SGX Journal C4W2D2 (Demotivating Deadlines)

Thoughts: I learned something about myself in February.

I don’t like to place a deadline on fitness.

When I had the Megacon appearance looming before me on February 26, I had to cut my bulking phase short by a full four weeks. This was pretty annoying since I’d only gotten in two months or so of bulking, and really hadn’t raised my calories up to the proper level until the last three or four weeks. The first month was just spent trying to get my metabolism back up to normal levels after six months of BFL and LL deficits.

That being the case, having to shift to a cutting plan without the one week break I had planned on taking between bulking and cutting wasn’t much fun. In many ways I felt as if I’d just STARTED bulking and suddenly got yanked back and forced to change my routine before I was ready.

Even worse, having that deadline made me want to do stupid stuff like cut my intake down to ridiculously low levels again (~ 1200-1300) while tripling cardio just to meet some arbitrary scale weight figure in three weeks.

Would it have worked?


Did I do it?

No, because a) my work schedule was too busy for double cardio sessions every day, and b) I hadn’t been stuffing myself like Harry Potter’s detestable cousin Dudley Dursley for eight weeks just to chuck my hard-earned muscle gains away for one day of vanity.

But I won’t say that I wasn’t tempted to do it.

And that’s why I hate putting a deadline on my ongoing fitness process. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing for everyone; I know full well that some folks need the structure of the 12 week challenge to keep themselves going when they are first getting started. They tell themselves that they only have to stick with this for 12 weeks and then they can relax again, wear a bikini on their Caribbean vacation, or amaze everyone at their 20th high school reunion. The finite nature of the 12 week challenge keeps them from being overwhelmed by the concept that they are taking the first steps to making a permanent lifestyle change. Forever is a long time to be working out six days a week and eating cottage cheese and chicken breasts on a daily basis when you are only on day two and coming from a fast-food/couch potato background.

That doesn’t describe me, though. I flicked the “healthy lifestyle change” switch in my brain before I’d even started my first full challenge last year. How do I know? Because I never would have finished it if I hadn’t.

The only reason I even bother to keep tracking the weeks in blocks of 8 or 12 is to keep accurate records of how each new routine works for me. When I’ve finally finished experimenting with different nutrition, weight training, and cardio plans, I’ll be happily settling into a comfy, balanced maintenance plan and ditching the “challenge” format entirely.

My goal is to get to such a high baseline level of fitness that the whole deadline issue will be moot….since I’ll be in phenomenal shape all year round. 😆

Nutrition: SGX Non-Training Day eating pattern
(Details omitted by request)

Regular (Non-SGX) Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 16 cups

7:00 PM Steady-state treadmill (3.5 mph / 13.5% incline / 45 minutes)
10:00 PM Yoga for Athletes DVD

The Awful Truth:
1. Had a piece of carrot cake instead of meal 6. 🙄

Brownie Points:
1. Arms are starting to look less fluffy again!

Short-term Goals:
1. Pick up ingredients for carrot cake muffins tonight.
2. Make some bars for emergencies.
3. File papers, receipts, and bills on desk.
4. Cut out new Issey Miyake pattern and dress.

4 thoughts on “SGX Journal C4W2D2 (Demotivating Deadlines)

  1. Hey Maggie,
    This post really struck a huge chord with me, especially the part about “looking phenominal all year long.” So, once the challenge concept is out of the way, what will keep you going with the same determination to complete that 8 or 12 week block? What will be lighting your fire? Or, do you think it will be so much a way of life that you just innately do it? I’m only asking because I’m asking myself those questions… BTW, great Megacon photos… 🙂

  2. Irene,

    I think that the core components of fitness are already a way of life for me: workouts 6 days a week split between cardio and weight training, 6 small meals a day derived from a big list of “clean” authorized foods, and a good general knowledge of my maintenance range.

    It’s really no tougher for me to cook and eat healthy foods than it was to cook and eat unhealthy ones. I’ve never really been dependent on take-out or restaurant meals for my diet at any point, so it was just a matter of switching to a healthy set of recipes for me.

    And the exercise…well, I got used to daily physical training for four years in my early 20’s in the Army, so bringing it back into my life wasn’t really that tough. I actually missed the feeling of well-being and *power* I got from being in shape.

    I think I’m just doing in one or two concentrated, well-documented, and efficient years what most lifelong fitness enthusiasts have done over longer stretches–testing the hell out of the most sensible programs, discarding what doesn’t work, and keeping what does.

    My ultimate motivation? To ALWAYS push toward my maximum potential and never settle for being a “typical” or “average” anything ever again, especially if “typical” and “average” mean being fat, unhappy, and unhealthy.

  3. awesome pix — now where is the recipe for carrot cake muffins 😀 ?? Are you sticking with Max-OT for cutting?

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