Let’s discuss how to hang on to see the results that are around the next corner.
In the book Atomic Habits, author James Clear makes a great analogy about what progress is really like:
You have an ice cube on your kitchen table and the goal is to MELT the ice cube. The room is at 20 degrees; the ice is not melting. You slowly start heating up the room; 21, 22, 23 degrees fahrenheit. Still no changes. There is NO EVIDENCE your efforts are working to melt the ice cube. 24, 25, 26 degrees, no changes. You start to question everything you’ve done, everything you’ve read about melting ice. Should you quit? Eventually you hit 30 degrees, 31 degrees. And if you stop here – all your hard work is for nothing. But if you persist and stay consistent with heating up the room, you see signs of the ice cube melting at 32 degrees. You were doing the right thing all along, but you needed more time to see the progress you wanted.
That above example is EXACTLY what real life progress is like for most of our clients. We can hit our macros 7/7 for a week and the scale may not move at all. As coaches, we’ve seen clients hit their numbers perfect for an entire month with ZERO scale movement. Then the next week the scale drops 5 pounds. This is just not a one-client scenario; all of as coaches have had clients with high consistency who it seems like zero progress is being made and that they stalled, and then the next week there is a HUGE drop in the scale.
The clients who see the BEST results are the ones who keep going week after week EVEN when the scale doesn’t show them the confirmation of their hard work.
The term Plateau of Latent Potential that James Clear talks about in the first chapter of Atomic Habits is so relatable to what we try to stress in Stay Fit Mom. It’s the delay between expectations and results. When you find yourself week after week struggling to stick with your nutrition because the scale isn’t dropping like you want it to, that eating protein and drinking water isn’t getting easier, it’s not that you’ve lost the ability to improve, it’s that we think progress is going to be linear. And that it will be steady week after week. You probably haven’t crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential yet. You are the ice cube that’s sitting at 29 degrees; your efforts are not wasted, they are being stored. And the crazy part is that when you break through the plateau, other people will think you are an exception to the norm; an overnight success. When in reality, you put your head down and dug deep even when you didn’t want to; when the scale didn’t move for weeks, when your kids were sick and work was stressful. You kept putting in the work because you know that it’s the right thing to do. This is when you look back at your progress pictures from 6 months ago and see all the hard work you couldn’t see day to day.
And this is why as nutrition coaches we stress the importance of consistency; and not just being consistent for one week, but doing it over and over – repeatedly – even when the scale doesn’t give us the confirmation of the hard work we’ve put in. When the scale doesn’t move, we second guess all of the things we’re doing in the name of fat loss. That’s why we as nutrition coaches ask you to submit progress pictures, report back on your biofeedback, informing us on how your clothes are fitting. Being consistent with nutrition even when the scale doesn’t budge is what will get you over through the valley of disappointment and out the other side.
We know you’re not robots, but we know that this process works. It’s just a matter of trusting that it works and following through so your body has time to catch up with it.
If you feel STUCK, I urge you to keep going. Trust your coach, trust the process that has worked for other women in SFM. Work is NEVER wasted if consistent effort is applied.
If you liked this post you might also like Pushing Through a Plateau.
Some other great posts SFM has on consistency: