Intense Focus

A week ago I realized there were only 20 weeks left until competition, and I really started in earnest – no room for error, no room for excuses.  But that means I can’t miss a workout and I CAN’T cheat on any meals.  I knew it would be hard, and while it isn’t impossible, it is definitely a challenge. I’ve completed one week of this new routine, and oh my goodness, I have never felt more of a tug on my time.  I’m not kidding when I feel like every single hour is scheduled to within an inch of its life.  I don’t even feel like I have time to write this blog post, but I want to document this journey, so I’m going to prioritize this entry.

I started the week on Sunday, scheduling out when I would do each workout, taking into account the workouts my husband would and would not do with me, and when he’d be available.  Also taking into consideration any other social aspects of my life (which are quickly dwindling – there are only so many hours in a day).  In my intensity, I’ve committed to waking up 30 min early on weekdays to do “fasted cardio” five times a week.  Right now, that means 30 minutes of walking on a very inclined treadmill.  I almost didn’t do this, until I was reminded of our neighborhood gym.  So I can very easily drive 3 min, do the treadmill and get back home, shower and go through my usual morning routine.  I’ve also committed to two “boot camps” every week, which are mainly HIIT training, on top of my 80 Day Obsession workouts, 6 times a week.  So yes, it’s a lot of workouts, but if you don’t count the extra hours waking up early, it’s only two more, and they’re my kind of workouts.  I think I’ll end up actually looking forward to the fasted cardio, too, because I’ve been listening to podcasts or audiobooks on my phone while I knock it out!  And as for the extra HIIT workouts, a week ago, I was doing long runs for half marathons, too, so I’ve just traded 2 hours of one type of workout for another.

I will say it helps to have a plan, and to write it down and discuss it with my husband every Sunday, so I know when I’m fitting in all these hours of workouts, but even following a well thought-out plan, after going through the first week of this plan, I am truly exhausted.  Again, this is doable, but it’s going to require intense focus.

Now, for the nutrition.  I thought it would be difficult to really ramp up my nutrition, and commit to basically eating ONLY chicken, oatmeal, and green veggies.  Basically, just eating from the top of the 80 Day Obsession food list. And being very strict about it. And really, this first week was hard.  I’m pretty tired of chicken – even though my husband can contrive of pretty delicious ways to prepare them.  Mid-way through the week, though, when I saw the pile of chicken dwindling, and I mentally thought that meant I was done, my heart broke a little bit, when he replenished the stash with more, freshly cooked chicken.  The things I look forward to most every day are: 1) my shake in the morning on the way to work, 2) my oatmeal with 1 cup of fruit (it’s the new dessert!) and 3) my spoonful of peanut butter. And after a week of it, I think it’ll be okay.  It’s oddly liberating knowing that no matter where you go – grocery store, restaurant, Walmart – there’s almost nothing you’ll be able to eat.  Even this weekend, with all the candy hearts and chocolate gearing up for Valentine’s Day, I wasn’t even tempted, really.  Because all of these things are so far out of the realm of things I can consume, they don’t even register.

I say that, and yet, once a day, I’ve found myself being weak, and eating something that is NOT on the plan.  Maybe something I don’t even want that much, but whether it’s a hershey’s kiss, hot chocolate, or just a packet of fruit snacks, I can’t say I have had one perfect day this week.  But I would also say I’ve consistently been at 95%.  Which is pretty darn good.  And I’ve been 100% for getting my workouts in.  Even when bootcamp was cancelled on Saturday due to weather, I still did an Insanity workout in my living room!

Starting a new routine is challenging enough, but compound that with insanely busy (abnormally busy) workdays (remember, I work full-time, too), where I didn’t get home until much later than I usually do, and this week felt even more rushed and busy and just all around crazy.  Hopefully, on the work front, it’ll be better this next week, but there are no guarantees.

In summary, week one of 20 is complete, and overall, it went pretty well.  I started a more intense regime, I finished phase 1 of 80 Day Obsession, I stuck to this new nutrition 95%, I did ALL of the workouts I set out to do. But I know even more focus will be required for the next 19.  This next week in particular comes with a few more challenges, with Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, as well as Ash Wednesday kicking off Lent, and trying to fit in a few more social things during the week, as well as my parents coming to visit, and trying to survive a meal at date night this coming Friday.  But I’ve put it all in the calendar, and tried to mentally prepare for all of it.  So wish me luck!

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