More and more often, I hear justifications of poor eating choices which sound something like this: “But I ate really healthy today!” Well now you’re eating a cupcake.
Everything you do, and I mean everything, is a step forward or a step backward on the path towards your ideal body. There are no neutral actions.
You eat a healthy meal of lean beef and veggies. That’s a step forward. You just got a little fitter, your body a little bit sexier, your health a little bit better.
You choose to watch TV after work instead of going to the gym or on a walk. That’s a step backward. You are now fatter, less healthy, going to die a little earlier.
Granted, some steps are bigger than others. A heavy weight training workout is generally a bigger step forward than going on a walk. Eating a whole pizza is generally a bigger step backward than having a small cookie. Likewise, the step backward you take when you eat that pizza is not completely counteracted by the step forward you take with one workout.
It’s a shocking concept when you first look at it, but it’s completely true (if somewhat simplistic). Everything you do, every minute of every day, affects your health and your body either positively or negatively. The sum of all your actions over a time sum up to progress (or the opposite). In order to get leaner, more muscular, or just healthier, the sum of your forward steps must be greater than the sum of your backward steps. The greater the difference, the faster the progress.
Stagnant in your progress towards your physical goals? Losing ground? Take a long hard look at the steps you’re taking every day, because the steps forward aren’t winning.
I’m not telling you to never eat a cupcake, but I am asking to you think about where that cupcake is taking you when you do eat it. Hint: it’s not forward.
There’s a clear path to your fitness goals. Which way are you walking?