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5 Reasons You Will Never Be a Fighter

5 Reasons You Will Never Be a Fighter

Everyone fancies themselves as a bit of a fighter. We will stand up for ourselves, defend our values and beliefs, and occasionally even engage in good ol’ fisticuffs if we feel that strongly about a matter. Yes, there’s a small part of us all that believes we’ve got what it takes to face off against one another.

Some even learn a martial art and have a good crack at it. Fight nights for amateur boxing, muay thai, and MMA are frequently held, and it’s never been easier to get matched against a willing opponent.

However, true fighters are cut from a different cloth. Very few people have the heart, determination, and mental toughness it takes to succeed in the ring, and I’m willing to bet that you aren’t one of them. Sorry to burst your bubble, but here are five reasons why competitive fighting will forever remain a pipe dream.

1. You don’t have a strong enough “why.”

We all have a calling in life, and for some, it’s fighting. Natural talent and ability will only get you so far, and to succeed in the fight game, you’re going to need more than just neat skills.

Successful fighters have a deep-rooted “why” they tap into in times of low motivation and hardship—and in the life of a fighter, there are plenty of tough times.

Everyone’s why is different, and it doesn’t matter what it is. The motivation could be money, success, a shot at fame, attracting hot girls, or just going toe-to-toe with another in the ultimate challenge.

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Ask a hundred fighters what their why is, and each one will have a different answer. It really doesn’t matter what the motivation is, as long as it has profound meaning to you and is worthy of your devotion.

2. You are not obsessed with fighting.

Success 101: no matter what you choose to do in life, you need to work hard at it in order to succeed.

The only way you can sustain the tremendous effort it requires to rise to the top in your field, is to be completely obsessed with your thing.

You have to eat, sleep, and breathe, whatever it is you choose to do.

This couldn’t be truer of a fighter.

When fighters wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is put their trainers on and start the morning roadwork session. Rain, hail, or snow, whether they feel like it or not, and regardless of the pain, their body is in.

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When they’re not training, they’re thinking about training, and agonizing over what they can do to become that little bit better than the competition. When they eat, only nutritious foods that fuel intense workouts pass their lips. Fighting and training is on their mind 24/7, and they prioritize it over socializing, leisure time, and even family and friends.

This is the level of commitment it takes.

If you’re not completely obsessed with fighting to the point where you shadowbox on autopilot while you work, eat, and even while you sleep, find a new hobby.

3. You’re only fueled by anger.

Fighters are not angry people. While they compete in an aggressive sport, most live balanced and successful lives outside of the ring. If anger is all you have, then you can kiss your shot of becoming a fighter goodbye. You see, anger is only a temporary motivator, and something will come along and extinguish your hot-headedness. Whether it is the meeting of a soulmate, the birth of a child, or some life-changing epiphany, your hatred and venom will eventually fade.

And as all professional fighters know; it’s better to stay cool, calm and collected in a fight in any case. That way you’re not likely to make mistakes or take unnecessary risks.

4. You don’t have faith in yourself.

While a certain amount of self-belief is required to be successful in all of life’s endeavors, fighting calls for an unshakable belief in yourself. You have to know that you are the one.

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You have to truly believe you are stronger, faster, and technically better than your opponent.

Harbor just the slightest feeling of self-doubt, weakness, or inferiority, and you’ve already assigned yourself to defeat.

Nowhere is this truer than when fighters stare into each others eyes at the beginning of a bout. You can predict the winner in nine out of ten fights, as he’ll be the one that holds eye contact the longest. The fighter that believes without a doubt that they are going to win isn’t scared to look their opponent in the eyes.

5. You can’t handle pain.

Call it stating the bleeding obvious, but fighters endure a lot of pain.

I’m not just talking about the persistent niggles felt during training, but unbearable pain that would bring an ordinary person to their knees. And best of all? As a fighter, you have to feel the pain, and push through it.

No matter where your pain threshold lies, fighting will take you there, and beyond.

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There will be times when all you want to do is go down on one knee and cry out that you’ve had enough. But you can’t. Fighters don’t quit. Ever. They fight till death—or at least until the bell of the last round dings.

Answer this question truthfully, as in it, lies your mental fortitude for becoming a fighter: would you continue to fight despite being exhausted, wounded, and with no chance of winning?

Still not put off?

