I just got back from a training session with my strength coach, Bret Contreras, and was inspired to write this blog as I thought about the past few months of my fitness journey. My past months also seem to align with many of my clients’ complaints or woes over the course of the last 2 years that I have been online coaching and decided to bite the bullet and talk about something that is actually going to make me uncomfortable, but it must be said.
Here is the honest truth- I have attempted to cut probably 4 different times in the past 4 or so months with little success. Is it because I am incapable of losing body fat? No. It is because I just didn’t seem to have the motivation. Lately, when faced with a decision to choose something healthy at a restaurant I would rather not. When asked to catch a training session, I would rather relax. I kept thinking “ugh, I have such a long way to go to get back to the stage, I’ll start later”. So there you have it- it happens to all of us.
So what flipped the switch? I haven’t said much because I literally don’t want to scare my motivation away, but I have strung together a couple good weeks (finally) and am ready to talk about how I started to “want it” again. Here are the top 5 mistakes I made during my initial cutting attempts:
- I didn’t love the body I was in at that current moment. This is literally number one. I reverse dieted and gained some extra weight and I started to look at myself with less than a loving eye. I wanted to rush out of this body I was in and into my new body and was impatient and stressed- you can’t cut in that mindset
- I went too hard too fast. I decided to wake up super early 5 days a week when I had never done it once. I ended up having trouble adhering to my macros being up 3 or 4 hours longer each day as well as being tired. If you want to change your schedule in a way that affects your sleeping habits- slow and steady would be my recommendation.
- I played the comparison game. Those “motivational” pictures of shredded girls- yeah those don’t help me. They just fed into #1 and made me feel worse.
- I tried to skimp on rest days- and got burnt out. My advice is to schedule your rest days in and commit to them. I would feel good and skip them until I felt like absolute crap and realized why…
- When I went over my macros, I self sabotaged, and said “eff it!” and didn’t track the rest of the night, or, heaven forbid, the rest of the day if the mistake was at breakfast. Slight changes in consistency won’t hurt as much as huge changes in consistency. Don’t let your attempts to be perfect ruin your ability to give yourself grace when you aren’t perfect.
Now that we got those out of the way, I also want to list the top 5 things that have been making cutting easier these past 2 weeks:
- I have forced myself to say something positive about myself each day.
- I have woken up each day with a grateful spirit. You have no idea how this can set the tone for your day. I was reading in either Wayne Dyer’s THE POWER OF INTENTION or Rhonda Byrne THE SECRET (I was reading them simultaneously) to say “thank you” to yourself as you take your first steps out of bed in the morning. Sounds cheesy, but totally worked at putting me in the right state of mind to kick my day off.
- I have been keeping a closer eye on my sleep than my calories burned. When I’m exhausted, I’m starving. When I’m starving, it isn’t pretty. Enough said.
- I have surrounded myself with supportive and positive people. I can’t take credit for this but I have heard- you are only as good as the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose your tribe wisely. If you have toxic things going on in your life, or people who drain your energy, reconsider the amount of time you spend with that person- allocate your energy wisely- we all only have so much.
- Practice self- care. I gave myself permission to ask for help if I felt over stressed. I usually try to do everything. Our day and age is of the “wonder woman!” she does it all! I gave myself permission to not “do it all” and take a nap, or read a book I wanted to read instead of working on my next project, or take a long walk outside, etc. You get the drift. PS nature and fresh air really can do wonders.
Hopefully, my little lists help a few others stuck in a rut. I’ve learned that forcing change isn’t the way. Having a relaxed and open mind and inviting change while being content with where I am, seems to be the way. Working with my body; not fighting it.
Cheers to a fun and amazing 2016 competitive year and one complete with good vibes and flowing motivation.