My fat loss group is a mixed bag of people who want to whine about lack of results yet post pictures of the calorie-laden food and drink they are consuming restaurants or people (like me) who are struggling to find their happy place with diet and exercise. Both can be frustrating, but the former is enough to incite the urge to throw things. Lately there is a whole new crop of people coming in just starting on their individual better health quests, and reading the intros and questions had me diving down the rabbit hole of my own thoughts on the topic. Repurposing it here because it’s the most substantial thing I have published this week.
Mindset and consistent compliance with the program is on my mind a lot lately. I’ve started and stopped a few times since this group began, and I have seen a little improvement with my effort each time. I still don’t do fat funerals – sticking with the basic premise of the program is enough challenge for me – and from the beginning I accepted that results would be or at least could be slowed by that.
But I really don’t care much about the scale. I care more about better health and building sustainable lifestyle habits that will support that effort.
Despite not being obsessed with the scale, I still tell myself daily the it is just a fluttery .1 pound increment data point for me, especially on the days like today when that .1 pound data point is an actual 1.2 pound gain from the day before. My theory is body is adjusting, because it has been a few uneven weeks of steady loss due to unintentional extra calorie deficit by skipping or skimping on meals. The tipping point was when it started to manifest in the gym in unexpected early fatigue and began to impact my regular workouts as well as my efforts to improve. So I have been putting forth some effort to eating in my typical calorie range, and I know from personal experience things will level off. But I gotta say – it’s a little disconcerting to see the scale jump like that no matter what the reason.
What has helped me cope with disappointing data is my attitude toward it. Once I stopped thinking about the judgmental scale in terms of all I have to give up for better health, being consistent with compliance and sticking with my exercise routines has become easier to incorporate into the fabric of my life. I look at all I have gained from eating better, getting more exercise. I’ve made a new circle of friends who share my interests in improving health. I have actually fallen in love with exercise, and I’m stronger and more capable because of the hours I spend in the gym moving weight to and fro. My feelings of dread and despair every few months when it’s time for lab work (I am a type 2 diabetic) have been vanquished because I have enjoyed some success on the insides where it is not visible on the outside.
Giving up a snacks and junkier foods, going to the gym daily, having less screen time (in favor of more sleep) does not seem like such a huge sacrifice when contrasted with these gains. I’m learning and incorporating new skills that make my life better, and while it’s not been easy, it is worth the effort. Balance is no longer eluding me completely so much as being refined and fine-tuned.
My concern about a scale up-tick is actually less than my concern about shoulder and upper body soreness the last few days when it seems I have been doing nothing new or especially heavy. Getting back into my regular routine and menu of foods does contribute to the scale, but so does the extra water I have been drinking lately.
But yeah, my minor emotional freak-out is real. It probably exacerbates the larger freak-out brewing about my gym pursuits. Yet, even though I am using the incendiary term (“freak-out” has historically had very bad implications), it is just a flare in me overthinking it. This is not something where I’m deploying nuclear options on J’s brand new phone with frenzied texting while having a meltdown about my faltering with Lists; I’m mostly thinking about it and prioritizing the thoughts and feelings in the overall better health quest.
My evolution in the gym is simply that: an evolution. While it does not seem to me like I am doing more or putting forth greater effort, maybe I am? Perhaps my adaption is cresting some new, unforeseen level? To be perfectly honest, any “next level” is pretty much unforeseen for me, so yeah, it will happen. Whatever it is, for the first time in what seems like forever I reached out to trainer J yesterday with an actual training-related question about what else I might do as far as upper body warm-up. I have my basic warm-up routine I do religiously before every practice or training session morning that includes squats, single leg RDL, rows, pulldowns, chest and overhead presses. Sometimes I mix it up and do the squats and single leg RDLs and then add the upper body portion of the dumbbell matrix List. But my conclusion regarding the stiff and sore lats and tiny shoulder muscles, I felt I might be was missing something in my preparations. Being off-base about the warm-up is fine, too, because more warm-up is not going to harm or hurt my ongoing efforts.
I do take the warm-up process seriously. I want to be prepared for whatever comes next on the List or in training, so I allot time and energy to doing something List-related in advance. I’ve done my fair share of reading on the subject and judge no one for their efforts and process in their own exercise pursuits. For me, it’s as much about sharpening my mental focus as well it is physical preparation, my time to go through and listen to any joint creaks and corresponding ouchie-ness that may occur. I’m not tough; if something hurts or has potential for hurt, I use my words and report it, versus letting the bad thing happen and then yelping (in pain) my concerns.
Soooo, other than very busy with work, things are good in my world. While my FB comment is the most substantial thing I have published this week (thus far), I have Monday’s recap in progress and hope to get it posted soon. Like before tomorrow.
Until then, hope you are all well and thriving in your own better health pursuits.