Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This is What Success is Going to Look Like

I had an interesting little insight this morning that I'd like to share.

First I need to give you a little rundown on what's been going on around here -

This is my Busy Season, so if you follow my blog at all, you know I'm not posting much lately.  In fact, I haven't looked but I'm guessing it's been about 8 weeks since my last post.  I'm travelling quite a bit, working late, trying to keep a large number of projects running simultaneously and not let any of them fall completely apart.  I'm not complaining; I have a demanding job that I love, and this is just how it goes sometimes.  Thank goodness I have a wonderful supportive family that keeps everything at home generally under control during these times.

Well, maybe not everything.  But they do a great job keeping me sane!  You know, the house is a bit of a mess, but shit happens.  I'm a lousy housekeeper anyway, so I certainly have no complaints!

My nutrition is still mostly in the bad category.  Some days I plan well and eat well, some days it's a complete wreck.  I finally got back on the bandwagon logging my food.  I switched to MyFitnessPal because it syncs up with my BodyMedia Fit armband, and because I had to do SOMEthing - the food logging side of the BodyMedia web site / app is just awful.  Sadly, LoseIt! doesn't communicate with the armband.  I've been using that web site on and off for nearly 5 years, I'm sad to leave them.  But I am logging my food intake again, which is a big step in the right direction, and I've actually started to pay attention to the interim totals through the day, which I had sort of trained myself to ignore somewhere along the way.  That's an even bigger step in the right direction.

On the exercise part of this equation, I'm happy to say I'm still doing pretty well.  The Heat Wave group finished up about 2 weeks ago, and I was able to protect my schedule enough to make it to most of the 8 weeks of the program.  I really enjoy being a group leader.  It reinforces a sense that, while I have a long way to go mentally and physically, I have accomplished plenty that is worthy of recognition in my own thoughts, and reminds me to pat myself on the back a bit, even when I feel like I've moved backwards.  In 2009 when I first started to change my eating habits by using WW online, I never would have considered running; certainly not running and helping to organize a half-marathon (or four). 

The past 3 days are a perfect example of how things have been going, and thanks to BodyMedia, I have visual aids to demonstrate what I mean! 

Saturday:  Evergreen 5k - I've run this several times, I love it because I get to bring Coty.  This year the weather was perfect.  I had terrible leg cramps the whole time, though, so I had a pretty awful race experience this time.  (I wasn't last, but it was a near thing.)  I kept stopping to walk and stretch, trying to get my calves to release.  I had a lovely time socializing with my Lake Run Club friends and our many Heat Wave leaders and participants after the race, but it was definitely in my top 5 worst races ever.    Home from the race and relaxed for awhile, then took Louie out for a solo training session.  This is a little different from your average Dog Walk - lots of stops where we work on commands and he gets training treats, lots of attention and practice being calm and focused (and not lunging at people or other dogs).  This took about an hour, but we only went about a mile and a half.  Saturday night was the usual shenanigans, burger basket, drinks, late night. 

Here's what my BodyMedia Fit showed at the end of the day:

Pretty good - even with the alcoholic beverages added in, I was WAY over my daily step goal, 30 minutes over my activity goal, and 400 calories over my burn target.  Nutrition was also over, and I didn't quite hit my deficit goal, but 550 under is still a deficit I can feel good about.

Sunday:  I'd gone to bed really late Saturday night, but I really wanted to make it to the Lake Run Club ABC Run event Sunday morning, so when the alarm went off at 6:30, I dragged myself out of bed, did my Sunday morning nekkid weigh-in, slammed some water and made a big cup of coffee to go.  Coty went with me, but it was so early in the morning, Louie didn't even notice.  I told myself that a run and some coffee is the best cure for a hangover.  (Sadly, my hangover came back with a vengeance after the run and made me a very unhappy girl in the late-morning/early-afternoon, but that's the price of doing business.)  After the cramping of the day before, Coty and I walked for more than a mile before doing any running, then did an unstructured run/walk for 3 more miles.  There was a presentation and some refreshments, and we got home around 9:15 to find my husband and The Kid... still both SOUND ASLEEP.  I tried to nap, couldn't, watched TV, generally felt miserable, took some Advil and drank more water.  Eventually, the boys were up and my headache went away, and Louie started making noise about wanting his walk.  I talked the boys into making it a family affair.  We did about 3.5 miles with both dogs and both boys and I made everybody run intervals during the second half.  It was a blast.  Dinner was a Chipotle burrito bowl (which I must admit, I felt was well-deserved after all this activity!) with extra fajita veg, light on the cheese, no sour cream, and about half of the normal rice portion.  Food-wise, breakfast and lunch were pretty snacky, no major junk food, etc.

Here's what the stats looked like at the end of the day:

Again, good stuff.  I was actually under my calorie goal; 800 over my burn goal; way, way WAY over my activity and steps goals, and (as expected) my sleep time was pretty badly off the mark.  Check out that calorie deficit for the day!  BOOM!  But of course, not every day can be a two-a-day.  Who has three hours on a weekday to squeeze in all that fun??

And now we get to the point of my post (I know, took you long enough, Chris) - and that is this: 

These days were successful.  Terrific!  Happily successful days.  But at BEST, I could have two days like this in every 7.  And even at that, not every weekend has the kind of free time available to get this much activity in.  Sometimes I have to work on Saturday.  Sometimes I will be travelling.  Sometimes, I'll be lazy.  Sometimes I'll be sick.  Shit happens.

The real success is on Monday:  I got up early, hit the office, had meetings most of the day, worked a little late.  I did eat reasonably all day - yogurt and cottage cheese for breakfast, grilled chicken and romaine salad for lunch with a light dressing and some carrots.  (Actually, I took a picture:)

After work, I met up with my fellow Heat Wave group leaders for a happy hour celebrating ad socializing and getting to know some of the other leaders.  It was a great evening and I was S glad to go.  Being part of that group has been amazing and I look forward to spending more time with all of these women!  But this is about food:  I had a couple of pieces of bread, one glass of red wine ("just give me the cheapest red wine you have, I'm not picky.") and a Cajun Shrimp Quesadilla which was delicious, light on cheese, and heavy on flavor.  Worst part of the meal is probably the tortilla. 
So basically, what I'm saying is I got NO exercise all day, but I maintained a goal-oriented mindset when I made food choices, and made it work. Or so I thought.  Here's what the BodyMedia Fit had to say about that:

Calorie burn was a little shy of goal, but not far off.  Intake goal was within my allotment (but of course that's an estimate... Plus or Minus 100 calories isn't hard to fudge).  I HIT my deficit for the day!  And all that with only 22 minutes of "moderate" activity (basically that means ZERO activity - I get that walking from my car to my desk and going to the bathroom a couple of times).  And obviously, I was a far cry from my step goal and my sleep as well. 

But let me repeat:  I hit my deficit for the day.  On a day with NO exercise, AND with a meal out, including wine.

THAT's what SUCCESS is going to look like for me. 
Mondays that say in the GREEN. 
Supplemented by some awesome weekends where the stats are off the charts.