Reshaping your body can be a funny process. One night you are totally down on yourself, caught up in the details, afraid of the days you won’t be able to count your macros if the progress is THIS SLOW when you are counting every gram. Imagining how long it is going to take if your stupid-efficient metabolism only lets you lose one pound per week. Doubting if you are really taking the rights steps towards change. But doubt does not lead to progress.
You are forgetting one thing. Those long, hard hours you are putting in at the gym are not manually burning calories anymore like the hours slaved away on the elliptical did. That iron you are lifting is RESHAPING your entire body, day and night. Revving your metabolism for years to come. Building lean, long curves and cuts in your muscles that magazines have always promised you with 30 knee-push-ups a day. You are replacing fat cells with muscle cells! An amazing biological feat!
Thought it may not always seem like it, the beauty of it is that you do not suddenly wake up one day and see all of the progress you have made. What we forget at the very beginning of our journey is that if you are putting the hard, consistent work in, after about a month you will have AT LEAST one distinct moment each week when you think: “Wow, I can actually start to see my jawline,” or “Okay, running doesn’t feel like such a chore anymore,” or “Oh my gosh, those jean shorts just slid right on…when did that happen?” And that is the beauty of this long, slow process. These little pick-me-up moments are like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. That is what makes it somewhat of an addiction.
Dedication does not equal deprivation. You are eating enough so that you can still enjoy your food, yet your food never hinders your performance, mood, or distends your tummy into a state of distress. This is you THRIVING. And this is what people mean when they say to enjoy the process. If it happened overnight, it would not be a lifestyle.
Once it becomes a lifestyle you no longer start to worry so much about the gram by gram daily differences in your calories, especially if something throws off your routine–travel, a special event, a bout of sickness. You have developed a whole new shiny frame of mind in which you only want to fuel your body with the best. You already feel great, and you just want to continue thriving. You don’t want to let that feeling go ever again. So yes, you stay strict with your workouts and your eating habits and your drinking habits. People look at you weird, like a freak of nature, but you continue on. Because you know yourself and your potential to thrive best. But you no longer have to micromanage the journey to the point of toting your food scale all over the world. It will eventually become intuitive. Intuitive thriving.