Discovering Progress

I struggle to think of what I might want to write when it comes to fitness. Mostly this is because I often feel like I’m not really getting anywhere in my weight loss journey and I don’t want to repeatedly write about how it feels to fail.

But today I was working on my fitness notebook – more on that to come – when I realized I am making progress. It’s slow, and a little inconsistent from week to week, but it’s progress. That realization inspired this post with the goal of sharing two things:

First, a friendly reminder (because I needed it) that how we feel isn’t always a good reflection of reality. For example, I feel like I’m the biggest I’ve ever been, and like I haven’t made any progress. I feel like I constantly choose to eat junk food despite knowing that it isn’t conducive to my goals. I feel hopeless.

Part of this is because I track my habits on a micro level. Each meal and snack of each day, and taking my weight every morning… the day to day fluctuations are often times all I see.  This is the down fall of micro tracking.  The benefit, for me, comes in two ways. First of all knowing that each thing will be measured keeps a constant pressure to make better and better choices more often.  It also means that when I take a moment to mentally “zoom out” and see what all this daily tracking is adding up to over time, I have more information to complete that zoomed out understanding.

This is how today I was able to realize I’m down 4.2 pounds this month. It’s not the spectacular progress we all hope for in our first month. Some weeks I lost more than expected and other weeks none at all. However it averages out to about 1 pound a week and that’s better progress than I thought I’d achieved.

I got caught up thinking about all the mistakes. Every spontaneous drive through and indulgent snack… until I realized that while I should continue striving to cut unhealthy habits I do have some progress to celebrate going in to week 5 with the notebook.

Now that’s the second thing I wanted to share today – the notebook.

I’ve attached a picture of my weekly layout because we all know a picture is worth a thousand words. The cover really just reminds me to be a whole person and not let weight be my identity.

I use this place to physically track my day to day weight, food, water and movement. I use a stencil to make it cute and organized.  It’s pretty simple but the process of recording and being able to flip back and look at how things are changing week to week is helpful for me to stay focused.

I’m not following any explicit plan. I spent about a month working through the first 3rd of the Body Love app by Anna Victoria. Ultimately it wasn’t the right program for me. I really want to be the kind of person that can strictly follow a program but I’m realizing I may not be. It’s well known that following a strict workout plan exactly is impractical for many people with busy lives (hello!) but I also struggle to stay focused while being flexible. If i forgive myself for having a busy day and missing a work out the next day I am full of excuses about why I can miss another work out, and so on. If I am not following the plan perfectly I am too lenient with myself and feel like a failure. There’s no big win for me.

Maybe at another time in my life a fully developed program will make more sense.

Since I was reflecting on the last month I brainstormed some ways to get moving in the next month. More on those ideas later!

 

Carmen

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