I arrived back in my office after my vacation and had one of those ironic moments. I have this desk doo-hickey thing on my bookcase to commemorate my "leadership excellence" from my professional association. It is a scale that has little blocks with words like, "integrity," "teamwork," "knowledge," and "collaboration," printed on them, and I'm supposed to have them perfectly arranged on the scale so each side is equal and it remains in balance. And it was in balance until someone (you know who you are, SL) came into my office and messed with it. And when I arrived back from vacation last week, I opened my bookcase to get something out and they all came crashing down. I was officially out of balance.
And I thought, "well, yeah."
It's been one week since I came back and got my head back in the game, and I am starting to feel the results of my work. My size smalls are not begging to be mediums quite so loudly, my heave-ho workouts have a little less emphasis on the "heave," and the constant cycle of workout clothes in the hamper has started back up. Life is back to normal, or so I thought.
As I ran along this morning, I thought about my relation to my goals, and how much they have shifted since I started this journey, and this blog. In January, I was focused on entering a fitness competition, and getting into tip-top shape to do it. In July, I am still getting into tip-top shape, but my goal is rather to look like I could enter a competition...but not actually to do one. Why? Easy. I don't want to do a dance routine. I try not to take myself too seriously, but I hope the day when I bedazzle a bikini and perform my own personal USO show never comes. On the other hand, I do still daydream of getting on that stage and seeing if my physique can cut the mustard. There just doesn't need to be a soundtrack involved.
So I've shifted. The goal is still the same, but the motivation is different. But, that doesn't negate the need to constantly evaluate my progress and tweak where necessary. In my case, the tweaking needs to happen in my head - lately, my head has been more focused on strategizing the timing of my nutrition, workouts, and supplements and less on just busting my butt in the gym and putting in the hard work.
In times like these, I feel like it's best to have a quick refresher on the basics, which makes me glad that a friend of mine sent me this article about fad diets and what works and doesn't work in the weight loss world. It's great because it sheds some light on the reality of weight loss - while it is easy to get caught up in quick fixes, diet pills, fat burners, etc., sometimes we need a reminder that permanent weight loss is really just personalizing the concept of "eat less/move around more." Sure, it gets a little more complicated when you're training for your MGP, but the fundamental concept is the same.
But there was one "that's what you think," point for me. Reading this article, one line in the article really stood out to me regarding spot reducing: "weight in the hips and thighs is harder to lose than belly fat. Those fat cells aren't as metabolically active, which just means they're more resistant to change." This is just another example where one size doesn't necessarily fit all; my legs are (usually) relatively slender, while my belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. My hip and thigh fat cells may have taken off their shoes, settled in with a book and cup of coffee, and plan to stay a while...but my belly fat cells brought their toothbrush.
So my work is pretty much cut out for me right now: get my butt in the gym every day and do the hard work that it has taken me to make the progress I already have, and finish up the job. I am close, and I can see the finish line. But it's going to take the right balance of sweat equity, nutrition fundamentals, and just plain discipline and hard work to get there.
So I guess I should re-balance that scale today.