Once Upon a Time.......
There was a mom of three who joined SparkPeople out of frustration. Stuck on a plateau, unable to break it and completely afraid of falling off of the wagon. This mom worked hard, followed the SparkPeople program did the stages (before they made you pay for that part of it anyway), ate good, exercised, reached goal weight and maintained that goal weight for almost four years. Well this mom, got pregnant, had a healthy pregnancy gained the minimum required weight (25 pounds which was a HUGE improvement from the 65#, 45# and 35# weight gains of her three previous pregnancies) kept very active throughout the duration of her pregnancy focusing on keeping her body fit and limber via yoga. She had a fantastically wonderful labor and delivery to the most perfect baby boy imaginable. What she didn't know was that she would once again be faced with the Ultimate Plateau. Stuck once again on the merry-go-round of eat, workout, weigh, stay the same, repeat. See, she has been quite frustrated with "doing the right thing" and not seeing results. She has worked out since she was given the go ahead from the doctor at her six week postpartum appointment from having that perfect baby. She has eaten good (not perfect mind you, but good enough to net SOME kind of result) and has been very active on SparkPeople. This same mom has reached the Ultimate Frustration and is very ready to make that break from the eat, workout, weigh, stay the same, repeat cycle. This mom is putting the breaks on it. Pressing them hard and shifting focus. This mom is going to go against the SparkPeople grain and eat MORE calories. Lift HEAVY weights. Reduce cardio. Get off the scale. Make an entire paradigm shift.
No surprise, but that mom is me. I am so effing sick and tired of the game. I can't do it anymore. So my question is this: how does one realistically set goals when the scale isn't part of the equation? I mean really, the goals are set with quantifiable numbers so we can say "I DID IT" when we reach that number, right? What if with that paradigm shift comes NOT focusing on the scale? I am scratching my head right now trying to figure it out. I want to have that feeling of being able to point to a number and say "I DID IT"!
I got my body fat monitor and took my first measurement and it read 25.5% (which by the way, as much as I know it needs to improve it kind of shocked me -- my first time getting my body fat read I came in at 30% and that WAS at goal weight back in 2008 and yes, I know that this number isn't a professional reading but has been said to be as reliable as the calipers which was how I had it tested before...). So with that, I guess I need to decide where I want my body fat to read. Maybe going for 21%? I don't know.
So with my paradigm shift comes the following: dropping the restricted calorie mentality. I have been focused on eating 1250-1550 calories and cycling between those numbers. Now, I am focusing on 1700-1900 going high on my lifting days. Lifting heavy. Not just heavy, but really focusing on increasing the weight with each workout and seeing significant increases in strength. Not focusing on cardio -- I effing hate cardio. Making the cardio I do, short, sweet, hard as hell and done. HIIT and interval workouts. Yoga when I can and when it feels right (which realistically could be all the time!
). Taking my focus off of the scale and placing it on seeing changes in the tape measure and body fat monitor. I will still weigh since I have to do it for a challenge, but I won't do it for the number, just so I can stay active on the team. Focusing on eating clean, whole foods and LOTS of protein (btw, looking for some creative ways to bump up this number -- eggs, egg whites, hummus, Syntha 6, chicken equal the majority of my protein intake at the moment so I am always on the lookout for suggestions....) and making the bulk of my carbs from fruit. I am focused on how my pants fit -- I am getting very close to my size 8's! My 12's are quite baggy and I can take them off without unzipping them now.
I am loving the New Rules of Lifting program. It is hard to make that shift away from having someone tell you what to do via DVDs but it is fun. I am limited with my home workouts so I don't have a squat rack to be able to load up a barbell and at the moment am relying on what I have right now which is adjustable dumbbells so I am focusing on **slow and low** with my lower body workouts making what I have feel like a whole lot more. I know many who have made it work with less than what I have so I know I can make it work.
So, here's to no longer focusing on insanity!