I tell clients there are two seasons: maintenance and intensity.
Unfortunately, the majority of people never discover the maintenance season. That’s why the average American loses one pound of muscle, cartilage, tendon and ligaments per year. In 20 years, if you are the same weight, you are 40lbs fatter.
If you haven’t discovered your season of maintenance, you haven’t the right to explore the season of intensity.
Maintenance looks like behavioral practices which will continue to benefit you in small ways no matter what challenges come. You may have a difficult day, week, month, year, but you still remain active, doing small strengthening practices and generally eating like an adult. But this mode can be done for the rest of your life. It isn’t sacrificial. It’s just being a grownup.
Once realistic non-self-sabotage systems are in place, you are ready to try a season of intensity, but with the predetermined expectation it is TEMPORARY. There’s no delusion about intensity being a 7 day per week, 365 endeavor. It’s not. It could be a few days, a week, or even a 3-6 month journey, depending on rigorous honesty with self.
Afterward, you will return to the maintenance program, not a childlike shooting-yourself-in-both-feet wanton abandon. If you never discovered it in the first place, guess where seasons of intensity land people.
1.) find a lifestyle which will stop making you worse
2.) get good at that
3.) go really intensely for a short period
4.) return to step 2