Over the years I have helped hundreds of people reach their health and fitness goals. Losing weight, dropping pant sizes, increasing their strength and definition. Possibly the most rewarding apart has been seeing how these physical changes affected their life outside of the gym. How their increased confidence gave them the ability to try things they had never done before. How it impacted their relationships and brought back the pep in their step. Without doubt being a part of these transformations make me feel like I have the best job in the world.
Over the course of time that I would have clients working towards a goal, we would occasionally hit a plateau. Whether that be a scale that is not budging or not being able to master an exercise or get a hold of their cravings. My advice to them is to have patience, focus on the behaviors and the results will follow. Part of this advice would include stepping away from the scale. Understanding that muscle weighs more than fat and weight can fluctuate a few pounds daily from water retention. This is especially true for women as they go through their cycles. Too often I would have clients become discouraged because of a digital number that appeared on a screen. It would alter their mood and creates feelings of giving up. I found myself falling victim to this brain game as well. I was working out regularly, eating clean but found myself consistently disappointed with my daily reading. It was causing me to really question myself. Why am I even in this industry if I can’t lose 5lbs? Why will anyone want to work with me? Possibly a bit dramatic I know. But anyone who has ever had these types of conversations with themselves in their head, will understand that these words are never rational. I started to recognize that my entire mood for the day would be determined by what that number said. If it was a pound or 2 down, I was on the top of the world. But a pound or 2 up and I wanted to hide under a rock. The negative self-talk was taking over and the louder it got, the softer I felt.
I had to take a step back and ask myself “Why do you workout? Why do you want to eat clean?” My answers were because I wanted to feel good. I wanted to feel confident in my skin with my clothes fitting the way they should. I wanted energy to navigate through life. And I wanted to feel vibrant as I realize I am quickly approaching the big 4-0. When I took this step back and analyzed the true reason why I lead an active, clean lifestyle, none of it was about a number on a scale. So, I stopped. It was one year ago that I last stepped on a scale and I’ve never felt better. It first started out because I was mad at the scale. I didn’t want to fall victim to it anymore. I wanted to talk control back of my thoughts and my outlook on the day. Instead, I followed my own advice. I focused on my habits. Regular workouts, 5-6/week is when I feel best. Eating clean experimenting with recipes to keep it interesting. Giving myself a little slack when on vacation but getting right back on track once I returned. Living in a way that I don’t feel deprived but still disciplined. Not because it’s what the scale says I should do, but in a way that I feel best both energetically and emotionally.
It’s been one full year. I have no idea how much I weigh exactly and I don’t care. I feel the best I have in years. Leaner than I have been, comfortable in my skin. Energy to work 12-hour days helping people feel as good about themselves with enough left over for my little family. Focusing on the behaviors, not he numbers. Who knew following my own advice would have such a positive impact.