You are 3 months in to a weight loss journey, you have lost 15lbs but have hit a plateau and the scale hasn’t budged in two weeks. You are instantly frustrated and contemplating dropping this lifestyle change idea and going back to your crackers and cheese for lunch, two glasses of wine a night and “no where to be seen gym membership” life. Please don’t do that, you have come too far.
This is the most difficult part of changing your lifestyle (well maybe besides committing to start it) and the most difficult part of my job as a coach…staying consistent to the plan and being patient when the results aren’t what you want.
My job consists of a lot of workout programming and macro calculations, but I spend 4-7 hours a day (and via email) reminding my clients that consistency and patience will determine whether they reach their goals or not. I have said this in a previous post, but we live in a world where patience is non existent and this is never more evident than in the fitness/weight loss industry. I am in a constant battle with marketing promotions of people losing 50lbs in a 2 months and even with stories of relatives or co workers “losing weight faster than me.” This makes my days interesting and I love it.
I get it. I really do. You want fast results. I would like them too. But, the faster you get to where you want to be the faster you will most likely lose it. Your body is looking for stability all the time and the more extreme your measures are in losing weight the more your body (and mind) will want to rebel in the opposite direction. If you don’t believe me look up all the contestants on The Biggest Loser. The majority have put the weight back on because measures were too extreme and they did not develop habits on their own. Or look up those 500 calorie diets where you take like two drops of some hormone every morning and lose 5lbs a day. Yup same thing, people put the weight back on. Now, if you need to lose 100lbs, major lifestyle change habits needed to be adopted immediately. That doesn’t mean not eating for 3 days though. Keep that up, I dare you.
Changing your mindset to one of consistency and patience is very hard to do, but you must be able to do it for sustainable results. Ya know, avoiding that yo-yo diet. Unfortunately I can’t change your mindset, I can only keep reminding you to and hopefully that day will come when it “clicks” for you. That is the most gratifying part of my job.
Consistency. This means day in and day out you follow your plan; assuming it is getting you results. This is constant daily grind and isn’t always “fun” because it requires you to do a lot of the same things over and over and over again. That is life though, if you truly want results you will find a way to deal with it. BUT, 99% of people fail at losing and maintaining weight loss because they fell off the plan!! Not because the plan was bad! You need to love the grind, you need to enjoy making yourself healthier and you need to keep your long term goals in mind, not just how you will look in that dress when you are out with the girls on Saturday.
See, I found out I liked that consistent grind a few years back. I found I loved to lift weights, push myself, lay in a pool of sweat after 30 minutes of HIIT because the results and confidence I received from my hard work were so worth it! If you say “I don’t like to exercise” keep looking and find something that you do like! I think there has to be something out there at this point. Right??? Something that gives you confidence and gets you RESULTS. Once you find it stick to it, don’t try it for 2 weeks then try “that” for 3 weeks then “give that other trendy class a shot.” Find something and stick to it, for months! Make a commitment ride it out for 3 months or 6 months or two years. Trust me, any consistent exercise/nutrition plan for two years will most likely give you results. I write 6-8 week lifting programs for myself for a reason. It keeps me on track for those 2 months so I can stay consistent and not do a bunch of random shit in the gym that wont give me noticeable results. Every 8 weeks I make tweaks to my plan to avoid boredom, but for the most part my plans stay similar because my goals are in the forefront of my mind and I am always consistent. There are days I don’t want to work out, but if my plan is thrown off and I am behind I will be kicking myself next week. Don’t give up after two weeks because you thought you would be down 10lbs and you are only down 6lbs. Progress is progress. Take it and keep grinding.
Patience. This is riding out that consistent grind through your ups and downs because it won’t always be easy. This is how I look at patience. If you are 25 years old or 45 or even 65 you have years left to live. Wouldn’t you rather see a gradual, sustainable progress over the next 3 months so you can see enormous progress over the next 10-50 years? Maybe you wouldn’t, but I would. I will give a client example for this because she is the epitome of patience and developing a mindset of improving her long term health. Her results with me will not be short lived, I am confident in that.
I have been training Michelle for nearly three years. I picked her because I have been training her longer than anyone so we have been able to see great times of success, but also weight loss and strength plateaus working together. She has trusted me, trusted the plan I put together for her and stayed patient. If she had not been patient she wouldn’t be in the best shape of her life at 50. It has not been a consistent 1lb a week weight loss for 3 years because that isn’t possible, but her results are simply amazing. She has lost 25lbs, 6% bodyfat, can deadlift 60lbs more than her bodyweight, and this has come with patience. She was not looking for a quick fix when she hired me. She was looking to improve her health and body for the rest of her life! She got out of her comfort zone with resistance training and committed to a change. I am not saying you need a trainer or coach for the rest of your life, but I am saying you need be patient and remember that you have a lot of life yet to live. Any progress you are making now is progress that you should be proud of. When Michelle wasn’t losing weight she was improving in other areas of her health such as nutrition habits or getting stronger. She was never taking a step back or starting over.
If you can’t stick to a consistent exercise and nutrition regimen, then my guess is you need to find something else you enjoy doing so you can be consistent. Or you just need to buckle down and commit. Thinking about committing is great! Actually committing is when the amazing results come.
Once the timing is right to commit make sure you are committing for the long run. It will be so worth it. Thanks for having the patience to read this long post 🙂