Accountability Update – Month 1

It’s been about a month since I posted about attempting to gain some accountability towards my fitness goals. So, how’s it going? Um….let’s just say I could use more time.

No, no, it hasn’t been a total disaster, but the lack of results have led me to put some new rules in place. Let’s review:

My exercise goals weren’t as realistic as I thought. I never made it to training and yoga in the same day. I always intended to do 60 minutes of cardio on Friday, but the reality was more like 35 to 40 and that was at a low intensity. The weather was really crappy here for a while so I didn’t make it outside on Saturdays very often. We had a break from dance rehearsals for a month but that will be resuming this week. And, last but not least I got nailed with a chest cold and didn’t work out for about 9 days.

My nutrition improved a smidge, but I thought I could handle an “everything in moderation” attitude. Yeah…no, I can’t.

I don’t feel like I totally failed though. Some progress was made with overall consistency and I feel like that is a good first step. Lifestyle change is trial and error and while I’m disappointed I didn’t have any changes in body composition, I set the stage for better adherence.

This month I will be trying a few new things. I started nutrition tracking again via MyFitnessPal. While it can be a pain in the ass, it helps me be aware of what I’m taking in and keeps me from thoughtlessly grazing on the goodies in the break room. Plus, after just two days, I realized how deficient I am with my protein requirements. I’m only getting about 50-60% of my goal. Huh. Who knew?

I obviously have a hard time with the length of my cardio sessions. So, I plan to keep them at just around 30 minutes, but I will commit to increasing the intensity with intervals (HIIT or Tabata) or at the very least, just a more challenging steady state. Now that the weather is warmer I find it pretty easy to get out on the weekends for at least 60 minutes of walk/jog or hiking with friends.

So, that’s the scoop after month 1. Lots more work to do but we’ll get there little by little!

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Accountability – In which, I attempt to gain some

heygirl

Accountability…Level 11

Accountability.

For me, this is the single most important factor in achieving a goal.

I have alluded to the fact that my health and fitness have suffered somewhat (ok, fine, a lot) over the past year. In August I got inspired to take control and perhaps over-zealously started going to bootcamp 5 days a week. Not surprisingly, this led to injury, which still, 5 months later, hasn’t improved.

It’s a new year, and while I am reluctant to use the term “resolution” I am inspired once again to renew and improve my outlook and to take back the healthy lifestyle habits that were once easy and enjoyable.

I’m putting this all out there to the world, for better or worse, because it helps to keep me accountable. You, dear reader, are helping me though we likely have never met. Look how inspiring you are!

This post is embarrassing, quite honestly. I am supposed to be a professional that helps others achieve exactly what I am complaining about. I’m also human. I have bad days (or years), and now I know how easy it is to let things fall apart and the consequences of doing so. Perhaps next time, I will have a better handle on how to maintain my habits and goals even if motivation is suffering.

Photographs of a dance event I performed at this past weekend gave me an objective view of just how bad things have gotten. Alright! I get the picture (heh, get it?), I am ready to do this!

I set a goal of May 14, my birthday. I feel this is a reasonable time frame in which to lose approximately 10-15 pounds of fat, regain my strength, and eliminate or improve my injuries. I also plan to take a trip to Portland around this time to visit a friend and some family and I want them to be proud of me. I would hate to be one of those people you see after several years and while you are overjoyed by the reunion, you’re thinking “Eeeesh, what in the hell happened to you?” Oh come on, you know you’ve done it.

I will make any excuse under the sun not to get off my ass and go to the gym. In the schedule below I have varying degrees of accountability. I have pre-paid for personal training so I feel obligated to show up, that one is a no-brainer. I enjoy the yoga class as well, and the set times help me to get there but this is pretty easy to back out of too. Showing up consistently to a class like this would work best with a friend. Lastly, we have cardio. I really hate cardio. Like, really hate it. Sooooo tedious. My trainer expects me to stick around and do 45 minutes of cardio after our session but I usually can’t make it through more than 20 or 30 before I get too bored and begin to stare incessantly at the seconds ticking by. I much prefer to get outside, especially if it’s warm. Even if I don’t push my heart rate as high, I’m usually able to last up to three times as long while getting some Vitamin D in the process. I figure it’s a good trade-off.

My regimen:

Mon: Personal Training (60 mins)
Tue: Off
Wed: Personal Training (60 mins), Hot Yoga (60 Mins)
Thu: Dance rehearsals (90-120 mins)
Fri: Cardio (30-60 mins)
Sat: Outdoor cardio/activity (60+ minutes)
Sun: Hot Yoga (60 mins)

So, assuming 122 days until May 14, this regimen will have me working out 86/122 days, or roughly 70% of the days. ( I am not including dance rehearsals in this figure.) I think this is do-able. I suspect the double whammy on Wednesday might suffer a little from time to time, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Yes, I know there are more efficient ways to work out (HIIT, anyone?), but this is what I, personally, am willing to do considering my bodily limitations and what I actually enjoy.

