My 10-Year Plan

Years ago when I was the Health Guide at a mental health website I wrote about my 10-year theory:

That you should give yourself the gift of 10 years to achieve your version of recovery.

Wanting or expecting to achieve dramatic results via drastic measures is dangerous to our mental and physical health.

If you don’t like yourself as you are now how will you be able to like yourself in the future?

Being happy isn’t predicated on achieving a goal. One goal I’ve have for a long time hasn’t materialized yet. Only I accept where I am in my life.

It took me 10 years of lifting weights to get the body I have now.

A person cannot give up exercising after only 2 months. You need to give yourself 4 years of consistently working out to see long-term gains.

“Drop 2 Dress Sizes by Tuesday” should not be the goal. Lifelong health and wellbeing should be the goal.

For the first 4 or 5 years I lifted weights 3x per week for 50 minutes in each session.

Then I had a setback where I had to act as my mother’s caregiver.

My trainer at the time a woman started creating shorter routines I could do in my apartment.

After she left a guy trainer who is exceptional like she was took over.

For going on 4 years I’ve been lifting weights in my living room mostly 2x per week for 30 to 40 minutes in each session.

I’m 56. I’m fitter than I was when I first started training at 46.

The point is that loading up exercise on the front end will improve your odds of being able to consistently work out for the long-term.

Continuing to act as my mother’s caregiver (she is 83 and in ill health) I often can only exercise 1x per week right now.

My first trainer at the gym left to open his own boutique fitness center. He had told me that as long as I continued to exercise I would maintain my fitness level.

Life happens. Stuff happens. Setbacks are to be expected. It’s not a question of if you’re going to have a setback but when.

Setbacks will occur often. That’s the nature of living life: being thrown curveballs.

In the early 2000s I had written: “When life throws you a curveball hit it out of the park.”

I would say that giving yourself the gift of 10 years of engaging in an exercise routine is mandatory.

The goal like said is not to become thin or skinny.

According to a research study people who work out feel better about their bodies even if they don’t lose weight.

My secret was not giving up the fight. Continuing to exercise even when I’m able to work out only 1x per week.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about the research-verified fitness strategies in the book Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath.

This common-sense guide guide touts that small changes can make a big difference.

The keyword in that sentence? Small. Making changes doesn’t have to be difficult or arduous.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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