My quest for the fittest version of myself started in November 2018. The reasons were aplenty – I wanted to test my inner strength, I had gone through a personal setback and wanted to regain my vigor by conquering a seemingly daunting goal. So, I thought how would I define my fittest version? The answer was simple – six pack abs!
Today, after 4 months, I am happy to share that I have managed to walk past my goal. Getting a six-pack was an obsession for me, and today when I look at myself in the mirror, I laugh at my older self who was severely anxious and had never dreamt of such a transformation. But had it not been the state of my older version, or the incidents that led to what I was and how I felt in November 2018, I wouldn’t have managed to sail through. My journey towards six pack abs is a perfect example of the fact that every setback is nothing but just a stepping stone towards success.
In this article, I will share some key insights that I have learned in the past four months through regular practice of gymming and mindful eating:-
1. Everyone starts from zero:- No one is genetically gifted or born super intelligent. One has to hustle their way to the top. I still remember how badly I performed on my first day at the gym. My body wanted to give up after just 15 minutes of exercise, and I was huffing and panting as if I have just come back from running a half marathon. Today, 9 out of 10 times my stamina and endurance level has been the best among the entire gym class, and sometimes even the gym trainers have applauded me and called my gym energy ‘insane’. The other day I did a weighted plank hold with 60 kgs on my back for 2 minutes! All this wouldn’t have been possible had I given up on day 1 itself and thought that this is not meant for me. Failures, setbacks are there in every major path, one just needs to face it and come out of it stronger.
2. If your goal doesn’t give you nightmares, then it ain’t a challenging goal:- Do you know why I had kept my goal as ‘getting a six pack’? It’s because people think that’s impossible. Even the best trainers and gymmers find it hard to get. Losing weight and gaining muscle is relatively easier, but for six pack you need to be at an abnormally low body fat percentage, coupled with good rest and most importantly proper nutrition. Most people can exercise, but very few people can practice ‘mindful eating’. I knew that this was the only goal that could make me a true warrior. So never set small goals for yourself. Always remember:- no one can define the true potential of yourself. Only you can.
3. Perseverance is the key – Before every great reward, there has to be a greater sacrifice. This rule applies in all aspects of life, including fitness. Because no matter how well you are recovering and improving day by day, there will suddenly be days when your energy in the gym is low, when you feel like your body isn’t changing, or that you are going back to square one, or you will feel like binge eating the entire weekend as nothing seems to be working. At that moment, it’s important to take a pause and remember your goal, think how you will feel when you achieve it, and visualize that you have achieved it, and experience the high. And then consciously recognize that that piece of big pastry can easily hamper your progress and deprive you of that ‘high’ you felt while visualizing.
4. Negative energy is bliss – As mentioned before, there was a personal setback I went through last year. And due to that, there were lots of negative emotions bubbling inside me like a volcano. Now, remember the principle that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Hence this energy has to be used in some way. You can use it only in two ways. A) The foolish way – 99% of people would indulge in alcohol, drugs, porn, etc when faced with depression or some sort of frustration. Remember that this is the worst thing you can do. Negative energy is extremely powerful and you wouldn’t want to waste it in activities that will just add up to your pain in the pretext of giving some temporary pleasure. B) The Wise way – 1% would channelize their energy this way. In this method, the person gets motivated to destroy his inner demons by deciding and conquering some goal – it could be something like getting fit, increasing your salary by 3x in a specified time-frame, learning some new skill, etc.
5. Discipline your mind, and rest will automatically fall into place – The biggest demon of our lives is not our surroundings, but our own mind. It loves to procrastinate and do things that are ‘average’. Because ‘average’ requires no brilliance. ‘Average’ requires you to simply live like a grazing cow. ‘Average’ is the comfort zone. ‘Average’ makes you part of the crowd and your social circle happy. The moment you set your eyes on something higher, you will realize that people around you will get intimidated. This is because you will always find average people in a crowd, but a wise man always walks alone. And ‘alone’ is a scary word. Most people lose the battle there itself. It’s all in the mind. They don’t want to ditch those parties, those family outings, those lavish buffet spreads for a mere goal! But you know what, once you train your mind, you will learn to live happily alone. Gymming and meditation are some of the best ways to train your mind. Spend time alone. Visualize. Train hard. Work towards your goal. Build your stamina and mental capacity. And remember:- ‘War is always won in the General’s Tent’.