Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Friday! Setbacks, motivation, and muscle vs. fat

I had a great week of workouts and training sessions with clients. I went to a Tabata class with Heidi at the Y, which was very humbling! I was seriously sore the next day.

On staying motivated during weight loss:

I had a client recently ask me for some inspiration: after lots of hard work with Weight Watchers and working out, not only did she not see the numbers go down, she gained a pound!

 Extremely frustrating.

It could be a lot of things: a heavy meal the night before, water retention, or a gain in muscle mass.*

My advice to her was that whenever you reach a setback it doesn't matter what you do in the following week- it matters what you do the moment after. It's okay to take a second to say "Ugh. That's annoying. I've been working so hard!"

But your next immediate thought should be a positive one "I''m doing great so far and I will keep it up." Don't let yourself waver- that's when giving up, skipping the next workout, or having an unhealthy meal will step in.

Your next immediate action? Something healthy or nourishing for yourself- take extra time to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal, for for a long walk, take a yoga class, spend time with your dog or kid.

We can't let setbacks define our progress, especially in weight loss efforts. There will always be days where we can't/don't eat healthy or skip a workout. There are vacations, events, illnesses, injuries, long stressful weeks at work, holidays. The important thing is to hop right back on the wagon- this will start to adapt your weight loss efforts into your life as a whole. For example, I never diet. I eat very mindfully and healthily 85% of the time, and "forgive" myself for indulgences. For example, this Mother's Day my mom wants to go to this yummy and amazing all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. This is gonna be a calorie fest. I know it. A serious calorie fest. But I can't wait! I am going to relax, indulge, and enjoy every second of it because I know the next day I will go right back to eating clean and putting healthy things in my body. With enough time, this kind of habit will become part of your lifestyle. The former me would have been anxious about the dinner, limited myself, not truly enjoyed it, felt guilty after, and consoled myself in a sugar or food binge. Pointless!

Weight loss and lifestyle changes are all about balance, hard work, persistence, and compassion for yourself.

 Have a happy and healthy weekend!

*Muscle does not "weight more" than fat. A pound is a pound is a pound. Muscle is, however, much more dense than fat, so that, by volume, it seems to weigh more. So a pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat.That's why when trying to lose weight, it can be more helpful to focus on your pants size, inches lost, body composition, and how strong, healthy and fit you feel as opposed to the numbers on the scale. Example below: 5lbs of muscle versus 5lbs of fat, for those of us more visually-minded.

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