Monday “What Went Well” Report: Setbacks can be a gift

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself today.

This week didn't always feel like a gift. I really, really wanted to run - but my knee is not going along for the ride. So the week became another kind of gift: the gift of being aware of how we can problem-solve positively, and support our long-term health in the process. (Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
This week didn’t always feel like a gift. I really, really wanted to run – but my knee is not going along for the ride. So the week became another kind of gift: the gift of being aware of how we can problem-solve positively, and support our long-term health in the process. (Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Here’s one of the little secrets of weight loss: it really, really helps when your primary exercise is long-distance running. That sport burns energy like nobody’s business. I’ve been at my leanest when I was in the throes of major-league race training. And today, I can’t run a step, because I have a bum knee.

So my weight was up a tiny bit this week. And I took the opportunity to regroup, revise, and think through how I can get through this setback without letting it take over – or feed the fear monster (you know, the one that keeps telling you that all those mass-media headlines about weight loss being impossible to maintain are really right…when I know otherwise, because this week I’ll be celebrating five years since finally hitting my goal weight and maintaining it all this time).

Here are just a few of the things I did last week – and that I’m committed to doing even better this week:

Nutrition: I did a pretty decent job of having healthy meals around. I -wasn’t super-duper great at resisting temptation at meals out with friends (there were a few more than usual). This week I’ll try to get into that super-duper category, because I know from five years of living life at a healthy weight that I can create healthy meals absolutely anywhere, at just about any restaurant.

Workouts: Didn’t work out enough. Period. At least, that’s how I felt at week’s end. But the three hour-long workouts I did get in were kind of seriously fun. On Monday I did a solid strength routine, with good heavy weights. I haven’t done that in a long time. On Thursday, I rode a spinning bike for an hour listening to my new favorite music, Ghost Stories by Coldplay. (It’s astonishing.) And on Saturday, I swam – and did a 1000-meter time trial with a pull buoy keeping my legs out of the equation (the better to rest the knee), so it turned into a super upper-body workout. This week I’m gunning for five aerobic workouts and one strength workout – that’s the level of activity I need when I’m training for a marathon, and I still have hopes of running in October, so it’s time to step it up.

Removing the Obstacles: I’m still chewing over a conversation with a super-successful acquaintance a month and a half ago that led me to realize how much I’ve gotten in my own way when it’s come to really going for my dreams. Not just the athletic dreams or the weight-loss maintenance dreams, but the dreams of being really effective at changing our national conversation on personal health. I’m reading Twyla Tharp, I’m listening to Jim Carrey’s lovely commencement speech, and I’m surrounding myself with people who believe that the only way to live is all in.

That’s what this week is going to be about. Living life all in. Have a great workout today – looking forward to the week!

Recent #Every48 workouts: Saturday – a SWIM. Started with a couple of sets of 200 meters of freestyle/100 meters of kicking with a kickboard to warm up. Then did some sets of 25 meters sprinting, 25 meters easy (with pull buoy). Finished with a 1000-meter time trial – freestyle plus pull buoy. 50 meters of kicking to finish it all up.

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