Average to Athlete: Pitfalls, Plateaus & Success!

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Average to Athlete: Pitfalls, Plateaus & Success!

After a trip to London where I spent some time with a friend that helped me make the decision to get healthy, I was back in California. In the midst of a career change and a health intervention, I was now all alone now on my journey. Intimidating. I was motivated to change my habits because I wanted to have a healthy fit body to show my friends all the hard work that I do. (This was wrong, but more on that later.)

I remember the first step to success – fill my fridge with nothing but healthy foods; primarily vegetables that I’d never eat in the past. The first few weeks were pretty easy, I began jogging and focusing on my health. I started logging my meals in MyFitnessPal and maintained the recommended caloric goal. I admit that I began an unhealthy obsession with the number on the scale, but at this point, the weight seemed to melt off.

Yes! 12 pounds the first month, another 14 the next!

Then it stopped.

Wait, what happened? I didn’t change anything! I kept stepping on the scale, pinching myself, obsessing in the mirror, & paying for body fat tests. I simply could not understand why the weight had stopped coming off. I became depressed.

Then.

I stopped. I stopped exercising and I stopped tracking my nutrition. I became comfortable with my career, and it was just easier to quit. Then the weight came back. Talk about a kick in the teeth. I was content watching all of my previous hard work go to waist (pun intended). I am not afraid to admit that I have struggled with body image problems and pitfalls, but I am proud to be conquering these challenges on a day to day basis. Here are some tips that I have picked up along the journey.

Dealing With Pitfalls

There will be days when you are sore. There will be days when you eat too much. There will be weeks, months or years when you aren’t at your goal weight, but you haven’t had your say just yet. When suffering from pitfalls, we need to realize that it is okay. Just breathe and try again. Today is a new day to conquer your goals and another opportunity to turn the page; learn from your mistakes.

Pushing Through Plateaus

Frustration. We all know the feeling. There will be times when the path is unclear, and you can begin to question everything, even your self worth! It’s okay to re-evaluate your current routine, but you cannot allow the negativity to consume your thoughts. I recommend finding healthy fun in your schedule to make sure fitness doesn’t feel like a punishment but a reward. Find a gym buddy, hike with a spouse, jog with your dog, or bike with your kids.

Managing Success

Look at you! You’ve done it! Maybe you just lost 20 pounds, maybe you ran a marathon, or maybe you completed a summit of Everest! Your journey is not over. Health and wellness is a way of life. Exercise class when sharing your accomplishments and aim to motivate others rather than intimidate.

How did I get off my roller-coaster and put it all back together? Motivation can come from anywhere. A friend of mine used “choice” words of encouragement to remind me that I can become the inspirational athlete that I had been striving towards. It was late December 2012. My New Year’s resolution? Cutting soda entirely and going back to meal prepping, calorie counting, and even purchasing a gym membership.

January 1st will be 2 years without soda!

Stay healthy my friends!

I want to thank everyone that has been reaching out to me through social channels and sharing your stories with me. There have been days that I have been struggling along my journey and your kind words and powerful stories have been an amazing source of inspiration. Rock on FitnessPals!

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  • Alexis

    Yeah nice article MFP. Except why do you show a picture showcasing a strong male athlete and then an emaciated anorexia victim of a woman? What kind of message are you trying to send? I came here to get fit, not emaciated. Muscles and health, not skin and bones. Get some real models, this is the fitness world, not the high fashion world. Seriously. Get a clue.

    • Hello Alexis, I believe that this is a stock image. I will provide some photos from my fitness journey and make improvements for the next blog.

      I agree that we can help improve the image of real health and fitness. Let’s make that change!

      • Rob

        In 2010 I was three stone heavier than I am now, unfit & unhealthy. I discovered MFP and began my journey. I have used it every day since, dropped the weight, kept it off & taken up running. I’ve gone from shuffling along the pavement to a fast 7.5 minute mile & entering races. I’ve never been as fit now at 53 than at any other age. Every step of the way was down to sticking with MFP & educating myself about what I eat & how I exercise. I’ve introduced others to MFP & they’ve had similar success. Thanks MFP.

    • megan

      Jeeze. Relax a little. His post is amazing. Who cares what the image is.