after I worked out just to keep myself accountable.
You may be disheartened initially when you don't see results. I did not see any significant changes in my body until the 2nd month of my journey. From thereon it just snowballed into something which I couldn't even believe.
2. Angry and Frustrated to calm and composed (April'22-Present)
Around April'22 I started feeling the cracks from within. I've been working in my current job which is a 24*7 weekly rotational job which has really gotten onto my nerves now. There are many things I am not happy with my work place but when we look at it from larger perspective no job is perfect, everyplace has it own flaws but it is better we make peace with it instead of cribbing about it.
My health has gone into a toss. I've been working like this for the past 8 months without taking any holidays except the weekly off that I get and the work pressure on top of that was an icing on the cake. I used to loose my temper at the drop a hat. I would recollect something that happened many years ago and still feel resentful and angry about it. It was getting the better of me now and I could feel it. I was in pain and not happy with myself about it. Something needs to be fixed and most of the time people blame their outside circumstances for their own shortcomings. It can be true to some extent but majority of the time it has got to do with us.
I've been flirting with yoga and Meditation since I was a kid and never took it up seriously. In 2017 I attended Inner Engineering By Isha Foundation and later even did their Hatha Yoga programs as well. But I never stuck to them as I did not find the that deep resolve or commitment. But 2022 was different, As I saw myself falling apart. I revisited the old notes that I took when I attended the program andstarted doing them again. I started my Shambhavi Mahamudra practises as well and over a period of 4-6 weeks I could see a significant difference in myself. The old resentment and anger was subsided to a lot of extent and my moodswings were well within my control. I could even feel my body much lighter and flexible after doing Hatha Yoga. At a mental plane many reservations and notions I had about things were fading away.
I understood that my inward journey begun and I need to keep this up and not just flirt with this for a few days because If I stop doing it after sometime as i am now "feeling good" I will eventually slip back into my old ways of being. There is a wonderful quote by Sadhguru
Yoga works miraculously. The only thing is you have to do it.
I 've been quite hesitant in writing about yoga initially becasue I always tend to Jinx it whenever I talk about me being consistent about my Yoga practises. But this time I feel different.
- I now have a better understanding as to why doing Yoga is important for me and how staying consistent/commited is very much needed as i can see how I transform as a person when i do these practises everyday.
- The second is out of gratitude and love for my guru who has given me these tools of transformation. I may never know the magnitude of what I received as I have no I dea how it works within.
But the only thing that should keep me going is the transformation and freedom I experience within myself when I do these practices daily. Just like how we Brush our teeth and take a shower everyday for our outerself (body), Yoga and meditation is the shower for our innerself (Spirit/athma etc.).
The most important question: How do we stay consistent?
People pick up things that they want to do or accomplish but often fail to see an end to it. It may either be that they are not interested in the goal they set out for themselves or if the goal has become too overwhelming and daunting that they loose spirit. The truth is consistency is really boring, we do the same things over and over again without any end in sight if that is a long term goal. When I look back the things that really kept me going when doing the same thing over and over again
- The pain/frusturation of where I am and how unhappy it makes me.
- The longing/yearning to reach the otherside no matter what.
Another huge drawback that I've seen lately is the romanticisation of the end goal. In the age of marketing that we live in people have made it look achieving the end goal easier. So when it came to actually putting in the work people hesitate.
I've made peace with the process that It is not going to be an easy journey so don't be disappointed if things don't go as planned. So pick yourself up and start again. Always prepare for the rainy day and go beyond likes and dislikes when it comes to putting in the work. You liking or disliking something doesn't change the fact that effort needs to be put in to see the results. As Sadhguru says:
If you do the righ things. Right things will happen to you.