I’m Back!

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So…remember that time I accidentally fell off the face of the earth for about five months? (Hint: it just happened.)

I’m really sorry about that.

And I know I’ve apologized for this type of thing before, so my words are now meaningless to you.

Again, I’m sorry.

Okay, but let’s be real…who am I actually apologizing to right now? The answer is nobody. Google Analytics is reporting that my site views have flatlined, and that precisely 1.38 people are visiting/reading this site on a regular basis. (I made that number up, but you get my drift.) I’m not upset by this news.

If nobody is reading, does that mean we can forget this five-month hiatus ever happened?

I think so.

Here’s the deal: the wonderful team at Blue Host just emailed me stating that they’ve auto-renewed the hosting services for this website for another year. True, I could probably call them up, complain about how I was irresponsible and unaware of the auto-renewal date, get a refund on my $89, and shut this whole operation down. That seems like a fairly logical step. After all, I haven’t posted anything in five months, and my one and only loyal reader is my sister in Charlotte. (Thank you Angela!)

But I’m stubborn, and I’d like to give this blogging thing another shot. Not because Blue Host charged my credit card (although that certainly lit a fire under my tush), but because I’d like to give it a real chance to succeed before I decide it’s a complete and utter failure.

How am I defining success at this point? Quite honestly, I have no idea. Once upon a time, it meant building an audience of thousands of regular readers to share interesting stories with. As it turns out, that’s really hard to do these days. Impossible? No. But with millions of other blogs in existence, it’s definitely an uphill battle.

(Also – there’s the tiny problem that I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to say yet.)

This forum – although vacuous at this point – is still public, and therefore brings a degree of accountability with it. Even if only 1.38 people are reading, I don’t want to publish complete and utter crap (there is plenty of that on the web already!). If nothing else, a blog provides a great outlet to practice writing, which is something I aspire to get better at.

There’s also the fact that I have all sorts of goals I want to accomplish, and I believe in the power of writing them down. The process of documenting them somehow makes them more real, and thus harder to ignore.

What exactly is the point of this rambling post?

  • I’m alive, and I’m back.
  • I haven’t stopped chasing my goals and dreaming big, despite radio silence on the blog.
  • I want to become a better writer, but don’t care to do all the leg work involved with building a successful blog at this point.

I hope to post on a (more) regular schedule here, but I’m sure it will ebb and flow with life at times. Right now though, it’s summer, and everything is flowing. 😊

How do you stay motivated with side projects? Do you force yourself to work on them consistently, or just when the spirit moves you?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X3 – Pilates!

My Goals For The Week Ahead (2/1-2/7)

For the last few years, I’ve made a habit of taking a few minutes each Sunday to mentally map out my week. Most of the time, this includes: 1) thinking through my work week and evening commitments, 2) planning my workouts and meals, and 3) dreaming about things I’d like to accomplish to propel my life forward (and subsequently taking action).

While the first two are helpful and necessary, number three is where the magic happens.

Unfortunately, this is the area that gets the least of my attention. I get so “busy” (read: sidetracked) planning for the daily grind that I neglect to put much thought into the things that really matter. Rather than coming up with an actionable plan to do these things, I have this conversation with myself: “It’d be so nice to do ____, ____, and ____ this week!!” And then I leave it up to fate to determine whether or not I have the time/motivation to actually do it. 

As it turns out, fate is pretty unreliable.

In an attempt to break this cycle, I’m going to try posting weekly goals here each Sunday. If nothing else, this will force me to consciously think about and plan the small steps I need to take each week to get closer to my goals.

Here are my goals for this week:

  1. Complete all of my marathon training runs/workouts: 6 miles easy, 6-mile tempo run @ 8:47, 4 miles easy, 12 miles @ 10:02, 1-2 cross training sessions
  2. Run/exercise before work (3+ days)
  3. Spend time writing before work (1+ day)
  4. Spend 20+ minutes writing every day
  5. Improve SEO scores on 5+ blog posts
  6. Set up my email subscription
  7. Finish the book I’m reading
  8. Invest $300+ in an index fund/ETF
  9. Evaluate my progress on these goals and set new ones for next week

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What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I created my first weekly goal list! (I hope this becomes a habit.)

Documenting My Small Steps

The whole premise behind this blog is to use myself as a guinea pig to prove that (almost) anything is attainable when broken down into small, manageable steps. My original vision was to lay out my goals and then document each daily step I was taking to reach one of them.

