I wanted to share with you my personal system of how I manage my health and weight loss journey on an annual basis.
This philosophy is largely how I manage my workday, productivity, gym schedule and all aspects of my life too.
I call it my “SPRINT & CRUISE” method.
It is based on the premise that in life you simply cannot be ALL OUT for all of the time.
Nobody can work hell for leather in any area of their life indefinitely before cracking. Often when people do this and they hit a brick wall the downward spiral can be pretty spectacular and disastrous. Most times they end up worse off.
So let’s talk about my personal health journey and how I apply this principle.
People may have heard me say, “I am bringing the heat!” before – especially around the time of the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge. Since we have one launching next week you going to hear it a lot!
There is a method to the madness. It is not just a marketing slogan.
Nearly everyone I work with has an ‘all or nothing’ approach to life. Their range is to commit to something 100% or not at all. This often results in nothing – or very little – over the long term.
You CAN, of course, take a very slow methodical approach to things and definitely get to where you want over time. I encourage people to pace themselves and in our coaching, we teach people to be 1% better each day. I am a massive fan of slow and gradual change most of the time.
However, sometimes we may need a burst of progress to invigorate ourselves and gain some ground.
Sometimes we need to LEVEL UP.
It can take a mighty heave in any aspect of life to attain the next level of the game.
You can use intensive bursts or sprints strategically to climb quickly to the next level.
I have used the Sleekgeek 8-Week Challenge over the past 8 years as a primary tool to SPRINT and attain my next level.
It is an excellent tool if you want to:
1. Get out of a rut
2. Break a plateau
3. Build on your results.
Phase 1: SPRINT
Over the 8-week period, I set myself some serious goals and I put my foot on the gas and “bring the heat”!
I set outcome, behavioural and habit-based goals at the onset. As do all of our challengers. It is part of our challenge system process.
This allows me to:
- Hone in on short-term goals.
- Put that in black and white and commit to it.
- Make myself accountable.
- FOCUS and chase it hard.
- Not have to do it alone because all the other challengers are on the same mission as me.
This is how I picture it graphically
What does this look like in practice? For example when I am in “SPRINT-mode” over the challenge:
- I am less likely to cave if considering a late night snack.
- I am more mindful about moderating my social commitments.
- I may focus more on sleep and recovery than normal.
- I may increase the volume and intensity of my workouts for the period.
- I may set a specific goal. This challenge I am training for the 2 Oceans Half Marathon which means running will form a major part of my plan.
- I may try extra hard to reach my daily step target.
- I may reduce my number of high-calorie meals (treats/cheats) in a week.
- I will communicate to loved ones that I am in a SPRINT process and to accommodate my increased rigidity in social scenarios.
- I may remove things from my routine that is a distraction.
8 Weeks is just long enough. It is actually longer than you think.
For that period I make a strong commitment to my goals. That is an important reason why we charge a commitment/entry fee for the challenge. It is a fact that “people who pay … pay more attention.”
Phase 2: CRUISE
Well done! You sprinted like a champion, hit your goals and are on top of the world! BOOM! Now what?
The thing that now will separate the ‘has-beens’ from the champions is now to maintain and be able to truly “CRUISE” in periods of lower intensity. Rather than crashing and burning.
This is where I see people go wrong all the time. You can be smarter and learn from their mistakes.
Typically they will go all out and make excellent progress. Maybe lose 10kgs or more. Get in the best shape of their lives. The Challenge then ends and they go back to their old ways and put it all back on again.
This is usually because of one or 3 things – or a combination of both.
- They have fallen prey to the “all or nothing” trap and lost focus.
- They lack the skills to maintain results because the only tools they have are to lose weight is to diet aggressively.
- They believe the job is done – when it fact it is never done.
How do we then switch to CRUISE then?
Let’s say that in a Challenge when SPRINTING we crank things up to 100%
When the Challenge is over I try to keep myself in the 70 – 90% zone. Mostly 80% – but it can vary depending on what is going on in my life in that week.
I am still reasonably focussed but there is a little extra room for some chill.
This is the difference maker. In a maintenance period, you take your foot off the gas and put on the CRUISE control – BUT you do not pull the key out of the ignition and throw in out the window of a speeding car!
Many people who follow strict diets, unfortunately, lack the skills and habits to be able to maintain their weight – which is what we teach in the Sleekgeek coaching program.