So, yesterday I was at Crossfit212 (I know surprise, surprise)…and the WOD was the type that I usually KILL. Anything with Olympic lifting in it I not only love, but I have found it to be something I excel at. Anyway, I was feeling good & working up to my “working weight” for the WOD on the deadlift. The actual workout consisted of 3 deadlifts, 6 one legged squats, & 9 dead hang pull ups…as many rounds of that as possible in 12 minutes. The prescribed weight for the deadlift for women was 185 pounds. Now, the awesome thing about Crossfit is you can modify anything!! Most of the women were lifting much lower weight. BUT, of course you all know me so well by now to know that I was going to do the prescribed 185 pounds. Usually that weight is not too heavy for me. However, yesterday it just was too heavy. I ended up doing the WOD, but only lifting 165 pounds. Instead of really embracing the workout at 165 pounds all I could see was a setback. Sigh.

After leaving Crossfit I started really thinking about setbacks. We find them in ALL aspects of life, but they are especially hard with weight loss. These emotions that were bubbling up inside really reminded me of a certain setback I had at the ranch. It was a couple months into being at the ranch & I was approaching a number on the scale that I had NEVER been able to overcome. Never. I just had decided that like every other time I had tried to get over that hump this time would be no different & I was going home. Jillian, & her super powers of discernment picked up on this immediately. She pulled me aside during a workout & said “Pookie, (she has AWESOME pet named for everyone) what’s going on?” I began to share with her my fears about the impending setback. Jillian simply looked at me and said, “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you believe in science? More importantly…Do you not believe in me?” I stood there with my mouth on the floor. What did my possible setback have to do with science? AND why on earth would she think I didn’t believe in her? She is superwoman mistress of the universe in my eyes. Per usual I dropped in a puddle of tears. She hugged me and looked into my eyes & said, “You are doing everything right…you are eating on point & putting in the work in the gym. Trust your body…it’s science and it will let the weight go.ย Let me believe in you while you’re not strong enough to do it alone. When you are strong enough to believe in yourself again I’ll give it back to you.”

Amazing…simply amazing. That was the week I not only overcame a number on the scale, but I also lost 16 pounds.

Ok, now what does that have to do with my setback at Crossfit? I was brought back to that moment because I needed reminding that it’s all a process. Our bodies are not machines…when it comes to weight loss 2+2 doesn’t always equal 4. Sometimes it adds up to 1.5…sometimes it’s 16!!!! The point is progress WILL happen you just have to believe in yourself & trust in the science. That’s what I’m doing…I’m believing in myself & trusting that if I continue to train faithfully the next time deadlifts come around in a workout I’ll be lifting 185…no problem!

Lastly, (I know this has turned into a novel) Jillian also gave us this tip: don’t concentrate so much on the number each week…average your weight loss over the month. Especially us ladies…our bodies fluctuate with water etc throughout the month. If you are keeping on point with everything, you will be amazed at how consistent you are month to month.

How do you handle setbacks?? Are you a glass half full or half empty person?? Let me know in the comments…I’ll be checking back in to answer questions in the comments tomorrow morning. Let’s chat!!



Ps. If you are not strong enough to believe in yourself yet…I got your back. I’ll hand it back over to you when you’re ready!

83 replies on “Setbacks”

I have always been a science-brained person – and I think one of the biggest problems with weight loss for me is the fact that 2 + 2 can equal 1.5 or 16 (as you so aptly put it). I’m only now starting to realize that the science is just more complicated than I originally thought – and I’m really curious to see if this month-to-month average will be as consistent as you (and Jillian) say it will be.

But I guess my real issue is that when I do experience a set-back (a real one – or one I’ve just convinced myself exists) – I panic. So my question to you is – how do you find that strength inside of you to keep going and to work through the setback. How do you get yourself out of bed the next morning and back to the gym or back to eating healthy.

Don’t make it so hard…remember keep it simple. You wake up in the am put your feet on the floor and choose to do it. Don’t try to over think things in that moment…just get up & go. You can work on the issues when you are back on track. It’s a choice plain & simple…take joy in that! You can do this.

Thanks Olivia. I think I often forget that even just a few hours later I might feel totally different and sometimes the best thing to do is just to get up and do something. Its funny how when I feel down or discouraged there’s a part of me that thinks I’ll always feel that way even though thats not true. All the advice and motivation that you, Bob, Jillian and all the other past BL contestants post to twitter and facebook really helps me continue on and gives me hope that I’ll feel strong. I think the most annoying part of this for me is – that the weakness is really all in my mind. I’m crushing all my weight loss goals right now, and as of yesterday, I’ve reached a weight that I’ve never seen in my adult life. I’m literally the smallest I’ve been in over 10 years, and i’m only 23. And I just need to remind myself that my body being sore after a work out, or asking me to give it a break isn’t weakness – its my body showing me how much stronger its becoming.

