We're coming to the end of our seventh week of this fitness journey, which means we've just crossed the halfway point!
This post isn't going to go into the specifics of the diet or my weight/measurements, because I want to address some of the more interesting parts of this experience. (However, if you have questions of that nature, I'm happy to address them in a private message!)
One of the most valuable lessons I've been reminded of over and over throughout the past 7 weeks is that creating expectations for myself (particularly around limitations - mentally noting all the things I probably can't do) is a terrible misuse of energy.
I've been surprised by my ability during workouts so many times that I've now stopped thinking about the workouts and exercises almost entirely. Lately, there is no dialogue that takes place, no more negotiating, no budgeting, and no hedging my bets: I'm all in, and my mind is solely focused on the task at hand. I've seen positive results with this approach in two specific areas: physically, I'm getting a lot more out the time I've already devoted to working out; and mentally, I'm strengthening my determination so consistently with this practice (it amounts to about 7 hours per week, after all) that the motivation to do my best and push myself beyond my perceived limitations comes much more naturally to me now.
On the other hand, I learned a similar lesson about assumptions and expectations the other day when I went into a workout a bit cocky, thinking I'd love it and smash it and walk out feeling like a total Goddess. My actual experience turned out to be far different: I struggled, faded quickly, and became irritated with myself for not doing as well as I'd planned. After that disappointing workout, I gave myself a loving pep talk and reminder of my longest standing personal mantra:
~ quiet mind, open heart ~
(Does anybody remember my very first blog of the same name?!)
IT IS POSSIBLE TO REVIVE THE BOOTY AFTER 30
THE QUEST FOR GAINS
The strength gains I've made over the past 7 weeks have showed up in all aspects of my workouts, as well as my yoga practice.
On the topic of gains (and in the interest of sharing my authentic experience with full transparency): I am still struggling a bit on the diet side of things.
I basically removed my daily caloric limit a few weeks ago, after losing about 6 pounds and not wanting to lose more. I try to eat as much as possible now (still no alcohol, processed sugar, meat or dairy) but I've struggled to consume more than about 2,000 calories daily. My digestion has settled since the beginning, but I still feel nauseous if I eat a large volume of food at once (I have to eat small meals, frequently, in order to feel my best), and with my schedule and obligations, I've been eating less, in general, than I would like to be.
Still, I'm okay with all of this, for the most part, because I know that I'm truly doing my best with the knowledge and resources I have available to me; however, I've been hesitant to share this part of my experience for fear of the judgement I might encounter...
I don't want people to think I'm trying to lose more weight (and I'm not - I've maintained the same weight for a couple of weeks now), but I also feel like complaining about the inability to put on weight is generally very poorly received among the public, because, let's be honest: most people struggle with the opposite issue. I've personally fit into that category (those who struggle to lose weight) for a large part of my life, so please don't think that I don't understand. Between chronic stress, a poor diet for years, addictive tendencies, disordered eating, gastrointestinal diseases and depression, I've fought with my body over my weight on nearly every battlefield.
My nutrition, fitness, and mental health have been a mess at different times in my life, but I've finally regained control of these relationships, having invested time and energy in the healing and restoration necessary for future growth, and I am just starting to find my groove, at the age of 32.
To be fair, I know I have advantages in a number of areas, and I don't fail to recognize the good fortunate that has contributed to my success so far:
*Cam and I were able to set up a gym space in our garage, complete with weights and a rack, a pull-up bar, a bench, and some other accessories - everything required to follow the P90X program as instructed;
*We also have access to healthy food and vegan protein supplements; in the past, I couldn't afford to eat this way, and I fully understand finances being a limiting factor in which foods - and how much- you're able to eat;
*I work in the health and wellness industry, and I'm also very fortunate to work from home; this lifestyle already supports the relatively easy integration of fitness and balanced nutrition into my days, so making the jump and just pushing harder was not a super drastic transition for me;
*Cam and I have been doing this entire thing together from the start, and it has absolutely made a huge difference in my motivation and commitment to the program. He's kind enough to work out with me in the morning before he goes to work, since I often teach yoga in the evenings and wouldn't be able to do it then. This wouldn't be his preference, so I'm very grateful that he supports me in this way (and so many others).
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”
I've got a lot more I'd love to share with you now, but I'm going to hold back just a little and will be back for a full update at the end of Phase 2 - which is just over one week away!