Right about now, a lot of people are running into a wall with their fitness and nutrition programs and It’s okay. In my time as a trainer I fully expected and prepared for it. The soreness is probably catching up to you and it’s becoming very tempting to stay in bed instead of going to the gym. The cookies and cake are calling your name from the grocery store shelves while the produce section is looking more and more like after school detention. It’s all okay. There is a simple answer to this 2 week stall, just keep going.
You’re running into resistance and that’s actually a good thing because resistance means you’re moving forward. When your muscles are sore and tight the worst thing you can do is nothing. You need to get up and move. Get the blood flowing, flush out that dead tissue and lactic acid and warm those stiff muscles up. Soreness can be a sign of many things among them that your muscles have gotten the message that they need to grow and get stronger. Also don’t confuse soreness for real pain. Let’s be honest, we have a lot of wusses in our country. Many of us don’t really understand or appreciate real pain. A little soreness is not a bad thing, discomfort is good it’s a sign of growth. I cannot count how many times I’ve heard people tell me that their lower back is sore after a deadlift workout and therefore they must be injured. No you just worked a group of muscles that you rarely challenge, congratulations.
Cravings are natural. Cravings are also something you should pay attention to because of what they can tell us about the state of our colon health. We are now beginning to understand the role that the bacteria in our intestinal tracts play in our physical and mental health. The bacteria that live in your colon can and do influence the foods you crave and want. Unfortunately many of us have grown accustomed to carbohydrate heavy western diets and our gut colon has as well. When we deprive ourselves and our gut bacteria of their favorite foods neither one of us is happy. Different types of bacteria prefer different types of food. Your diet will determine which types of bacteria become dominant in your intestines. When you adopt a low carbohydrate diet it upsets the balance of bacteria strains living in your colon. The carb loving critters are dying off, while other more beneficial types are taking over. Those cravings for sweets are just your carb loving bacteria trying to save themselves. Don’t give in, those craving mean you’re making headway.
Mentally you’re stalling because of one very simple reason, you’ve either forgotten your why or never really found it to begin with. Why are you adopting a new workout or nutrition program. “Well Coach Scott, I need to lose weight.” This is what most people say. Well guess what, no shit. Most of us could stand to lose a little body-fat, but why are you really doing this, really?
If you’re having trouble coming up with a concrete answer then you’ve identified why you’re running into a wall and why you’ve struggled year after year with your resolutions and goals. “I need to lose weight,” is not a reason, it’s a symptom. Being obese or out of shape is symptom of a bigger problem. Drug addiction and alcoholism is not a disease it’s a symptom of a disease. Drinking too much is a serious problem but you don’t drink too much because you drink. Addicts are trying to fill a hole, that hole can be depression, or self loathing, or self hate. But those too are just deeper symptoms. You need to go deeper, why are you depressed? Why do you look in a mirror and not like what you see there?
A lot of people are depressed because they feel hopeless. They feel that their life can never be better, that they can never be better. Every year they set out to make themselves better but fail and this only reinforces this notion of “it will never change!” It’s a self fulfilling cycle. If you’re going to finally figure out why you’re not happy or fulfilled or satisfied, you’re going to have to go much deeper than many of us have ever gone or are willing to go. TOO MANY people are afraid to turn off the cell phone, TV, and computer and just sit there with a pen and paper and ask themselves the hard questions. Why do I eat so much, why do I drink, why do I hate exercise, why do I avoid going to the gym? Then you take that answer whatever it is, and ask why? again, and you keep going and going until you can’t go any further.
I need to lose weight is not a reason that will keep you going when your program runs off the rails. I want to lose weight because I’ve used eating and food as a coping mechanism for self loathing and unhappiness because my parents were so wrapped up in their own BS when I was a child that me and my siblings were often neglected and made to feel worthless and I’ve carried that worthless feeling into adulthood is a REAL reason why. I tell myself I am worth nothing and so treat myself like nothing including slowly destroying my body and health with bad nutrition and poor activity levels is a truth, not a BS cop-out. The problem is you my friend are not worthless, you do matter and you do deserve more. Since you do deserve more than you deserve to treat yourself better and to become the best possible version of yourself that you physically can. I guarantee that if you focus on becoming the best person you can, physically because you deserve an optimally functioning body, that it will transcend to other parts of your life.
So let’s recap, why did you begin this journey? Why are you really unhappy with your life? Why do you really want change? Or do you really want that change? Are you brave enough, and courageous enough to be honest with yourself about what’s really going on in your heart and mind? If you can then you will have the best reason anyone could ever imagine to get your ass in the gym every morning and skip that ice cream cone after your hard workout: because you deserve better.