(4-5 minute read)
So Initially I was going to make this 5 mistakes…but then I realized there were a lot more haha. What I want to prove to you however, is that EVERYONE makes mistakes/feels lost at some point on their fitness journey (many points really). You also may change your mind and/or learn what you THOUGHT was correct/effective actually isn’t. Making mistakes (aka LEARNING) is inevitable, stop trying to avoid it / let the fear of failure hold you back. What’s important is that you continue to persevere and take each mistake as a lesson and acquisition of greater knowledge! Stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ approach and start taking action.
Without further ado, here are 10 mistakes I’ve made thus far (in no particular order):
1. Going too low calorie. At first I just started ‘eating healthy’, which is comically elusive & relative. Once I realized that weight loss is a matter of calorie balance (burning more than you consume), I thought hey! The lower the better right?! No. no no no no. Sure, you will absolutely lose weight on super low calories. What will also happen is eventually your metabolism will slow down to then make those calories what your body maintains on… which as you can guess will set you up for ultimate failure long term. So if you’re dieting at 1200 calories, you may lose weight at first but eventually 1200 calories will just be what your body maintains on. So if you want to lose more weight, you have to go even lower. And if you begin to eat above that, guess what will happen? Weight gain. Luckily, metabolisms can be built back up (which I have to do for a lot of clients) but it’s a tedious process and I recommend not putting yourself in that situation to begin with.
2. Not eating after 8pm. I used to go to bed STARVING because I had it in my head that the magical weight gain fairies would come by and sprinkle lbs on me if I ate past 8pm. Listen, the only way you’re going to gain weight (or not be able to lose weight) if you eat past 8pm is if what you are eating is putting you into a calorie surplus. At the end of the day it’s total calories that matter, not when you eat them. Listen to your body, eat when it feels good to eat and if you’re trying to lose weight, simply stay in a calorie deficit!
3. Cardio and abs. I literally thought the body of my dreams was just a matter of running and crunching my life away. Little did I know that it’s STRENGTH training (lifting weights) that truly transforms your body, boosts your metabolism and makes you FEEL amazing. What a relief that was, running is the worst!
4. Prioritizing appearance over health. Man oh man, the years I spent doing fitness & nutrition just to look a certain way. If you want to make things extra hard for yourself, this is the way to go. But if you’d rather enjoy your life, be truly confident in your skin, have motivation to do things because of how incredible they make you feel, … then start focusing on eating well and exercising to FEEL good & get stronger.
5. Not eating enough protein or fat. Even when I was eating super low calories, all I was eating were carbs. And before I dive deeper, THIS IS NOT TO SAY CARBS ARE BAD!!! This was just my macronutrient of choice. Eating any macronutrient exclusively is not healthy. Having a balance of each is the secret sauce to feeling amazing, getting stronger, having healthy hormones & obtaining steady energy. Here’s my newsletter on the importance of balanced meals to read more about this topic : )
6. Cheat meals. They seem like a great idea, you get to enjoy what you’re craving once a week so you don’t feel so deprived. Seems legit, right?! I find more often than not, cheat meals promote binging, restriction/deprivation, seeing food as a reward, developing food rules, becoming food obsessed, to name a few! The fact that you can’t have certain foods unless it’s part of a cheat meal/day does NOT promote a healthy relationship with food. Instead, I just began incorporating ANY food I wanted at any time, making sure I listened to my body while doing so. The more I allowed myself to do this, the less I overdid it when indulging (remember this takes practice too!). Overall, letting go of cheat meals has allowed me to gain a much greater relationship with food & sense of trust with my body.
7. Not seeing the importance of proper supplementation. This definitely correlates with #4. Unless it was a pill that would magically help me burn fat, I wasn’t wasting my money. I truly used to think multivitamins were pointless, fish oil was for people with heart disease & probiotics were for people who couldn’t poop. Come to find out, these are actually the foundations of health. First of all, vitamins and minerals play a huge role in EVERY function of your body, including metabolism! Literally every single cell in your body requires a variety of certain micronutrients to function optimally. ‘but I eat a variety of veggies & fruit’. Listen, nobody gets all the required micronutrients through food. Nutrition is %1000000 a priority but there are going to be gaps. Not only does fish oil have heart health benefits, it also is vital in brain function, joint health, obesity prevention & overall inflammation. I literally felt a difference in my mobility and joints when I started taking fish oil. And lastly, digestive enzymes and probiotics, are indeed not only for people that can’t poop. Having a healthy gut sets up the health of EVERYTHING else. Immune system, hair, skin & nails, mental health to name a few. Digestive issues are coming up more and more these days for various reasons. This is important.
8. All or nothing mentality. Probably the biggest obstacle I had to overcome. Type A personality over here! For example, let’s say I overate or ate something ‘bad’, in my mind the whole day would be ruined and I’d just throw in the towel and continue to eat more things I considered ‘bad’ and start over the next day. Or, I’d miss a workout mid week and then decide to just start over the next Monday. This is literally the same thing as slashing all four of your tires because one is flat. That’s foolish right?! Realistically, you’d fix the flat and keep going towards your destination. In other words, make the next decision regarding food and/or exercise a good one and continue on. It’s what you do MOST of the time that matters. Perfection is not realistic nor is it necessary to reach your goals.
9. Tracking macros for too long. While I think tracking macros is a GREAT tool, it’s not something I believe should be used long term. There’s so much more to overall health (like being in tune with your body) than hitting certain #’s. I personally tracked for a few years. I really could have simply applied what I learned in 1 year and went on with my life but I was too fearful that I would either under eat or overeat if I didn’t track. When in reality, once we have the education of how to balance/structure meals, our bodies are VERY good at letting us know how much fuel they need & when they need it, you just have to pay attention & trust that.
10. Not reaching out for help. I am as stubborn as they come. Although these mistakes have all taught me very important lessons and made me a better coach, I could have made the process a lot quicker if I had just taken advantage of reaching out to someone who knew what they were doing & could show me the ropes. This is EXACTLY why I always offer you to reach out at the end of each newsletter. I want YOU to have clarity in your path and have it be the least frustrating it can be. That being said….click that reply button if you have any questions and see you next week : )