Last week I shared with you why I decided to hire fellow colleague and trainer to help me take the guess work out of my food choices. What she gave to me was much more valuable than any nutrition plan, (read initial post here). This week I continue to share my journey…
In addition to my nutrition plan, my coach took into account my workout regimen and tweaked it to better fit my goal of reducing overall body fat. At the time I had been doing 2-3 weekly strength training sessions, 2-3 days of cardio. She noted that it was critical to boost resistance training to help boost growth hormone—which is helpful with fat-burning. (Which is why I preach to AMC moms that strength training is so important for weight loss). I made sure to get three, 60-minutes sessions of kettlebell training in weekly and attempted to add in one deadlift and bench press session each week. (For various reasons, these additional resistance sessions only happened 3-4 times total over the 8-week period.)
WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE
Mondays: Kettlebell class (60 minutes)
Tuesdays: Cardio (run/walk or stairclimber, 20-50 minutes); bench press session in afternoon (20-25 minutes)
Wednesdays: Kettlebell class (60 minutes)
Thursdays: Cardio (run/walk or stairclimber, 20-50 minutes)
Fridays: Kettlebell class (60 minutes)
Saturdays: Day off
Sundays: Bike ride (60-150 minutes)
*As many days of the week as possible I incorporate 5-20 minutes of mobility work—active stretching, foam rolling, light weight functional exercises. I usually do this first thing in the morning. And to be totally honest, this was an ‘intended’ workout schedule. I was adamant to get in three days of kettlebell training each week, but cardio on Tue/Thu was harder to squeeze in 20-30 minutes, if at all.
EATING, EMOTIONS, OBSERVATIONS & AWARENESS
Part of the nutrition plan—and the most powerful piece of the whole process, was recording my feelings and observations after I finished every meal for the initial two weeks. What I discovered is that journaling quickly made me aware of my emotions AND how they tie into the foods I ate or wanted to eat (which typically were foods NOT on my meal plan…sweets, comfort foods, alcohol, etc.). When I shared my feelings and observations back to my coach, she helped me sort through my emotions. It has been a very powerful collaboration. She has helped me connect my mind to my body.
One of the most poignant moments in this journey was when I realized and acknowledged that I am no longer an endurance athlete. My relationship with food and exercise had been molded and formed in my glorious triathlon days when I ate often and what I wanted because as an endurance athlete you could do that. There was always a long run or a long bike ride on the week’s schedule…so in my mind I’d just burn it off. THIS. This relationship with food; this awareness was an ‘a-ha’ moment in my journey.
Now I’m working smarter! I realized that when I have control of my food choices—like I do now, I don’t feel obligated to work my butt off the next day. (To be clear, I have never thought of exercise as punishment. I love to move and challenge my body; it fills me with energy and empowers me). But at this moment I understood I subconsciously ate as if I were working out 10-15 hours a week. This recognition/awareness has brought me so much peace. I have let go of my identity as an endurance athlete, and as a result, let go of the mindset that I have to go run and bike long and hard because I overate the day before. I’m at peace with myself; it’s a liberating feeling. Nowadays I am smarter about my workouts and my food choices—and I don’t force my body to run if it’s not feeling it. To my amazement, it’s honestly less effort to maintain my new ‘comfort zone’ weight (126-127) than my old ‘comfort zone’ weight (131-132). That is priceless! Like any old habit though, I have found it slips back into play from time to time. Now I’m much more aware of my actions and can adapt more quickly to get nutrition back on track.
“The art is in the recognition. Allowing more sweets may feel like a trip-up, but it is not. It just IS. And now you are hearing the conversation—knowing and naming the feeling, acknowledging the behavior, and course correcting. To me, it’s like taking a minor detour and welcoming the reroute—whereas without conscious awareness, we plow forward through each day without a GPS at all. It is a dance between the body and mind, and the mind is intensely convincing. I guess my point is that it is less about reaching a state of perfection—never eating more than the body needs/always eating exactly what it requires—and more about being aware. Almost every single person we know has probably eaten into the “too full” zone at least once this week! So again, gentleness, gratitude for seeing clearly, even if it’s a few moments or even days later.”
This sums up the whole process for me. Be aware. Allow yourself what your body asks for. Have gratitude. Live in the moment. Be at peace with yourself. Enjoy the ride.
*BRAND NEW!* AMC’s created 60-Days of YOU! program —eight weeks of fitness and nutrition guidance that will take the guesswork out of slimming down, getting fit and establishing a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Coach Cassandra will help you create a guidance map for your new health habits and create a strategy to make them stick! Join us and make the commitment to honor yourself for the next 60-days. To lean more…
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