Let’s be real – 2015 was a huge failure as far as that’s concerned. Sure, I took a bunch of small steps toward goals, but I didn’t document them in a meaningful way. And on the days I was too (tired / lazy / lame / cranky / etc.) to work on my goals? I let myself off the hook altogether, reasoning that my small steps only needed to be accounted for when I posted a couple times a week. Not cool.

Clearly this needs to change.

My plan moving forward is to actually do what I intended from the beginning by tracking my small daily steps on this page. No more letting myself off the hook when the couch is calling my name (at least not without holding myself publicly accountable!). It’s time to get to work.

Not me

Not me

 

(Please follow this link to see the most updated version of this list.)

January 30 – I paid $50 extra toward my student loans.

January 29 – I invested $575 in VOO.

January 28 – I did 6 mile repeats (8:34 pace) in preparation for my marathon.

January 27 – I made my career change official. (This change will allow me to pursue my personal goals at a much faster pace.)

January 26 – I ran 5 easy miles in preparation for my marathon.

January 25 – I paid $100 extra toward my student loans.

January 24 – 😔

January 23 – I squeezed my workout in by running at midnight!

January 22 – 😔 <——- Ashamed face (no step forward today).

January 21 – I woke up early to run before work.

January 20 – I made time to do some blog writing during my lunch break.

January 19 – I invested $500 in VDE (Vanguard Energy ETF).

January 18 – I woke up early to exercise before work (and meditated, made green juice, and generally had an awesome morning).

January 17 – I ran six miles at a 9:10 pace in preparation for marathon training.

January 16 – I spent time working on the back-end of my blog (fixing links, etc.).

January 15 – I paid $25 extra toward my student loans.

January 14 – I drafted future blog posts.

January 13 – I got off my tush and went for a run when I reeeeeeally didn’t feel like it.

January 12 – I woke up early to run before work! (I also meditated, made green juice, and did a little blog work.)

January 11 – I researched and printed my marathon training plan.

January 10 – I opened a new bank account to better facilitate my financial goals.

January 9 – I registered for a marathon in May.

January 8 – I made a huge change at work that will positively affect my personal life.

January 7 – I invested in VOO (Vanguard S&P 500 ETF).

January 6 – I researched index funds/ETFs to add to my portfolio.

January 5 – I came up with a potential business idea.

January 4 – I fleshed out a 2016 budget to help me stay on track throughout the year.

January 3 – I created a quiet workspace in my house.

January 2 – I made the decision to switch my investing strategy.

January 1 – I paid $35 extra toward my student loans.

 

 

 

 

 

How I Stayed On Track Financially During The Holidays

December was not a great month for me personally. Despite my numerous struggles (namely, removing my butt from the couch), there was one notable area of success: I met or exceeded all my financial goals!

First and foremost, I stuck to my budget throughout the holiday season. I probably don’t deserve a pat on the back for doing what I’m supposed to, but I’m in uncharted territory here. This has never happened before. Like everyone else, I have numerous irregular expenses around the holidays: hosting Thanksgiving, funding an annual trip to Chicago, buying birthday presents for three awesome kids, shopping for Christmas, increased food/travel/leisure costs, etc.

Every year of my adult life, this has been a recipe for disaster. January inevitably arrives with me staring at my inflated credit card statements, scratching my head in wonderment of how I could spend so much money in such a short amount of time. I get mad at myself for managing my money so poorly, and vow to budget more carefully the following year. I then cut back irrationally on my discretionary spending in January and February and make my family miserable in the process. (“No, honey, I can’t buy anymore bread until Sunday. Would you like a tortilla instead?” Note: I have money for bread, but can’t justify an extra trip to the grocery store, since that usually results in extra spending.)

2015 was my year to break this pattern!

*****

My Not-So-Secret Tips For Staying On Track During The Holidays

 

Always start with a budget

It happens to me every year: I want to have an amazing time with family and friends I rarely see, and equate that with nice gifts, frequent meals out, and liberal use of my credit card. Being frugal during the holidays means being a Grinch, and I don’t want that title.

Let me tell you – there’s a happy medium between being a cheap Grinch and spending money like the apocalypse is coming. And you know what? It all starts with a budget. It’s not sexy, but it works. The earlier you can start finagling your budget to accommodate holiday spending, the better off you’ll be.

Here’s what happened (brace yourself, it’s profound):

  1. I did the math to figure out how much I could afford to spend.
  2. I wrote down a plan.
  3. I stuck to the plan.

Anytime I started to veer off course, I reminded myself that anyone in my life that’s worth a lick doesn’t want me to go into debt to buy them a present – they just want quality time together.

