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Health

Why Your Fitness Journey Has Hit a Standstill

A new year calls for a new you. Whether you want to hit the gym more or grind to MadFit at-home workouts, there are many reasons as to why you might want to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. Maybe it’s to reduce stress, work on self-care, or take better care of your physical and mental health, as long as you’re doing it in a healthy way, I’m totally here for it. Of course, you should always focus on a healthier lifestyle over physical appearance, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight to feel your best mentally and physically. If you are on this journey but feel stagnant, there’s a few ways you can increase those fitness gains!   

A reminder that there is no quick fix nor “targeting” a certain body area. So, if you haven’t already, please stop listening to influencers claiming some magic pills gave them abs and a booty. And please stop drinking apple cider vinegar. The only way to naturally be fit is through fitness and nutrition. Assuming you've been hitting that gym without seeing any difference, here’s just a few reasons as to why your journey could be hitting a bump. 

Ditch the scale.

The scale is absolutely not the best form of measuring weight loss. Your weight naturally fluctuates every day based on things such as sleep, hydration, muscle gain, food consumed and aunt-flow. Some days the scale will move and some days it may stay still, which is totally normal. Try taking photos of yourself to measure your progress and really focus on a change in mood and energy. It’s going to take time before physically seeing results. 

Too much cardio, not enough weight. 

I’m proud of you for taking that run in the morning or doing the 12-3-30 challenge, but I recommend incorporating strength training to take your exercise to the next level. Cardio is great for your health, so don’t stop doing it, but you have to head over to the scary side of the gym (I promise you it's not too shabby). Conquer your fear of being judged and pick up those weights to start focusing on building some muscle. It’s a myth that strength training alone is going to make you bulky. And if you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend my girl Whitney Simmons on YouTube. 

You are not in a caloric deficit.

You don’t have to go on a diet to lose weight, rather you need to be in a caloric deficit, which is when you burn more calories than you consume. A caloric deficit is NOT a diet; it’s mindful eating. Being mindful about portion sizes is an important aspect to weight loss and staying happy. Don’t give up the foods you love. If you’re down for pasta, just remember to have a portion that keeps you full, happy and satisfied! 

Sleep is NOT for the weak. 

I don’t particularly know a single student that is actually getting the necessary amount of sleep every night, but it’s important for your overall health. You’re gonna have to find a way to catch those zzz’s. 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. 

Drinking water is not only great for your health, but also essential to staying active. You’re burning a lot of calories and you need to stay hydrated. Plus, drinking water will help you distinguish when you are actually hungry or just think you’re hungry. 

If you’ve hit a wall, don’t give up. Push yourself to achieve the goals in your life and remember starting a healthy lifestyle is not an easy journey. It takes time, encouragement and stride to get to where you want to be. As long as you are doing so in a healthy way, you best keep the stride going. Also, remember that you are beautiful and capable at any weight, and you should always listen to your body and what makes you feel best.

Marissa is a current senior majoring in English with a double minor in creative writing and human development. Originally from Sacramento, California, she loves meeting new people and learning about different environments. When she's not rereading Jane Austen, she loves being a coach for little kids and petting dogs all day.
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