Since around October last year I have been actively “trying to lose weight”. You would think I would’ve learnt by now that losing weight should never be the goal for me because I just beat myself up when the scales disappoint. I didn’t remember that until this week. In the middle of last year I packed on lots of weight and I didn’t realise (as silly as that sounds) until I saw photos and I was shocked to say the least. My motivation to “lose weight” wasn’t because I hated my body or how it looked, it was because I knew I was capable of being healthier and fitter and I wanted to be that again.
I knew I wanted to make a change but I’m one of those people that need a bit of extra support and motivation. So I joined a gym. The gym I joined had everything I could possibly need, read more here. I signed up with my Personal Trainer and see him once a fortnight. I actually look forward to going to PT because I get pushed further than I would normally push myself (to the point of complete exhaustion) and I feel so strong and motivated and I push myself more in my own sessions afterwards.
This week I realised I have been so focused on and getting bummed out that I’m not “losing weight” that I am not seeing the progress I am making in other areas. Progress like improving my strength for example. When I first started I was mainly on the pin machines but lately my program has changed to include free weights, squat racks, medicine balls and the sled. When I first started I was struggling to do 10kg bicep curls and my shoulder press was at 9kg, and my shoulder would shake and ache afterwards. Now, I can do a 25kg clean and press easily enough that next time I do it, I’ll be able to do 27.5kg, if not 30kg. My chest press started at 16kg, this week I bench pressed 25kg. My leg press began at 72kg, I am now doing 91kg with ease, knowing next time I can definitely hit over 100kg. I’m doing 15kg single arm rows, 20kg kettlebell swings and 40kg sled pushes. I feel so strong and powerful but I hadn’t realised how far I had come until this week when I started focusing on my personal best’s.
Everyone’s health and fitness journey is different. Some people lose weight quickly, some people don’t. Some people lift heavy, some focus on cardio or yoga. All I am focusing on now is improving my technique and increasing my weight when doing strength. This week I will be setting a base level for my weighted squat and I cannot wait to see where I go from there. I have finally found something that is perfect for me and keeps me motivated and pushes me to keep improving. Now that I am focused on the weight on the bar, not on the scale, I am going to be keeping track of my progress and I will post it in around 3 months’ time. What exercises would you like to see me track? I was thinking weighted squat, clean and press, leg press, bench press and single arm row. What do you think?
I have completely changed what my focus is and it’s changed the way I train. Like I said, it’s all in your head. If something isn’t working for you, change your headspace, focus on something else. There are so many ways to measure progress when focusing on your health and fitness. You can focus on measurements, weight, personal best’s, how your clothes fit, taking pictures or just how you feel in general. These are just some of the ways you can track progress. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut, have a look within yourself and see if you can focus on something else from a different perspective. It might be the change you needed all along.