I’m dropping fat, but not as quickly as I want to.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. “I want to lose weight!” Which generally means “I want to look better/slimmer”. I know when I first started seriously with fitness, that was my goal. To lose weight and get in better shape. Like so many others, that’s the end goal. To weigh less than we previously did because that’s been the answer to looking better for as far back as we can remember. We also get it in our heads that if we aren’t seeing a steady drop of 1-2 lbs or more per week that it just isn’t quick enough. WHY? Because we saw somewhere that this person lost 30 lbs in 30 days. While that’s great for them, we never consider HOW it was done. What were they eating? how often were they training? How much did they previously weigh before they dropped so much weight? What supplements were they taking, if any? It’s easy to see someone else’s success and instantly compare it to our own and thus, feel like we’re not doing enough. When you see photos, or adds such as these, read between the lines. Does it say anything about how many calories they’re consuming in a day? 9/10 it doesn’t, because it’s an extreme diet (usually less than 1200 calories to start, with a cookie cutter diet and a cookie cutter training program). Rarely is it built for your lifestyle, your health needs and your food item preferences. We need to remember that it takes a lot longer to drop the fat that you’ve put on, then it did to put it on.
It’s easy to get caught up in numbers instead of paying attention to how we feel. Fat loss takes time and shouldn’t be an over night success if your goal is to maintain it. There are so many “quick fixes” and easy solutions available to us that we forget why we are making these changes for ourselves. Do you want to starve yourself for a few weeks only to re gain it all (and more) when the process is over? I’ve worked with many women who have tried all the quick fix fat loss solutions, only to binge when it’s over and put all the weight back on and then some. our goal then, is to find a point where we are maintaining our weight and reverse diet from there (slowly add calories). Your body is not something to treat with such disregard and expect it to respond with positivity? If you starve it, it will be hungry. If you over feed it, it will be full. If you starve it, following by overfeeding it, you will gain more weight than you had previously lost because usually, you can’t just stop at one binge.
For women who have dieted strictly, and rebounded. You are not alone! I am constantly battling with restricting again because it’s not easy to see ourselves bigger than we once were. Each day I fight with wanting to “give up”. But for me giving up would be restricting and competing again. I know that my goal needs to be to slowly up my calories to repair my metabolism and get some balance back. It’s hard when the long-term goal is to eventually tighten up again and see some definition. But when you are working with lower calories and daily cardio, there is no where else to go but up. I need to remember that a maintainable, and balanced lifestyle are what I want to achieve in the long run. I want to feel better about myself in all my clothes, or have a piece of cake and not feel bad about it because it’s not in my meal plan. I want to go out to social events with friends, pick something off the menu that fits my macros and feel accomplished. Only when I find myself able to accomplish these, will I ever consider competing again or restricting myself as I had before. I’m often asked how I do it? how do I go to the gym, eat moderately healthy and still have time for friends and family. Because I CHOOSE to, and because it’s my lifestyle and not a diet.
The next time you’re feeling the need to rush your weight loss/fitness goals ask yourself a few questions:
1. Am I seeing results?
2. Do I feel restricted or deprived?
3. Have I been consistent with my program?
4.Have I been attempting this program for an acceptable amount of time? (2-4 weeks minimum)
5. Have I been open and honest with my coach/trainer about my efforts?
6. Could I be doing more to see the results that I want? (meal prepping, planning, completing your work outs, asking questions)
7. Am I being patient with myself, with the results and the process?
8. Am I communicating with my coach about how I’m feeling instead of expecting them to read my mind (I can do a lot, but reading minds isn’t included :))
9. DO I FEEL BETTER NOW, THAN WHEN I STARTED?!
10. Am I rushing something that doesn’t need to be rushed?
We should all be striving for progress and not perfection. Each program you chose, should teach you something about yourself and your body. I often have people tell me they tried this and it didn’t work so it was a waste. Instead, try to see it as you attempted something and you LEARNED that it wasn’t right for you, or that the approach may not be best suited for your goals. Try and realize why the results weren’t what you expected and how that can be corrected in choosing your next program. Rarely is a program a waste. Take your time to do your research before deciding if a program or coach is right for you, and if the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term. What will you learn/gain? (maybe how to count macros or how to do squats). Is it going to last? or is it a quick fix that will only last a few weeks.
This photo is from a shoot I took part in during a reverse diet from a competition. My calories were going up, as my cardio was coming down. This is one of the most confident shoots I’ve ever taken part in. Because I was happy, healthy, balanced, and learning what my body was capable of. Which is where we should all strive to be.