Start shopping early

Go to pretty much any store that’s open on Christmas Eve, and you’ll find undeniable proof that humans are naturally inclined to procrastinate. This year, I fought that tendency and got all of my shopping done by early December. The benefits were numerous:

  • I was more thoughtful in my gift-giving.
  • I avoided the last-minute panic that usually results in gifting useless junk to people.
  • I had more time to shop around, and thus find the best deals.
  • I didn’t have to pay for expedited shipping at the 11th hour.
  • If I couldn’t find a gift in my price range, I had time to either adjust my budget or search for something different.
  • I dealt with fewer crowds (which meant I was less cranky).

Shop online as much as possible

Seriously, why does anyone even leave the house on Black Friday anymore? (Or anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, for that matter?) I can find practically anything online at a better price than I can in-store, and most places will give you free shipping to boot. Furthermore:

  • I can use cash back sites like Ebates, Mr. Rebates, Fat Wallet, and TopCashback, among others.
  • I can buy discounted gift cards by visiting Gift Card Granny. (I can’t imagine ever paying face value for a gift card again!)
  • I don’t have to spend money on gas, midday stops at the food court, or impulse purchases at the check-out counter.

Pay for everything in cash

I’m a huge fan of this, and have written about it before. Having tangible cash on hand – as opposed to a credit card – forces me to be mindful of how I spend every dollar. Cash is a very finite resource in my world, as where credit card ceilings can seem limitless at times. Despite being a responsible credit card user, when I carry one with me, I’m always tempted to overspend my budget by a little. (“Go ahead, splurge on the $8 dessert! It’ll just go on the credit card.” Ponying up cash makes behavior like this difficult more to justify.)

Obviously I use a credit card for online purchases. My self-imposed conditions here are: a) I have money in my checking account to cover everything, and b) I pay off these purchases as soon as they post.

Establish spending limits with loved ones, or eliminate gift-giving altogether

I have three siblings around the same age as me. Once we all grew up and got “real” jobs, it seemed like we were simply exchanging money or gift cards every Christmas. After years of doing this, we realized how silly it was, and decided not to do it anymore. And just like that, we stopped buying gifts for each other.

You know what? I don’t miss it one bit! (I think they would say the same.)

The fact is, we’re all fiscally responsible adults. If there’s something we want, we’re going to buy it ourselves; not put it on our Christmas list and hope for the best. Instead, we’ve chosen to funnel our money and attention to the kids in our family. There is nothing better than young children at Christmas time, and making it extra special for them has been the best decision ever!

I’m lucky that my family is pretty cool about this stuff. If the situation was different, I would still push for hard spending limits or a “Secret Santa” type of gift exchange.

Remember the reason for the season

I have to remind myself of this all the time: the holidays are not about spending money! The older I get, the more thankful I am for the time I get to spend with my family. Sure, we have our issues (just like every other family out there), but at the end of the day, we are all so blessed to have each other. Our connections to one another certainly do not come from giving each other fancy gifts or frivolously spending money.

*****

Before this year, I never bothered to create a holiday budget to keep my spending on track. As a result of taking this simple step:

  • I’m starting the new year with no credit card debt! This means I can start attacking my 2016 financial goals without having to dig myself out of a hole first.
  • I exceeded my savings goals! I actually underspent my holiday budget – the extra money was immediately transferred over to my savings/investment accounts.

I can tell already that 2016 is going to be the best year ever!

How do you keep your spending in check over the holidays?

What are the gift-giving traditions in your family? (Gifts for everyone, Secret Santa exchange, etc.)

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I decided to switch my investing strategy! (I hope to write about this soon.)

 

Full disclosure: Some of the links above contain referral codes.

P90X Update – Week 11

Week 11 of P90X is complete! 11 down, 2 more to go. Here is the recap:

Day 1 – First half of Yoga

Day 2 – Rest

Day 3 – Kenpo + Ab Ripper

Day 4 – Rest (for absolutely no good reason)

Day 5 – Second half of Yoga

Day 6 – Legs & Back + Shoulders & Arms

Day 7 – Chest & Back + Ab Ripper

Bad week. Awful week. Let’s pretend it never happened.

*****

Okay, tantrum over. I have no good reason for taking rest days on Tuesday and Thursday. I was exhausted in the moment, and allowed myself to use that as an excuse. By Saturday I was two workouts behind for the week and ready to throw in the towel yet again on P90X.