Exactly!! Bob used to say…”if you’re not sore you’re not doing something right!”. I love the idea of being sore b/c it’s the body telling you it’s changing! Remember REST is as important as the workouts…your body needs recovery! Just like you choose to go to the gym…now work on choosing to be strong of mind. Mental strength is a muscle that needs training just like the rest. When you feel like your mind is bringing you down CHOOSE not to let it. The more you exercise that mental toughness the more second nature it will become. ๐Ÿ™‚

You don’t know how badly I needed this pep talk right now, Olivia. I started eating clean and exercising (need to lose about 70 lbs) a little over 2 weeks ago. The first week I lost 5 lbs, so I was thrilled. The second week, however, I gained a little over half a lb. It may not seem like much, but I was devastated. I kept thinking that I had been doing everything right – no cheating or indulging at all – so what was the problem. Starting my third week, I had a decision to make. Right now I’ve just been taking it day by day and reminding myself that it’s a process – a lifetime marathon of healthiness, not a sprint. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! You’re truly amazing.

Oh, the dreaded 2nd week of weight loss. Trust me that is very normal…think of the shock your body is going through! Week one is always great b/c the body doesnt know what hit it…week two it is going to fight back slightly. Remember what Jillian said…trust the science of it…it make take a few weeks to get rolling, but don’t stop…the scale will move! Like you said…it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Thanks Olivia! I didn’t realize it would take a few WEEKS to get rolling – that is good to know so I can prepare myself mentally for that. (Does that sound weird?) I’ve also been using your idea to schedule a treat each month. I LOVE that and it totally takes the “oh crap I just failed and now I need to binge” feeling out of the equation. And the funny thing that I realized this month is that my treat doesn’t have to take me out of my caloric range for the day, I just have to plan it out ahead of time. I’m definitely going to put what Jillian said on my mirror, “trust the science of it.” Love that.

Olivia, setbacks is what borthers me the most and has for a year now i dont feel good about weight lose like i should and now matter if i workout, walk or run ect. then when i weight myself and if dont like that number i want to give up i truly do!!!! xoxox O!!

We all have the weight of so many things on our shoulders what an amazing thing for someone to take one of those worries away if only for a little while to allow you to focus on the things that are the most important at the moment.

Setbacks… story of my life. It always seems as though right when things begin to go the right way, things comes to a complete hault and totally reverse. Typically when this happens I have a horrible attitude and go into almost a depression for about a week or so. I HATE failing at things or being told or shown I cannot do something. Whether that be in workouts, school, relationships… I hate being a failure, which tends to be the trend more often than not anymore. (So very frustrating)!!! Once I get over the initial setback and failure, I try to begin looking at life/the setback in a different manner… I try to think of any possible way to overcome that. Or depending on the subject, just learn to accept it and move on.

Unfortunately, right now I am unable to pull myself out of that funk like usual. I think the huge amount of stress in my life right now has totally taken over and is standing in my way of jumping over this hurdle. This setback seems so permanent right now… Which then becomes more frustrating because it feels like I’ll never accomplish it. What do I do? I’ve always been a fighter… I’m so beyond frustrated that I can’t even fight now.

How do I make this setback a come back? As weird as this sounds… It’s like I just need someone to tell me it will be okay. Someone to smack me and tell me to snap out of it, suck it up, setbacks happen, and fight for this. I feel so weak saying that… But then again, we all fall sometimes and need someone to pick us up on occasion, right?

Thanks for your amazing, thought-provoking posts!

Hey Olivia,
For me, it’s one of those amazing “God incidences” that you wrote this at this time. I have been thinking about you and your story you shared regarding this week on the ranch, even thinking about that exact episode… even before you wrote it here, because as I have been taking care of my parents this past month (as my dad had a stroke Memorial Day weekend, and my mom is having trouble with her breathing and diabetes)…as I am going from the hospital to doctor appts with my mom, I haven’t been able to lose any weight and break through a number that I am stuck at the past 3 weeks. Last Sat. I just cried on the scale at WW. I am doing the work outs each day, but haven’t been able to track the food. With all the knowledge, nothing is going into my mouth that is not healthy, but I know I need to get back to prepping the really good food and writing it down. This week, I put the bodybugg back on and I’m trying to be accountable for it all…as you said, science doesn’t lie. I feel like the last 3 weeks have been a set back, but as I hit it hard and do everything right again, the scale has to move. Praying to break through another big number this week. Total weight loss so far…66 pounds! 60 more to go! Thanks for inspiring me tonight! Love, Wendy

Hi Wendy!! Yes, God is good & His timing is perfect! I know you will have an awesome week…you are half way to your goal…how awesome is that??

Thank you for your post. 2 years and 85lbs into my weight loss journey and I have had several setbacks, but I like what you said about trusting the process and the science of it. So many times I let those setbacks weigh me down which can send me into a spiral of guilt. That guilt can outweigh all the work I have done.

