Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A new year, a new challenge!
As the new year is just days away I have been reflecting on the past year and thinking about new goals for 2010. Steve over at Log My Loss has come up with a new challenge so that we can keep up the momentum we started with the HOT 100!
I was going to post about some of my goals for the new year (and some of them will make you laugh, so if you have to pee, go now) so I figure I will put the challenge goals and the new year's goals in the same post-- as the challenge goals support the long term stuff.
Ok-- let's start with the PERFECT 10 challenge goals-- I urge you to participate in this challenge-- it is only ten weeks and may help to keep your motivation up. Plus it is a good excuse to visit Steve's blog, which always offers useful information and motivational videos-- all for FREE.
So please, read about the challenge HERE and start planning your goals and strategies!
MY PERFECT TEN CHALLENGES
1) Begin the NROL program. What is this? It stands for THE NEW RULES OF LIFTING FOR WOMEN - LIFT LIKE A MAN, LOOK LIKE A GODDESS, a work-out program from the book by this name, written by Lou Schuler.
I read this book months ago as a friend of a friend had great success with it and even reduced problem areas that she thought she was truly stuck with for the rest of her life.
I began practicing the squatting and lunging (not easy at 400 pounds), printed a training journal designed for this program, joined the online forum for people following the NROL, and very quickly realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew at the time. There are a variety of reasons for this, some of which I'll explain here, as it may pertain to you or be helpful to someone here.
Reason number one, I had joined gyms plenty of times in my life but I was generally using the cardio equipment or the Nautilus equipment. I rarely used free weights (other than fooling around with 10 pound dumb bells to do triceps extensions). I never had any real plan or program at the gym other than a vague notion of wanting to look better or be more "toned."
The squats were killing my knees so I went onto "you tube" and watched a video of the proper way to squat. At that point-- I became concerned about my form and wondered if I shouldn't start with a more basic program that emphasized basics such as form and tempo and that came with DVDs to demonstrate the moves. NROL is a book and I was having trouble learning form from it.
The NROL is a 6-month program and once you get past the initial phase you need to lift heavier weights than what you might be used to to make it effective. You have to motivate yourself and be self-disciplined-- and you have to be honest with yourself about when to increase the weight.
At the size and level of fitness I had then, I realized that I wasn't ready for this program-- that's why I bought the ChaLEAN extreme program, which I am finishing up now. ChaLEAN eases you into the workouts, stresses safety and proper form while at the same time, asking you to push yourself.
Although I felt a sense of "defeat" at the time, it was the right choice. I wasn't ready for NROL then. BUT I AM NOW. I am re-reading the book, rejoining the NROL forum, and starting this program on Monday!
This is a 6-month program, but the beginning will probably be the hardest -- so this ten-week challenge will help to get me going. ChaLEAN won't be on a screen in front of me reminding me of proper form, setting the tempo, telling me to breathe-- I will have to do those things for myself.
2) Begin Training for the New Haven Road Race. This is a half marathon (13.1 miles) and takes place every year on Labor Day. As of the onset of this challenge, I have 8 months to prepare myself. Running on this day is one of my long-term goals for 2010 and you can read more about it below.
Suffice it to say, with New England weather I won't be able to train outside consistently until Spring. I HATE treadmills and refuse to use one. So it will be important that I keep my cardio up on the days I am not lifting.
As luck would have it, the challenge is ending just shortly before the first official day of spring-- so I will use it to keep me going through the winter. This isn't about just having the discipline to do some sort of cardio indoors or out as the weather allows-- but it is about my own attitude and accepting things not in my control and working around them.
I can get really pissy and almost take it personally when I am in the mood to walk and it rains or snows or drops to ten degrees. This is ridiculous, I know. I need to get myself to say, "Oh well, can't walk outside today, I'll do a Biggest Loser cardio dvd instead." My pattern is to get pissed when I can't do what I want and then do NOTHING.
I've been losing weight and made gains in my fitness in spite of ridiculous personality things like this-- but I won't be able to achieve what I want if I leave this in place-- so it is part of my challenge.
3) Lose 20 pounds by the end of the challenge. That would be an average of two pounds a week, which is quite do-able if I remain focused.
4) Improve sleep habits. Why is this here? Believe it or not, it affects your fitness, especially if you're trying to build muscle. Overweight people are more apt to have sleep disorders and poor sleeping habits.
Among the many other reasons to care about this is GH or GROWTH HORMONE -- which helps your body build muscle and increase strength. Your pituitary gland releases GH in spurts, THE BIGGEST OF WHICH RECURS WHEN YOU SLEEP. Hence, proper sleep is essential for someone who works out regularly. You won't get the results that you want if you are spending hours in the gym every week but not getting enough rest!
(By the way, alcohol consumption interferes with GH release which is why body builders avoid it. I don't have a problem not consuming alcohol so I am not making it a challenge)
I made the sleep thing a challenge as I have suffered with insomnia since I was a kid and I have noticed that when I try to lower my calories to push a greater weight loss -- the insomnia pattern gets worse. I have also noticed that a lot of cardio makes it worse too. Instead of being tired after a good run, I am more apt to lay awake.
