Over analyzing your fitness journey
Why Hello There! It's been a very long time and I apologize. The last few months have been extremely busy and it was hard to find the time. Luckily, this morning I woke up at 4:45AM, had 2 eggs, a banana, coffee and I am ready to rock. I want to go over how over analyzing your routine/progress can actually be harmful.
You believe that more is better
"If I barely eat then I will lose weight!" "If I work out 3 times a day I will be shredded in a month!" Let's look at this logically.. Take a 168 hour week..If you spend 40 hours at work, lets say 49 hours sleeping, that leaves 79 hours of daily habits that you are used to. This routine has been your life for X amount of years.. It's what you know, and more importantly it's what your body knows.. How on earth are you going to change everything in a week/month? You have to realize that changing your daily routine has to come with small wins. Let me provide an example of how you can improve your health little by little.
1. Drink 2 more glasses of water per day
2. Walk 8-10k steps from when you wake up to when you fall asleep
3. See if there are healthier substitutes for foods you crave example- toast-->ezekial bread or soda --> flavored seltzer
4. Getting one more hour of sleep per night
5. Cutting screen time( phone, computer, tv) by 2 hours
6. Portion control
As you can see, I didn't say run 5 miles, I didn't say lift 5 times per week, and I certainly didn't say have kale salads for every meal. If this is new to you and it all seems overwhelming.. Know that If you complete the list above, you are already winning!
You don't give yourself enough credit
I see it all the time. I make sure that there is a clear distinction with specific goals. Let's be real.. When someone says they want to lose weight, what they really meal is they want to lose body fat. When you say you want to be stronger, you mean strength relative to your current ability and fitness status. When you say you want to build your endurance, you mean not being out breath by walking up the subway stairs or finally completing a mile run. Let me elaborate with 3 of these examples
1. Body fat loss- You wake up and get dressed. All of a sudden your pants are a bit loser, your shirt is more flattering, you feel less bloated and that smile is starting to appear. Once you step on the scale and realize that you lost 2 lbs, That smile quickly turns into despair and you feel hopeless again. What happened to that optimism? You wanted to lose weight.. You lost weight! You want your clothes to fit better, they fit great! So what is happening? You feel as if you put in 2 40 hour work weeks and your left with a 5 dollar check. All those substitutions, extra steps, extra water and exercise aren't even making a dent. You have to take into account that when you start a progressive resistance training program, Your muscle to fat ratio is going to be impacted. In this case, as the fat comes off the muscle packs on! It is up to you to keep up the intensity so this pattern of behavior continues to grow. If you get discouraged and slow down we will only be going backwards.
2. Strength- One thing I hear all the time.. " I have no upper body strength", My legs are super weak". "I have 0 core strength". So why ON EARTH are your attempting to barbell back squat or leg press 500lbs?? You do realize that moving efficiently in different planes of motion requires strength right? Why is it that people associate strength with deadlifting 300lbs or bench pressing their house? Do you realize how impressive it is to finally do your first REAL push up?? Or even more impressive.. YOUR FIRST PULL UP!? ill take that athlete over the person having a seizure on the bench press to get the weight up any day. Moving/standing with better posture--> that's core strength, properly banging out body weight squats that's core strength, holding a REAL plank for 30 seconds?? I'll take that over someones bs text while they plank any day. I mean if you couldn't perform an exercise before...and you are doing it perfectly now.. tell me how that is nothing short of amazing? You are already winning, now go learn something else and move up from there!
3. Endurance- This one is tricky because it's very clear when you can't do a push up or pull up.. However, its very easy to fall into your comfort zone when it comes to cardio. You have been jogging at the same pace for x amount of years and nothing has really come up for you to feel challenged. There are little wake up calls though.. Late for work and your running up the subway stairs and walking quickly for a few blocks.. You can't talk because your too busy breathing.. You sign up for a 5k with some friends and you realize that you are much much slower than anticipated. You have to realize that when it comes to cardiac health, it needs proper resistance. In this case, slightly elevating your heart rate during training. I will always say that it's a win if you are off your couch.. Having said that, you shouldn't be 100 percent comfortable when doing cardio. There should be some sweat, there should be an elevated heart rate, you should have that little feeling like you want to get back in your comfort zone. If you do cardio.. and your tired.. THAT IS GREAT! You should feel like you did work! Don't complain and say I am so out of shape, I am never going to do improve. If you push yourself more and more each session, you are doing more work then the guy/girl half assing in the gym for 3 plus hours.
So pat yourself on the back. Shout your progress out on social media. Be happy with the positive changes you are making! I promise you that it will all work out in the end!