In today's podcast, I've prepared a special and unique episode instead of the usual informational content. Consider this episode your motivational lifeline for those challenging days—save it for when you need that extra boost. Imagine us having a heart-to-heart lunch, like the best of friends navigating life's obstacles. When you find yourself amid difficulties, hit play, and let's face those tough moments as a team. Are you ready to feel revitalized and re-energized? This episode is your roadmap to push through and emerge even stronger!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/302
- My goal for this podcast 01:12
- Friendly motivation for weight loss struggles 02:56
- Cutting is a Choice 04:15
- What’s the game and how can I make this more fun? 11:46
- Break the process into smaller steps 18:58
- Finish today and quit tomorrow 23:49
- Look at how far you've come and look for what progress you are making 25:04
- Rest rather than Quit 36:23
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 302.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Hey, hey, hey! Welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, and I'm so glad you're here for this very special and a little bit different episode. I feel like a lot of times during the podcast I'm talking about knowledge and information and, you know, doing some coaching and some motivating. But it's kind of all woven in together.
My goal for this podcast 01:12
Today's podcast episode is one that I kind of want you to, you can listen to today but what I want you to do is kind of tuck this into your back pocket and have it be something that is at the ready when things get hard. If you've ever done a cut before, if you've ever gone through a fat loss period, you know that not every day is rainbows and sunshine. There are hard days. There are days that you likely will want to quit. There are days that it will be really hard to keep going, and my thought for this podcast episode is that, on those days or on that time when you start feeling, oh gosh, this is just hard and I don't know if I want to keep going. I want to quit. I want you to have this in your back pocket to be able to pull out this episode, to push play, and to hopefully sit back and remotivate yourself. Feel like I can motivate you to be able to keep going and push through to the other side. And so that's really my goal is like to have this be this inspirational motivational episode that you can use in the moment. So again, if you're a regular listener and you listen every Tuesday when we drop an episode, go ahead and take a listen to those podcast, but slip it into that back pocket. And on that day in the future and maybe it's not even a cut, maybe it's something else that's hard and you're just, you're in the thick of it, I want you to pull this episode out and relisten to it and hopefully by the end of the episode you will be reinvigorated. You'll be remotivate and you'll be ready to dive back into whatever you're facing that is challenging and hard, and that's the that's the goal of this podcast episode.
Friendly motivation for weight loss struggles 02:56
So the way I'm going to do this is I'm going to speak as if we were sitting down and having a lunch together and you were telling me that something that's really hard and you're like Amber, I just need some motivation. I just need some help. And I would sit and I would, you know, look at you and look at you in the eye. And these are the things that I would say to you. And that's how I want to kind of present this episode is like, we're just sitting down. We're best buds. We're friends. You're going through something hard, and I'm going to be that friend who pushes you and motivates you and helps you to see the other side of whatever it is that's challenging you right now. And again, the title of this episode is Listen To This When Your Cut Gets Hard. So, obviously I'm going to be speaking to somebody who is cutting and kind of coming from that frame, from that weight loss frame, but a lot of the things that I'm going to talk about are going to be very applicable to any hard, hard thing that you're going through, any season that you're going through, anything that is a struggle or that you feel like you started out with a lot of motivation and then you hit that wall. It's going to be applicable to a lot of those situations as well, so I'm going to use the terminology of cutting. I'm going to talk about weight loss, but just know that, hey, this is something I can have in my back pocket for anything else that I feel like I'm going through that is hard.
Number 1: Cutting is a Choice 04:15
All right, so I have six things that I would say to you. So the first thing is I want you to remember that cutting is a choice. It is something that you are choosing to do and it's just a season, it will not be forever. And I think this is such a powerful frame to come from. We as humans. There is. There's a big difference for us as humans between chosen suffering and involuntary suffering. It's very hard for us to feel like we don't have control over things and things are happening to us and when we go through involuntary suffering and we do in this life, there are things that are hard and terrible that we do not issues that happened to us and are involuntary. And those are really, really hard. And then there are things that are really hard that are chosen that we're choosing to do. We're choosing to put ourselves in that situation.
