The Importance of Tracking Your Progress

What led me to writing today was a conversation I had with a client a few weeks ago.  Since that day, I haven’t been able to get our talk out of my mind, mainly because I know there are other people who are likely in the same mental state as she was in … maybe even you.

It started off something like this…

Me:  what is the main outcome you want to achieve from this fitness transformation journey?

Her: I want to lose 30lbs so that I can feel good about myself again

Me:  what have you done so far?

Her:  I’ve been running on the treadmill every day, eating less food and drinking more water

Me:  so you’re losing weight?

Her:  I was losing 2 pounds a week for the last month but I went to a social a few weeks ago and now my weight is higher than before!!  I’m freaking out.  I’ve stopped eating dinner, increased my cardio time this past week and still, nothing!  The scale won’t budge! Arggh!!

Sound familiar?

This is the 95% of those who try and try but fail to get into their best bodies yet.  Fortunately, YOU are on the HLF team which means you are smarter than this and know that doing the same thing over and over again defines insanity.

You KNOW that in order to measure your success, success must first be measured!  Tracking your progress is more than just the number on the scale.

By tracking your body composition in more than one way, you can use other success measures besides weight to determine if what you are doing is working or not working for you.

Now, before I get into metrics and talk more about how to measure your success, I want to stress this first.  Do NOT track everything every. Single. Day.  Our bodies are a product of mother nature and as you already know …. anything can happen at any time of the day and night.  I am not advocating for unhealthy OCD behaviour.  Trust me, I know what that is.  You do NOT want to be in that state of mind.

I suggest you track your progress once a week, preferably at the same time and under the same circumstances.  Take yourself back to those science experiments, except this time, YOU are the test subject.  I would also recommend that if you know that the weekends are going to be your roughest days to stay on track, pick a Friday to record your progress.  This way, you know you have a full week to stay on course and see long term changes.

Here are the steps to start measuring your success, starting NOW:

Step #1.  Take a Picture

Stand in front of a mirror in a bathing suit or shorts and take a picture.  To duplicate before and after pictures, take note of the lighting used, how far you stood from the camera/mirror and what time of day you took the picture.  Do a front, side, back and other side shot.  You might not like what you see now, but THAT IS FINE.  This day is your STARTING point, not your end point so take the picture and file it away.  Repeat every week.

Step #2.  Measure

If you don’t already have one, buy a body tape measure.  Take a circumference measurement and note exactly where to measure each week.  I use 5 inches above my elbows and the top of my knees to measure my upper arms and thighs first then move on to measuring my chest, waist and hips.

Step #3.  Log your Food

Repeat after me … out loud.  You CANNOT out train a bad diet.  A major part of your success will be a direct result of how and what you eat.  I am a big advocator of pen to paper but I do know there are other great resources out there.  Weight Watcher points.  The Fitness Pal app even SparkPeople come in handy.  If you eat out a lot, you’ll have to do a bit more research as well.

I know, I know.  It’s a sore pain in the ass to record every single bite eaten from the time you wake up to the minute you sleep.  But this logging ALONE could be one of the most revealing, eye opening experiences you need to get on the fast track to success.

Here’s a tip.  The fastest transformers eat the same few meals over and over again on a weekly basis, track their progress and adjust until they reach their success goals.

Step #4.  Plan and Track your Workouts

Stop wandering around the gym walking from one piece of equipment to the next.  If you are serious about making changes to your body and getting into your best beautiful self, you need to start paying attention to your workouts, designing the right workout plan and recording your status.

So after we laid out the game plan for the next 9 months, she’s been hard at work ever since.  It hasn’t been an easy road and that’s why I wanted to talk to you about this today.

Your appearance is a consequence of your fitness and if you are focusing on getting stronger, faster, sexier, more able to keep up with the kids and/or just want to look and feel good in your clothes and in the mirror, then start tracking your progress.

But sooner or later, you will encounter that “this sucks” feeling.  Stuck in a rut and hard to get out.

And when that happens, that’s when Higher Level Fitness is here to get you unstuck.

We are excited to start implementing our new resources and tools to take your fitness to the next level! 

  • Are you even ready for change?
  • Want to know if your kitchen needs a makeover?
  • Is your support system helping or hindering your progress?
  • Do you want to accurately track fat loss and muscle gain without the use of calipers?
  • Want to know how your body shape influences your transformation process?

Book your body composition and shape analysis today.

Don’t let nothing stop you from achieving your definition of success.

 

Committed to YOUR success,
maryann@higherlevelfitness.net

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