Perfect Timing

Many excuses for finding the right time are just disguised procrastination.

“I’ll start dieting after I finish this batch of chocolates”

“I just showered, I’ll head to the gym a bit later”

“I ran out of whey protein, I’ll resume training when I get another tub”.

Don’t buy into the hype. The best time to get anything important done is now.

But eating right and exercising isn’t necessarily something that can be “done”. It is a long term, or in our case, a lifelong habit to be cultivated. Viewing it as such, there is definitely a case to be made to cultivate the perfect beginning.

Like an apple sapling, the budding stage of habit formation is the most exciting stage.

You eat right, you start a new training regime, and it seems like every day, something positive is happening. The scale tips in your favor, you get stronger in the gym, your energy level improves, and so does your mood. You’re the cheerful person you wish you could always be.

It’s an amazing feeling, and it should be.

It is in this stage that you should rack up as much initial wins as possible. You should be associating eating right and lifting weights with positive sensations. A successful beginning can set the tone to sustaining healthy habits for a very long time.

Hopefully, as long as a lifetime.

But the budding stage is also the most vulnerable stage. A few days of seasonal storm will destroy your apple sapling.

Similarly, seasonal derailments from the practice of your new training and eating habit can absolutely kill it.

Timing is a huge factor that influences success and “stick-to-it-ness” of new habits. Beginning a diet, only to have it interrupted by travel, festivities, and parties is far from ideal.

It’s far easier to go through an uninterrupted 8 week stretch of eating and training, than doing it intermittently, and to have it challenged by travels, holiday eating, jet lag, festive season eating etc. You’ll be quick to associate eating healthy and exercising as an uphill battle (because during these times, it is), and less likely to uphold after the festivities pass.

This is the main reason why I usually wait until after my year end trips, Christmas feasts and Chinese New year season to begin a weight loss regime. Even after training for years, I still find that a stop-go-stop-go approach kills my momentum.

To clarify, these are not “bad” events per se, but if you’re new and inexperienced in “riding the storm”, pick a better time.