hi! this post will be long. get a snack!
i mentioned my participation in Rx+ week a few times last week. well, i did it! Rx+ week is over and i completed each and every aspect required! the reward? i get to buy an Rx+ shirt. with my own money. haha–no, but really, the rewards from participating in this week-long challenge have been great, both mentally and physically. before i get to my reflections on this past week, i need to address something about my workouts these days.
some of you have asked about my workouts and if i am ever going to go back to the “regular” gym. the answer: no.. well, not anytime soon. plus, my gold’s membership has expired. i have been working out at GPP since april. i used to not go every day–sometimes i would go to gold’s or do a workout at home. but since sometime in june, i have been working out at GPP exclusively. unless i am out of town, my daily workout is always at GPP.
can you spot me & nick?
it is not news that i like my workouts planned for me–i have had success with body for life, insanity, and jamie eason’s livefit trainer. i did all of these programs not because i am unhappy with myself and striving for some “12 week change”.. but because i don’t want to think up my own workout. yes–i can think up my own workout, but i enjoy following a plan. plans keep me motivated. i like structure. well, GPP is one long, ongoing planned program! so, of course i love it.
many have asked “what is GPP? is it crossfit?” these questions are best answered by the founder of GPP, not me. you can read about what GPP is here and you can see how it compares to cross fit here. anyway, there is a new workout every day (posted the night before) and you just have to show up, do the workout (which averages 30 minutes) and come back the next day. so planned, so perfect. plus, every aspect of fitness is calculated into these workouts. as long as you complete the five weekday GPP workouts, you will hit all ten aspects of fitness: cardio, strength, power, agility, balance, flexibility, coordination (big one i need to work on!), stamina, speed, and accuracy. what more could i ask for?
SO.. that’s my spill on my moves these days. now you know. let’s talk about Rx+ week!
Rx+ week (which stands for prescribed plus.. meaning more than the usual) was designed by the trainers to jumpstart and give momentum to all health and fitness goals. anyone at GPP could participate, but it was not required of anyone. it was a 6 day (well, 5 1/2 day) stint of 2-a-day workouts (11 total–2 each day monday through friday and then a 2-hour long final workout on saturday). one workout was to be completed at GPP and the other was to be completed offsite. ideally, you were to complete one in the morning and one in the evening. however, you could double up if needed. on monday i did a 5 PM GPP workout and 7:30 PM offsite. on friday i did a 6 AM offsite and 7:15 GPP workout. it worked. there was also a nutrition plan to follow for the week–the burst cycle diet with 500-1000 added calories (depending on your calorie needs and specific goals) of protein to sustain the extra workouts. it is important that i mention this diet was initially designed for weight loss, but for the purposes of Rx+ week it was modified to allow extra calories.. the point of using the plan was because it is straight forward and hard to stray from–not because it is for weight loss.
before Rx+ week started, i was geared up, excited, and ready for the 2-a-day workouts. i don’t have much of a life (news flash…) so i knew i could fit in the extra workouts easily. i was IN. THEN i heard about the nutrition plan. to be honest, i almost backed out of Rx+ week when i heard there was a nutrition plan. i know how tough any nutrition plan is to follow and i already eat well. i thought to myself, “i don’t need a nutrition plan! this is a joke! i eat clean..for the most part…” but, in the spirit of the challenge, i ultimately decided to participate in Rx+ week and follow the nutrition plan. i wasn’t doing it to lose weight. i wasn’t doing it to “get back on track” after my trip. in fact, i was (and am) quite happy with myself, inside and out. i was doing Rx+ week because it was a challenge! we all like to challenge ourselves, right? some people run marathons, some people play sports. i like fitness challenges like this. they’re fun for me.
so. all of last week i followed the plan. the workouts, the nutrition, the recommendations (sleep, water, vitamins, etc.) and i succeeded. i didn’t think i needed Rx+ week, but looking back, i realize it was something i really DID need. it was good for me!
these are my reflections…
having limited options makes it so much easier to follow a plan.
the whole point of the very detailed items on the burst cycle diet (let’s call it BCD) is to keep you from straying. it is human nature to eat more and to be more likely to cheat if you have LOTS of options. if you choices are limited and the nutrition plan is cut and dry, you are less likely to mess up. BCD requires you to eat the same thing day in and day out NOT because they are the only nutritious options, but because it helps keep you diligent.
meal planning saves money! and time.
i used to be an avid meal planner. i even posted a VERY thorough post about it.. back in 2010. what the hell happened?! oh, yeah, i got lazy. i got into the habit of not planning out my meals and just buying whatever looked good at the store and piecing together meals after the fact. i ended up at the store several times each week which also meant i spent way more than i needed to. additionally, there was a lot of food that went to waste because i never ended up using it before it went bad.
