Monday, January 11, 2010

Holiday Challenge RESULTS

So around 50 days ago I wrote about a holiday challenge I was participating in.  Well, the holidays have come and gone and with them so have 13 lbs been lost, 4.5% body fat gone, 7.75 inches lost, 1.84 lbs lean muscle gained and 16.44 lbs of FAT SHED from my body frame!!!!  If you haven't guessed I am a little excited because since I began to focus on my health and body fat September 24, 2009 I have dropped (and don't want to pick back up) 26 lbs and 8.79% body fat.

But, what makes this time around so different you might ask?  I actually am doing it the right way for the first time.  That makes a huge impact on lifestyle changes, allowing me to change my attitude and relationship with food.  In the past I focused on weight loss programs that only dealt with food and discouraging exercise.  Then I worked at two weight loss camps that, although encouraged exercise, did not allow me to function in the "real world" of balancing a new lifestyle with the stress of school and work. So once I left that safe environment, over time, the weight piled on and the workouts became less.  Now, I am working - collecting data for my dissertation, writing grants, drafting articles, compiling presentations, and interning with a local third sector organization.  To be honest, it is a lot but I am learning to balance that workload with other activities - running, hiking, attempting to learn to climb (with attempting being the key word) - that keep me sane and allow me to see the bigger picture.  Life is not all about work, and this is something that is so easy to lose sight of.  I don't need to devout all waking hours to reading, research, and writing and I can still be a "good successful anthropologist/academic" (whatever the hell that means).  More importantly, I am learning that I don't need to sacrifice my health and happiness to succeed - cause really what is the point of "success" if you are constantly tired and miserable, and is that even really "success"? 

The Tom Venuto book, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and The Body Fat Solution were saving graces for me when I first moved to the UK in September.  I have read a lot of the self-help New Age style books like The Secret, part of A New Earth, and The Art of Happiness that talk about the need to be in the present moment and the realize that your thoughts will dictate your future so you need to change your thoughts in order to "be happy."  Now for the most part I get it (well not really A New Earth as I thought he was all over the place, but that will be a BIG digression if I go there so I am not) but it didn't really sink in.  Then I picked up, and finally read, The Body Fat Solution...and you know, I had on of those light bulb moments.  The idea that I needed to set goals, set realistic dates to achieve those goals, and to think about "shedding fat" instead of constantly telling myself that I am "fat", were all factors in my success of ultimate health that made sense.  He focused on the mind first and then set off on the body which most programs neglect.  Then going back and reading his first book Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle gave me all the steps to put those goals in action. 

As the holidays came and went I finally see that I can enjoy life, have some fun, but stick to my own convictions and treat my body in a respectable manner.  This really came out of this challenge and my long and short terms goals of pushing my boundaries.  That is why I wrote the Push-over piece yesterday.  For a long time I was a push-over in my resolve to stick to a healthy life style change - one slip up and I would say screw it and go back to food and drink as a comfort, even though it only made me more uncomfortable.  So to Tom Venuto I say thank you for doing this challenge and helping me to show myself that I can do it.  By August 21, 2010 I should have reached one of my long term goals of fat loss with further goals to come.


Angela said...

Dude, you should be in a commercial for this author, lol. Now I want to go out and buy the book! Congrats and kicking so much ass and being so successful. You def look great! Now if I could just get my ass in gear....

Nicole said...

Ha - Mike said the same thing. Just do it, I like the Body Fat Solution alot so get it, read it, and do it!