It's not if... It is when!

We think about "if" as we make plans for our day. "If I work out, if I eat healthy, if I read a chapter today, if I clean my house." But what we need to think is "when." "When will I work out today? When will I clean the bathroom today? When will I make that difficult phone call today?" "If" gives us an "OPT OUT" button. "When" helps us put it in the schedule and hold to the commitment.

About six years ago our son, who is a strength coach, moved to Washougal and lived with us for three months. My husband and I, basically, lived at a FAT CAMP. He said, "for three months we will strength train four times a week and only eat protein and vegetables. Your only cheat is a glass of Chardonnay in the evening. We will eat like this until Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving meal will be our victory dinner."

Now, I have a sweet tooth. I love my chocolate and desserts. I also love my bread. I also do not like to be told what to do and I do not want to have any limitations or boundaries to confine me. But I relented and we all started on our FAT CAMP adventure.

Another caveat is I was a runner. Not a serious runner. I ran three or four times a week, three to four miles at a time. Running was ruining my knee. I was in much pain when I walked or ran but I loved the endorphins that were generated. I loved to run with my dog and I enjoyed being out in God's creation. I knew I did not have much of a knee left that I could enjoy my running.

We started on our FAT CAMP and I learned a lot about technique. How to get my heart rate up strength training. I learned many exercises to build my quads and legs to help support my knees. I also learned that I have a husky gene and instead of losing any weight I gained eight pounds! My son kept encouraging me to stay at it and I will start to see results in about a year.

We achieved our goal and we made it to Thanksgiving! Boy, did that meal taste good. The whole day was a day of pigging out and enjoying the food. The big question is how will I do when Monday morning comes? Also, my son was getting ready to leave Washougal and go back to California to continue to work for this gym. How will it go without the support and encouragement to keep my discipline going? Here are three principles I learned and implemented.

1. In the morning when I plan my day I ask myself, "when am I going to work out?" I schedule working out as I would schedule a doctor appointment or meeting with a friend. I hold to that commitment unless I am sick... really sick. Even if it looks like I have something unexpected pop into my day I still fight for my workout.

2. "Discipline is being built in the midst of discipline." The gym that we attend was 25 minutes from our house. I hated that drive. I loathed that drive. But I told myself that I was building discipline as I drove to the gym. Discipline is being built in the midst of discipline.

3. Daily we make choices so we can achieve our goals. Throughout the day I needed to make choices to eat heathy and give up the sweets and bread. I chose to give those yummy choices for a glass of Chardonnay. When I would see a gummy bear or a malted milk ball, in my head I would think, "if I eat that piece of candy I cannot have my glass of Chardonnay. (I am not an alcoholic but I do enjoy my glass of Chardonnay.) My food choices during the day became all about enjoying my glass of Chardonnay. I learned that "we cannot have it all." Daily we make choices so we can achieve our goals.

After a year I did lose eight pounds, I am down a size in my clothes. I ran about two times a week because lifting gave me muscles in my legs to support my knee. I say "I lift" to run." I am off my blood pressure meds and my thyroid meds are lower. I have more energy then I ever have had, even when I was running four times a week, and I am stronger. Most importantly I have built discipline that I never would of developed without sticking to a program for more than a year. Now I am.