Behaviors: What and Why

Intention vs. Execution: The saga of effort but not blogging it

I've always struggled with eating yummy treats.
I’ve always struggled with eating yummy treats.

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog, started with well-intentions just like countless blogs. Thankfully, cool things have come to fruition that have provided some small degree of justification for not diligently providing the updates that I didn’t realize folks were actually looking forward to. More on the “impacting events” later. I’ve broken this lengthy post down into two sections: Fitness (Execution), and Nutrition (Intention).

EXECUTION: FITNESS

What’s happened since I set out a little over four months ago to become fitter, leaner, and overall happier with myself? Those have all occurred, to varying extents. I didn’t hit my 40 pound goal. I hit 20 pounds, losing 9 inches, and gaining approximately 3 pounds of muscle. But, I’m finally in a spot where I can see what I’m working towards, and also see what I should be changing for greater results given the amount of effort I’m putting into myself and my habits.

When I first started working out more consistently in late January, I quickly realized being active vs. being in excellent shape are two very different things. I had already been living a non-sedentary lifestyle on the weekends and some evenings, but it was hit-and-miss. Happy hours and “not feeling like it” after work were more frequent occurrences than I’d hoped for. Coworkers or random events won out to dumbbells and 5k runs. Basically, a few instances of “I will do it later” turned into “I will do it this week” and then, “I will do it… this month?”

I learned about classpass through some coworker friends, and that was pivotal in forever changing how I view fitness, my own health, and most importantly, my habits contributing to the net sum of these being my happiness. Classpass, a flat monthly fee subscription service pimps boutique workout studio’s empty slots to users for a discounted rate and has a plethora of offerings, locations, teachers, etc. If you can dream it, you can probably find it in Los Angeles metro on Classpass, somewhere at least once a day.

Late January I originally had been recording my weight workouts in a small fitness notebook and weight lifting became boring when I was doing it alone. Classpass eliminated the boredom, repetition, and potential to flake without consequence. It’s crazy to think even paying a monthly fee to a gym didn’t hold me to this level of consistency, but paying fifteen dollars if I flake on my class last minute, does. Hey, it works, so I am going with it!

Taking classes through classpasses, I’ve learned a lot about my workout preferences, and ability, beyond what I was previously doing alone. I learned that contrary to my bias, pilates are actually really fun, and, challenging, no matter how fit you are- you just have to find the type of pilates you need, and there are TONS of levels of pilates, too. Similar to yoga, there are restorative, flexibility, reformer, spring board, jump board, core focus, booty focus, cardio-movement, and much more.  Pilates for me is a better version of yoga, incorporating weight resistance, with focused, controlled movements- opposite to what I was doing in crossfit and HIIT classes. On that note, by now having access to nearly any type of class for any number of days, I learned HIIT training two days a week is a good balance of keeping my endurance up, not killing my body, and still exploring other classes. HIIT classes to me are now a way to check in to see how far the other training I am doing has measured up and integrated into these challenges.

Example: I have never done a handstand. Pre classpass Nicole would have asked what the modification was during this portion of body calisthenics class. Not now though. I did my 1 mile run, 30 goblet squats with a 25 pound weight, and went right into a handstand with my legs up against the wall. Mentally, I was more fatigued than my body. Again, the little voice in my head told me I couldn’t do something and my body said “Oh really? Let’s see about that”. THIS IS THE VOICE WE SHOULD LISTEN TO MORE OFTEN.

Without recalling each small win of proving myself wrong, it’s easy to summarize my workout experience as memorable, impactful, and surprising. Over the months, my pushups have looked and felt better, I’ve looked and felt better, but something is still holding me back, even with the motivation to dedicate at least 7 hours a week on my body. Hell, it’s pretty common for my weekends to involve 2 classes each day!

INTENTION: NUTRITION

I started this plan strong, finishing one round of the 21 day fix, which, honestly, isn’t hard, at all. It’s simply prepping and planning your meals. I didn’t feel starved. I was getting compliments with the nutrition changes, before even doing classpass. With my nutrition changes however, I did feel contained, and something internally is struggling with any type of confinement. I recently found out that 70 percent of the results in getting fit and lean come from diet. SHIT.

I started out strong then slowly incorporated a small slice of pizza, or a cookie, and a small danish into my nutrition. I moved into a studio without a kitchen, so weekends without prepped meals from work, I am left to eat out. I don’t get fried chicken, or crazy bad food, but I am snacking when I shouldn’t, and eating too much of something because it tastes good. Add in the cookie, or week-long ice cream evening treats I had recently, and all the hard work I am dedicating to myself, to my goals, to… proving myself wrong, is merely moot. Yes, I am stronger than I think I’ve ever been, but my body doesn’t reflect that health.

So, if I am strong, I am healthy, but I’m still fat- I still have the same amount of jiggling, I wear the same size clothes, and still battle the same insecurities, is all of this for nothing?

No, because my cellulite is gone. I have quads that have started looking like I workout. I have biceps and shoulders that are now bordering on too big, in my opinion. I can benchpress more than several dudes at the gym. I see glimpses of my work every so often aside from when I am not competing against my classpass-mates. No, because I have built a foundation of self-awareness I didn’t have before, knowledge I didn’t have, and proving myself wrong and being surprised means I can do that with my nutrition.

To kick my nutritional struggles into the same level of understanding my fitness is at, I am going to see a therapist. Not to be hypnotized, but to see if there is something in my life, that may be holding my success back that I just can’t self-discover alone. Maybe I actually want to stay this size and somehow am unaware. Perhaps I worry if I get smaller, I still will be unhappy and then what was all the work for?

Either way, I’m upset at myself for having worked for this long and only seeing thirty percent of the results. However, when I am at the gym, or when I’m the only one finishing an entire WOD at Crossfit, I have myself to thank. I have to continually remember I have a thankful part of me, instead of the bitter, sabotage-inducing side. I’ve also realized I’m not alone, but learning more about nutrition than I thought I knew, is next, and just like starting with an overhead press with 5 pound weights, starting somewhere is more important than not starting at all.

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