I can't pretend to know the solution for this or even if there is one. But I want to find different ways to push myself towards good bedtime routines and getting enough sleep.
You may have noticed that there are no food-related goals among my challenges. Not to rub it in to those who still battle with over-eating, food cravings, binge behaviors, etc. - but I don't have stress or issues with any of that right now and haven't for quite awhile. Christmas reaffirmed for me that I can "cheat" when I want to and return to my program at will, without a problem.
I am not trying to imply that I have lifetime immunity from over-eating or gaining the weight back. If I had that, I would package it and become a millionaire overnight! But right now, food is not the issue; discipline and intensity with exercise are more important.
I'd be giving myself an easy assignment if I made it about food and the point of this is to be CHALLENGED. Pushing myself with the exercise and dealing with weird personality and mood things are harder for me to address than the food-- so that's what it's about for me.
NOW, ONTO MY LONG-TERM GOALS FOR THE COMING YEAR
And, as I said, some of these will be FUNNY (I think so anyway), so if you have to pee, go now.
In the past, vague, candy-ass goals got me no where! So I've made an effort to be specific and colorful. Here goes:
1) My wedding anniversary is July 9th. I want to be able to wear a black cocktail dress and heels by then and to look GOOD in it. We always go out for dinner on our anniversary. We haven't been going to "dress-up" places for the past few years for the obvious reason that I looked like shit
2) Become MISTRESS LORI-ANN. Hey, I asked DH what he wanted for x-mas and he said for me to keep going until I can wear a dominatrix outfit. I was about to laugh when I realized that he probably wasn't kidding. He wasn't.
No, he doesn't want to be spanked or degraded, he just wants to see his 6'3" wife in black fishnet stockings and a leather body suit. So this is an important goal and if I achieve it I will post pics of my outfit.
In my most recent progress pic in the side bar, I am wearing a shirt that says MOTIVATE DOMINATE. This is a joke between us-- that the shirt is a prelude to the stockings and high heels-- now you are in on the joke too. But I am serious about achieving this nonetheless.
When it gets close, I may even plan a romantic evening or week-end get-away during which I spring the outfit on him. I will let you know. Obviously, this is a ways off. LOL
3) Prepare for the New Haven Road Race. I am no spring chicken. I smoked 2 packs a day for twenty years and have abused my body pitifully over the years. I don't know if it is realistic for me to complete a half-marathon 8-months from now or even beyond that.
I am going to train for it as if I am going to do it and I will mail in the application in the spring. If it gets to be close and I assess where I am at and HONESTLY think I shouldn't do it, then I will run the 5k they have there that same day. One way or the other, I will run that day.
Merely thinking that the half-marathon would be "hard" or embarrassment over the likely possibility of coming in LAST aren't reason enough not to do it. When Spring gets here, I'll have to be consistent with the running and do an honest assessment of my abilities when race day approaches.
4) Visit the Cadillac Ranch. What is the Cadillac Ranch? It is a fun country restaurant and dance club where you can get line dancing lessons and have fun making a fool of yourself. It is amazing what a hit this place is here in Yankee-ville.
I've always wanted to drag my husband there and get him all liqueured up and out on the dance floor, then bring him home and...... well, er um... you get the idea. And so, this year, it's gonna happen! Maybe I'll wear my dominatrix outfit underneath my country dress! LOL
Anyway, when you're really FAT you tend not to go out and do fun stuff like this, assuming that you're even physically capable to begin with. That has to end this year. For too long, I've denied myself the pleasure of of going about and making a complete ass of myself. I'm doing it this year, and that's it!
You can read about the Cadillac Ranch HERE.
5) Go to concerts. We LOVE music and haven't been able to go to concerts. I couldn't fit in the seats. At the Meadows, there are "lawn seats" but try getting up and down off the ground at 430 pounds-- no graceful way to do that.
And so I'd love to surprise DH with some unexpected concert tickets.
6) Go to the movies. Again, couldn't fit in the seats. I haven't seen the inside of a movie theater in about ten years. So in 2010, I will go to the movies even though it costs a lot these days.
7) Buy some slutty clothes. When I get to goal, I have no intention of "acting my age." Fuck that! Where is the fun in that? I am not putting myself through all of this shit to wear wool suits and baggy jeans. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, girlfriend is gonna buy short skirts, jack-up-the boobs bras, and a variety of clothes that are too tight, too short and totally inappropriate for someone my age. Don't say you weren't warned! LOL
I have some other goals, like improved health and overall fitness. But somehow, those alone won't always get my ass out of bed and into my running shoes on cold, dreary mornings.
I needed some goals with some juice to them and that I know I can make happen if I work hard. What are your goals for 2010? Are you joining the perfect 10 challenge? C'mon, get going. Don't be a wimp!
Have a great day!
P.S. Anyone know where I can get fishnet stockings to fit 37" legs?