Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog 141: Self Challenge

So. I am in an uncomfortable relationship with most of my clothes. In that they are getting uncomfortable for me to wear due to the snug fit that I believe is a direct result of being 8 months post grad school. I barely ever ate anything other than coffee with granola bars or dry cereal in grad school. That + stress = woohoo, thin! But not quite healthy. However, I did get rid of most clothes that fit too loosely because HELLO, not flattering. And my closet was/is overwhelming, so getting rid of the frumpy stuff made sense. Unfortunately, now I've come to a place where even the jeans that just barely got kept (because I liked them too much despite that they were loose) are fitting me good and snug. 8-10lb does not sound like a lot until you put them on a 5'4 small frame. Now, I truly believe that my system is technically HEALTHIER now than it was at this time last year. It's not like I've been eating fried Twinkies every day for the last half year. I've been making fairly healthy choices, just need to adjust my portion sizes, probably and activity level, definitely. I don't believe the BMI is a totally accurate reflection of overall health but mine is still in the healthy range, so it's not like this was an earth shattering body change that everyone does a double take noticing (even if it was, those people are jerks.)

And while I would love to be totally evolved and accept this as the post grad me, very few of my clothes are flattering right now, and I miss wearing them. I'm not sure I have 1 pair of jeans that I actually love the fit of with the new weight. And you guys, I'm broke. I'm on shopping lock down. So buying several items in the next size up so that I can be fabulous AND comfortable is not entirely feasible. I'll have to do the next best thing: wear my most comfortable and flattering pieces while working to feel better in my jeans again. If by the end of this, my clothes are still snug, I will accept it as a sign, and start remodeling my closet. Deal?

I've been working on cooking for myself more and making better choices (still hard to part with the various candy addictions throughout the day) and off and on sort of committing to working out, but starting next week I am embarking on an actual, intentional challenge. I was going to do it in conjunction with actually TRYING for improvement during the Ingram's Fittest Executive challenge (unlike last year when my life was so consumed with school and internship stuff that I could only muster halfway decent before and after scores with no meaningful improvement.) Unfortunately, our company is not going to be participating in the Ingram's Fittest Executive challenge this year. After kindly listening to my brief, whiny, entitled meltdown on the topic, Boyfriend patiently suggested that maybe he and I just do something. So, next week we're going to start P90x. We'll complete a work out every day, most of the time together but when schedule or travel prevents, we'll still do the same thing, but obviously at our own time. I'll be especially intentional and mindful about my meals/snacks during that time too.

I promise, I am just trying to get my pre-grad school level of fitness back. You know, a fatty cut of bacon is much thinner but way less healthy than a cut of lean steak. I believe I was kind of "bacon-y" in grad school. Very little muscle. I lost my ability to run more than a mile at once (from half marathon shape!). This is not entirely about weight loss. In fact, I expect to lose very little actual weight. I hope focusing on fitness leads to less inches, but overall I just want to be strong and healthy. To prevent myself from flipping out and making this all about counting calories or a number on the scale, I'm setting some boundaries:

1. No more than 2 weigh ins. One at the beginning of the 90 days and 1 at the end. My weight fluctuates a good 5 pounds depending on hormones, and I know it takes awhile for the muscle developed to totally replace fat loss - and that muscle is more dense. So, in order to not make this one of those things where I weigh myself every day and then freak out and refuse to eat more than dry cereal and broccoli as a result of what I see, I'm limiting the weigh ins. The benefits of exercise and healthy choices are much further reaching than an arbitrary number on a scale. I imagine I'll be too busy feeling energetic (after I am sore forever.) and strong to think too much about weight. (Not. I will always think about weight. That is why I only get 2 weigh ins.)
2. No skipping meals. I'm mostly guilty about this at breakfast. Sometimes lunch. The thing is, earlier in the day is a better time to get your calories anyway. Not that I'll be actually counting calories because:
3. No calorie counting/points. Weight Watchers is an excellent program and I am grateful to it for teaching me the awesomeness that is fiber and protein. BUT. Again with the obsessiveness. I'm way too much of a rule follower to keep this healthy. And by that I mean that I overachieve and try to follow rules that aren't even there. 20 points a day? HOW ABOUT 14? I'LL EAT ONLY 14. And then we're back to broccoli and dry cereal and opening a can of green beans, dumping it into a bowl, sticking into a microwave for 2 minutes, and calling it "dinner." "VEGGIES ARE ZERO POINTS. EAT ALL THE GREEN BEANS."

Here is the set of guidelines I hope to follow for at least 80% of the time on this 90 day challenge. 80% because I think being flexible with yourself is important and makes you more likely to succeed. And also because my birthday falls on a Monday within the challenge so I'll probably be breaking each of these guidelines then.
1. Done eating by 7pm. I want to give my body the night to deal. I'll keep downing all that water though. WATER WINS. Which brings me to #2...
2. Water/milk only during the week (alcohol allowed on weekends/special occasions. Try to avoid pop altogether.)
3. Eat with intention (meaning up the veggie content and prepare some stuff ahead of time) - plan healthy snacks and mostly homemade meals. Do a very honest self-check before having seconds.

And that, my 3 readers, is it. Super simple. But I still find a way to type forever about it. Thanks for reading anyway. If you did.

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