Sunday, April 8, 2012

Patient and Positive - Summer Challenge Week 3

The weekends in Kuwait are on Friday and Saturday, so Sundays are the start of my work week. For some reason, every Sunday morning I seem to be in a rush. I consider myself fairly organized, but somehow or another, I'm rushing ... I wake up super early in the morning to help me avoid this rush, but it hasn't worked. Apparently the extra time just gives me more of a chance to procrastinate.

As I in the middle of all this frantic-ness, a friend of mine who is a yoga instructor in the States (check out his website here, and do take a moment to read his 'about me' page) posted a link to an article he wrote about slowing down and enjoying the present instead of rushing towards the future. It's definitely worth a read so do check it out when you have the time. It's entitled Check Yourself before you Wreck Yourself.

It was just the reminder that I needed -- slow down. You're missing life by rushing around, and all those things you're rushing away from ... well, slow down and confront them. They won't disappear on their own.

So, on to my workout today -- I completed the second round of Workout B in NROL4W. I upped a few more weights and felt really good. This program has definitely taught me not to be afraid of lifting heavier weights - 3 sets of 8 reps ... there's definitely room to challenge yourself. Next week it's going to be 3 sets of 6, so I will continue to push myself.

I only did weights today. I was tempted to go in for another session of cardio, but I know I have a long session planned for tomorrow so I decided not to go overboard and exhaust myself.


Now, for the Summer Challenge update ...

We're heading into week 3 already! Here's a recap of my goals and where I stand so far:

Recap and Progress

I'm lumping my weight loss goal & exercise goal into 1 category:
  • Weight loss goal: Lose 10 lbs by May 8
  • Exercise goal: gym 6x/week; 3 weight training sessions; 6 hrs of cardio; abs 3x/week
  • Mini week 2 fitness goal - try something new
I should be happy that I weighed in 1.7 kg (4 lbs) lighter than last week -- and I am definitely happy that I lost a bit of weight -- but I feel like it's the same 4 lbs that I keep gaining and losing. I've only come down just under 10 lbs since the beginning of February of this year (which is when I restarted keeping proper track of exercise/food/measurements etc.). I just don't have the confidence that next week (and the weeks after) will show significant different changes. I feel stuck.

I know my measurements were good last week and showed signs of progress, but they're not enough. Unless the weight comes off, my BMI won't come down, and that's the truth. This +/- 5 lbs is just not good enough.

The thing is, I feel like this past week represents a really good week for me - my exercise was on point. I hit all my exercise targets (6 days at the gym; 4 days of 1-1.5 hrs of weight lifting; 6.5 hours of cardio; 4 abs sessions). I feel like this is what is realistically possible for me on a weekly basis. There may be some days when I can do more ... but for the most part, this is the standard amount of time/energy that is realistic for me ... and again, while I did lose almost 2 kg, it's the same 2 kg that I gained last week -- what I really need is the NEXT 2 kg to come off ... then maybe some of my confidence will be restored. At the moment, my current weight just represents a 2 lb loss since the start of the challenge. Frustrating :(

I am so tempted to change things up and incorporate some additional strength/conditioning workouts, but I don't know how realistic or sustainable that will be ... plus I really, really want to stick with the plan. I won't know how much the NROL4W program will work unless I complete it ... so I'm going to stick to it. I really do love the program and I HIGHLY recommend the book -- it's just that you have to be patient. I guess that's going to be the case with any workout program that I try. It will take time for the results to show, so I have to be patient and keep trying.

For the new exercise this week, was Wednesday's new boxing routine. Although I have been boxing, it was the first time that I used a full bag -- and believe me, the swing back of the bag added quite a bit of impact to each punch! It was very enjoyable!! :)

Non-scale goal:
I've been making some progress getting through the endless to-do list. Some of it got put on hold again because the mountain of grading I had to do over the past few days. Still, a few things were achieved. I'm still not adding anything to the list until I've gotten them all done. Hopefully I can specify a few more tasks next week.

As for the preparation for my PhD defense ... I had a very encouraging phone conference with my supervisor. I'm making steady process through my thesis and it doesn't look too horrible. Hopefully it'll all go smoothly :)

Finally - my nutrition goal: Drink 3.5-4L of water daily; eat fresh fruit daily; reduce carbs during dinner; track foods on a daily basis ...

My water intake has been great - I've been drinking 3.5 L of water without a problem. I sometimes struggle to get to 4 L, though there were 2 days this past week when I drank 5 L of water -- it's all that cardio!! I'm also super proud that aside from one day I've managed to eat my fruit. I've practically cut out all wheat-based carbs for dinner (save one day) so that's going well. The only place I've been slacking is the accurate tracking of foods on a daily basis. I'm being conscious of what I'm eating, but I haven't been so good at writing it down.

So, all in all -- a good week. I'm very happy with my workouts and quite pleased with my food. Goals for week 3: More of the same; maybe try to fit in at least one yoga/pilates session to incorporate some stretching into my routine.
Overall, it's just about continuing to move forward and stay patient and positive!

40 comments:

  1. 4lbs is a great loss though, you must be doing something very right! :D Good job!

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    1. Thanks Maren! It's the next 4 lbs that will be the real challenge!

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  2. I completely can relate to the same +/- 5 pound dilemma you are facing. I do this too. I almost feel like I sabotaged it when I got close to breaking 130 last week. I need to embrace that and not fear it. Succeeding at a healthy lifestyle is something to celebrate not run from - and that's what I do every single time. Maybe I just stumbled on some things to post about next week as I battle my sabotaging issues.

