Phase 1, Day 13: Cardio Flow (aka Find That Balance)

Last night was a late post after a long drive to a different state to visit a good friend.

Today is another late post because I spent the day catching up with that good friend.

Heading into this weekend: I could micro-manage my meal plans to make sure I stayed on point by packing ALL my food, turning down the chance to eat out at good local joints, and sipping on tap water while my cohorts enjoyed some wine tasting.

OR: I could just bring my work out clothes, get my workout in, and spend the day being mindful of my meal plan but not a Nazi.

I went for Option B.

IF you are going through 80 Day Obsession for the first time, I would urge you to follow the timed nutrition as best you can. The reason being that if you don’t give this program your all, you’ll never truly know how much you can get out of it. You’ll never really know what your body is capable of if you feed it right and feed it often.

Which means my first time through 80 Day Obsession, I admit, I was something of a hermit. I can count on one hand the number of times I ate out, and when I did, it was with steely resolve and little joy.

As a result, at the end of the 80 days, I was happy with what I accomplished. But in the back of my head, I wondered if the timed nutrition was sustainable because it is so strict – was it something I could carry on in the face of a “normal” social life?

That’s what I’ve been experimenting with this time around: How sustainable is the 80 Day Obsession timed nutrition in the life of a busy 30-something professional with a social life?

The answer varies, and really has more to do with using the meal plan as guidance as opposed to gospel.

As an example, here was my day today: Wake up. Catch up with good friend over coffee, scrambled eggs with peppers and black beans, and a bowl of oatmeal. Catch up some more. Go work out. (Cardio Flow today – not much to report other than if you are reading this and sticking with the program, you should feel a bit stronger in Cardio Flow this second time through. I will also add, if at any time in the program you start to doubt you can finish Cardio Flow, tell yourself this: I KNOW I CAN DO EACH AND EVERY MOVE. I KNOW I CAN DO AT LEAST 4 OF THE MOVES IN A ROW. I AM CAPABLE OF FINISHING THE WORKOUT. I can’t tell you how many times this mantra helped me, especially when I grew tired of those damn inchworms.)  Get ready to assist with some errands. Make a shake with chocolate Shakeology, some PB fit and cashew milk, eat 5 mini peppers, and have another bowl of oatmeal. Run errands. Get snacks at Starbucks consisting of an Americano and their “snack bowl” of carrots, cucumbers, string cheese, and apples. Go wine tasting. Get an early dinner of a chicken chipotle salad. Walk to nearby cafe and enjoy cupcakes. Go home and drink lots of water.

As I’m typing this, I’m super full. Not as uncomfortably full as I was earlier in the night, but full nonetheless. But for the first time in awhile, I’m not upset with myself for not eating perfectly according to the plan. And I think it’s because I went into today with a plan to relax the plan: I made an effort to eat every two to three hours, I tried my best to get in the veggies and protein and otherwise meet the containers as called for, but I also let myself go with the flow.

Which means I had alcohol. In the past, drinking was my third weakness (after Sunday dinner and home baked goods).

Saturday Wine Tasting
Who can resist a New Zealand Pinot Noir?

Again, my first time through 80 Day Obsession, I didn’t drink at ALL. This was not a problem and I did not miss it, except for those few times I went out to dinner. When I did, I would inevitably crave a cocktail, not because I really wanted one, but because I wanted the EXPERIENCE of having a cocktail with dinner.

On the day I officially finished 80 Day Obsession, I went out to a nice dinner with my boyfriend and had a glass of wine and a cocktail and felt….nothing. No rush or relief or vindication. It was almost a let-down. Since then, I’ve felt no compulsion to order a drink when eating out and have been sticking with soda water.

Today, though, it’s hard to stick to soda water in the heart of wine country. But I didn’t go crazy. I enjoyed myself but also made sure to have plenty of water between tastes, and refused a second pour when the bottle was passed around. When we walked to dinner, I got a cocktail and felt no need for a second.

The balance that I am searching for means drinking responsibly. I had a good time, but not a rager. If you’re raging that’s not balance. I drank plenty of water, and I actually refused seconds.

Again, if I was trying to get the best results possible from 80 Day Obsession, I would not have drank at all and I would have brought my foods along to ensure 100% compliance. But that’s not how I want to live. I don’t want to be that person who breaks out her own tupperware at a nice restaurant – I mean, I have no problem with bringing my containers to portion out the mashed potatoes, but I’m not gonna bring my own meat.

My meandering point in all this is I went into today with something of a plan and the mindset that I would not punish myself for not being perfect. I went into today prepared to offer myself some grace. Which means when I ate the two cupcakes at the cafe, I savored every bite. And though I am still real full, strangely enough, for the first time in awhile, I don’t feel guilty for the detour. I know it is temporary and that tomorrow I can hop back on the horse and rein it back in.

I hope this post isn’t taken as a license to eat whatever and drink whenever while doing 80 Day Obsession. Obviously, if you want the best results possible, you’ll stick as closely as possible to the timed nutrition plan. I offer this post only to show it is capable to live life while being obsessed with the details (in a good way) so that you can still enjoy wine tasting and meals out with friends. It helps to have a plan, and it helps to drink a lot of water. But more importantly, it helps to give yourself some grace and know that even if today wasn’t your best, tomorrow is another opportunity to do better.

I will also add this: If you find you are missing alcohol, find some sort of “treat” to replace it with. For me, that meant cracking open a La Croix after a long hard day and savoring it like I would a fine wine. Sometimes I’d have two. And if that still wasn’t enough, I’d make myself a cup of tea after dinner. Do what works for you. Most importantly, enjoy the clarity that comes with taking a break from alcohol. Also, there is something freeing about being out with friends and having an excuse not to drink: “Sorry, I’m on this meal plan. No alcohol for me for 80 days.” It sounds enough like Lent that people usually don’t bat an eye.

Regardless, I hope you’re sticking with it and that you’ve successfully finished Week 2 of 80 Day Obsession! Next week gets better, I promise.

Link to the usual Beachbody goods.



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