Transformation or Evolution?

03/10/2014 02:39 pm ET Updated May 10, 2014

Well, I think there's value in both, really. But let's drill down into this one.

I took a seminar when I was 19 and remember hearing the phrase, "Transformation occurs in an instant," which means that a belief or approach toward something can change immediately. This is also known as a "breakthrough." These are typically revelatory thoughts such as, "I am SO DONE with this relationship," or "Wow, I am going nowhere in this job and need to get a new one." They are thoughts that often inspire action, largely due to how surprised and inspired we often are when we figure these things out.

Evolution, on the other hand, is a slower process usually characterized by change over time. Not quick, not sudden, and while it may be associated with actions, those actions are often repetitive or minimally different.

I had the opportunity to explore the differences recently. You see, I drastically decreased my exercise over the past year, and when we went skiing over Christmas, I had the opportunity to see exactly how out of shape I was. During that break, I had that moment in which I was no longer willing to be out of shape and decided that I was going to begin seriously working out, with a focus on strength, stamina and (of course) form. I started my new regimen as soon as we got home.

Each week my workouts have included three hours of Tai Chi, two hours of Kung Fu, and three workouts that include Pilates, strength training and cardio. I opted to have Fridays off, since I am usually toast by the time it rolls around!

At the time I am writing this, it is seven weeks later. I have lost exactly no weight. In fact, I have GAINED four pounds. According to my husband, my stomach is smaller. And I think my thighs seem a little more toned, same for my arms.

But for how hard I am working out, and how thoroughly, I fully expected that I would notice rapid, impressive, noticeable and inspiring change, right?

But it turns out, that while I may have transformed my approach to my fitness and health, my body never got the memo. It's been evolving, slower than I would like (since I'd like it to transform!), but it IS changing.

Although it takes time, there's a good reason for bodies to evolve rather than transform. Namely, bodies are the densest matter humans work to change. Thoughts travel at the speed of light... ergo, transformation, no problem. But, our bodies travel at the speed of earth (they have to as we live on earth) so the much better rate of change is evolution -- especially if we want it to last.

As soon as I realized I wasn't going to transform, but instead, would evolve, it inspired me to look for the evolution on a regular basis. The good news is that my clothes are fitting better; the bad news is that I bought them right before Christmas!

So go ahead, transform your thoughts about your health, abilities and body. Then watch it evolve!