Is it possible to go from unfit, lethargic, having a beer belly and poor or questionable overall health to being ripped, fit and healthy in 4 weeks? Yes.
Or at least that’s what it will seem from the outside. You can be unrecognisable in a month, for all the right reasons. But it will take more than a month’s worth of work. This is my experience and the 5 lessons I got from it.
1) Fuel your body right.
I remember my mum advising me to eat more vegetables. But I usually shrugged, replying that I hadn’t been eating vegetables regularly for ages and yet I felt healthy. What difference could changing my diet make?
Man, was I wrong!
After a decade of poor eating habits, my body started to fail me. I hit the big 30. The stressful job didn’t help either. But here I was, my whole body riddled with psoriatic arthritis. I had a walking stick at some point!
So I had to make some changes (Duh): I banned pasta, fizzy drinks, dairy, processed sugar, red meat and junk food from my diet. All I ate was vegetable stews, fish, brown rice, wholemeal bread, drank cider vinegar and honey, gallons of water and used olive oil in my cooking.
This book helped me a lot: Curing Arthritis, the drug-free way, by Margaret Hills.
I have become convinced that we are being slowly killed by what we eat and what we put on our skin. I could write a whole treatise on the subject but instead here’s just one aspect of it in a Ted-Ed clip.
2) Fuel your mind right
I bet you’ve been there before: an idea strikes. You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired so you think “That’s it! I’m starting healthy eating/ working out/drinking more water.
And before you realise, you start talking yourself out of that change.
It’s as if we had both Dr Jekill and Mr Hyde in our own mind. Mr Hyde starts piping up and we follow, mistaking his voice for that of the rational and sensible Dr Jekill.
There is a relatively recent field of study called psychoneuroimmunology concentrating on the link between the mind and the immune system. The adage “mind over matter” isn’t mere wishful thinking.
Psychoneuroimmunology suggests that a mind bent on getting better will help a body get there. But a mind filled with doubts or even thoughts of uncurable disease will have less chance to regain health.
Choose to feed your mind with examples of people who recovered. Be determined to be fit and healthy. Heck, some people have even conquered cancer with the power of their mind!
3) Exercise your body right.
I’ve posted about some surprising benefits of exercise here. But the obvious benefits are as desirable. Who doesn’t want a beach body? Or be stronger?
I must admit, I’m more after the shape than the strength. But I thought I’d try to get a bit of both by setting a goal to do 100 consecutive push ups.
I tried many ways unsuccessfully, was stuck at 40 push ups until I found a way that worked for me: I would strive to do 100 push ups in fewer and fewer sets until one day I was able to do them in one set.
It took me a month of exercising every other day on average. The by-product, of course, was that I got ripped. I now do this exercise a few times a year. I’m training for this again as I write this post.
4) Use multiple angles of attack.
So we’ve mentioned so far that turbocharging your body requires that you eat right, drink right, think right. But there is something else that helped me go from lethargic, slightly overweight, unfit and unhealthy to strong, ripped and healthy in 4 weeks.
In hindsight, there was more to it than training to do 100 push ups. I had reinvented my whole lifestyle.
I had been walking to work for 6 months by the time I could do 100 push ups. I had also been jogging a few times a week, fasting every now and then.
So really, I reached my goal thanks to the compounded effect of all of the above.
5) Keep a journal
Again in hindsight, this whole post was made possible because I journal. I document my goal, what I do, how I feel, the progress I make or don’t make. This allows me to reflect, analyse, redefine, readjust, tweak so I can minimise slipping back into automatic pilot and forgetting my goals.
The best thing about journaling is that it allows you to see your progress as you re-read your entries. This bolsters you to maintain course, you build momentum and your results get exponential. You see dramatic changes in a short period of time. All your efforts have now compounded!
That’s my experience of turbocharging my body anyway.
Over to you
Have you experienced something similar? Does it make sense to you? I’d love to know your thoughts.Drop a comment!
Reflect, Redefine, Rise!