My Personal Fitness Project: Month 1
I have some very interesting numbers and observations to share with you.
Here they are:
||Size Measurements (inches)
Total Inches: 203.25 (13.8% decrease)
Total Avg Increase: 53% (number skewed see pullups/min)
You can view my initial numbers for comparison here.
In starting this project, I only wanted to make progress. I chose one month as my benchmark because I wanted any results achieved to be clear. I figured, if I didn’t get results in one month, I was not doing anything worthwhile. My suspicions were correct. I did in fact make progress.
My gym attendance was not perfect. I planned to attend six days per week for four weeks, that’s 24 days total within the 28 day period. I actually attended 19 times according to my records. This means that I had an 80% attendance record. The last week, I missed three days, due to excessive muscle strain (I discovered that I’m not superman…).
I had a 99% success rate on my eating habits. 71 out of my 72 healthy meals followed the diet that I outlined here. 14% of my time was spent eating complete junk. Let me explain. 4 days were reserved for eating whatever I wanted, in however many quantities I wanted. I had a lot of fun with that! During one meal, I ate an entire medium deep dish pizza. During another, I devoured 3 ginormous homemade pancakes. It didn’t stop there. I had biscuits, apple pie, burgers! It was an event each time!
Generally, my mood, energy levels and focus increased, from day to day. This week in particular, because I missed 3 days of working out, I noticed more fatigue and tiredness in my body than usual. This is more a testament to the importance of maintaining progress in the right direction.
Tweaks, Changes, Improvement Areas
I did not do a very good job of planning my meals. When I did not plan my meals very well, I saw drops in energy because my body did not have the proper fuel. I missed a few breakfasts and dinners, because of poor planning and a busy work schedule. I will put more emphasis on this in the coming weeks.
I did a good job of not feeling guilty if I missed a work out. I focused on what could be done in the moment to help my situation. I’m not perfect, and perfect is (luckily) not a requirement for this to work.
My Fun Food Day is on Saturday, but they have started to leave me down for the count on Sunday. I’m tired. I can’t focus and I have minor headaches. The massive calorie, carbohydrate, and sugar intake spike probably sends my body into shock. I may start to tone it down (I can’t eat as much as I used to). I will also move the start time to Friday evening, this way the 24 hour period ends earlier, which gives me more of a recovery time. My Sunday workouts will now be first thing in the morning to stave off the energy droughts.
1) You don’t have to be perfect
In school, if you got 80% of the questions right on a test, that would be a borderline C+. That’s considered slightly above average, but not exactly anything to write home about. I successfully made it to the gym only 80% of the time I had planned, and still achieved measurable results. Perfection is not required to succeed. Progress and consistent action over time is.
2) Believe in Yourself and Be Patient
This might seem a bit melodramatic, but hear me out on this one. I told lots of people about my little diet plan, and I heard all kinds of things. “You are going to do what on Saturday? That’s going to undo all the work you put in during the week!” or “Eating after a certain time is not good for you!”
If the person wasn’t walking around with washboard six-pack abs, I didn’t listen to them. Could I have gotten more dramatic results? Sure. Was I perfect? No. But, I made considerable, measurable progress by focusing on action and also having fun. Things take time and I have to be patient. I could have easily panicked the moment someone disagreed with my plan and changed it. That would do nothing but confuse my objective and create conflict in my own heart.
3) Don’t stop
Some days I didn’t go to the gym because I was simply tired. Other days, I was tired and I still went. If I skipped one day, I made a commitment to go the next day. I tried very hard, not to missed two days in a row. And even if I did, it wasn’t too late to get back on schedule. I have to keep moving in the right direction for this to work. If I quit, I won’t get what I want. It’s that simple.
4) Hold Yourself Accountable
I wrote in my last fitness post that I would report to you guys the week of the 24th. I had to keep my promise. I didn’t want to look like a fool. This kept me focused, honest, and consistent. I would look like a joke if I didn’t deliver results. So I had to if I wanted to walk around with my head held high.
My next report will be the week of February 27th, 2011.