Thursday, August 1, 2013

Operation Awesome, Meet Perfect August.

Three years ago, I started a health and fitness journey that continues to this day. And it all started here:
Monday, June 21, 2010
I just spent a week with the best people I know. This year's Marine Corps reunion was here in San Diego, and I was able to spend time with my longtime friends. They always bring out the best in me, and this week was no exception. 
So here I am a week later, still riding high on the experience, and now ready to turn that good feeling into results. 
More later. For now, just know that I am good to go. It's going to be a very good thirty days. 
I was very successful over my first two and a half years, dropping the extra weight and accomplishing every running goal I set. 

But this year, I have struggled with motivation and commitment. I've tried many different approaches to getting back in my groove, and the results have been hit-and-miss.

Fast forward to Summer 2013 and my ongoing Operation Awesome. I have been successful in stopping my slide backwards, but I am still not satisfied that I am completely back on track. I do fine for a bit but not long enough to really feel better.

And that brings me to "Perfect August." I enjoy mini-challenges, and my journey to health really kicked into high gear with this one:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I'll be honest. I'm a "lots of energy upfront" guy who quickly loses interest or motivation. I struggle with taking a good idea and seeing it through to completion. And with physical fitness and a lifestyle change, that sort of stop-and-start undermines success. 
So, here I am with a plan. I'm calling it my own 30 Day Challenge. The idea behind it is simple. I can do anything for 30 days. I just need to clearly define my goals. 
For 30 days, I will get to the gym for at least one hour of cardio each day. It can be running, elliptical, or the bike, but it has to be every day and it has to be a minimum of an hour. 
For 30 days, I will use the Spark People Nutrition Tracker to record my food intake. 
For 30 days, I will drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. 
For 30 days, I will not drink caffeine after 5pm. 
For 30 days, I will not drink alcohol. The empty calories are bad enough, but when drinking, I often make poor eating choices. 
For 30 days, I will make healthy eating choices. That means portion controlled, nutritious meals. 
For 30 days, I will get enough sleep to allow my body to recover from each day's exercise. I will not stay up too late. I need at least 6 hours each night. 
For 30 days, I will make myself a priority. I will reset my attitude on physical fitness and health, and I will emerge on the other side of this with a renewed sense of accomplishment and a seriously improved attitude. 
For 30 days, I will remember what it feels like to be the best person I am. 
It worked before and it will work again. Perfection is too lofty a goal to maintain for a lifetime, but it's achievable for a single month. With no further ado, I give you the Perfect August Challenge:
  • I will run three days a week according to my Runner's World SmartCoach training plan.
  • I will do a non-running activity (biking, walking, strength training, etc) three days a week.
  • I will not eat fast-food meals. I will make healthy, nutritious choices.
  • I will track my calorie intake through My Fitness Pal
  • I will drink at least sixty-four ounces of water each day.
  • I will not drink diet sodas. My caffeine intake will be restricted to coffee or ice tea and no later than 2pm each day.
  • I will not drink alcohol, with one exception. I'm running the San Diego Beer Run on August 11th and will enjoy my celebratory beer after the run.
  • I will get enough sleep to allow my body to recover.
  • I will blog daily to help me stay focused and on-task.
There it is. My challenge for the next month. August, are you ready for me? Because I'm coming!

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