If it IS Broke…

***Fitness post! ***

I came back from vacation ten days ago frustrated literally to tears with where I found myself on this journey toward my health and fitness goals. I’d worked out consistently at full effort for six weeks, and eaten real whole foods at least 70% of the time. It would be entirely reasonable to have expectations of my body changing, significantly even, based on that. But, nothing. I wanted to throw myself on the floor and pitch a full on tantrum, five year old style. That wouldn’t be productive, though, so instead I decided to get my head back in the game.

What am I supposed to do though? What do I change? If what I’m doing is broken, and clearly it must be, I need to fix it. I started working on a plan before and during vacation for what would come next, so I have something to build on.

First, let’s establish what has improved in the area of my physical health and fitness.

  • I’m seeing incredible improvements in my day to day baseline mental health overall. I no longer live under a five ton elephant from waking to sleeping. This is relevant to my fitness journey because it’s what is allowing me to become consistent with exercise again.
  • I have seen improvement in my stamina and strength during a HIIT workout. I can get through a circuit at full intensity with no rest now, and I’m using heavier weights than ever before on some exercises.
  • My energy level is improving. On top of being able to exercise again, I’m able to do more than just exercise, most days. I’m able to keep up with maintenance of our home and my sweet babies-I look forward to more and more progress here.

I’m definitely seeing improvement in my cardiovascular fitness, as evidenced by this walk yesterday.

Now, I hadn’t done any other exercise before our walk yesterday, where normally I’d have done my HIIT and yoga, but still, those numbers are faster than ever before for me-after the first mile, when I was stopping to hand out food-by a solid two minutes per mile! It’s extra impressive when you factor in 85 degree heat and that I was pushing over 100 lbs the whole time. Whew!

So, there has been improvement in my health and performance, but I’m still not seeing reduced belly fat or the muscle definition I’m looking for. I have no idea about weight because I refuse to step on the scale until I see some results in the areas I’m looking for.

So, what can I change?

I went back and studied what I was doing and eating both last fall, when I had the only size shift I’ve had since D was born, and way back in 2013/2014 when I had my biggest season of transformation.

As far as food goes, I noticed that during these times I was eating plenty of food, and really, all kinds. Except bread and crackers and basically, wheat products. Now, I’m not gonna get into a whole anti-grain gluten is the devil thing, because I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I do know that I personally function best without that stuff as much as possible. I do think that oats are very good for me (I was eating oatmeal or oatmeal breakfast cookies for breakfast primarily during both time periods I had good results.), and brown rice too. I also noticed I was still having cream and sugar in my coffee, so no need to cut that. Really, I think the only major food changes I see the need for is to eliminate the pizza, donuts, and fried chicken entirely for now, even though they weren’t a big part of my diet, and give my body a chance to soak up plenty of good stuff. I did have donuts last Sunday when Scott brought them.đŸ˜‘ Was not worth it.

I think for exercise, I’m mostly on the right track. For now, this is my workout plan:

M: 30 min HIIT/30 min yoga/walk/3 sets 20 push ups

Tu: 30 min HIIT/30 min yoga/cycle session (30 min, working to 45), walk if able

Wed: rest, gentle yoga, maybe a gentle walk

Th: 30 min HIIT/30 min yoga/cycle/3 sets 20 push ups, walk if able

Fri: 30 min HIIT/30 min yoga/walk

Sat: 30 min cycle

Sun: rest, gentle walk

Eventually, once this season of fat loss is finally done, I’ll transition to 2 HIIT workouts per week and lots more yoga, keeping the rest the same.

Something I’ve realized is just as integral to my health and fitness as food and exercise is recovery and healing. If I don’t intentionally heal, I’m just putting more stress on my body and it’s going to have a hugely negative impact on my body and mind. That’s where a lot of my focus is going to be as I go forward. When I only had Lexi, and my mental health was far better, recovery was easy, but now, in this season, it’s hard work. I have to make time for self care as vigilantly as I do exercise and meal prep.

Here are some of the things I’m doing:

  • Minimum of one meditation session per day (via one of the many wonderful apps available)
  • Minimum 7 hours of sleep at night (right now I’m shooting for 8)
  • Minimum 10 minutes Progressive Muscle Relaxation per Day.
  • Minimum 1 gallon water per day
  • Take vitamins and supplements
  • Shower at least 3x a week.
  • Epsom salt bath at least twice a week
  • At least one serving of fermented food per day (I’m drinking Kombucha and I have homemade sauerkraut ready in 13 days.)
  • Pack my diet with anti inflammatory foods every day

also trying to phase artificial sweeteners *back* out of my life- I have been using some products this year with sucralose, and the intention was for it to be much more temporary than it has, but I also don't want to throw away money by just tossing them. As I run out I'll replace each product with a cleaner option.

I'm optimistic about the changes I'm making here, and still keeping my eyes open to what else can help me both heal and strengthen and continue to pursue my best self.

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