How long does it take to get in shape?
I usually say one year. This depresses people for some reason, and they walk away dejected.
Don’t I know summer is only ten weeks away?
Getting – and staying – in shape involves much more than eating 2200 calories-a-day, pounding out forty-five minutes at 6.0 on the treadmill, and shimmy-ing into size six jeans.
Being in shape requires us to examine how we move, what and why we eat, the way we relate, and all our motives for doing so. There is heart work to be done as well as hard work.
How can you become mature and complete in any endeavor in less than a year? It’s unrealistic, despite the fitness industry’s valiant efforts for us to believe otherwise.
A year builds in the relief and grace of human failure. It expects it, looks for it, and then deals with it. Failure is not the miserable end of another vain attempt, but a good and patient teacher.
Want to learn how to play piano?
At the minimum, a year of committed practice is required; hours of slogging through scales, learning to read music, fumbling along with right hand while keeping up with the left, trying to make it all come together to sound like music.
Want to learn French?
At the minimum, a year of focused practice is needed…preferably in France! Tough new vocabulary and grammar is required for ease in conversation. Most people over the age of twelve won’t “pick up French” without immense attention and effort!
Why do we expect speedier results with our fitness maturity? Our bodies and minds are more complex than pianos, and far more intricate than a foreign language.
It takes at least a year of committed practice to develop skill and growth in any endeavor. In a similar way, healthy and mature fitness – being in shape – also takes time. This rubs the culture the wrong way, I know.
Maybe you too?
Join us March 1-3, 2013 as we practice, learn, and grow in good health at our Spring Forward week-end retreat. You won’t regret it!