My chosen suffering 05:15
You know, I think back of when I went through college and when I was going through getting my nursing degree and some of you may know the story, but I had one more year of nursing school when my husband had already graduated college. Got admitted to medical school. So I did my last year of nursing at a different school. Which is crazy because if you know anything about nursing school, it is very hard to transfer because there is literally a certain number of spots that they have because of the clinical rotations and the requirements that it that we have with preceptorships and things like that, there's a hard number that can be in each nursing program and so being able to transfer nursing programs is kind of unheard of and really a miracle that I was able to do that last year of my nursing degree. Two more semesters left. And that last year was incredibly hard because I was driving 45 minutes away for classes and plus I was doing like overnight rotations. I was newly pregnant. Very very sick doing these overnight rotations and then I would sleep for a couple of hours. This is like crazy in the backyard of one of my classmates. She had like a barn out in her backyard. I would sleep and it was freezing. It was the middle of winter time in Pennsylvania and I would sleep for a couple. I would do my overnight shift. I would sleep for a couple hours in the freezing cold, like in my sleeping bag, and then I would get up and I would go to class. And then I would drive the 45 minutes back home. I mean it was, I look back on that time and it was miserable. However, it was a chosen suffering, like I chose to do it. It was important enough to me to get through my nursing degree to be able to get my BSN that I chose to do that suffering, and I was able to push through it.
Cutting is always a choice 06:58
That's a very different experience of that chosen suffering versus an involuntary suffering. And you guys. Cutting is always a choice. It is a choice that you are making and you know, yeah, it is hard and there are going to be days that it's hard but you are choosing it and there is something powerful that comes with reminding yourself of the fact that you are putting yourself in this situation. Yes, it is still hard, but there is a power and a control that comes from reminding yourself of you chose this. So the next question you can ask yourself is why? Why am I doing this? And if you have not spent any time discovering or investigating your why behind putting yourself in this hard situation, I ideally recommend that you do that at the beginning or even before you start a cut, but if you haven't done that, now is the time to do that. Why are you doing this? Why are you putting yourself in this hard position? Like what's the why behind it? In MACROS 101, we go through an exercise called the big why. So, all my clients know that we we do this exercise at the very, very beginning. And we really dig deep because your why has to be more than just a superficial, it has to be more than just a well, it would be nice, too. Well, I would really like to like, that's not gonna. That's not going to cut it. That's not a big enough why to help you to push through when days get hard. And so, reminding yourself that this is a choice you are choosing to cut, and they're reminding yourself of why? Why are you choosing to cut and that creates purpose behind the suffering, so it's kind of the same concept, but humans do much better if there is purpose behind suffering.
Suffering has a purpose 08:44
I think about when I had my babies and there is a lot of pain that you go through in labor and delivery and but I mean, I was able to get through it because there was a purpose behind that pain. And you know, on the other side of that pain, you're gonna get a hold of baby. And it is worth it. It's worth going through that pain, that suffering has a purpose. You know what is on the other side of that pain and I think about it the same thing here is like if there's a purpose, if there's a big enough why behind what you are doing, then we're able to tolerate a lot more of discomfort. We're able to tolerate a lot more pain. We're able to tolerate a lot more unsettled feelings because on the other side of it is a purpose. There's a purpose behind it. So if you don't have a purpose behind your pain, we got to figure that out because that is really important. And in this whole choosing to cut and why you're choosing to do it.
Choosing between two hards 09:39
I also think it's a fallacy to think that because you are choosing this hard that you could then not choose something hard. Because I think a lot of times we're really if we step back and think about it, we're really choosing between 2 hards. And I'm sure you've heard this before, but it's like choose your hard. Do you want to choose the hard of cutting or do you want to choose the hard of living in a body where you don't feel your best, where you're constantly picking at yourself or where you're constantly talking down yourself like those are both hard. So it's like, which hard do you want to choose and being really selective and intentional about that choice. Do I want to pick the hard of cutting? or do I want to pick the hard of living in the body where I feel uncomfortable? or where I don't feel healthier, where my health is being impacted, or where I speak negatively to myself all day long or where I don't feel comfortable my clothes like those are both hard. And so I think sometimes in our brain we're like, oh, I'm doing this hard thing and I don't really want to do it anymore. I want to do the easy thing. And I think that that's a fallacy. I think that that's not actually what we're choosing between, because there's a reason you started this process and it was likely because where you were at was also hard in its own way, and so reminding yourself of that of you started this cut for a reason. And oftentimes is because where you were at was hard. What was hard about it and then being able to compare those two hards, do you want to choose the hard of cutting or do you want to choose the hard of where you were at before? Again, either way, it's a choice and you get to choose and be intentional about that.
First Mantra: I’m choosing to do this 11:14
All right, with each of these, I kind of want to wrap up with a mantra that you can use moving forward. I think mantras are really helpful. They're short, quick things that we can, you know, write on our phone or post on our fridge or recite to ourselves that help us to remember these concepts when we're in the moment. And the mantra for this section is I'm choosing to do this. I'm choosing to do this when things get hard when your cut feels hard coming back to the mantra of I am choosing to do this.
