Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
July 02, 2010    

Be honest

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Amy Culver

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Be honest

Sometimes that scale gets maddeningly stuck, doesn't it?  If you tend to dismiss this as a "plateau" point, perhaps you are not being totally honest with yourself?

Yes, there are times when our bodies really do fight back against giving up the pounds, but that is actually much rarer than we like to think.  More likely the problem is that portion sizes are getting larger, exercise is slacking off or a little bit of both.

Beginning a weight loss program can be very exciting.  Motivation is high and we tend to follow the rules strictly.  Over time, though, it becomes tiresome to weigh, measure and log our food & exercise all of the time.  What we call a plateau is more often our own loss of enthusiasm.

Remember, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle.  There are going to be times when you follow it more religiously than others and times when you don't.  If lately there has been a lot more don't than do, perhaps it's time to reset and refocus.  Consider the following as honestly as possible.

• Are you logging your food?  All of it?  Are you having little bites and tastes of things throughout the day without counting them?  One cookie, a handful of nuts, even a small sweet coffee drink can really add up over the period of a day or a week.  If you were losing 1/2 to 1 pound a week, those bites might be all it takes to make that scale stall.  Make sure that you account for all of the food going in.

• And speaking of counting, are you weighing and measuring or have you just learned to "eyeball" it?  If so, it's time to pull out the scale and measuring cups again.  Anytime that you can, be sure to weigh and measure.  The more that you get used to seeing and eating accurate portion sizes, the more likely you are to dish up right-sized portions when eating out. 

• Are you eating out more often?  Even though nutritional data is available for many restaurants, it doesn't mean that the cook didn't have a heavy hand with the mayonnaise.  The best way to have an accurate count of your caloric intake is to prepare your food yourself.  Obviously this isn't always possible, but if you are trying to get that scale moving again, eating at home more often may do the trick.

• Are you putting all that you can into your workout?  Is a busy life causing you to arrive at the gym late, leave early, or skip it altogether?  Are you feeling tired and not putting the energy you used to into your exercise time?  These things happen to all of us, myself included.  Take some time to think about your goals.  Consider the benefits of exercise and why you do it.  Do you need to re-work your schedule so that your workout gets higher priority?  Are you really missing gym time because of necessities in your schedule, or are you staying up too late watching TV? 

• Are you bored with your food or your workout?  If so, maybe it's time to change things up.  Pull out some cookbooks and try a new recipe or two.  I recently bought a crock pot and am looking forward to trying new and easy recipes with it this summer.
• Do you need a change of pace in your workout?  If you are using a DVD, buy a new one.  Try a class at the gym.  Get an MP3 player to listen to motivating music or a book to read while you work out.

Remember, all of this is very normal.  We all need to go back to "square one" now and then to remember why we made these changes in the first place and to find the things that will help keep us motivated.


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