Putting in the work to lose weight or get fit is always difficult, but it can be especially difficult when you’re not seeing any progress. I found myself in that position a few months ago, which I discussed in my post Weight loss trials and tribulations. This is an update on that post.
It was a tough few months there, but I’m happy to say that I’m once again making progress after making a few – likely overdue – changes to my weight loss/fitness plan about a month after publishing Weight loss trials and tribulations. (It took me a while to figure out exactly what changes to implement and to motivate myself to actually follow through.)
Where my diet is concerned, I’ve reduced my calorie intake to account for the changes in my weight and metabolic rate since I started working to lose weight. As an additional measure – to help increase my calorie-burning ability – I’ve started carb cycling.
Cutting down on carbs, even just a few days a week – is tough for someone who enjoys pastries, bread, and sweets as much as I do, but I’m doing my best and most of the time I manage. There’s certainly room for improvement but, hopefully, I’ll get better at meeting this particular commitment over time.
Furthermore, after ten months of my workouts just involving me going for a run, I’ve now slipped in a few high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts into my weekly routine. The new workouts have not only helped me start burning more calories since hitting my weight loss plateau, but they’ve also allowed me to start making use of long-neglected muscles.
After adopting HIIT workouts into my routine, the most immediate difference I noticed was the return of that infamous post-workout ache. Sore muscles aren’t necessarily pleasant, but that ache alone is a reminder that the effort I’m putting in isn’t for nothing, and that encourages me to keep going.
Another positive sign I’ve noticed during my HIIT workouts is the gradual but evident improvements in my stamina, strength, and overall performance, which also works as great motivation.
As I said earlier on in the post, these changes combined have helped me start losing weight and improving my fitness again. Once again, when I occasionally step onto the scale, I can see that the number is slowly but steadily going down. I can also see a physical change when I look in the mirror, with some more of my softness disappearing and my musculature becoming more apparent – mostly after a workout.
These markers of progress are exciting to be experiencing again after feeling for months like all the work I was doing was for nothing.
I discussed in my post Weight loss trials and tribulations how my attitude to my body and my #body goals have improved with time. I mentioned that I no longer feel as tied to reaching a “goal weight” as I once was and that my expectations for what my body “should” look like are much less set in stone. Nevertheless, it was discouraging to go for so long without seeing any progress at all, in any apparent form, so I am relieved that the metaphorical needle is once again moving and I’m grateful that I stuck with it long enough to make that happen.
Hopefully, I can remember to do just that when I inevitably find my progress plateauing in future. And, given this lesson and experience, I anticipate that it will be in a timelier manner.