Slow Progress… Is Still Progress

Monday already? Whoever decided the work week needed to be five days was gravely mistaken. I swear I’d be far more productive overall with a four day work week and a three day weekend – both personally and professionally! Anyhow, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Kyle and I are both fighting off this annoying viral chest cold / cough, but managed to stay on track (adding in some much needed naps for recovery).

I haven’t done a competition prep update yet because there hasn’t been too much to report. Saturday marked two weeks of being on prep, and changes have happened, slow and steady. I totally understand how slow progress can be frustrating to people because I’m no different. I still expect to see dramatic changes each week, and well, that’s just wishful thinking.

If you want to make safe, healthy changes to your body composition, it really does take time and consistent effort. In two weeks, I’ve lost four pounds – and that’s with a decrease in calories and adding in some cardio. But, beyond the scale, my results seem better – my clothes aren’t as tight, I’m seeing more definition coming through, and I’m still training as hard as before, even hitting some new personal bests. Just another example that the scale CAN’T and shouldn’t be your only measurement of progress!

Two week progress (down four pounds), stomach has tightened up and flattened a little, legs are leaning down, and shoulders are showing more definition.

Two week progress (down four pounds), stomach has tightened up and flattened a little, legs are leaning down, and shoulders are showing more definition.

Two weeks back progress, small changes in my glutes.

Two weeks back progress, small changes in my glutes.

Stepping on the scale makes me nervous each Saturday. I don’t know why, because the number truly doesn’t matter. It’s a guideline to make sure I’m not losing weight too quickly (and sacrificing muscle mass), but it’s not a defining number by any means. I don’t have a goal weight, I have a goal look.

Changing my mindset from thinking, “What, I only lost a pound??” to, “Great, I lost a pound!” would be helpful… and I’m working on it. Trusting the process is a challenge, and I always worry that I’m behind where I should be. But, I’ve stuck to my plan and haven’t strayed – other than my prescribed refeed meals.

That’s the fun stuff, right? Kyle and I enjoyed a night out on Saturday and some of our favorite food. Everyone always wants to know what we indulge in, so here you go! After adding the pictures, I realized the theme was peanut butter, as it made an appearance in each dish! This is everything we enjoyed on Saturday night (and it’s what we would eat every. single. Saturday. if we could):

We've developed a strategy: we order our own burgers, and then cut them in half to share - best of both worlds when you can't decide. One was PB&J (with bacon and a sriracha jelly), the other had pulled pork and mac & cheese.

We’ve developed a strategy: we order our own burgers, and then cut them in half to share – best of both worlds when you can’t decide. One was PB&J (with bacon and a sriracha jelly), the other had pulled pork and mac & cheese.

I added a side of jalapeno slaw... for balance and veggies. LOL. Don't worry, we kept it low calorie with a diet coke too.

I added a side of jalapeno slaw… for balance and veggies. LOL. Don’t worry, we kept it low calorie with a diet coke too.

Dessert - Menchies of course. I had cake batter & peanut butter frozen yogurt and topped it with strawberries, yogurt raisins, animal crackers, sprinkles, and caramel sauce. Kyle's had lots of chocolate.

Dessert – Menchies of course. I had cake batter & peanut butter frozen yogurt and topped it with strawberries, yogurt raisins, animal crackers, sprinkles, and caramel sauce. Kyle’s had lots of chocolate.

After a solid two weeks without peanut butter, I was excited for this. It wasn't as amazing as I had hoped. Natural peanut butter and raspberry jam on a plain rice cake.

After a solid two weeks without peanut butter, I was excited for this. It wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped. Natural peanut butter and raspberry jam on a plain rice cake.

Refeed Meal Mindset

To be honest, at this point in prep my plan isn’t too tough. I like all my meals and I have yet to really experience any cravings. I know it’ll change, but for now I’m enjoying this fact.

Refeed meals serve specific purposes, both mentally and physically. Mentally, it’s nice to have a small break from being “on prep” and do something a little different. Physically, it’s a chance to refuel your body’s energy levels. This year, all off-season, I had a different outlook on these meals and it’s really helped. No more mindless binge eating just for the sake of it. These meals are strategically planned and the focus is on using foods that will help us work harder through our training.

What do we focus on? A solid source of protein, starchy carbs, and something sweet to satisfy that craving if needed. One full meal is a better option (for me) versus small snacking and finger foods. Learning to stop when I’m full is a key component. I’ve suffered through some bad workouts on Sunday mornings because I’ve still felt full from the night before, and that’s not fun (or helpful in the long run).

If you’re using refeed meals, my tips would be to define what you’re having and stick to it. Think about what you really want and factor that in, but know you might not be able to have absolutely everything you’re craving. If you want a wide variety of things, look for smaller serving sizes – go and buy a few different timbits versus three whole donuts, this way you aren’t tempted to eat all the donuts. Go to a bulk food store and buy very small portions of a few candies you like rather than full bags from a grocery store. And, start with a full, complete meal first, saving the bonus treats until the end. Let your meal digest before you eat more and ask yourself if you’re actually still hungry or if the extra food will make you feel worse.

My goal is too big to let food get in the way. I ask myself if the food is going to make me better in the long run. If it’s not, I don’t need it.

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
This entry was posted in Body Image, Bodybuilding, Competition Prep, Fitness, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Personal, Training, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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