Some people will read this and think “so what? Big deal.” Nothing you’ve said has fazed me, and I’m still going to take on any man that dares to lay down the gauntlet.

To the battle-hardened few that compete, whether as a hobby or professionally, I salute you. Fighting is the ultimate form of competition, and only a small percentage of people have what it takes to succeed in this arena.

If you believe this is you, my parting advice is this: if you dream of becoming a fighter, ensure your reasons for doing so are worth dedicating your life to.

Featured photo credit: Winner Looser via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Published on August 29, 2019

How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

Having a weight loss plateau is perfectly normal. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating though, and it feels like all your hard work has ground to a halt.

Instead of seeing a weight loss plateau as a roadblock, you need to see them as speed bumps that may get in the way from time to time but, can still be navigated.

This article will look at what causes these plateaus and how you can get through them the next time they may strike.

What Is a Weight Loss Plateau?

The basics of this plateau are that weight loss or fat loss has stalled after a period of progression. But what is the real reason this has happened and why does it occur when it does? Weight loss, or fat loss, has seemed to stall and the first thing to do is to recognize if this is a plateau.

If you weigh yourself daily, you know that there are fluctuations that occur each day. If you are weighing yourself every day, you want to at least be consistent with it. Your true weight will be first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You want to weigh yourself at the same time and also make sure your scale is calibrated properly. Even a floor that is not perfectly even can give you an inaccurate reading.

It’s important to do this first thing as your weight can fluctuate just over one day, with people often seeing variations of 3-5 pounds. Since there are these daily changes, you want to take a different approach and look at your weekly averages week after week. This will give you a better snapshot at your progress and if you’ve actually reached a plateau or not.

True weight loss happens over weeks and months and that’s why tracking is important. You should see a gradual decrease over this longer time period. Healthy and sustained weight loss will be around 1-2 pounds per week. It’s a linear path that will have small up and down spikes over the time period but should still move progressively downward.

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When you see that the weight isn’t gradually dropping the way it had been over the past weeks and months, that can be your sign you’ve hit a true weight loss plateau.

The Issues with the Scale

A scale gives you some data but doesn’t always show the whole picture. You will not get an idea of true body composition as a regular scale will not show a balance between lean muscle and body fat. You may have lost 5 pounds of body fat, but gained 5 pounds of muscle and the number on the scale would stay the same. That body compositional change, however, would show some great physical results.

The body fat loss would help you appear leaner and the lean muscle gain would also enhance your overall appearance. You could look significantly different while the number on the scale hasn’t changed.

The scale is also not going to reveal issues surrounding water retention or bloating along with the hormonal fluctuations that can cause these issues. You can still check the scale, but a better indicator of weight loss will be with a tape measure.

When you’ve lost body fat, you will notice your clothes fitting differently and tracking your body part measurements can be a great way to monitor results. If you are going the tape measure route, measure these main areas:

  • Hips
  • Right thigh – at the midrange point
  • Waist – just below your ribcage and above your belly button
  • Chest – measure under the armpits
  • Right bicep – unflexed
  • Right calf
  • Neck

You can take measurements on your right and left appendages, but this is a good base of measurement to track progress.

Why Is Your Weight Not Going Down?

This may be because you are doing too much and not getting enough calories at the same time. If you are overdoing it in the gym, it can be like taking a few steps backward. Your workouts shouldn’t be over 75 minutes (30-40 may be all you need) and you want some rest days throughout the week. If you’re working out every day and exhausting yourself, your body will go into that self-preservation mode, raising stress hormones and, again, making weight loss difficult.

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If you are involved in an adequate exercise program (3-4 days per week) and going for a reasonable amount of time, you may need to add in a little more physical activity if you’ve reached a weight loss plateau. This doesn’t have to be overly intense but some extra cardio may help. This can be another 5-10 minutes on to what you are normally doing, or one or two 20-minute walks added on to your weekly amount.

You also want to make sure you’re eating enough and getting into a bit of a calorie deficit[1] if weight loss has stalled. You need not count every calorie but it’s a good idea to take a few days to track your nutrition intake so you at least have a good idea where you’re at.

Many people do not understand how many calories they are taking in each day. Calorie counting is far from a perfect science but to get a rough ballpark figure, the average woman needs around 2000 calories a day to maintain. An average man will need around 2500 calories.[2] There are many factors that can alter this requirement but this is a good starting point.

