It’s really easy to get discouraged when you’re first setting out on new fitness or weight loss goals, or when you’re getting really close to your goal and it takes longer to see results. I think it’s safe to say that discouragement is the top reason that people don’t make a lasting lifestyle change when they’ve decided that they really don’t like their current condition.
Possibly the best way to fight discouragement is to track your progress regularly from the time you start on a new fitness path. The more ways you have to check your progress, the better chance there is that there will be some good news for you whenever you start feeling discouraged.
Like everything else, the body and its functions are cyclical – and, as women, we DEFINITELY know all about that! It can be so easy to watch an average weight loss of one or two pounds a week, and then feel the creeping feelings of despair when that drops off or you even increase in weight for a couple of weeks.
By logging your weight and measurements every week throughout the course of reaching for your weight loss or fitness goals, you can get a lot better acquainted with the normal cycles of your body and realize when it’s a normal increase. You can also look at measurement changes and determine whether stalling in weight loss, or gaining weight, could simply be the result of gaining more muscle.
Achieving substantial weight loss and fitness goals can take a long time, and it is so great to be able to look back at the progress week-by-week since you started. On days you’re discouraged, looking back and realizing that even with that two-pound gain you’re still 37 pounds below where you started can be an excellent pick-me-up.
I’ve used just a simple Excel spreadsheet to track my progress with weight and waist, hip, thigh, arm, and chest measurements since 2008 (with a short break throughout pregnancy…it just didn’t seem fair or useful to add that in). Trust me, I’m still a LONG way from my goals, but when I see measurements still 2”-5” below my start size and a weight still 40lbs less, even seven weeks post-baby, it shows me that the past two years have certainly not been wasted and it’s definitely worth jumping back into the swing of things and working out, running, and just enjoying life.