Thanks for your encouragement and continual reflection. It helps to know that even when you lose the weight it is still about being on a journey to something.

Ugh, guilt is so hard! We all feel it from time to time, but the best way to overcome guilt is simply to move forward…I know easier said than done, but it’s true.

I have been dealing with set backs for years with having surgeries now dealing with the aftermath -MENOPAUSE…. I only pray there is hope for me that one day I will notice a change, I get discourage ALOT! Thanks for this post I really needed to hear this ! I had the pleasure of meeting your sister in Florida and her picture is on my fridge to remind me that it is possible I just have to put more effort and believing in myself sometimes when there is stress in your life it is really hard to focus … & Cortisol is your enemy … I just have to punch out the negative thoughts and focus on me & my goals to be fit & healthy…thanks again !

Although, I haven’t experienced Menopause yet I have watched my mother go throu it! It is so hard…in so many ways. It’s so easy to get discouraged especially when you feel your body is fighting you every step of the way! You are right…YOU CAN DO THIS! Try to workout when you feel stressed…its an amazing stress reliever AND a great cortisol fighter. Even if you cant get to the gym…take a quick walk or jog. Even a quick circuit of jumping jacks and pushups in your living room will do the trick! Xo, Olivia

Hi Olivia,

When setbacks occur during my workouts, I remind myself of the following things: Tomorrow is another day and any workout is better than doing nothing at all. I then move on to do a different activity that my body is feeling strong to do that day.

This happened to me last week actually. I started my workout with a hill workout on the elliptical that I combine semi-often with circuit workouts. Anyways, for some reason on that day, I was weak as ever climbing those hills. I pushed as hard as a I could until I really felt ill. Then I decided well perhaps my body needs a break from cardio today and I did strength training instead and killed it. It felt so great to not give up when I felt ill because the old Sue would have done that very quickly. I still got a great workout in that morning, just not the one I had planned to do.

When I get a setback on the scale or with my eating habits, I just use that as a reminder to get myself back on track. I still have my out of control moments from time to time, but I find that the longer I’m on this healthy path, the easier it is for me to get back on track during these ocassional setbacks.

Kudos to you, Olivia, for aiming high! Who cares if you had to drop the weight this time around. Praise yourself for trying. We all know you’ll kill it next time around. You’re a beast in training! ๐Ÿ˜‰

You are so right…Tomorrow is another day! I love that…we always get another whack at it. In those moments I need to remember those wise words! Thank you for your encouragement. xo Olivia

This really couldn’t have come at a better time!! i’ve been having a rough week and this just motivated me to stay on track and TRUST THE PROCESS! Olivia, you have been an absolute inspiration to my journey and I truly thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Your tweets and blogs are always inspirational!

Gracias Sexy Lady

ps Hannah you are awesome too!


ohh and what ever happened to the Egg Whites blog? (anxiously waiting)

I’m so glad the post encouraged you! I try to share honest issues I experience…I feel like if I’m feeling these things maybe someone else is too. You all help me more than you will ever know! Thank you again for your sweet comment. xo Olivia

So what happens when you don’t have a setback, but you’re not out of the gate very well either? I started Bob’s Skinny Rules about two weeks ago and have lost MAYBE 1 pound. My husband has lost atleast 6. Plus I’m so tired and have a few headaches. I’m eating more veggies and fruits that I have in my lifetime and no carbs after lunch. I’m trying to loose atleast 20 pounds for a wedding in September. Any suggestions on what to do or what I might be doing wrong? Thank you!

Are you exercising? Are you keeping track of how much you are eating? I know those seem like silly questions, but they both make the biggest difference! If you have a wedding in Sept it’s time to kick it into overdrive…try to do some sort of exercise 6 days a week and take one day as a complete rest day. Track your food…it’s amazing how clear it is where the problems are when you do that! You can do this…oh, and don’t try to compare yourself with the hubby…he will always lose mor faster. Men have super speedy metabolisms…its just a fact.

This was a great post, Olivia! It reminded me that I should be looking at the bigger picture, rather than the minutia of fractions of pounds I check every morning (I can be a scale junkie and I need to quit it!)

Some days you definitely feel “thin” and “small” and capable of any workout – while other days you feel like dead weight that can’t reach new heights. I agree that having a woman’s body is a rollercoaster – water weight, bloat, and “time of month” play a huge role for me and my setbacks.

I just have to remember that in the end, it will all level out and that I am doing the right thing! Thanks for keeping that evident in your post – sometimes we need to hear it from someone else ๐Ÿ™‚

PS small victory – went away for a 3-day mini vacation, and for the first time in the history of vacations did not gain when returning home – and I enjoyed some delicious food while away – AWESOME! ๐Ÿ™‚

<3 Jill

Jill that’s awesome!! What a great victory! I love hearing stories like that…its about living life in balance…so great. Yes, we have to keep our eye on the bigger picture. Have you tried tracking your inches instead of daily weigh ins? I still recommend weighing in maybe once every other week to keep on track, but for some people it helps to just chart their inches week to week. Might be a good change up…just an idea. xo, Olivia

That is a good idea – I definitely know inches are disappearing because my pants are looser! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will give it a shot this week – thanks for the suggestion and thanks for taking time to respond – love that!


