“I thought I wasn’t losing weight, but then I stopped exercising!” That’s right. How many times have you finally gotten off of your butt and started exercising, and it seemed like nothing is changing? You are relentless. You’re out there day after day running, lifting, squatting, and stretching. You have been at it for weeks, even months! You have gotten so addicted to exercise, you run in the snow, the rain, and even the blazing heat. But, dammit! You still don’t see any changes! That is, until you stop.
Exercise and getting actual results can play games with your mind. Again, you can be dedicated and disciplined and still not “see” any results. Your mind tells you, you are wasting your time working out based on a deceptive appearance. What is really happening is, sometimes the results are so gradual, you can’t see them. However, I guarantee you will see them if you stop exercising. And, trust me, it won’t be good. Blubber, fat, and a squishy gut will surely make its way back! What’s a girl or guy to do?
1. Ignore What You See
You really have to ignore what you see. Body changes take a while to show up in the mirror. If you are checking your butt and arms every day, it is hard to see any changes. You are better off covering your mirrors or walking by without looking. You can even set your calendar to check yourself out every 30 days instead of every 30 seconds. The changes will be more obvious and pronounced. Ok, you can still look in the mirror to do your hair, but you know what I mean. Stop staring at yourself! I’m telling you, if you stop exercising out of frustration, you will turn to mush! And, that is how you will find out the hard way, that you really were making progress. Notice I said, “were.”
2. Correct Your Diet
Just like you don’t realize how great you are doing with your daily exercise, you really don’t notice the true benefits of eating right until you stop eating right. When you stop, you start slowly feeling like crap; physically and mentally. It’s then that you miss how good you really felt. You were feeling good and didn’t even know it! Then came the fast food.
Before we move on, another reason you may not be getting results is, you are flat out eating too much. You are busting your butt in the gym, and busting open the refrigerator at the same time. Remember, to lose weight, you have to take in fewer calories than you are burning, according to the American Heart Association. The quality is also important. A good low fat, balanced diet, also helps according to a study published by JAMA as reported by the New York Times. So, don’t be getting mad a God, keep the excessive calories out of your bod! Again, eating right is like exercise, you think it’s not making a difference, but then you stop!
3. Check Your Mood
You don’t realize how good your mood has been lately until you stop exercising. “I used to feel so good and alive,” you lament. Just like you may not notice any changes in your body after months of exercising, you may not notice any changes in your mood. Again, that is, until you stop exercising. Your energy goes down, your spirit goes down and you feel even worse because you don’t look as fit as you once did.
There is science behind it. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins naturally boost your mood and well-being, according to WebMD.com. You may not notice how great you feel when you exercise regularly, but if you stop? Watch out! You will see the difference your effort was really making. So, don’t give up! You are making a difference in your mood even if you don’t notice it.
4. Your Daily Routine Matters
Even if you are not one to exercise, believe me, you are still burning calories. If you are in school, working, running a business or a stay-at-home mom on the run, you are burning more calories than you realize. If that sounds crazy to you, then stop. You will see just how much of a difference your daily routine was affecting your body.
To give you an example, when I was in grad school, it was a very intensive two-year program. At one point, we had to do one of the courses online for five weeks straight, no in-class at all. That meant no commuting, walking to class, getting that donut on the way etc. Now, when we finally returned to class, I was like, “Oh, s**t!” Everybody put on weight! Bigger butts, bigger faces, lower energy! They were all still eating donuts, but without the daily hustle! It wasn’t just the others. As soon as I sat down in class, I felt my belt cut into my gut! I had been losing weight from being in school, and did not even know it! That online class taught me more than my major!
5. Don’t Give up!
Yes, looking like you haven’t lost any weight can be very deceptive. Even though you can’t see it, you are actually shaping up and getting fit. So, don’t get frustrated and give up feeling like you are wasting your time.
I remember walking my dog every morning. We walked roughly, I mean “ruffly,” about a mile a day. I was feeling great! “Whitney,” my dog was also having a good time. But, then it got colder, and Whitney stopped cooperating. I started giving up half-way cause she kept laying down in the middle of the street, refusing to go. Next thing I knew it, we weren’t going at all. She did a quick poop on the block, and back inside. After a month in a half, everything got tight. No, not my muscles, but my pants, shirts, suits, and even my wedding ring! Yes, wedding ring!
That’s right. I was getting in shape by default! I then fell out of shape and it was my own fault! So, don’t get frustrated, get moving and stop looking at yourself! And, you know the drill… Check with your doctor before any diet or exercise pursuits!
Until then, good luck and have fun!