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6/25/2014

How to deal with hitting a plateau--stay the course or say Fuck It?




Easier said than done. After 2 years on my fitness journey, I finally reached a breaking point. Yes,I had come face to face with the dreaded wall and found myself firmly stuck on a plateau and seriously questioning my motivation to carry on another day, week, year of grueling workouts. After countless hours in the gym, forcing myself to eat clean, and constantly feeling tired and sore, I was seriously wondering, "Why do I put myself through this?". I wanted to just jump to the after picture already!

By this point, I was mentally exhausted, hangry and about to drop off that plateau!!I felt more and more like a hamster spinning my wheel full force to nowhere and I was ready for a break. I started to talk myself out of my workouts and summer fitness plans. I kept thinking,

"Do I really give a shit if I’m ‘bikini ready’? Why should I give a damn about having a flat 6 pack??"

Oh I was in deep and my mind was trying to talk me out of my all the hard work I was planning to put myself through for the next few months. I wanted out, I had earned it. I kept thinking, “You can’t take it with you, right so what does it matter?” Well, a  few months ago, it mattered. It mattered because of the amount of work I was putting in and the positive effect fitness had on my life. Being fit mattered because it made me feel  amazing, but lately I was feeling drained.

What I didn’t realize or appreciate was the progress I had already made. All I could focus on was the idea that I wasn’t where I wanted to be—physically. The truth was, I wasn’t where I wanted to me mentally and if I could just relax and let go, then I would continue to make progress with ease and without  the impossible standards I had placed on myself. I had to get back to having fun with fitness. So I took a little break to chill out for a bit because living in the past or the future is a sure fire way to destroy your joy in the present moment. 

Living right now is the only moment that matters and right now, I needed to spend time with family, focus on work, sleep in, laugh hard,  and eat a freaking hamburger with icecream!

After a much needed break to rest and rejuvenate, I realized that I do love what I do and I am passionate about fitness and challenge. I know that I don’t really care about the end result and that it is just a bonus for my efforts. I do care about staying active, pushing myself, keeping my word, and having a goal to strive for—to live for. Before fitness I would easily succumb to depression, negative thinking, and just feeling shitty. Being fit makes me feel amazing, alive, and empowered!  Right now, I plan on eating well, working hard, and enjoying the journey, yes even the doubt and fear and second guessing that will come with it.   

So, this week I’m back at it and I’m keeping my gym time down to an hour to make sure I’m working  and constantly challenging my body in a short period of time. This way, I can still get a solid 1 hour workout and I’ll leave the gym feeling refreshed rather than exhausted and have time to spend with my loved ones Andrew(my boyfriend), Jewlez (the cat), and Marley (my dog).

During yesterday’s workout, I definitely felt the challenge. My body actually feels just as strong as it did 1 week ago, but I did notice I was fatiguing faster than usual. The good news is, after my workout I felt lighter and refreshed and focused rather than drained and scattered. It’s a subtle shift between the two, but it is definitely noticeable. 

My goal now is to push hard enough to light the fire, but not burn it out.


Check out Monday's come back workout. 
The Bounce Back Workout

Warm Up
Keep it short, we just want to get warm
 ½ mile run

Quick HIIT
25 Jump Squats
1 minute Rest
X 4
Your legs will be burning! Even if you’re going slowly, keep going.

LEGS
SQUATS with barbell
LEG CURLS
HAMSTRING CURL
LUNGES
SQUATS on smith machine

I a bootcamp class doing lunges with a push press...I’ll have to try that next time. :)

Do Tell….
Where are you in your fitness journey? How do you cope with the dreaded plateau?
Let me know in the comments below…