Monday’s post was meant to be one part entertaining piece of writing, one part statement of purpose for this blog and one part reminder to myself about what it will take to reach my goals.
I have not had a firm plan since February, which means I haven’t been as disciplined as I could have been. I lost some weight in February and March, which by early April meant a total fat loss of 75 pounds. However, shortly thereafter, my lack of discipline in the kitchen led to poor eating choices, which led to me gaining 6.5 pounds.
I was working hard at boot camp (I go to a place in Elmwood that offers high-intensity metabolic workouts in a group setting), but as any health expert or personal trainer will tell you, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
This past Sunday evening, I sat down at my kitchen table and made the following plan for June 3 to July 3.
01. Eat breakfast every day within a half hour of waking up.
02. Drink only water, tea, protein shakes and maybe the occasional smoothie. In other words, avoid liquid calories (pop, alcohol, juice, etc.).
03. No sweets (chocolate bars, dessert, etc.).
04. Stick to my meal plan (see below) 90 per cent of the time.
05. Sleep at least 7 hours each night.
06. Go to all 15 boot camp classes that will take place during this time frame.
07. Run 5 km. every Tuesday and Thursday.
08. Ride my bike to and from work at least 6 times.
09. Start a health and fitness blog. Post three times a week.
10. No social media on Sundays. Avoid computer if possible.
11. No social media after 8 p.m. on weekdays.
My meal plan
Breakfast: One whole egg and two egg whites, scrambled. Handful of spinach. Water.
Post-workout: Protein shake.
Snack: Almonds, carrot sticks, water.
Lunch: Turkey meatloaf with some salsa, carrots, mini peppers, cucumber slices, water.
Snack: ½ of a GORP bar, carrot sticks, water.
Supper: Burrito with salsa plus whatever vegetables I didn’t finish at lunch. If I finished everything at lunch, then more of the same.
Rationale for the plan
01-03: These parts of the plan are taken from a nutrition challenge that the trainer at the boot camp I go to has encouraged members to try in the past. I followed these three steps late last year and lost 20 pounds in just over a month. I am not expecting the exact same results this time around, but following these steps will allow my body to “detox” from all the sugar I’ve been consuming and I’ll also be able to maximize my results. I’ll feel better and move better.
My meal plan is the same every day. I get bored with it every once in awhile, but what I like about eating the same thing every day is (1) I can prepare meals in advance and have enough food for a few weeks; (2) it eliminates meal-prep guesswork, ie. I don’t have to get home from work and decide what I’m going to make that evening, I just do what I always do; (3) it helps me look at food as fuel for my body, as opposed to something to consume because it tastes good, or because I’m bored, or because I’m sad, or whatever.
04: I know that if I stick to my meal plan 90 per cent of the time, I’ll see results. I usually eat at my parents’ place once a week, and what my mom serves may not fall exactly within my meal plan. So, a meal at my parents’ place is part of the 10 per cent leeway I give myself.
05: Over the last 18 months, I’ve realized how important sleep is not only for my workout recovery, but also for the level of energy I have throughout the day. Some people can get by on three or four hours of sleep a night. I am not one of those people. Eight would be ideal, but that’s not always possible. I’m aiming for seven.
06: I usually make it to every class anyway. It’s important for me to move not only because of the physical results I know I’ll get, but it also puts me in a better frame of mind for the rest of my day.
07: I want to do something to keep moving on days when I’m not at the gym, so this is what I’ve chosen. I hate running and I love running at the same time. I hate it because I don’t think it’s the most efficient way to work out, and it can be kind of boring too. I love it because it used to seem impossible. If you told me two years ago that one day I’d be going for 5 km. runs on a semi-regular basis, I’d have laughed at you and then reached for another slice of meat lover’s pizza as waves of self-loathing washed over me. Today, I actually run. Running has also been a good workout choice because I have a good friend who is into running, and it’s something we can do together. We hold each other accountable and motivate each other.
08: Cycling to work is an easy way I can get some more movement into my day and save on gas at the same time. Plus, I’m planning a bike trip with a friend for this summer, and this will help me get in shape for that.
09: Writing this blog is going to help me focus on my health and fitness, and it’s going to keep me motivated. There’s something about posting my plan on the internet that really makes me want to stick to it.
10-11: This is more of a mental health thing, and I explain some of my rationale in this article. I also made this part of the plan because the work I do requires me to be in front of a computer for a big part of the day, so I want to minimize the time I spend in front of my computer when I’m not working. It’s finally nice outside, and I want to be out, enjoying the weather.
This feels like an ambitious plan, considering less than a week ago I was doing unspeakable things with unhealthy carbs as well as slamming back more 500 mL. bottles of Coke Zero and chocolate milk than I care to remember. However, I’m ready for change and I’m confident that since I’ve successfully done some of these things in the past, I can do them once again.
If you see me between now and July 3 holding a beer or a piece of cake, I give you full permission to smack it out of my hand.
I’ll be angry for a split second, but after that, I’ll quickly thank you.