Taken from http://www.hussmanfitness.org/html/TSInsideOut.html
It turns out that the idea of changing from the inside out is literally true as well.
From the notes I've received from some of you, the most common concern seems to be that your fat loss seems too slow. After starting a serious fitness program including cardiovascular and weight training, nearly everyone feels better and more energetic almost immediately (aside from the perpetual soreness). But even after several weeks, some people do not see a noticeable change in the mirror, so far as fat is concerned. And the scale! You've busted your bottom for weeks, and there's no change! Of course, if you've really been half-hearted about following your program, it's clear why this may happen, but it can also happen when you have honestly been experiencing intensity every day, and have been careful about limiting your portions. I've received messages from people literally in tears at the frustration. Kid, the road to Easy Street runs through the sewer. You gotta get tough (words spoken to me by my favorite teacher, Father Arnold Perham).
Here's what's going on. Fat is stored in several places, within the muscle as intramuscular fat (which is why pork is "the other white meat"), around the organs as "visceral fat", and under the skin as "subcutaneous fat". If you're inactive as you get older, the fat starts depositing in the muscles first - the muscle tissue gets "marbelized". After the intramuscular stores are full, the fat spills over to subcutaneous stores, which are more noticeable. Well, now take that process in reverse. Exercise (and specifically interval training and progressive weight training) tends to draw significantly from the intramuscular stores early on, so instead of seeing a major change in the mirror, you may instead feel your muscles getting firmer and less "mushy". That's a good sign. Don't give up! The subcutaneous fat loss becomes more evident once the intramuscular stores are whittled down a bit.
If you were able to look inside of your cells and see your "good" enzymes increasing, your energy-producing mitochondria multiplying, your cholesterol falling, your arteries clearing, your blood vessels becoming more efficient, your muscles strengthening, your bone-density improving, and all of the remarkable changes that this program triggers, it would be clear that the scale and calipers are just insufficient ways of measuring success. As these internal changes become significant, your external progress accelerates. Some people just start out needing more internal changes than others, because of their prior lifestyle, long-term yo-yo dieting, and other factors. Please understand that if you're following the daily intensity and carefully limiting your portions, the progress is happening, whether it's obvious or not. I've just seen too many individual cases to think any different.
So don't force the numbers. They'll come. Here is your job today: adhere to a winning pattern of action that you know will produce results if you follow it consistently. That's all. And if you do that today, congratulate yourself as a winner. If instead, you insist on measuring your success by whether or not the scale or caliper show progress today, you're creating a game you can lose. In Steven Covey's words, you're putting yourself in the position of trying to manage consequences rather than actions. You'll never get a reliable sense of confidence that way. Look, you're following a program that works. Do troubleshoot. Do review your workouts, food choices, portion sizes, and meal plans. But make every day a game you can win.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Someone posted this on a message board I visit it. It is worth reading if you'd like some motivation for your own exercise program: