Summer is HERE, showing its lovely sweltering face once again… and you have that new bikini you bought as weight loss inspiration waiting for you in the drawer upstairs.
Except... you aren't that excited thinking about said bikini. In fact, you're overwhelmed with anxiety and get small pangs in your stomach when it crosses your mind. "I should have purchased that cover-up." Girl, I KNOW! Even though you've been busting your butt more than ever, this workout program just isn't delivering what you'd hoped. And honestly, there are few feelings in this world that suck as much as putting everything you have into something, having practical expectations, and watching them fall flat, wondering if there’s any hope at all for a rational explanation.
We’ve all been there… convinced that we won't ever get control over our body and that it will always work against us. This is followed by child-like urges to throw in the towel or at least take a week off from the gym (which tends to roll into two weeks, then maybe three, and so on…).
The start of the yo-yo workout cycle begins again... worn out, tired, just wanting to give up. The "if this is how my body is, then I might as well stop punishing myself" train of thought.
But you don't have to quit. Not this time. In fact, here are the top 3 reasons for why workout plans fail to deliver, and how to never quit one ever again:
PROBLEM 1. Your Nutrition Isn't Right
About 80% of physical change actually comes directly from nutrition. Just 20% of physical change is a result of your workout routine. I know, shocking, right? No one tells us this stuff! But we are telling you... you cannot work out a poor diet.
A poor diet is a poor diet, and both skinny and overweight people are victims. You just can't see it in the naturally thin. Trust us on this one though--the damage is being done internally and will likely show up down the road.
If you are the type who is a naturally curvy girl with thighs for days, certain phases of life shaped you to think something was wrong with you ( I’m looking at you, college). The truth is, the damage is the same in all shapes and sizes, some of us just don't get the luxury of remaining ignorant to what food does to our body, and thank God for that, because it wakes us up sooner! Desiring physical change should not come from hating yourself for being different. It should come from knowing with every fiber of your being that your body was designed to be stronger and leaner. You deserve the discipline of good nutrition.
So what does good nutrition look like? It's portion control, drinking your bodyweight in ounces of water, eating complex carbs, aiming for 3-4 servings of veggies and 2-3 servings of fruits, using clean oils like coconut and olive, making your own dressings and marinades of real ingredients, incorporating healthy fats in the right quantities, and adding in lean sources of protein.
If the idea of trying to do this yourself is overwhelming that is exactly what KKWellness Consulting is for! We can help you build a meal plan based on your individual needs and the foods you actually like to eat!
It's removing processed foods from your diet and cooking as much on your own as possible with raw natural ingredients. It's limiting alcohol, despite what your friends might be doing. And it's indulging only on the things that really truly count, because you know deep down, not everything can be a celebration.
Find a social circle that supports your goals. Take the time to master food prep on Sundays, and arm yourself with healthy eats throughout the week. Be an example for your friends and family, versus the other way around.
PROBLEM 2. You're Focused Only On Short Term Aesthetic Goals
Most of us will admit that our motivation for working out stems from the panic of wearing a specific outfit for an upcoming event or giving ourselves "the room" to indulge with friends on the weekend.
For many of us, losing weight is like a sprint for a very brief moment of time. Raise your hand if you've hit close to your goal, and then leave that habit in the dust, burnt out from the effort? What are you doing wrong?
Well, a couple things...
The first mistake is having superficial goals and no patience. The second is that these goals are aimed at short-lived highs. We go on fad diet after fad diet, live our lives in extremes of deprivation and celebration, and hate ourselves on both ends of the spectrum. The definition of insanity is literally doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, but we are trained like hamsters to literally do just that! Talk about being FED UP… (pun intended).
The trick to getting out of this mindset is knowing this: as long as you are doing the right things, your body will change itself naturally, in its own time. In fact, losing weight slowly (about 0.5 per week versus 2 lbs) puts you at less risk of regaining that weight back, because your body has time to re-calibrate at each new weight increment. Focusing your efforts on building an active lifestyle, versus looking good in that dress for that one night or in that bikini for that one season, is the only certain way of ensuring you're never on a diet and are living a life in harmony with your body versus against it. Now doesn't that sound like a damn good life?
Fitness is both a mind and body journey. Negative self talk should not be in the driver's seat here. It's positive self talk, patience with your body, finding a workout style that you truly enjoy, a community to do it with, and doing it over and over again that guarantees success. Find value in the marathon, set your sprinting shoes aside. Respect yourself and where you are NOW, knowing with every day, you're even BETTER. And know that your fitness style will always change. There is no finish line. Just a lifelong journey of multi-faceted growth.
PROBLEM 3. You Stay In Your Comfort Zone
You may have heard this phrase before, but allow me:
"If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done." - Thomas Jefferson
Changing your body is done in two ways: challenging your muscles, and challenging your brain. We would even go so far as to say that when we choose a fitness routine, we are actually choosing a mental exercise, and our body simply follows.
Many of us spend years staying in our comfort zone, doing workouts and activities we know we can do: elliptical, long distance running, some crunches, some wall sits, a random body-pump class here, a dabble in yoga there, and maybe a few dumbbell exercises. We figure, "As long as I'm burning calories, my body will burn fat, and I will find that body that I just know is hidden beneath the layers of bagels, mixed drinks, negative self talk, and ice cream."
This never works! Simply put, the body will adapt, and thus maintain its present state, when under low stress. If it doesn't HAVE to change, it simply won't. No wonder so many of us don't get the results we expect!
Real physical change comes from pushing past the current limits you've set for yourself. You know, the really tough stuff you've never done before, where you aren't sure you can do it and you have to play games with yourself to make it through? That’s where the magic happens.
In order to change your body for the better, give it something it has never seen before. Take your body by surprise, so the only way to adapt is to morph.
Real fitness that changes you takes mental training. And believe it or not, your body will do whatever you tell it to. Even on that last rep where your whole body is shaking and you think you'll fall… tell yourself to keep going, and your body WILL follow.
The problem is, most of us get stuck, because we allow our minds to give up before our bodies have a chance to!
If you're saying things to yourself like, "I can't possibly do that exercise move, I am just not ready" or "I can't go one more rep, it hurts,” STOP RIGHT NOW. Turn that thinking around and simply say, "Yes I can. It won't be perfect, but I am going to try." Every single person who has achieved something, started at the beginning. It's the mental push time and time again, between the beginning and the final achievement, that strength is built and lasting change occurs.
Only YOU can decide if you WILL do something. Once you accept that moments of discomfort are also moments of growth in action, your horizons change, the possibilities are endless, and there is always another level to push towards. When you really have to focus on what you are doing, that is how you know you are in the right place. When you can't tune it out and just go with the motions, that is how you know you are on the road to guaranteed results!
Your time is precious. If you're going to use it in an effort towards a better you, don't half-ass it! You are worthy of so much more than just staying in your box. Use your precious time and energy to its fullest capacity! Get out there, and do something new that will make you proud. Do something you've seen others do that you swore you couldn't. We promise you, you got this! And one day, when you look backwards on the old you, you'll be so proud. Remember...
...Muscles grow and shrink, but mental strength lasts forever.