“I Believe in the Power of Pre-Season”

Community // 12WBT Staff

The way I see it, there are two types of people in this world.

Type A people are always on their game. Their nails are painted, they answer their messages on time, they get enough sleep. They actually have an hour to calmly potter around the house each morning before heading out for the day. Let’s call that type of person Trixie.

And then there are people like me. Type B people.

We mean to do all of the things that Type A people do. But it doesn’t always work out that way. We get overwhelmed. Tasks pile up.

That’s where I’m at right now. I feel at my best when I’m organised, but I go through phases. And currently I’m in the chipped nail polish, unshaven legs, rushing to pack my lunch just before I walk out the door phase. And part of that involves my incomplete Pre-Season Tasks.

I’ve just started my 12th Round of 12WBT. You’d think that I’d have it down to a fine art by now. But somehow time has gotten by.

Not So Perfect World

We dream of this perfect world where we wake up on Day 1 of the new Round, having completed Pre-Season, bounce out of bed in an uber-clean house, put on the clothes we’d laid out the night before, and go off and complete the Week 1 Day 1 Exercise Plan. (Then saunter around the house for an hour, Trixie-style, because we have All The Time In The World.)

But real life is different. My first morning of the Round, I woke up in an interstate hotel room (on a work trip). I’d acquired an injury the day before. Instead of doing my Day 1 Exercise Plan, I spent most the day with my leg elevated and under an ice pack, trying not to move much. And instead of following my customised 12WBT Meal Plan, my nutrition for the day was supplied by airport kiosks, aeroplane food, snacks in my bag and my brother’s cooking when I went to visit family. And, of course, I was far behind in Pre-Season.

Welcome to real life!

Why Do Pre-Season Tasks?

Before & After Kate

It might seem strange that I would even do the Tasks at all. Surely I know how this program works by now, and if you’ve done them once, you don’t need to do them again, right? Wrong.

What I’ve learnt over 11 previous Rounds is that you get out what you put into them. The Rounds where I’ve put the most effort in, and set myself up to be organised from the start, have also been my most successful. It’s no coincidence that the Rounds in which I’ve lost 15-20kg and had major fitness gains also happen to be the Rounds where I completed my Pre-Season and started off on my best foot.

I’ve also had not-so-great Rounds, and yes, those were ones where my Pre-Season Task completion and general organisation were at less than desirable levels.

This time, I want to have a good Round, so I need to set myself up to do this.

Taking Stock

I decide that my first step is to let go of feeling like I’ve already failed, just because these Tasks aren’t done yet. Okay, I didn’t do them in the Pre-Season period as planned – let it go, Kate.

It’s never too late to turn things around.

My next step is to take stock and work out exactly what I need to do. I have a few ways that I set myself up for a Round and I want to get those up-to-date too. So, I decide to do a list. The list is what I set myself as last night’s job. That’s all I had to do.

This is what I did instead:

  • I researched health insurance policies
  • I read an article about the Beckhams
  • I answered a work email on my phone
  • I watched a cute video I’d taken of my niece on a slippery dip on the weekend
  • I texted a few friends

So tonight, I hide my phone under my pillow, I open up Excel (I’m a spreadsheet nerd) and I get brainstorming. I list things I want to do to help set me up for the Round, and also bits and pieces that I’m not on top of right now.

I go through the Pre-Season Tasks. Oh dear, I’ve only done a total of four – 14 to go. Stay positive Kate! Onto my list they go.

Setting Time Aside

Next, I schedule time for each Task.

Some of the things on my list are going to take me a bit longer, but with Pre-Season as my initial focus, I set myself a time limit. I’m going away for two days, so I give myself a total of five days to have them all done. I’ll fit in a couple while I’m away, and then I’ve scheduled the remainder for when I’m home again.

It annoys me that it’s going to be another five days before I’ll have them done. But without this plan, five days will come and go without me getting through any of it, so this is okay. Comparing alternatives always comforts me when I get myself into situations like this.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, but we always have the power to take control. All it takes is to take a deep breath, take a little time out and to get reorganised.

One Task at a Time

One of the Pre-Season Tasks that I haven’t done yet is “Say It Out Loud”. That’s when we’re encouraged to voice out loud what our commitment is, such as:

“My commitment for this Round is to achieve the weight loss goals I’ve set for myself, to continue moving forward and never give up. And I’m committed to do the work it takes to get me there.”

Look at that: I’ve just done one of the Tasks! Things are rarely as huge as they first seem. My fifth Pre-Season Task is now ticked off. I think I’ve got this.

Trixie would be proud.