As someone who has seriously been struggling to regain gym motivation and solid determination, I’ve been trying to find any muse I can. I was reading an article about the things we all do while trying to get healthier or stronger, and how we get in our own way sometimes.
I’ve been having the worst time with balancing finances, personal & work stress, meal prepping and making a commitment to find time for my workout routines. All on top of being able to write about it. It’s not easy to multi-task while being and Empath (see last week’s post here). I take a lot of my problems head on, but lately, I’ve felt lazy. That’s really all there is to it. I could sit here and explain why or what’s going on to provide excuses, but it’s sheer laziness. I’ve become tired. I’ve hit plateaus before, but never like this. Even the times I do get to the gym, or meal prep for a week, I am finding myself discouraged and lacking the drive to keep it up.
The 6 Bad Habits that Prevent You from Seeing Results outlined a lot of key things for busy individuals that are mindful yet at times, preoccupied with other life tasks. It outlines the following:
Eating Too Little
They say in the article that estrogen levels in women tend to protect the loss of stored energy, decreasing the metabolism to keep the energy sustained from your food intake. “When resources (calories) are scarce, the body prioritizes essential functions (like respiration, and regulating body temperature and blood pressure) over things like rebuilding muscle tissue. Inadequate food intake makes it nearly impossible to increase muscle strength or size, and the energy deficit can seriously weaken your power in training sessions in general.” Basically, the less you eat, the more your body preserves and the more your functional systems shut down.
Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein helps replace the amino acids used during cardio, such as a significant run, or helps fatigued muscles repair themselves after weightlifting in the gym. Under eating sabotages recovery. Period.
Doing Too Much Cardio
It makes you feel productive, but produces cortisol as a reaction to stress, which is essentially what you’re doing to your body. The best way to do cardio, if you do it at all, is to make sure you’re utilizing the interval method. Even if it’s simply one or two times a week, it’s better for overall fitness and body composition goals than a straight and steady hour of the same pace.
Eating provides fuel… an old trainer of mine said you wouldn’t go on a road trip without filling up your car’s gas tank, right? So why is your body any different? Eating beforehand helps burn fat more efficiently, according to Determinants of resting lipid oxidation in response to a prior bout of endurance exercise. Just as well, not eating after a gym session is frowned upon too – you need to replenish your exhausted resources. The same article states that women don’t use as much glycogen as men and both proteins and carbs are great post-workout snacks.
Succumbing to the Scale
First of all, that number is ONLY your relation to gravity; not a reflection of your worth. All weight fluctuates on a scale, regardless of who it is. Weight fluctuates in a female body by about one to two pounds within a given day, and muscle weighs and displaces different than fat would on the body. What matters is the feeling when you put on a shirt that used to be tight.
Taking your Body for Granted
You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. We are our biggest critics when it comes to our bodies. Look at where you started – and look at how far you’ve come since then! Even if it hasn’t been that long on your journey, you’re lapping people who AREN’T doing something about it. You are a powerhouse, and you need to know it.
I’d also like to add a 7th: Drinking ANY kind of Alcohol
Drinking causes ANY and all Fat or Sugar burning to cease. Your metabolism goes the opposite of what we all want – it flips the fat storing switch to the ‘on’ position, as well as the liver and muscles not being able to store sugars as glycerin for later. For any ladies using hormonal contraceptives – and I JUST found this out – issues with alcohol and your plateau are correlational. It’s said that supplementing with B6 should be a daily requirement.
When I read this, I was like, “OMG I’m currently doing all of those things!” No wonder, I’ve slipped back into the ‘comfy’ mindset and have gradually relaxed on half of the habits I’d taken so long to build.
It’s hard to eat healthy and create or foster a positive environment for yourself when you don’t share that lifestyle with your partner or are struggling with the demands of grocery shopping and what that costs, either through time or money.
I’m not weighing and measuring my food consistently, I’m fasting or eating too little during the days at work, and binging on whatever I have at home after I’m off work and in my comfy pants. I weigh myself each day, and as the scale goes up, my motivation and demeanor goes down. No wonder I’m stressed!
The thing I have to realize (and you should, too) is that we are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy if we continue to talk to ourselves like we're‘losing’ at losing weight. It’s not about that. It’s about consistency; it’s about changing our mind set and making positive “self-talk”. My inner dialogue, as a co-worker said to me today, needs to have the negativity-weed plucked out from my positive-thought-garden and get back to what’s important – nurturing and watering the seed of enhancements of my health, my relationship with food and my body-positive self-image.