Friday, January 16, 2015

Journey to FIT—Week 1

Originally posted on September 20, 2014 on

Given the response to last week’s post about my journey, I’ve decided to give you all a weekly update of my progress. After the 10 weeks, if people are still interested then I’ll continue to give you regular updates—probably just not weekly. The primary title of the series will be ‘Journey to FIT’. This is because after my 10 weeks I know that I’ll need to join the FIT program at FXB to finish my journey. I’ll post the links to the series on my Facebook page as usual, but the best way to make sure you don’t miss one is to sign-up to follow my blog (just click on the ‘Follow’ tab on the bottom right side of my website and enter your email address, then check your email and confirm).

Another note before my week 1 summary: I want to thank EVERYONE at FXB—the staff, the coaches, the FIT members, and the other 10-weekers. I’ve received encouragement every step of the way, even from people I’ve never met through my Facebook page. I want to send a very special thank you to the three wonderful ladies who shared a bag with me this week. I know you were each also trying to get a workout in for yourself, and that my pace might have prevented you from performing at your Level 10. If it means anything, to me you were at a Level 10+! You all encouraged me, were patient with my pace, gave me tips to improve, made me feel accepted, and were overall just wonderful people as well as bag partners!

Now, on to week 1 of my FXB ten week challenge.

Monday, Day 1:

The primary thought I had running through my mind when I approached the gym on Monday was, “Please do not let me throw-up.” I knew the next 45 minutes were going to push me farther than I’ve been pushed in a long time. The gym is so pretty, and I really didn’t want to ‘leave my mark’—so to speak. I had started the day well with my nutrition plan, but I’m not used to eating before a workout. I was feeling full and really, this was all that was on my mind.

The workout started and I was caught up in the energy that surrounded me. Was it difficult? Um, yeah. Difficult would be an understatement. Was it fun? Yes, it was actually a lot of fun. Did I throw up? No! Yay!

The people there are so encouraging. FIT members, coaches, and instructors are constantly walking around, reminding you that you can do it, helping you with your form, and telling you that you’re doing a great job. Here’s an example:

Toward the end of the workout, I was struggling to keep pushing forward. I was down in a plank, and man did it hurt. I just wanted to breathe. And stop hurting. I flopped to the ground, thinking that I’d just lay the rest of it out. Then I heard from across the room, “Come on, Carrie! You’ve got this!” My responding thought? “Oh crap, she knows my name.” But that shout out encouraged me to get up for the final few seconds!

I was encouraged, and I was proud of myself. I knew I had left everything I had to give out on that mat.

Tuesday, Day 2:

My main struggle to start Day 2 was the meals. I acknowledge that I ate a lot prior to starting this program. I was more of an all day grazer than someone who ate large meals. Given this, I thought the 6 meal plan wouldn’t be an issue. However, I quickly learned that I ate nothing but crap before. Well, okay—I did eat some things that were good for me, but not for my in-between meals. Eating healthy food fills you up fast.

The other thing about the 6 meal plan was that it completely threw off my schedule. I’m a mom. Anyone who is a mom or has a mom knows that most of the time moms put the needs of the entire family before her own. I’m always the first one up in the morning, but I’m the last to eat after ensuring the kid, the husband, and the cat all have what they need. I don’t usually get to my breakfast until after the bus rolls away—a good two hours after I get out of bed. I learned on Day 1 that’s not going to work for this plan. It had me eating my last meal too late at night and I just wanted to go to bed.

Resolution—on Day 2 mom’s needs came first. The result? Utter chaos. We were running late and I didn’t get lunch made for my daughter. After I reminded her that Mommy was on a new plan and needed some help, she decided it would be ‘okay’ to buy a box lunch for just one day. My husband came bounding down the stairs, realizing I didn’t have control of the situation. He jumped in to help with the statement, “I didn’t realize the food was going to be so much work. I’ll help.” There’s my team! I can’t ignore my mommy-sense and start ignoring the needs of my family just to get healthy, so I’ll have to figure out a new routine quick. But I’ve got this.

Going into the workout I knew it would be challenging, but I also knew the hardest part would come after the workout. We were going to do lower body strength training. Again, it was a very encouraging and fun workout. I made it through with minimal challenges (except the darn abs), but was feeling the impact pretty much as soon as I got home. I didn’t have a lot of time before I had to pick up my daughter from school and take her to gymnastics, but I needed a shower. The challenge? I needed to eat (again) and get up those stairs. Somehow I conquered both. Freshly showered and dressed, the next challenge was getting back down the stairs. Here’s a view of that moment:

I hesitated at the top of the stairs, looking down. “I could sit, and go down on my butt. No, that would require squatting.” I take a deep breath, grab the handrail, and go for it. I moan and groan the entire way down. I reach the bottom and glance at the cat. “I really should teach her how to dial 911.”

Luckily, superpower cat skills were not needed and I finished out my day (in pain).

Another success for the day—a trip to the grocery and not buying anything that’s not on my plan! In fact, I didn’t even feel the urge to do so. Now that is nothing short of divine intervention (or I suppose it could have been the appropriately based nutrition plan keeping me satisfied).

