With a little help from my friends
So I set myself a crazy goal to run a marathon, but to train in a way that is not insane! I am convinced that using the MAF method will get me to my goal safely. I also think you, reading this blog, can help me get there…
I started to use the MAF method almost a year ago, however I have not been consistent in either nutrition or training as I figure out what works best for me. I did see some improvement in my health and fitness, not a huge amount, but enough to convince me that the MAF method is right for me.
Now, if I want to see faster progress towards my goal, I need to take it up a notch.
For me, this will mean being disciplined with nutrition, more so than training, especially control of carbohydrate intake. Indicators that I have some level of Carbohydrate Intolerance, and therefore should control my carbohydrate intake, include: a family history of type 2 diabetes, increased abdominal fat, and previously I responded well to the two week test.
How can I be more disciplined?
This year I participated in an accountability program with Sparta Chicks. In the 4 week program each of us in the group had to declare our planned action items for the week then report back with the completion rate. Week 1 was great, I had a really high completion rate. In week 2 I bombed out and I felt awful about having to report back to the group my poor result. Weeks 3 and 4 were awesome, mainly because I didn’t want to report back another poor result, so I was really motivated to complete my planned actions. The program really worked for me!
Around the same time I also learned about developing new habits. I listened to Gretchen Rubin talk about her book “Better than Before” on Sean Croxton’s podcast (number 19). Gretchen talked about the 4 tendencies in how a person responds to internal (your own) and external (other people’s) expectations which can lead to forming new habits. This piqued my curiosity: what is my tendency? In brief, she described the 4 tendencies as the Upholder, the Questioner, the Obliger and the Rebel.
Upholders respond well to internal and external expectations alike. Questioners need a lot of reasons or justification for the the expectation before acting on it. Obligers readily meet external expectations but struggle to meet internal expectations. Rebels resist both internal and external expectations. I realised that I identify most as an Obliger.
From Gretchen Rubin’s book and the Sparta Chicks program, I discovered that I respond best to external accountability.
The simple knowledge that you are reading my posts is my external accountability.
Seeing your thoughtful comments to my posts and on my Facebook page; seeing where around the globe my website is being viewed; and seeing people that I’ve never personally met before connecting with my story. Your responses have all really motivated me to make better choices.
For example, last weekend I went out the door intending to go for a run and ignore my heart rate. I’d been travelling for a few weeks for work and felt like I needed to do some intense exercise to catch up on my recent lack of consistency. I knew that an anaerobic session would be counterproductive, but years of the idea of a high intensity session wiping clean poor choices still lingers. During my warm up walk I turned that choice over in my mind. I thought: I’m writing about sticking to my MAF heart rate during training as the ideal way to train, yet in practice today I’m ignoring that. It felt hypocritical. I then made the choice to stick to the training method I’ve been raving about and I’m so glad I did. It felt great. Thank you!
At the same time I hope my story is helping you, too.
Earlier I talked about taking it up a notch: it’s time to get transparent!
In addition to my usual blog posts, what I plan to report each week to you is my:
- Food intake
- Macronutrient breakdown
- Total grams of carbohydrates each day
- Exercise log
- Water log
- Hours of sleep
- Whether I have prepared for the next day – I’ve noticed over time that if I prepare the day before (for food or exercise) I am much more likely to stay on track.
Thank you in advance for keeping me on track, just by being here!
I’d like to know – what helps to keep you moving towards your goals? Feel free to post and share your story.