This is the third and final email on my series about understanding the time factor in a fitness journey. If you missed the first email click here to read it and the second email can be found here. The three emails give you the full scope of this idea how time plays into your health and fitness journey.
I read a book a couple of years ago called THE INFINITE GAME by Simon Sinek. The big idea that this book does a great job of unpacking has to do with two types of games: Finite and Infinite.
Two Games: Finite and Infinite
Sinek defines finite games as those with known players, fixed rules, and an agreed-upon objective. A poker game, for example, has identifiable players, strict rules, and a pre-set ending point where one player is judged to have won and the players stop playing.
In contrast, infinite games have both known and unknown players, changeable rules, and no clear ending point at which one person is declared the winner and everyone goes home.
The book is written primarily to an audience of entrepreneurs and business owners. It shows them how business is an infinite game and to approach it as such. If you approach it as a finite game then you do not understand the long term approach to the success of a business. One year may appear to be a losing season in regard to a specific metric but in the big picture of the business that year was instrumental to the long term success of the business. The same can be said about a fitness journey.
Wins and Losses
How do you measure winning and losing in your fitness journey? Weight loss and weight gain is the most common answer here. Most people think they’re winning and losing if the scale tells them the answer they hope for. This is how to play a finite health/fitness game. In an infinite health/fitness game there is strategy and there is a perspective that looks beyond this single metric and a single period of time.
You will be eating for the rest of your life. You will be moving your body for the rest of your life. Fitness and Health is an infinite game. You don’t have a choice. You will be interacting with your health the rest of your life. Losing 10-15 pounds in January and gaining back 20 pounds by the end of the year shows that weight loss is not the goal of this game. It isn’t the leaderboard to focus on.
The goal in the game of health and fitness is to die as healthy as possible. If you do this then you lived a life that didn’t limit you by your physical health. How you eat and exercise your entire life determines these outcomes.
I interviewed a good friend on my podcast several years ago who happens to be a pastor. You can click here to listen to this episode. I still remember to this day what he said about stewarding your physical body. It went something like this, “If I poorly steward my body and my life ends 15-20 years earlier than I could have lived had I taken care of it then I stole years away from God where he could have better used me for His purposes in my life.” This is deep and meaningful. This is playing the infinite game of health and fitness.
Life and Death
I will add a layer to this by saying you can add years to your life by taking care of your physical body. The most common forms of death occur because the body is unable to fight the external factors that it encounters. The majority of these causes can be delayed or prevented through taking care of your body.
This tells us that the goal is not weight loss. When you are on your death bed you will want more than anything to have lived a life filled with memories with loved ones and experiences. The last thing you will be thinking is I wish I would have weighed 20 pounds less in my 40’s. However the weight is a reflection of how you are taking care of the body. It is almost like the profit margin of a business. An overweight person is not operating their “health and fitness” very well. But instead of simply losing weight they should better understand how they got there and take the long term approach to make changes. Much like a new coach would come in to help a struggling program. There could be issues that extend far beyond the talent of one key position.
Nutrition Matters…a lot
I mentioned to you that I am kicking off a 6 week challenge on January 1st. I am only taking on a limited number of people. I have two spots remaining. The cost is regularly $599 but I am discounting it 50%. If you need help kick starting your health in the new year I would love to have you participate in this program. Just email me and let me know that you would like to be in this group.
Play the long game when it comes to your health and fitness. There will be ups and downs but keeping the long term perspective is key. Learn from the losses. Don’t let them defeat you. Get back up and start over again as many times as it takes. Don’t be too proud to hire a coach. Accountability is the best way to get unstuck. I believe in you.