‘Bit By Bit’

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last week I went away for my once a year 7 days off. Where I went and what I didn’t wasn’t really that important. What is important is that when the noise of day to day life quietens down to a whisper or even better nothing at all, I start to listen to different things going on in my head. I find that a little space and time away from the daily grind allows me to find some perspective on things and to absorb information fully. One thing that struck a chord with me the most was a segment from the book ‘Never Let Go’ by Dan John where Dan talks about realistic expectations in life, lifting and learning. For him, literally everything that requires improvement or growth of the good or bad kinds does so at a slow rate, or ‘bit by bit’ as Dan puts it.

This got me thinking about everything I do and how this understanding of the ‘bit by bit’ principle applies so strongly to the results that my patients and clients can and should expect.

If someone comes to me with an injury that they have had for years and years, this injury in all likely hood was getting worse bit by bit. Getting a little more painful as the years or months had gone by until they decided to do something about it. This gradual process of pain is a strain on our bodies yes but also on our mental wellbeing and this bites away at us bit by bit until we decide to do something about it. An interesting observation I made with regards to a person’s rehabilitation is why people who have been suffering with pain for years sometimes expect to be cured from their pain in one session (which is the case in some individuals). Yes there are some cases that are clear from the start and can be treated accurately in one session but by and large the bulk of the work that needs to be done in order to fully treat an ailment needs to be done bit by bit over a period of time. If a problem occurs over a long period of time, should we always expect a magical BOOM moment every time where the pain suddenly disappears? I am sometimes guilty of this myself when portraying the sudden results I have found in some of the case studies I mention. These are the quick-fun moments when you are able to make an instant effect on someone’s pain levels. But the real fun cases (and the majority of the patients that all of those in the rehabilitation world see) are the ones where I work alongside my patients for an extended period of time through their entire rehabilitation. Yes you should expect results when being treated, but don’t always expect instant results. Remember, bit by bit.

The bit by bit approach also rang very true with regards to fat loss and fat gain. In the western world adults tend to gain on average 1-2lbs per year throughout their adult life. Not much when you think about a single pound in weight gain, but in under ten years (based on these numbers) you could be a whole stone heavier. Bit by bit the fat adds up until one day you open your wardrobe and realise that all of your jeans you used to love now don’t fit you at all.

At this point I speak only from a PT’s point of view working with clients who wish to create body transformations as the size an individual should or shouldn’t be isn’t for me to preach. However I am a believer that a strong, lean individual speaks of greater health much more than an overweight version of the same person and for me it is health that is the priority, looking better nekkid as a result of a lifestyle choice is a bonus for those out there 

When we tackle fat loss or performance enhancement it is done bit by bit over a period of weeks, months and years. The masters of fat loss, competitive body builders spend months and months in preparation for an event. Their fat loss in order to be the leanest they can be, happens over a period of months until they reach their peak. Average Joe who wants to drop a couple of jean sizes must understand that like his weight gain, fat loss too occurs over a period of time. It is however largely up to him how much time it can take as his actions will affect his progress as a whole.

If you think of life as being split into tiny chunks of time, it is what we do with those tiny chunks of time that affects the overall results. Do you eat chips and drink beer of a weekday evening or do you go to the gym? Do you study hard in a new skill you are trying to master or do you just watch tv instead? Do you prepare fresh foods for yourself or your kids, or do you just feed them processed junk? The answers to these questions will affect which way things in your life grow piece by piece.

‘Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out’

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