Hey Olivia! I was just wondering, do you have a set schedule for work everyday? How hard do you find it to fit in 1 or 2 sessions of workout each day plus work? I’m a recent college graduate just getting into the working world, I played college volleyball and now I need to find time to do workouts on my own since volleyball is over. It seems like theres never enough time in the day! You always seem to fit in your workouts no matter what. Any tips on time management for that?? THANK YOU!

It’s hard…I don’t have a “desk job”, but my daily schedule is always packed. I keep my workouts scheduled as if I worked 9-5…I call them my daily non-negotiables. No matter what I get them in. I usually go early in the am and the. Again in the evenings. If I can’t go in the am…I go quickly at lunchtime. It idles take a lot of planning, but is worth it. I usually plan out my “workout schedule” on Sundays for the week. I look at my schedule then put in my calendar on my phone when my workouts will be…then it’s easy as just sticking to it. I find that when the plan is just to “workout everyday” it always gets pushed to,the back burner. Treating your workouts as if they are meetings etc gaurentees it will get done! xo, Olivia

Yes Olivia! I agree I have to schedule my workouts as non-negotiables. However, this has led to somewhat of a setback for me. I’m almost 18 months into my weight loss, 130 lbs down, 3-10 to go, and lately I feel like my setback is my friends and family. They don’t understand that I’m still working toward my goal and it seems like they get frustrated if I decline dinner invites, nights out, etc. because it’s during an already-scheduled gym session. I know it’s all about balance and I’ve balanced out a lot the past month, but how do I work this out? How do I work toward my goal when it seems like it’s annoying those around me?

Since having my son 20 months ago, I lost 32lbs of baby weight plus an additional 42lbs! Every week was a struggle and sometimes the scale went in the opposite direction, but I kept pressing on and now am 2 lbs away from my goal weight. I started running a year ago and could barely make it .25 miles.. I just ran my first 5k earlier this month and signed up for my first 10k next month. My biggest set back right now is getting the ‘runner’s trots’ EVERY time I go running. I refuse to quit running as that’s my one thing that I do for ME but I’m scared I won’t be able to complete my 10k because of having to stop and go the bathroom a million times! Ugh! Embarrassing but real…

First, so proud of you…what an amazing accomplishment! AND you did it with a newborn!! Talk about a full time job plus some…you are proof that no matter how busy you are it can be done. Awesome. Ok, as far as the trots…hehehehehe…that word is hilarious…I know it can be a real problem. I have been so thankful to not have that problem. My understanding is that it’s very diet related…there are certain things you should stay away from before running etc. I would do some research online…there are a ton of good articles about it. If you still don’t find any relief I would just give a quick call to your primary care physician…they might also have some good insight! Keep up the running…you are going to KILL your 10K! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you so much for taking time to write back, it means the world!! I’ve done some research today and going to make some changes (no more caffeine) and see if that helps!thank yyou for being such an encouragement and a wonderful leader by example!

Oh, good! I think you are right in with the caffeine. I know coffee is a natural diuretic…that could be a contributing factor. As always you are more than welcome. Thank you for taking the time to comment…it means the WORLD to both Hannah & I! xo

Here you go again my dear step sister Olivia.. I love you to death! thanks for this post and your blog, it totally keeps me alive!!!

Although i am going thru a rough time with infertility treatments right now and i am not allowed to workout as intense as I usually do.. I feel like sucha faliure… I worked so hard on losing my 85 lbs.. Im so scared that im getting used to the fact that I cant workout as much and Im getting to comfortable and Im going to fall back to my old habits.. and once i will be able to workout again I wont be as motivated.. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ sniff sniff…
I wish i can meet you in person someday and get some face to face advice from you.. you are my idol forever!!


Liba, just keep before you at all times you are doing this to become a Mom. Just keep your diet in check…this is the time when you keep everything REALLY on point food wise. When I had surgery last October I couldn’t exercise AT ALL for 8 weeks! Not even walk. I was very strict with my diet…lots of lean protein, fruits, & veggies…I didn’t gain an ounce. Now, it did take me a couple weeks to get my strength back up, but it was worth it. Stay strong & I’ll be sending you good baby thoughts! xo, Olivia

Thanks O! your reply gave me the push to stay focused! I will stay on track and keep going! Thanks for your infinite support!!

love you forever!!!


This post could not have come at a better time. I am having a bit of a setback now. I went from 2lbs a week to just 1 (I know,still a loss)

I m trying not to get frustrated and overthink it. I know I m doing things right, I am looking slimmer but this last 19 is a bitch to lose.