Luckily on Saturday afternoon I got my act together and started to fight back. I was busy in the morning and evening with commitments, so I knew I needed to knock out a couple good workouts back to back that afternoon. Note: I do not recommend this. It’s hard physically and mentally knowing you have two hours of intense strength training in front of you. When I started the second workout, I was tired…by the end of it, I was worthless.

[Side note: I’m a runner at heart. Two hours of running is so much easier than two hours of strength training.]

For anyone keeping track (just me, I know), I am going into week 12 three workouts behind: one Plyometrics, one Ab Ripper, and one Yoga. This is very bad.

Why? Because the final two weeks of P90X happen to coincide with 65+ hour work weeks. These are some of the busiest and most stressful work days of the year for me, and I was really hoping to have a leg up on some of my workouts. Instead, I am starting the “home stretch” off at a deficit.

Okay, that’s enough whining for one post. I’m over it. Here’s to staying on track during the final two weeks of P90X!

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X – Chest & Back + Ab Ripper

P90X Update – Week 10

Week 10 of P90X is complete! 10 down, 3 more to go. Here is the recap:

Day 1 – Shoulder & Arms + Ab Ripper

Day 2 – Kenpo

Day 3 – Plyometrics

Day 4 – First half of Yoga

Day 5 – Rest

Day 6 – Legs & Back + Ab Ripper

Day 7 – Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps + Ab Ripper + 2nd half of Yoga

Only three weeks left! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

On one hand, I can’t wait for this thing to be over. I’m ready to get back into a more moderate exercise routine and not be tied to Tony Horton six days per week. I’m excited to go on leisurely 30-minute jogs instead of facing 92 minutes of hell Yoga.

On the other hand, I’m concerned about not having a structured program to adhere to. What if I become lazy and undisciplined in my workouts? What if the muscles I’ve worked so hard to develop start to atrophy? That would really suck.

I suppose I should actually get to the end of this process before I start worrying about what’s next. After all, P90X has done nothing for me if not reinforced the importance of taking things one day at a time. It’s probably wiser to focus my energy on the task at hand rather than waste it on what might or might not happen.

My workouts were pretty unremarkable this week. I’m still in love with Kenpo because it’s shiny and new to me, so that’s the one I look forward to the most. I officially hate the Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps workout – it makes me scream out in pain more than any other. Parts of it feel so unattainable to me, even at this late stage in the game. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to do a one-armed push-up correctly – I always just end up using my other arm for support, which clearly defeats the purpose.

While I’ve come a long way in terms of building strength, there is still plenty of room for improvement. I am not even close to being able to do “real” corn cob pull-ups, or plyometric push-ups, or crane pose. I am seriously considering a second stint with P90X, although probably not right away. (Ab Ripper and I need to take a break from each other for a while.)

Good news! I reigned in my ice cream and sugar consumption this week. I can’t say I was perfect (if we have chocolate laying around, I’m going to eat it), but there was definite improvement. I really hope to prioritize good nutrition for the next three weeks.

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On to week 11! I’ve got a crazy work week ahead of me, but I can’t let that get in my way. I’m at the point of no return!

What do you do after completing a fitness goal? Take a break, or jump right into something new?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I started promoting my blog!

(Okay, I told a few family members. Every little bit helps, right?)

P90X Update – Week 9

Week 9 of P90X is complete! 9 down, 4 more to go. Here is the recap:

Day 1 – Second half of Yoga (make up from week 8) + Kenpo

Day 2 – Legs & Back + Ab Ripper

Day 3 – Shoulders & Arms + Ab Ripper

Day 4 – First half of Yoga

Day 5 – Rest

Day 6 – Second half of Yoga + Plyometrics

Day 7 – Chest & Back + Ab Ripper

Well, it finally happened – I did Kenpo for the first time since starting P90X…

Where the heck has this been all my life?!?

I started it at about 9:00 p.m. on Monday after procrastinating all day. I was dreading it, and almost blew it off altogether. I’m so glad I didn’t! The 50-ish minute workout flew by in what seemed like 5 minutes, and I loved every second of it. (It reminded of why I used to love Tae Bo back in the day.)

True story – Kenpo is the easiest workout of the bunch, which is probably why I like it so much. But beyond that, it’s good for my mental health. It helps clear my mind in a way that is similar to running, and that’s something I haven’t experienced since starting P90X. All the punching and kicking must be good for my soul!

