Week 1: The Before, The After, & The In-Between

Reflecting on my first week of working and working out to be better

Have you ever heard the phrase “first is the worst, second is the best…”? Well while most things prove that silly playground song to be wrong, this first week has definitely shown me how the first can be the worst. How come? Four words: wedding tasting & super bowl. I started the week strong and fierce like every 22 year old auditioning for America’s Next Top Model. I ended the week bloated and hungover with a fresh break out. Now, of course I wish I could have started this first post with a glowing, optimistic reflection on the week and the road ahead. Part of me even considered just ignoring that part of the week entirely, but there’s no accountability and nothing to be gained from that. So, lets dive in and get painfully personal about week 1!

Day 1, I didn’t dread the early morning, leaving my warm bed, or even facing the cold to go workout before the work day begins. I dreaded taking my before picture. It’s a picture I’ve taken and deleted so many times over the past year. When I walked up to the mirror on day 1, I quickly felt fear and doubt creep over me. It made me wonder if this time would be the same as the others, and I began to doubt the very plan I was so excited to start even the night before. And then, I just stopped. I looked at myself in the mirror, and told myself “I am stronger than my thoughts, I am in control of my own mind.” (looking back I’m glad TJ wasn’t awake quite yet, because the energy from that moment felt eerily similar to two MMA fighters during their pre-matchup press interview… very intense for anyone to see at 5am lol.) Recently, I have been practicing that phrase to help center me in times of high anxiety and doubt. It did just that, and this time it helped me remember how badly I want to think back on this moment 8 months from now and laugh for being scared to start, how badly I want to feel comfortable 3 weeks from now when I shop for my wedding dress, and how badly I want to continue to write these blogs with an honest hand. I managed to take a deep breath, snap this photo, and took the first step to becoming my best self.

To quote TikTok, “…so this is what it looks like.” Day 1, I am 5’5″, I weigh 163 pounds, and I have a 29″ waist. I can comfortably run 3 miles at a 9:30 pace, can easily lift 50 pounds, and get 30 minutes of movement 4 times a week. I’m wearing sketchers leggings and a sports bra that is older than most children I know. This is me! I’m not an ‘influencer’ or a coach by any means (if you couldn’t tell by the outfit alone). Is this an oddly specific description of who I am? Yes, that’s the whole point! I wanted to make this a narrative that is relatable and that can help others searching for a shred of a realistic connection on the internet. I have spent my fair share of time Googling “so-and-so weight and height” or going through to compare my body and abilities to influencers to know who to follow without feeling bad about myself. If I need to get that specific for someone else, then by all means I will. If it doesn’t help you, then whatever! Again, this can also be for me alone to look back 2, 4, 6, or 8 months from now and see my growth which is just as helpful!

Now in the famous words of Hannah Montana “everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.” Briefly after marking day 4 in my calendar, Tj and I were scheduled to go to South Carolina for our wedding tasting. Now I tried to pick healthy options, but I may not have known that I was required to taste test all the alcohol being served too. So, day 6/7/8 were not on the original plan. But when things change, you change the plan not the goal! I had planned to run that weekend and to get to bed at my normal time to keep my schedule strong. Although the runs and the sleep didn’t happen those few day, I listened to my body when I was back home, ate a healthy dinner, and hit the sack early! Since Tuesday, I have been on top of my cooking and my training and couldn’t be prouder!

I may have briefly mentioned my training before, but I am trying create my own mix of training to maximize my end goal (if you haven’t read my intro to me post, the goal is to look good at my wedding and run a marathon this year!) I am currently following Hal Higdons intermediate endurance based half-marathon training – I was going to start with the full marathon training because Hal’s plans are easy to follow and work into, but it started with 6 miles. As someone that currently maxes out at three and that ~relatively~ understands my body’s limits, I made the executive decision to start with the endurance based intermediate half marathon plan and build from there. (If you’re a runner, I HIGHLY recommend his training plans. He gives great explanations to support each action, while maintaining a gradual build that is challenging yet easy stick with!) While this is great for getting in shape to run, I want to get strong too! I plan to strength train a few days during the week to give my body the opportunity to build muscle too. Overall the mixture of workouts this week has left me physically sore and exhausted. But after my brief tumble off course, I feel a greater sense of resilience within since getting back on the horse!

Although my workout plan for becoming my best self became hazy during the week, I was so surprised that out of the two that I was actually able to end this work week satisfied… dare I say even happy!? Maybe it was the affirmations I gave myself to conquer my negative thoughts or maybe it was just the change in my mindset to get what’s going to make me happy in my career, but something this week changed in my work. I was assigned more responsibility in my current job in writing and communications. I’ve been reached out to multiple times a days about new interesting opportunities, and even got confirmation for a second interview for the position I’m crossing my fingers and toes for! People always say you attract what you put out into the universe. If my will to be better is to blame for the good I’m ending this week with, then I look forward to next weeks reflection already!

Stay tuned for week 2’s reflection and for a review of the HIIT plan I am trying this month! Gotta run (literally!)

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