Let me start by admitting that weeks 2 and 3 of Boot Camp were hardly as stellar as the first week. I missed a few work-outs, including one short run, but still managed to exercise about 5 days each week. I also have a fitbit and even on my non-exercise days I’ve managed to achieve my step goal for each day (10,000 steps). I managed 2 good weekend runs. Last weekend I ran 6.2 miles (or a 10k) on a training run. Surprisingly my finish time was faster than the one 10k race I’ve done! Either the cross-training is helping or I have left-over endurance from the Goofy. This weekend I ran 14 miles at 12:30 min/mile pace and could have kept going a few more miles. So even without being “perfect”, I still feel that I’m achieving. I’m drinking more water, eating more mindfully, and I haven’t had any dessert (not even one little jelly bean today!) since Boot Camp started. Tomorrow is weigh-in but I’ve maintain the 1.6 lb weight loss from the first week.
As an adjunct to Boot Camp, I decided to purchase the workbook written by one of the Coaches. It’s call Live Fit and Be Well. The author is Erik Hajer. He recommends doing no more than one of the assignments per day. The idea is to really think about the mental part of fitness. What are our goals and why? And one of the things that I’ve already realized is how different my thoughts are now compared to 3 years ago when I started running.
I thought it would be fun to write my thoughts about the 1st assignment here, instead of just writing in the workbook. I’m already seeing that my goals are likely to morph over time and I like the idea of keeping the book blank so I can change my answers as I progress on this life-long journey of fitness and wellness.

The first part of the assignment is to write down your goals as intention statements:
1. I intend to run at least 3 days a week and strength train at least 2 days a week.
2. I intend to become a faster runner.
3. I intend to eat healthy foods and avoid eating foods that are unhealthy.

The next step is to think about the immediate and the long term benefits of these goals.

1. Immediate benefit of exercising 5 days per week: Endorphins feel good. I’m proud of myself when I exercise
Long-term benefit of exercising 5 days per week: I will run faster with fewer injuries. I will look and feel fit and strong.
2. Immediate benefit of running faster: Having a training goal helps to keep me motivated and interested.
Long-term benefit of running faster: Better finish times will give me a sense of achievement. The faster I run, the easier it will be to train for long distances because the long runs won’t take so long!!!
3. Immediate benefit of eating healthy: Feeling proud of myself for avoiding unhealthy foods. No sugar highs and lows.
Long-term benefit of eating healthy: Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping my body healthy so I can live well.

I have some other goals such as consistently drinking water. I have good days and bad days with my water drinking and I definitely feel better when I’m having a good water day. I also feel that I generally need to make myself more of a priority. I need to take the time needed to maintain my physically and mental health. As a working mom (or maybe just as a mom in general) I am frequently my own last priority. In some ways it’s impossible to completely change that without neglecting my family. On the other hand I don’t need to apologize or feel guilty because I want to exercise for 30-60 minutes 5 days per week. I can continue to try to schedule my work-outs in a way that is minimally disruptive to my family but I need my time.
I’m looking forward to exploring more of the mental component of achieving wellness. I like that the book talks about how it’s possible to be very fit without being well. Wellness includes something existential – a sense of being at peace with oneself – which is an essential component of living a happy life.
A few weeks ago my husband and I attended a parenting seminar at our children’s tae kwon do center. The Grandmaster explained that there are 5 components to living a full life:

1. Eat well.
2. Sleep well.
3. Exercise your mind and body every day.
4. Do good deeds.
5. Gratitude.

I think it’s no mistake that I’m getting the same message from Boot Camp and from this workbook about how to discover the Good Life. It’s no longer a question of “When can I do this?” but a question of “How can I not?”