I started my fitness journey nearly 4 years ago, January 15th, 2008. I was a high school athlete, but to be honest, aside from the skill related to my sports I knew nothing about nutrition or gym training. In 2008 I was working for a public university and had the opportunity to go to a free health evaluation where my cholesterol was tested and I was weighed, etc. I didn't really see myself as unfit, despite my recent purchase of size 18 work pants. I weighed 195lbs all through high school, even while playing tennis in 100+ degree heat. I maintained my sub 200lb weight all through college. But, then I found myself in a sedentary job in the middle of winter where I used the cold as an excuse to take the bus the 1 mile to work rather than walking it. My wake-up call came that day when I weighed in at 208lbs. Passing the 200lb mark was the wake-up call I needed.
I ended up joining a gym I love, and desperately miss to this day. I was a faithful 7am bootcamper every day for nearly 8 months until I started law school in a new city (the one I still reside in). My transition to law school and a new city went smoothly, but over the last 3 or so years my fitness journey was severely derailed.
I took a trip to New York to celebrate graduation and taking the bar. On that trip I decided to dust off my pedometer and bring it along to see how many steps/miles we were logging in the city. Since my return, I have continued to use it, and it has become painfully obvious that I once again find myself in a sedentary job. I love my job as an attorney, law school debt and all, but I primarily sit in front of a computer or in front of clients. Over a two week test period I logged less than 2000 steps on average during my work day. Wow.
Part of my failed fitness journey has been my (mis)fortune to have discovered my dream gym on the first go around. I have looked far and wide and have not been able to duplicate my experience. I am convinced that the style of training, intensity, camaraderie, and general badassery only exists in one place: Albany, CA.
So, since I wont be moving back there any time soon, I decided to make a list of the things I loved about my old gym where I was successful in losing 36 pounds in 8 months:
- Focus on lifting weights/practical applications of strength training
- Friendship/Sense of Community
Other things that kept me on track:
- It was expensive (missing on day of bootcamp was like $30)
- I knew people would be asking me the next morning where I was the day before
- I logged all my food on fitday on my computer throughout the day
- I checked mizfit's blog every morning for inspiration and wisdom
Some of the things I know to be true are that fitness is hard work, it can be fun, but often it is not something I am looking forward to. I have failed to do it "on my own" many times. I need to make it a routine. I have not found that fitness buddy that might make a difference for me and keep me accountable. I let people around me enable me. I need a penalty of some sort for not sticking to my goals. At my old gym that came in the form of a monetary penalty as well as friends not letting me off the hook for skipping.
Out of all of this self analysis, I think I have come up with a plan that will work for me.
I am going to call my program Go Or Give (aka #GoOrGive). Essentially, I need to go workout, and if I don't my penalty will be in the form of a $5 donation to a charity. I chose $5 because it is an amount that will add up, but it also won't bankrupt me, and it is about the cost of a latte these days, so I will have to skip the latte if I skip my workout (which will probably be beneficial anyway). I will donate at the end of each month. I want to donate at least $20 to each chosen charity, so if I have been on track and have not reached $20 by the end of the month, I will donate the $20 regardless. I will feature my charity of choice at the beginning of each month (taking suggestions via twitter and email), and will link to them on the side of my blog through the month. The nice thing about this is that people can modify this to work for themselves, you can easily chose to put your penalty $ in your savings account rather than donate to charity if that is what you chose. You can chose $1 or $10 per penalty, whatever you think will work for you.
1. Complete a 30+ minute work 5 out of 7 days (gym, yoga, cycling, etc.)
2. Walk 10,000 steps a day regardless of it being a heavy workout day or not
There are a few other things I want to try to work on as well, but these are over time. I know I cannot fix everything at once.
1. Drink at least 64oz. of water a day and only 1 cup of coffee
2. Make one protein smoothie a day
3. Get back into Kettlebell workouts
4. Do one unassisted pull-up (big ups for Bartendaz)
4. Try running again
As far as how I will keep connected, and keep it fun, my partner recently bought me and UP Band by Jawbone which will allow me to track tons of stuff on my iPhone including my sleep, my steps, food, and other goals. I can also connect with other UP Band owners, which including my friend, mom and boss. I am committed to reconnecting in a serious way with the blog world and drawing support and inspiration from the fitness community. I will also be tracking my progress on twitter via #GoOrGive.
Go Or Give Launches tomorrow: Dec. 1, 2011!