By Fitness Editor Paula Jager CSCS
With about 1 ½ weeks remaining in our Fall Fitness Challenge, many of you might be wondering what happens after the challenge. Do you revert back to your evil ways at the stroke of midnight? Go hog wild due to feelings of deprivation? I would hope not–one of the goals of the challenge is to develop a sustainable lifestyle. If you have not yet reached your goals, I would consider extending your personal challenge until you have. The closer to course you stay the quicker you will get there. If you have reached your goals then you are ready for the next step.
What exactly is a maintenance program? Well, it is a lifestyle that you can sustain while maintaining a weight and state of health that is ideal for you. It will be slightly different for every individual depending upon where you came from and where you wish to be. Let’s take a look at our 3 hypothetical clients from last week’s post https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2011/11/fall-fitness-challenge-week-4-why-i-eat-primal/ and see where they are 1 year later in life and health. . .
Ella: you wouldn’t recognize her!! Ella has lost over 80 lbs and is still 5”2” but now a svelte 125 lbs.
Exercise: She is still home schooling her children but they are having a hard time keeping up with Momma. She has added a physical fitness regime to their home school program where they get a good 30 min workout in 3x a week and are all sleeping better at night. They have a newfound respect for Momma and are now towing the line. Ella has so much energy along with extra time that she has also taken on a part time job getting other moms in the neighborhood fit in small boot camps earning extra money to help pay for all her new clothes. Ella is no longer diabetic and her blood pressure is lower than her doctor’s who is now asking her for nutritional and workout advice.
Nutrition: Since Ella is the main cook in the household, everyone is eating better including Poppa who has also trimmed down and taken 6 in off his waist. Her children’s allergies and behavioral issues have resolved themselves as well. What are her secrets? There really aren’t any. Ella stuck with out original program until she reached her ideal weight. She now occasionally allows herself a “treat”. A “treat” is something that each individual does not want to spend the rest of his or her life without imbibing in. About 1x a week Ella will indulge in a slice of her neighbors home made soaked and sprouted sourdough bread but not everyday, because she wants to keep her blood sugar in check along with her weight. She will have a glass or 2 of red wine on Sat night when she and hubby now have a date because of the renewed fire their lifestyle changes have brought them. Ella no longer misses any of the old foods because of how good she feels and looks. She is content with this new lifestyle, does not feel deprived and never wishes to return to the old Ella.
Chase: now 16, Chase has packed on over 15 pounds of muscle this past year and literally needs a stick to keep the girls at bay. Already a stellar athlete his performance is now off the charts. He recently broke the school record for the 100 and 200 m sprints.
Exercise: His maintenance and workout routine is a little different from Ella’s. Chase is a 16-year-old extremely active male and growing still. He has track or football practice in season at least 3 to 4 x a week and an off-season as well as in-season strength training program. His metabolism is like a blast furnace and he burns calories at rest.
Nutrition: With a rock hard body at 7% body fat, he has no caloric restriction at this point; continues to eat healthy servings of pastured meats and fowl along with fresh seafood, lots of vegetables, roots, tubers and fruit. He washes it all down with glasses of raw milk and life is good. He still gets 8 to 9 hours of sleep and his indulgence while it certainly would not be mine is Friday night at Mickey D’s with his friends. He does however make better choices, ditching the white bun on his burger, ordering a salad and skipping the ice cream parfait. It is after all a hang out for his friends and there are the girls–always asking Chase for his fitness “secrets”.
Shera: Shera is quite a different person now. No longer angry, aggressive or anxious this new lifestyle has treated her well. She left her high stress job in Corporate America and started her own consulting business, which is thriving. It also allows for more peace in her life since she works at home on her own schedule and doesn’t have to contend with the politics.
Exercise: She has gained 5 lbs of muscle from her strength-training regime along with sufficient rest and recovery. She still enjoys her running but loves the intervals and only an occasional long run. At least one day a week she gets in a yoga class. She is still a type A and loves the thrill of competition so she’s set her sights on the Tough Mudder race but only 1 per year.
Nutrition: She remained on the Gaps diet for a full year, she had a lot of healing to do and is now (her choice) on a modified Gaps diet. She no longer has digestive difficulties and sleeps through the night. Shera has decided to keep grains out of her diet for good. Her indulgences on the weekend include a nice juicy ribeye (little larger portion), a baked potato loaded with butter and crÃ¨me fraiche along with a dish of homemade ice cream w/ maple syrup as a sweetener. She finds she can live like this. She’s also giving back by spreading the “Word” to her vegan friends.
Although hypothetical, these three people have literally transformed their lives by changing their lifestyle. It’s not only the outer transformation but what happens internally from both a health and mental standpoint that carries over to other areas of their lives. It’s something that they can do long term, not feel deprived and fully enjoy life. It’s different for each individual–have you found yours? If not, feel free to send over your circumstances, challenges, questions, and I’ll be happy to offer some suggestions. The power to change is in your hands.
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar in Tampa, FL