Number 2: What’s the game and how can I make this more fun? 11:46
All right, number 2 is the question what's the game? So let me back up just a little bit. When I kind of describe this one, I often love the question that I asked clients. How can you make this more fun? Because yes, while cutting is hard, while it's a challenge, while it can not be, you know, fun all the time. The more fun that we can make it, the more likely you are to stick to it. I think about my kids and how, you know, we try to motivate our kids to do things and especially when my kids were really young, we tried to turn everything into a game, right, like, see how fast you can clean up your room, right? Can you do it in under 5 minutes? I'm gonna set a timer and go you know, and there's so much more motivated when it's a game or let's make it a race. Who can get their jammies on faster? You or me? Right. Ready. Go. So we know inherently with our kids especially that it's much more motivating to play a game and make things into a game. Our kids are more likely to do it. The same thing applies to us. We don't ever grow out really, of a lot of things that motivate us as kids. Sticker charts. I'm like a big sticker chart fan. We like games, and honestly, I think the thing that we like most about games is we like winning the game and so I am a big fan of trying to make everything a game and in a game you have two things: you have how do you win and then you have the rules in which you have to play in, right, you need both of those to have a good game. If you if there's just a free for all, there's no rules, there's no structure, there's no confines that you have to work with, that's not a game. It's, you know, anarchies chaos. So we need to have rules in which we work within and then we have to have how do you win? There's like the two most important things when it comes to having a game.
Focus on winning the war, not a battle 13:41
And so the problem is that a lot of you make the way that you win the results, right, the scale is going down. I win. My measurements are going down. I win. My progress pictures are changing. I win. None of these are bad, right? I think that of course, those are the outcomes that you want. However, on a day-to-day basis, those are terrible qualifications to be able to win. And let me tell you why. So, to back up a little bit, I have two kids who are in high school and they are shockingly, to me, very into history. And I say, shockingly to me is I don't enjoy history. It has never been my favorite subjects. I just don't gravitate towards it. It's just not something I find fun. I did it in high school. I did in college. I don't do it for fun. I don't read. And you know, it's just history is not my thing. But I had two kids who really love history and especially my son is really getting into history. He's been watching all of these like documentaries and things about World War 2, and he's just really is loving history. And the thing that I've noticed as we've been watching more like war movies and things alongside of him, that in a war there's lots and lots of battles. Right. No, no. War ever is just like 1 battle, and then you win the battle and you win the war. There's lots and lots of battles and oftentimes the side that wins the war will lose a lot of the battles. They don't win every single battle. They will win some battles. They will lose some battles, but ultimately they're able to win the war. And I think about that in our fitness journey and I think about how oftentimes you're so focused on the current battle that if you lose that battle so often, you give up. Instead of recognizing like it's just one battle in a much bigger war and if you make the outcome, the winning of the game, that the scale goes down, or that your measurements change or any of those like external results, if you make those how you “win the game”, then what happens is you lose a battle and you fall apart and you quit and you will never, ever win the war if when you lose 1 battle. You quit. And so I think that if we can create games that are much more winnable, that we have a lot more control over and that we can, you know, continue to move forward in our journey, then it's a really powerful way to be able to orient yourself.
How to win and what are the rules 16:22
And so again, I said that there's two things. It's like, how do I win? And then what are the rules? And so I'm always thinking this way when I'm doing something hard it's like what are the rules that I'm working within? And what is that how do I win it? And so this can look like something like, OK, this week, the game is that I need to get 10,000 steps on average every single day, so the rules are that I can't go lower than 8000 steps a day, but then I can also average it over out the week, so it's not like I have to get 10,000 steps every day, but I can average it. So that's the rules. Those are the rules that I'm playing with in my game and I win the game if I average 10,000 steps a day over this week. That's the game. That's what I'm playing and I'm playing to win, right? Cause I play to win, and so now the whole week becomes about this game that I'm playing and this is just a little example. Obviously you're going to take this and apply it to your own journey, but notice how the game that I'm playing is within my control. It is not within my control if the scale response that's not within my control, but whether or not I get 10,000 steps on average every day. That is within my control. That is a winnable game, my friends and I'm excited to play that game. And so the whole. My whole like mindset around something that is hard is like how can I make it into a game? How can and how can I make it into a game that I win more often than not? And when you think in this way, it becomes more fun, you win more, which we all like winning. It's motivating for us to win, and if you keep winning at your games, you're inevitably being inevitably going to be driven towards that outcome that you want. Because I do want you to lose the weight. I do want you to lose. I do want your progress pictures to change. But on a day-to-day basis, if that becomes your only metric for winning or losing the game you've already lost. Because you're never going to win the war if you feel like you're losing every single battle every single day.
