Sunday morning I woke with a slice of brightness gleaming through the heavy, floor length curtains.
The room was toasty warm and there were heavy, unapologetic footsteps moving down the hallway.
It took me a few, head-aching moments to realize I was in the solitude of my own hotel room…
…for Active Moms’ Club weekend retreat.
Sunday was day 14 of my 30-day personal experiment.
My behaviors Saturday night were not aligned with my intentions. 🥸
I made a bad choice, or two.
But let me backtrack to my intentions…
…if you’ve been following along — you know that I committed to eating a specific number of daily calories, and adding strategic weight training to my routine for 30 days with the goal of creating new consistent habits for body recomposition. (Read first 3 discoveries here).
Last week I had THREE substantial breakthroughs to share with you.
(#3 may surprise you)
First, let’s go back to AMC’s super fun weekend retreat and my first breakthrough moment…
#1) ALL WORKOUTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
Yep, you probably already know this.
I know this.
But it became crystal clear in the form of significant muscle fatigue and soreness after participating in two, in-person fitness classes on Saturday and Sunday morning at Train Moment.
…TM a new fitness boutique that I discovered in the Third Ward next to the Kimpton Hotel in Milwaukee. (Highly recommend both, BTW)
I had signed myself up for a 50-minute small group training class on Saturday morning (before I made bad choices in the evening… more on those in a bit).
There was nothing unique about the exercises or the format of the session.
I was just really excited to be the client instead of the coach.
The co-ed group completed three, 10 minute circuits that included reverse lunges, rows, pushups, squats, presses — functional exercises that I prescribe and do every week in AMC’s training sessions.
…I used HEAVIER weights than what I have available at home AND the VOLUME of reps was greater with LESS rest between sets. #gamechanger
This meant I was gassed, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone by the fourth set of each 10 minute segment.
It was one set more than usual, with heavier weight than usual, to FATIGUE.
THIS WAS THE DIFFERENCE.
The fourth set in each round was the game changer that made me, “oh-my-goodness, I-can’t-pull-the-door-open-fatigue” 12 hours later.
I regularly remind my clients the importance of working outside of their comfort zone to make strength gains, to elevate fitness levels, and/or to support fat loss*.
*This is especially important as we get older.
Clearly I was not changing up my routine enough or pushing myself as hard as I *thought* I was doing on my own.
As you think about your fitness goals, how can you change the type of exercises you do, the frequency, or the intensity to break through to the next level or break a weight loss plateau?
…need support? I’m here for you. ❤️
#2) MY BODY IS STRONGER AND FEELS LEANER
I’m starting to see and feel a difference in my body.
One measure of progress: last week, I used a 16kg kettlebell to do a Turkish Get-Up
To my surprise, I lifted my body up off the floor with the KB overhead with ease — on both sides!
Wow. This is NEW.
I returned to this exercise in the fall after taking 9 months off from strength training and noted how much of a struggle a 14kg KB was for me at the time. (I couldn’t get my hip off the floor).
Another measure of progress: my favorite Kut Mia High Rise skinny jeans are gliding more effortlessly up my hips and with a non-suck-it-in buttoning at the waist.
Focusing on the daily process of my personal experiment has its rewards.
🙋♀️ My former self, and many of my clients instinctively want to use the scale as their primary measure of progress.
FUN FACT— do you know your body weight can fluctuate 4 PERCENT on a daily basis?
Example: if your average weight is 150 pounds, your weight on any given day could move up OR down SIX pounds.
This variance is due to many factors: hydration, hormones, food choices, water retention, inflammation, etc.
I was— what I will call— a victim of daily weigh-ins.
And I use the word ‘victim’ because the number on the scale no longer provided unbiased information or feedback…
…the number on the scale dictated my mood, my thoughts, my food choices for the day.
It was not healthy.
If the number was on the low side, it put a smile on my face and gave me permission to eat more.
If the number was on the high side of my so-called-threshold, it made me feel ashamed and it became a day to exercise longer and eat less.
It. was. exhausting.
What I have learned with the support of my nutrition coach, and what I help my clients work through, is that there are other, more reliable ways to measure progress:
- Less body aches and pains
- How favorite articles of clothing fit
- Ease of doing regular tasks— lifting kids, hauling laundry…
- Greater endurance
- Increased physical strength
- Progress photographs
- Weigh-ins once a month (the goal is a general trend the scale is moving down or up based on goals).
How do you measure progress?
Do you weigh yourself on a scale? What does that number mean to you?
Is it “just feedback”. Do you shrug your shoulders, step off and go about your day like every other…
Or does the number on the scale instantly send conflicting thoughts through your head and alter your pre-scale mood?
…need support? I’m here for you. ❤️
So Saturday night… let’s talk about that.
As noted, I organized an Active Moms’ Club retreat in Milwaukee with eight of AMC’s beautiful mamas for some in-person connection, intentional movement and fun times. #glorious
My nutrition was consistently on par for 14 consecutive days for my challenge.
And just as the last 14 days, I had a nutrition and hydration plan for Saturday and Sunday to stay on course of the challenge.
It wasn’t an option to say, “F-it I’m going away for the weekend”. That’s not my style.
Which leads me to my third breakthrough moment…
#3) I MADE BAD CHOICES BUT DID NOT RUMINATE ON THOSE CHOICES
We had reservations at Kimpton’s rooftop bar and restaurant Saturday evening.
Looks so fun, right!?
I got caught up in the flow of the evening and made a bad choice to order not just a second, but also a THIRD skinny margarita.
I honestly do NOT remember the last time I drank three alcoholic beverages in one evening, let alone THREE margaritas in ONE evening.
Here’s the thing with me and alcohol… I tend to make poor food choices when I drink alcohol, and I dislike how I feel the next day.
The saving grace for me on Saturday evening was threefold:
- I drank the margs slowly and over a five hour span
- I drank a LOT of water in between cocktails
- I somehow held myself to eat my two planned fish tacos and didn’t have any food in my hotel room to mindlessly nosh on. #WIN
To the best of my estimation my nutrition intake on Saturday was 300 – 400 calories above my ‘budget’ of 1500 calories.
This included my planned indulgence of a lemon poppy seed glazed donut on Saturday morning after my workout.
The greatest breakthrough…
I did not ruminate over Saturday’s choices. They were what they were.
I woke up and used the “clean slate” rule — a new day with new choices ahead of me.
This is a big step of progress. My former self would lament about these choices, finding myself impatient with family members, and overall not in a good place about the “missteps” I made the day before.
My new self drank a lot of water in the morning and all us muddled our way up the street, back to Train Moment to endure another 50-minute workout. (Yes, twice as sore on Monday!)
After class, we returned to the hotel, drank coffee, showered and all met up for brunch.
As much as my body graved and wanted to dive into hangover worthy food…
…my second greatest win of the day was staying on par with the day’s nutrition goal; 1,500 calories and 125 grams of protein. 🎯
It feels really good to be consistent.
Each day is a new day to focus on the process.
xoxo, Coach C~
P.S. If you thrive on accountability— like me— drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and share what goals you are working on. I’ll personally reply with encouragement and answer any questions you may related to fitness or nutrition.
P.P.S. Learn how my 30 day experiment wrapped up (hint, it was an eye opening journey)… read the final installment here.