I’m also happy to report that I made it through the Chest & Back DVD much more successfully than ever before! I haven’t done this workout since Phase 1, so coming back to it in Phase 3 really opened my eyes to the progress I’ve made. Don’t get me wrong – I still hate push-ups with every fiber of my being. And yes, I’m still doing many of them from my knees. But I’m doing some of the from my feet, and I’m getting more depth and a higher number of reps than ever before. That’s progress!

Confession: my ice cream consumption was out of control this week – I think I had it on five separate occasions. I am not proud of this – ice cream really needs to be off limits at my house.

A major goal for the rest of Phase 3 is to eat less sugar! This will be hard for me – I have a very stressful month ahead, and when my stress level goes up, my sugar intake usually follows. Obviously I won’t see major results until I become more disciplined with my nutrition. But honestly, I just hate dieting, and prefer to take an “everything in moderation” approach to eating. (I know, I know – having ice cream five nights in one week probably doesn’t qualify as “moderate.”)

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Onward to week 10 – it’s going to be glorious!

Do you eat more salt/sugar/carbs/etc. when you get stressed? How do you combat it?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X Plyometrics

P90X Update – Week 8

Week 8 of P90X is complete! 8 down, 5 more to go. Here is the recap:

Day 1 – Legs & Back (make up from week 7)

Day 2 – Core Synergistics

Day 3 – Rest

Day 4 – 3.1 mile run in place of Stretch

Day 5 – 4 mile run in place of Kenpo

Day 6 – Core Synergistics + first half of Yoga

Day 7 – Yoga

Day 8 – Second half of Yoga (make-up)

I am so happy I didn’t quit last week!!! 

My workouts this week were 3.6 billion times better than last week, even with all the yoga. In fact, I think I had a major epiphany while doing yoga this week: I get through it more successfully when I break it into two sessions!

True, this is not ideal. Once I’m in the yoga zone, it’s probably more productive to stay there for the long haul. But honestly, I just dread yoga every single time, and telling myself I only have to do 45 minutes rather than 90 makes it much easier to tackle.

I also think that two shorter sessions will work better with my schedule. It is impossible very difficult for me to get up early enough before work to complete the full 90 minutes, but 45 is pretty reasonable. (That’s the difference between setting my alarm for 5-something versus 4-something, which is HUGE in my world.) Hopefully I won’t have any problems finishing the second half later in the day. We’ll see.

Despite my love/hate relationship with it, I can see how yoga is benefitting my overall fitness. It forces me to be uncomfortably still for long stretches of time. This not only improves my flexibility, but my physical and mental strength as well. It also helps me approach other workouts more positively. For instance, if I’m doing one-armed pushups, I go into them thinking, “I hate these, but at least I have the relief of movement. If this was yoga, I’d be stuck in some God-awful pose for hours seconds on end.” In my opinion, being in motion is preferable to static exercise. (Does that make sense?)

Both of my runs were terrible this week, hence the reason they were short. I’m not sure what went wrong there, but I’m hoping for a better experience next week. (Or maybe I’ll just bag the running altogether and do the prescribed cardio.)

Getting through phase three successfully is going to require intense focus and dedication. I have a limited amount of time to fit exercise into my day, and I simply cannot afford to let laziness and procrastination get the best of me. Yep, it’s about to get real. 

Do you ever break up your workouts into two shorter sessions? If so, do you find it effective?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X Kenpo

P90X Update – Week 7

Confession: I almost quit this week. Read on… 

Week 7 of P90X is complete! 7 down, 6 more to go. Here is the recap:

Day 1 – Rest (sick)

Day 2 – Rest (sick and lame)

Day 3 – 5 mile run in place of Kenpo

Day 4 – Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps + Ab Ripper

Day 5 – Plyometrics + Ab Ripper

Day 6 – Back & Biceps + Ab Ripper

Day 7 – Yoga

Day 8 – Legs & Back (make up)

Man, I thought last week was hard – this one was worse! Monday and Tuesday I was totally miserable – I spent a lot of time on the couch being lame and contemplating whether or not I should continue with this. The little devil on my shoulder was spitting out all sorts of “reasons” as to why I should give up:

  • 6 days of strenuous workouts each week? That’s crazy! Even marathon training wasn’t this hard! (It was, just in a different way.)
  • You will never be able to keep up with this schedule next month. Do you seriously think you’ll be getting up at 5 a.m. to work out? Quit now!
  • You’re already happy with your progress. Just quit already!
  • It’s so much nicer sitting on the couch eating potato chips than going to the cold, dark basement to torture yourself.
  • Stop stop stop stop stop stop stop!!!

