Preparation Nation

Preparation. I am in the preparation stage. That is what I have been telling myself in an attempt to pacify the anxiousness and frustration I’ve been feeling at delaying the start of my next push towards transformation. A couple spur-of-the-moment trips (and one previously planned one) have waylaid my best-laid plans. I have known for a while that these travel arrangement would create a problem for my goals and had, from the beginning, planned on starting over when I the travel was behind me. I decided not to try to start now, instead I would use this time to prepare and, ultimately, help to set myself up for success when the time came.

Preparation Step One: Fitness. The gym has been an issue since I went back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I like my gym here – it is clean, well-equipped, staffed with great people and only a 15-minute drive from the house. Unfortunately, it is 15 minutes in the opposite direction of work. Now getting to the gym is a struggle. First I tried going early in the morning but found getting up at 4:30am was impractical. Then I tried going straight from work in the evenings; enter Silicon Valley traffic. What should be a 30ish minute drive from the office to the gym (already a bit too far) can take upwards of an hour in evening commute traffic. That’s when I started toying with the idea of a home gym. After doing some online research and reconnecting with my personal trainer from New Orleans, I decided that the TRX home suspension training was the way to go. David and I set to work, playing “find the ceiling stud” and converting a scarcely used addition at the back of the house to a workout space.

fitness

Preparation Step Two: Nutrition. Learning to cook for two shouldn’t have been a challenge, but I managed to make it one. I fell into the trap I have so often cautioned people asking me for advice about; I was trying to turn every meal into a culinary pyrotechnic event. I need to stress that David has never expected me to churn out a four-star meal every night. He’d be perfectly happy with Amy’s soup and a handful of crackers. The problem has been my love for cooking to make people happy and, for the past year, that’s what I have been doing. We have been indulging in lasagna, pizza, mac n’ cheese, Kung Pao tofu and chow mein, pancakes and waffles, lemon bars and scones. I won’t lie, it has been fun – fun to make and fun to eat. At this point; however, I think we’re both sort of over it. I find myself bristling at the idea of a heavy meal, craving lighter and more natural options.

Meal planning and prep has been the single most essential aspect of my past success, ensuring I meet my nutritional goals for calories, macro and micronutrients. On a recent trip to the Vitamin Shoppe, we discovered some new-to-me options including protein-fortified almond milk, nut butters and even all-natural cookies. Using some of these newly discovered ingredients, I have spent the past week plugging recipe and meal options into MyFitnessPal, gearing up for meal planning. Now I am excited to introduce David to this style of eating and he is excited to try it.

nutrition

Preparation Step Three: Mental Attitude. This one is harder to prepare for. Initially, after posting my last blog, I was motivated and ready to begin. Unfortunately, the holding pattern I have found myself in as we travel – currently we are on a five-day at-home layover between trips to Seattle and Germany – has seen my enthusiasm wane. That is why I decided to blog today, to keep my goals in the forefront of my mind. My grand plans to start the intense TRX 8-Week Training Program and my nutrient-dense 1350-calorie meal plan seem distant and unreachable. When can I start? I have been chomping at the bit! Knowing that I can’t begin the way I want to – uninterrupted and undeterred – until all our travel plans are behind us on May 9 makes it difficult to get and stay inspired. For now, this is my struggle; this is the challenge. The fact is, this is life and life throws all sorts of obstacles, foreseen and unforeseen, in our way. How we navigate these challenges can determine our success. The challenge before me now is finding the mental fortitude within myself to keep my determination, to remain as excited and eager as I was a week and a half ago, to remember what I want and why I want it. I guess there really is no preparing for that.

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