A Postcard from the Future

After struggling for a few years to lose the weight I gained after surgery, and dealing with subsequent injuries, I rejoined the Precision Nutrition Coaching Program this year (formerly known as Lean Eating).  I will not be using this blog to bore readers with every detail as I did the last time. (If that interests you, I have a lesser-read public blog where I talk more extensively about the program and I will provide a link if you feel you must read it)  Regardless, I need to share a bit about my goals and dreams, because I see everything I want and everything I need to work on in the months ahead.  It's  worth sharing.  I hope readers can find their own inspiration and their own purpose as they read this.

When the program began, there was a coaching lesson about having a "Destination Postcard".  The idea was for participants to visualize their goals and imagine what their lives would be a year from now.  The lesson suggested we write our goals down, create vision boards, or scrapbook our favorite ideas.  I took the advice in a halfhearted manner.  I created a Pinterest board with some ideas, but I didn't let it inspire me the way it was supposed to.  I knew what my goals were.  I didn't need to do any soul searching, did I?

One of my non-fitness goals at the beginning of the year was to start seriously saving money.  I paid off my credit card this month and I was ready to put money away.  I want to buy a new car next year (my little car has been running faithfully for 12 years, but I don't know how much I can keep her running).  I also want to celebrate my upcoming landmark birthday with a trip to Scotland.  I had a plan and a budget to put a certain amount away every month so I would have a generous down payment for the car and a bit leftover to put towards the trip.

Life never goes as it should.  I was hit with unexpected bills from all sides this month and I still have at least two more coming.  Now that I am debt-free, I can pay them, but it leaves me little left over for savings.  That potential down payment on the new car shrinks a little bit every week.  That trip to Scotland seems like more of an impossible dream.

Then I realized something.  The Precision Nutrition program is a contest.  There are prizes awarded for the best transformation.  The grand prize is ten thousand dollars.  There are several lesser monetary prizes.

When I did the program the last time, I didn't even consider going for the prize.  The prize should go to people with triple digits to lose and close adherence to the program.  That wasn't me.  I only aimed to lose 25 pounds at the time and didn't think I would achieve that (I didn't).  I was willing to do the work, but there was a limit to how much work.  I was happy just to lose weight.  I didn't need to win money.

I look at everything I want for myself in the coming year and I realize this time I want to play to win.

As I lay awake unable to sleep last night, I started thinking more about that destination postcard.  What do I really want to achieve this year?  I wasn't only thinking about my weight.  I was thinking about my entire life.  What did I want to happen a year from now?  I came up with a list.

I want to lose 32 more pounds (I lost 8 pounds so far since the beginning of the year).

I want to win the Precision Nutrition contest.  Even if I don't win the grand prize, I want one of the lesser cash prizes.

I want a new car next year and a good down payment to buy it with.

I want to go to Scotland next year.

I want to not be a typical Fat American on the family trip to Spain this summer.

When I took my annual beach vacation to Chincoteague last summer, I bought a cute new bathing suit and took a picture of me wearing it.  I want to wear that suit (weather permitting) when I return to Chincoteague in September and photograph myself it.  I want to  see a noticeable difference between the two photos.

I want to make over my balcony into a peaceful garden oasis.  I want to lay down decking and fill the space with lush plantings and comfortable furniture.

I want to exceed my PR for squat weight (at least 80 pounds).

I want to try aerial classes (either lyra or silks or maybe both).

I want to be light and effective when I ride Riddle and ride her without fear.

I want to perform in Working this spring with every song, every line, and every piece of staging on point.

I want to give a brilliant singing performance at this year's dance recital  (I will be mostly singing rather than dancing this spring.)

I intend to audition for any show I think will cast me this fall.

My job responsibilities are changing at work.  I want to perform them to the best of my ability and really shine.

I want to leverage those job responsibilities to enable me to find a better paying job next year.

I want to shop for a smaller sized new wardrobe with a personal stylist.

I want to do what it takes to work on my sleep issues so I am not lying awake at night contemplating life.

I need to remember self care.  My body does better with regular stretching.  My mind seems to respond to regular meditation.  I also should not deprive myself of a good massage if my muscles feel too achy to function properly.

When it comes to how I intend to lose those forty pounds, I have a list of behaviors I need to adjust to get me to my goal.  I won't list them here because if you read this far, you are probably sick of reading lists.  They're boring.  However, one thing I will say is that any time I feel tempted to stray from the program, I will remind myself of how badly I want that car.  If I'm in it to win it, then I need to walk the walk (Wow! Two cliches in one sentence!).  It's not enough to read the rules.  I have to live these habits.  They have to be part of my everyday life.

Time will tell if the postcard in my head becomes the postcard I create in real life.  This is just about my "After" photo.  It's about everything that comes after "After".

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