The fourth year of 30 for 30 is complete and it's amazing that each and every year, I've learned something new. Well, maybe learn isn't the right word. Perhaps, "understood," "embraced" or "gained a greater appreciation" is more like it.
When I was 18 years old, I thought I knew it all. I thought that I had life figured out and I was on my own, able to make decisions and had the answers to everything life threw at me. The more time I spend on this earth and as I get older, I realize that I knew very little then. And I have the understanding that the same is true now, in that the older I get, the more open I am to appreciating that there is so much more to know, learn and understand. The ability to say "I don't know" defines adulthood.
Here's what I learned:
- Food as fuel: When I eat food that is as close to it's natural source, I feel better and it shows up in my workouts.
- Strength training, plyometrics and circuit training has a positive effect on my cardio training, such as running. I feel stronger and have greater endurance when I incorporate these exercises.
- I'm addicted to sugar. I failed miserably when I set out to remove all sugar from my diet for the 30 days. I'm trying again, but it's interesting to see just how much I think about and crave sugar and sweet treats. In an effort to start my day out on a unsweetened foot, I've been taking my coffee black or making bulletproof coffee at home.
- Protein is key. Since starting the 2014 30 for 30, I've reintroduced some foods back into my diet, such as eggs and fish. This has helped cut back my sugar intake significantly. Prior to adding, I would get hungry after dinner and crave carb heavy, sugar laden snacks. I read about food (a lot!) and the impacts it has on our bodies and realized that I could be leptin resistant, basically meaning that my body never felt full, because it wasn't getting the nutrients it needed.
- The number doesn't matter. This is true for both the number on the scale and the number in the back of the pants. No one knows these numbers except for you (and maybe your doctor). For years, I wouldn't buy a pair of pants, shorts or a skirt unless it was a certain size. Instead of going UP a size, and wearing something that fit, I would put it back because I refused to wear a size up. This is the first year that I've realized how ridiculous that sounded. For the first time, I bought a size up because my legs had more definition (because of the strength work) and my "regular" size were too tight. Well, the world didn't come to an end and the sun came up the next day -- I was ok. The same goes for the number on the scale -- muscle weighs more than fat AND it increases your metabolism which means you burn more calories throughout the day when you increase your muscle mass. Hurray for strength work!
The month came and went, but during that time, I've made it a priority to incorporate fitness into my daily routine, even if it's only 20 minutes. After all, a little fitness is better than no fitness.
And, finally, the winner of the Armour39 is... Caitlyn Ahern (instagram name CAITLYNAH12) Congratulations! Please send me your address (email@example.com) and I will put your fitness tracker it in the mail. I know you will love it!
Now, what did you learn during April's fitness challenge? Anything that popped up in your daily workouts?