Thursday, April 18, 2013

Insanity Plans, and Motivation Versus Determination

Via a SMC Forum recommendation, I just stumbled onto an inspiring blog called Runs For Cookies. The author lost 125 pounds through diet and exercise!

Her most inspiration post talks about the difference between diet and exercise.

"I believe that motivation is only temporary. You might feel motivated to lose weight by watching weight loss stories on TV, or reading weight loss blogs (like mine!) or seeing a friend who did it. But that motivation only lasts until you are faced with temptation, and then the motivation shoots out the window because you want to eat _____ (fill in the blank). Motivation is that "force" that makes you want to achieve something and gives you drive to do it--but only until you lose that drive.

Determination, on the other hand, is "the act of deciding definitely and firmly". It's a DECISION that has no if's, and's, or but's. You make the decision to just do it, and you DO IT, motivation be damned. "

So here's what I took away from my reading.

I can't promise to get to my goal weight, because I can't make that happen. Talking to my doctor yesterday during my physical really reinforced the difficulty of weight loss with PCOS -- the more weight you gain, the more insulin your body produces, which makes it that much harder to lose weight.

But what I can do is commit to a trying a new regimen. I just bought Insanity. Which I've been really scared of committing to. Doing the workouts is one thing, but committing to the sixty day program... ack! What if it's really hard, and I don't feel like getting up and giving 100%? What if I get tired and feel like I'm dragging through life, doing these challenging workouts six days a week? What if I'm starving all the time? What if I get sick -- do I take extra rest days, and deviate from their schedule?

I've decided to just do it. Commit to the sixty days. No cheat days. Modify as necessary. Take extra breaks during the workout as needed. Stop worrying, stop making excuses for problems that haven't happened yet. If I get sick, I will take a day off if I need to. If I get the insomnia I get from ramping up exercise to quickly... I will suck it up and power through. And eagerly look forward to my day off. And know that my body will get used to the new routine, sooner or later. I will adapt the jumping exercises so that I don't have to worry too much about disturbing my downstairs neighbors.

And I'm going to follow their dietary recommendations. I commit to doing that for thirty days. The calorie suggestions seem reasonable, and if I am still hungry, I will add more. So I'm also promising my body that I won't starve myself.

The program advises five meals a day, and provides a menu book with lots of suggestions for each day. I photocopied out a blank daily meal plan and made up a bunch of sample days with different menus, and made my shopping list accordingly. This way I don't have to think too much. The meals look fine and relatively appealing -- small, since you have five a day, but high in protein and not too low in carbs. They are definitely lower in fat than I am used to (I've been eating, more or less, a high fat, moderate protein, lower carb diet for a while) and also higher in carbs than I am used to. I'm nervous about feeling hungry, and I know I can't eat some of the things they suggest -- I know that a half an apple, even with a handful of walnuts, would leave me falling asleep mid-afternoon. Apples make me super sleepy, every time. 

I really dislike snacking during the day, so I'm not thrilled with the idea of five meals a day. On the other hand, if I'm feeling hungry, maybe it will be reassuring to never have to go very long without a meal. I figure I can have a post-workout smoothie in the morning with coconut milk (because the plan wouldn't allow for raw whole fat milk and I refused to drink skim) and protein powder and strawberries. A nice bonus would be sharing it with Calliope -- a way to get some extra calcium into her diet. Ideally she could have some of mine to make life easier but I guess if she didn't like the protein powder I could make one for her with just berries and coconut milk. She eats two breakfasts every day anyway (a snack as soon as she wakes up to stave off the requests for nursing, then a proper breakfast an hour later), so we could "eat" (slurp) together. Sharing Mommy's food generally makes her willing to try new things. As it gets hotter out, a nice cold smoothie might be a nice way to start the day!

I'm going to have to figure out what to do about the cream in my tea, though. I love my (decaf) Chai tea! Maybe I will put a dash of coconut milk into it instead.

I "slept in" today until 6:30. No workout so I'm rested for tomorrow. Since my quads have been burning when I have climbed the subway stairs the last few days. Tomorrow I will do the thirty minute "fit test" to assess my overall fitness. I repeat this every two weeks to track my progress. I'm hoping that I don't have to start the dietary program until the following day, which will be the weekend, because I think it will be hard to build a new routine (the five meals a day) on a Friday at work. 

Wish me luck and focus in my determination! 


  1. Go Abby! I have been impressed with your commitment to exercise and healthy eating since I started following your blog. I think you are already very dedicated so I have no worries that you won't be able to stick with your new goals.

    Maybe some of your determination will rub off on me. I don't exercise at all and have bad knees on top of that so no insanity for me. But I do want to be an active mama so I need to start doing something to build and maintain strength in my legs. I have a physical therapy prescription from the so that I can learn the best exercises for just need to find some time to schedule an appointment or two.