Needless to say, these “reasons” all sounded very appealing at different points throughout the week. I managed to talk myself into getting on the treadmill Wednesday night for a slow and painful 5-mile run. I got through it with the hope that Thursday’s workout would be better…

Nope.

I think the Chest/Shoulders/Triceps DVD is now my most-hated workout. I found myself repeating “Oh, I hate this move!” just about every time we switched to something new. (In a typical session, this only happens 3-4 times.) Tony Horton has taken several verbal lashings from me lately, that’s for sure. I muscled through this one, but it hurt, and I only gave 65-70% effort.

Thank goodness Friday’s plyometrics workout was a turning point for me. I felt good the entire time and pushed myself harder than normal (jumping higher, squatting lower, and generally giving 100%). I felt so amazing that I decided to do Ab Ripper afterward to make up for some of what I missed on my rest days.

I can’t tell you how much I needed a good workout after several days of being in a slump. This single-handedly set my mind straight and put my eyes back on the prize. I would have been so disappointed in myself if I had given in to my excuses!

After plyometrics, the next few workouts were status quo, which I was happy with. I am starting off Week 8 a workout behind, but that’s okay since it’s a recovery week. I can keep myself on track by subbing in something else on a stretch day.

I am going into this recovery week with a much better attitude than the last one. Last time I just wanted to plow forward because I felt awesome and was making noticeable progress. This time my body is sore in strange places and clearly needs extra rest after the last two difficult weeks. Thus, I’m going to do my best to embrace all the stretching and yoga even when I feel like I need a more aggressive workout.

For me, the moral of the story here is that setbacks will happen – they always do. I’m not sure why I thought this time would be any different. I am optimistic that this plateau is over, and that my body and mind will remain strong going into the next phase of the program.

Bring it Week 8! Yoga is my favorite! (Or at least it needs to be this week.)

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

  1. P90X Legs & Back
  2. I bought 35 shares of KMI on the market dip!

 

 

P90X Update – Week 6

Week 6 of P90X is complete! 6 down, 7 more to go (almost half way!). Here is the recap:

Day 1 – Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps + Ab Ripper

Day 2 – Plyometrics

Day 3 – Back & Biceps + Ab Ripper

Day 4 – Legs & Back + Ab Ripper

Day 5 – Rest

Day 6 – 5 mile run (in place of Kenpo)

Day 7 – Yoga

This was one of the hardest weeks to date. I’m not sure why, but I felt nauseous all the way through my workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I think it had something to do with me attempting my workout directly after consuming excessive coffee and a light breakfast. My usual routine has consisted of eating a substantial breakfast followed by my workout 2-3 hours later. Apparently I need to go back to this.

Tuesday’s plyometrics workout was just awful. You can read more about it here.

I was caught in a slump Friday and Saturday. I had a dull migraine for most of that time, and had a hard time pulling myself off the couch. I tried really hard to talk myself into a workout on Friday, but it just didn’t happen.

I almost talked myself out of my cardio workout Saturday too, and ended up putting it off until 9:00 p.m. I was rationalizing all sorts of excuses in my mind:

  • I still have a dull headache – I shouldn’t do it.
  • I want to spend the evening writing – that’ll be more productive.
  • I can double up on my missed workouts next week – I don’t have to work much!

You know the thing that finally got me on the treadmill?

  • You can’t have that brownie in the fridge until you do your 5-mile run!

Most days I don’t need extrinsic motivation; I do it because it makes me feel awesome and because I want to reach this goal. But every once in a while, I just need something tangible to look forward to at the end of a workout. Chocolate usually does the trick.

Sunday was a crummy day all around. I had an awful head cold and nearly let myself off the hook again on yoga. The biggest source of motivation was refusing to have a second yoga workout hanging over my head. (I still owe one from Week 4.) While I like the way yoga makes me feel when it’s over, I still get anxious about actually doing it. I tend to build it up in my mind as 90 minutes of complete and total discomfort. Obviously I need to find a way to distance myself from this mental image.

One of these days I’ll stop complaining about my love/hate relationship with yoga. (Maybe.)

I’m calling this week a success even though some of my workouts were disjunct and/or lame. At any other point in my life I would have given myself permission to skip workouts and take a few days off – not this time! I’m choosing to believe that this was simply the lowest point in the program for me, and that it’s onward and upward from here.

Woohoo! On to Week 7!

How do you deal with sickness and/or general slumps during training?

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

P90X Yoga