Transformation Step 1: Know your goals.
So what things am I trying to accomplish? This is a hard question to answer, particularly as the answers can come from any direction at any time. “I’d like to buy more oatmeal,” “I’d like to finish all the seasons of Mad Men,” or “I’d like to have already studied for my test next Monday so I wouldn’t have to now” are all perfectly reasonable goals, however, this post is focusing mostly on nutrition and exercise. So here’s what I’m working with:
- Triathlons–Sprint and Olympic distances in the short term, but that Ironman is lingering in the distance. 😉
- Strength & muscle gains–I actually LIKE strength training, particularly because of the visible gains in muscle.
- Climbing–I have the shoes and I’m not terrible. There’s a bluff to boulder on outside Bville, so you can bet your buttons I’ll be out tackling a little cliff side.
- Running–This is a side effect of tri training, but I’m running a 10k on Saturday and as running events are far more prevalent than triathlons, regularly participating in those will help me keep short term goals in my sights.
Transformation Step 2: Let go.
My roommate, Taylor, and I had a lengthy discussion on the power of letting go. I’ve been on every diet under the sun and, like everyone else on the diet train, have bounced up and down, gaining and losing the same ten pounds. Why? Because I like structure and therefore LOVE the idea of a diet regimen. Unfortunately, as soon as I have any rules imposed upon me, I start frantically searching for opportunities to cheat like a first grader who forgot how to spell “of” just in time for a spelling quiz… (This happened to me once, and I’ll have you know that I did not cheat. I spelled it “uv” even though I knew it was wrong in my gut. Why? Because integrity is sexy).
I digress. The point is, if I would just quit worrying about my body image and just working out because I happen to ENJOY exercising, I would likely lose the weight I’ve been so desperately clinging to. Which brings me to my next point…
Transformation Step 3: Stop stressing.
Did you know your body actually performs more efficiently and sends less “hunger” signals when you reduce stress and sleep more? To clarify: If you could sleep in until 11 every day and live the carefree life of a college student (ha!) then you could eat less and do more, not to mention have more energy. Unfortunately, my stint as a carefree college student is coming swiftly to a close and I have yet to master the stress free life. I have, however, adopted a handful of techniques I don’t incorporate as often as I should.
- Do yoga.
- Stop watching TV at 8 pm.
- Go to bed early enough that you don’t need to set an alarm (although you may want to set one anyway… just in case).
- Get lots of exercise.
- Don’t eat crap food.
- Take a moment to remember how lucky you are to even have the opportunity to feel stressed.
- Thank God for that opportunity.
Transformation Step 4: Eat Clean.
Check out Eat Clean Diet Recharged for the plan. This reiterates the “don’t eat crap food” which truly does make me feel better. The goal here is to stay away from processed foods, particularly dairy and other such monsters that lead to my infamous tummy troubles. Not to mention, you can eat an entire cucumber the size of your forearm for about 50 calories, and be full and completely refreshed. (Can’t I do that with five chips or 1/8 cup of ice cream for the same 50 cals? Not so much).
Plus, you have to fuel your body properly to be able to perform to the best of your ability, which brings me to my next point… (Best segue ever? I think so).
Transformation Step 5: Train, and train hard.
I recently got a Polar heart rate monitor as a gift from my lovely boyfriend, Daniel. Not only did it show me that my “extensive” workouts were really barely raising my heart rate, it also clued me into the rude awakening that I wasn’t burning as many calories per workout as I thought (and therefore, was eating back calories I hadn’t burned). I also got a Fitocracy account (www.fitocracy.com) which allows me to go on “real live quests” and earn points and beat my friends at being an awesome exerciser. All of that, paired with the personal trainer for a boyfriend, and I think I can really step up my training and actually see a beneficial change in my athletic abilities.
I’ll be rounding this post out later and, likely, periodically as I find out more and more what’s necessary to make a change in my life. Also, starting tomorrow, I’ll be keeping a food diary via this blog so, on the off chance I actually see a difference over the coming months, it will be easy(ish) to reproduce the results for anyone else who might be interested.
I’ll keep you “posted.” 😉