Hi There Friends!
Writing this wrap up has been a lot harder than the one for the 10 Week Transformation even though the challenge was so much shorter. This time it isn’t so much about numbers (pounds, inches, body fat) as it is about lessons learned. Yes, those numbers all went down a bit but that really isn’t the point. I knew that the numbers wouldn’t change much in 3 short weeks. I was looking to kickstart the healthy habits I’d let slip. I did that but there was a lot more going on in my head. Let’s talk about the lessons I learned doing the Holiday Meltdown.
I learned that I do a lot better with food when I log it in MyFitnessPal. I know, I know, I’ve been an advocate of tracking food for ages but I realize I’m not ready to progress beyond logging. I think I’m ok with that.
I read this article about being FOMO around Food and it really struck home. I’m not ready (see above) to just go free-range but I’ve really been conscious about making some changes here. I’m working on enjoying treats without feeling that I have to go completely crazy and eat all the things. For example, on Saturday we went to lunch and a movie (I really want to see Catching Fire but this was a family event so we saw Frozen. It was really good!). I wanted popcorn and candy at the movie theater AND a beer at the restaurant. So I had them. But I also had soup for lunch, rather than a big ol’ burger and fries. I didn’t even order a side of garlic bread to go with it. I still ate reasonably at breakfast. So a “cheat day” doesn’t have to mean “eat all the things all day long ’cause you can’t have them again!”.
I realized that I can work out even when I don’t feel like it. That I don’t need to feel motivated or happy about going to the gym to go and get it done. There was at least one workout per week where I caught myself thinking “if it weren’t for this challenge I’d be skipping this”. At first, I was thankful for that. Then I thought, “Wait, why is a challenge more important than my long term goals?!”.
So far I’ve been able to carry this lesson forward. Monday I really did not want to work out. I was tired. Girlie had been sick. It was my first day back to work and it had been a doozy. I had a hundred excuses. So I told myself that I just had to drive to the gym, then decide. Then I gave myself a little pep talk in the parking lot and reminded myself of some of my favorite motivational sayings: You Never Regret A Workout and Never Skip A Monday. I glanced at my “inspire me to move” board on Pinterest. (Thanks to the app.) I dragged myself into the gym. I did a somewhat half-ass workout. But it was a whole lot better than going home and sitting on the couch. No Matter How Slow You’re Going You’re Still Lapping Everyone On The Couch.
I learned that I don’t need to follow a set workout program. Between the programs I’ve done with Evolution Fitness and my printouts from Body for Life I’ve got enough varied upper and lower body strength workouts and cardio intervals to get me through the next year. As long as I’m balancing out the body parts and getting a balance of strength, cardio, and yoga I’m good. The point is to be active at least 5 days a week. I’ll still hit my favorite classes and now that I’m not so focused on a set program I might even try some new ones!
I learned that it can’t be about the numbers. I’m trying to change my mindset about that. While I know that the numbers on the scale and the body fat monitor and the tags in my clothes are indicators of how I’m doing I think I’ve been focusing on them more than I’d like to admit. There are so many other indicators. Can I carry Girlie up the stairs easily? (BTW- she’s getting so big! I’m gonna have to keep up the weight training to keep that going a few more years!) What’s my energy level? Are any depression symptoms sneaking in? How does my skin look? (Anyone who says diet and exercise have nothing to do with acne has never seen my face after a few days of treats vs a few days of clean eating!) I keep talking about being a healthy role model for my daughter. I need to make sure I’m being a healthy role model for myself. That voice that only I can hear? She needs to say the same things I say out loud.
As you can see, I learned a lot in three weeks. They weren’t necessarily the lessons Heather designed for the Holiday Meltdown but doing the challenge really challenged my thinking.
Thoughts? Have you learned any lessons lately?