Second Mantra: How can I win today? 18:22
All right. So the mantra for this section is how can I win today? How can I win today? What does winning look like today? And remember the key here is, it has to be something that is within your control. Something that you have 100% control over. You know I wanna, I win today if I hit 30 grams of fiber, that's how I win today or I win today if I get 120 grams of protein or I win today if I do 5 minutes of workout. It doesn't have to be a lot, but you need to set up the ‘how do I win today?’ and then execute on that.
Number 3: Break the process into smaller steps 18:58
Alright, number 3, you have got to, got to, got to break this process down into smaller steps. If you are thinking about the eight-week cut, you have to do or the 12-week or the 20-week cut that you have to do, that is just too big of a process for you to wrap your mind around and to get yourself up off the couch and to dive in to do. It's like a marathon, right. Who wants to go out and run a marathon? It's so much easier to run a 40-yard sprint. And that's how I want you to think about this process. So the first thing that is really important and again you should have done this at the beginning of your cut. But if you didn't, now is the appropriate time to do it, and that is to set an end date for your cut. I always tell my clients, my MACROS 101 clients, I want you to set an end date, not an end weight. So, this is not like I want to lose 20 pounds and I'm going to cut until I lose 20 pounds. This is. I'm going to do a six-week cut and my end date is whatever that date is. Or I'm going to do an 8-week cut and my end date is such and such. It is so important for our brains to be able to have a concept of the race that we're running, because you're going to prepare and execute very differently for a 40-yard sprint versus a marathon, right? My pacing is going to be different. My preparation is going to be different. All of that is going to be different based off of the length of race that I'm running. And yet some, for some reason we start cuts and we just have no end date or no concept of how long this is going to be and how are you supposed to prepare for that? How are you supposed to wrap your right brain around that? It just doesn't work very well.
Be A Goldfish by Ted Lasso 20:32
So I really, really recommend breaking this process down into smaller steps. And I love Ted Lasso. Many of you maybe have watched Ted Lasso on Apple Plus, it's a fantastic show, but in there he talks about how he wants his players to be a goldfish and if you haven't seen the show, it is in reference to the fact that goldfish have 15 second memories and so they very quickly forget what just happened and I think about how if we can kind of be the goldfish in our journey, it can be very helpful. Meaning, I want you to think about chunks of time that are smaller. Like if you can think about how can I win, how can I be successful in this 15 second chunk of time. That is much easier for us to execute on than I have to be successful in this eight-week cut. So it's like, think about it in chunks of time. Think about it as getting through today. I don't have to get through tomorrow. I don't have to think about tomorrow or next week because we get overwhelmed, we think, Oh my gosh, if it's bad today, it's going to be even worse a week from now. Rather, just think about the day that you are in. How can you win this half an hour? How can you win these next 10 minutes? How can you win today, right? Just breaking it down into a smaller bit of time and then, remembering that this is temporary, right? This is something that is not going to last forever. I think sometimes we get into our head and again we do this extrapolation where if it's bad today, it's going to be 10 times worse a week from now. Don't do that to yourself. This is a temporary experience. It's not going to last forever and I really, I really like to break things down into like, how can I just make it through today? How can I get through this day that I'm in and not think about tomorrow? I'll think about tomorrow when I'm in tomorrow. But today I just need to get through today.
Stop doing the math 22:23
Here's the other thing I don't want you to do. I don't want you to start doing math in your head about the rate of loss that you're having. You know exactly what I'm talking about, where you've been cutting for three weeks and let's say you've lost 3 lbs in the three weeks, then you start doing math in your head and you say, well, if I've lost 3 lbs in three weeks and I have 50 lbs to lose. I have another year plus of work that I have to do. And now what do we feel? Well, we feel completely overwhelmed and like, that's gonna be forever. Don't do the math. Stop doing the math. The math doesn't actually work anyway, because just because you've lost 3 lbs in the last three weeks doesn't mean that's how it's always going to be. It doesn't mean that like you're, that's gonna take that long. It may take longer. It may be shorter, but doing the math usually is demotivating for a lot of people. So I really recommend don't do the math. Don't think about where you're going to be a year from now, think about what you're doing today. How are you going to make it through today? How are you going to finish out the day strong? And focus on short sprints during your journey rather than focusing on the longer you know marathon of the journey.
Third Mantra: This is Temporary 23:36
So what's the sprint that you are in now and how can you focus on? And the mantra I'm going to leave you with is the mantra, this is temporary. This is temporary. Just make it through today. This is temporary.
