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January 3, 2012

New Year: Accountability & Thoughts on Moderation

On Jan 1, 2012, I was a little hesitant to post this, simply because:
a) I just rolled out of bed
b) my bathroom is messy
c) I am lamenting how much muscle I seem to have lost over the last couple years (as a result of being smaller/softer after getting out of the up-and-down of the competition process), and most importantly,
d) do I really want all the JillFit readers keeping me accountable on my physique journey this year???

And the answer is…….reluctantly…….yes.

Body Breakthrough

I have to say, overall I am happy with my physique and more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have (besides, that’s a mindset issue, not an actual physical thing), BUT I have new years goals just like anyone else. However, I have to say that implementing moderation over the last couple years consistently has been a huge factor in helping me maintain a fairly lean physique year-round.

I used to balloon up and down 15-20 pounds depending on where I was in my competition “season” and I still see many competitors and models doing this. I always felt self-conscious and either “in shape” or “out of shape.” In shape was the best! Photo shoots, appearances, sports bras at the gym! Woo hoo! Out of shape made me want to disappear. Being embarrassed to be seen out in public. What were people thinking?? Not fun. I was basically miserable, and anything but healthy. It was super-extreme and every time I had to get down, it was harder and harder, took more exercise, a tighter diet, etc. Changes were big and extreme, I was all-or-nothing, either “on a contest diet” or eating whatever I wanted. Now, years later, I know that small, incremental changes over time will help me sustain my efforts and not make me feel completely deprived to the point that I need to overindulge. I learned this lesson the hard way, as I think a lot of competitors and models do. It is a hard lesson to learn, especially for types as driven as we are. We want to be able to do it all AND make it look easy! BUT, we are just like everyone else…trying just as hard to get lean and stay healthy. Only now, I have the self-realization to know that I am not willing to lose myself over it.

I will give you one insight into me: it’s is not easy for me to eat clean all the time. I do it 90% of the time because the alternative, of eating everything I want and then feeling like shit and beating myself up, is worse. Believe me, I did that enough times to know which I’d rather. It has taken me a few years to get completely on board, but I have made my choice–I am on the side of healthy forever. I will not fluctuate up and down 20 lbs in the name of a contest or photo shoot ever again. Sure, it would be awesome to be that lean for a moment in time, but I won’t because I know what the ramifications will be for me–deprivation and then compensatory overindulgence. And to be honest with you, I have been eating using moderation for long enough now that I truly don’t think I could muster the sheer will it would take to eat as clean as I would need to. And I don’t want to expend the mental energy it would take. I would rather use that energy for other things :)

It is important this time of year to decide which side you are on: extreme measures OR healthy forever. The former gets you there faster, certainly, while the latter could take months, even years. But in the end, which will stick? Which will allow you to feel good, maintain a steady weight, progress systematically, measure progress, stay in your power mentally? It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself, assess your current situation and decide if you are patient enough to start your journey on the healthy forever route.

2012 Goal Settin’

And so. My goals! In addition to growing JillFit, reaching more and more fitness-minded people, making a bigger impact, and continuing on my personal development (mindset) journey, I want to spend the next 6 months adding a little more lean muscle and changing my shape up a bit–adding size to my upper body and taking my waist down a little.  Essentially, this will happen using 2 tools consistently: heavy weight training and clean nutrition.

As many of you know, I spent a lot of time being a cardio queen in my adult life, and though I still love the high I get from cardio, I know that it has affected my physique somewhat negatively via high cortisol. I have also gotten into some bad habits that I think might also be contributing to my physique changes, like waiting too long to eat, too much coffee and simply not eating enough. I tend to have stringier/skinny/tube arms as it is, and it can be hard to add size on my upper body so I know that I need to work hard with consistent training and nutrition (and not just have sugar-free fro-yo for dinner! :))

SO, I filled out my JillFit 2012 New Years Resolutions Worksheet (did you get yours?? :)) for my physique goals, and I am sharing it here:

SO, no long-duration cardio, no long periods between eating, cutting back to 1 cup of coffee a day and–OMG on verge of panic attack just writing that–getting plenty of sleep.

Ok, I said it on the blog so it’s final :) I will be updating you guys regularly on my journey, letting you know how things are going, and as always, being as transparent with my struggles and successes as usual.

2012 is going to be an amazing year for all of us! I certainly feel very lucky that I don’t have a huge hill to climb with the physique changes I want to make. A few key consistent changes and I will get there in time, as will all of you. Most of my resolutions have to do with things other than my physique, and hopefully you all will be a part of those with me as we journey through this year.

I would love to hear what your resolutions are! Email me or post it on the Facebook page! Let’s all keep each other accountable, yes? :)

Let’s go 2012!! Love, Jill ox

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