(Are you guys sick of these yet or what ;P )
Honestly, I CANNOT believe that we are done with week 4 already. I was actually thinking about it this morning and I feel like there is a part of me that is gonna miss the challenge when it ends haha. Like there is a part of me that is going to miss having to submit daily journals to my coach every day. I would say that is weird (as most people I have spoken to about the challenge have said they are MORE THAN over it) but I am going to take this blog post to explain to you why I think I am going to miss journaling and what it means…
There are two major things that we get from being a part of a challenge of this sort. Not only do we get the obvious things of better eating habits, fat loss, and education. BUT I believe that the biggest factors in a challenge of this sort, if you are really engaged and invested in it, are accountability and reassurance. Those two things drive so much of our life and our daily activities. Why would it be any different in a fitness challenge?
Let’s take a closer look…
If your significant other is indulging in a snack while the two of you are watching your favorite show are you likely to take part in the snacking?
If your entire family is eating healthy dinners, are you going to eat right along with them or are you going to go out of your way to make mac and cheese and order pizza for yourself?
If your co-worker is going to your mutual favorite workout class after a stressful day are you more likely to attend also rather than the wallowing and bitching you had planned for yourself?
If your co-workers are all skipping the gym and heading to happy hour after that shitty staff meeting are you gonna throw in the towel and join them?
All of these are ways that our environment affects us. All of these scenarios offer us the ability to be held accountable for doing the right things for our health or making the decision to compromise our fitness and health goals. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of a Sunday football snack and a good happy hour hahah. But these examples are meant to be taken in the extreme as in these are your regular habits and not the occasional indulgence.
It is much easier for us to live the lifestyle we want to live when we surround ourselves with people who are also invested in that lifestyle. So if you are serious about keeping on track with your fitness goals, having someone close to you keep you accountable is fundamental. Being able to come home and know that if dinner is made already its something healthy that you can have. Having a workout partner or running buddy who will call you out if you miss your scheduled day or forces you to go on days where you would rationalize skipping it just because you cant let them down. That is such a powerful force; more than we realize sometimes.
Many people fail or give up their goals faster if they do not have a form of accountability. For me this challenge has been extra accountability. I know I can’t let my team down by cheating on our strict paleo diet or skipping my workouts. I also have a sense of not wanting to let my coach down. I want my coach to know that I am working hard and that I am doing my best in this challenge. THAT is the part that has pushed me even harder to get in good extra workouts and to continue to progress over the last 4 weeks and that is where this idea of reassurance comes in.
When kids get a pat on the back, a great job sticker, a gold star, or even just a smile they immediately associate whatever action they did to deserve that with something great. They know with that positive acknowledgment that they should continue to perform those actions. It builds a sense of confidence while fine-tuning positive and productive behaviors. So now as adults, do we lose that? Or is there still a part of our brain that inherently associates those signs with a feeling of positivity and accomplishment? When I have a day where I feel like I ate really well or a week where I kick ass in my workouts and get in all my extra accessory work and mobility and just feel on top of the world (that was this past week if you couldn’t guess haha) and then you get journals back from your coach acknowledging all of that; confirming the great job you felt like you did… Do you think that would push you to keep doing those same actions and continue that same badass fit chick behavior? Well it has definitely done that for me!
As I fine tune little things I need to work on, construct criticism and advice from my coach has been invaluable. But the praise and encouragement is what keeps me working hard. It is that reassurance that something I am doing is right. That I am at least on the right track and the train is rolling full steam ahead. It just makes me want to work even harder and do even better. It has also worked to build up a level of confidence in my ability to be great in this crossfit world; a kind of confidence I didn’t think I could find.
So how am I going to MAKE SURE I don’t lose these things when the challenge is over?
Well, one thing is that I am going to make sure I step up and don’t shy away from letting my coach know what I want to work on, what my goals are, and what I need help with. I have always kind of stood in the back and just did what I had to do. Working with my coach on this challenge has opened up a whole new world and has allowed me to build the relationship with my coach where I feel comfortable voicing my needs and desires. Coaches and trainers are there to get you to your goals. Never be afraid to fully voice everything you want and be upfront. As long as you are willing to put in the work it is my guess they will be willing to give you the outline and tools to get there.
Secondly, and the thing that is my holly jolly tip of the week I am going to continue journaling. I want to continue writing down EVERYTHING. My goals, my workouts, my lifts, my meals, my feelings… Anything associated with my fitness journey and goals. Honestly, having to write everything down is one of the best ways to work on that self accountability. When you go to write things down at the end of the day you are forced to stare at your day; to be real with yourself about if you ate right that day, if you worked as hard as you wanted in the gym, or if you fell short in one of those areas. Trust me it will make a world of a difference.
There are some kind of crazy thing in the works for week 5 and I cannot wait to tell you guys more about the new things the boyfriend and I are implementing. Until then, keep working hard on your goals and not letting the holidays throw you off track!