Are you stuck?
I don’t mean with a fat loss or muscle building stall stuck. I mean mentally stuck.
I have been there. We all start with a goal. This goal often gets set in stone. We will not stop until we reach this goal (feet stomping, chest pounding and all)! I have found myself a little more tired than usual; my mind has been uber-focused on external changes instead of the more import internal ones. I get it!
Let me start this out with a disclaimer that I really do feel like a good solid goal is important to have. I like to have somewhat of an end in mind. This is an end to a phase though, and not a definitive end. My “end in mind” is always transient. A bridge, that connects to the next phase or goal.
Ha! This might be a new record. One paragraph in, and I’m already off on a tangent. Ok, moving on.
One day you may wake up and realizing that along the way all of this hard work has added up to just that. A LOT of hard work! Did you forget to notice your progress?
It is our job as coaches, to push you. We expect a lot of you. This won’t change. But we also want to see these sacrifices add up to a better life. I mean, isn’t that why you started the whole fitness thing in the first place?
When we start to get emails that signal a lack of motivation, impatience, and suffering it is time to reflect on what has happened so far!
I recognize that it is a challenge to enjoy each phase of your journey. We all want what we don’t have. We want it yesterday! Pretty please? This has a tendency to take over our mindset and we forget to recognize the gifts that are present now.
One of the things that women in particular struggle with is shopping. We will jump up and down to fit into clothes that are too tight, or wear clothes that no longer fit and are falling off. We refuse to buy in-between clothes, because we don’t want to spend money on clothes that are a size we don’t want to commit too. Living in this mindset robs you of the opportunity to see how much you have changed. It is important to have some clothes that fit your body now, even if they won’t fit forever. This goes for gaining size (building) and fat loss. If you can’t justify spending money on a whole new wardrobe, then buy a few basic pieces and shop consignment stores for the rest. If you are one that has a hard time getting rid of things because of cost, then resell your stuff to consignment shops. You can rotate your wardrobe this way without wasting a ton of money shopping new, for every size. There are even Facebook groups that have clothing exchanges for people like us that are in transition. You will be surprised at how great a few new outfits will make you feel if you have been living in clothes that just don’t fit. What does this have to do with being mentally stuck? It allows you to enjoy and celebrate the body you have now, instead of wasting energy wishing for the body that you are still working for.
If the obsession with the numbers is what has you down, maybe it is time to look for other signs of progress. Contrary to what we all seem to have been led to believe, sometimes the numbers hardly change at all. That goes for jean size, scale weight, and measurements. So where do we go for more honest feedback? Pictures. It is extremely common for me to see a client frustrated with their numbers, only to look back and realize they haven’t sent me any progress pictures. They don’t want to take them, because they feel like nothing has changed. When I insist, there is almost always a very noticeable change between starting and current pictures with little to no change in weight or possibly even measurements. Things just shift around sometimes and the numbers become misleading. That is why it is so important to visually document your journey.
Then there are the behavioral changes that don’t get recognized. Are you one that never exercised before or even gave it much thought, and now it has become a habit or even <gasp> something that you enjoy? Did you actually pack a cooler on that business trip and find it much easier than it would have been before? Are there things you have learned along the way that you could never go back on? In other words, write down your AHA moments, and go back to them. Behavioral changes that support your goal make for lasting, permanent, sustainable results. THAT is something to celebrate.
When you are getting burned out on the process, even if it is just time for a break, look back at how far you have come. Recognize the new behaviors that have left a permanent and positive stamp on your life. Veering off your path, is not the same as falling off completely. Take a moment to enjoy the now, by letting go of the overwhelming end of your story. There isn’t one.