So, you’re a few weeks into a new fitness routine. You’ve been working out regularly and you’ve made an effort to clean up your diet. You are starting to feel better physically and emotionally, so you decide to step on the scale to see how much closer you are to reaching your weight loss goal, and…..your weight has gone UP! What is happening right now?!?
First of all, I’d like to tell you that I am immensely proud of you for taking action on your decision to make healthier life decisions! While weight loss is often the driving factor that gets people started, sustained healthy habits have a plethora of benefits, and you’ve already started noticing some of them. Take a second to think through some of the positive changes you’ve noticed in the past few weeks; maybe write them down so you can see them…go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now that you have identified evidence of the positive changes achieved by your efforts, let’s talk about the scale. Your weight is simply your body’s relationship to gravity. There are many things that can cause it to go up or down on a daily (or even hourly) basis. Certainly fat loss or gain can attribute to weight loss or gain, but so can muscle loss/gain and hydration status. Your weight today is one small data point in a much larger picture. This is why we take and use additional data points to help gauge your overall progress (body fat %, muscle %, BMI, resting metabolic rate, visceral fat, tape measurements and pictures). All of these objective data points, combined with your subjective experience (those positive things you reflected on a minute ago) paint the true picture of your progress.
What can you do, though, if your overall progress still isn’t what you were expecting?
First, I would suggest evaluating your expectations; if your expectations aren’t realistic, you are setting yourself up for failure from the outset. What are your goals? Have you written them down? If you haven’t, take a minute to do that and make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound). If your current goals are all long-term, break them down into more manageable, short-term goals so that you can better gauge your progress along the way. Maybe start like this: Where do I ideally see myself in 5 years? What will I need to accomplish each year to make that happen? In order to make this year’s goal, what should my monthly goal be? Now that you have a monthly goal, ask yourself if it is realistic. If it is, you are ready for the next step!
Next, you will need to make a plan. Just like your goals, this plan needs to be SMART. Saying that you are going to exercise and watch what you eat is not a plan. Instead, be very specific and write it down! Don’t go crazy here…you don’t have to change everything in your life all at once. In fact, you will likely have better results in the long run if you make your changes one at a time. Let’s say you want to establish consistency with exercise first and you have already been going to a group fitness class three times a week. What are you doing on your non-group fitness days? How could you increase your physical activity while still allowing your body adequate time for recovery? Maybe you are recovering really well and would like to try adding another group training day each week. Perhaps you aren’t ready to increase your weekly training volume, but could benefit from walking for 20-30 minutes on your non-group fitness training days. Now that you’ve decided what type of physical activity you will be doing each day, write it in your daily schedule! Make an appointment with yourself and block off that time just like you would for any other appointment. If something comes up and you have to cancel that appointment, do your best to reschedule that time for yourself. If you are unable to reschedule, get right back on track with your plan the next day. Consistency is key to a successful plan execution!
The final thing to do is to re-evaluate your plan periodically, and keep it updated to continue fueling your progress. Your journey will be unlike anyone else’s, so your plan should be unique to your current needs and life situation.
If you find that you need assistance in developing your plan, we can help! All of our members at Jubilee Fitness have an opportunity for one-on-one quarterly goal reviews with a coach. We can help you evaluate your goals and create a specific plan to reach them! We will also be there daily to offer continued accountability. If you are already a member of Jubilee Fitness, meet us at the front desk to schedule your quarterly goal review! Not a member? Contact us today to schedule a No-Sweat Intro with one of our coaches to discuss your goals, and take the first step in creating your plan to reach them!
You have started down a great path, and we can’t wait to see what you will do next!