Exercise Epiphany (Clean Eating and LiveFit Program Update)
The half-way point of the Jamie Eason LiveFit Program has come & gone so I thought I would share an update. Especially because I’ve had some very enlightening breakthrough’s. **This is probably my most personal post ever because I’m admitting some pretty honest truths about my healthy journey. And they aren’t all happiness and sunshine. So here are my Exercise Epiphanies!
- As per clean-eating requirements, I eliminated all wheat and gluten products from my diet. I also eliminated dairy with the exception of Greek yogurt. Cutting out all cereal, bread, bagels, pasta, crackers, etc. was hard. I’ve never craved cereal or bagels so much IN MY LIFE. My body has never had a negative reaction to gluten, wheat or dairy to begin with. Eliminating these from my diet for almost two months did not yield any observable improvement either. Therefore I don’t see any health benefit for me, personally, to avoid them. I haven’t had a bite of bread in months, and you know what? I want some freakin’ toast.
- Going along with the clean eating… Though I didn’t “cheat” (eat processed foods) hardly at all, I would often make the mistake of overeating my allotted peanut butter, oatmeal, protein shake, and protein bars. Fruits and veggies are delicious, but when I am hungry/bored/stressed, my automatic response is something carb-y or fatty. Abiding by the ingredient restrictions, I did reach for an approved item like almond butter or Quest bars…but typically never stuck to a serving size.
- One of the blogs I follow “MoonFitness” created her own free e-course on body image and mental health. I just got lesson two in my email today. That girl is inspirational :)
- After 7 weeks of honest commitment and gym sessions, I’ve learned that a weight-lifting-dominant workout regimen is not for me. At least not at this time in my life. I loved everything Jamie Eason had to say on her bodybuilding.com interviews. The new perspective on fitness (something other than long-distance running) was really intriguing. But since I was 14 years old, my body has developed through long-distance running. It’s the body I am used to. Cutting back cardio (like less than half the usual) and hitting up serious weights (bench press, deadlifts, olympic squats, cleans) has started to transform my body……and I’m not sure I’m a fan. My shoulders and biceps have serious definition. My quads are more muscle-y and my calves look crazy. But to me, the look isn’t feminine. I do enjoy the fact that I can leg press 200 lbs. That I can hit up the squat racks next to the boys with confidence. That I can do more pushups than ever before. But I’m not looking to “make gains” and increase noticeable muscle mass. I was so proud of myself for starting this program because it stressed being STRONG not SKINNY. But for the sake of being completely honest, the idea of putting on muscle mass frightens me.
- This probably just has to do with my personality in general but I think the strictness of this lifestyle has made me more anxious than ever. On the Warren Buffett trip, I was stressed out beyond a healthy level by the fact that there were no clean options for lunch and dinner. Missing workouts for three days brought unreal anxiety. Overexercising the next week was countered by oversnacking on protein bars and peanut butter. Which brought more guilt. Get my drift? It’s an unhealthy cycle that I believe was perpetuated by the severe guidelines I had brought upon myself. By commiting to 100% clean, I had given myself no lee-way. Any slight deviation from the plan was an automatic “failure.”
- Working out in the morning > Working out at night. The feeling of accomplishment after a kick-ass workout is worth waking up at 5:22am.
- There is a lot of controversy on this topic…. and I’ve decided that I am “Pro” makeup-at-the-gym. ;) If a little mascara and a dab of lip gloss make you feel better about yourself, go for it. No need to shame a girl for some vanity at the gym. Personally, I think it helps detract from my bloodshot uncaffeinated eyes ;)
- The more I workout, the more I want to workout. Running, biking, intervals, squat jumps, planks, box jumps, dips, leg lifts, machines, free weights, plyometrics, hiking, dancing, jump rope- they bring me so much joy. :)
- No one places as much self-worth in your appearance as you do. (I’m speaking to myself here, though I’m sure many other people can relate.) Your daily fluctuations on the scale are not immediately evident to everyone else. In fact, if the scale is just another source of anxiety then put the silly thing away for now.
I will never stop LOVING fitness. Self-motivation has made it a habit to compete with myself daily. When my alarm clock goes off, I JUMP out of bed (to the coffee pot, of course.) I smile at the gym. I take pride in improvements. However, I do not consider weight lifting to be a primary source of my fitness. I would like to limit my weight room time from 5 sessions per week to 2-3. Also adding 2 HIIT sessions per week, and bumping up my weekly running mileage a bit (which shouldn’t be hard, considering where it is now).
So that’s my current outlook on the program and my lifestyle. I think the halfway point was a good time to evaluate my situation. I’m at a point where 100% clean-eating isn’t necessarily healthy for me and my workouts need more variety. Clean eating is still my goal lifestyle, but maybe 100% commitment was a little idealistic. I just want to be less rigid on myself.
Well it’s Monday, so I’ll be at yoga tonight. And yes, I still hate it.
Namaste compadres. :)