Leanne had an interesting obstacle at the end of the week 4- A pool party at her house hosted by Leanne and her housemates. If you have been following the first 3 weeks of Leanne’s story then read on. If not you may want to start here.
Week 4: “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” ~Doug Larson
Reaching the half-way point of any challenge is always something to celebrate. That initial doubt over whether or not you would be able to do what you set out to accomplish has now worn off and most people tend to start relaxing a bit. The problem with this is that you begin to think you’ve done enough and that it won’t matter if you start bending the rules just a little bit. Whether it be eating/drinking what you shouldn’t or by cutting back on training by making up lame excuses, its cheating the system and we know it (even if we don’t like admitting it to ourselves or others). After all if it was meant to be easy everyone would be doing it and Doug Larson’s quote (above) would be a true reflection on society.
The dilemma for me come week 4 involved the long weekend coinciding with the challenge, ultimately resulting in my derailment. When the beginning of week 4 hit I had already begun to plan the fact that I would be having some drinks on the Saturday of the long weekend to “celebrate”. In hindsight, I should have known better and as a result of it I paid for it dearly on both the Sunday and the Monday as my body & mind tried to recover from the damage I had inflicted. My one saving grace was that I was exceptionally good all the way up until Saturday lunch. I had worked hard at all the group training sessions, walked an hour each day, stuck strictly to the diet plan & even managed to get in a 1.5km swim on the Friday afternoon.
The original plan was to have just a few drinks. This turned in to several more, and more until the memory of latter part of the evening dissolves into the abyss. Most of my Sunday was spent being violently ill with the only thing I could stomach being a greasy hamburger from the local take away shop up the road. Monday was spent feeling sorry for myself and more takeaway food because I didn’t have the energy or discipline to cook. The worst part about drinking alcohol for me is actually not the physical feeling of being unwell but the mental effects that it can have. The motivation and positive thinking that I had gained from the challenge had almost completely dissolved and all I was left with was the guilt that I had not only let myself down but my trainer as well. I felt humiliated that I couldn’t remember parts of the night and that I had ended up eating a bunch of fatty foods in the following days even though I had promised myself that I wouldn’t. Not only that but I had effectively spent almost my entire long weekend feeling like crap when I should have been making the most of it.
Ordinarily this would be the point where I just gave up. But Mel was hounding me for my food diary & she wasn’t going to let me give up. In her email she reminded everyone on the challenge to “Get back on the healthy wagon and stay committed”. And even though I didn’t feel like telling her how badly I stuffed up (she had warned us that she would work us extra hard if we overindulged) it was essential to the program & essential to making sure I was responsible for my choices. In other words it was time to suck it up. The first training session back was painful but afterwards I felt loads better even if a bit more stiff and sore than usual. And to give Mel credit she was very patient and encouraging about getting me back on track to finish off the 6 weeks. The reminder that is was only another 2 more weeks before the challenge ended reinforce the idea that I could still do it and achieve my goals (although I think I will always wonder at the results now and think of the “what ifs” had I not strayed off track).
Week 4 tip: The number one thing to remember about slipping up is making sure you don’t make it the excuse you need to give up. Remember “You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.”