I am going to start this off by saying I am not normally one to half ass, quit part way through, or stop something once I have started. I believe that if I am going to start something, I am going to give it my all and see it through until the very end. That being said, buckle up tight because that is exactly what I am about to do.
Two weeks ago, I started a new agility and strength training program designed to push your limits and test your physical abilities. It also follows a grain free, sugar free, salt free, alcohol free meal plan which while challenging, was also super rewarding. I found that my body functions much better without grains (shocker there, am I right?), I crave sugar like ALL the time, and it mentally pushed my limits. When I first got back from British Columbia, I intended on starting this program right away, in order to finish by this Sunday, the day we leave for our week and a half bird hunting road trip. Well, of course life happens and a double ear infection plus bronchitis delayed my start. Once I could start, I still couldn't really give the workouts my all. My breathing was still labored for the first week, and to this day I have a muscle that is strained in my back from excessive coughing. If you've ever tried to lift weights with strained back muscles, you know how painful and just plain stupid it is. The longer I was doing the program (I only finished two weeks mind you), the more and more frustrated I got. Why wasn't my body back to normal yet? Why am I STILL struggling three weeks after getting back from fire assignment? (If you didn't know, I am a wildland firefighter for the Michigan DNR and spent 3 weeks in British Columbia, Canada fighting fire).
So fast forward to today, two weeks into this program that I love.....and is frustrating me to no end. Well, my body is frustrating me not the program. Tomorrow morning, Justin and I leave for Medora, North Dakota to go bird hunting and explore Teddy Roosevelt National Park for a week and a half. We have been planning this trip for over a year now, and I am SO freaking pumped. That's when I realized....I am supposed to be following this grain free, sugar free, alcohol free lifestyle while on a once in a lifetime vacation (just kidding, we will probably do this trip multiple times in our life, but this is our FIRST time). If you know me at all, I love a good pumpkin spice latte, hobo pie over the campfire, s'mores, and trying new food wherever I go. This typically doesn't bode well with a meal plan that is grain and sugar free right? What about that really awesome looking brewery in Medora we wanted to try? Sitting there thinking about it, the thought of stressing over every little thing I ate on vacation filled me with a sense of dread. I was stressing about what I was going to eat an entire WEEK before I even had to contemplate what to have for lunch that day. What kind of vacation is that?!
When I started my health and fitness journey a year and a half ago, I was striving to be skinny and for a six pack. Then I realized something......six packs are cool but have you tried donuts? Over time, my journey has evolved to be so much more than what I look like, its about how I FEEL. Guess what? Trying new food and eating donuts makes me HAPPY. Enjoying s'mores around the campfire with Justin and our dogs is going to make me happy. Heck, I can't even really finish a whole workout without having to stop ten minutes in because of my back, I'm not even doing the program justice. This is where my latest book I am obsessed with came into play. About a week ago, I started reading Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Lay. If you struggle with maintaining a perfect lifestyle and worrying about what others think, I highly recommend this book. I decided to ENJOY my vacation, make mostly healthy choices, but have that s'more or donut if I really want to. I will be putting my more aggressive workouts on hold, giving my back time to heal and recuperate to prevent further damage. Hiking, exploring, and hunting with my boys will become my main source of exercise for a week and a half, and I am perfectly content with this. I am going to give myself grace, stop striving for perfection, and eat the damn donut.
Life only happens once, I suggest you do the same.