Number 4: Finish today and quit tomorrow 23:49
Number 4. And this is kind of related, I want you to finish today. Finish today. You can quit tomorrow. But I want you to finish today and to like back this up again is this idea that you should never quit on a bad day. Don't quit on a bad day. If you're going to quit, quit on a good day. Quit on a day that is going well. It is absolutely appropriate to quit. It is 100% appropriate to quit sometimes. I think quitting is great. I think we should probably quit more things more of the time. But what we shouldn't do is quit on bad days, quit on days that we're down. We quit on days that we are up, because then we can make a more logical, rational, well thought out decision rather than an emotional, reactive decision, which is what most people do is they have a bad day and they react emotionally to that bad day and they just quit. Don't do it. Don't quit on a bad day. Finish today and remind yourself you can quit tomorrow. You can quit the next day. You can quit the next day after that. But you're gonna make it through today and then reevaluate again tomorrow.
Fourth Mantra: I am allowed to quit, but I don’t quit on bad days 24:53
And your mantra for this is I don't quit on bad days. I don't quit on bad days. I am allowed to quit, but I don't quit on bad days.
Number 5: Look at how far you've come and look for what progress you are making 25:04
Number 5 is to take a moment and look at how far you've come. We as humans all have a negativity bias. It is a very well documented, psychological phenomenon that we slant towards the negativity, in other words, something that's very positive will have less of an impact on us than something that is, you know equally emotional but in the negative direction, like we put more stock in the negativity and it makes sense because it comes from an evolutionary standpoint. If we slant towards the negative bias, if we slant towards being more cautious or being more fearful, it helps keep us alive. We don't do, you know, we don't, we think negatively about the neighboring tribe. And that keeps us safe from getting killed by the neighboring tribe or by the lion that is out to get us. So, it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint why we have evolved to have a slant towards the negative. It keeps us safer. But it also really keeps us from growth because growth tends to happen when we put ourselves outside of our comfort zone. And so, I see this a lot with clients who very much slant towards a negativity bias. Nothing's happening. It's not working. The results aren't going. It's not worth it, like that bias is very prevalent with a lot of my clients, and again it's a normal human phenomenon, but we need to be able to address it. We need to be able to recognize it and we need to be able to do something about it.
Progress Dysmorphia 26:34
I was just talking to a client today about this idea of progress dysmorphia, and it's this idea that progress is often happening, and yet for some reason we can't see it, right. It's like we have this filter on over our eyes that even though the progress is happening, we don't see it. We don't spot it and you know, sometimes it's because we're looking at the wrong data and I talked about this a lot inside of MACROS 101, of what data should we be pulling? What data should we be looking at? How are we analyzing this data so that we're actually looking at the right things to figure out if progress is happening. But some of it is also just not broadening our scope and understanding of what progress can look like and what change looks like. And you know what transformation is, looks like. So we have this progress, this more people, it's really hard sometimes for us to see that. It's one of the reasons why having a, you know, neutral third party or a coach can be really beneficial. So because a lot of times I have clients who will submit their data points to me and from their perspective, they're like it's not working. I don't see progress, nothing's happening and I look at their stuff and I'm able to, from a more rational, less emotional standpoint, you know, a neutral, it's not my body. So, it's more of a neutral experience for me. I'm able to say, hey, but look at this and look at this and if we take this data point into account, we can start to see a more, clear picture that progress is actually happening and they really couldn't see it because of those like progress dysmorphia glasses.
So having a third party, a neutral third party like a coach can be very beneficial with seeing things a little bit more clearly and not having that filter over our eyes. If you find that that tends to be your MO, that you have a hard time seeing the things that are going well, that you tend to feel like progress isn't happening, the results aren't happening. The question that I want you to ask yourself is, what progress am I making? What progress am I making? And if your response is nothing, no progress. Y'all you got some really dark progress to smooth your glasses on. And so I need you to ask that question again until you can find something, because the truth is, there is some progress that is being made. It may feel small, it may feel insignificant, but if you have been doing this for a while, there is some progress that has been made. It could be in your mindset. It could be how you're speaking to yourself. It could be in small choices that you are making that you wouldn't have made in the past. It doesn't have to be big, but you have made some progress and if you are telling me no Amber, I haven't made any progress at all. Not at all. I can tell you that you have progress dysmorphia glasses on and we gotta get those off.
