Well....maybe that is too general of a statement to make, some might even call it unfair; HOWEVER, hear me out. I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that since the year came in, I allowed stress (burn out rather) to affect my fitness journey...up until this past May...
May is when I started my "Summer Weight loss Challenge 2018" aka #SWLC18 (as I so affectionately call it on my @Niathlete page (fitness Instagram account)). I am currently over halfway through it... and it has been a very memorable part of this "life fitness journey" of mine lol. I started this summer weight loss challenge on Sunday, April 29th, 2018.
I started off FULL steam ahead...
For example, I:
-woke up at 5:30 or 6am (one time even 4:30am) to get my pre-workout in
-dusted off my calorie tracker app, and ensuring to enter everything I ate or drank
-was super prepared at night to ensure I wouldn't be groggy when it'd be time to wake up for my morning workouts
-got in a 2nd daily workout (if possible)
Fast forward to June 1, 2018 (over 1 month since starting), I weighed in and took my 1st month measurements and got the following:
Pounds lost: 4
Waist: 1.5 inches
Stomach: 2 1/4 inches
Arms: 1/4 inch
Hips/Booty: 3/4 inch
Thighs: 0 inches
While I made great progress, I'd be a lie if I didn't say that I wasn't kind of disappointed at first. I was expecting to lose at least 6 lbs. I began to feel better when I remembered the goal was, "FAT LOSS" and the decreasing of inches was indication of that. What that being said, I chose to continue on my journey.
.............Monday June 4th comes around and it seemed as if my motivation had vanished overnight. My significant other had to almost pull me out of the bed that morning to get my morning exercise in. I just was not feeling it...I felt like I had lost all mental engagement....... on my walk that morning, I felt.. "off". Like something had changed... but I chalked it up to just having a bad morning. That was until-one "bad morning", turned into 2, and 2 bad mornings turned into a week; and 1 week of bad mornings turned into TWO weeks... *sigh*. I'm sure as you're reading this you can see where I'm going.
You might even be thinking, "EXCUSES!...just get out the bed, and do the work!... Feeling slightly disappointed, I was indeed in a slump but to be honest, I am generally a positive person when it comes to "goals". Not meeting any anticipated goals (in the case, not losing the # of pounds I wanted), generally makes me push harder; HOWEVER, this time was different.
To put this in context, there are times when I am on top of my goals; and then there are times when even I get into what seems like a permanent slump. I'd say all of June, and the first couple of weeks of July were like that for me. I experienced: insomnia, fatigue, increased cravings, and irritability (to name a few symptoms), which were in part triggered by stress, and underlying health issues that came out of nowhere.
I am a therapist; and I have a whole lot of tools to deal with stress... but sometimes a person needs more than that. Sometimes a person just needs time to process everything they are trying do. I am taking that time and re-evaluating my fit goals. I've even re-assessed my original reason for starting this summer weight loss challenge, and made some mental/ day to day adjustments.
My point in writing this is, to get people to take into high consideration their mental/emotional state when starting a "diet" or aiming to lose weight...ESPECIALLY if you're trying to reach a weight loss goal during a stressful time in your life. Stress will inevitably impact your journey (unless you've done the legwork to address any barriers); it's up to you to find ways to not let it STOP your journey.
My suggestion to anyone looking to lose fat, (but also has a lot of stress going on in his/her life), is to:
1. identify any stressful triggers (stressful job; stressful relationship; etc)
2. write down at least 1 way to address/work around each trigger when it comes between you and your eating healthy/exercise
3. write down at least 3 positive coping skills (it would help if at least one of these can be done on the job--considering that's where a lot of us spend most of the day)
4. aim for at least 6 hours of sleep
5. drink enough water, daily
6. set boundaries for stressful people and/or situations
If I am a missing anything, feel free to leave further suggestions in the comments.
Remember, all of the above is just advice (based off my work experience and personal fitness journey). My call to action to you: If you are trying to lose weight... be aware of where you're at mentally/emotionally AND work around that to maximize your success!
For more physical health and/or mental health content, feel free to browse the rest of the site. Thanks for reading!