How do you keep yourself from frustrating over it? I try to channel it and put it in my workouts, but it doesn’t always work ๐Ÿ™

I like to think of setbacks as “meantimes” (thanks to Iyanla Vanzant). Whether it’s physical fitness, relationships, financial peace or personal growth we all have times of stagnation and sometimes regression. That doesn’t mean we stand still and do nothing. There is always action to be taken “in the meantime” until the next breakthrough! Just because an airplane is flying steady at 30,000 feet doesn’t mean it’s not progressing, it’s still doing it’s intended purpose and moving forward!

Keep inspiring! Thanks ladies!


so needed this today! I’m 1.6 away from hitting 50 pounds lost! However, this week I totally freaked out and slacked off from exercising and eating correctly. I’m hoping to hit 50 this weekend (weigh in on saturdays) but am SO nervous I didn’t because I didn’t give it my all this week. I have never lost more than about 20 pounds and always seem to gain it back plus more so hitting this milestone freaks me out because I never thought I could do it. I still have about 85 to go but little by little I will get there!!
I soo appreciate that you and hannah are paying it forward! You guys are so inspiring!

Well, the important thing is you know how to improve & you moved on! That is a huge victory! No matter what happens on the scale this week you are moving forward…you will be at your goal in no time. xo, Olivia

Depends a great deal on what the setback is. I’m pretty sure if I were 20 lbs. under par for men that I would be seething. But if I were 20 over then I probably wouldn’t give myself much credit. I might just think it’s extra muscle that makes it unfair in my favor anyway. And I might think duration of time is more important and that those below me in weight could soon be there and are doing great, maybe better than I am, healthwise. So why not feel this same way if I’m under!?

And about a setback in regard to time, I can think of those with my level of busyness. I guess how I deal is to make an honest attempt to deal with some things while probably suffering from not able to do other critical things… Put them in a file, make painful decisions for efficiency, remember that success in the journey up the mountain is not about how long I need to take, accidental stumbling, or what disappointments I have to endure; it’s in the CLIMB!

Thanks Olivia, and reading over what I wrote, I apologize for my banged up English.

My change to clarify one sentence:
And regarding setbacks that have to do with a shortage of time, I can those of some of those, given my level of busyness.

Thank you for inspiring. Time for me to work.

xo, Rob

Whenever I am close to my goal weight, I always run into a “craving roller coaster” as soon as I run into a situation (ex. vacation) where I have to take a couple days off, and then I fear that I will gain all of my weight back! I don’t want my only option to be to cut out all sweets forever, but I’m never able to keep a consistent healthy balance. What is the best way to be able to occasionally eat sweets, but keep my diet healthy and under control?

BTW you and Hannah are my favorite participants in BL history! You inspired me so much to get in shape and work toward my goals ๐Ÿ™‚

You are so sweet…thank yoi for your kind words!! I wrote a blog a few weeks back called “to treat or not to treat”…it lays out how we handle balancing treats…I think it might help…take a look! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo, Olivia

Made me cry. Love this quote “Pookie, (she has AWESOME pet named for everyone) whatโ€™s going on?โ€ I began to share with her my fears about the impending setback. Jillian simply looked at me and said, โ€œWhatโ€™s wrong with you? Donโ€™t you believe in science? More importantlyโ€ฆDo you not believe in me?โ€
I just made the choice to choose me over a large contract yesterday because I could feel it was becoming an obstacle to my success – I vlogged about it here:
THANK YOU for writing this post ๐Ÿ™‚

This post really means a lot to me, thank you for writing this, and sharing it with us! I’ve lost 21lbs since I watched season 11 for the first time in march! You and your sister inspired me so much, and I overcame depression because you made me believe in myself! I will never be able to thank you enough for that! The last few weeks have been hard for me, and I probably ate a bit more calories than I should have, but you just showed me that it’s going to be ok, because I won’t give up even though I probably gained some weight back!! Thank you Olivia, I will always be forever thankful to you and your sister for changing my life ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

You are so welcome!! Congrats on your weight loss! I have to say… I’m the most proud that you are conscious of your decisions. That is winning 1/2 the battle…knowing the choices you made then moving forward making better ones. So many people (me included) go through life numb to their choices…it’s no way to live! Bravo! xo, Olivia

I have been working on losing weight for over a year and so far I have lost 95 lbs. I think my MAJOR set back right now is still thinking I’m not good enough. sure 95 lbs is amazing and awesome and in some ways I am very proud of myself. but I keep looking at how far I have to go and it seems so pointless I will never get there and if by some miracle I do, how I’m I going to stay on track . I’m watching your season of BL again and I wish I could be as strong as you and Hannah but I fear I will not be able to overcome the emotional issues that caused me to gain weight in the first place. I can’t give up I have come to far but how much more can I go.