Ways to remove Progress Dysmorphia 29:24
And one of the ways that we can help to start to remove them, start to take that filter off your eyes is to figure out at least one place that you have made progress. It starts to help you see things a little clearly. This is not about being Pollyanna. This is not about trying to trick yourself and thinking I'm doing great. I'm it's amazing. Everything's going great. I'm not saying that. I'm saying we got to at least start to take that, those glasses off a little bit and see at least one thing that is going well because I guarantee you there's always at least 1 silver lining, there's always at least one thing that we can find that is productive, that is positive, that is moving in the right direction. And if we can start with that, we are going to make better decisions moving forward about adjustments we need to make or tweaks we need to make to our plan because we're making it from a foundation of like at least it's working a little bit. Yes, I may need to change things. Yes, I may need to adjust my macros. Yes, I need to, may need to adjust my workouts. I'm not saying adjustments may not need to be made, but when we can make those adjustments from a this is working a little bit and I would like more or and I would like to, you know, create some bigger change. That is a very different conversation in your head versus this isn't working at all. My body's broken. I can't do this. This sucks. This is stupid. Like it’s a very different position to have that conversation with yourself. So, if you feel like you aren't making any progress, things aren't happening, you're not being successful, the question I want you to ask is, What progress am I making? And you got to find at least one thing. And from that then we can build on top of that.
Looking back at progress pictures 31:03
This is also where I do recommend, go back and look at your beginning progress pictures. It kills me the number of people who like take beginning progress pictures and then never look at them again. Go back and look at your beginning progress pictures, go back and I like to, in MACROS 101 we do a voice recording at the beginning of the program so that you can compare your mindset to you know where you are now to where you were before, go back and take your measurements. Go back and look at how consistent you've been hitting your macros this week versus the first week that you started. They're like you have made progress. You have made progress and at this point where you feel low or it feels hard or you feel it's like you don't want to go, like if you don't know. If you want to keep going forward, turning around and looking back and seeing how far you come can be very motivating.
I think of it like when I actually had this experience just recently over the summer. We were going hiking with some friends and we were going up this pretty steep place and I would just remember like I was like had my eyes down looking at the ground because I was like trying to navigate all these rocks and this terrain, and making sure I didn't fall. And I just had this realization that I was spending a lot of time looking at my feet and I was like, I'm like on this hike and all I'm seeing is my feet and the trail instead of the beautiful things that are surrounding me. And so I remember picking my head up and even like turning around and looking out and seeing the Vista, seeing how far up we had climbed and yeah, we still had further to go to the top, but even just taking that moment, stopping and looking back and seeing OK, I am making progress. I am, you know, getting closer to the the peak of this mountain, not there yet, but I've come a long way and I think we need to do that more in our journey is looking at how far we've come. The changes that have happened. Yeah. Maybe you haven't lost 10 lbs, but are you speaking more kindly to yourself? Are you eating more fiber than you used to eat? Are you hitting your numbers more consistently? Are you, you know, including more whole foods into your diet? like there is likely progress that has been made the you today versus the you a week, 3 weeks, 5 weeks, 10 weeks ago and really celebrating that like celebrating the progress that you have made and that can really help to reinvigorate you and remind yourself that the effort you have put in has produced a result. Maybe it's not the exact result you wanted. And that, I mean I get that that can be feel disappointing, but it doesn't mean that it's not working. It doesn't mean that it's not doing anything. It doesn't mean that your effort is being wasted.
Effort builds potential; success requires persistence 33:41
In one of my favorite books, Atomic Habits by James Clear, he talks about this idea of potential energy. He talks about how if you take a ice cube and you put it in a 29-degree room, you know it's just gonna sit there. Nothing's gonna happen. It's going to remain an ice cube. Now if you turn up the dial from 29 to 30 degrees, again, it will appear like nothing's happened. You did something, but it appears like nothing. It didn't do anything. And if you turn it up to 31 degrees, again you did something, you put an effort, but there's no visible change. And then you turn it up to 32. Same thing. But when you turn it up to 33 degrees, now you are going to start seeing that ice cubes start to melt. And it wasn't that, you know, turning it from 29 to 30 to 31 to 32. Like you were putting in effort, you were doing something. Something was changing, but it all of that change was being stored in potential. And it was once you hit that tipping point that that potential started to actually create visible change. And I see that happen a lot of times with our physical fitness and our journeys is that we feel like those first, those first little bits of effort or even you know, more than the first little bits of effort. We feel like we're putting in all this effort and it's not creating a result. And we mistakenly think that it's just being wasted, right, that that energy that we're putting in is just being wasted. And why would I want to put this energy in if it's not going to make any change, but I want you to think about the ice cube and I want you to think about how that energy is never wasted. That energy is put in as potential energy, and it may take some building up, it may take a trigger point, it may take a tipping point to where you're actually able to see that physically, and your ability to be able to keep going during that period of time when you're raising the temperature from 29 to 30 to 31 to 32 to finally boom 33 where you actually start to see the change, your ability to be able to tolerate that time period is equivalent to your ability to be able to be successful.
