Breaking the Plateau
This is the year of me. For so many years I didn’t have the mental focus or the logistic ability to truly take care of my health. But now that my kids are older and my job is more manageable, I’ve been able to give myself more time and make a consistent effort to work out and eat more nutritiously. I’m not perfect, but I’ve worked really hard and have seen some positive results. In fact, I have dropped from 44% body fat to 29% since January!
But now I’ve hit the dreaded plateau. The easy fat came off and it’s getting harder and harder to see results by giving the same amount of effort. Don’t get me wrong, in recent weeks I’ve seen signs that my heart is getting stronger because I have to work harder to get my heart rate up, and it drops back down more quickly (thanks MyZone!). And I’ve seen improvement managing my blood sugars (I’ve been Type 1 Diabetic since I was 11). But I can’t get my lean body mass to budge! And that is soooo frustrating! It makes me question why I’m even doing all this work, and it makes me want to give up at times!
The coaches here at Fuse Fitness Coaching tell me that I need to change things up, add something new, try some low-intensity fat-burning cardio in addition to my strength training, get more sleep, drink more water, take different Advocare supplements, track and hit my food macros (protein, fat, carb grams) every day, be more mindful during my workouts. I’m listening the best I can and trying to incorporate more of these things.
But part of the struggle is overcoming mental plateaus in addition to the physical ones. Matt’s and my Family CFO (Candido Palomarez) recently talked to us about the traits that are required to see financial success, and I think this applies to fitness success as well. They are:
Faith – Trust that the system is going to work. Reviewing financial data from the past 50+ years shows that if you stay with the market, you will see success. Matt and Luke have 25 years of experience helping people with their fitness, and as Matt will eagerly tell you, they know their stuff! Maybe there’s even data somewhere to show that when people follow their instructions, they see results (but for now we’ll just go by their word). ☺ If you are not seeing success, you should ask yourself whether you are really doing what your coaches are telling you and having faith that if you follow their lead, you will eventually see the results you want.
Discipline – The simple truth is, it’s not easy to follow all those steps, whether it’s regarding your finances or your fitness. It requires time, effort, energy, and some days it just feels impossible. And that’s ok, but then you have to make sure that the results you are seeking are in line with the amount of effort you want to put in. I could certainly continue working the same amount I am now, but then I probably am not going to see additional results.
Patience – It takes time – to see positive cash flow and to see positive lean-body mass increases. I’m listening to a podcast called The One Thing, moderated by Geoff Woods and based on the book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan (shout out to Luke Smith who recommended this excellent resource to me!). It is all about increasing your productivity in everything you do, by focusing on one thing at a time; that one thing you can do that makes everything else easier or unnecessary.
And I believe them when they say that it actually takes 66 days to make something a habit (not 21 like common convention says). It’s fairly easy to do something for 3 weeks, but triple that and it’s much harder to keep going! Once you form that habit, then choose the next one thing to add to your repertoire. I instantly want to incorporate several new goals at a time and go at it all or nothing, but the authors say that we do not have the mental energy to form more than one new habit at a time. So I am having faith in the system and trying it out. For me, my one thing right now is getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. I have a bad habit of staying up late at night reading or watching TV (because it’s finally the time I get to be alone and recharge after everyone else has gone to bed). However, in the long run it’s hurting me because I don’t have enough energy when I only get 4-6 hours of sleep at night. That means I’m not getting the most out of my workouts, it’s harder to focus at work, and I can’t keep up with the kids when I get home. So I feel if I get more sleep, it will make everything else easier. I’m even tracking this goal on an app called “Don’t Break the Chain”, a super simple way to have a visual reminder and reward when I check off my goal completion for the day.
I hope that being more productive in all areas of my life will help me break out of this plateau. But I know it will not happen overnight, and it might not happen until I start to form my next new habit, so I really need to have patience and faith in the process! And I hope you do, too!