My Journey in Pounds

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Health Plans Change... Often

At the beginning of November I was so stoked about going to Hawaii on December first that I filled my calendar with all these lofty health goals.  I was going to start by making sure I drank a gallon of water every day, do the 30 day push up, abdominal, and squat challenge, and go to the gym 3x a week for strength training and running (training for a 10K).  Then I was going to add a round of the 21 Day Fix to it all just three weeks before my flight and cut all carbs the last three weeks, on top of everything.  My hopes were that come December 1st I'd look AWESOME in a bathing suit (albeit once piece, cuz ... I just can't see myself wearing a bikini out in public... modest me).

Ha! Nope.  Either I had to do a lot of driving, or a lot of working, or I was sick, or had sick kiddos, or planned amazing but junk-food filled birthday parties for the household princess who requested chocolate cake and strawberries with a pizza on the side - and not just any pizza, but stuffed crust with cheese AND bacon!  And now that we're about 2 weeks away I can see, realistically, that I'm not going to drastically alter my diet or add ANOTHER work out program to my lifestyle because I still want to blog, and read, and homeschool the kids, and have a pleasant attitude on Thanksgiving.

So I've been spot on when it comes to drinking water, on less active days I drink a little less (about 48 oz), and on more active days I drink a lot more (72-112 oz a day), so I'm happy with setting that goal.  Specially since I realized it's very easy for me to drink 0 water at all for two or three days straight and only drink coffee.  But I managed at least the 48 oz on days when my lifestyle was far from healthy.

I did go to the gym 3x a week and I kind of worked out at home in between although lightly sometimes.  However, it wasn't the gym experience I had imagined.  My husband and I have different workout schedules and only about 40 minutes of gym time together before we split ways.  So I didn't do strength training more than one day a week and ran the other two, because I wasn't likely to have enough time to do both in one visit.  It's still my goal to do both every time I go to the gym.  But when all else fails I run on the treadmill because then I can just run hard and that's better than nothing once I get home.

I'm sorry to the 30 day challenges... but... no.  If I didn't have a chance to strength train at the gym I may try squeezing these in but if I did squats with 75 lbs on my shoulders, I wasn't going to do another 75 squats at home.  I'm good.  I don't think I'll ever do those challenges because it's so hard for me to consistently do anything for 30 days.  It gets boring.  And there's no background music.... It feels so lame...

I got used to working out every day.  But I learned that I need to recover in between work outs that last more than 30 minutes.  I feel awkward not breaking a sweat on a rest day.  And it's not like I know to eat less on a rest day.  But I walk, do yoga with the kids, maybe try running a mile with the dog... the intensity is WAY down on a "rest day" and I'm moving to help with restlessness and not necessarily to achieve my health goals.

Then came Brielle's birthday.  I had pizza twice on the weekend and a lot of it. I'm not even going to pretend I had one slice.  I also went to a Samoan wedding and ate gloriously at the reception... Yes, pig, rice, noodles, plantains, seafood soup... I had chocolate cake Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  And Snickerdoodle cookies.  All of this completely ruins how hard I worked out (or not).  And this past week I didn't even make it to the gym more than twice, but I ran a mile and a half on Saturday (better than nothing!).  I didn't bother putting anything on MyFitnessPal.  I was bad.  I was also entertaining a monthly visitor and was likely to bite someone's head off if they dared say anything.

A good sign that this way of eating isn't "normal" for me is how bad my stomach hurt even up until this morning. I was zombie-like exhausted, and curled up into a little ball.  I barely slept last night.  My body definitely protested this abuse.

One good thing I found, in Carr's, in the organic section, is Coca-Cola sweetened with real cane sugar and stevia.  One can is 90 calories.  For a party favorite, that's not half bad!

Today I haven't hit the gym yet, but I feel well enough to go once the kids go to sleep.  My breakfast was coffee and a cliff bar.  We had to stop by Carl's Junior for lunch and the hamburger smell made me nauseous (which is unusual, trust me!) so I had a grilled chicken salad.  I've had mostly water to drink.  Dinner was brown rice, dinner, and nathan's franks (hey, I needed protein and we haven't done groceries. Don't judge).  I had greek yogurt as a snack while the kids finished the snicker doodle cookies (yes! I really didn't need any more of those).  And even though I didn't go to the gym yet I walked about 8,000 steps.  I think today was a great day!

So I'm going to stick to the water, gym 3x a week.  I'll intensify the gym time (which means I have to wake up earlier and run a lot faster), and I'll stay under my calorie goal of 1470 minus exercise.  But I won't engage in any other plans.  I know I'll run with my son sometime during the week because that's his goal and there's no snow on the ground. And I know I'll do yoga with my daughter here and there.  I may throw in some push ups and sit ups if I'm bored... IF being the operative word... I have a mountain of laundry to do and the washer and dryer are UPSTAIRS so I'll be pretty busy and active that way...

I think that I'll still look awesome when I go to Hawaii.  Because going from 207lbs at my heaviest to the 177-ish I am now, I already look better.  It's so hard to compare when, at my heaviest, all my pictures were selfies of my face.  The husband HATES having his picture taken and won't raise his phone to take a full-body picture of me unless I specifically demand it.  Which I didn't.  Too many noticeable imperfections that I wasn't comfortable with.  And the thing is, I don't necessarily want washboard abs and a thigh gap right now (or maybe ever - on the thigh gaps at least), but it's nice not to look like you're bulging out of your clothes in every direction.  I'd like to hide my belly under my clothes, thank you very much!  And this is what I have accomplished.

Overall, the point is that your plans change, your goals shouldn't.  I may not do all I propose to do in one month, but I shouldn't lose sight of the goal and eat junk and forgo the gym as a habit.  Even while I'm "figuring it out".  When I started I was training for a 5K by running outside and doing the 21 Day Fix in my living room and I was proud of accomplishing my weight loss without going to the gym.  But - as happens with life - things change.  I had to change the plans to accomplish my goals.  I'm not very effective at running on snow.  I wouldn't be progressing if I repeated the program.  I think I could still benefit somewhat from the 21 Day Fix but for the intensity of running that I want to do I need to lift much heavier weights or I'll run muscle-mass off my legs - no bueno.  After my 5K I decided that my next goal was a 10K and that I wanted to be ready for it come April of next year.  Maybe even a half marathon (what's another 3 miles or so, right?).  So I have to adapt my exercise routine to be ready and reduce injury.  My goal is still to be able to run further and faster than before.  I guess overall my goal is a healthy lifestyle and a strong, lean body.  It's ambiguous but my goal won't change no matter how often my health plans do.  Who knows? If Zumba ever comes to town my plans might change to become a certified instructor - Zumba being the only thing I love more than running - but my goals only grow and become more challenging as I master them.

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