You can do this! If you have already lost the 95 pounds why on earth would you not be able to lose the rest?? You are MORE than capable of finishing this…you have already proven that to yourself…embrace that! As far as staying on track…well, the good part is that you are learning a lifestyle. Once you get to your goal weight you just keep eating & working out like you always have. It’s not a diet, but a lifestyle. Sure , you have a bit more flexibility but it’s not really much different. You will still eat on point & exercise. The great part about that is its what you know!! Come on girl…Stand up & FINISH what you started!!!!!

First off, you are a total inspiration!! Thanks for being so honest and upfront about the journey you and Hannah have been on!

I feel like I’ve had a setback in that I’m having trouble creating a routine that works for me now that I’ve started a new job and my previous routine that I had for two years is no longer possible. I went from having a very set schedule and routine for two years, to a schedule that is not set and causes me to have a very sporadic eating schedule. I used to have a desk job, so it was really easy for me to have a set eating/exercise schedule and now I’m working in the restaurant industry where sometimes I don’t have time to sit down and eat. There are times I go 8 hours without eating only because I’m running around working.

I’ve been without a set schedule for almost 3 months and I’m really struggling to get back into a consistent workout routine and my eating habits haven’t been where I would like to be. What advice do you have to break through this setback?? Any advice is appreciated! Thank you!

P.S. I also just completed my first half marathon and it was great to follow you throughout your half marathon training. You definitely helped to keep me motivated despite not having a consistent workout schedule.

Not having a set routine is definitely extremely hard. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry in the past & I completely understand. This is going to sound really strange, but what if you eat more smaller meals or snacks throughout the day. It does require more planning, but if you don’t have the 30 min to sit down & have a meal you probably have 5 min to eat some apple slices & almond butter you packed. Maybe even some cut up rotisserie chicken breast & a few cherry tomatoes. If you pack multiple small meals that you can grab & eat in 5 min it will keep you full & on track. As far as the workouts…there is no easy answer there…you will just have to get it in really early or really late. My vote is for early b/c I’m sure after being on your feet you are tired at the end of the day! Even though it is an early workout it will give you more energy throughout the day! Hope that helps! xo, Olivia

Thanks for the advice! I know that when I plan I succeed, so I really need to make that a priority. Bringing my own snacks is much better than snacking on food at work! I also really just need to get out of bed earlier to workout, which you are totally right about. If I don’t get my workout in early, it usually doesn’t happen. In order to keep myself accountable I’m planning to sign up for another half marathon, as I found that was really the only reason I was getting myself out the door during the last few months. Are you going to do another half marathon? Or have you set a new goal to work towards.

Thanks again!

I have to say that you and Hannah have been so inspiring! Your season on BL was the first one I watched (while I was pregnant with my 2nd son), and it really helped motivate me to lose the baby weight! Well, it has been 15 months now, and I have become an avid runner. I have even done a few races! I am currently training for a half marathon. I have been getting up to 7 and 8 miles, but recently I have found that somedays pushing 3 miles feels like too much! I don’t know why this is happening, or how to overcome this setback…any thoughts?
Truly inspired,

That is awesome! It might be your body just needs rest…the training schedule for any race is tough! Sometimes when I workout & my body is not performing as usual I try to listen to what it’s telling me. It might be I didn’t eat enough, or get enough sleep…sometimes, it’s simply I need to take a few days off…or a combination of the above. Try to listen to your body & what it needs. You will be back up to speed in no time!

My setback is a physical one more so than an emotional one, although the emotions are starting to become a part of it. I tore my ACL in December and have just had it reconstructed May 31st so I am now on the long road of recovery. My question to you is have you had to deal with an injury that prevented you from doing cardio as part of your workout and if so how did you overcome that part of you day to stay on track. My emotional side is because of the surgery and being extremely limited for the first 3 weeks on how much I could do physically that I have lost a lot of muscle tone and gained 10 pounds.
Following you and Hannah is an inspiration to me to get back to where I was before so that I can try Crossfit to see if it is something I might incorporate to my training.
Cheers for Canada!!!

Not Olivia, but I might be able to help. I’ve had two ACL reconstructions and shared your concerns during both. I found the most helpful advice came from my physical therapist, who reminded me that some people fully recover in 4 months and others can take 12. The difference is only how hard you push yourself. Your limitations are definitely a bummer, but focus on what you CAN do. Ride the stationary bike for your cardio. That was the first thing my PT had me do just 3 days post-surgery. Hope my unsolicited advice is some help!

Thanks Katie, I appreciate any advice at this point. I have been on the exercise bike since day 5 but because I am a cyclist, riding with little or no tension doesn’t really get my heart rate up enough to burn any significant amount of calories. But I am still plugging along and now my next step is to start back to spin class next week. And you are right about it taking 4-12 months, depends on the person. I am further along already than a friend of mine who is 15 years younger than me who had the same surgery 5 days before me but it is all in determination. I am hoping than once I get back to work full time next week it will also get my mind back to the right place.

