Just about four years ago, my husband and I slowly, sort of kind of kicked off our weight loss journey. We started with some at-home, 20-minute workouts that turned into hour-long workouts at home that turned into signing up for local races that turned into signing up for 12-mile obstacle courses that turned into joining a CrossFit gym that turned into entering CrossFit competitions. Over the years, getting fit has led us down a healthier path with our nutrition. Switching out processed foods to switching to whole grains to giving up grains entirely to eating for performance. One change begets another change that in turn begets another change.
Over the years, I have realized what it takes for me to stay motivated, keep pushing myself and keep training towards something better. I have also realized that this journey will never end. There are always going to be new things to try, movements to perfect, heavier weights to lift, new challenges to pursue. For me, to stay stagnant equates fitness death and way too much ice cream.
Because we are on a pretty good path with our fitness and nutrition, my goals for 2014 are a little more narrow in scope. I am basically trying to take what has worked so far in the place that I am at and dial it in like a boss.
Dial in my nutrition to better optimize my workouts and recovery time
We have been working really hard over the past few years to clean up our diets, remove the junk and eat as many whole/unprocessed foods as possible. Over the course of this year, I’d like to maximize not just what we eat but how much and when we eat it to give my body all the nutrition and energy it needs to be the best I can be in the gym and for my family. Eating three platefuls of sweet potatoes is technically “whole foods”, but is not necessarily going to be the best for my body. And there’s always the danger that I would actually turn into a sweet potato. I want to make sure I’m getting the right amount of protein, healthy fats and carbs to properly fuel my body.
Run a 10K
What the what? Who said that?
About four years ago, if you had suggested to me that I would ever run a mile without stopping, I would have laughed until I peed my pants. If you had suggested that I would ever sign up and run a 3.2 mile race in FRONT OF ALL THE PEOPLE, I would have slapped you in the face. If you had suggested that I would ever register for a 12-mile obstacle course and get electrocuted, I would have just died. Twice.
Sitting here today, I now know what my body is capable of, whether or not my mind thinks the same. Because of my previous successes, the fact that my brain is telling me I could never run a 10k lets me know that I should probably just do it. 5k? Sure. I’ll do that every day. 10k? Hahahahahahahahaha. Isn’t that like torture? That you pay for?
So I should and I will. Someone else sign me up.
Master at least 3 new skills in the gym
Let me tell you a little about CrossFit. There are approximately 782 movements that we try to learn and practice and never really master. In the beginning, it feels like everything is impossible. Then you slowly start to pick things up and get a little bit better and lift a little more weight.
But there is always this list. A list of all the things you want to work on or get better at or just do even once. The list never seems to get smaller, it just changes. Or grows exponentially, depending on the week. Even the things you do well at will leave you every once in awhile and you have to add them back to the list.
I go in every week with the goal of working on a few specific movements and then I get distracted. I start chatting or the workout that day was atrocious and my body rebels against doing anything else. My goal for the remainder of the year is to actually schedule some practice time and nail down 2-3 movements that I’ve been struggling with. Not just go in and workout my social skills.
For the remainder of the year, I’d like to master handstand push-ups, butterfly pull-ups and ring dips. This may or may not mean anything to any of you, but by putting it out in the blogosphere, I’m nailing it down.
Sign up for at least one more CrossFit competition
Recently, I competed in my second CrossFit competition in Longview, WA. I had done one before but it was in the safety of my own gym with my brother as a partner and we just did it for fun. There were lots of big dogs in the event and we knew we wouldn’t place, so not much pressure.
This time, we were in an unfamiliar place and my partner was crazy BA, so I had to majorly step up my game. I had to push myself past anything I had ever thought I was capable of just to keep pace. When we started fighting for first place (say what??), I had to get all kinds of crazy.
Thinking back on the day, although it caused me major anxiety, I enjoyed the pressure and being forced to find out what my body is capable of. I don’t come close to doing that on a daily basis. Stepping outside my comfort zone makes me a better all around athlete. While I know this isn’t the case for everyone, it is a giant motivator for me.
Ha. Who knows? I did really enjoy writing this list because it forced me to sit down for longer than five seconds and THINK about my goals in a very direct and focused way. Instead of drifting and abstract and space cadet-ish. Most of the things on my list can be accomplished by making very concrete plans and doing research and jumping on the computer and actually signing up for events, so I’m excited to tackle the list and make it a priority this year.
One of the things I am very grateful for is that losing weight does not seem to be a priority for me right now. I am pretty close to where I want to be and I’m excited that my goals all have to do with an overall betterment of myself and my health instead of weight focused. I realize that we are all going to be in different boats right now, but hopefully this will give you some ideas or a jumpstart or a kick in the you know what or the motivation to bust out a piece of paper and write a list of your own.
Are you more on a weight loss path right now or weirdly specific and detailed maintenance like me?
What are your favorite pre and post-workout meals or snacks?
Have you ever run a 10k? Any tips for a rook?
Dying to know more? Check out my Solutions to Common Challenges when Starting a Fitness Routine and My Personal Weight Loss and Fitness Story.
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