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The importance of Reflection and Evaluation

July 22, 2008

There often come points in my life where I stop to pause and reflect. Sometimes it is when things are going really well and then there are time when things aren’t going so well. At the end of the day I am resigned to the fact that no matter how much I THINK I know, there is always room to learn more or to “re-learn” what I thought I knew.

Case in point: while my workouts have been progressing and I re-discovered my love of running, I have been losing energy levels. I noted I was tired in the afternoon, 3 days in a row. I brewed some coffee to keep things going, but that is not usually my style. So, I decided it was a good time to reflect and evaluate. What was I doing wrong and how could this really be happening? Especially since I thought I was doing all the necessary things.

Here is what I uncovered: while my eating plan was where it should be for losing weight, it was not where it should be for staying as healthy as I could be. I was staying in the proper zone for carbs:fat:protein, but I was putting more stress on the protein and not enough on the carbs. By staying in the lower % of carbs and fat, my body was crying out for energy like never before.  Over the weekend I identified this issue and took full advantage of ensuring my carbs were increased within the proper levels.  I particularly noted my lack of energy during a 5 mile run.  Although it was my longest run, along with some humidity not experienced yet this year, I just felt sluggish and frustrated.  So I’m confident and anxious to prove my theory right in the next few days.

Another area I reflected and evaluated on was my move to working out at the gym.  The weight/effort difference was a slap of reality in the face.  I could have gotten down on my self for not lifting as much as I thought I was with my Bowflex, but the truth of the matter is that there are always going to be effort differences with equipment variations.  Much like the scale – it is what it is.  Accept the numbers for what they are and work to improve them.

The last area to reflect and evaluate are your accomplishments.  It’s easy to push yourself and want more.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  But every once in a while, look at your progress – weight, bodyfat, strength levels, ability to fit into tighter clothes, etc.  The more you see how far you’ve come, the more you should tell yourself that you have put a lot of time and effort into where you are today…so don’t backslide and give up!  You’ve “INVESTED” into yourself.  Keep that financial chart moving positively.

How are your workout and nutritional plans progressing?  Please share!

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