The answer is absolutely not. And I have, not 3, not 5, not 10, but 20 reasons why not.
I fall into the category described above and I do not feel like all my hard work and dedication have gone to waste, not for one second. Why is this? Because you cannot gauge your results on the refection of a mirror, period. Instead look at the changes that you cannot see on the exterior.
I want you to ask yourself the following:
1. Have you quit smoking because of your want to become physically fit?
2. Have you quit drinking because of your want to become physically fit?
3. Did someone who did not see you during your transformation come up to you and complement you on your body composition changes?
4. Are you still winded when you walk up two flights of stairs?
5. Do you know to stay away from the dreadful substance high fructose corn syrup?
6. Do you know more than all the trainers at your gym about physical fitness and nutrition?
7. Have you made good friends with people you met at the gym or through recreational sports?
8. Have you discovered new, healthy food choices that you absolutely love? (Broccoli for me!!)
9. Can you break down the carbohydrate/fat/protein ratio of a meal from just looking at it? In doing so, can you chose a meal that's right for you when faced with a few choices?
10. Have friends or family members caught on to your lifestyle changes, and in doing so enhanced their lives, not to mention extended it?
And did you know that…
1. You are less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes?
2. You can kick the crap out of that bully from school?
3. As a woman, you are less likely to get breast cancer?
4. Your metabolism will use the nutrients from your food more efficiently?
5. You would be one of the few to successfully run away from Godzilla?
6. You will live longer than your friends who are stuffing their faces with pizza and Buffalo wings?
6.5 Along with number six, you will get to be a part of your children's and other family member's lives for a longer period of time.
7. You will get to sleep easier so that you are able to get more sleep and keep your cortisol levels at bay?
8. Your lungs use oxygen more efficiently, making you more productive in a low oxygen environments, such as Mount Everest? (I climb to the top every New Years).
9. You get sick less often than people who do not exercise and watch what they eat. (Calling out sick to go to the football game does not count)
10. You will spend less money on doctor and hospital bills thanks to reduced illnesses and disease? (OK, I know this is just like number 9, but would you want my 19 reasons? Yeah, that's what I thought).
Most of the reasons listed you may already know. But the point I am trying to make is that you have to keep in mind that the whole reason for going to the gym five or six days a week should not just involve getting that six-pack (although it's a nice perk). Keep in mind you are improving your quality of life, and in many cases also the lives of people close to you. So in the end, do not be stressed out if you can cut down to 10% bodyfat, especially since stressing out can raise cortisol level which stimulate fat preservation among other things, but instead remind yourself of the benefits you are getting from your work and dedication, and not the image in the mirror.