When we approach something new, some of us get SUPER excited/eager/impatient about the journey that we want to do EVERYTHING we can RIGHT NOW to get to the good part. Patience is a virtue and some of us (like myself) just don't have it. So, appropriately, I'm going to skip ahead and tell you the moral of the story:
When we do asmuchaswecanrightnow, we b u r n o u t.
This brings me to Meredith's first five weeks of training. As long as I've known Meredith (going on 13 years), she's been someone who gives 1000% to her projects. It's not a stretch, then, to understand that she is 1000% dedicated to getting back into shape now. Which is great. Until it's not.
I'm speaking for everyone alive here when I say we have days when we can crank up the volume to 11, days we can't get out of bed and many days in between. The trouble, my friends, is when we expect ourselves to perform exactly the same way day in, day out, whether we feel awesome or just plain awful. Some days, Meredith is full of energy, in a great mood and her workouts are supercharged. Other days, after she hasn't gotten quality sleep, is feeling an incredible amount of stress or feels like she's coming down with something, she STILL feels like she should perform the same way as when she feels like the mom from The Incredibles.
READ AND REPEAT: it is OK -- encouraged, even -- for our energy to undulate. That's how we humans are built to work. Because we are not robots.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves when we work out is that of self awareness. If working out full force feels like it's going to knock you out for the rest of the day, scale back the exercise choices and knock the intensity down a notch, otherwise you're compromising your system and probably preventing your body from making the changes you want it to make. While Meredith yells at me in protest when I do this for her, saying I'm letting her "off the hook", I'm really just doing her a huge favor. She's still getting a great workout and her body will be better able to recover. And here's the secret: change happens in recovery from a workout, not during the workout itself.
While Meredith understands that lasting results come at a steady pace and we need to take it step by step and alter the plan from time to time, it doesn't take away the anxiety of: WHAT IF IT DOESN'T WORK? which is a very real, valid and natural concern. And while you're waiting for the physical evidence to prove that the occasional "slower day" is OK, you just have to trust the process.
Life is full of stressors and things you can't control. The only thing you CAN control is knowing you did the best you could that day to get you toward your goal, no excuses. Sometimes the best means taking it a little slower so you don't burn out.
Ok, week 5 measurement results time. I usually take measurements every 6 weeks but since Meredith went to San Antonio for 10 days we took them early. Drum roll please...
As of October 4 (I know, I'm really late with this post), Meredith:
Lost 5.62 lbs of fat (averaging about 1 lb per week) and
Gained 4.02 lbs of lean muscle that will help her burn even more calories!
[Enter thunderous applause here, she kicked butt!]
So keep tuning in for more updates and tips and, as always, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if there's anything you'd like to see covered as I blog about Meredith's journey!