Jill Brown Fitness

Getting into shape is more about consistency than perfection

What it REALLY Takes to Get in Shape – 5 Surprising Things to Know

Does health and fitness sometimes feel like a test, you either pass or fail?

✅Like, if you eat a fancy, vegan, quinoa bowl, you’ve passed the test… 

❌But if you eat a couple slices of pizza with a beer on a Friday, you’ve failed. 

✅ Or, if you work out 5x a week, you’ve passed… 

❌But if you you only fit in a few short stretches because you couldn’t get your time organized, you’ve failed. 

You’re not alone if you feel this way about nutrition and exercise:  “If I’m not doing it perfectly, I’m a failure who can’t do anything right and should just give up.”

No One Is Perfect.

(But you’re still awesome!)

Yet when many of us contemplate a health plan, weight loss program, or other lifestyle change, we start with the expectation that we need to be perfect.

But it’s not humanly possible.

We have things like stress, emotions, and previous habits.  And then there’s work, school, kids, caretaking, pets and days where you just feel crummy.  

If perfection was required to get through life, we’d have holed up in a cave by now.  

But what if changing your body could still result in real, visible progress without it being a pass/fail scenario?

What if almost any effort – no matter how small – could result in real, measurable progress?

Newsflash…Changing your body doesn’t require 100% consistency.


Here are some things my clients have realized actually work:

1. Just putting in a little effort changes things.

Even doing HALF of what we planned to do leads to progress.  A 50%, half-assed effort for 6 months is better than 100% effort for a week or 2.

My clients who are less than 50% consistent with their workouts and nutrition—but stay on my program for 6 months to a year still wind up losing a good chunk of weight.

  • better cardiovascular health
  • decreased cancer and diabetes risk
  • better sleep 
  • better mood
  • less inflammation
  • better immunity 
  • and even a higher sex drive (hello!)

Just practicing a few good habits lead to results.

And they also got healthier:


2.  Showing up between 50-79% of the time actually makes a big difference.

There’s a sweet spot somewhere between “easily doable” and “making real progress” which is somewhere between 50 and 79% consistent.

There are a lot performance gurus out there who preach going 110% or 10x effort.  But that’s NUTS if you want to keep your sanity and have a life.

With the right tools, you don’t need to be anywhere near “perfect” to get results.

By practicing certain habits just half of the time, you can lose more weight and inches than if you did nothing.  And it won’t be overwhelming.

3.  Being at least 50% consistent with your health and lifestyle improvements might be easier than you think.

You don’t need to be an A student.

With some small, manageable changes (especially if you get help and support from a coach), you can be consistent enough to change your weight, fitness, health and zest for life.

Even if you may feel like you’re “not doing enough,” 50-79% consistency will do more than you think. 

That means, never feeling total deprivation.  Not feeling overwhelmed.  And not feeling like a failure with your nutrition and fitness goals.

What doest that mean?

Enjoying some wine?  Yep.

Some Pizza or take out?  Yep.

Doing a 10 minute workout instead of an hour?  Yep.

4.  You can crush your goals at 80% consistency…

And more importantly, have sustained losses in body weight and waist size.

If 100% perfect isn’t doable (which is an unrealistic goal anyway), being 80% will realistically get your to your goals.

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule? It works in all areas of life pretty much, especially fitness and nutrition.

This is one of the key concepts I use with my clients once we set up their strategies.

What does this look like?  

If you eat 3 meals a day, that’s 21 meals a week.  If 16 or 17 meals a week are on point, and 4 or 5 are “cheat meals,” you’re still winning! 

If you tend to eat dessert every evening, then 80% consistent would mean skipping dessert about 5-6 times over the course of the week.

That’s a big change, but you’d still have 1 – 2 desserts to enjoy each week.  

5.  The truth is, just making some effort—however inconsistent and imperfect—can make you feel better about yourself.

Consistency creates confidence… hard stop

One thing I’ve noticed about all my clients is that the more consistent they were, they better they felt about themselves and life in general. 

In part, this happens because people feel good about the changes they see in their bodies, such as less pain, more fitness, and the ability to do more movements, more easily.

But it also happens because people are acting on their own behalf.

We gain positive energy, confidence, and resilience after and because we act, not the other way around.

Even a small boost in confidence might mean:

  • You start taking a new exercise class.
  • You say hi to that attractive person.
  • You dress better.
  • You take on a physical challenge, like a 5K
  • You take a hiking or biking trip.
  • You finally wear that bathing suit, or take off your shirt, at the beach.
  • You ask for what you need and want, or say no to what you don’t want.
  • You take care better care of you.

And each action you take only creates more action.

No perfection required.

You can still become, at last, the healthy, thriving, confident person you’ve wanted to be—just by putting in whatever effort you’ve got.

Whether that’s 40%, 60%, or 80%, your best really is good enough.