I started this post last night and I was afraid to publish it. There are people who question my resolve and commitment when I talk to them in person. I told myself to “sleep on it” before I publish this one. I’ve rewritten it, but the message is still the same…
Do I have the courage to follow my own path?
Here is an example of courage I saw this week. My students took their advanced placement calculus test last Wednesday. They were nervous. That group has been preparing for this exam with me for at least 2 years – some 3 years. (I was their precalculus teacher, too.) Ironic – that’s how long I’ve been working on my body transformation goal, too. I won’t know how they did on the exam until July, but I’m so proud of them. Unexpectedly, a leader among them stepped up and rallied the team that morning during breakfast. (Cooked by me – a skipped workout, but it’s important for them to have this meal together before the exam.) As adults, we know how to handle high stress situations, but high school kids need to muster a little courage. They did it together. I was there to see this, but I didn’t take this picture. Another student took it for me. I really didn’t think they had crossed into being a “team” yet. I was wrong.
I’m at a transition point in my program and I need to muster a little courage, too. Whenever I’m at this points, I fret and worry about making a wrong decision. I start doubting. I play with numbers and wonder it this is really possible. Last night, the number that popped into my consciousness was my weight loss rate per week. It’s been a fight to get 1 pound off each week. If that’s the going rate, I will need 21 weeks to be ready for the stage. I only have 15. 15 weeks from today. Weighed myself this morning and I did manage to lose 2 pounds this week. If that stays consistent, I will be OK. But the body adapts. So for now, instead of cutting calories or carbs again, instead of adding more cardio, I’m going to change the lifting program drastically. And I’m prepared to add more calories and carbs back into my diet if necessary for recovery. It’s a big gamble, but my intuition is screaming at me that I need follow this path. Another blog on that later.
There is one thought that keeps running through my mind right now…
“Do not trade obesity for an eating disorder.”
Until I’m at a low enough body fat percentage that will allow me to sprint to the end with a shorter contest prep of less than 10 weeks, I’m going to do this moderately. Longer periods of severe calorie/carb restrictions will only wreck my metabolism. It’s not a matter of “if”, but a matter of “when”. I’m determined to come out of this thing healthy. Ideally, I’ll get my body to a point where I will only need two months to prep for a contest and keep it there all year.
I think this is a smart plan. Others have told me that they think I’m afraid, or I’m not committed to my goal, and I don’t have the right “do whatever it takes” attitude. So the courage I have to muster for myself is to not seek outside approval and to keep my guard up to deflect the comments that question my resolve. I lost the weight slowly and mostly consistently (there were two set backs) over the last three years by being committed to the daily routines of clean eating and exercise.
There are several reasons I don’t have a trainer or a coach. But I think the silver-lining about it is that I get to make my own decisions. And if I keep my health at the center of all decisions, I’ll be OK. My goal probably shouldn’t have been a date on the calendar – it’s really been to transform and to prove it can be done by anyone. It’s all about forward progression and self-reliance, right? Does it really matter when I compete?
My target is still the August 25th show, but in 5 weeks, I’ll have to decide if that’s a reasonable date. There are other shows.
Did you get an opportunity to act courageously this week? I’d love to hear about it. Life is an adventure, huh?