I hate metrics.
I’m not talking about the metric system, that ill-fated national experiment from the 70’s that brought us two-liter soda bottles, new wrench sizes, and not much else. I’m referring to numbers - recorded measurements of progress that are the source of endless analysis and constant comparison.
Most fitness plans are metrics-driven. Weight loss. Changes in body fat composition. Calories burned. Muscle mass growth. Circumference of waist, chest, biceps, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, tracking metrics is an excellent way to measure progress toward a goal. It’s just not a good idea to let the metric become the goal.
It’s kind of like corporations today versus those in the 70’s and 80’s. There are numerous ways to make this quarter’s profit goals. Cut corners in manufacturing. Lay off workers. Make everyone work longer hours. The end justifies the means.
What was wrong with improving quality control, emphasizing customer satisfaction, and cultivating the best employees? Doing things right and for the right reasons was a tried and true formula for long-term profitability. It didn’t seem to matter if it all came at once or it progressed over time. Both the end and the means mattered.
When it comes to fitness and your health, do you want to lose weight in a hurry or would you like to always benefit from a healthier lifestyle? Do you want to make sacrifices now or enrich yourself over time? Endure pain and discomfort or gradually transform?
I read a lot of articles on health, fitness, and nutrition. So many of them attempt to answer the question “why do we fail”?
Personally, I think fail is too harsh of a word when it comes to fitness. It implies that there is a black or white, decisive, and final outcome. You have but one chance to get it right. If you lose focus, become discouraged, or fail to reach an arbitrary objective, you are judged a failure. You didn't hit your numbers. You're fired.
Maybe you set the wrong goal. Maybe you are focusing on the wrong metric. Maybe the method you have chosen won’t be compatible with your long-term goal. Maybe you haven’t even identified your long term goal properly.
Don't sweat the metrics.
Eat better. Exercise more. Reduce stress. Incorporate these three principles into your everyday life. Do the right things, for the right reasons, and the results will follow.
Fitness is a lifestyle. Achieving fitness shouldn’t be stressful. You have time. Relax. Take a bike ride...