Fifth Mantra: I am making progress. This is working 35:50
The people are the most successful or the people who don't need a direct, you know, I do this and then I get XYZ result. The more you can be willing to put in the effort realizing that effort is never wasted and be patient with the process, the more likely you are to be able to keep going and thus, see the results that you want to see. And to close the mantra for this section is: I am making progress. I am making progress. This is working. That's one of my favorite ones. This is working. This is working
Number 6: Rest rather than Quit 36:23
All right. And the 6th and final recommendation that I have for you is to rest rather than quit. I think it is totally appropriate on a long marathon to take a rest. In fact, I have one run, one marathon in my entire life and I was doing really well on my marathon up until Mile 20 and I had in my mind that one of my goals was to run the whole entire marathon. Like that was one of my goals. I had a goal to get under 430 for my first marathon and to run the entire time. I actually didn't hit either of those goals. I finished in like 431 and I definitely walked during the marathon, so I didn't hit either of those goals, and that's OK. I'm still pretty darn proud of accomplishing the marathon. But during the marathon, I remember hitting mile 20. And if you've ever run a long race or read about running long races, people talk about the monkey jumping on your back. It's like when you hit the wall, where your glycogen storages are depleted and your body just like hits this wall of like it's really hard to keep going when you don't have glucose or energy to be able to keep going, and it can feel like this monkey has just jumped on your back and everything is much harder. And I remember around mile 20 I hit the wall and I was like, I don't know if I can keep going. I don't know if I can keep doing the six miles and I, in the back of my head, I had that goal of I wanted to run the entire marathon. And I realized that that wasn't. That wasn't going to be something that I was going to be able to do.
And so instead of quitting, instead of throwing in the towel, instead of just, like, walking off the racecourse, what did I do? I started to walk. I took a rest, I, you know, kept moving forward, but I reduced the amount of energy that I was expending. I took a break. I recovered. I rejuvenated myself. Actually, this is when my dad, my sister and my husband, who were they were like driving along the race route and then they would, like, cheer for me. And then they drive to the next stop. And then they cheer for me. Luckily. they were there when I kind of hit the wall and they hopped on the course with me and kind of walked with me and then got me running again. And, you know, I was able to finish. I was able to go the last 6 miles of the race, and I crossed the finish line and I finished. But the moral of that is, that I didn't quit just because I wasn't able to keep the pace that I had kept before. I didn't just throw up my hands and say, Ohh I'm, I didn't. I'm not gonna finish this race. Running the entire time, I might as well not finish the race at all, I said, I need a break. I need to rest. I need to recover. I need to rejuvenate a little bit. And so I changed up what I was doing, allowed myself to do that, and then I was able to dive back in. And I think this can be such a valuable experience for us if when you're in your when you're in it, like when you're in it and you're struggling and it's hard and you kind of want to quit. Rather than quitting, try taking a break.
What resting looks like 39:30
So what can this look like? This can look like maybe taking a day where you don't track, taking like an off day and just taking a day off, right? and taking a day off of tracking. This can look like, hey, I'm taking, you know, maybe a couple of days off where I'm in instead of I'm going to still track because I think that that's helpful and valuable for me. But I'm going to be eating that more of a maintenance level and I'm taking a couple days off of being in a deficit. Maybe it needs to be a whole week, maybe you need to implement refeeds where you have, you know one or two days a week where you're eating higher calories so that you're able to, you know, go, you know, 3 days of lower calories and then you're able to look forward to that one day of refeed where you're eating more at a maintenance level and then you know, go three more days and then have another day at a maintenance level. Maybe a refeed day would be really helpful in helping you to maintain, you know, keep going in the race. Right, slow down maybe, take a little bit of a break, but not quit and not stop. Maybe this is time to do a reverse diet and to get your calories up and to eat at maintenance so that you can then do a subsequent cut and have the energy for that next cut.
