I’ve hit a new low.
And I’m totally jazzed about it! So much so that I want to share with you some of the things — and people — that have helped me get to this point in my #fit40s journey.
Strength in Numbers
- 1: Number of daily workouts — yes, every day for the past 32 days, I have worked out consistently, outdoors, rain or shine.
- 15: Number of minutes spent on high-intensity training every day. Doable, right?
- 3: Litres of water I drink from the time I get up till the time my head hits the pillow.
- 28: Number of days remaining in my Whole Life Fitness Manifesto 60-day challenge!
- 10,000: Minimum number of steps I take every day, according to my Fitbit.
- 2.5: Average number of kilometres I run every morning to warm up before my HIIT.
- 32: My goal, in minutes, to complete a 5K, which I have attained only once thus far. (Working on maintaining my pace).
- 5: September 5th is the date of my goal-time 5K race.
- 100: Number of burpees that — when done consecutively, with a short rest after each set of ten — make me want to puke. For real.
- 7: Give or take, the number of hours of sleep I’m getting every night. Aiming for 8.
- 26: Number of pounds I’ve lost, to date, since February. Today’s weigh-in: 166.5lbs**!
Words That Work
- Gratitude: I am beyond grateful for each sunrise and for the incredible summer weather that has motivated me to get outdoors each and every day. I am grateful that this body still moves determinedly.
- Sweat: Gotta get that heart rate up!! It is insanely satisfying to break a good sweat and get that heart pumping during those short-but-intense workouts. I’ve been known to leave it all on the mat. *drops mic*
- Tears: Now, I’m not saying that there should be tears, I’m just saying that there may have been tears. And that’s OK. Because some days are tough, goddammit, and some workouts suck a** (see above note re: 100 burpees in rapid succession) and letting those emotions go is perfectly natural.
- Commitment: Without commitment — and determination, for that matter — I might as well hang up my sweaty towel. I have set a routine and have managed to stick to it, in large part because of the accountability factor. There’s no shame in “falling off the wagon” but instead of making excuses, get back on.
- Moderation: The experts have it right on this one, sorry folks. No more sitting in my comfy corner chair with the Super-Bowl-sized bag of Peanut M & Ms at my feet, scooping them into my mouth by the fistful. Wiser choices — and an inordinate amount of will power — have prevailed.
- Goals: Having goals, both short- and long-term, is a great way to stay motivated. For example, on July 8, I weighed 171.5 lbs and I had just done the TWO HOUR baseline fitness test for the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto.Our coach had also asked us, in essence as a form of visualization, to write down our goal for the 60 day program and stick it somewhere we would see it every day. So I wrote: “By September 5th I will lose 10 pounds and run a 32-min 5K.”Oh, and then take a picture of said goal and post it to the Facebook page for all to see. (See Accountability above.) *Gulp* (Incidentally, I registered for a 5K for that day.)Half-way through the program and I’m half-way to my goal! And then? I’ll set another goal.
- Motivation: I need motivation. I need that extra push. Lately, however, seeing and feeling the progress I’ve made has been very self-motivating and rewarding in and of itself. If you find yourself with a workout buddy or a spouse that is totally on board or will join you on the journey, that is fantastic.I generally end up going it alone and, in the past, going “hard core” resulted in “no more”. Guess what? I burned out. Every time. Which lead to getting complacent, skipping workouts, reaching for the wine, loosening the belt buckle a notch. Again.I’m pretty sure, this time, that I’ve found a balance that works for me. In conjunction with goal-setting and the accountability factor, the keys are: a manageable-yet-challenging exercise routine that is not time- or equipment-heavy, a well-rounded diet of real food and a community of like-minded individuals that totally get the struggle and are there to offer (and receive) encouragement every day.
- Accountability: Whether it’s the #WLFManifesto Facebook group or my Fitbit, I am adamant about hitting my goals, sharing updates and encouraging others in their journey because the struggle is real!Having a group to report in to makes me want to give it my all each and every day. And now? I’ve got my husband on board so we brief each other on our workouts and achievements.
- Pride: I take great pride in my accomplishments and I feel it is important to be able to share these milestone moments without fear of reprisal for “putting it all out there” or “too much information”. Not bragging, just goddammed proud because this s**t is HARD.Again, the #WLFManifesto Facebook group is awesome for this so I don’t bombard my regular FB friends daily with all this giddy positivity. Isn’t it awesome, though, to have friends — both online and off — who will applaud your progress and give you virtual high-fives and way-to-gos?
- Reward: Achieved a goal? Survived a killer workout? Proud that a full Monday-Friday went by with NO WINE? Celebrate it! Wine. Steak dinner. Cheesecake. All of the above. WHATEVER. Just enjoy the bliss. And a major milestone just begs for an afternoon at the spa, a fresh haircut, new jeans or ALL THE FUN THINGS!
Gizmos & Gadgets
- Fitbit Charge HR: In my last post, I was touting the benefits of wearable tech (still a fan of the Polar Loop but very happy with my new addition.) I am very impressed with the Fitbit Charge HR and love the built-in heart rate monitor. I will not rest until I feel and hear the familiar *buzz buzz buzz* letting me know I’ve hit 10,000 steps. This is my daily goal.
- MyFitnessPal: I DO NOT DIET. I do, however, have a distorted view of portion control. Enter MyFitnessPal. Though it may not work for everyone, I’m big on accountability and this app ensures I stick to my dietary requirements. It is very easy to use and syncs with the Fitbit app, adjusting available caloric intake with the level of activity achieved throughout the day.
Magic & Misconceptions
- Magic: When you’ve hit a milestone achievement, well, there’s magic in that. Better than any parlour trick, though, accomplishing a goal on your fitness and weight loss journey is pretty f***ing awesome. It’s a thrill that lasts far beyond that last rabbit being pulled from a hat.There’s also magic in finding your tribe (I’m looking at you, #WLFManifesto peeps!) That group or those people in your life who support you and offer genuine words of encouragement. Make sure you return that positivity — you never know how a “you did it!” or “awesome job today!” can turn someone’s day around.There is, however, no magic pill.
- Misconceptions: Let me explain something. Since dropping 26 lbs I have not magically gone from a size 14 to a size 6, as some crazy ads would have you believe. I have gone from a size 14 to a size 14. And also a 12. And an 11 and maybe even a 10.
Granted, I’m swimming in some pants and have had to adjust belt sizes three or four notches (Booyah!) in order to wear them, but mostly the clothes I’d been squeezing myself into now feel great. No more dreaded waist band fold-over! Plus, I wore shorts this summer! (This never happens.)
I am very appreciative of the positive comments I have received from friends and colleagues that have noticed a change in me. While I still don’t have ankles (working on it) I am standing a little taller, back a little straighter, walking with more confidence, owning it.
I’m not sure why we find it so hard to live healthfully when, with a few simple tweaks and a desire to be your better self, the transition is fairly effortless. My personal goal is to continue along this path, to be a positive influence on my family and friends and to hit those milestone moments like a boss. Who else is rocking the #fit40s movement along with me?
**Subject to fluctuation without notice.