Progress Not Perfection

The saying is that “if you aren’t assessing, you’re just guessing”. And I 110% stand by the truth of this statement.

Since the beginning of the year, I have tracked the progress of my body fat percentage, alongside my skeletal muscle mass (the amount of muscle you have). In an ideal world, we would want to see body fat percentage decrease, and skeletal muscle mass increase (SMM).

Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and sometimes we lose interest, or it becomes too challenging, or maybe something happened in our life that we didn’t handle well. Anything at any given moment can cause us to fall off the bandwagon, and sometimes it can be difficult to get back on track again.

As you can see from this fun little graph I made, my progress does not represent an ideal world at all. When I compared the six in-body scans that I had taken throughout the year, I found it super interesting that the results represented a few ideologies that I believe to be true and definitely live by.

Number 1: Progress is not always linear

What we must remember is that not one story is the same. Every person has their own struggles, their own challenges, their own achievements, and their own journey. We can never compare our journey to someone else’s, and we need to accept that life is not always going to be a straight and narrow pathway.

As much as I would love to say that I stuck to my goals all year round, it just didn’t happen. And worst of all I didn’t see it happening until I was so far gone. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I lost sight of my goals, all I know is that there was a point this year that I was definitely struggling. What started off as treating myself on the weekend, soon turned into a negative cycle of eating very healthy & exercising to binge eating and not exercising for days. It very much affected my body composition but it also changed my mood, behaviour, mindset and energy. My perception of my body was very misguided at this point, and I felt like my body had returned to how it was 3 years ago. I was also ashamed that I promote such a healthy and active lifestyle, yet I was struggling to grasp my own health.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve struggled with something like this, and I have learnt so much about my body over the years, that I understand my limits. This time I pushed my limits to the extreme, but, I never fully gave up on myself. I had the strength and persistence to push past this challenging time and reach a point where I felt in control again. Sometimes we might veer off the path or get a little lost, and that’s okay just as long as you find your way back to the path.

Number 2: It’s much easier to put on weight than it is to lose it. You can never out train a bad diet!

You haven’t seen the numbers, but I’ll be honest and let you know it took me 2 months to gain 7.3% body fat, and in another 2 months the most I lost was 3.8%. It’s not hard to guess which of those 2 months I was working harder.

Many of you can probably appreciate that it takes a lot of discipline to eat well and exercise. Well.. it also takes time. I know how frustrating it is when you eat one salad and you look in the mirror and you still aren’t skinny. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

At the end of the day, numbers don’t lie. You can keep saying, “I’ll start on Monday”, “I’ll work it off later”, “It’s only one meal, it won’t do anything” (it won’t, it’s the three other unhealthy meals you have after that). The longer you wait though, the harder it’s going to be for yourself.

Number 3: Mindset is everything

I could look at this graph and think wow, after all that time and I’m only now just getting back to where I was OR I could look at this and be proud of how far I’ve come. Either way, the fact is that it is what it is. The numbers aren’t going to change no matter what I think about it. So why would I choose to beat myself up about it with a negative mindset, when I can flip it into a positive?

So what do I see when I look at this?

  • I see how hard I worked at the beginning of the year.
  • I see the moments that I was struggling, and how strong I was to push through it.
  • I think about everything that I have learnt about myself during those months.
  • I see my most recent progress, and I see how happy I am at the moment.
  • I see the downward trend occurring for my body fat and I’m excited to see this keep progressing in the next couple of months knowing that I am in the best mindset to achieve this.

I will always choose positivity over anything else because I choose to exercise and nourish my body from a place of love, not hate.

That is the mindset that I chose to have because your mindset really does determine everything.

Please note, if you are ever struggling with something similar to this, remember you are not alone. Never be afraid to reach out to somebody or ask for help. And also never turn someone away who is asking for help. Our happiness will forever always be the most important thing.

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