Strategies for progress: intentional rest 40:45
There are a lot of ways that we can rest rather than quit. And when you're in it, I think that this is a really good way to continue on in your journey. Keep making progress. But maybe at a slower rate or maybe slow things down. Or maybe take a break. Maybe you have an untracked meal. Things like this can be. These are strategies that can be used as ways to again not quit, but just recover. Take a rest you know, keep making progress but change it up a little bit and sometimes that's all you need is as an ability to change it up, I think sometimes we get into a rut. Sometimes we get into, you know, not wanting to keep going with the same thing that we've been doing and I think doing things like refeeds or untracked meals, or, you know, days that we don't track, things like that can be used as strategies to keep us going. Now, what I want you to be careful of is the difference between falling into reactivity versus a strategy. Not like falling apart and not tracking and eating whatever you want is very different than being intentional and saying today I am not tracking because I'm giving myself a break. Like one is proactive and thought ahead and intentional and one is reactive and a loss of control and falling apart. Those are very different experiences and where I want you to stay is in the proactive of I'm going to be intentional and I'm gonna do an untracked meal out. That's my plan. That's what I'm executing. Again, that's very different than you going out and being like, I'm going to track this. And then you don't cause you have all these excuses and you don't know how to track it. And then so you just don't track like those are very different experiences.
And so when I'm talking about resting rather than quitting, I'm talking about being intentional about this. And I think this loops in with the like don't quit on a bad day, it's like don't make decisions about this on a bad day, right? Don't decide I'm gonna have an untracked meal tonight because it's a bad day and I'm just like gonna do it. Rather say, hey, it's Friday. It’s gonna be my untracked meal, right? I'm planning for it. I'm intentional about it. I'm, you know, setting it up and that also helps, because now you're looking forward to something and I think having things that we can look forward to in our journey is also another kind of side tip that can be really helpful in helping you to continue to keep going is like what are you looking forward to in your journey, and it can't only be the results friends. It cannot only be the results that the only thing that you are getting out of your cut is results and that's the only thing that is good about it. You're never gonna stick with it. So having those things to like look forward to whether it's a, you know, treat at the end of your day or whether it's an untracked meal that you're having at the end of the week or you know whether it's just I love to do sticker charts so or like checking off things. Whether it allows you to check off your goals for the week, those types of things are really important to be able to incentivize your brain to want to keep going. All right. So the mantra for this section is rest rather than quit.
All right. How you feeling? Are you feeling a little bit more motivated. I give you 6 different ways to kind of approach this, to give you some motivation, to give you some things to consider about how to keep going in this journey and maybe one of them was helpful, maybe a couple of them are helpful. Maybe all of them are helpful but my hope is that at least one of the things that I said is something that you can latch on to, is something that you can remember, and my hope is that these mantras that I've given are quick ways for you to remind yourself of these concepts. So just as a little bit of a recap:
Number 1 was remember cutting is a choice, it is a season, and it will not last forever and the mantra is I am choosing this.
Number 2 is the question what's the game? How can we make it fun? How can I win today? And that's the mantra, How can I win today?
Number 3, I want you to break this process down into smaller steps. Just get through today. You're not thinking about the whole length of the cut. It's just about how can I get through the next 15 seconds, the next, you know, 30 minutes, the next hour, the next three hours, the next day, like breaking it down. And the mantra is, this is temporary.
Number 4 finish out today, you can quit tomorrow. You can quit tomorrow, but you're gonna finish out today. The mantra is I don't quit on bad days.
Number 5 is to look at how far you've come and to really look for what progress you are making because you are making some progress, and if you can't figure it out, you can't find it. We got to figure out how to get those negativity goggles off so that you. Because you are making progress, I guarantee it. If you are putting in effort, there is progress being made and you got to find it. So the mantra is I am making progress or this is working.
And number 6 is if you need to choose to rest rather than to quit. Take a break. Add a refeed. Take an untracked meal. Be proactive about this right, not reactive, proactive, use it as a strategy. But the mantra is rest don't quit.
Closing remarks 46:05
All right. How you feeling? Are you feeling like maybe I can do this? because it's no, there's no maybe in front of that sentence. You can do this. You got this. You can keep going. You can do hard things. And even more than that, hard things shape you, hard things mold you, hard things grow you and I am of the opinion that our whole purpose here in this world is to grow, is to grow ourselves, is to help other people grow, and that growth becomes the focus. How can we grow? How can we assist other people in their progression and their growth? And hard things are hard for a reason because they stimulate growth and it's kind of like you can't have one that one without the other. Like you can't say I want to grow. I want transformation. I want to change. But I don't want anything hard. I don't want anything uncomfortable. You can do it. It's like saying I want to go surfing, but I don't want to get wet. They don't like those things go together. You want growth, you want transformation. You want to change. It's going to require hard things. It's going to require you to push through when times get tough, and that's where you're at right now, and that's normal. Cuts can be hard. It brings up emotions, it brings up hard things. It's hard. I get it. And you can do hard things. You can keep going. You got this. I hope this has been helpful. I hope you're feeling reinvigorated and re-energized and ready to go out and tackle the rest of your day and tackle the rest of your cut because you can do it. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go on and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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