Hey fitties! In which I return to a long neglected blog. I’ve been about fitness work, rest assured. I had some assessment video deadlines to deal with and other sundry demands on my fittie time that left little mental energy for blogging.
But I wanted to share something that we all need to hear from time to time, myself included. This will be a tough love post. No cupcakes or wine in this post. This is what happens when I post before 9am.
I’ve been a little frustrated lately by a lack of progress in the fitness front. Okay, basically I’m sulky because my pants are tight in the thighs. This is going beyond DOMS from starting a new fitness program. This has been going on for almost 4 weeks. And I’ve been whining a little bit about it. I don’t focus on the scale, but when my pants are tight, I turn to the scale to tell me “Shhh, shhh baby, your pants just shrank in the closet. It’s okay. Shhhh. Shhh.”
Um, the scale did not tell me that. The scale told me my pants are tighter because I’m 6ish pounds heavier than I typically am.
So here are the steps I went through, and they’re the same steps I’d go through with a client.
First, I looked at my food journal. That pretty much solved the problem right there. Wine nearly every day, sometimes multiple glasses. Eating out at restaurants regularly, and not the kinds of restaurants where you order the grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side. Desserts several times a week. So okay, that pretty much took care of the first 3 pounds. Now what about the next 3?
Second, I looked at the time line. How long have I been trying to remove these pesky 6 pounds that threatened to destroy the seams of my pants? Oh, okay, barely 2 weeks. Time to chill out.
Essentially, I made the mistake that most people make: I stopped following the directions. I went rogue. Ad hoc. I started doing what I liked to do as opposed to the behaviors I was supposed to be doing,. This is the #1 reason why my clients don’t see results. It can take on different forms, but doing what we LIKE is the source of many fitness frustrations. If you have stopped losing weight (or aren’t seeing success on your program), I suggest you take a look at what you like doing and see if that’s the culprit.
The food journal is a prime example. When people come and they say “I’m not losing weight. Fix it.” Okay, I respond, let’s look at your food journal. Often, they don’t have one. Why? Because they don’t like writing down what they eat. They don’t like logging their portions. And I understand that, especially if you’re following an intuitive eating plan, but if you are not aware of your portions, you are more likely to overeat. The best way to stay aware of your portions is to log them. You don’t have to do it every day until the day you die, but if you’re not seeing results you should definitely be doing it.
Staying on the plan is another culprit. Multiple people have told me that they did not get good results from P90x. Now, I think P90x is tedious and needlessly long, but there is NO DOUBT that it works. So I’ll ask which P90x plan they used (Lean, Classic, Doubles). Every time (EVERY STINKING TIME!) the response is the same: “Oh, I didn’t follow the plan, I just did the DVDs I liked.” Oh? Which DVD was your favorite? Well, they hated Legs and Back…. core synergistics was damn near impossible….
So they did Kenpo and Plyometrics because they really don’t like lifting weights. Soooo…. you didn’t follow the directions of the plan, didn’t get the promised results, and it’s the PROGRAM’S fault? Hello?
Doing only what we like gets us into trouble with our eating choices as well. I tell you the truth… I sometimes want to cry or scream when people will come to me and say, “Elizabeth, you HAVE to help me. I’ve hit rock bottom. I’m ready to make a change. I can’t go on like this. I can’t keep gaining 15 pounds a year. My doctor wants to put me on [some sort of frightening cholesterol/diabetes/blood pressure medication]. Tell me what to do.”
So we talk about exercise… then we get to diet.
I don’t like yogurt.
I don’t like water.
I don’t like whole grain bread.
I don’t like meat/vegetables/water/fruit.
I don’t like eating breakfast.
I don’t like my coffee/tea unsweetened.
Listen, eating whatever you like whenever you like is what got you into this mess in the first place, okay? Trust me on this. If you’re happy with how you are, keep doing what you like. If you’re NOT happy and you want to see change, let go of some of your likes. Start doing some of your “musts.” You must eat vegetables. Every day. You must limit empty calories (sweets, booze, bread). You must cut out sugary drinks and coffees. This does not mean you don’t get a treat from time to time, but it must be a treat, not a regularly appearing item.
Speaking of treats, let’s address the treat day. Or the free day. Or the cheat day. Whatever you call it, the concept is the same. A day (or a meal) where you are permitted to eat what you like. No restrictions. Some say this is great for weight loss, some say it’s not. I won’t debate the efficacy or the advisability of it. It seems to do wonders for some, others (like me) spend a whole week undoing what they did on their treat day.
But here’s the thing: If you have a treat day or a free day? That means you’re not free to cheat or treat on the OTHER days. That means you don’t have a cookie on Monday as a little treat, then a mocha on Tuesday as a little treat, then pizza on Wednesday and then have a treat day on Thursday! You’ve already HAD your treats. Again, you’re doing what you like instead of what you’re supposed to be doing.
Like I said, we don’t like hearing this. It’s uncomfortable. But if you’re not seeing results from your workout or diet, the chances are good that doing what you like is the culprit. If you know that you know that you KNOW that you KNOW that you have been 99% compliant and you’re STILL not getting results, message me and I’ll see if I can figure out what’s going on. I have been there and done that, I’m happy to help.