Harry Potter and the Ministry of Muscles


Captain’s Blog - Stardate 92918.8

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

- JM Barrie, Peter Pan

To catch those of you up on what all this mess is about, I have joined an October Challenge Group, let by NYC actor/fitness-and-life coach Brian Douglas James. The title is his, and I hope he won’t be mad that I threw together a quick graphic, but part of our prep assignments is to come up with something that reminds us of our “why” as well as checking into our goals and reasons for having them. I decided to do this assignment as a blog, and created a little “vision image” (instead of a whole vision board) that would serve as sort of my "class syllabus cover page.” And this is it. So…on to the assignment:

My goals here are pretty straight forward. Gretchen Rubin talks about the finite energy we have in a given day. Each decision we make takes energy. But habits are decisions we have made that are so practiced, we don’t have to make them any more. They happen instinctively. Some might call it muscle memory. 

My goals for October are first and foremost to establish consistent, maintainable habits in the following realms:

  1. Fitness:

    I want going to gym to be as regular as brushing my teeth in the morning.

    I want to start to see gains in muscle shape and “visibility.” It is less about mass and more about look. Sounds shallow, I know. But I’m an actor, and my goals require me to either get into either a more athletic shape or adjust my goals and actively pursue a more “character-centric” body shape. Which either means gain more weight without muscle or lose weight without muscle. Either way, I’m in an “in-between” physical place on the cusp of athletic, so I’d much rather move that forward.

  2. Meal Planning:

    I’ve been having some pretty frustrating digestive challenges for a few years. I have finally found some causes for it and some solutions, but the hardest thing for me to do is maintain the eating habits that need to stay in place for me to feel better. Losing weight and looking better is almost an afterthought for this process, though as my body started processing more nutrients efficiently, I finally started losing weight. But I’ve been cheating a lot, mostly due to (blamed on) a move, missing my boyfriend, a busy schedule, etc. I want to focus on committing to weekly meal planing.

  3. Accountability:

    I respond well to external accountability, and especially in the third week of a new attempt to set a habit in place, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the work on my own. I joined this group for the support I’ll need to see this through to week four and, hopefully, beyond.

  4. Mindfulness:

    I continue to resist a regular meditation schedule, despite hearing my first meditation instructor, music theatre legend Betty Buckley in my head making it VERY clear there that, if my career goals are what she thinks they are, there is NO reason NOT to. Just fucking do it! (To be fair…I cannot remember if she said fucking…but even if she didn’t, the energy was definitely there.) By the way, I dropped a name somewhere…if you could help me pick it up, that’d be great.

  5. Academic Excellence:

    This basically just means that I loved being in school. I excelled in most classes, especially those I was passionate about. And since all of the above hit my bottom line for goals, growth, and moving to the next tier in my life, I am hoping a “classroom-like” group will lend me the structure to take some of the energy out of the process.

As for the why, I have a few answers to that as well.

  1. I’ve just moved to LA, which is a huge change with a complete upheaval of all of my less-than-helpful habits, familiar surroundings, and standard roadblocks. Before I come up with a whole mess of new ones, I want to feel the success of committing to these habits. 

  2. Brian has been poking me on Instagram about this and has been friendly, funny, and persistent. All qualities I think will help me achieve these goals.

But the biggest why is that I need back the energy I spend to make the decisions each day to workout or not, prepare food or not, meditate or not, and where these will fall in my day. I need that energy to be out of that decision making process. I need to be able to put it towards the other work I need to do. I need these things to be inherent patterns in my daily life so I can focus on pushing myself harder where I really need to. So, I’ve decide to try something new and see if it can get me closer.

Accio fitness goals!