If you’re one of those people who begins a new workout/diet and instantly sees success and feels great, you can just go ahead and skip reading the rest of this post because…
A.) You are a freakazoid.
B.) You’re just making us feel worse about ourselves.
As I see all of the new faces at the gym this week, I’m psyched that they’re really excited right now about getting down to a healthier lifestyle, but I’m also not going to see 85% of them two weeks from now, because they are going to get frustrated and quit because they’re not seeing the results they ‘expect’. Especially when you hear their complimentary personal trainer talking a bunch of nonsense to them. I love good personal trainers… they can be a godsend for a person, but I hate the desk full of internet experts most ‘big gyms’ employ for $12 an hour plus commission. Here’s the deal. I’ll tell you straight up. It’s going to suuuuuucccccckkkk for the first two weeks. You are going to be sore, tired, hungry ALL THE TIME, and maybe slightly homicidal. You will also want to die because you get on the scale thinking you’ve at least lost a single pound, only to see that m-fer go UP three. Why. Why is the world so cruel? Because your body is freaking out, that’s why. In bootcamp, new recruits often have their feet and legs swell up to enormous sizes because the new, intense physical activity is making them retain water. Which, to a lesser extent is what you’re body is doing right now. Especially if you’re a woman, and ESPECIALLY if you’re less than 20lbs overweight. Your body is happy, so when you go and make it unhappy, you’re gonna pay so you go back to your happy place on the couch. The body can be a jerkface sometimes. So here’s what you need to do to get over the hump.
1. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WEIGH YOURSELF FOR THREE WEEKS
Until that moment you almost pee your pants in the middle of the night, as all of that excess fluid leaves your body, do not get on the scale. You’re only going to get frustrated if you do. So don’t.
2. Keep a food journal
It’s so important to be mindful of what you’re actually eating. Half eaten chicken nuggets off the kids’ plate counts. Sometimes it adds up to hundreds of calories you aren’t even aware of. We tend to overestimate the amount of calories we burn exercising. You only burn 100 calories for every mile ran/walked. So those half eaten chicken nuggets just cost you 2 miles of work. If you’re super hungry, eat veggies as your body settles down into the routine of things and quits wanting you back on the couch.
3. REST. Rest is just as important as work, even more so if you’re starting out. You need to give yourself a break. Two to three days a week. On those days, you shouldn’t do more than a little gentle yoga or stretching. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for all kinds of nonsense, and it will slow down your progress in a big way.
Most importantly, remember that it’s temporary. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t compare yourself to the freaks we’re ‘supposed’ to be like. They want you to believe that your life is going to change overnight. It isn’t. It’s really a process and a journey. You will get through it. But you have to keep moving.