So you changed your lifestyle. You’re moving more, you’re eating healthier foods, and you’re drinking water like it’s going out of style. You’re patient for about 6 weeks or so, and then you step on the scale or you try on those jeans, and the results are not what you had hoped.
You feel totally defeated; it’s as if all your hard work has been for nothing. You declare “Why bother?” and throw your hands up in the air in disgust. You are at a crossroads.
Not everyone can lose 1 or 2 pounds a week at a steady pace. Some people may see no change for weeks on end, and then suddenly a huge difference. So how do you deal with this scenario if you’re the one not seeing results? How do you handle it?
Reframe Your Thinking
Human beings are suckers for instant gratification. And let’s face it, losing weight and getting in shape takes time. Instead of focusing on how you look and your jeans size, focus on the things that give you instant gratification, and let the rest go for now. What gives you instant gratification?
- endorphins after a great workout
- not feeling stuffed or gross after a junky meal but light and energized instead
- more energy for your day
- better sleep every night
- knowing that you’re doing everything you can to prevent disease and illness
- the way a hot shower feels after a workout
- clearer skin
Focus on these instant gratifications and suddenly you’ll find the will to keep going. Who wants to give all these great benefits up? A fitter body WILL follow eventually, but to get there you MUST be consistent and stick with it.
Beating yourself up is totally pointless and achieves absolutely nothing. I saw this phrase on Pinterest and it made me laugh: “Calling yourself fat won’t make you thinner.”
I’m totally guilty of the negative self-talk and it’s something I work on constantly. It sets me back and makes me feel like I’m not worth the goals I’ve set for myself. It’s like throwing a little temper tantrum with myself, and it achieves just as much as a temper tantrum achieves for a toddler. Nothing.
Do not beat yourself up–think of this as an ongoing science experiment. When the results you want are not achieved, simply look back and see what you could change. Be analytical rather than emotional.
If it’s others in your life who are being negative, try to remember that they are projecting their criticisms of themselves onto you. Ignore them, or use their negativity to push yourself and prove them wrong.
Another way of reframing your thinking is to forget about what you don’t have and focus on what you DO have. This is a great philosophy for all aspects of life, but especially in fitness. Every time you feel frustrated with your progress, make a list of what you have accomplished since you began.
Aside from the things listed above, maybe you’ve made progress in your workouts or are eating things you never thought you could. List it out – every day if you have to. I make this “abundance list” a part of my every day fitness routine. Your list might look like this:
- I can do 10 full pushups now
- I can run for 1 mile without stopping
- I eat broccoli now instead of chips
- My kids look at me with a whole new respect
If you want, you can even word it as a gratitude statement, like “I am grateful for being able to do 10 pushups”. If you really want to use the law of attraction, you can add gratitude statements for what you want, as if it’s already on the way.
This is a powerful way to make your mind believe that the impossible is possible. An example would be “I am grateful that I will soon fit into size X jeans”. Believe it and you WILL achieve it.
Change Things Up
Try a new exercise, or push the intensity of the one you’ve been doing. If you’ve been walking, try adding a minute of running every couple of minutes. If you’ve been running, try adding some hills. Try a new class at the gym or something you never thought you could do, like rock climbing or maybe even CrossFit.
If you’re bored with your food, try new recipes. Have a tasting day where you try several new foods you’ve never had before. You are bound to find something you like. Give yourself something healthy to look forward to.
Make a Vision Board
It can be an actual physical board that you hang up on your wall, or a private blog or webpage. Make a collection of quotes, images, articles, etc that inspire you. Write your goals down and hang them up. Write your motivation down and hang it up too.
Make a list of everything you want to achieve in fitness and cross it off when you get there. But don’t stop there. Write down everything it will take for you to reach those goals and what resources you need to get there. Here is an example of a fitness-related “bucket list”:
- To be able to do 50 pushups
- To be able to run 3 miles without stopping
- To be eating all healthy, unprocessed foods at every meal
- To wear size X jeans
- To have six pack abs
- To feel comfortable in my skin
Everyone’s bucket list will be different, and it will be fluid as you reach your goals. You can cross off when you achieve them, but then add newer, tougher goals in their place. Here is an example of your “what it takes” list:
- Do 10 pushups every day for a week, adding 5 more the next week
- Add running intervals to my walks, increasing by a minute every week
- Start grocery shopping for whole foods and try new recipes
As for resources, list those out too:
- YouTube has tons of workouts I can try
- Gym membership
- local farmers market
- Calorie counting app
- Coach Calorie website 🙂
Soon you will realize that everything you need is right under your fingertips. Make it a daily to weekly habit to work on your vision board, and come to it anytime you feel frustrated. You will have reassurance that what you want is indeed possible.
As you can see, getting in shape is just as much of a mental game as a physical one. What are some ways you’ve helped yourself to stay on track?