Of course, 80% of results are achieved outside the gym, so I will be cleaning up my diet (again) as well. Back to meal planning, cooking real food and following a mostly paleo/primal-ish diet. I am curious to see what the 21-day Sugar Elimination I attempted a few weeks ago combined with a workout regimen could do for me.

I will post an update once a month until May rolls around. I expect to be able to give you excellent progress reports. Gold star for me!

So what do you think works best, high stakes, positive reinforcement, the buddy system, or the promise of a reward? I would love to hear what works to keep you accountable.

“I See A Healthy Me” Children’s Book

I See A Healthy Me!

I’m so excited because my mom, Lois DiMari, has just published her first children’s book!

The book, titled “I See A Healthy Me” is about teaching young children the value of building healthy habits from a young age. Adorable illustrations and fun, easy to read text make this a great book you can share with the little ones in your life.

This would make a perfect Christmas gift for under $10! Available in softcover or Kindle editions.

Please check it out at Balboa Press or on Amazon, spread the word, and encourage children to be healthy for life!

10 Reasons I Love My Body

Yesterday, after reading Tiffany’s blog post about 10 things to appreciate about your body, I committed to coming up with my own list. Here it is!

1. My curls! My curly hair has always been a defining factor that sets me apart from the crowd.
2. My white skin. The envy of many who have spent too many hours in the elements.
3. My long eyelashes. They should hire me for mascara commercials.
4. My round cheeks. I think those are primarily why people think I’m about 10 years younger than I am.
5. My smile. Thanks to my orthodontist, I like to display it as often as I can.
6. My breasts. I actually like my modest size and know few women who say the same.
7. My hands and feet. Both are tiny and delicate.

Ummmmm…..I’m stuck! Might have to reach for the less obvious.

8. My strength. I may be small, but I am mighty.
9. My ability to withstand heat. I don’t mind the hot Phoenix summers and rather enjoy my sweaty Bikram yoga classes.
10. My immune system. I am lucky to have been healthy my whole life and rarely get sick.

Ha! Did it! It was a little more challenging than I expected until I realized I could appreciate my body from the inside too. Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear your favorite aspect of your body in the comments!

11. My body allows me to dance!

You: Beautiful

Early this morning I was reading an article on the Dukan Diet (which I don’t recommend), but an incidental statement near the end of the article really resonated with me. Dr. Dukan wrote a book called “Men Prefer Curves” from which this statement appears:

“Your hips, your thighs, the roundness of your face and knees are natural sexual transmitters implanted in you since the origins of mankind.” Women who are “curvy, even very curvy, fleshy or busty” should learn to use their bodies, he added, to facilitate “pleasure, seduction and the commitment of a man.”

Sounds pretty good, right? Starting to appreciate those curves a bit more now, are we?

Christina Hendricks: Try to tell me her curves aren’t amazing!

Minutes later a friend instant messaged me and started asking me detailed questions about her diet and why she can’t seem to lose any more weight. After giving her some suggestions I really thought about it for a moment. I know this woman, and the reason she probably can’t lose those last few pounds is because she doesn’t need to. She’s already beautiful, active and healthy.

Next up, I received a tweet from Sanz Plans with a link to her blog post on calling a truce with our bodies and ending the hate speech. It really makes you think about how often you throw out negative statements like “if I weren’t so fat, I’d wear that dress” or “my boobs are too small to be sexy.” We do it so often, we don’t even notice! This is such a shame. Start paying attention to the way you talk about yourself and when you catch a negative statement, change it into something positive, or don’t say anything at all.

But wait! There’s more! While trolling Facebook this afternoon a new friend I met recently published a wonderful blog post on appreciating your body. Tiffany listed 10 reasons why she loves her body. This is a great idea and I strongly suggest you try this too. In fact, I will commit to doing this with you and write a separate post on my 10 favorite things about my physical self.

American women in particular have a distorted view of what a beautiful and sexy body is. We all think we have to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. You know what? All of my male friends think they’re too skinny and appreciate the curves of a real woman. I will always remember one of my personal trainers because I was complaining about cellulite one day. He says to me, “Men honestly don’t notice that sort of thing. Cellulite is just part of a woman and it doesn’t make you any less beautiful to us.” Dan, you will always have a spot in my heart for that statement.

My invitation to you is to read this post, read the others I’ve linked to here, and really think about what your body does for you. It may not be perfect but it serves you well and appreciating it will go a long way towards satisfaction of your body image. Remember those 10 reasons you love yourself? Write it down and post it on the bathroom mirror if you have to. It’s time to make peace with your body!