Don’t lose progress

You’re making progress in your quest to become more fit. Maybe that means building muscle or losing weight (fat), but whatever you’re doing is working. There will come a day when you start to see less off a gain (or loss, depending on how you want to look at it). This happens to everyone. You can only be so fit, so strong, or so light. There are physical limitations to what a human being can be composed like.

strive-for-moreI was at a conference called The Audience Conference recently and one of the speakers, Dan Patterson, made a very insightful point: tighten the hell up. You can think you’re crushing it, but in the bigger scheme of things you’re sloppy and could do way better. Don’t just settle for what you think is awesome. Be awesome. Do that or you’ll fail.

When you reach your goal or ‘the plateau’ you’ll regress into your old habits. Maybe you’ll start eating out more, or when you’re eating out, eating less healthy foods. This is because you made it to where you need to be. Unfortunately if you continue on that course in that mindset, you’re going to fall back to where you were.

This is when, most of all you need to tighten the hell up. Buckle down and stick your face to the grindstone. It’s time to push your goals out beyond where you think you can attain them and kick it up a notch. What you’ve been doing so far to see such significant gains will only maintain you now.

Cheat meals and missing exercise dates will work to a point as long as your overall fitness plan is sound and you’re sticking with it, but at some point you’re going to need to buck up and lose your cheat meals and never miss an exercise date. You might even need to start exercising more.

That’s the problem I have with ‘diets.’ People that ‘diet’ usually stop at some point and then lose all of their progress. What you need to really do is change your diet for life, not ‘go on a diet’ and you’ll make permanent changes that last forever. If you can change your habits, you’ll succeed in your fitness goals and go way beyond. It’s all about changes to the unconscious decisions you make in your life.

I’m writing about all of this, because I’ve begun to plateau in my own efforts. The amount of weight I can lift isn’t accelerating like it used to, and I’ve been floating just under 200 lbs for about three weeks. I understand that a lot of that weight has been muscle traded for fat, because I can see it in my physique, but none the less, it’s de-motivating when I’m still 20 lbs away from my goal of 180 lbs.

As a result of that de-motivation, I’ve managed to slip in my diet and gym visits, which in turn showed an upward tic in my weight on the scales – and I suspect that wasn’t adding muscle. I’m publicly telling myself right now that I need to tighten the hell up and push harder. Can I reach that goal by the end of the year? We’ll see.

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