When it comes to achieving fitness goals, I think most people (self included) have a tendency to respond in one of two ways when they aren’t getting the results they want:
1) they completely abandon whatever they were doing for something totally different, or
2) they think they need to do a more extreme version of what they were already doing.
I’ll use myself as an example to illustrate. I’ve been working with a nutrition coach for the past six weeks. I am progressively getting leaner, but it is gradual. I’ve continued to set new PR’s over the past month, without sacrificing energy or strength. Even though I intellectually know that taking a gradual approach to fat loss is in my best interest (metabolically, athletically, mentally, physically), there is a part of me that gets very discouraged and frustrated over not seeing bigger changes by now.
Doing another bikini competition has been on my mind lately, which is perplexing given how negative my experiences with competing have been. What I finally realized is that I don’t actually want to compete – what I want is a vehicle for faster results. To prepare for a competition, my nutrition would have to be even stricter and more meticulously executed, and there would be a hard and fast deadline for results – being ready by show day is non-negotiable.
And then I had a thought: Kayla, how can you consider prepping for a competition when you haven’t even been 100% compliant to the plan you are currently working? That, my friends, is the million dollar question. People will often talk to me about diets they’ve done in the past that didn’t “work.” The implication is that the diet failed because it didn’t produce results, but the reality is that the person didn’t follow the program 100%. The program did not fail, the person failed the program.
If I am less than satisfied with my results so far, the answer is not to switch to a stricter diet, to add in more cardio, or to fire my coach. The answer is to keep following my current program, but BETTER. I know where my shortcomings are. I know the exceptions I have made or substitutions I have justified. I know about those extra few grams of steak or cheese. I know about that errant glass of wine. That piece of candy. My results are not limited by the program, but they are limited by my willingness to adhere to it completely. The same goes for workouts. I mentioned in my last post that I often play CrossFit WOD’s conservatively because I am afraid of failing, of looking stupid, of getting injured, and sometimes, of finishing last. I’ve gotta stop playing it so safe. Be aggressive and give all out effort. Put weight on the bar that makes me a little nervous. Spend adequate time mobilizing and warming up beforehand, especially on days with overhead pressing. Don’t skip the post WOD. Hydrate. Get adequate sleep so I can recover in between training sessions. There are a million little things that I could do that would amplify the results of my program, and not a single one of them involves actually changing the program itself.
Take responsibility and be accountable. If you complain about your lack of results, but you are not being completely compliant to your program, then place the blame where it belongs – with you.