Monday, June 27, 2011

Trainer, Shape Thyself

I've spent the last three years staring down the question of what it takes to transform your body- for good, and what a journey it's been.  What can I compare it too?  I'm actually surprised at all of the things it hasn't been for me, like a struggle or a battle, a supreme effort or grind.  Perhaps if I had struggled or battled more I would weigh 113 instead of 123 right now, but then again I might be injured, or burned out, and weigh much more.

I did a lot of deep thinking after being quite frankly out classed in the Venus Index open competition in April.  What skill or inner drive was I missing that made me unwilling to eat even less and exercise even longer and harder than I was?  Honestly when it comes right down to the truth of the matter I now realize that I have strict limits as to how much pleasure and enjoyment I will give up in my daily life.  I will gladly drop my daily calorie intake to 1400, but I won't fast- even though I've seen how effective it can be, and I won't push myself past the point of enjoyment in my fitness practice, even though I suspect more strenuous effort could take me farther, and help me reach my goals faster.

You Work So Hard

Um, actually, I don't.  Yesterday, I was at the gym, and the very nice woman working the counter said, "You work so hard!"  And I thought, "This again?"  The fact is that I only  give maximum effort on the last one or two repetitions of any given set.  This is one of the vital points I want all of my clients, and anyone who is curious about my continuing transformation to understand.

The proportion of time I spend expending near maximum effort in any fitness routine is only about ten percent!  If I spend 120 minutes a week engaged in a focused routine of lifting, cardio intervals, and stretching, I am only spending 12 minutes at maximum effort in any given week.  The result?  Over the past three years and two months I have seen my fitness and physique improve steadily without a single gym related injury the entire time that I've been pursuing my goals.

Now I know that steady improvement and maintaining my weight at a BMI of 23 for two years is very nice, but I have a sneaking suspicion that some of my clients are going to want to get even leaner.  In the best of all possible worlds, those fabulously fit results could be achieved with the right balance of healthy eating, moving, and thinking.  (The thinking part is my personal favorite.)  So...

Trainer Shape Thyself

Right now I promise to spend the next eight weeks putting my money (and my fitness and nutrition) where my mouth is and following the plan of action that I will be recommending as a Transformation Coach.  Oh boy, this had better work!  At any rate, step one in my plan is awareness, and one of the best tools to foster awareness is... that's right, the before picture.  So here they are.  Back and side.  Not my best angles, not sucking it in.  But I'm gonna post them.  Really.  Right now.

You will be hearing plenty about the techniques I'm using to get the job done.  For now, three turbulence training workouts a week until after 7/26, when I'll be using routines of my own design.  (Always acknowledging what I learned from programs like TT and VI!)  My eating plan will be a balanced high volume program with lots of vegetables, moderate high quality protein, fruit, healthy fats, a bit of dairy, and limited grains simple carbs.  By the way, I do believe that moderate calorie restriction works, if you can stick to it!  That of course is one of the things I'm most committed to in my coaching: helping people learn to enjoy and stick with the kind of eating and exercise that works for them long enough to take them all the way to their goals.  For today, I'm starting with myself.

It is really taking a lot of courage to hit "publish" right now.  Deep breath.