I think one of the things that plague us as women is constantly wondering if what we are doing is enough. Honestly, I could also go so far as to say it is just constantly wondering X and then you insert the fear here (x=if I’m good enough, if I’m the only one who…, if I’ll ever be…) but that’s been brought up here so I’m going to be more specific today in referring to if what we are doing measures up to “enough”.
The obvious question here is enough for what? Enough for weight loss? Enough for muscle gain? And boy is this a tough question to have you answer just off the cuff. If I ask you ‘enough for what’, you will say in one breath that you want to get lean, add muscle, be more athletic and have 2 babies all before lunch time. And I have learned not to be so silly as to say, “Which one means the most to you?”, because that question opens up a one hour dialogue about the meaning of life that you were not ready to answer thereby sending you into a tail spin (and me for a drink). I’m not going to do that today so you can calm down and keep reading. I am sure you did a nose dive under your table getting ready to rock back and forth in fetal position fearing one my probing moments with you (unless you’ve never spoken with me before and then you’re an innocent victim waiting to be had by one of my conversations. Hehe…) but I can assure you that is not the point of this. Today is all about defining—but you know me…this may go further after that—and the next few posts are about the actual guidelines.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT HERE?
First, let me just say before I even begin to talk about what’s enough, no whining! NONE. I already know the texts, calls and emails are about to follow when I put this out here that ask me, “Do I really have to do all that?” Yes. You do. Now knock it off. What? Do you think I’m writing for some sick sadist side of me that needs appeasing? I’ll admit I have my days but for the love of all that’s holy I’d never put those days in print. So, yes, you must do all to get what I am saying—if you are the genetically average. If you have anything exceptional in your genes, then you need to “chew the meat and spit out the fat” as they say as to what pertains to you or not. But other than that, there is no compromise.
Second, I am going to break this down by goal and within each goal I am going to further delineate it by age group. For instance, I may give a general over view of what ‘building’ is and then go into what that looks like for a 40-50 year old, a 30-40 year old and a twenty something because it is dramatically different for all three. If you are 45 and think you want to “build” like a 20 year old, you’re in for a big disappointment and most likely major weight gain in the process. Our needs are different and need to be acknowledged as being different.
Lastly, I’m going to do this in a way that is very different from what you are probably used to seeing. I promise to be somewhat technical, but I’m mostly going to be realistic. Meaning that I want you to know what it really looks like to put these goals in action. The burnout, the discipline required, the places you could awry, potential weight gain and other issues that crop up when we put this into effect. They are way more important than any technical information and let me give you an idea of what this looks like:
Say I am talking about building muscle. Most women think that you just lift heavy for 12 weeks and then you build a ton of muscle. Seriously, I have people say I want to build my shoulders this winter. Um…good luck with that. It takes a whole lot more than a winter to build great shoulders. But they’ve read somewhere that they need to eat X amount of calories more and set their lifting up in such a way that they get the max recovery and take advantage of the EPOC and so on. Good info for sure and I will certainly have some of that info in there, as well, but I will also have a whole section called “Walking This Out”. This section forces you to think about the emotional cost of gaining weight over the winter and all that comes with a building program. It sounds romantic and fun when presented as this “amazing 12-week program to shape you”, it’s a whole other thing when you are at your holiday Christmas party up 10 pounds and feeling puffy. At that point, you couldn’t care less about your shoulders and you are more worried that someone’s going to shoot your picture and put it in the company newsletter.
ARE YOU JUST GOING TO DEPRESS ME?
No! Let me say this as nicely as I can… NO, now stop looking for an excuse to stop pursuing your goal! Why are our New Year’s Resolutions never successful? (Besides the fact that people bite off more than they can chew and the whole concept in and of itself is so cliché…) Because we do not count the cost ahead of time. Some of us rush out into excitement and hop on the latest and greatest fad but that’s not normally the clean eating community. For us it is more like whatever we choose we choose it because it is solving that current problem. “If I just lose some body fat, I’ll be able to fit into my jeans and then I’ll be happy…” But then in the middle of that quest, you realize that toting all your food around and not going to social functions made you more unhappy than the ten pounds you wanted to lose in the first place so you end up abandoning that goal in midstride. For every goal you abandon, there is a closet in your mind that opens up and accepts that failure and piles it on top of all the others and then just when you need confidence the most—the door pops open and reminds you just how good you aren’t. Let’s avoid that this year by knowing what we’re getting into when we set our goals and then putting the appropriate things in place to deal with the drawbacks.
For instance, in the case above we would talk about short term pain vs. long term gain. What does it matter what people thought of you (and I really make you answer this and warning: it can be eye opening) and truth be told, you being 10 pounds up is still better than 80% of the office staff so why the worry. When you think this through BEFORE you get to the party and BEFORE you put the goal in motion, it changes the entire situation and you are able to deal with it head on instead of being blindsided by it while holding a shrimp cocktail in your hand.
How about we get on with it already then? Look forward to this being my next mini-series and I hope you enjoy. I am not sure that I will start it tomorrow or Monday but you know if you are signed up on my blog or if you get me via RSS, you will be notified. Until we meet again, start pondering ‘what’s the goal?’. Cool? WOOP WOOP!:o)