*Note: I am counting *down* the days of the contest, i.e. today is Day 84, tomorrow is Day 83, etc.
This is my first transformation contest. I am absurdly excited, and of course a bit nervous. I am also, for the first time, highly motivated. For years I have “known” what to do. And truly, I have had this knowledge all along – but while I have been pretty good about cleaning up my diet, I have *not* translated that “knowing” into action with working out. I had made a decent start of regular workouts in October of 2007, but then at the New Year in 2008 I started taking dance classes (a longtime passion) and I never got around to finding another time to workout – even though I have weights at home.
While I have plenty of very valid “excuses” (2 young kids, 3 hours spent commuting each day, other commitments) I am just DONE with them.
I’m much more motivated in the past for a number of reasons:
1) I have a trip to Puerto Rico at the end of July for the salsa congress there. I like to look good, but more importantly I want to be strong and have great stamina for all the dancing I’ll be doing!
2) I have decided to make this my personal proving ground. For years I have worked at corporate jobs, because they are “safe”. I get paid fairly well for what I do, and I don’t dislike it. But it is not where my passion lies, which is in dance and in helping other people achieve their goals, particularly with regard to their health and fitness. So I have promise myself that I will use this transformation to prove to myself that I *can* do this, and that I can do well helping others do the same. I am committed to finding a way to get certified as a trainer after this contest – I don’t know yet how I’ll pay for it (the kids eat up a lot of money LOL!) but I WILL find a way.
3) It is vital to me that I be in shape so that I can keep up with my kids. Not only are they both young (3 and 6) but they are both active even for that age. And my husband is super athletic, very into parkour and other crazy stuff. I’ve got to step up to the plate!
4) Perhaps most importantly, I have battled for years with feelings of inadequecy with my body because of my ballet background. I love my body now, but I have realized that it is time to step out from hiding behind this extra weight and embrace the athlete inside.
Also, this gives me a chance to blog obsessively about the whole journey! If even one person becomes convinced that it *is* possible and *isn’t* insanely difficult and thus tries it themselves, it will worth the time to track everything. 😉
Diet-wise, I have been eating pretty clean for a while now, partly because we take a whole foods approach as a family, and even more so lately as I’ve adopted a raw food lifestyle. It’s not always easy but the extra energy I get when I stick to it is totally worth it.
I need to spend some time this week brainstorming ways past roadblocks easily forseen (and whichever trickier ones I can figure out ahead of time as well!). For instance, my 9 days in Puerto Rico at the end of the contest are sure to be a bit challenging! Also, preparing my food ahead of time has been something of a tripping point for me.
This transformation contest is one of my mind as much, if not moreso, than my body. Eating right (which for me means staying raw), being active in general, and working out regularly, are all part of an overall mental overhaul that reenvisions myself as someone for whom self-care is paramount and being active is what I look forward to as an athlete. These are tweaks to my internal monologue that set the tone for everything I do daily. To quote Flylady: I am “finally loving myself.” So keeping an eye on the thoughts that float up during this contest is extremely important to me, in order that I can replace negative thoughts with those that remind me I am strong, capable, active.
Of course, none of that is worth much if I constantly struggle against my environment. So, to make living the way I want to the *easy, default* way of life, a number of things have to be thought about and put into place. Today for instance turned into a fast day for me because I did not do my shopping yesterday and thus was not really prepared food-wise for today. Though, it is not a huge deal as I like fasting on Mondays anyway – I’ve done it twice before, and it works well for me because Mondays (and Wednesdays) are my salsa nights, so I am dancing from 6:30 to 11:00, and barely have time to eat even when I want to!
Some potential issues I have thought of and the strategies I’ve worked out:
I realized I don’t have much in the way of pants to work out in. Therefore, today I will be buying some workout clothes. I will be doing most of the weights at home (early am before going to work) but will probably do the intervals at lunch in the gym. This also gives me an easy backup plan: if I don’t wake up early enough to do weights before my commute, I have another chance to do them at lunch. Working out in the morning is definitely going to be an adjustment for me. Currently I sleep in as long as possible LOL!
I will also buy some food-related things today – containers to make packing lunch VERY simple, and raw nuts/seeds from the health food store (my local supermarket being very limited). Having containers that are *mine* and not in general circulation at the house is vital to ease my way in packing food for the day (and on Mondays and Wednesdays, for very long days indeed).
Staying active in the general sense: I am recommitting to the “Take the stairs” lifestyle. Coincidentally, the 4-flight-long escalator at my train station has not been working in the past 3 days, so I guess the world is behind me in this one! Other “off day” things I have planned are walking to the studio (probably a 45 minute walk, 2-3 times a week) instead of taking the train, using the gym at lunchtime to do some yoga and/or Pilates, or using it to practice my salsa. And I’ll be getting into the garden on a regular basis on the weekends now that it’s getting warmer! I am also thinking about going along with my husband (and taking the kids) when he teaches his parkour session on Sundays.
Events coming up:
My older daughter is turning 6 on May 15th. As long as I have plenty of fruit, I think eating well during her party will be very easy to stick with. I will make some raw treats for myself so I am not left out – probably some delicious banana “ice cream.”
Mother’s Day: How I handle this depends on whether we go out to eat, and which mother is involved. If it is mine, I can make a plea for a raw restaurant (NYC has a few), or alternately some place with sushi. If it’s my MIL I will just do the best I can, keep an eye on my portions and not feel guilty about it.
Father’s Day: I will have to pack something if we go over to my inlaws, though if I ask them to make me a salad I’m sure they will.
I have a few performances that I will need to pack food for. My biggest potential downfall there is liquor, but as I have decided to “stay dry” during the contest it should not be difficult to avoid – especially as I plan to tell everyone I know about the contest!
Wedding Anniversary: Definitely either a really luscious homemade (raw) meal, or dinner out at one of the raw places. I *may* indulge in a glass of wine that evening, depending on how I feel I am doing with the contest. It’s in July, so I have time to decide. 🙂
My husband’s birthday: Should be pretty easy to eat well so long as I avoid social pressure to drink. My husband is quite down with the raw food thing, and VERY supportive of my contest goals, so I know I can count on him to help me out when needed.
Last but certainly not least is my planned 9 days in Puerto Rico at the end of July. I will be ending the competition mid-trip. Working out while I am there should be easy – the hotel has a gym – and staying active will be the default (as I am there for the salsa congress, so I will be dancing, dancing, and more dancing!) Food-wise, I have a friend who is also going who grew up in PR and his mother still lives there. He has already said he will help me get produce as needed so I can eat well, so I am not too concerned overall. And of course there’s always salad LOL! The bigger question will be whether I should buy a travel blender to take with me – for a 9 day trip it might be worth it.
My training/eating plan: It’s pretty simple – using the Turbulence Training programs for 12 weeks (of course!) – first the Intermediate, then the Original, and then probably the Fusion Fat Loss (not quite decided on the last workout). Foodwise, I am going to stay raw, track everything on fitday, and fast once a week (possibly twice a week). On my non-fasting days I am not going to worry about calories in the first few weeks, and then assess. I am not aiming for a particular macronutrient ratio as yet either. I am considering getting a raw protein supplement (as I do eat raw fish but not frequently) but quite likely I will not – a funding issue as much as anything.
I will get some pics up tonight if possible, otherwise tomorrow, and of course measurements! I will be posting daily, though not the particular details of the workouts. Suffice it to say, it is based on large body movements, usually with weights, in the 8-10 rep range, and interval training.