I was out for a run/walk with the Contessa earlier in the week and bumped into a friend of ours who was out walking her dog. During our short conversation she said it was nice to see us out running again, after all we have had a three-year absence, she remarked, unsolicited I should point out, that I looked like I had lost some weight. You have no idea how sweet that sounded to me. The benefits from VLR Boot camp were starting to finally show and this positive reinforcement was all that I needed to get me through my workout. My attitude is much better and I’m starting to look forward to the workouts, things are starting to turn.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that I was overly optimistic with respect to how long and how much time was required to meet my Boot camp goals. This has created time management struggles as I currently have so many competing priorities. I am blessed to have so many wonderful opportunities and things I enjoy like my blog, building our Boot camp transition guide, presentations, interviews, family, and working out. All great things but all require time, I worry about not spending enough time on one activity like my exercise, which slows down my progress, which raises my stress level. I find stress is a big energy suck, you lose focus, your work suffers, you fall back into bad habits, and you loose “quality” time. I’ve have therefore decided to rebalance my workload and practice what I preach, which will ensure I have a happy and productive Victory Lap. This rebalance will allow me more time to focus on one of my health goals specifically nutrition and exercise.
One of the biggest challenges we face with any change is getting rid of the bad habits that hold us back from recovery. In my case I have swimming class which start at 8:30 pm, this means I need to eat, digest for about an hour before heading out the door to the pool. In the summertime barbeque season, I developed a habit over the years of having a beer while I cook. Lighting the barbeque was my cue to go to the fridge for a beer. Unfortunately beer and bbq food were not conducive to exercise and 9 times out of 10 I would retire to the couch and never make it to the pool. The next day I would beat myself up and feel guilty about missing the workout which lead to more stress. I knew I had to break this cycle but there is just something about barbeques and beer. It is a payoff for long cold winters? Don’t we deserve it after a hard day at the office?
Long story short, I have broken the beer and barbeque cycle, I’ve replaced my cold beer with iced tea and instead of retiring to watch TV on the couch after dinner, I go for a walk with the Contessa. My energy level has improved which helps to get me out the door. As an added benefit I get quality time with my wife giving us a chance to catch up on our day and plan for adventures ahead. Much better than wasting precious time in front of that TV.
A little bit about Victory Lap Boot camp, it will be for people who are free from work distractions, post corp., who are now focused on getting their physical and mental health back. Building a healthy foundation is essential as you move towards your Victory Lap. For many of us years of neglect cannot be undone in a day, so as I often remind myself “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. We will be patient, celebrating small victories and continue to take steps in the right direction.
The goal of our program will be to provide a DIY guide to recovery. It will incorporate various tactics such as active meditation, writing, solitary exercise such as runs, walks, swims, and bike rides to help get rid of the emotional scar tissue you have acquired over the years. Get rid of negative thoughts, fears and bad habits that have created your stress and replace this negative energy with positive energy and plans for the future. We are confident Boot camp will help many of you on your road to recovery while helping you learn about yourself. We guarantee it.
VLR Boot camp will not be easy as we are all are coming from different starting points. One thing I can tell you, the structure of VLR Boot camp is working for me. I find myself less stressed and the pace of my life has slowed way down, I live each day in the moment and have begun to recognize and appreciate the little things in life again. That my friends is what living is all about!
Time For Some Science
Recent scientific studies have shown that the best type of exercise for your brain is aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is any type of activity that makes you sweat and raises your heart rate, ideally for a minimum of 45 minutes. A recent study of people with depression discovered that 30 minutes of treadmill walking for 10 consecutive days produced a noticeable reduction in their depression. We all benefit from aerobic workouts it keeps our bodies healthy and will also help people dealing with retirement shock as it reduces levels of the body’s natural stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
Now you know why we focus so much on aerobic exercise in Boot camp.
VLR Bootcamp Week 6
Starting Weight: 237
Current Weight: 237 (37 lbs to vanish by end of Oct)
The hard part for me with getting back in shape was just starting a routine. Now that I have a routine I need to keep reminding myself to celebrate the small wins as I go along. I have started to journal my progress before I go to bed by making notes about my progress and my workouts. We have also set some a couple of goals, I wanted to share with you, one is to swim across the lake at the cottage (approx. 1K) by the end of August. The other is to do a half marathon with the Contessa (walk/run) this October. Both accomplishments will earn me a nice cold beer!