I'm now almost three months into my lifestyle makeover. I've dropped 8 lbs in that time, but for whatever reason, I haven't seen any scale or measurement changes in March. I'm working past feelings of frustration (sadness, disappointment) as the weight has fluctuated up and down within the same range this month, leaving me today where I was at the end of February, both in my weight and my measurements. I'm doing my best to focus on the things I have gained, and allowing myself to focus on and trust the process despite not getting affirmation from the scale or the measuring tape - yet. I know the only way toward progress is to keep going -- and the only way to fail is to give up! So I'm coming up with a plan of action to keep moving toward progress and a set of goals to complete for this spring challenge.
GOALS FOR THE SPRING CHALLENGE
-Initially my goal was weight-loss centered. Yes, I would like to lose 16 lbs in these 8 weeks. But I'm shifting away from letting that be my primary goal or focus. I'm trying to let it be an aftereffect of my other goals.
-Complete the 60-Day Insanity Challenge.
I'm currently a week and a half in, and loving it so far. It's really using muscles that I haven't used in cardio in a long time (since maybe my dancing years) and boy do I feel it. The first couple days I could barely walk afterward, but I feel myself getting stronger, I'm getting better endurance, my form is improving, and while I'm still sore and exhausted immediately following the workouts, I'm recovering much more quickly and an hour later I'm hardly sore at all.
-Beginner 5K program (runkeeper.com app).
This is a secondary fitness goal. I've never loved running, nor have I ever been very good at it. So my goal is to change that! I'm following a beginner 5K program on my phone (it's every other day) but I'm taking it pretty easy since I'm pretty well worn out after a daily dose of Insanity :)
-Pull ups & push ups
I want to be able to lift my own body weight. So, my goal is to learn to do pull ups and to get better at pushups every other day (days I don't run). I can now do one complete chin up, and another one if I wait about 10 minutes in between :) I found a video that has modifications to build up to 8 pull ups so I'm going to follow that. With the pushups, I can do them, but usually the drills with pushups come toward the end in insanity and I'm just so beat by then that I am not able to do as many or have to do modified (knee) pushups. To make sure I'm strengthening my upper body I'm going to work on these separately every other day too.
-Weight training and the gym
If I can safely build up to adding this back into my routine on top of insanity, I'd like to hit the gym a couple times a week to continue my weight training and to cross train, but for now I'm just going to focus on insanity and my home/outdoor exercises so as not to strain my body.
Find a class I love and go weekly to unwind and de-stress. The reason my body is probably holding onto weight is from the cortisol from all my stress. Stressful things will happen, but how I react to it is up to me!
-This is where I know I need more planning in place. I've tried several approaches in the last couple months, from just tracking what I eat and staying within my ranges, to the South Beach Diet (which I followed years ago, the only time I've ever gotten down to my goal weight), to trying to eat intuitively. When I started insanity I tried to follow the meal plan but struggled with it and tried to go back to intuitive eating, but I think I was just eating too much. Since I seem to have plateaued this month around 175, I've decided to set up a plan of action to break it.
1. For the next week or two, I'm going to try to follow the insanity nutrition guide as exactly as I can, and track my intake on SparkPeople. I've done a little more planning this time and I feel better about being able to stay with it. This is day 2 of this and I'm actually quite enjoying it this time. For now I'm sticking with 1500 calories per day since it's a compromise of SP's recommendation of 1200-1500 calories and insanity's recommendation of 1500-1900 calories per day. I've been ranging about 1500-1900 (up to 2000) lately and it just hasn't been working. So I'm going to try to stick to 1500.
2. If I'm still at a plateau, I'm going to try a calorie cycle/zig-zag plan, in which I'd eat a different amount of calories each day, for instance:
3. If I plateau again, I'm going to try carb cycling (two low carb days followed by a high carb day, repeating)
4. If I start gaining after insanity ends, I may switch to a lower carb/south beach-style eating plan. I've been told by a doctor that my body is highly sensitive to carbs and that I shouldn't eat them in as high a dose as typically recommended, but while doing such intense workouts I don't want to deplete my glycogen stores too much without refueling.
-In addition to this plan, I'm going to get my thyroid checked (my mom had a problem with hers, and once it was under control she has lost almost all of her excess weight so far, along with a very healthy diet and plenty of exercise)
-Drink water--8-12 cups daily. Two or three fills of my Nalgene. Everyday.
-Sleep at least 8 hours a night
-Track my food daily (& completely honestly)
-Measure my portions so I know exactly what I'm getting
-Go outside, walk around, go for a run, help my sister practice for lacrosse, anything to spend a little time outdoors, and soak in whatever vitamin D might be shining down through the clouds and wind!
-Keep up with other aspects of my life beyond fitness too :)
So this is my very involved list of goals for the rest of spring! Hopefully it will help me stay on track and not get too discouraged when I'm not seeing results in any one area.
Encouragement, accountability, and suggestions welcome! Good luck with your spring goals, everyone!