Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Accountability: The Great Fit Life Venture

At the beginning of 2017, I vowed that this year was mine to reclaim my health through weight change - I wasn't after loss for the sake of losing as I definitely want(ed) to reduce my bodyfat and increase my muscle. I also wanted to feel better in general with sufficient energy levels and fewer aches and pains.

Now, I'd made these kind of resolutions before, so I did a some things I hadn't before.

Thing Number 1: The Big {Fat} Hairy Audacious Goal (called a BHAG in the business world)

Drop 60 pounds by the end of 2017

I determined that in order to do this, I needed to set some subgoals that gave exercise and good nutrition higher priority in my life. 

I already had a pretty regular gym routine going with a former colleague turned sweat buddy; we started meeting every Monday at our gym for yoga and then would use the ellipticals after for cardio; Thursday night we'd meet for cardio and conversation; and we would meet 1-2 times on the weekend to do strength training and/or cardio. 

It was time to step it up a notch by adding more exercise and really being intentional about my eating. 

Thing Number 2: I Gathered All The Resources I Needed

I needed a blueprint, so I did the work in advance instead of playing it by ear and willpower. 

I downloaded and printed my gym's schedules for all classes at all locations to put in my paper planner (turns out I'm kind of old school that way, because there's an app for that!) 

And even though I still use MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal for tracking, I continued in this old school, paper tracking plan with the help of Fit Life Creative's free, super cute printables and started planning my workouts in advance, (including going on the days my friend and I didn't normally meet) and creating menu plans that had the calorie counts already mapped by perusing clean eating magazine recipes and Pinterest - I now have a board called Fuel for Fitness if you're looking for some fresh ideas! 

Thing Number 3: I Measured My Progress In Ways I Hadn't Before

Before, I always relied upon two things to tell me that my efforts were working: that liar, liar, pants on fire frenemy known as The Scale, and the very subjective measurement of how well my clothes, in all their convoluted, non-standardized American sizing practices, fit. 

Not the most inspiring. Or accurate, really

So this time....I found me one of those fitting tape measures (I don't sew, so I don't really know what they are called - I call them the flexible tape measurers, lol) and started tracking my measurements every 1-2 weeks.

Then....I took pictures.

And....I posted them to Instagram....because anyone who wants to follow me there has to ask my permission, and my body under my clothes is kinda sacred to me. I wanted accountability, but didn't want just any old acquaintance from Facebook, LinkedIn, or even here to see this vulnerable piece of me. (you could send me a follow request on IG...if I know you then you're probably an in)

Talk about facing your giants. 

I really didn't want to do it. 

But I'm serious about this!

Thing Number 4: I Overshared My Progress In An Attempt For Greater Accountability

Yeah, my Facebook feed became riddled with shared status updates linked to MapMyFitness. I shared covered body and chart pics of progress because I needed to have more accountability than what I'd experienced with MapMyFitness or MyFitnessPal, which was none. 

I've started and stopped on those apps so many times over the past 8 years that it's pathetic, but each time I grew silent with inactivity, no one called me out. And truthfully, no one has done so this time either, even with the actions I've taken. 

But it's all a mind game, weight loss and fitness, ya know? So here I am pounding the keyboard about it.

I lost 11 lbs in the first 6 weeks of my new regime!

But then...life took a detour.

My grandmother took a tumble and broke her hip in February. It was the beginning of a rapid decline and I took an emergency 10 day trip to Washington because I feared I might not get another opportunity to see her. 

She passed approximately 30 hours after I got there and some of the hardest days of my life followed that week.

Ten agonizing days filled with fast food, sitting tensed up in the hospital (or later, with family reminiscing or sorting through paperwork and belongings), obscene amounts of sugar-coated caffeine, very limited sleep, and emotions so deep and loud that the cortisol was flowing constantly. 

Suffice to say, exercise was minimal. I went for a run the day after she died, mostly to have my moment away from those for whom I was trying to be a support, to rail at God about the unfairness of a life that had been riddled with so many abuses, betrayals, and trials being taken without the peace and certainty of the love we all held for her. But that's another post.

When I got back to FoCo, I finished up my 20 month run at the job I absolutely loved and was heartbroken to leave. I'd known the layoff was coming since December, but it didn't make the loss any less profound. 

Grief compounded upon grief as I faced yet another loss. I found myself eating and drinking my emotions while binge-watching Netflix instead of taking advantage of the hours I now had to myself that could be fitness productive time.

I was still meeting up at the gym 1-2 times a week, but that was about it.

And then....

Lacrosse season began, with its carpooling and 4 nights a week of later dinners, often grabbed at fast food, as well as the meals on the road between games....

So I've gained back 3 of those 10 pounds and who knows how many inches. 

But as of yesterday, I'm back at it. After exercise, I netted 600 clean calories. 

The menu/workout plans for this week are made. 

And after I hit publish - I'm heading to the gym for a workout, even though my glutes are crying from last night (not sure what accounts for that, but they are sore!).

If you are interested in joining/following me on this wellness journey - please let me know! 

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