This is the difference in my body after a forced 2 month rest period, versus 1 month back into physical activity. I followed 4 Week FBburn for my workout program.
There's nothing wrong with my body in the first picture, not at all. However, I did feel pretty lousy. Stress manifests itself very harshly in my health and we have been under a great deal of stress for a while now. My health suffered over the summer and I ended up being in a situation where I couldn't do anything strenuous at all for almost 2 months. I struggled a bit, mentally and physically. When I started back in, I actually had to do the low impact version of my own workout program because I was not ready for the higher impact. It was humbling and frustrating and entirely necessary. Now, 4 weeks later, I am feeling much better but honestly will probably not feel back to "normal" for another few weeks. That's perfectly fine, and to be expected after an extended break.
I wrote this for you guys while I was down & out: Dealing with setbacks; How to stay fit while injured or sick
The program I used is a combination of strength and HIIT, with elements of functional training, Pilates, flexibility work, etc. It's 5 days a week, roughly 37 minutes a day. I did not do anything extreme; I had to do the beginner modifications at first and I even missed a few workouts. We all know that diet is enormously important to both health and fitness but mine has been pretty sloppy over the last month (I had a birthday, traveled a lot, and did a lot of fun stuff with good friends). Still, I saw a difference in my body composition (I have no idea about weight; I don't weigh myself).
Neither of the bodies you see in these pictures is better than the other, though I definitely feel a lot better in the second picture. Also, full disclosure; I tried to recreate my clothes, situation (no flexing - completely relaxed, same time of the month, after breakfast, after a workout & shower in both pics) and posture as best as I could in these two pictures. But, these changes could probably easily be recreated in 10 seconds by sucking in the belly; flexing in one pic but not the other. I know that before and after pictures can easily be misleading - that's not lost on me. But also, this was my experience.
Sometimes I get the urge to share these more personal fluctuations and life hiccups, and sometimes, I act on it; I want to help normalize the fluctuations that are inevitably going to happen in our lives, bodies and fitness. Injury, lack of motivation, illness, insanely busy lives, pregnancy, depression, significant life events - there is no shortage of speed bumps in life. Our bodies and our minds will be in a constant state of change. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. I know that it helps me to hear messages from others of self acceptance and patience, so I want to at least try and do the same for our FBfamily. My main message is; never panic. Try to be gentle with yourself, and try not to beat yourself up when you're going through a challenge, or while you're trying to make changes to improve your life.
By the way - remember not to compare yourself with others. We all change at different rates, in different ways; don't judge yourself.
Honestly, I would recommend not even focusing on "the results". Focus on the work. Focus on showing up and pushing yourself through your workouts. Focus on making the right food decisions, for good health. Forget about results at all, just focus on doing the best that you can every day - knowing that there will inevitably be some "off days" or days where you stumble, and then one day "the results" will smack you in the face, due to your daily efforts, both big and small.
Long story short, I am back on the workout wagon and it feels great! But I wanted to share my short story just to show you that we all fall off of it sometimes :)