Over the past couple of months I have been seeing big weight fluctuations and my weight has increased a little bit. I think most of the increase is muscle but it is still tough to see the numbers go up on the scale after working so hard to make them come down.
It is the day-to-day fluctuations that are maddening. My weight can increase 5 pounds in a day and decrease 2-3 pounds in a day. These fluctuations are my “real” weight, they are just daily changes in how much water my cells are retaining. These changes in how much water is being retained are caused by many things and most often are related to my sodium intake.
I have talked about these things before in my blog but there is one difference today. As I have been struggling with some big fluctuations I have been trying to figure out what caused each one. How much sodium did I eat? How much alcohol did I drink? How much water did I drink? How was the quality of my sleep? What did my resting heart rate do?
All of these varying factors have reminded me that fitness is a symphony and not a solo.
By this I mean that living a fit life means constantly balancing dozens of factors. There is not a single “secret” to staying fit. This means you have to be aware and can’t just mindlessly leave your fitness to autopilot or you won’t ever be fit.
When I say dozens of factors I really mean it too. Start with diet: how much did you eat, how much protein did you get, how much fiber, how much sodium and how much carbohydrates? Then move to exercise: how much exercise did you get, how many calories did you burn versus what you consumed, did you get a balance of cardio and strength training, did you rest and stretch properly to care for you joints and muscles? Then comes hydration: did you drink enough water, did you drink too much of anything else like soda or alcohol or caffeine? Plus there is sleep, heart rate and, of course, weight. Lots of things to balance to make sure that you are living your fittest possible life. And all of that is just your physical health before thinking about mental, emotional, social, spiritual and other types of health.
With all of these factors at play you can see how fitness is a symphony. In a symphony a disproportionate focus on any of the players results in not getting the sound that you desired. In fitness a disproportionate focus on these factors means that you don’t get the results that you are hoping to achieve and can get wild daily weight fluctuations too.
I know that tracking all of this sounds super-complicated and it can be. But I will also say that I didn’t start by tracking all of these factors. I simply started by tracking what I put in my body to increase my mindfulness versus my autopilot and I started by moving more. Everything else built from there as I learned more. So don’t let the complexity prevent you from taking a first step.
This fitness symphony is why I often get taken aback or even a little frustrated when somebody asks me “what was your secret?” By expecting to hear that there is some secret people are trying to ask which soloist made the symphony sound good. It just doesn’t work that way. It was much harder work than that.
Thanks for reading!
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