5 Things I’ve Learned About Exercise Progress

Slow and steady… Yeah yeah, that’s how you win the race or whatever, but let’s get real: it sure can be frustrating along the way! I haven’t written an exercise post in awhile, but I can assure you, I’ve been trucking along.

Last time I wrote, I talked about the exercise slippery slope – working out fewer days each month without realizing it. I resolved to change that in May! Travel posed a bit of a challenge, and I admittedly didn’t eat my best while on the road either, but you just have to take those things in stride.

The result? I made a turnaround – instead of working out 2 fewer days in May than in April, as was the case in each of the preceding 4 months, I worked out 4 MORE days! Small victories πŸ™‚ Goal for June? Add 2 more days.

5 Things I’m learning About Exercise:

1. There is no point in beating yourself up after the fact. Ok, so I shouldn’t have eaten X (or X, Y, and Z in some cases hah), but I can’t undo that by focusing on negative thoughts and regrets. Instead, go to the gym for an extra 30 minutes. Switch out a snack for vegetables. Or don’t do anything, but use it as motivation to NOT feel guilty the next time temptation crosses your path.

2. One brownie/cookie/whatever won’t ruin and undo all your hardwork. More than one, or one every day or a brownie + cookie + whatever at the same time will. Self control – it’s a tough one. So obvious, but so difficult in the moment.

3. Just because I look in the mirror and see myself looking about the same as usual doesn’t mean I’ve wasted time or made no progress. Progress is sometimes slow because you are making sustainable lifestyle changes, not just doing a short-lived but super strict diet. The good news is, good habits made during that time lead to changes that actually last. Naturally I’m not going to wake up and look in the mirror with shock and amazement!

4. Don’t be discouraged by comparing workout to workout. Some days will be better than others – one day I may run further than I thought I could and another day I might be fighting to get my legs moving the whole workout. Instead, compare your workout to what you’d have been doing otherwise. Any time in the gym trumps time spent on the couch or grazing the kitchen.

5. Inches can be better than pounds. If my clothes fit better, but I’m fighting to get off that next pound, it could be because I’m building muscle and that is worth it.

Admittedly, #5 is one I am still learning. I am fighting these pounds, and sometimes I don’t feel like I’m making a dent. It is frustrating to eat healthy and exercise and then not lose a pound. But when I really take a hard look and am honest, I can see where I cut corners food-wise or could push harder at the gym… Turning temporary choices into lifestyle habits is hard. #WorthIt

My Tuesday night run was one of those – I had decided on my stopping point but as I approached it, I realized my legs were still feeling good. So I extended the run a little further, then a little further, and before I knew it, I’d gone an extra .6 miles that included a good hill run! Here are my results:

Thursday night it was SO hot but I decided to run outside anyway. For how pleasant my Tuesday run was, my Thursday run was a struggle every step of the way. I’m apparently strongly influenced by the weather. I was happy to see, though, that even though my run was painful, I was able to go about the same pace! Good job, body πŸ™‚

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8 thoughts on “5 Things I’ve Learned About Exercise Progress

  1. Good job!! So inspiring. I think hills are even harder for me than weather. And I totally agree with #1 – I always feel guilty but gotta remember that I can’t fix it after the fact.

    ~Marisa

    1. Thanks! And yes, definitely. I’m there all the time. That toning class on Saturday was INTENSE! You’ll have to let me know your other favorites – I’m headed to kickboxing tonight!

  2. Great job Elisabeth! definitely inspiring me in my current state of struggles with exercise and eating healthier! what app are you using to track your runs? the stats look really helpful!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ It is a long battle but worth it, even if the progress is slow!

      I use the MapMyRun app. I carry my iPhone with me when I run and it records as I go, then you can log into the website and see the splits/workout details. I definitely recommend it!

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