Monday, February 1, 2016

It won't be easy but it will be worth it.

I knew I wanted to start off 2016 with a bang.  I felt a fire I had never felt before.  I knew it was time for a serious cut from the accidental bulk I accidentally did over 2015 (sorry not sorry because I do love my muscles). I decided that bang would be with the new program The Masters Hammer and Chisel.  My roommate calls me a Beachboy junkie- and it's true!  With every program I feel a new strength and determination and I couldn't wait to see what Sagi and Autumn had in store with this one!

After completing the first month of Body Beast (I definitely feel like I need to go back and do that entire program but that's another story ;)) and a round of 21 day fix extreme in December, I knew this program would be the perfect way to kickstart this cut.  It's 60 days (well really 56 but who's counting) of heavy weights, dynamic movement, delicious food, and commitment to making a change.  I always feel so focused during my challenges.  My friends may give me a hard time sometimes but they also know (at least the good ones) that I'm too stubborn to give up on something once I've made up my mind.    

Starting the nutrition plan 100% really wasn't that difficult.  It's how I generally like to eat with the except of adding in popcorn, wine, a dark beer or two, and an occasional treat.  There is so much buzz over the best way to lose weight- low-carb, IIFYM, straight up counting calories, etc.  Everyone has to find their way.  My favorite is finding the richest nutrient dense foods I can possibly find and fueling my body with those.  I feel a significant difference in how I perform athletically (high school and college Emily still can't believe how much current day Emily LOVES and CRAVES performing athletically) when I fuel my body with these foods.  I feel more confident when I up the weights.  I feel lighter when I run (which right now have been at the mercy of my Physical Therapist following that nasty foot injury in October- but that's another blog post altogether).  I have more energy in my everyday life and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  When I eat and train this way I feel more alive than ever.  I mean look at this meal! It's not a diet.  The program comes with some recipes and Autumn's book Fixate has been a lifesaver.  Grandma's tomato sauce literally changed my life and the chicken salad is one of my all time favorite things to make now.  Also the chocolate chip cookies are the bomb when I want to give up 1.5 yellows! ;) It's a lifestyle and I've never felt more satisfied.  

Being committed to the workout has never been my problem.  Now that I've locked down my nutrition I feel my body starting to benefit from the workouts.  I was stuck at a plateau and I didn't know what to do.  Apparently the answer was eating more, which was such a struggle ;).  This eating plan bumped me up from my previous bracket and my body has never been more thankful.  I see my muscles growing and I feel the difference when I workout.  I can lift heavier and push harder in my spin classes.  When I'm eating this way I don't feel weighed down when I run and I don't feel tied down to food.  I feel a freedom with this kind of plan and the results in 4 short weeks speak for themselves.

When I decided to commit to this program I knew my goal was different.  I had already reached a healthy point and lifestyle but I knew I wanted more.  This time it wasn't about pants sizes changing. It isn't about weight going down on a scale.  I passed the point of the scale defining me a long time ago once I realized the muscles I've built and my physical bone structure mean it will likely never get down to where I have a conception about where it "should" be.  I also really like my clothes and I'd rather not spend a fortune changing them out.  I want to look like the athlete I feel inside.  I want to really lean out and feel that unstoppable power that comes from inside.  That feeling that ripples into every aspect of your life and helps keep you focused.  This semester is the toughest of any of my years of grad school.  This program and commitment to myself helps keep my mindset so incredibly laser focused that there's no other option but to crush it.  

I'd be lying if I said I don't miss wine or the occasional beer.  I do.  But I love having the strength and willpower to say no because I know I'm working for something bigger.  I never want to take the easy way.  The hard working way is so much better.  

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