A lot of the satisfaction I get from my eating habits and my exercise regimen is mental. I like to know that I can check things off my "list," so to speak. Doing the amount of exercise that I do makes me feel good physically, but a lot of it is also mental. The adverse is true as well. I feel like if I don't get in that hour plus of cardio every day and I happen to walk past a cookie while catching a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye I will gain 5 pounds.
It sound ridiculous. I know.
Nonetheless. It's who I am. It is who I have created myself to be. Having been in the fitness industry there is a definite pressure to look and act a certain way. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that I only do what I do because of my job, I'd say the opposite in fact. I like to do what I do, and that is why the job I have is perfect for me.
I like working out everyday. It is a stress reliever for me, BUT I do NOT like feeling like if I don't work out I'm going to digress in a big way or gain extreme amounts of weight. I want to be in a healthy place where I workout a good amount. I think that is possible. Let me rephrase that...I want to think that is possible.
Today as I was at the gym doing my cardio, one of my good friends came to say hello. He and I have the same gym schedule for the most part, and we have for what seems like a long time. He's always up for talking fitness, health, and nutrition with me, and today we had a very interesting conversation.
Now, let me interject here by saying people LOVE to give me their fitness advice. 98 percent of the time it makes me laugh because people will recite what they just read out of Fitness Magazine, or what they saw on the Today Show and call it credible. There probably is some truth to a lot of the things we hear, but I am not one who is so quick to jump on the latest tv segment's suggestions and call it good. I am open to new ideas, of course, but I like to research what I hear and decide if the information is legit or not.
Now back to my convo with gym friend. I trust his opinion. He does a LOT of research. Real research, not just googling and reading the top search result. He is legit, and he knows how hard I work to accomplish my goals...to hard to take random advice from just anyone.
We talked about some of the issues I'm fed up with, and what has worked and what hasn't and he suggested a few things to me that I'm going to try REALLY hard to incorporate. I'm going to tell you now, this is going to be really, really, REALLY hard for me.
I am going to...
1. Lift three times a week. Heavy weight, high quality lifting.
2. Cardio 3 times a week on my off days of lifting... 25-30 mins of intervals. *OH MY GOSH...scary. Do you realize this is like 1/4th of the cardio I've been doing??
3. Increase the fat content in my diet.
4. Stop looking at exact calories. Look at quality of food and the way it increases my blood sugar, and cravings.
I am looking to increase my metabolism by increasing my lean muscle mass. Increase my energy levels by increasing recovery time and decreasing cardiovascular exercise. Maximize the time I am doing cardio by incorporating intervals. Control my blood sugar levels with meals that don't spike my blood sugar...more on this as I incorporate these principles...and try to get myself away form obsessing over calorie count. I am still going to journal my food because I want to see what works what doesn't, and which foods cause sugar cravings as opposed to the ones that keep me satiated. Still avoiding sugar and refined white flour, as well as a lower intake of whole grains.
A lot of these principles fall in line with what I incorporated last July when I was studying up on hormones and how our diets can effect them. I know that it's going to be difficult. The reduced cardio may kill me mentally...we'll see though. I'm going to do my best to stick this out to see how the effects really come into play for better or for worse. I will definitely keep you updated along the way. This is a good time for me to focus on something else being as how my running has been lessened with all of the injuries here and there. We'll see what happens! wish me luck :)
Are my goals similar to any of your current habits? How often do you do cardio? Lift weights? Any thoughts on how this may pan out for me? I'm still researching and studying out what I think can happen if I stick to it. Let's hope it is a good thing and that my experimenting can benefit you all in the future!