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Putting in the Hard Work

I’ve fallen into a hole of self-pity and loathing. The crater, this pothole, this pit where we claim to blame ourselves for where we are, but the reality is, we are blaming anything but ourselves. I’m so disappointed in myself for getting back to the weight I was pre-covid. How did I get here? It’s the stress, it’s the food, it’s the lack of exercise. I got here because I stopped putting in the hard work.

We like to hope for a quick fix when it comes to weight loss and fitness. That pill that will miraculously make us thin, the 5 min workout to 6-pack abs, the 30-day detox that is supposed to rid your body of anything bad. It’s all a fad, and none of it works, especially long term.

What I am learning, every day, sometimes multiple times during the day, is that you have to heal your mind and do the hard work for any lasting change. It’s never a one and done thing. Life happens, and you need to learn to continue to live your life but making the hard choices and putting in the hard work.

Since I started my macros journey, I loved the idea that no food is off limits. It really isn’t, but… that doesn’t mean you can eat ANYTHING and keep the weight off. It doesn’t mean you can eat ANYTHING and still lose weight. I sometimes fall into that mindset – hey, I can have that donut. Sure, a donut can fit into your macros, and you will probably be hungry later on because of the lack of true nutritional value and the next thing you know, you have eaten 200+ g carbs, 50 g protein and 100g fat. That’s not balanced macros.

To stop the “yo-yo” dieting means to find the calorie intake that puts you in maintenance. Something I have yet to find because I haven’t truly put in the hard work of discovering what that is. Maintenance is harder than anything I’ve ever done. Mostly because, I want that darn donut – and if I’m being honest, the donut will NOT make my body feel good, I shouldn’t eat the donut for that reason alone. But, if I really want the donut, eat the donut – but know that the rest of the day will need to be more intentional on the proteins and fats that I eat in order to keep things balanced. The middle ground would be to split the donut in ½, and only eat that – still being intentional about the rest of my meals, but less so because I ate less of this nutrient deficient meal.

Putting in the hard work means getting the right kind of workouts in. I get a lot of cardio in – something that is not necessary for true weight loss. But I do this because I want to run another ½ marathon. My weight loss journey is such a mirror of my ½ marathon journey – especially when it comes to not putting in the hard work. And I let the excuses take over. Some are valid, many are not. Today, I wanted to not do my workout. I did this leg day workout 3 days ago, and it just absolutely slammed me. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but my muscles were SORE! But… I did it anyway. My muscles had mostly recovered, the soreness factor a 1.5 rather than the 5 the day before and a 10 the day before that. My body is not going to burn the calories it needs to burn, build the muscle it needs to build, be strong like I want it to be, unless I’m willing to put in the correct workouts – even though I’m doing a lot of specific cardio, the strength is where the fitness comes in at. I know this, but I often forget it.

Finally, putting in the hard work is working on your own mental health as well. My biggest excuse is stress – and the reality the stress is mostly my own doing. I put unimaginable stress on myself – to be perfect, to make more money, to do all the things, to carry everyone’s burdens. It’s too much for one person. I know this, and I keep piling them on. But when it comes to the excuse of stress … this is one area that I can make a huge difference just by taking better care of my mental health. Say no, do some yoga, write in my journal. Oh, it’s not a fix all. Just like the myth of finding that quick fix for weight loss, there is no quick fix for mental health as well. I spend a lot of money on my mental health, but I don’t always put in the work that is needed to compliment the therapy or the medication that I use. This cycle of stress, anxiety, and depression feed my excuses to not workout, to eat more sugar, to do all the things that I know does not keep me in any kind of maintenance for my fitness life.

So, are you finding yourself here as well? Been here before? Remember that life is going to happen. Weight loss, or our idea of our ideal weight loss, doesn’t always happen the way we want it too, especially because of the life we choose to live. It’s time to put in the hard work, instead of the excuses. But even when we work hard, we might fall, we might stumble. But to get back on track, we have to remember that there is no easy fix. We gotta put in the hard work.

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