Highs and Lows
At the beginning of my competition prep journey, I promised to to be candid about the good and the not-so-good parts of the process. So on this Transformation Tuesday, I offer a short and sweet account my first truly difficult week to date as I attempt to put my best self forward at the NPC Brooklyn Grand Prix.
I think it was Thursday when I hit the wall. That day’s workout and the remaining ones for the week tested me beyond the norm of getting near the end of a set and asking myself “Can I really bang out two more reps?” My breathing was more labored simply walking up and down the stairs in the gym; cardio sessions seemed interminable and from the moment I woke up each morning, I struggled to get psyched up to walk one block to the gym.
Then peanut butter became my kryptonite. The good news is my metabolism seems to be fired up, as I am basically hungry all the time. (Basically, I’m hungry one hour after a meal.) The bad news is when those hunger pangs hit an hour after my last meal for the day, I found myself grabbing a spoon (and no, I don’t mean a measuring spoon) and hitting the peanut butter jar. Let’s just say I didn’t stop at one spoonful and this didn’t happen just once.
Finally, after a much needed Sunday rest day at the beach, I found myself filled with fear and self-doubt. I traveled back to the city questioning whether I could make it through another nine weeks on this schedule, especially since I know my training will remain intense while my nutrition plans will become more restrictive. (I’m pretty positive nighttime peanut butter feedings won’t be part of the program.) I also thought about how much I miss sipping a glass of wine at the end of the day, going out with friends and taking kickboxing classes.
Then after hearing some loving, reassuring words from James and getting a good night’s sleep (something else that eluded me several times last week), I woke up Monday with a new mindset. I realized it’s a new week and time to forget the “sins” of the past and remember this is something I’ve wanted to do for myself for more than a decade. The bottom line is challenges, by definition, aren’t supposed to be easy. With help from my coach and the abundant supply of love and patience from family and friends, I’ll keep pushing on. As a fitness friend reminded me, there’s a reason they call it a grind. Sacrifice and perseverance are part of the process, so I have to keep telling myself one wine-free summer will all be worth it in the end.
I’d like to close this week’s post by thanking everyone who’s been supporting me along this journey on social media. The likes and comments on my musings and photos are another source of encouragement and inspire me to keep going. Here’s to tackling whatever goals we have this week with extra gusto and seizing advantage of every opportunity to have fun, be fit an feel fabulous!
A Slow Start….
Since January isn’t over yet, I feel I can still offer my heartfelt wishes for a very Happy New Year.
It’s hard to believe we’re already thee weeks into 2019 and somehow this is the first time I’ve managed to get a post together. I hope you can forgive my extended hiatus, but caring for Mom (and keeping an eye on Dad) after her knee replacement surgery because my full-time job after returning from vacation. I’m happy to report Mom’s doing great, continuing her physical therapy and being a great patient overall. (Thanks to all of you who’ve kept up with my other social media posts and sent so many good wishes to Mom!)
The beginning of a new year is always filled with so much promise. I love seeing new faces at the gym and all the posts on social media sharing new workouts, new workout wear and new recipes. However, with three Motivation Mondays behind us, this is the time I also start seeing frustration and even defeat in other posts as people feel badly about missing a day at the gym or enjoying that extra glass of wine or helping of mac and cheese after a cold commute home. In an effort to kick any self-doubt to the curb, here’s a reminder that habits take a minimum of six weeks to take root in mind, body and spirit. So don’t give up now!
Here are three realities to accept right now:
- Even the biggest fitness fanatics (including yours truly) have off days. If you miss a day of exercise, the next opportunity is just 24 hours away. One missed workout shouldn’t lead to throwing in the towel for an entire week.
- There will be days when the diet goes out the window: A birthday celebration; a bad day at the office or even a snow day spent indoors with too many cookies lurking inside the pantry. Own whatever triggered that “naughty” splurge on libations or high-fat comfort foods, and move on. Just like that missed workout, one “bad” meal or entire “cheat day” doesn’t have to ruin a whole week.
- You will NOT drop three sizes or 50 pounds in a few weeks. (And if you do, chances are you didn’t get there in a sustainable fashion.) Healthy living isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon that lasts a lifetime.
If this post reaches you on an “off” day, I hope it helps you get back into fighting form tomorrow. If you’re having a great day, good for you! Use the momentum to propel you forward. Here’s to a great end to this first month of the New Year and to making 2019 the best year ever when it comes to tackling our goals to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Don’t Give Up Now!
It’s hard to believe this is the last Motivation Monday of February. However, I’m having an even harder time coming to grips with the fact that we’re nine weeks into 2014!
Unfortunately just like every other year at this time, I have less of a wait for the elliptical or chest press machines at New York Sports Club and there’s even a bit more space at the barre at Physique57. Why? Because this is the time when lots of people find themselves standing on the precipice of throwing in the towel on those health and fitness goals. If you’re one of them, I hope this post will help you stay the course. If you’ve become a bit discouraged, bored or burned out, now’s the perfect time to step back and assess the good things that have been happening since you made your New Year’s resolutions.
All too often in this hectic life, we can dwell on the negative. So let’s start clearing the mind of those self-sabotaging thoughts such as “I’ve been working out and eating better for almost two months and I still can’t fit into those skinny jeans I bought five years ago.” Step back, take a deep breath, give yourself a good reality check and turn your attention to the positive. Ask yourself if your healthier habits have caused any of the following side effects:
- Increased energy throughout the day
- Sharper focus at work and/or getting things done around the house
- Healthier glow to your skin
- Not feeling winded after daily activities like carrying groceries or one of your kids up a flight of stairs
- Better posture
- Better overall mood and less irritability
- A stronger immune system kept the cold and flu bugs at bay or helped you feel better faster even if you did get sick during the peak winter months
- More solid shut-eye
If you’ve experienced any or all of the above, then you have some tangible reasons to stick with your routine. Remember, the health and fitness journey is a road that stretches for an entire lifetime. Along that road, each and every one of us will encounter wrong turns, speed bumps and nasty potholes, but those are the times to remember there are smooth patches, too. If you experienced some dangerous curves just this weekend enjoying a few too many calories and slacking off on the exercise, don’t sweat it. This is a brand new day, the start of a brand new week and a fresh slate of chances to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!