    Good luck on week 3 - stay strong!

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    1. I find it hard to celebrate when I feel like I should have made so much more progress by this point ... but I am thankful that the number is going down!

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  3. Your week and goals look very good to me. Here we go to week three. :)

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  4. Wow 4 lbs, great work! You have amazingly balanced goals :) Good luck for this week!

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  5. Sounds like you had a good week to me. Good luck for the upcoming week!

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    1. Thank you! I definitely hope the progress continues!

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  6. Well, I have the echo the others but it sounds like you had a good week. But I know the feeling of having to shake things up; I tend to get on a rut with the same routine over and over so, I tend to incorporate other exercises to make it more fun. So keep up the great work!

    and by the way, I was so surprised when I saw you live in Kuwait! I lived there for 15 months back in 2007 and it was HOT! I went back to your other blog and read about Kuwaiti Airs and their treatment of people... you would be surprised how they treated me because I look middle eastern until I handed them my U.S. Passport. Then everything changed. But I saw how they treated other people. Anyhow... :) Sorry for the ramble.

    Maria
    http://thefitnessgirlkitchen.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes, I'm finding it tricky to find a balance between sticking to the plan and changing things up!

      What a coincidence that you've lived in Kuwait ... the summer is approaching and I know we'll be feeling the wrath of desert heat very soon! Unfortunately there are still a lot of discrimination issues here, but I'm enjoying all the positive aspects of living here :)

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  7. Haha I increased my water intake too and then found myself peeing every 45 minutes. The price we have to pay, eh?

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    1. OMG tell me about it! Think of those added steps to the bathroom as burning a few extra calories as well ;)

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  8. I myself think you did great on the 4 pound weight loss. Good luck on week 3 AND your thesis! :)

    Shannon
    http://www.everystepcounts365.wordpress.com

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  9. 4lbs is great! It does get frustrating when you seem to lose and gain the same lbs and yo-yo about but hang in there, it sounds like you are doing all the right things so eventually your body will respond, sometimes it really fights the changes and you just have to hang in there until you start winning again. The same thing has happened to me before, I promise if you stick with the healthy lifestyle and exercise you will win in the end.

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    1. I do hope my body responds by dropping the next few pounds - I am desperate to REALLY break this plateau!
      Am going to keep trying - thanks for the encouragement :)

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  10. Sounds like you are doing fantastic :) Are you moving towards grain free like me?

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    1. Thanks :)
      I keep my grain intake to a minimum in any case, so I haven't really thought about going completely grain free. Perhaps it is something I should look into to see if it has an impact ...

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  11. It's hard to focus at all on your scale updates because nothing speaks nearly as loud (to me) in your updates as your exercise habits, which are - quite frankly - kickass! And it sounds like you genuinely enjoy them too - which means this is just your healthy lifestyle & routine, not merely a path to a specific goal. Heck, I'd consider the scale # a mere side factor to reaching fitness goals like you've already achieved.

    I have a freestanding punching bag. (I bought it 8 yrs ago when I began my divorce from hell - it was my therapist. ) It is an amazing workout!! I've always wanted to try it with a hanging bag, because I know the movement of the bag can enhance the whole workout, requiring you to pay more attention to the momentum and timing. You must feel amazing after such a great workout. The scale can't possibly display results like that.

    Have a great 3rd week!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I do love my workouts, and I find that it is such an added bonus because I don't mind going to the gym. The adrenaline and energy I feel post-workouts is awesome. I'm definitely happy with my level of fitness, I just wish my physical body shape represented the hours I spend at the gym!

      Boxing is amazing! :)

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  12. I love how blogs connect folks from all parts of the world

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  13. Great weigh-in for week 2... in fact great week 2 overall!

    And thanks for the reminder that we ALL need to slow it down sometimes. =)

    Good luck with week 3.

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    1. Thanks Annie!
      Trying to slow down is tough to do, but definitely worth the effort :)

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  14. I know what you mean about yoyoing through the sme few pounds. I have done that myself. What helps me to get past it is to decrease my calories. You are doing a lot of exercise, maybe adjus ting cals a bit will o the trick. Have a great third week!

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    1. I'm definitely paying more attention to what I'm eating and hoping that will play the trick! :)

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  15. You will find the right balance. Just keep adjusting this and that. And above all, listen to your body.

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    1. It really is a negotiation process!

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  16. You're doing great so far! Fingers crossed your 4 pounds stays lost and is followed with another loss next week. :)

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  17. Congrats on the 4 pounds. I'm sure that if you keep positive and focused it will stay off. Your yoga friend is right being present is important....have you ever readA New Earth by Eckhart Tolle? His whole book is about being present and living in the here and now.

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    1. I haven't read that book, but that's for the suggestion. I'll have a look :)

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  18. You are doing great. You may say you procrastinate Sunday mornings, but you sure are getting things done! Good job on the 4 lbs, good luck on the next 4!

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    1. Thanks! I guess I just take a while to get warmed up, and then I'm usually good to go :)

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  19. Great loss and you are doing well with balancing things so in the long run that will only be beneficial. Great goals and they are achievable, you can do it!

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  20. You've got this! I really admire your tenacity, and the way that you never seem to give in, even when your life gets stressful and busy. Your my grad school inspiration, even though your PhD is finished!

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  21. Wow. 4 lbs this week? That is amazing progress! Very inspirational. I definitely need it! I think your friends advice about slowing down is great. I need to do that myself. Good luck next week.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)