Wedding season. The holiday season. Bathing suit season. Bulking season. The ‘when the hell will life calm down?’ season. While very normal phases in life, these seasons can bring a bit of disruption to our very sacred daily routines.
There may be seasons when you are indulging in adult beverages and baked goods more often than not, and that’s OK. There may be seasons when you’re so busy with work and family commitments and meetings and extra-curriculars that you are scraping together dinner at the last minute, and that’s OK. The first step in creating change is knowing what your priorities are and creating a plan to commit to them. If something unexpected comes up and you have to miss a work out or you end up eating something packaged from the gas station for lunch, so be it. Then, pick up where you left off and move forward. If you aren’t able to hold yourself accountable and your goal is that important to you – find a buddy or hire a coach who will keep you accountable.
One of the more vulnerable things I’ve done is taking the photos below and actually posting them on public forum. For the record – these are not supposed to be ‘before and after’ photos. These are simply me in my different seasons. I used to cringe at these pictures and the comparison of ‘then’ and ‘now’. But, in reality these pictures are just a metaphor for life and its various phases. These pictures are a reminder that the only constant in life is change. Your body changes daily – you may not notice it, the scale may not show it, but you are never the same today as you were yesterday. Of course, the goal for most is to be constantly improving to be a better version of yourself day after day, but I digress. When it comes to body composition, weight loss, shredding, bulking… whatever you want to call it – know that whatever goal you have set for yourself is attainable over time. You don’t have to have the perfect diet or fitness regime every single day to meet you goals. But you do have to commit to putting in the work and stay accountable.
The left image of the three is from the beginning on the year, immediately after the holidays when I felt like I had overindulged and had ‘let myself go’ (insert eye roll). The other images are from March and April when I vowed to go back on a macros-tracking diet in order to improve body composition. I wasn’t holding myself accountable for the macros tracking and I didn’t feel supported. I fell off the wagon and decided if I didn’t have someone to hold me accountable, I wasn’t going to commit. But, I also had set goals to get stronger in the gym. As my body changed, I realized that I had still made progress toward my goal of building muscle / strength. My legs and glutes are noticeably larger (stronger, too based on my lifts), and as my waist-line thickened up and the number on the scale increased, I realized I was still performing well with endurance and body weight workouts in the gym. I wasn’t feeling as ‘shredded’ as I wanted to, but I also hadn’t fully committed – so why did I expect results?
I came to the realization that not every season can be ‘get lean’ season. I don’t like feeling constantly deprived with food and I’ve spent too much time beating myself up over an imperfect diet. So started to shift my mindset with the understanding that it takes work, prep and commitment to eating well, getting enough sleep and managing stress in order to feel my best. I’m not always going to be perfect, but I do know that I am much better about getting in my workouts and getting enough sleep than I am at being strict with nutrition – and that’s Ok. At this point in my journey, I understand what my triggers are and am learning how to avoid a total derailment when it comes to my diet. The thing I have to continually remind myself of is that as one season comes to an end another one begins. Change is constant.