“reevaluate – to consider again especially with the possibility of change or reversal” – Merriam Webster
Stagnation. Defeat. Failure.
I could have titled this post any of those words but I believe starting from that point would have made this post come out in a very different tone, and that tone would have been very negative. Those words would be suggesting that I’m not enough, that I’m not doing enough, and that I’m failing. I don’t believe I am. I’m just struggling with where I am at this point, and that is okay.
From my understanding, this happens to almost everyone embarking on a big lifestyle change. It is hard to change how you do things, especially if you’ve been doing things a certain way your whole life. The enthusiasm and the drive that exists in the beginning can fade with time, and that’s sort of where I’m at. For two whole months I did not struggle getting five workouts in a week. Some weeks I even managed six. But now I dread the moment in the morning where I should be changing into my gear and throwing a video up on my computer. It doesn’t matter what workout I put on, I don’t want to do it.
Rather than wait until the end of the month to tell you all that I had failed my HIIT goal once again, I figured there had to be a more useful and progressive way to work with this speed bump. I’d failed my goal already in the first week, only getting in one HIIT workout instead of two. This past Monday I tried to power through but ended up cutting the video short at the halfway point. I could have kept going, I know that, but I didn’t. So I decided to reevaluate. I decided to step back from myself and ask why I wasn’t making progress on this goal. Here’s what I came up with:
Are the workouts I’m choosing too long?
Definitely not. HIIT workouts are the shortest workouts I’ve ever tackled and yet I’m still struggling getting through them. I made it through all over 7 minutes before turning off the video on Monday so length is definitely not an issue. I’ve worked through a lot longer.
Am I eating / drinking enough before my workout?
Probably not. Some days I just ate a piece of fruit before I worked out and for the most part I could feel that my stomach needed more. I tried to ignore it but clearly that didn’t work. I also used to make sure I drank at least 750ml of water well before I got into my workout and I’ve been slacking on that as well. Lack of proper nutrition could explain why I’ve been expiring quicker.
Resolution: Plan ahead. I’m going to figure out what I’m eating pre and post workout every day so I’m not skipping any meals. I’m also not going to work out until at least one of my water bottles is in my system.
Are the workouts I’m choosing too hard?
Tricky question. For the most part, no, I can handle the workouts, even if they have me breathing heavy. However, there are some moves within HIIT that I haven’t really worked myself up to. Jumping still causes me a lot of pain and it wears me out really quickly. I’ve noticed that it is the videos that don’t have lower impact or beginner modifications are typically the ones I quit out of.
Resolution: Find videos with low impact modifications or learn them beforehand. There’s no shame in switching to the easier moves since they’ll help me work up to the bigger ones. All that matters is that I’m still moving.
Why am I not motivated?
Here’s the hardest question of them all. Why are things different now than they were a month or two ago? I think the main reason has to do with the fact that I haven’t seen much progress lately. My personal progress pictures from March and February look almost identical to me. My clothes are still fitting the same way, and I’m not feeling any better overall. It’s hard to stay motivated when all my hard work isn’t paying off, at least not in a way that is visible. Of course, I know if I give up now I’m never going to see any changes.
Resolution: Start treating workouts and meal plans (since I’ve been slacking here too) more like a meeting or a date. I’m going to block out a certain time of day for workouts to get them done with or without motivation. If I can’t power through a video I will put a different one on. I have to hit the thirty minute mark no matter what, even if that takes 3 minutes of 10 different videos.
Overall, I still like the idea of doing HIIT, and I’ll probably continue to do some of the videos I’ve found with the low impact modifications, but at this current point in my journey I’m not so sure it’s the right type of workout for me to do so frequently. And that’s okay. I’ll get there. For now, I have to continue trying new things and finding the ones that motivate me to keep going.
Old Goal: Complete two HIIT workouts a week.
Revised Goal: Complete Fitness Blender’s “Intense HIIT Cardio Kickboxing and Upper Body Strength Workout” once per week.
Don’t forget that a speed bump is not a full on roadblock. You can get over it, with time and practice. It may stop you for a while but you can power through. Take the time to step back and reevaluate things from the outside. Ask yourself questions like I did and adjust your plan and your goals as needed. This type of journey is rarely linear, you may fall behind before you move ahead again. It’s okay. Be gentle with yourself and just keep going.