25 May 2012

Decisions, Recommitment & Prioritizing

Well, I'm back from Europe.  The last two weeks were... incredible.  I walked until I had blisters, I drank beer, I ate (when we had time) and I didn't worry about a single thing except how I was going to make it to the next city and exactly how to get the perfect photo.

It was glorious.

Coming home, I managed not to increase my waistline - a thing most people dread on vacation.  I am still 193, the same as I was before I left, and I know my vacation diet could have been better, but all the walking we did at least counter-balanced so the scales came up even.  Not in my favor... but even.

I got sick when I came home, and am currently battling the cold, but feeling much better. I'm not working out this week so I can give my body a chance to rest and recoup and will begin with a new regime next week.

Now that I'm home, it means its time to get back into the game, and with those 2 weeks to think, I've decided on some very important things.  I'm going to try to put those decisions down in an organized manner, but they'll likely be jumbled, for which I apologize. 

Firstly: Paleo.  My boyfriend expressed an interest to try it for a month, so June is going to be a month of Pure Paleo - for both of us.  While I am at a place where I know what is and isn't Paleo and I can make conscious decisions to abide by (or not) that knowledge, he isn't, so it will be a fun challenge to help him feed himself.  Also, he is not adventurous when it comes to his meals, so it will be even more of a challenge to make things that he thinks taste good and are still nutritious and Paleo.

I am excited to get back into the Paleo lifestyle, however, because I feel much better when I eat that way.  Traveling was challenging though I feel I did pretty ok, but now that I'm home I can recommit to eating at least 95% Paleo (after June, which is Pure Paleo).

This return to healthful nutrition is a big part of the fitness puzzle, and the first thing I need to focus on.  We're going to experiment with new proteins and make big meals on the weekends that can last us the whole week.  I love the idea of cooking with him and helping him explore this new way of eating and living, and I think it will really help revitalize my own nutritional needs.

Second: Fitness.  I haven't been so great at scheduling or sticking to my workout routines.  I know that I've experienced a lot of stress at work and that's part of it - because who want's to be stressed at work and then stress over food and fitness after work?  Over the last 2 weeks I had a lot of time to think about my stresses and my goals and my desires, and fitness is a big part of that.

So I've developed a plan for me to get back in the fitness game in the month of June.  I miss my boot camps, but can't afford to take them on my own, so I'm going to do my own boot camp, and it's going to be up to me to attend, since I'm the only member. 

It starts next week, and goes something like this: The first week I'll be working out 3 days a week, with 1 day of strength training, one day of cardio, and one day of yoga.  Week 2 and 3 will be 4 days of fitness, with 2 days of strength training, 1 day of cardio and 1 day of yoga.  Weeks 4 & 5 will be 5 days of fitness, with a full 3 days of strength training, 1 day of cardio and 1 day of yoga.

I'm still working out the details of the strength training plans, but I'm going to scour my magazines at home to find some good routines that I can do regardless - at home or at the gym.  The cardio days are just pure cardio, but the strength days will also have an aspect of cardio.  Probably not as much, but something.

Third: Gym Time.  This one is not so easy.  I have a pricey gym membership that I hardly use.  I've been gone for 2 weeks and couldn't, but that is not an excuse.  Part of it is that I'm slightly intimidated by it, part of it is self-consciousness, but part of it is my own negligence.  I am planning on cancelling my gym membership to join the gym with my boyfriend - which is cheaper, though a bit out of the way.  At least then we could work out together and motivate each other to do better.

The other thought is this: what if I just didn't have a gym membership?  I am considering just using the facilities at the apartment complex - we pay enough for our apartment and their gym isn't half bad.  I would certainly save money that way, but the problem is that if I'm at home I tend to... slack, as most people do. I need to work on motivating myself so that it doesn't matter if I'm at home or the gym or a park or on vacation.

It takes 30 days for my gym membership to officially be cancelled, so I'll have the big gym for the month of June, and then no more.  I'm actually really pleased about that, because despite all the amenities it's not quite what I'm looking for.  I'd prefer a smaller gym if any.

Fourth: Motivation Factor.  This is often the hardest part. I have to motivate myself and continue to do so and keep that motivation going.  Countless times I have revitalized my efforts, lost some, then lost my motivation and gained it all back.  It doesn't help that my boyfriend isn't really a "glass-half-full" type, and sometimes I let his lack of motivation feed my own lack of motivation, which equals a big ball of fail.

It's time for me to take accountability and do this, to finally achieve my goal.  I'm so tired of being tired of not doing this.  I know he'll always back me no matter what I do, and he'll root for me, but I need to root for myself.  I'm hoping that my success will feed his desire to succeed and then I can help him and he can see what I see, too.

Fifth: Prioritizing.  This was kind of a tough one. I have things in my life that I want to do - places I want to go, things I want to see and things I want to achieve.  It is my dream to one day be an author.  Often when I get really motivated with one project, I find my other projects are rekindled as well... but this can't happen this time.

See, the problem is that I take on too much at once, thinking I can balance it all, then I get frustrated and annoyed when I can't, and I end up feeling like a failure because I don't achieve a certain goal... because I'm trying to do too many things at once.  I need to work on one goal at a time - one piece of the puzzle at a time.  Only then can I move on to the other.

Granted, in life we're often asked to balance countless things at once.  But with work and home and wishes and dreams and fitness and eating right and social pressures and money and the list goes on and on... something has to give, you know?  So while I'm not giving up on writing, and I'm not saying that I won't write during this journey of weight loss and self fulfillment and goal achievement and fitness (hey, I'm writing right now, right? haha) I am not going to set any kind of writing goal.

I am also not going to take on any other side-projects.  Not big one's, anyway.  Need to clean the apartment or donate stuff, sure, that's an easy one (and can be fitness related, too!), but if someone asks me to design something for them (like a business card or a brochure) which would involve countless hours of sitting at a computer and stress about making something tailored to their needs, I'm going to turn them down.

This journey is about me, and while I have many things that I enjoy and work towards, I need to focus on one thing at a time.  Only after I achieve my fitness and weight loss goals can I begin to take on other things.

And I've mad myself a promise: once I achieve my fitness & weight loss goals I can really begin to pursue writing as a career.  I will still be working out, of course, still keeping fit and eating healthy - I won't drop all that just because I reached my goal, and I know it will be a constant for the rest of my life.  But once I reach that goal, I can take on another huge project - another life changing project, and I can really begin to focus on turning myself into an author.

So that's that, for now.  It's going to be interesting to balance all of these things, and there will be challenges and the road will be bumpy, but if I don't do this... I may never do this.  I'm still young, and there has never been a better time to act that right now, and while there have been times where I've felt more committed to this journey, I have never felt this sense of resolve and finality.

I'm not perfect, and I know I'll make mistakes on this, the last leg of my journey, but I'm ready to cross the finish line. I have never been so ready. All I wish for is the ability to persevere, to see this through to the end, and to not loose my motivation or sense of self.

Stay Shiny!

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