Three Phase Challenge: Week Four

three phase challenge

Well it’s officially the end of Phase one! The #HRThreePhase team has pushed, pulled, jumped, run and sweat through four weeks of resistance training and cardio workouts. Many of the ladies, including myself, have noticed an increase in energy, better sleeping patterns, clothes fitting better and increased strength and endurance – but that doesn’t seem to be enough…

A common theme in the messages I received this week included feelings of discouragement because numbers on the scale weren’t changing. As a trainer it is hard for me to hear my clients become discouraged so quickly and this is typically my response – Muscle has a much greater density than fat, meaning it takes up less volume than an equal mass of fat. This explains why it’s possible to get visibly slimmer without actually noticing a significant drop in weight. Makes sense considering the amount of strength training we are all doing right? Understanding this, I want to dig a little deeper into why weight loss shouldn’t be your only measure of success.

It’s so important that you don’t discredit the achievements you have made so far. Phase one is the hardest phase of the program, not just physically but mentally. Breaking old habits can be tough. Finding time to do your workouts and meal-prep, creating a new schedule, resisting cravings and temptations are all things that almost everyone struggles with in the beginning. However, working towards achieving these things first, before anything else, will define your long term success. Once you are able to re-train your mind and the way you approach working out and eating clean, the physical transformation just becomes a nice added bonus!

Here’s the deal – This isn’t a crash diet. It’s not a quick fix or magical solution – so if you signed up thinking that it was, I’m sorry you were misled. Sure I could tell you how to follow a restrictive low calorie diet and deplete yourself of essential nutrients, spend hours in the gym and run on the treadmill until you literally pass out. Eat fish and cucumbers six times a day, pump yourself full of pills and dehydrate yourself to make your abs ‘pop’. You most likely would see some serious weight loss after just a few weeks. You would also experience low energy, decreased libido, mood swings, adrenal fatigue, muscle loss, hormone imbalance….. And then eventually you would burn out and resort to your old habits because this approach is neither sustainable or realistic. But that’s not what I want for you. I want long term results. I want your lifestyle to change. I want you to know what it feels like to be your healthiest, fastest, strongest, happiest. Your best.

So here is what I ask of you – Be patient. Be consistent. Applaud yourself each time you ignore a negative thought or fight off the voices that tell you, you are too tired, too weak, too fat, too slow, too busy – because, believe me I know, the mental struggle is real and it’s not freaking easy. Instead of getting excited about the loss of 10lbs get excited about the loss of insecurities and unhealthy habits. Lose your emotional attachment to food, lose the negative thoughts and the tendency to talk yourself out of a workout. These are the measurements that count. And believe me losing an ounce of self-doubt is way more valuable than losing a couple pounds of fat.

Phase two has just begun and with it will come new challenges but each and every hardship will provide an opportunity to change your thoughts, change your habits and create a different lifestyle. So patience little grasshoppers, we are just getting started!

– H

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