In my professional life as a physical performance specialist, I come across clients who are struggling with chronic pain and lack of fitness which is usually accompanied by fat gain. They come to me looking for solutions and most are usually disheartened when they realize that the journey ahead is long and arduous. Quite a few give up as it is hard work to gain fitness/lose fat when you are fighting chronic pain, work and family pressure. They look to me to wave my magic wand and get them fit and hunky.

My usual response, as I tend to be a contrarian ba##@%$/bloke, is to ask them do you know how do we eat an elephant. Imagine asking a hard core vegetarian this! I usually get shocked looks in response. I say to them that you eat an elephant one small bite at a time. There is no other way to do it. Also it is a good idea to not set deadlines but rather work at it slowly and steadily.

Eat horse

You can bet on it that life will trip you up on this journey by presenting obstacles like aggravating an injury, some crisis at work or at home, an illness, etc. But flip the bird to life, get up and keep going. When there is time and good energy then do more, when there is less time and low energy, then do less. But keep going on. These are called “punching the clock” days – you are like an apathetic worker who comes, does the 8 hour day and goes home. Nothing more, nothing less. But these add up.

My maternal uncle, who is going to be 70 years old in June 2014, proved it very recently that this approach works. He is a super busy neurosurgeon and works a gazillion hours per week. He did not start running till he was in his fifties. Few days ago he ran a full marathon in less than 4 hours. His best time up till now. Please read that again he ran 42 km in less than 4 hours at the age of 70. It has taken him almost 20 years to get to this point. All the kudos to him for staying with his running regimen. With that time, he has qualified to run the Boston Marathon.

So get out and get started…..