Note: The strategies I used during this little "bootcamp" do not accurately reflect my current habits. I'm learning all the time. I recommended reading more recent posts from the Body Love category to stay up to date!
Oh the DRAMA of this post title! Sorry, but I wanted to get your attention...
It has been about 6 weeks since I entered into this holiday recovery cycle, which I named Operation Beach Boot Camp, and by the time you're reading this, I'll be on the beach! I wanted to report back about my results, while sharing a few musings along the way.
The plan I set out to tackle (in addition to my teaching schedule) was:
- Cardio 5 x week
- Mind Body Class 2 x week
- Pull-up training daily
- Aerials once a week
- Commit to eating 3 meals a day plus a couple snacks
- Drink lots of water
- Have salad/dark green veggies every day
- Limit grains to 1-2 servings per day
- Eat lean protein every day
- Eat so many vegetables I can hardly stand it
My intentions for this plan were to shed extra holiday weight, to re-establish good habits, to feel my best, and to increase my overall physical fitness and performance.
But as soon as I would mention my plan to others, I started getting strange looks. "Really??" friends would ask. "Why would you want to lose weight??"
I hadn't expected this reaction and it caused me to pause and reflect. Were my goals somehow unhealthy? Was I setting a bad example for my students/readers by sharing? Does my desire to make my fit body even fitter indicate some kind of dysfunction? I took time to consider this.
Being in this business, I am surrounded by people of elite fitness levels. This being the case, I would say I hold myself to a higher standard of physical fitness than I would if I worked, say, in an office somewhere.
The thing is, do we ask a marathon-runner WHY?? she would ever want to train her body for a 26.2 mile run? There is no real need for this skill, unless we find ourselves in some kind of zombie apocalypse where the only option is to flee on foot. But ask the runner, or any other athlete and they will tell you: There is satisfaction in taking on a physical challenge and completing it.
I never meant to achieve anything unhealthy, simply to maximize my own fitness level. There were plenty of times I deviated from the plan because it felt wiser to do so, including putting my feet up when I was out of energy or fighting off a cold.
Do I have healthy body image? Like most women in our culture, I would say probably not. I'm sure I spend way more energy than is necessary or practical thinking about how I look. Who knows how I could better serve this planet if I could just stop giving a shit about my hair, or how I will look in a bikini on vacation. But like most other mortals, I want to look good.
My intention for sharing my journey with you all was twofold:
1) I wanted to hold myself accountable for staying the course by putting my goals out there and
2) I wanted to offer support and encouragement to my readers and students as a fellow human, a real person who has to work at making healthy choices every day.
To those who looked at me sideways and made me question my motives: THANK YOU! I consider it a contribution and as a feminist, a teacher, a fitness professional, and a mother, I'm all for a little self-reflection to keep me in check.
When I chose to title this blog Fit Feminist, I deliberately put a name to the role in which I find myself daily. I hold myself responsible for encouraging and celebrating fitness and healthy living, while remaining conscious not to contribute to a cultural/media environment that has people (especially women) feeling awful about themselves based on how they look.
My hope is that the things I share on my blog help to inspire others and lift them up, not bring them down.
Coming in Part 2 of this post, I'll look at what worked well over the last 6 weeks and what helpful insights I gained that might benefit you on your own wellness journey.
Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest! More to come soon...