I've had several people ask me what my plans are now that I have completed my fitness challenge. I feel like my answer to this question has changed many times throughout the 12-weeks of the program. Right before Phase 3, I started getting that panicky feeling. Putting all this work into my body was not allowed to go to waste, and I was paranoid I would just end up right back where I started.
So, I started talking to K quite a bit, and we were loosely brainstorming what we could do to sustain our new post-Jamie Eason LIVEFIT bodies. At the start of Phase 3, we were both happily noticing how defined our muscles were getting and neither one of us were interested in letting it go. She had a somewhat similar experience to mine where her numbers were no where near as drastic but she looks amazing. I'm starting to think the whole numbers game is overrated, and it might be time to throw out my scale once and foreall! My best friend has never let a scale enter her house, and now I'm thinking there is something really healthy about that philosophy.
I digress... My mind has been a flurry of activity trying to think of how to build workouts into my schedule. One thing was for certain, I was absolutely NOT going to spend nearly as much time working out as I have for the past twelve weeks. Another decision I had made was that the gym was not for me. I'm done with it. Sounds ridiculous, I'm sure, but the environment at the gym is not my thing. There have been different phases in my life where I've been somewhat of a gym rat. It never lasts long, and it's typically related to working with friends. I like the gym...for classes, not for the whole weight lifting deal. As much as I love my sculpted arms and firm back, I know that I need to find a way to keep these areas of my body strong in a way that I feel more comfortable.
I downloaded an application onto my iPad to track and create workouts that I could do from home. My plan was to buy a couple more sets of dumb bells at varying weights so that I could get a decent workout here. It all started to feel a bit overwhelming all of the sudden, but I couldn't place where this anxiety was coming from. Then it dawned on me... This wasn't what I wanted, and I had no desire to continue a workout plan that included all of this "jazz."
No, what I wanted was to have a solid yoga practice and start running again. That has been my desire for quite awhile, and with little r in kindergarten, it was a desire that I could bring to fruition. It is, after all, what my plan was before I got on this big fitness challenge kick in the first place. I finally realized that there was nothing wrong with wanting this. Funny, but as soon as I made this decision, all of the anxiety left my body and I started watching that finish line like a hawk because I couldn't wait for my challenge to be over so that I could begin this new fitness plan.
So, that's what I plan on doing now. I'm going to focus on my yoga practice. With little r being in kindergarten and me NOT having to fill those hours with time at the gym, I could now do a full hour of yoga 3-4 times a week, if not more. Yoga has a way of bringing calm to my life. At the fear of sounding cliche, I really REALLY love being a yogini, and I like it being an important part of who I am. My goal is to start working on more challenging poses, and eventually attain a certification to teach. This might not happen for quite awhile, but it's a goal that I think is worth reaching for.
I am also going to keep running. I thought that I had given this up because my body is quite frankly falling apart. My marathon days did me in BIG TIME. My hips are a disaster, and I get injured so easily. All that aside, I enjoy it, and I absolutely love running the trails around our home here in Germany. I plan on taking full advantage of living here. It also seems like a good time to start working on increasing my pace. Oddly, I actually enjoyed the sprinting segment of the LIVEFIT program - albeit, sprints five times a week can be super exhausting - and I think it was key in helping keep my metabolism moving. That said, I'm going to put myself in the gym once a week to do sprints on the treadmill (I know, that was really strange for me to read, too). I'm going to tie it to taking a yoga class at the gym as well (K is starting her yoga instruction for the first time - so awesome!), and hopefully that will make it seem less painful to be within the confining walls of the gym again.
Hopefully the combination of a regular yoga practice and trail running will keep me in line and I can avoid losing all of this hard work from the last few months. I believe everyone has a body and mind that responds differently to exercise and if you don't pick a fitness regimine that works well for you both physically AND mentally, then it's a losing battle. You'll either give it up or be really unhappy. Being in shape shouldn't be easy, but doing it should help relieve stress NOT create more stress in your life. That's my two cents on the issue anyway...
What works for you? If this challenge taught me anything it's that you should listen to that voice in your head and not only go after the things you want, but to feel good about the decisions that you make. Well, as long as those decisions are healthy ones!