Olivia–you have been such an inspiration to me!! I have 20-30 lbs to lose because of heath issues. It seems like every time I get started, something happens to get me off track…vacation, daughter’s wedding, yesterday I seriously hurt my back…I’m following Bob’s new book (it’s so wonderful), but what do you do when you get off track? How do you get started again? And more importantly how do you keep from getting off track? I know that you will probably have to repeat something you have already said, but I would love a shout out and some encouragement as I’m sitting here iced down and on steroids for an inflamed disc that I got just from sleeping on my stomach and being unfit!

Olivia, this is such a great post. I have been having a really hard time losing weight for years now, seeing as how my weight gain has been the product of a long battle with an eating disorder, anxiety and depression. I want to trust the science, but it just hasn’t worked for me! I want to believe what Jillian says, but maybe it’s because I just don’t have someone to believe in me like she believed in you :/

Thank you for sharing your experience and what you learned from it. I think it is so amazing and kind of you to share your real-life lessons with us! You DO inspire and you are such an excellent representative of the BL and are such a generous steward of the opportunities given! And I think your ability to be transparent about all steps of your journey is particularly altruistic so I genuinely thank you.

I have had setbacks and I have had comebacks. I could relate to all of the previous comments a lot and appreciated everyone sharing them. I do have a question remaining however:
At what point does a person just need to realize that they are not made to be fit and at an appropriate weight? It’s not that I want to give up. But it seems as though my body sets me back every time I make a step forward. I know that pulling a muscle or getting tendinitis/bursitis/ and the like happen because I am weak, overweight, and out of shape. But I don’t know how to stop the cycle of work hard, injury, rest, try again. It feels absolutely hopeless. For example, after trying for a year to lose a significant amount of weight, I was frustrated that I had only lost 30 pounds. But I should have realized that since I’m so short, 30 pounds was important. Instead, I felt horribly disappointed. Even worse, now my setback is serious because I had to have major surgery and I’m not allowed to move at all for 3 more weeks – that I must say are going by SO SLOWLY! And, in just the time since the surgery (2 weeks ago today), I have gained 12 pounds!!! I can’t even believe that it took me a year to lose thirty and two weeks to gain almost half of that back!!! Is there a stronger word than setback?

I want to ask if I should just give up but I KNOW that this is not an option. I need to lose 50 more pounds. I NEED this. But, is there a chance that I can’t, that this hope is not for me, that my body is not made for fitness?

I want to leave on a positive note though because I hate coming across as ungrateful and negative. I AM very thankful for the fact that most of the time I at least have the ability to exercise because I know it is a privilege not afforded everyone. And, I am thankful that, even though I can’t exercise right now, I have the chance to focus and improve my nutrition which is an area of weakness and struggle for me. And, now is a good time for me to work on my thoughts and attitude about myself and my journey as well. Then, when I can exercise again, I’ll be a few steps ahead maybe!

Thanks again Olivia, oh so much!
Smiles, JJ

I’m a glass half full type of person but I think we all have those days where a minor setback weighs a little heavier on us than it might on another day. When it comes to weight loss I am really prone to getting disappointed over a week or two where the scale doesn’t reflect the work I put in. This time around I am doing pictures, measurements, and weekly weigh-ins so I can keep my focus and see results that you can’t measure on a scale with a single number.

Setbacks are a bummer. I can think of quite a few that have jumped in the middle of my fitness plans over the years. I started doing Bob’s website and following his book, I’m down about 5 lbs. Still I have yet to get below that 200 mark in over 10 yrs. I’m sitting at 208 and sometimes I wonder what is going to keep me from getting there this time. Still hard to break that train of thought that I’ll fail once again, but reading about other people’s successes help a lot. Trying to loose weight is a tough journey and I’m up for the challenge. I always tell my kids to stop trying and start doing. Guess I need to follow my own philosophy for once. Thanks Olivia!

Hi Olivia,

What a great post! You and Hannah are so inspiring and I needed to hear this.

My weight loss journey seems like it is a never-ending cycle of setbacks, and all I want is to achieve my goals once and for all. It seems like it gets harder to keep the focus each time.
I often feel like I am at this alone, like there is no one I can lean on to “have my back”.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am determined not to let another year go by without achieving my goals. I am going to find a way to start believing in myself, and in the meantime, lean on you guys for support! Do you have any words of encouragement? You are both unbelievable and I hope one day I can meet you, and show you what I will have accomplished! Keep up the great work – we all believe in you too!


Hi Olivia,

First, let me say that you have been an incredible inspiration to me. You and I were on our separate journeys at the same time. I had already lost 28 pounds when BL11 started and I achieved my weight loss goal 1/14/12; I have lost 113 pounds and have maintained it for almost six months. I haven’t had any ‘setbacks’ yet, even though I lost my mom in March. I have stayed the course and continued to do quite well.

