Fitness Friday – The Best Laid Plans

If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters
– 204 if you’re in Japan” – Claire Cook

Well, I’m not in Japan but Plan A this week got a little mixed up on day two of the week but for a good reason! I found out on Tuesday that I won tickets to see an advanced screening of The Lost City of Z. I don’t particularly remember entering this contest to begin with (it was another like and comment Facebook contest) but I’m always down for a free night. With the free tickets in mind I invited my friend Keeragh down for an evening and a sleepover which inevitably led to board games and Call of Duty shenanigans.

The movie was good, and as always I was thrilled to have a night out with my best friend. Still, this change of plans created a little mixup in my health goals for the week. Not only did we go see the screening, we also ate out. Which means one of the rules in Tuesday’s post went right out the window.

But here’s the thing: I knew that this change was going to put a wrench in my original plans so I decided to process it. I went through three steps to turn what could have been another stretch of bad days into something more positive.

Accept and embrace the change

First of all, I knew I wanted to go to the movie, even if it was going to mess with my diet-related plans a bit. I could have passed up the experience and just focused on what I had planned but then I would have been giving up a perfectly good and practically free night out for no reasons. So instead of fighting against the change or refusing to let it take place I accepted that I was going to this movie and that that came with new challenges and changes for how Thursday and Friday were going to play out. So what I did was I took the new information I had about what was going on with this week and laid it all out so I could work with it. Here’s what I knew:

  1. Movie theatres come with all sorts of temptation snack wise.
  2. Given the time constraint on the evening it made more sense to eat near the theatre.
  3. I’d need a new meal plan for Friday if my friend stays the night.
  4. I probably won’t work out on Friday as planned if my friend stays the night.

With this information in hand, I knew that the plan I had made on Monday for how the week was going to go wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I could have just said “well, whatever, I’ll do better next week” but I decided that wasn’t going to cut it either. After all, I want to created new habits, ones that don’t begin with well, whatever. So it was time to do some more work.

Formulate a new plan

I took a look at the information I had just laid out for myself and I decided to tackle each obstacle one at a time. My original plan at the beginning of the week had been to get back on track after Easter, now my new plan had to focus on how to stay on track with this new event happening during the week. I looked at each piece of information I had laid out and I created ways to overcome the challenges they had present.

  1. Eating dinner before the movies will help me resist popcorn temptation. Plus, we already have our tickets so there is no reason to go up to the counter at all.
  2. A quick google search allowed me to find Picnic Food, a local company with health conscious items that is located right across from the theatre.
  3. I’m not the only one who enjoys eating healthy food: a quick menu change and I came up with a way to keep things healthy while hanging out.
  4. No need to completely miss a workout: I can switch my rest day from Saturday to Friday and make the workout up Saturday.

By laying everything out beforehand I found a way to make it work. I suggest trying this whenever you’re faced with a daunting obstacle that might threaten your progress. Don’t miss out on life just because you’re trying to be healthy: you can still experience everything you were before you made this change, just be mindful.

Work the new plan

“Plan the work, work the plan”

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard a variation of this quote it was on Criminal Minds and it had to do with a serial killer planning out his murders but that’s besides the point. The message rings true: it doesn’t matter how well thought out your plan is, it won’t matter if you don’t put it in action.

  1. Eating dinner beforehand was an easy one to accomplish. Keeragh and I left my place once she got off work and headed right downtown with time to spare before the movie to grab a quick bite of eat.
  2. Picnic Food for dinner unfortunately did not work out. By the time we got to Picnic it was almost closing and it was slim pickings on what menu items were available. Neither one of us saw anything we really wanted so we went across the hall to Druxy’s. I ordered a turkey sandwich but somehow ended up with roast beef. It was still tasty and with the bag of chips I splurged on the whole meal came to about 550-600 calories. This was nothing considering both my breakfast and lunch had been very light.
  3. Switching my meal plan for Friday went smoothly as well; for breakfast we had toaster strudels with a bunch of fruit and for lunch we had squash lasagna. This is pretty much the kind of food I would eat on a regular basis so there was no compromise there.
  4. Since it’s still Friday I won’t really know until tomorrow if I managed to handle switching my break day but I don’t foresee there being a problem. My plan is to get up early tomorrow morning an power through that HIIT kickboxing routine that I’ve worked into my goals (you can check it out in this post).

As you can see, even my new plan didn’t go perfectly but I still managed to make it work. I don’t feel like my rules from earlier this week were broken at all, I just made a minor compromise without debasing the main goal of those rules. It’s all about being flexible.

The reason I’m sharing this all with you is I think looking at things from a flexible and adaptable perspective can be really helpful on any sort of health journey. I know this one didn’t really have a lot to do with fitness specifically but it still comes into play when planning workouts. Sometimes you’ll have to push a workout to a later time or a different day, you’ve just got to find the drive to only push it and not write it off altogether. Changing plans doesn’t have to mean calling the whole effort a wash, you just have to find new ways to do things.

Sometimes going all in works and other times you have to take baby steps. I think it’s important to have a plan and goals but you also have to be willing to shift your plans around when life gets in the way. Just remember that that is perfectly normal; things come up out of the blue and you have to work with them. That’s what I did this week, and I’m pleased to say it went pretty well.


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