Fitness is a Journey, not an Event
The weigh out for the Life Time 60 Day Challenge is done. It did not end with the results I had hoped for, but the lessons were immense. I have to laugh because I often tell clients the lessons can be more important than the final results. I didn’t expect to have my own words come back to me on this one!
In the eight weeks of this weight loss challenge, I lost 16 pounds and 6% body fat. However, the majority of it was early in the process. A nasty respiratory virus kept me out of the gym for almost two weeks, though oddly I managed to drop a few pounds in bed. In the last three weeks, I fought the scale, and I mean literally! (Thankfully only the battery fell out LOL) Even working out 1-2 hours per day six days a week, and eating in the macronutrient levels prescribed, I couldn’t get the number to budge. However, many other things DID change. My ability to swim laps has gone from a maximum of 20 minutes on a good day to 80 minutes, a 4x improvement. My muscle tone has improved significantly, and I don’t get winded walking up the stairs carrying heavy bags anymore. I also know from the super high tech scale they use at the gym that my muscle mass has improved as a percentage of my weight. So overall, improvement has been the theme. But it’s not over; it’s just starting. Fitness is not about a one-time event, and then we are done. It’s about finding that harmony with mind, body, and spirit that works for us day in and day out. Evidently, part of that also includes making sure my internal body systems are all in alignment and evidently I still need some work on that front.
With that in mind, here are some of the lessons I learned and intend to continue or modify as I move forward on my beautiful journey into fitness.
Here is what DID work:
Using affirmations during workouts actually extended my endurance and my strength. When I spoke positive words such as “I am strong,” I felt less fatigue. When I switched to worry or negative thoughts, my body responded with lower energy. Even thinking about my errands during a barbell workout made the weights seem much heavier when compared with positive statements. It was remarkably effective and on my “continue” list.
This worked great! By meditating just 20 minutes a day, usually first thing in the morning, I found making good, mindful choices about food much easier than other times I have tried to change to a healthy diet. I no longer ate on “auto-pilot” or out of habit, but with conscious choice. Meditation is known to create “space” that allows us to catch ourselves and make different decisions when trying to change a habit and re-program the brain. This experiment was spot on! I did not have to rely on “willpower” (which is very finite) but instead made an easy transition to the desired, high protein foods. My good nutrition choices are currently a bit negated by some hormone imbalances, but once those are resolved, the good eating habits should kick right in to help the pounds come off permanently!
Here are areas for me to adjust moving forward:
- Focusing on the journey and not just the results
My recovering “Type A,” perfectionist personality had a field day with this one! You say it’s a challenge? You say there is a goal and a timeline? “Let’s go! Push hard and fast at all costs!” Even though I KNOW the journey is more important than the outcome, it’s easy for me to get obsessed with the results. I did have several points where I was completely focused on the process and not worried about the results. However, they were hard to maintain. I will even admit that after talking about putting my scale away early in the process (Outcome Schmoutcome if you missed it), I did get it back out later in the challenge. I allowed my frustration at the lack of scale movement to cloud my appreciation for the other things going well, like my stamina changes. This is a lesson that I will continue to work on.
- Vision boards and visualization are great. However, the vibration must also be right!!
This is a big one for me. I did the right things from a mental manifestation perspective. I put up my vision board and did regular visualizations. However, what I discovered late in the process was that I was NOT holding the vibration and frequency of the visualizations high enough to do any good. I often allowed doubt and even some negativity (caused by being so tied to a number on a scale) to overshadow the positive images I kept in my mind. I went back to several books on the Law of Attraction from Abraham Hicks, Rhonda Byrne, and John Stringer. All of them said the same thing. The vibration (and associated emotion) must be in a vibration of joy and bliss (our natural state) for visualization to work. It’s not just about the mental picture; it’s about the feelings and frequencies created by the mental picture. If I am completely honest with myself, my vibration was “muddy and mixed” on many days. I was picturing that great new body and success in the challenge, but often holding negativity or doubt in my heart which is probably one of the reasons my weight loss wouldn’t budge. I was pushing it away! I know how this stuff works; I teach it! However, when we are in the middle of transformation, stepping back and objectively looking at where we are is critical. Holding the right energy around our desires is required for clear communication to the Universe. Visualization is not just a picture in the mind, but also a feeling. We should be buzzing like a kid in a candy store when we get the energy right! I am finally back to the positive vibes and will continue with the visualization process moving forward.
- Live WHILE changing your life
One final lesson is around putting my life on hold for the challenge. When we give up doing things we like and being with other people saying to ourselves, “I will see them when I’m done. I just have to get through this,” we are giving up our very reason for being a human; connection. A friend posted a great quote on Facebook recently about her workout schedule. She said “I am in a relationship! His name is “gym.“ That made me laugh but also brought home a strong point. When “gym” time becomes such a high priority we are miserable from not doing things we love or seeing people we love, it becomes counterproductive. Negativity seeps in at a time when our peeps could help us the most! As with all things, harmony and balance win the day!
Thank you to all who have supported me during this process and my experiment with bringing mindfulness and metaphysics into fitness! The event may be over, but the journey is just beginning!! Stay tuned for additional progress updates as I re-set and re-wire for the next phase of the journey.
P.S. Going into this weekend’s weigh out I was #2 in our Atlanta club and #127 nationally. I am planning to continue into the next challenge starting Nov 11 to keep going!