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Why am I NOT getting results?

Sep 9, 2013

First of all, I want you to step away from the scale! Why do I say this? Because ultimately the number on the scale does NOT, and should NOT, dictate your worth as a person, nor whether or not you're going to have a good or a bad day! Health comes in many forms that is not grounded in the LED numbers that pop up when you step up on the scale every morning.

Gaining fitness and strength are measured in how you feel and how you move throughout the day, and of course by how you're fitting in your clothes. Stepping on the scale each and every day offers nothing but a distraction from the bigger, more important picture. I used to be a weigh-myself-every-morning-completely-naked-after-I-pee-so-there's-no-extra-weight kinda girl. But I've had a light bulb moment since then.

I realized that one of two things would occur depending on what number popped up: I'd see a number within my "range" and be happy and ready to start my day (maybe even allow myself to eat a little more since I had "room" to splurge!), OR I'd see a number that wasn't what I was hoping for and I'd immediately become moderately depressed, wondering why I do all that I do to stay healthy, which would leave me having a less than stellar mood for the rest of the day. Word of advice, break up with your scale! Now, on to the topic at hand...

Since we're talking about why you may not be getting the results you set out for, maybe there's some truths you need to come to with yourself. Below I'm going to touch on several reasons you may not be feeling fitter and fitting better into your britches.

  1. You're exercising, which is great, but you overcompensate with your food intake. You might even "reward" yourself for the hard work you put in during your workouts. This is truly a setback for a lot of people. Why put in all that hard work just to cancel it out with food that doesn't do your body any good? Treat yourself with food that's going to help build muscle and decrease your risk of disease down the road...just don't over do it!
  2. You're not getting enough sleep. Yes, sleep is important for results. You may think you need to wake up extra early or go to bed later to squeeze in more exercise, but without sleep everything you do in the gym becomes null and void. Results happen during recovery, and sleep is one of our recovery mechanisms.
  3. You're drinking a lot of sugary drinks. We often forget that things in liquid form actually do have calories and other ingredients that may hinder results. Just because you're not chewing it, doesn't mean it doesn't count! Be careful with flavored vitamin-enhanced drinks, coffee, tea, and other beverages (including the "bad guys" like soda and alcohol, of course!) that can easily sway results if had too often.
  4. You're portions are off the charts. Since you're exercising you need to make sure you're eating on a regular basis. The added activity, especially strength training, requires a good amount of nutrition to sustain what you're doing. However, much like my first point, don't use your workouts as an excuse to pile on the portions--even if it's clean food like chicken, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. These are great, but MORE is not necessarily better!
  5. You're skimping on food. The adage about EAT LESS and MOVE MORE is old research. As I just said, your activity level requires adequate nutrition to keep you energized and your metabolism up. Restricting nutrition by not eating not only hurts your metabolism by slowing it down, but YOU'LL BE STARVING and probably REALLY hard to live with...and nobody wants that!
  6. You're not pushing yourself during your workouts. Be honest with yourself: Are you working as hard as you can? Could you give a little more when you're going through a circuit? Are you truly reaching your potential? In order to fully benefit from the time spent exercising, you have to reach a level of discomfort...not pain...discomfort. You know, that feeling of "Gosh I really wish this was over, my muscles are exhausted!" The fact is that we get the best results from exercise when we reach a threshold of fatigue during a particular movement. Unfortunately, this doesn't feel pleasant. If exercise, when done correctly, felt pleasant don't you think more people would do it?!
  7. You're simply not working out enough. You know me, I'm all about balance, right?! I'm certainly not saying you need to workout Biggest Loser style, 4 hours a day every day. What I'm saying is that you have to be consistent each week, getting 2-3 days of strength training in with 2-3 days of cardiovascular training as well. In other words, you have to be dedicated to MOVING YOUR BODY in and outside of the gym!

We'll stop there for now. If none of these things sound like you, then maybe you have some other underlying health concern that you may want to address with your doc. There are certainly many reasons why you may not be losing weight or building muscle like you originally set out to do. If you have any questions regarding the things I've rattled on about, shoot me an email any time. I'm here to help!

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