In search of joy

Last week I designed a new training plan to lose the extra 6 or 7 pounds of fat I am carrying. I tend to do better with a schedule, so I made a spreadsheet and posted it on my wall to ensure that I stayed on plan. Compared to the recent marathon training schedule, the workout plan is quite reasonable. Combined with the paleo diet, I am certain that this plan will work. After 7 days, I can only say, that now is not the correct time to implement this plan. The first 4 days were great. The weight was dropping; my workouts were strong. And then the glycogen ran out. Even though I did not feel physically hungry, all of my behaviors suggested that I was in fact very hungry: I felt weak; I was crabby, oh so crabby; I was unmotivated; I did not feel joy.

I splurged this weekend. I ate rice. I ate chick peas. I ate a lite mini bag of low fat (no trans fat) popcorn. I drank wine. None of these things are appropriate for the paleo diet (actually the wine is OK). I did not feel guilty. I did not get on the scale. Today I got on the treadmill with a new movie, Take the Lead (I love Antonio Banderas movies). I did not watch the timer on my treadmill, watching the minutes tick by, worrying about whether I would make my target distance at my target pace. I did not check my HR monitor every few minutes worrying whether I was in the correct zone. I did not calculate the optimal timing for my gels. I felt strong. When the movie ended I realized that I had run 10 miles. Bliss.

So I am thinking again about SMART goals and whether they are what I need at this moment. What would happen if I instead focused on the joy of being able to run, of feeling strong, of feeling healthy, of eating wholesome meals? What would happen if I did the workout I felt like doing rather than the one on the schedule?