Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Discouraged while waiting for results

Options
Hello,

I've been doing better with my fitness lately. I've recently started tracking every thing I eat, even my weekly cheat meal (Friday dinner), what I eat on the weekends, and even any alcohol which are all things I didn't track before. And I've been consistent with going to the gym for the past two weeks. However, I keep hitting this mental block where I look in the mirror and don't see any results and I get so discouraged and down that I almost quit, which is exactly what has happened to me in the past. I know weight loss is 1 lb a week and eventually I'll notice an actual difference, but does anyone have advice on sticking with it despite discouraging thoughts? I don't want to sabotage myself. I'm even using a new scale for everything I'm eating, and I caught myself doubting if it's wrong and letting me eat too much. But that just ties into expecting results quicker

Replies

  • digidoomed
    digidoomed Posts: 151 Member
    Options
    My two takeaways from your post:

    You’re expecting results waaaaaaay too fast. Look at all the other threads here complaining of the same thing. People start and get discouraged when two weeks later they’re not noticeably smaller. Did you get noticeably bigger from week to week? Nope? Why in the world would you expect the process to work any faster in reverse? Give it time.

    Second: you make no bones about a cheat day. There’s cheat days and there’s cheat days, but if you go into the process planning on a woo-hoo! day per week, you’re cheating no one but yourself because you’re not learning new habits- you’re holding your breath from one cheat to the next and eventually it’s gonna implode into another failed plan.

    IOW you’re setting yourself up for failure.

    Instead of cheat days, build things you enjoy into your calorie goal. I built my whole Sunday around two mouthwatering donuts. Lunch was a simple bowl of soup and dinner will be 10oz of grilled chicken, quinoa, and broccoli slaw. In between I squoze some lattes, cottage cheese and fruit, and Greek yogurt. I yearn for and eagerly await Donut Sundays, but they’re not cheat days. They’re within goal.

    You need to learn new habits, new ways of eating, a plan you can carry through for the rest of your life, not think of it as penance you pay between cheat days.

    Much success to you!

    Thank you for your advice. I think I am just impatient in general and anxious to see I'm doing things right. Also I think I might have incorrectly describes what I mean by cheating. I didn't mean to describe it as like a day where I just eat whatever for multiple meals. Just that I enjoy treating myself to a meal I didn't cook that I might consider unhealthy. So just for example, last Friday I got Wendy's for dinner after the gym/work. I know you mentioned concern, but even with my regular weekly meals I cook them all myself and they're both tasty and fit with my plan, so im not making myself deprived or anything. Just it's something I like to indulge in, and then I cook for myself the rest of the weekend. I used to not track on the weekends but I have change that habit
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    Options
    It's only been a few weeks, you definitely need to give it more time. Visual changes can be tricky too since we see ourselves everyday. Take progress photos, measurements (I would say monthly or more since change can be slow and you don't want to get more discouraged), some people like to track their trend weight and use an app to help see the trend go down vs putting pressure on a single weigh in.

    Maybe focus on continuing to be consistent, set fitness goals.

    I've been doing this for 6 years and still feel like I look the same, until I compare progress photos, then it kinda clicks
  • Onedaywriter
    Onedaywriter Posts: 326 Member
    Options
    This is a process and a lifestyle change. Take pride in how you have been doing lately!! Sounds like you’re doing great!!

    Think about mini goals and non scale victories!! There are lots of posts here about that. Maybe there’s something in the gym that is achievable in the near future - stay on treadmill x minutes longer, press a few extra pounds etc. maybe there’s a killer food you want to avoid completely (for me was and still is chips (crisps)). It’s amazing how little goals add up and make big ones happen!

    Stay the course! You will succeed!
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    Options
    My opinion: it is almost impossible to see a personal change in the short term. For one thing, we tend to be harder on ourselves to begin with. When I lost weight in 2014 (lost ~50 from Jan-Oct) I did not 'see' a difference in myself for a long time despite dropping clothing sizes. Not until I looked at some pictures.

    If there are other physical things you can work on, that may help. How is your posture? If its not good, one's body can look 'unpleasant' in areas as a result.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Options
    Do not wait for results. Focus on your process. Refine it as much as you can so that you can be fairly consistent and happy(ish) most days. Allow the results to be a surprise bonus prize that shows up occasionally.

    Lose the cheat days and meals. All they do is remind you of what you believe "normal" eating is. Normal is what you need to change. It is best, imo, to nudge your normal in small increments. Make all your treat food and drinks fit in your set weekly calorie budget. There are ways like banking to accomplish this. There will also be compromises and some hard choices. As quickly as you can embrace the notion that weight loss is just a small chapter and that weight management will be a lifelong endeavor or you put yourself at risk of regaining.

  • Diatonic12
    Diatonic12 Posts: 32,344 Member
    Options
    Flip the Switch and defy your brain. Use all of the time to think about all of the things including those things that have tripped you up in the past. I agree with @springlering62 about the Cheat Meal mentality. It may be only one cheat meal every Friday evening but this becomes the food reward for 6 compliant days of your plan.

    It's not immediate gratification but the brain does prioritize these rewards. Motivation and willpower are all about emotions. The emotional part of our brain always responds to immediate gratification and cheat meal food rewards.

    The logical part of our brains respond to reasoning. The emotional and logical parts of our brain are always in a battle. The winner shows you why you should choose one option over another.

    The emotional part of the brain has a hard time looking waaaay down the road. The logical part of the brain doesn't. The logical part of the brain knows there's only choices and consequences. It can clearly see the future consequences of the actions we take today.

    In the beginning of any new positive food management plan the emotions can easily override any logical skills we have. Emotions can drive, drive, drive all of our decisions. If you want to win this battle let logical reasoning take the wheel with consistency, consistency, consistency.
  • digidoomed
    digidoomed Posts: 151 Member
    Options
    I want to say thank you to everyone for your advice and encouraging words. I like a lot of the advice in this thread. I think I will start doing progress pics and track my performance in the gym. I have a goal of doing a pull up and I have noticed I've been able to use less weight on the assisted machine, so I can look to things like that for progress. Also, I've been genuinely enjoying my meals lately. I plan the ingredients out in my app and then use my scale to measure everything out. I'm overall just impatient and over think everything by nature so I really do appreciate everyone's help.
  • vingogly
    vingogly Posts: 1,785 Member
    Options
    Decide why you're really here. Write down your motivations in the form "I want to do __ and __ to achieve/improve __ and __ so I can reach my goals of __" and put them up where you can see them often. Mine are:

    I want to maintain my ideal weight and fitness to
    Improve my health and quality of life so
    I can reach my goals of living longer and enjoying life.

    That's what it's really about for me -- not just seeing a needle move on a scale or wearing a smaller size of clothing.
  • PKM0515
    PKM0515 Posts: 3,088 Member
    Options
    vingogly wrote: »
    Decide why you're really here. Write down your motivations in the form "I want to do __ and __ to achieve/improve __ and __ so I can reach my goals of __" and put them up where you can see them often. Mine are:

    I want to maintain my ideal weight and fitness to
    Improve my health and quality of life so
    I can reach my goals of living longer and enjoying life.

    That's what it's really about for me -- not just seeing a needle move on a scale or wearing a smaller size of clothing.

    Great idea!

    @vingogly, I'm so glad to see your post! Perhaps I haven't been looking at the right threads, but I felt like you hadn't posted in a LONG time and was concerned about you. I remember your good advice from other threads.