4 Things I Shamefully Have Done to Derail Progress

A Common Thursday – Sunday

As I get home from work on Thursday, I’ve had a long four days between being a dad, meeting deadlines at work, job training (this never ends as it seems some new, better JavaScript framework is released each week), and four days of heavy lifting which puts a lot of stress on my body.  My expectations physically are falling short, but hey I’ve been to the gym four times this week.  Let’s fall back to my favorite snack of Two Hearted Ale, El Madator tortilla chips and some salsa to boot.  I’ve probably burnt these calories somewhere this week.

Now that it’s football and hockey season (Go Blue!, LGRW), justifying that a snack and the game was easy but detrimental to my goals.  Then if you’ve been reading you know how my Sundays go with Beer League Hockey.

During those sittings, I would typically have, at minimum, three beers per sitting within those four days.  Two Hearted Ale has 210 calories per 12oz beer.  210 Calories * 3 Beers * 4 days = 2,250 Calories within a four day span.  There’s 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat.  So in essence, I was damn near adding 3/4lbs per week.  Beyond that, why was I eating an drinking so much, derailing my progress?  I think it comes down the four reasons I’ve listed below.

1.  Justifying Calories

As I noted above, the wheels for this have fallen off many times.  There have been notable times I wasn’t eating the correct things to keep me satiated through to dinner time.  Or, I’d find myself watching TV having a beer or three because I ran five miles earlier in the day.  Justification eating still hinders my progress but it’s been better now with my meal plans.

Essentially, my issue was not having a plan.  It’s much easier planning what you’re going to consume with foods you enjoy and not drive yourself nuts with something like rice cakes.

2.  Concentrating on the Scale’s Number

If there’s one thing, and probably still hindering me as well as others, it’s concentrating on that fucking number the scale provides me.  I should concentrate less on that number and more on body fat percentage and lean mass.  Sometimes after I hit a certain number, I would get complacent.  My drive would plummet, and I’d start the Monday conversation about not reaching my goals and how to get there.

I read a thread on bodybuilding.com about a trainer who was wondering what to tell his female clients who were gaining weight with his training guidance.  He didn’t make it clear to his clientele, as his clientele dropped dress sizes, that they may weigh more as muscle mass increased.  This is where there’s too much emphasis on weight.

FUCK THE NUMBER ON YOUR SCALE! I can quantify my results by lean mass, my energy levels, and how my clothes are fitting, which as of late have been looser.  If you’re too fixated on the scale, stop now.  Especially if you’re beginning to lift weights.  Yes, your weight can go up as a result of muscle mass but probably at the same time you’re losing fat.  FUCK YOUR SCALE’S NUMBER!

From here on out, I’ll weigh myself once a week and stop putting SO much stock in this number as the only quantifier of meeting my goals.

3. NOT Tracking Other Measurements

So I just got done ranting about the numbers you find on your scale.  Rather than being so obsessed with how much I weigh, it would be useful if I measured body fat with calipers, bicep/chest/leg size with a tape measure, and muscle mass.  One other simple way I’ve gone about this to not be discouraged is my belt has been able to tighten up since starting my six week workout.

Mike Matthews of Bigger Leaner Stronger provides an explanation below of how to measure body fat with calipers.

4. Patience

I’m still learning this one.  Being in a society of instant gratification, results that aren’t showing immediately have made me a bit impatient as it comes to the results I’m getting.  If you think about all the famously advertised workouts, P90X (which I’ve tried and got too impatient), Insanity, or Body Beast these things all take time, and effort, to complete.  They even note their success stories as “Results vary depending on starting point, goals and effort”.  So I’m taking a more positive approach and holding myself accountable by writing my experiences as I work toward my goals.  Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and get out of your fitness funk.


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