Where Progress is (and How to Find It) - Reboot Fitness Coaching

Where Progress is (and How to Find It)

So at the time of writing this I’d just put in my new contact lenses…

I’d never worn lenses before and they were messing with my eyes…. so if there are any typos in this post, please direct your complaints to my optician… (I wouldn’t be able to read them anyway).

In this post I wanted to talk about a subject that is a major part (if not THE main focus) of a fitness program:

Progress.


Now the whole point of starting a training or nutrition program, or endeavouring to learn any new skill, is to see some kind of progress…

This could come in many forms…

If your goal is to get stronger, progress could be being able to lift more weight than you could in the past…

If your goal is to lose weight, progress could be weighing less than you did before…

If your goal is to eat an entire wheel of cheese in one sitting, then progress would be eating more cheese in one go than you could previously…

Cheese eating aside, lets focus on the weight loss for a moment.

This week I had a conversation with a client who said she was struggling with her weight loss. She started my online training program and had many ups and downs over the few months prior.

Every couple of weeks I ask my clients to fill in a form that asks them some questions about how things are going.

One question concerns how they feel about their current appearance and if they’ve noticed any changes.

Another question is about sticking to the programs habit structure and whether things feel easy or not (FYI: when trying to develop habits, it should feel easy. If it’s too hard it won’t become automatic).

In the section about her appearance, my client said:

I notice my weight loss all over really. I can see myself getting a waist again, my face seems slimmer and my stomach is getting smaller.

HAPPY DAYS!!!

Stick a bottle of champagne on ice, grab the victory cigars and pass the matches for these fireworks….!!!

Whilst you’re doing that, I’ll just read the rest of this report, for the sake of completion….


I’ll hold off on this for now…


So I got down to the adherence section and expected to read all about how everything was hunky-dory; how she was finding it all super easy; and how she was loving life…

Amongst other things, here is what she had to say:

I also feel like I haven’t really seen much change recently and that is getting me down. I then lose motivation and no longer see the point in carrying on.

Needless to say, this left me a bit confused…

How could she feel like quitting when she’d seen such great changes over the past couple of weeks?

My next step was to look at the numbers. Maybe the problem was that her weight and body measurements might not have changed? So maybe despite thinking she’d seen a difference in her body shape, the numbers told a different story which lead her to question what she felt/saw?

So I pulled up the info.

More confusion…..

In one month, she’d lost 4.2 Kg…

[(INSERT LONG PAUSE FOR EFFECT…]

4.2 Kg!!!!

That’s 9.24 lbs..!!!

That’s two-thirds of a stone…!!!

In 4 weeks…!!!

Even through the blurred vision of my new contacts, I could see that is fantastic progress.

We had a phone call scheduled anyway so on the call I brought up her comments on the report and it turned out she’d been suffering from an affliction felt by a lot of people trying to change their bodies:

She’d been viewing her results in the context of her overall body shape and size.

She feels like she’s got a lot more weight to lose, and so this seemingly small progress feels like a drop in the ocean compared to what she wants to shift.

Maybe you feel the same way about your weight loss progress?

But I’m here to tell you that if you are losing weight at that rate, you are doing BRILLIANTLY.

To put it into perspective for you: if you continued to lose weight at that rate (9.24lbs over 4 weeks is 2.31 lbs/week), after 1 year (52 weeks) you’d have lost 120.12 lbs…

That’s 8 and a half Stone…

Pretty crazy right?!

Now, to be clear, it probably won’t happen like that (and depending on your starting weight would be far too much anyway)…

You might lose fat more quickly during some stretches; you might lose weight slower sometimes; and you might even put weight back on… (eeek!!). But you shouldn’t worry…

ASSESSING YOUR PROGRESS

Firstly, are you noticing things like your clothes fitting better, or even getting too big for you in areas?

It’s unlikely that all of your clothes have suddenly decided to expand (depending on who’s doing the washing they might even do the opposite), so the sensible answer is that you have got smaller. Great…

You are making progress.

When it comes to the numbers:

  • If you are losing 0.5 to 1% of your body fat every 2 to 4 weeks you are making excellent progress…
  • If you are losing 0.5% of your body fat every 4 weeks you are making average progress…
  • If you are losing less than 0.5% of body fat in 4 weeks you are making slow progress

Slow progress sounds like a bad thing but bare in mind, if you fall into any of these categories, your getting closer to your overall goal, whatever it is…

You are making progress.


After our conversation, my client felt a lot better about what she’d achieved so far and was excited to continue.

Whilst you might not currently have the luxury of chatting to me, why not try setting a reminder in your phone (that goes off every couple of weeks) to have a look at your progress over the past fortnight.

You might actually realise what a great job you’re doing!!


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About the Author Alvin Nurse

Alvin runs Reboot Fitness Coaching and has been a Fitness Coach since 2010. When not helping awesome people in their 30s rejuvenate their bodies, you'll find him listening to music, chasing a ball, or avoiding runny yolks...

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2 comments
You'll Probably 'Bulk Up' Like This Client... - Diet-Free Lifestyle Experiment says January 25, 2021

[…] has happened is she’s got stronger AND lost some body […]

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How to Find Weight Loss Motivation - 6 Easy Tips - Diet-Free Lifestyle Experiment says February 10, 2021

[…] Instead, you need to find lots of different ways to measure progress (click here if you need some ideas…). […]

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