(This month's newsletter is inspired by Dr. John Berardi)
"You're putting in so much work without seeing the exact benefits you were hoping for... yet, anyway.
When I was younger I had this idea that progress should be linear. In other words, that if I was going to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks, I'd lose a pound a week all the way through.
Then reality taught me a different lesson.
Most times there are "whooshes" of progress preceded (or followed) by no progress at all. The body is weird that way... but this is a normal thing."
It's just human nature that we are wired to want things now. Whether it's that pair of shoes, the newest phone gadget, or losing weight. Patience is a virtue but very few of us actually master it.
When I sit down with a client, we talk about our outcome goals and behavior goals (more on these next time). For example, if the outcome goal is to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year then it makes sense to lose 2.5 pounds a month, which equates to 0.625 pounds a week. Easy, right?
However, the reality is, our body has a mind of it's own. The leaner we get, the harder we have to work to lose weight (or gain muscle). So a 180 pound old me and a 160 current me would need to do things (perhaps quite) dramatically different to lose that last 10 pounds. What worked before is likely not going to work now.
99% of the time, it will not be a downward graph like the one above. This guy below is a more realistic progression trend.
Other factors that come into play -
- It's summer break for the little monsters, I mean, adorable kids, so instead of working out five days, now you only have time for three. So expect to plateau or gain here.
- Your boss threw you a deadline to catch, so you are not only stressed out, you are also not getting any sleep, in turn you are craving that additional chocolate banana muffin at 3 o'clock in the morning.
- All of the sudden, all of your co-workers are celebrating birthdays this month and not one day goes by without someone offering you a cupcake, with sprinkles and additional cherry on top. You don't want to offend them and started to hide them in your drawers but you were scared that you'd get caught and get attacked by little gnomes, so you gave in and ate them.
- The solar eclipse is coming, the world is ending so I better eat more. Oh wait, that's not true, darn, I just ate a whole cake.
If we have a realist expectation, we would be better equipped to deal with set backs and stalled progress on our health and fitness journey (or with everything, really). And remember, what you are learning from mistakes and set backs will help you so much more down the road; stick with the good habit and practices, they will all make sense. I promise.
The key is to celebrate the small successes along the way and know it's normal and OKAY when we hit a bump in the road, and as the serenity prayer goes, "... to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace..."