Focus: Stay Focused 5

If you have been to gym lately you know each day we have a focus. In addition, as many of you know, we are starting a nutrition challenge this week, well, really, yesterday (but, it’s not too late for you to join). In the beginning of the year, we do a Whole 30, which is really a 30 day complete nutritional reset using the cleanest foods we can get our hands on. Many people are doing the Whole30 this fall; however, as you can see at the gym, just because you did (or “almost did” in my case) the Whole30, doesn’t mean you are done working on your diet.

The one thing that Susan and I have seen over the years of working diet in our lives and for other people is that there is always something to clean up. I don’t think we like to fuss with diet, but the truth is that most of us will change our diet enough to lose weight, reduce our cholesterol numbers and/or fit into our bikinis and that is it. Let’s call it 80% of the way there. Don’t get me wrong, I think 80% clean is a great long-term strategy for staying healthy and happy, but I also think there are many things that I can cut out that are just gratuitous. For instance, Susan and I cut out Diet Coke and Coffee. Occasionally, I will have a de-caf (I think 3 or 4 since March) or a Diet Coke (probably 12 since the first of the year), but overall, we just don’t have them as a regular part of our diet (even as “a treat”). On the other hand, ice cream and dark chocolate (and beer for me) are regular treats.

The focus of the October nutritional challenge is either to do the Whole30, if you want, or find a something you can focus on like no Diet Coke, no added sugar, or 8 or more hours of sleep. If you want to participate, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Determine an outcome, a “what” or a product (you’ll see why I chose this term tomorrow) – mobile hips, snatch your body weight, fit into wedding dress, etc.
  2. Determine a process or a “how” – Remove added sugar, increase sleep, less beer/more tequila, come to the gym 3 times a week, etc.
  3. Write it on the board “to make it real” (thanks Marcy!).
  4. Keep the board updated.
  5. Keeping with the look, feel and perform better theme, your outcome should be measurable. Take pictures, record the number of hours you sleep, internal/external hip rotation, or take waist, chest and neck measurements, whatever you have to do to keep track of your progress.

We aren’t going to have a formal contest this October, but I think those that participate in October are going to have a better chance in January.

Finally, Susan is a great coach for life/diet changes. Feel free to ask for help if you are stuck and need a goal that is SMART.

5 thoughts on “Focus: Stay Focused

  • Melissa & Dallas, W9

    We encourage everyone at Mad Dawg to give the Whole30 a shot this October! We’ll be running a new program ourselves towards the end of the month, so you’ll have lots of support on our web site and Whole30 Facebook page (, too. Best of luck to you all!

    Melissa & Dallas

  • Lorri Lee Lown -- Velo Girls

    okay, I’m the newbie and kinda-sorta missed the beginning of this, however I’d already started my personal 30-day challenge (I do these monthly with different things).

    Since I’ve already got my weight-loss nutrition dialed in, I chose two challenges that would improve my life in other ways.

    First, I committed to at least one LONG walk with my dog daily. To keep it short, she’s also on a new nutritional/supplement plan for her arthritis and part of this is helping her to be more active.

    My second challenge this month (don’t laugh) is to floss my teeth at least daily. Yeah, I get lazy and there are great health benefits to having healthy gums.

    So, there you have it! I have no idea where the board is @ the gym so I’m posting here.

  • susan

    Hey, Nice Lorri! These goals are EXACTLY what we’re talkin’ about.
    FYI – the white board at the gym is downstairs, to your left as you walk in the door (near the stereo and sink). Please feel free to write your goals down there the next time you’re in.
    And – here’s my deal. I’ve done a Whole30 in the past and gleaned great information from doing it – Whole30 being completely sugar-free, dairy-free, legume-free, alcohol-free, gluten / grain-free.. What I learned is that I feel really, really good off of all that stuff. I even went off of caffeine and have stayed off of it.
    I highly recommend doing a Whole30 at least once to see how you feel when you’re free of all that stuff.
    And, I also realize that everyone has their demons, and that for some, a Whole30 days of completely clean just doesn’t seem in the realm of possible.
    Do what you can. Do it for 30 days. See if you’ve already done a Whole30 and are looking to clean up or get back on track, do that.
    My goal: have a healthy back.
    What I’m doing this Whole30 – already80% grain-free and sugar-free. Going to go 100% AND I’m increasing my fat intake. I’m also putting myself on a consistent training program – in support of that healthy back thing.
    If anyone wants help / needs to talk to someone about all of this – I’m available. So is Saul. Many of our Mad Dawg members are very experienced with making powerful changes and will gladly help, too – just ask!

  • saulj Post author

    To be clear about this post, don’t choose to do or not do the Whole30, or really anything, because it is hard or too hard. For instance, you want to snatch your body weight and run a sub-40 10K, awesome! Just don’t try to do it at the same time, cuz you’ll be steppin’ on the gas and the brakes at the same time.

    You, and you alone, need to own your choices and, ultimately, your health. Make a choice that is right for you, it should be something that you are pretty sure you can be successful. If you need help, as Susan said, ask one of us at the gym and we will help you make a choice that will prime you for a healthy life.

    Believe me, it is a long road and there are going to many opportunities to go without many things, the harder decision is choosing what you want first, rather than what you want to do without first.

  • Kris

    I’m totally guilty of over-goaling like Saul describes – I want to get my muscle up and get 100 double-unders and increase my maxes and run faster and clean up my diet and get more sleep and get more sun and…. eventually I end up making a bit of progress in various areas but not acheiving a specific accomplishment in any of them.

    Right now just trying to focus on eating pretty clean – paleo + dairy, indulgences are a bit of red wine and dark chocolate each night. Been doing well for a few weeks and finally feeling better.

    Good luck everyone!

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