Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Tip of the Week: Push and Release

Today is Day 86 of my 90 day goal in completing P90X. This little experience has required a lot of discipline as well as a fairly large dose of stubborn willpower.

I will not be posting before & after pictures on this blog as I think it would be slightly disturbing to see photos of your pastor's wife flexing in various positions. I'm sure you are very much relieved. You're welcome.

However, I would like to take a moment to just relish how good it feels to reach a goal. Hard choices that didn't always feel worth it in the moment feel very much worth it right now.

I've had several people ask me if I'm going to continue doing P90X now that I'm officially (almost) done. The answer is yes & no. I'm going to continue working out regularly and will be using a lot of the P90X DVDs to do that, but I'm dropping from 6 workouts a week that felt REQUIRED to 4-5 workouts a week that I'll be more flexible with.

The concept of "Push & Release" is that you can see a lot of progress in fitness (or, really, any area of life) if you will set a mini-goal and push really intensely for a defined season. Knowing that the goal/season has an end date makes it feel less overwhelming and suffocating. You know the break is coming.

Once you reach your goal, you can let up a bit. Not so much that you fall back to where you once were. Don't exchange nutrition and exercise for movies and twinkies. Just maintain where you currently are for a while instead of pushing so hard to achieve the next level. When you've rested a bit and had time for your motivation to rebuild, push again!

Progress is normally not a steady climb up and to the right. It typically more like stair steps.

So, do you want to lose 20 pounds? Set a goal to lose 10. Stay super focused. Count your calories every single day. Determine how many days a week you can work out and stick to it. Weigh yourself regularly. Have a friend that you report your progress to on a weekly basis. Then, once you've lost the first 10 pounds, breathe a little. Figure out what it would take to maintain that weight. What are the new lifestyle habits that you should continue verses the time bound habits that are only needed when you are trying to lose weight? Once you've maintained that weight for a while (at least a month), then you're ready to hit it again really hard.

Feeling like you're always pushing is exhausting and defeating. No one can maintain that pace, so eventually you're likely to give up. But pushing hard for a season can take you to a place that you've never been before. And once you've been there, it's slightly addictive and motivating all in itself.

Set a mini-goal. Make it time bound. Then, put your head down and get to work!

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