Wednesday, Day 3:

The meals have gotten easier. I’ve learned that starting early is the best option for me. My primary challenge for Day 3 was how I was going to possibly do a kickboxing class when I could barely lift myself from a chair or go up and down stairs. Throwing punches wouldn’t be so bad (at least not until after the upper body workout on Thursday), but kicking seemed like an impossibility. Despite all the pain, I was determined to give it my best shot.

I arrived at the gym and limped my way in. I found a place on the mat and was still dreading the need to soon move my body. The music began and the group started jumping. I didn’t want to be the only one not jumping, so I tried to shut out my screaming muscles and joined in the fun. I made it through the warm-up and then the bags were brought out. We started with punches, and again this was okay. But then the real fun started—kicks, squats, crunches, sit-ups.... I don’t really know what all I did.

What did I learn? That the FXB mat has some real magic! I didn’t even think about the pain in my muscles. I was too busy worrying about breathing and not passing out. I also learned that partnering with a FIT member on the bag is a great motivator. Even though I was encouraged to go at my own pace, my thought was that my partner was there for a workout as well. We alternate turns and I didn’t want to slow her down, so I pushed myself to recover as quickly as I could and kicked/punched with all I had. It was a great motivator to keep going.

Of course, as soon as I stepped back off the mat (I mean literally, the moment I stepped off) the magic disappeared and I could feel the pain in my glutes and quads. I was back to an unflattering waddle. Once home, each time I would lift from a chair some sort of uncontrollable word flew out of my mouth. My favorite: “Oh... jellyfish!” No, I’m not really that strange—before standing I had just read a post where ‘jellyfish’ was in one of the sentences. Apparently my brain was too focused on the pain to conjure up any other word. :-)

I’m no longer dreading the rest of the workouts. Even though there will be pain, I know I’ll be able to push though it once I’m on that magical mat. I wonder if they make it in a stair option for the home. I might have to look into that...

Thursday, Day 4:

I only have three words to summarize Day 4.


Friday, Day 5:

I went to bed early on Thursday night, and it must have been a great idea because I woke up with my quads and glutes no longer screaming. They still hurt, but I could at least stand-up and go down stairs without crying out in pain (or random nonsense words). I figured the relief was just in time for another lower body torture, I mean workout, session on Saturday.

The kickboxing class for the day was the usual environment—high energy, massive encouragement, friendly, and fun. However, for some reason this one just kicked me in the you-know-what right back. It seemed so much more difficult than the other two earlier in the week. I’m not sure if it was because it was the end of the week and I was exhausted, or if it was because sweet Ms. Brittany is really an exercise ninja inside that nicely FIT body of hers! Either way, I survived (barely).

My main challenge today has been scale withdrawal. Yep, I’m someone who is addicted to hopping on the scale every day. But I decided to commit to this thing 100%, and that meant putting the scale away on Day 1. I’m lost without knowing my number. I’m fighting the urge to pull it out of the closet and stepping on, just to see how week 1 went. I’m worried that I’m eating too much, or that I’m not eating enough of the right things. I’m worried that when 5 weeks rolls around I won’t have time to adjust if I’ve been doing something wrong. Even though I’m following the plan and I haven’t had even one bite of a processed food item all week, I’m obsessed over it. I’ve spent my whole life living by the number on the scale.

Deep down, I know the number on the scale is not an indicator of success. I know I’m following my nutrition plan, and each day I try to see if there are any adjustments I can make for better choices. I know that each time I stepped out on that mat I gave everything I had to give. I know I’ve succeeded this week, and that I don’t need the number on the scale to validate it.

But as they say, bad habits are hard to break... I will break this habit, and I promise to not pull out the scale and to trust the process.

Saturday, Day 6:

For the first time in a long time I slept until the alarm sounded at 6am. I guess that means I’ve worked myself hard this week. I got out of bed and was extremely happy that I could stand without wincing. I even made it down the stairs like a normal person. And then I remembered that I had to do lower body again in a few hours...

I made it through my final workout of week 1! The workouts are less intimidating now that I know what to expect. I was even able to mark a few of the exercises to try a band up for next week.

So what’s my final challenge? Now that I’ve stuck to the program for 6 days I get to enjoy Fun Day. The rules for Fun Day—well, there are no rules for Fun Day. Sounds great, right?

In all honestly I’m terrified of Fun Day.

I’m sure some of you understand what I’m about to say. Making it a full week, completely committed to this program, and not eating anything that I would want to hide from my food log is a HUGE accomplishment for me. The idea of eating anything I want, even for only 12 hours, is terrifying. I’m worried that my body will start to crave it again and come tomorrow I’ll sneak in a bite here and there. Then those bites will turn into more bites, and more, and more...

I was encouraged by everyone involved in the FXB program to participate in Fun Day. So I will. To help, I chose Saturday for Fun Day rather than Sunday—with the workout in the morning I’m less likely to go full binge-crazy. What’s my fun of choice? Why, chocolate of course. After all, my nemesis Cadbury is back with their kryptonic crème eggs!

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