Resist the Resolution Burnout


Two weeks ago, you said to yourself and your loved ones that your 2016 resolution was different from those of years past because this was the year you succeed in losing weight. You got your gym membership, picked up a couple sets of workout clothes, and replaced the cookies in your kitchen with fruit.

From my experience, the first week into the New Year is typically the most crowded at the gym, and the intensity from some of the patrons can compare to professional fighters in their training camps to prepare for a championship bout. However, after the second week, the intensity drops significantly and the number of patrons falls, as well. If you feel your motivation to work out is dropping, you are not alone; so how does someone avoid this pitfall and return to old habits?

As a personal trainer, reigniting the motivation to continue working out is one of the most challenging parts of the job because each client is ultimately in charge of their own decisions. One of the most common reasons that I encounter for loss of motivation is impatience. In the modern world, we have become accustomed to getting what we need at a moment’s notice (the days of the pony express are long gone). However, as life has transitioned to moving at the speed of light, the human body has not quite undergone such a transition, itself. Nevertheless, whether we are watching TV, reading books or magazines, listening to the radio, or handed a flyer while walking through downtown, we are constantly bombarded by promises of losing huge amounts of weight within a few days; therefore, it is normal to develop unrealistic expectations.

Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, we have to remain cognizant of the importance to be patient. Another thing, it is not uncommon for some of my clients to lose 10 pounds after their first week of training with me, so they develop the expectation that they will be able to carry this rate of weight loss for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, weight loss does not occur linearly; in other words, one may lose 10 pounds in a week, one pound the following week, two pounds the next week, and so on. Also, even with clean eating and consistent exercise, one may even gain weight. The huge weight loss after the first week is usually just water weight and not so much body fat, and slight weight gain may be muscle growth, which is more dense than fat, thus heavier.

So, if your motivation to work out has begun to dwindle, remind yourself of the end goal. Continuing healthy eating habits and consistency with workouts are paramount to achieve these goals. While you may not be able to develop washboard abs in one day, with each workout, you are making great strides in improving your overall health, which should be considered as the most important accomplishment.

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