Looking for the fastest way for your body to change? Whether it be weight loss, strength gain, or recovering from an injury the fastest way is the same: slow and steady wins the race. (Old adage… but still applicable.) Do you want your healing to be like the Tortoise or the Hare? Optimal healing, as well as a pursuit of health, is best accomplished by challenging the limits of the body, which is best done with appropriate and constant effort.
Constant sprinting and stopping in both goal achievement but also general health is never best. You will exhaust yourself sooner and decrease the likelihood of achieving goals if you are constantly bouncing from one extreme to the next. Sometimes I think society (maybe just American society) is bipolar. We are so impatient; we jump from “I am going to lose 50 lbs” to couch potato. We start by completely changing our diet and buying a gym pass. Then 6 months later we are back to where we started, mostly sedentary and not utilizing that gym pass.
We suddenly want to exercise as long and as hard as we can to shorten our recovery or speed our strengthening but this leads to compensation and injury. We look for pills to help us do it fast when the best way is slow and steady. Change takes time, and lasting change does not come overnight. Water etches ravines in landscapes and mountains are brought low over many years.
Things just take time. If we could command change so easily, there would be no challenge and no growth. Tissue heals with time: physiological processes happen but literally take time to do their work. Strength gains, weight loss, nerve recruitment… these all take time.
During the healing process (and I consider weight loss to be like healing), we need to respect that the fastest way to get better is doing the consistent and sometimes mundane. Do the exercise you know you are supposed to do, and pretty soon you will be as strong as you want. Like the idea of trying to move a heavy boulder: each day you try that it does not move, you get stronger. One day you may find that you are strong enough to move that boulder.
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
Gollum’s last riddle for Bilbo from the Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien
The answer: time