Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Challenge NOT Accepted...

I’ve come to the recent realization that I can’t do fitness challenges anymore…

Ok, I mean I am sure that physically I can but mentally, spiritually, whatever, I just can’t commit.

And now, when the interwebs are all a glow with piles of miles and skinny snowmen (which are awesome challenges); I am just over here in my corner hoping to make it to tonight’s boot camp class. There’s no run streak, 30 day shred (well at least not 30 days continuously, lol!) or any of that end of year push through the holidays with some sort of daily challenge for me.

I just can’t (yeah, yeah I get it…won’t) do it.

Why? Well that’s a good question.

I think what has happened is that working with a nutritionist who has told me to do less and eat more and somehow I weigh less now than I have all year in over a decade (even with gaining back 2 pounds from what I lost during the super stressful parts of the divorce) and I am having fun living a ‘normal’ life has made me not want to do anything extreme. Not if I don’t have to.

I’ll be honest with you…I still love being active (that is something that is very important to me)...and I try to get in two boot camp classes plus some additional cardio (running or cycling) every week…BUT I am really enjoying not waking up at 430a-5a every day. Not working out before AND after work. Not planning my life around a training plan.  That life caused me to be too focused, too committed. I had tunnel vision. All I could see was that one path, with only one option.


I love my classes and runs on the track after work.

I love being able to stay out late on a Friday or Saturday without worry of how it will mess up my training schedule.

I love not having to stress about not doing enough or not eating everything just right or worrying I will gain 500 pounds if I have one little beer.

I was so focused for so long on losing and training and I was so scared that if I slowed down even the slightest I would immediately revert to a 286 pound couch potato that I stopped living my life and just lived the life I thought I needed to in order to stay on the ‘right path’.

Ok, so maybe that is a bit of an extreme recap of what parts of my journey were like but those of you who know me from the very beginning you may recall I was a bit uptight about everything.

Luckily, that behavior did get better over time as I realized I needed balance in my life. My focus started to shift to include all of the fun stuff I wanted to do as well. Dinners out, beers with friends, hockey games, movies, girl’s night at the skating rink, etc., all the social things I had been skipping out on -in addition to being active.

But even more recently, just a few months ago, I was still being a little bit extreme with the activity levels. Somewhere in my subconscious I must be very afraid of gaining back weight. Either that or I became so used to working out all the time that it became second nature…not sure. But either way, my behavior needed to change.

And change it did.

My nutritionist told me less cardio (meaning fewer workouts per week at a shorter duration than I had been- no more 5-6+ hours a week of straight cardio) and work towards a balance of strength training (1-2 times a week) with a little bit of cardio thrown into the mix (like 1-2, 30 min sessions of intervals) and to up my calorie intake to 1800/day regardless of if I work out or not.  Plus we switched up the foods I was eating as well and voila- that was the magic mix.

At first I felt scared to move less and eat more…it went against everything that helped me lose weight in the first place. But I listened to the expert and was able to comfortably and happily lose weight AND I didn’t stress about it either which made/makes life a whole lot easier. AND for the first time I am officially at what I would call my goal weight…156 lbs. That’s where my nutritionist wanted me and that is where I have been at or below for almost all of November. Yay!

But I digress…

My point, and there is one I swear, is this…

Over the last couple years I had needed the focus and drive and push from these type of challenges (or training plans) and they helped keep me going on this journey even when it got hard. And for that I am eternally grateful.

But this year….well, this year I am opting for something a bit different.

Something less stressful.

Something less involved.

Something less intense.

For me, for the next month or so, I am just committing myself to being happy, taking care of myself, having fun, celebrating life and making sure I don’t take any of it for granted.  Yes, I will still be active. Yes, I will still plan and grocery shop and bring my meals to work. Yes, I will still put my health first.

Of course I will.

But I will do so while drinking a beer, or spending the afternoon at the movies, or going out with friends to dinner, or even curled up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and some dark chocolate (watching movie previews) and I will make sure to say to myself…damn, this life is good!

Because damn, this life really is good!

Love and kisses-


Oh and since I forgot to say it yesterday with my Thanksgiving wishes…Happy Hanukkah!