What happens when despite all your best efforts, the scale goes up instead of down?
It can be frustrating and demotivating, and make you want to throw in the towel for good.
However, it is helpful to know that we have all been there.
It’s how you handle the disappointment that counts.
Let me share with you a recent chapter of my own story.
In January, I started a new 12-week exercise routine. I had grown tired of the exercises I’d been doing for years, and started to lose momentum. I figured a new routine would re-ignite my enthusiasm.
For the first month, I felt excited to be going to the gym again. I liked my new exercises and I was feeling strong. After 4 weeks, I weighed in and all my numbers were great. I was so motivated.
The second phase of my routine increased in intensity. I was required to go to the gym 6 days a week; 75 minutes at a time. This was a much larger commitment than I had been doing in the past. Fitting this time into an already busy schedule was no easy task. It meant meticulous planning and sometimes a 5:00AM or 10:00PM workout; but I was committed.
When the second phase ended, I was eager to see what my results would be. Interestingly enough, after all my hard work and dedication, the scale went up instead of down! No, it was not from increased muscle mass. In fact, my muscle mass remained pretty much the same, but my body fat went up. Bummer!
At this point, it would be so easy for me to say, “Forget it.” But the next day, I was back at the gym and on to Phase 3.
Why didn’t I quit?
Because fitness is a process; it is not a quick-fix.
Instead, it forced me to take a good hard look as to why I didn’t see the results I thought I would. I had to be honest with myself and admit that maybe I didn’t do things as well as I thought I had.
For instance, perhaps I was consuming more food than I really needed. I was using the old “I-worked-out-today” excuse to have extra portions.
I looked at areas I could cut back on; I didn’t really need dried fruit on my oatmeal when fresh blueberries were a lighter, cleaner choice. Did I really need a whole banana in my post workout shake? Or could a handful of grapes do the trick?
Was I indulging too much on my favorite dark chocolate squares?
Was I really drinking enough water and getting enough sleep?
Did I increase my weights consistently enough? Was I sleepwalking through the cardio?
Or maybe a routine of this intensity is just too much for me right now at this stage in my life. Instead of building me up, it could be breaking me down. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be just that.
And finally, was I really giving it my all?
When I looked closely, the answer was no.
While I may not have seen the results I wanted, I know that I am in much better shape than when I started two months ago. That is enough to keep me going
Now I want you to think about your own journey.
What do you do when the going gets rough and the scale slides the opposite way? Do you just give up? Do you blame the process, or the weather, or your own misfortune?
Do you have the courage to answer the question; “Did I give it my all?”
I don’t think we can ever say with 100% certainty… so keep looking for those areas of growth and improvement. Keep looking for reasons to keep going; not reasons to quit.
Stretch into your better self, and the rewards will follow. Trust that they will.
Leave a comment below and tell me what you do when the results don’t happen as quickly as you would like?