“In order to get from what was to what will be, you must go through what is.”
You’ve been working out consistently for a few months now. You are actually starting to (gasp) like exercising. Even on the hard days you show up and push through. You know, those hard days when moving your body feels as easy as dragging a wet mattress up a flight of stairs? But you show up. Even when you’d rather curl up at home with a blanket and binge watch [insert guilty pleasure show here].
You’re doing the work so why the heck aren’t you getting the results you want? Aren’t you supposed to have rock hard abs and a hiney you could bounce a nickel off of?
You feel like you’ve plateaued and that makes you want to give up. You want to shake an angry fist at the universe while you eat a pint of salted caramel ice cream. I’ll show you universe!
We’ve all been there and we will probably all be there again and again. Here’s the most important thing to tell yourself.
DON’T GIVE UP NOW!
I repeat. Don’t give up. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you sort through this frustrating, spirit-challenging, completely normal phase.
Are you really working as hard as you can?
At your next workout check in with yourself and concentrate on your movements. Are you tightening your abs and glutes? Are you concentrating on your form? Are you putting in all the effort you can in that moment or are you giving up too soon?
Get the most out of each movement. You deserve it and you can do it. When you think you can’t possibly do another single rep…do one more.
Are you comfortable with feeling uncomfortable?
Nothing good comes easy. Some of the best things in life take great effort and sacrifice. Fitness is one of them. This is supposed to challenge you and it’s supposed to take time. Try to remind yourself when it feels the hardest and the most uncomfortable is when change is happening.
Are you making sure to stop when it hurts….not when it burns?
If you are performing an exercise and you feel sharp pain or anything that feels like your body is being injured, stop immediately. Talk to your trainer about modifications or different exercises to try. The burn you feel when you are strength training is different.
How can you tell the difference? If it feels like someone is stabbing your knee or lower back with a machete…that means stop. If it feels like your muscle is getting warm and stinging and you have the sudden urge to grunt like a gorilla as you power through the movement…that’s good! Keep going!
What does your time outside of the gym look like?
Are you getting the nutrition you need? (Remember, Honest offers 60 minute nutrition consultations) Are you drinking enough water and getting enough sleep? There may be too much sedentary time in your life. Remember there is an appropriate time and place to make like a sloth, but make sure to balance it with active time.
Have you asked yourself these questions and you still can’t figure out why you aren’t able to bust out of your shirt by merely flexing?
Make sure your expectations are realistic.
Remind yourself that slow, steady change is usually the type that lasts. You may be missing very subtle shifts that you don’t even realize. Take a picture of yourself at the beginning of each month and compare the pictures to each other. Think about where you were mentally a few months ago compared to now. Are you reaping emotional benefits that you hadn’t initially noticed? You’re probably changing more than you realize.
Most importantly be gentle with yourself. You are doing an amazing job! You are making tremendous strides and you should be proud of yourself for that. Just keep doing the best you can. That’s all you ever have to do.
Now put down that pint and change that shaking fist to a victory pump! You are doing it right!
Written by Loni Huston-Eizenga
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