2016 started out as so many other years have in the past. Making goals, affirmations, statements of working on becoming healthier, happier and stronger. This year was no different from years past, I had put on pounds that I was determined to lose in the months ahead. Pounds were not the only thing I had put on, I had accumulated a lot of guilt and depression about the place I had brought my body and health to in 2015. I could chalk it up to many different things, but ultimately that pounds came from poor choices and lazy decisions.
Still coaching classes each week at the Studio, I was so upset with the “image” I was putting out there for our clients. I know that many say, but you do so much, you must be healthy. Let me just say, people in the fitness industry should be the best image of fitness, but sometimes that just isn’t the case. I found myself in that place on January 1st. No longer wanting to come in and feel like I couldn’t give 110% to my class and push through all the challenges I was attempting to serve up to them each week.
On January 4th, I made a choice to, as they say, get my SHIT together and make a plan. We fail only when we decide not to try (for us)! I knew the first weeks would not be easy. I had an addiction to food and most of all to foods with a lot of added sugars. Making a goal for nutrition was at the tippy top of my goals list. I knew that if I could just get my food in check then the rest would be CAKE (pun intended)! So I pulled out my plan from years ago when I had drastically changed my eating. A healthier, little to no processed food list of things guaranteed to get my health back on track and fuel my body for the things I was determined to get accomplished this year.
The first month was just as I expected. A month of extremely difficult choices to get my body on track and begin cycling out the awful crap I had pumped in all the months before. I also started taking a multi-vitamin every morning when I got up to make sure I was getting what I needed that maybe I was lacking from food choices. Let me tell you, that has helped significantly in so many areas. To the point that when I run out of my vitamins and I don’t pick up a new bottle for more than a day, I begin to feel a bit “off” or sluggish. I know, I know, one day shouldn’t make a difference, but I’m telling you, it does for me.
The next thing I had to face was the way I was pumping sugar into my system. Yes, there were those, “oh one bite won’t matter” instances here and there that were necessary to be addressed right up front. Whether or not we want to admit it, those add up and sometimes create that spiral of, “well today’s already shot so I’ll start over tomorrow” mentality. That is just plain BS! Slips or splurges happen, we are human, but we don’t have to allow them to consume us. In fact, a little slip or splurge now and then has been how I have been able to stay on track so far. If I want a cookie, I have a cookie. If we go out to dinner and there’s a good wine option, I have a glass. It doesn’t mean I have to eat the entire container or sleeve of cookies nor consume the whole bottle of wine that night. Moderation, it’s all about the moderation, and being real with yourself.
When I started the second month of my focus plan I knew I wasn’t out of the woods on keeping myself on track. I mean, lets face it, usually when we start seeing some results we tent to splurge a little more and maybe focus less on those strict plans that got us to that point. But I kept on track and pushing forward. I decided that cutting certain things from my diet not only helped me keep some cravings down and the dreaded bloat, but that my body also felt better without the chore of processing those certain foods. But in that, I also had to be realistic that I needed some form of those foods to support my super active weeks of Coaching and being a student, not to mention fuel for getting runs in since I was reacquainting myself with my love for the pavement. So I opted to plan my higher calorie meals for breakfast and lunch and my plan to keep my dinner light has been the golden ticket for me. Nothing too heavy for my body to have to process while I am sleeping so that it has time to heal from the rigorous workouts of the day.
Month three meant that it was time for my birthday and even more importantly, for me to make sure I had a stiff plan in place because whether we choose to say so, that’s our official “New Year” ahead. March has been great so far. I started a new 8-week strength camp at the studio on the TRX straps as a student. Focusing on form more than speed with each movement and already in week 3 seeing strength gains that I would have slathered in doubt two months ago. It has been about the focus. In the afternoons when I have open time I try to get in a solid 3 mile run to work a bit on my speed. Though I really like to focus on endurance, I really miss the speed I had two years ago when I was pushing through all the races. Since changing up my eating plan, I’m so excited that I’ve shaved off 2 minutes from my average pace time that I clocked in 2015. One run at a time, I keep telling myself, one run at a time.
So as I look to begin month four in a few weeks, I have several new things to add to my list to get accomplished. But most importantly to keep on track with the things I have already accomplished so far. Never taking for granted the gains I’ve made and never letting the negative overtake me when I am weak. Each day is a chance to make a change, a resolution, an affirmation and an opportunity to make the things happen that you’ve sat and wished for for so long.
Until next time . . . xo