with Rx+ week, i had all my meals planned out in advance. i made a trip to the store to buy the necessary items and stuck to the meal plan the entire week. this sneakily got me back into the habit of meal planning and budgeting. little did i know i was really off track with my grocery shopping, budgeting, and meal planning. okay, i knew i was off track, but i didn’t realize the severity of it until i reflected on the time and money saved after last week. the added bonus is that Rx+ week’s meal plan gave me momentum to continue the planning rather than falling back into my wing-it-and-go-to-the-store-every-other-day habits. score.
i mindlessly snack (out of boredom, habit, and anything but hunger) way more than i thought.
wow. i know that i have a bad habit of snacking on random things when i walk in the door from work. it’s been a lifelong battle and i always try to keep myself in check. when i did body for life, i was VERY diligent. i did not stray from the meal plan one bit (and thank goodness the meal plan allowed one whole day off!) but the point i am trying to make is that if i am following a plan, i FOLLOW IT. if i am not following a plan, i get lazy. i overeat. i say, “it’s ok to eat 7 handfuls of trail mix! it’s healthy!” or, “three bowls of cereal? don’t mind if i do! i worked out hard today!” –when really, this behavior is wrong.
snacking out of hunger is good. snacking out of boredom or habit is bad. the first day of Rx+ week i stopped myself from grabbing random handfuls, bites, or tastes of things no less than 10 times. it was eye-opening! i couldn’t believe that i went to eat things without even thinking SO OFTEN. quite the wake up call. it put me in check.
smart snacking makes all the difference.
we were allowed to snack on protein-rich foods as much as we wanted throughout the day. working out twice a day does a number on hunger! instead of grabbing ALLTHECARBSINSIGHT, we were asked to snack on veggies and foods that contained a good amount of protein. i consumed plenty of herbed turkey from whole foods’ deli (yum), babybel cheese, premier protein RTDs, hard boiled eggs, scrambled egg whites, and raw veggies. these snacks filled me up and kept me going through the day.
it’s OK to adjust things to suit your needs.
BCD tells you to eat a cup of cottage cheese and a serving of fruit in the morning for breakfast. i don’t know if i mentioned it, but i gave up (my beloved) cottage cheese months ago while trying to figure out my GI issues. i haven’t added it back into my diet yet. i miss it so much! i am one of those people who love cottage cheese and used to eat it by the spoonful straight out of the container while standing at the fridge. yum. but since i am working on my gut issues (i still need to update you all on that!) i decided to sub the cottage cheese with a protein shake.
even though i changed the plan that was outlined for Rx+ week, i still succeeded and “passed” (if you will) the challenge. the whole point of the nutrition plan was to clean up our meals and be diligent with nutritious eating. several people complained about the meal plan and it was easily adjusted to suit their needs–it is important to remember that there are a LOT of healthy options out there. what works for one may not work for the other. don’t be afraid to find something that works for you (and your belly) and go with it.
i am so grateful my palate likes healthy, nutritious food.
like i just mentioned, several people complained about the nutrition plan for Rx+ week. some people had dietary restrictions, but many people just didn’t like certain foods. the thought of cottage cheese made them gaggy or the idea of eating 4-6 oz of plain meat/poultry for dinner had them cringing. for me, it was easy. over the years i have developed a love for all things healthy. yes, i still love the taste of some of the junk, but i appreciate food that is good for me.. not just because it is good for me, but because it is delicious.
vitamins are better in gummy & chocolate form.
you can’t expect my sweet tooth to disappear overnight, can you? my gummy vitamins and chocolate calcium disc were never missed. not once. and now i am totally out of those trader joe’s vitamins.. dangit.. anyone wanna mail me some? i’ll pay you!
working out doesn’t have to seem like a work out.
some people thought i was crazy when i mentioned i’d be doing 2-a-day workouts.. but really, you have probably done some 2-a-days recently yourself! it’s not like workouts have to be some horrible, grueling thing! one of the offsite workouts was a hike. i went to the usual GPP workout in the morning and then, after work, i went hiking with marshall and the pups. this was my second workout of the day, but it sure didn’t seem like a workout! the same goes for the times we run around at the park with the dogs, ride bikes for fun, go snowboarding, or play sports. it’s good to be active!
i need to be more confident.
speaking of sports.. one of the offsite workouts last week was hooverball. i was TERRIFIED of showing up for the workout because i am SO not athletic. i suck at sports. i am not being cute or modest.. i suck. i am bad at sports, especially at ones that involve hand-eye coordination. i clogged as a kid and i was never on any kind of team.
so, anyway, i saw hooverball on the agenda and got that sick feeling in my stomach (the same one i got when i saw handstands on the agenda) but i decided i was going to suck it up and not back out. marshall told me i need to be more confident and just try to do things.. that i would never learn to do things if i never tried. he’s so right!
