The Final Sprint: Days 64 – 84
It’s the final sprint, the stretch run. You’re in the last 21 days of your FIT for SUCCESS Challenge. Perhaps you’re seeing and feeling results, or maybe you’re waiting for a breakthrough. Either way, it’s not uncommon to produce the most rewarding measurable results in the last few weeks of a Transformation.
It’s time to turn up the intensity so you can finish strong. That means honing your nutritional awareness by eating the foods that are best for you, and training with focus and intensity, pushing beyond previously reached plateaus.
Recently, I was asked several questions pertinent to all who endeavor to achieve results but are faced with travel challenges. Below are some helpful travel tips, followed by one of the most challenging exercises featured in Strength for Life.
Q: I’m on the road for nearly two weeks each month; how can I bring my training with me?
A: Traveling presents a challenge, since it disrupts your normal routines. And for many, travel of any sort is a reason to toss aside all commitments, especially when it comes to eating and training.
Thankfully, many hotels have adequate gyms or relationships with nearby facilities. Be sure to ask when making reservations. Or, if you have a membership to a national fitness chain, try to arrange your hotel accommodations nearby. Use what you can find in the hotel, enjoy the gym or find the fire escape and run the stairs. This is a reliable way to get in a workout when the weather prohibits you going out. Body weight exercises and resistance bands are good if you’re in a bind on the road and unable to make it into a gym, as they’re highly portable.
Be creative, resourceful and committed.
Q: How do I eat healthy on the road?
A: The key is planning and staying committed to your progress. On almost any restaurant menu, you can find a lean protein source and vegetables. Don’t be afraid to ask to substitute healthy carbohydrate choices (i.e. veggies, brown or wild rice) for french fries.
Q: If I miss a workout due to travel, can I strength train and do my cardio on the same day? If so, what should I do first?
A: Whenever you double dip by doing both on the same day, you’re going to lose some impact. Yet, should you choose to stack these two you should always do your strength training first.
This is because strength calls on the availability of the fast-acting fuel glycogen. If you do your cardio first you’ll burn up much of the available glycogen, leaving your muscles weaker and less able to reach Peak Intensity in your strength training. Another upside to this order is that strength training utilizes much of the glycogen most readily available, thus requiring the following cardio session to draw upon other fuel for creating more energy—and much of this energy may come from fat stores.
Finally, an exclusive new exercise as featured in Strength for Life:
How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
A saying I often use that captures the essence of Nutritional Freedom is: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too, until you can have your cake and NOT eat it.”
It’s as much a life principle as it is about sensible eating. For whether it’s cake, shopping or love—only when you’re fully content without them will any of these be an appreciated addition to your life. Otherwise, you’re eating and consuming out of weakness rather than the strength of gratitude.
This exercise is designed to help you learn to create a pause and begin seeing through cravings the instant they arrive. Your Nutritional Freedom lies in the space between temptation and reaction.
Here’s what you’re going to do: Buy, make or bake the food you most crave when you want to indulge or treat yourself. Get it by Thursday because you’re going to indulge on Sunday—your “free day.” I want this favorite indulgence to be in your awareness so that you can be with the experience of not eating it, even knowing you will in a few short days.
For this example, we’ll use one of my favorites: a creamy, rich, dark chocolate layer cake. When you see the cake in the fridge, listen closely to your inner dialogue. Feel the temptation and desire to act that leaps up. You might even decide to journal about the experience—putting words to your desire for food is a great way to create some distance. It helps give you perspective and expands the space between craving and reaction.
Keep with your experience—monitoring it Friday and Saturday. No slips. Then, come Sunday, set aside 15 minutes to indulge. But don’t just dig in as you normally would. Instead, enjoy each and every bite as though it was your very first taste of this favorite food.
That’s right. Rather than enjoying the first bite or two and slipping into full-consumption mode, which is the normal way, you’re going to take 15 first bites (yes, 15 first bites) of this amazing, delicious chocolate cake. Make certain you taste and enjoy the last bite as much as you did the first.
As for what, if anything, may surprise you, I’ll leave that for you to discover.
Be sure to share your experience with the 15 First Bites exercise.
Until Next Week,