The New Normal

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May 8, 2013 by mybattlebuddyfitness


Hi Battle Buddies – I promise Elisabeth will be back to writing these posts for you very very soon.  She’s had quite a lot going on the past 12 weeks and now she is getting some much deserved rest and relaxation after the competition.  I’d predict that either this Saturday or next Wednesday she will be back in the saddle.  For now, I hope you enjoy this post that I put together.


For Christmas I received a heart rate monitor, which was a great gift for me since I had been talking about getting one for the longest time.  At the time, I had no idea where my heart was at when I did ANY cardio exercise, and I guess I just assumed that it was more or less in the right place.  When I started doing my ‘old routine’ (aka jump on the treadmill and go fast), I found that I was always going straight into the anaerobic zone, which is bad from a burning fat and getting lean perspective.  So towards the end of January, I had done enough investigation to come up with a 12 week program to help improve my aerobic capacity.  In addition, I had decided to join Elisabeth in a declaration of solidarity and cut out sugar, alcohol, and processed foods while she was training for the Emerald Cup.


The 12 weeks went by relatively quickly, as a matter of fact they just ended last Friday (woo hoo!).  By the end I had lost 14 pounds and I had improved my aerobic capacity by 21% (meaning that before I would have to run a 14 minute mile pace in order to stay in the aerobic zone, now I can run an 11 minute pace and still be aerobic while doing so).  I feel great, and am really excited to have achieved my goal.  The weekend was a time to have fun, to not think about what I was eating or whether or not I was working out enough.  Or at least it was supposed to be that way . . .


On Saturday, I let go, no gym, lots of food, lots of booze.  I let my hair down and totally zoned out.  But then Sunday rolled around, and I was awake at 5:30am (which was the time Elisabeth trained me to wake up) and staring at the ceiling.  My body was ready to go.  My mind was thinking ‘time to workout.’  So I got out of bed, texted our friend Eddie to see if he was awake (he was sleeping downstairs), and off we went at 6am to the gym.  I couldn’t help it.  I had created a new pattern and it was time to get up and get going with my day.  I got back home on Monday, and I wanted to let myself enjoy the ability to eat more freely again, but it felt strange.  It didn’t feel right to eat processed foods, or consume sugar.  I found myself back on MyFitnessPal logging what I have been eating, wearing my heart rate monitor so I know the effort I am putting forth.


This is all to say that creating new habits that are productive can really help you improve your fitness and your nutrition.  I have created a new normal for myself, and that doesn’t mean that I am not going to allow myself to enjoy some of the simple pleasures in life.  It just means that those things that used to be more regular in my diet that weren’t all that good for me are now going to be more like guest appearances on special occasions.  My body doesn’t crave them and doesn’t need them, at least not in the way it used to. 


It is also a little weird now, if this is the new normal, it means that I have new goals I have to set for myself.  Continuing to do the same type of workout or the same pattern of eating isn’t going to be enough for me now.  I have to think about what the next hurdle or challenge is going to be.  I decided for the next 60 days, I am going to work on my speed when it comes to my run (read lots of high intensity interval training), and I am going to do Insanity (yes, I bought the Shaun T DVDs, I was up late one night and just decided I had to try it for fun).  I have no idea what I am going to do about my diet yet.  It is getting pretty good at this point, maybe I need to make some tweaks and play around with times of day and frequency.  Unsure, I will keep you posted. 


Think about how exciting that is.  In 12 weeks, I have been able to dramatically change things in my life that I never thought possible.  And now I am looking at 9 weeks for the next big lunge forward.  Who knows what will come after that, but I look forward to the challenge. 


Join me, start a 9 week journey with me now.  Figure out just a couple of things you would like to change (either with your workouts or your diet), and stick with me for the next 9 weeks.  You have nothing to lose by giving it a shot, and I am sure that you will see remarkable changes in your life by taking this first small step.  It’ll give us something to celebrate other than US Independence on the 4th of July!

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