If you’re not losing weight, you’ll want to reduce that amount by around 300 calories each day and see how this is going after a week or so. If there has been no change, you might need to drop another 200 calories. You don’t want this to go lower as not enough calories can have a negative effect on your metabolism and will lead to stalled weight loss.

Is 1000 Calories a Day Too Little?

In a word? Yes. Your body needs more than that just to carry out its basic functions of living – and that’s not including you getting up and moving around. Even if you were just to lie on the couch all day, your body will need at least 1200 to 1400 calories just to exist. If you are not giving your body sufficient calories, it goes into panic mode. Your metabolism will drop as your body needs to hold on to every precious calorie to sustain itself. When this happens you can kiss weight loss goodbye. The other problem is eventually you will snap because you are so hungry and will eat everything in sight.

When you flood calories into a body with a slowed metabolism, you can guess what they end up being stored as.

Keeping yourself fed with high-quality, and nutritious foods will allow your body to run optimally and provide you with energy to be active, burn body fat, and bust through those weight loss plateaus.

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What to Do When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau

This is where it’s important to take a step back and have a look at what’s been going on in your life. Tracking your info can be helpful because it gives you some data to observe. You don’t have to be obsessive about it but recording your workouts, sleep, stress levels and understanding your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and basic metabolic rate (BMR) will help give you an indicator where the problems may arise.

If you’ve noticed you’ve been overly stressed with work and life lately, this may be the culprit. When your body experiences stress, it elevates stress hormones such as cortisol. When cortisol is constantly elevated, it can slow weight loss to a crawl. Stress hormones are released in the body as a way to preserve itself. The body will be more likely to hold on to body fat as it believes some sort of trauma is happening and it needs all the backup fuel it can get. At this point, your body is not interested in burning body fat, or building muscle – it’s interested in preserving things.

Higher stress may also lead to a lack of sleep which causes the same issues, and when you add these two together, they compound their negative effects. If you’re seeing this to be the case, it means you will have to slow things down a bit. Make getting extra sleep a priority and you may have to back off the workouts for a bit. Even better, taking some time off from the gym can be a great way to let your whole body, central nervous system, and immune system recover.

This could be a good time to focus on relaxing, meditation, or yoga. You also want to make sure you’re keeping your diet as clean as possible as eating things like refined sugar and carbs when stressed can easily lead to weight gain.

Listen to your body and give it a breather when needed. Doing this will allow it to come back stronger than before.

How to Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau

When you hit a plateau, it’s a sign that your body is becoming complacent. There is no longer enough stimulation to warrant a response from your body. If you remember back to high school biology, you’ll recall homeostasis. This is a state of balance and it’s the preferred state your body wants to be in. Your body is all about self-preservation and keeping things stable. This is an evolutionary response to conserve energy for those times when it may be more needed.

Your body will learn to do things as efficiently as possible and therefore, you will progress with weight loss, and muscle and strength gains for a while – but then it hits a wall. Your body has figured out how to efficiently manage what you’re throwing at it, and this means it’s time to switch things up.

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For workouts, you want to always keep your body guessing. The best workout is the one you haven’t done yet. Your body needs an ever-changing stimulus in order to get more results. The good news is this doesn’t have to be a drastic overhaul. If you’re exercising, you just want to make changes to your routine, exercise order, duration, or repetitions. At the very least, you want to do at least what you did last workout – plus a little more. If you ran for 30 minutes, go for 32 next time. If you did 10 repetitions of an exercise, go for 11 or 12.

You can change the order of the exercises you do, perform some cardio before strength training, add in some high-intensity intervals, or shorten your rest periods between sets. The main thing is to give a bit of a shock to your body in order for it to change.

Final Thoughts

Weight loss plateaus will happen, it’s just all about being prepared for when they strike. Getting an understanding of why they happen is important to progress past them. What’s also important is realizing how your body works, and what it needs in order for it to respond favourably to exercise and diet.

A weight-loss plateau can be overcome with changes in activity, addressing lifestyle issues, and keeping the diet as clean as possible. Recognizing when stress has overwhelmed you, sleep is being neglected, and you need a break will go a long way in helping combat weight loss plateaus.

You also need to be aware of consuming enough calories per day and the issues that come from not nourishing your body properly. Healthy weight loss is all about combining exercise, diet, rest, recovery, and an overall holistic approach for it to happen.

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Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

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