I have a potential ‘setback’ next month; I will be undergoing major ‘female’ surgery and I am concerned that the recovery period and lack of exercise for a few weeks will really work against me. I know that I need to re-train myself and I plan to do everything the doc. tells me to, because I want to heal properly.

I know I’ll need support during this process and my hubs is great, but he’s a guy and doesn’t always ‘get it’ even though he tries.

Thanks for letting me get this out.


Thanks for all of your encouragement. Finally broke through my number….I did everything right all week, worked out, “believed in the science” and this week broke through with a 5.4 weight loss which brings my total to……70.4!!!! Thanks for believing in me again, at a time when I really needed it, and now I can finally say that I am more than halfway there! Love, Wendy

Thank you so much for this, Olivia. I had a REALLY bad day at Crossfit last week. My body just wasn’t responding the way I wanted it to. I broke down in tears and my trainer kicked my butt with love and encouragement, just like Jillian did for you. I loved reading this and felt so much better knowing I’m not the only one who struggles with this “sense of failure” at times.

Thank you for your constant love, support and amazing honestly.


I have two days until I weigh-in.. Every time I eat healthy and try to lose weight I never make it under this number. I have been weighing myself during the week just to see my progressed and I was there… then I had 2 set backs and I am honestly worried I won’t make it and that I will just fall off all over again! I’ve already lose 31 pounds, and I’m only 20. Today, I don’t have any hoe in myself. I wish I could trust in my process!

Thanks for posting this, it is certainly what I needed to hear. I’ve been fighting “that number” on the scale for a long time now…. I started CrossFit about a month ago and while I’m not to the point where I can RX a workout, I am a ton stronger. and When I decided to let go of chasing “that” number… I passed it! WHOOOO!

I love how God orchestrates everything so that we come across things right when we need it. I have been in a fitness slump for the last 6 months. My husband and I decided to get back on track so we started the Insanity workout program in addition to what we’ve been doing to kind of kick start our renewed commitment to fitness. Insanity is above my current fitness level but my husband loves it and I wanted a challenge. It’s been good so far but I have been a little frustrated wih myself for having to stop and rest more frequently than I would like or not being able to do one or two of the exercises. I know I have to keep pushing and I will see the progress. It won’t get easier but I’ll get better. I know all that in my head but still find myself being disappointed. I follow you on twitter but I’ve never been to your site before today. I found your words here to be so encouraging. They spoke right to my heart right when I needed to hear it. I just wanted to thank you for reaching out and using your life and experience to help others. It really does make a difference.

I am so glad that I read this blog. For the past 5 years since my son was born I have been dieting and exercising. I lost all of my baby weight plus some for a total of 56 pounds. Then got pregnant again and lost it all again, but I always get to the point that I am at now and stall out. I am still 30 pounds overweight but I just always get to this point and start a struggle of gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over. So the past few weeks as I am again trying to lose the same 10 lbs and go even farther I have really been soul searching and researching and doing everything I can to get past this. I think it all comes down to fear. I am so scared one that I can’t and 2 what if I do and I still don’t like my body (extra skin) but I owe it to myself to get there. So I am giving it my all.

Thanks so much for this post Oliva! I just read it today and it was just the motivation I needed. It encouraged me to keep going. I put the link to your sight on my blog… hoping to share the hope with others!

Ps. If you are not strong enough to believe in yourself yetโ€ฆI got your back. Iโ€™ll hand it back over to you when youโ€™re ready!
Wow! did I need to hear that today! I’m dealing with a hip issue that’s thrown my normal exercise (SANITY) regime off course the last few months. I’ve gradually been easing back into jogging, yoga, zumba, etc, but realized today when I logged my weight, I’m up 7 pounds since June 2nd. No, that’s not a huge number, but when you’d eliminated 30 of the 75 you need to get rid of, it’s a different perspective.
Anyways, I’m so glad I read this today. You girls are just SO inspiring.
Thank you,

Thank you for this post!! I often find myself writing the novel-ish posts about setbacks, or as I often feel, “starting over.” But this time i was the one who needed to read one!

After my son was born (he’s 7 now), I spent 2 years losing over 100 lbs with to get within 3 lbs of my goal…but we were planning to expand our family, and I went from there to gaining 60 lbs pregnant with my daughter. Now, almost 4 years later (she’s “3 3/4 years old”), I was within 15 lbs of that original goal and decided to follow Bob’s Skinny Rules & get there! After 4 weeks, I was already at a familiar weight that my body didn’t want to move past, and I was thinking about just stopping and deciding that I was just meant to be there.

I read this post and identified completely – so I just decided to “trust the process,” and keep going. Lo and behold, it worked! I’m only 2.5 lbs from my goal now, and so THANKFUL to you for posting this!! You’re truly a #fitspiration!

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