Set your goals in concrete but your plans in sand. Be flexible with your strategies but firm on your goals.

Tomorrow is Sunday of week 8 of my third round of 12wbt. Mini-milestone day for me. I will be taking part in a fun run.

However, today something happened, that in the long run might just mean more than achieving my goal tomorrow for the mini-milestone.

At the end of the BodyPump class there was the usual stretch track – all done on the floor. At the end of the track we did a hip flexor stretch. And when I finished instead of leaning on the bench for support or using my hand (or both hands for support) I just stood up. This was a huge deal. This time last year at about 155kgs I could not get up off the floor without Mr G literally pulling me up. When I was doing stretches at Curves or a Zumba class I would either roll very elegantly 😉 or scoot on my bum, over to a piece of furniture I could use to pull myself up.

But today, a year down the track at 109kgs, I just got up off the floor – and wanted to shout out, “Look mum, no hands!”

For a number of years as I got close to 165kgs and then hit that highest weight, I couldn’t even get up off our lounge at bedtime each evening without Mr G literally pulling me to my feet. Each night at 10.30pm-ish the feelings of dread and failure would build up as I knew I would have to face yet again how pathetic I believed I had become. It was nothing short of torture going to bed each night thinking I had failed at the last thing I had to do that day. And those negative feelings began a downward spiral, each and every night, that I had let myself go to the point I would never be able to do anything about it.

I am so glad I have proved myself wrong.

The achievement at 10.30 this morning got me thinking about just how far I had come.

So, having already put in my results for this week’s fitness test this morning, I went back to look at my results for the beginning of my first round of 12wbt.

September 2011

1km time trial: 11min 47 sec

Push ups: 8 on knees

Wall sit: 15 secs

Sit and reach: -9cm

Abdominal Strength: level 1

July 2012

1km time trial: 7min 10 sec

Push ups: 31 on knees

Wall sit: 1min 49secs

Sit and reach: 7cm

Abdominal Strength: level 3

When I first started 12wbt last August in the preseason my goal was to get to 77kgs by my birthday at the end of July 2012. Well, this hasn’t happened, but I certainly don’t consider myself a failure. My goal has remained the same – set in the concrete, to reach 77kgs. But the plans have changed according to the circumstances of my life. I have had a few setbacks. Spraining my ankle twice in round 3 2011. A bout of clinical depression ( a relapse according to my doctor) in round 1 2012 which caught me by surprise. Three weeks of being seriously ill with two infections in round 2 2012. Who knows, if it hadn’t been for these three setbacks, maybe I’d be 77kgs by now. It doesn’t bear thinking about, because it doesn’t really matter. I am running my own race to get to my goal weight. It doesn’t actually matter when I get there, as long as I keep working towards that goal.

I realised today after my SSS that the last two weeks have proven to be another setback. I had just finished a BodyPump class, followed by a Sh’Bam class and I was talking to the instructor. Ms P, the instructor, the one who takes my favourite 6am BodyPump classes on Mondays and Thursdays. Which of course I haven’t been to in the last two weeks as I am responsible for taking calls from unwell teachers, and then making the calls to secure a casual teacher to replace them. To do so I have to make sure I am available  from 6am to 7.30am each morning.

I admitted to Ms P that in the last two weeks on Monday to Thursday nights I had been to one Bodypump, one BodyBalance and one Zumba class – and one stroke correction lesson. I admitted out loud my excuse was I was just so tired in the early evenings after work. She suggested to not go home first, but to come to the gym on the way home. Then I had to admit that every morning I would put my gym bag in the car,  and five of those eight evenings I drove straight past the gym to go home.

I realised I had ignored what I had written in the sand. I realised I had let myself down. And Ms P reminded me that if I was feeling tired the best thing I could do would be to exercise. Lesson learned for me. Pulling out the JFDI card is just as important at 6pm as it is at 6am. And the bottom line is that if I choose not to JFDI I won’t be any closer to my goal in four weeks time, and my fitness test results may not look too different than they do right now.

I will achieve my goal. I will do the work that is needed to achieve the goal. I will rewrite the plans in the sand to include a JFDI card. I want more moments like the one I experienced this morning.

I can make excuses or I can achieve my goal. Bit of a no brainer really.

(Thanks to my friend and fellow 12wbt-er who posted the quote I have used in the title above. When I saw it before leaving for the gym this morning I thought that sums up my journey so far. Then, breakthrough moment as I am leaving the gym, it is totally relevant for where I am right now.)

Oh no! There goes my training plan

As you may well know I actually enjoy my 6am workouts. Granted, I may have to pull out the JFDI card on cold winter mornings at 5am, but I am always glad that’s what I do.

I do BodyPump and RPM classes Monday to Friday. There are three great instructors at my gym for these four classes. All three are inspiring. I love the fact that my calorie burn for the day is done and dusted by 7am, especially great as some days after a day of teaching and after a school meeting I’m feeling a little drained, I have a family to consider, a household to organise and marking and lesson preparation to do.
I also love how energised I feel after the 6am workout – and how positive I feel as my work day begins.

I teach in a large-ish primary school and I am one of four Assistant Principals. One of our duties is to take the calls from our teaching staff when they are unwell, and then make calls to casual teachers to find a replacement for the day. The calls may come in the evening before the next school day, or from about 6am on the actual school day. It is really important to secure the casual teacher as soon as possible, especially in winter months.

So that means doing a 6am class is impossible. And even planning a 6am gym machine session instead is not a great solution as it can take a while to contact an available casual teacher, and there is no where quiet at the gym to call.

So my first thought was – there goes my training program. And then the negative thoughts started – I’ll never achieve my goals for the round now. And, and here’s the really silly negative thought, I’ll never get to my goal of 77kgs now.

I started to get emotional. Then I told myself to stop, and think about what impact it was really going to have on my training program.

First of all, Friday is my rest day, not Sunday. That means there are three days which are not affected by this change in my routine.

Secondly, Monday nights I do Zumba anyway – so that can be my cardio workout for the day.

That means its only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I have to adjust. Both Tuesday and Thursday the gym has BodyPump in the evening. Wednesday night there is RPM. And if I can’t make it to BodyBalance on a Sunday in one particular week there are BodyBalance classes after the BodyPump in the evenings.

So I spoke to Mr G and explained it all. He agrees that I need to put myself first, along with fulfilling the commitments of my job. So for the next ten weeks there will be a change to my training routine.

I will keep giving it 110%, so that at the end of the round I can say I did my best and achieved my behavioural goals – regardless of whether it not I achieve my goal of losing 15kg this round.

And I will be a lot closer to 77kgs.

When you take the emotions out of the weight loss equation, it’s not so hard to find the answers.

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My Excuses and their Solutions

I completed this preseason task last night.  I have 15 excuses I use which I can pinpoint right now.  Not good.

On reflection a few points struck me:

* If I keep making the excuses about being to fat to do Zumba/Gym/Run/Swim, I will always be fat.

* Just because I would not qualify as a Weight Watchers leader at the moment (have I already mentioned I was a leader for 9 years?), doesn’t mean I am a total failure who shouldn’t bother.

* I need to keep positive and remind myself about what is important.

* I have to cultivate good habits – eating healthy is a way of life, as is making exercise the number one priority in my day.

* If I fail to plan, then I plan to fail.

* If external factors make things difficult, then I have to adapt and improvise – but NOT give up.