A few days ago I made a checklist for myself as to what I wanted to get done before the next round of the WLC begins on April 14th. I’ve managed to get it all in – here are my completed tasks.

#1: Goals – My main goal is simple this time. I want to lose 10 lbs. It’s been a while since I had a focused goal of weight loss, but the insanity and trauma of the past year has thrown me off track so that is my one main goal. To help me reach that goal, however, I have a few of ‘No matter what’ goals:

  • No matter what, I will hit my water target each day (3-4 L).
  • No matter what, I will do my complete mobility routine each day.
  • No matter what, if I am eating off plan, I will stick to these nutrition guidelines: (1) I can either have a serving of bread, legumes, potato, or pasta – but I can’t have more than one. (2) I can either have something fried, have cheese, or have dessert. [I’ve found that this way I can still be conscious of my choices and not go overboard. Testing this out over the past couple of weeks has shown me that I can do this and still not gain weight, providing I am exercising consistently.]

#2: Profile – I completed Phases 1 & 2 of my profile and filled in a few Phase 3 components.

#3: Water – My water goal is 3 L on a regular basis and 4 L on days when I do Hot Yoga. I have to keep my water intake on the high side, particularly after I was diagnosed with mild kidney damage last November. I specific intake goals are: 1/2 L on an empty stomach as soon as I wake up, another 1 L by 12 p.m., another 1 L by 4 p.m., remaining water by 7 p.m.

#4: Sleep – As much as I would love to hit 8 hours of sleep a night, 7 hours is my target for this round of the challenge. The key for me is to start winding down early. I’ve gotten into the habit of brushing my teeth and getting into my pj’s right after dinner, even if I’ll be lounging in front of the TV for another hour. Giving myself a cutoff time for when I’ll check my phone has also helped (e.g no social media after 8:30 p.m.). I’m hoping to continue to implement these things for this round of the WLC. I wrote a blog post some time ago about morning rituals and bedtime routines that has other tips on setting yourself up for a good day.

#5: Exercise – This is my exercise schedule — plus a few back up plans.

  • Saturday: morning mobility; 1-2 hours of jiu-jitsu drilling at home; 1 hour of yin yoga at night
  • Sunday: morning mobility; active recovery day – 1 hour moderate pace walk; 1 hour of restorative yoga (if I don’t walk, then 1 hour of yin yoga + 1 hour of restorative yoga)
  • Monday: morning mobility; weight training + 1/2 hour cardio
  • Tuesday: morning mobility; weight training + 1/2 hour cardio; 1 hour vinyasa yoga
  • Wednesday: morning mobility; jiu-jitsu class
  • Thursday: morning mobility; weight training + 1/2 hour cardio; 1 hour meditation & pranayama class; 1 hour of hot yoga
  • Friday: morning mobility; 1-2 hours of jiu-jitsu drilling at home

Back up plans:

#6: Mobility – Over the years I have set up my own mobility sequence. It’s a full body routine. I’ve found that when I do it consistently, I feel good. Just 5 consecutive days of practice and I feel less achy and stiff. The key word (and my current main focus): consistency. The routine I follow is simple. I focus on slow, deliberate, full range-of-motion movements rather than speed. I usually takes me 15-20 minutes. So, my actual mobility routine is set and now my intention is to do it each morning, whether at home or at the gym. If I miss it in the morning, I need to find that 20 minutes to get it in later, even if it’s just before bed. I know it’s important. I’m committing to doing it daily. Today when I went to do my routine, I decided to record it. Below is a link to a 1 minute clip (speeded up at x4). I’m shaking and wobbly and my form isn’t perfect — all things to work on over the next 6 weeks!

Mobility 1 min

#7: Nutrition – My husband and I eat quite differently, especially now that I’m trying to eat more on the vegan side while he is an omnivore. I may write in more detail about meal planning/prep in another post. For now, I’ve got the menu for our first week! The * next to a meal indicates a restaurant meal. [FYI: Not that it should make much of a difference, but it does affect how I plan/shop/arrange the menu — weekends in Kuwait are on Friday & Saturday, which is why there are more meals out on those days. I buy the bulk of my groceries and do the meal prep on Sundays.)

Performance – Omnivores

  • Saturday:
    • meal 1: omelet* (at a local café)
    • meal 2: lettuce wrap
    • meal 3: grilled chicken with steamed vegetables* (delivered by a Healthy Food delivery service)
  • Sunday:
    • meal 1: banana pancake (double batch prepared so that the batter is ready for breakfast on Monday morning)
    • meal 2: chicken salad with sundried tomato, sliced black olives, orange bell pepper, and avocado – only extra virgin olive oil as dressing (he takes the same lunch to work each day)
    • meal 3: baked salmon with roasted butternut squash, cauliflower, and string beans (this is on our menu every.single.Sunday. It makes it so easy to have the same meal on the first day of the work week.)
  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
    • meal 1: cucumber sandwich with smoked salmon
    • meal 2: chicken salad with sundried tomato, sliced black olives, orange bell pepper, and avocado
    • meal 3: baked fish with tahini sauce
  • Wednesday:
    • meal 1: banana, apple, and coconut water smoothie
    • meal 2: chicken salad with sundried tomato, sliced black olives, orange bell pepper, and avocado
    • meal 3: baked fish with tahini sauce
  • Thursday:
    • meal 1: banana, apple, and coconut water smoothie
    • meal 2: chicken salad with sundried tomato, sliced black olives, orange bell pepper, and avocado
    • meal 3: chicken salad* (there’s a great salad bar next to D’s gym; it has changed our lives in terms of quick, compliant dinners)
  • Friday:
    • meal 1: omelet* (at our usual Friday morning restaurant)
    • meal 2: açaí bowl* (at a local café)
    • meal 3: rocket salad with a burger

Performance – Vegan

#8: Home – This was such a big task, but it was fun too. Luckily I had a gathering I was going to earlier in the week so I managed to offload a bunch of non-compliant snacks. Other than that, my main focus has been to get the kitchen organized. Now things are labeled and where they should be. There are no sweets in the house and the only snack-type items in the house are raw nuts and dates.

#9: Community – I’ve done the WLC so many times that my friends think I’m always on the challenge (which isn’t a bad thing!). Even when not on the challenge I have been known to bring my own food or to make special requests at restaurants. I’ve grown comfortable with my choices, but it still does catch some people off guard. While I have let people know that I’m doing the challenge, I find that it also helps to have some ‘stock answers’ ready for questions I may be asked.

#10: Mindset – I know that I have an ambitious schedule for the 6-week challenge, but I also know that I need to step up my game. I’ve chosen 5 quotes to help me stay focused and on track. I’m going to print them out so that I’ve always got these lines in sight.


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