Eating and exercise is not a one size fits all solution. Our bodies come in all sorts of shapes sizes and hormone levels. What may work for one person may not work for the other and what may have worked 10 years ago might not work now. Your goal might be different as well. Maybe you want to cut fat, maybe you want to put on muscle mass, or maybe you just want to maintain.
A couple years into my renewed fitness journey I had begun to plateau. After losing 30-40 lbs I stopped seeing change in my body. At this point i wanted to cut but I had been unsuccessful. This became very frustrating and discouraging at times. I was eating moderately healthy and exercising around 4-5 days a week. I began to reach out to fellow fitness enthusiasts and see what they do. There was an overwhelming range of knowledge from everyone.
- I had been told well maybe you're just exercising too much and not eating enough. Your body is going into starvation mode and you're not burning muscle not fat.
- Maybe it's just water weight try cutting out cheese, salts, and drink more water
To no avail I couldn’t lose those last pounds of dreaded fat and water weight. All the advice I was given did contain merit and was helpful but I still was not achieving my goals. I decided to to stop focusing on what others were doing and listen to my body and experiment. This is when change really started to happen for me.
I started pushing myself even harder physically. Instead of running a comfortable 3 miles i would run 4. I found i had been comfortable while I exercised and needed to push myself even harder. I added in HIIT workouts twice a week. On those same HIIT days I would also run 4 miles. The HIIT workouts would destroy the big muscles which made running extremely difficult.
When I lifted i decided to reverse some of my routines. I would tire my biceps first and then do back or tire my triceps first and then do chest. My body wasn't use to this routine and i felt sore for the first in months from lifting weights.
My diet changed and I began eating more salads, veggies, and drinking a ton of water. The amount of energy I had while cutting out carbs and not eating as much meat was a shock to me. Running on very little carbs was a challenge but during my daily routine i felt much more energized. I wasn’t as lethargic and tired ad i have been in the pst. My portions got smaller and my energy levels increased. I started to cut fat incredibly fast and noticed a significant change in my body.
I didn’t fully meet my goal as I took a vacation but i still felt successful. I learned what i needed to do in order to achieve my current goal. I had become comfortable and complacent but then realized it was ok to be uncomfortable. Pushing through those uncomfortable moments can really help create change. Most importantly I needed to stop focusing on what others had done to be successful and focus on what my body was telling me and needed.