i went to hooverball on friday morning and, wouldn’t you know it, i had such a blast! nobody cared if i was a crappy player. and, guess what? i actually did pretty well. not the best, but dang.. i caught the ball, got it over the net, and succeeded! i really need to stop selling myself short. (it’s easy to do, i am only 5’1″.)
i love sandwiches. i could easily eat one a day.
i guess this is not a recent discovery, just a reflection. i am just thinking about how tasty sandwiches are. and there are so many options! if i had to eat something for lunch the rest of my life, i would probably pick sandwiches because you can put any sort of spin on them depending on what goes between the bread. i am going to continue on with the sandwich kick this week!
fresh fruit & vegetable juice one of my keys to a happy belly.
instead of having a serving of fruit each morning, i had a few servings… depending on what marshall blended up that day. he makes fresh fruit and veggie juice each morning. on the mornings i miss out on it (like friday) i notice my stomach is more prone to getting upset. i haven’t yet pinpointed the whole reasoning behind this, but i am going to keep on keeping on with the fresh morning juice. it makes me feel good.
if you fall down, getting back up and plugging right along is the best option.
during tuesday’s offsite workout, i totally ate shit and scraped my leg up on the bleachers. IT HURT. instead of pouting and stopping, i kept in line with the group and finished the workout strong. and, guess what? i was fine. sure, it hurt, but it was a scrape. it wasn’t a life or death situation. it’s good to toughen up and play through it. this was a good lesson and one i should apply to other walks in life.
sleep is important.
WOW. i was tired last week. i couldn’t help but go to bed at an earlier hour each night. as the week went on, the earlier i turned in. after saturday’s workout, i took a 3-hour nap. sleep is GOOD! i’ve never had a hard time sleeping, i am good at it, but i really am not good at making myself go to bed at a decent hour. and, whether i like it or not, i have to wake up when the alarm tells me to. Rx+ week made my body SCREAM for sleep. i had no choice but to get to bed earlier. i want to use this momentum and keep going to bed at a decent hour, because i really do need the sleep. it is important.
it really is all in your head.
whether it be working out a little extra, eating specific things and passing up the sweets or junk, or waking up at a certain hour.. you really CAN do it. if you think you can’t, you are wrong. it is your head giving you a hard time. i was 100% dedicated to completing Rx+ week and that meant NO excuses. i couldn’t hit snooze a few extra times and miss a workout. i couldn’t cave and eat dessert every night just because it was there. i couldn’t just throw in the towel and decide i was too lazy to hit the extra workout for the day. i had to do everything–as outlined. and i did. and i was able to. my body was capable of every last bit of Rx+ week and any doubt was all in my head. the brain is a funny thing.. often times you are much, much stronger than you think.
i actually came across a quote today that fit with this reflection, so i wanted to share it:
“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves!” -Thomas Edison
think about it. so true, right?
community and teamwork are both uplifting.
it’s no secret that one of the reasons i made it through Rx+ week was because i did it with so many supportive people. we were all in it together, which makes ANYTHING easier than doing it by yourself. i am fortunate to have found such a great community of fit-minded individuals who encourage each other to excel at health and fitness each and every day. i am grateful for everyone who has put themselves out there and tried their hardest–it has inspired me to do the same.
for the very last workout on saturday, we did a teamwork workout that required us to pass plates along a line for a total of 400m. it also included a 400m group run. it was not a hard workout (thank goodness, since we were all so beat!) but it was great to participate in that teamwork exercise. i missed out on this as a kid. like i said, i never played sports, i was never on a team, i was actually quite the loner when it came to all that. i am not trying to get sappy here, but man.. the feeling of belonging to a team and knowing that you are giving a part of yourself for everyone to succeed as a whole feels pretty damn good. i like it.
it feels good to be proud of yourself.
yep. don’t be shy.. if you are proud of yourself for something–anything–let that pride shine. not in a braggy way, but in a damn-i-feel-good-about-myself way. i think many have been conditioned to shoot down compliments and even refrain from complimenting ourselves because it comes off as a negative type of pride. but it’s so important to give yourself a high five, a pat on the back, and two thumbs up every once in awhile.
those are my reflections. i told you this post was going to be long. maybe you read all of it, maybe you read some of it, and maybe you read none of it (in which case, you wouldn’t be reading this now…) but i hope that you are able to take something away from whatever you did read and form some of your own reflections about your latest and greatest achievements in life.
i am so glad i decided to participate an Rx+ week. i found things out about myself that i didn’t even know were missing to begin with.
why are you proud? what was your latest and greatest achievement?
you saw that question coming, right?
xo. janetha g.