Don’t let anyone fool you – challenging yourself with working out and eating healthy on a regular basis is a huge undertaking.
I am currently weight training for the first time in my life, and here are my feelings at the end of week #1, as posted in a workout challenge group I am a part of:
This morning I don’t feel too sore since yesterday was rest day, but after Build:Chest/Tris that will change. As you’ve seen me post about a few times this week, I feel differently about the nutrition and it’s effect on my body and mind. I personally don’t enjoy eating this much food. Some of it is physical (stomach) and some is mental (coming from years of a lean approach). Tomorrow morning I will take my 7 day measurements which I’m not looking forward to (I know when I see the weight and BF% I’ll probably just shake my head and turn away mumbling “trust the system”).
Running a calorie surplus is the mental challenge for me. It took me a long time to get to the lean person I was happy with, and to switch mentality from lean maintenance to mass gaining takes a lot of discipline. With that post, I received a nice detailed response which leaned towards that person supporting and motivating me to continue on. Here was my response:
Thanks for the detailed reply. Let me make something really clear – I may voice displeasure with the calorie intake, but I hoped my words made it clear that I have no intention of straying from the system. I’m not adjusting anything from the guide, and will eat the calories with the proper portion %’s. You should understand that I’ve been at this for decades without a shred of outside motivation, no accountability partner, and lots of doubters. My dedication and commitment to my efforts is a fire that burns entirely within, and over the decades the flame only gets bigger.
It’s physically and mentally challenging doing any sort of exercise. Being it’s my first time resistance training, it takes some time finding the proper weight to use while working on keeping perfect form to minimize the risk of injury. Physically, I just push myself where the last rep I can barely complete while keeping good form. It’s the mental challenge that’s most difficult. I have no problem getting my workouts in each day, and I’m sticking to the nutrition plan. The difficult part as I stated above is I have spent years to get to the leaner/harder person I am today, and have approached nutrition to maintain the 150 lbs. and 12% body fat I was at. Now, at 2,800 calories per day, in my first week I gained 3 pounds and 1.3% body fat. I understand that I need calorie excess to gain mass, but it’s still hard watching decades of hard work “appear” to be going down the drain (I know that’s not true). But I have a goal to gain 10 lbs. of muscle, so onward I march.
The point of illustrating my mindset is the mental challenge to keeping up with your healthy routine of fitness and nutrition. I have self trained myself over several decades to be dedicated and committed to living a healthy lifestyle. I have fought those internal voices that tell me to stop and have ignored the external voices from those who don’t understand, and realized that instead of channeling my efforts externally to find a support system that didn’t naturally exist, I needed to work on my internal support system – The Fire Within.
Get an accountability partner if you can. Hopefully you have many people supporting you. And reach out for motivation when you feel yourself in need. But you must work hard on the fire within, for at the end of the day, only you push that button to exercise and only you can control what you eat. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it since you’re working on being a healthier you.