On Fire

I have been an upswing of momentum for a while now but it wasn’t this way back in January or before then. When I started this blog I wanted it to be a place where people, like me, could come and read about how I struggled and either prevailed or didn’t. It has not been a bed of roses. I have struggled. I have felt more sore in these past five months from working out, than at any other point in my life. Further, I didn’t see any weight loss for the first four months! Nothing! And am I ever the person, when it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, that if I do not see the numbers going down, I get discouraged. So I want to take a moment to explain how I have kept going, because I have had plenty of opportunities to stop.

Track Your Progress: All of It

The best thing Jacquie ever did for me, was to have me do a fit test at the beginning of every month. I started off in January only being able to do 8 push ups. 30 squats. A mile run took 15 and a half minutes. She took my measurements. During the early months, when you naturally expect to be losing weight, I didn’t. And it hurt mentally. I was working out three times a week, doing weights for the first time, getting gross and sweaty…but I wasn’t seeing the scale move! And it was frustrating. What kept me going, literally, was each month seeing, little by little, the improvement in my physical capabilities. Suddenly I could do 15 push ups, 50 squats, I was running a minute faster. It was with that focus, that I continued at the gym. I also lost inches on my chest and legs mostly. I could feel myself getting getting stronger and faster. I stopped looking at the weight loss and focused elsewhere. And that’s the best advice I can give someone who is starting out or has hit a plateau. Re-focus and don’t get discouraged!

This train of thought leads easily to my next piece of advice:

It’s a Mental Thing as MUCH as it is a Physical Thing

Since I was a kid my parents told me that I was insanely stubborn. I was told that they could try to get me to do things but unless I made up my mind to do it, it wasn’t happening. I can safely apply this to my weight loss journey. When I first started, I had an issue with getting to the gym. “my life is too busy” and “I am too tired” were common excuses. But because I had bought a personal trainer, I went more often than not. But before January, there were sometimes when I wouldn’t got for weeks. Well, here is what I have learned about that. I find that if I go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week I have more energy and therefore am not too tired to go. And frankly? If you want it bad enough you will find the time to go. It’s very much a mental thing. If you want something in your life, you will make it happen. Going to the gym or working out is the exact same mentality.

Further, the mentality needs to be there in the gym, during your workout. You can show up, but if you aren’t going to put the effort in and you aren’t going to push yourself, you need to ask yourself why you are there. When I first started working out with Jacquie she pushed me. And I whined. But darn it, if I didn’t go the gym on my own and make myself do as much as she asked me to when I was with her. And I started to get accustomed to what effort looked like during a workout, the amount I would sweat, heart rate, pain threshold, etc. As I progressed in my expectations during the workout remained the same, if not raised, as I got more in shape. On the weekend my BodyPump instructor called the class athletes. That moment made me scoff in my head at myself. I wasn’t there mentally, to think of myself as an athlete. But today when I went to they gym that moment came back to me and was transformative. It took me mentally to a new place and my workout was exceptional! I worked at new heights, for longer and was disgusting by the end of the workout. I was so pleased with myself!!

I hope that my little nuggets of wisdom help someone with their struggles. I don’t get many comments on this blog from people, so this is more a cathartic release than anything else. But if someone is struggling or has a success story, I would love to hear about it. I honestly have been there and heck, am still there!