As I sit here racking what little brain capacity I have left for this blog post for inspiration, I am reminded WHY I am so drained. It is now after 9 pm at night, and I have literally been moving since 4:30 am this morning. Before I start my work day at the gym, I jump up, make my guy some tea and myself some coffee. I am also knocking the sleep out of my eyes while I frantically try and have breakfast and make enough food to last my boyfriend and I all day while we are working. After running around for an hour, packing and prepping, we are off to the gym…where I am from 6 am-6 pm training myself and clients. In my breaks, I manage to go to the bank, the chiropractor, to buy a work shirt, the grocery store, and eat a couple of meals. (I am tried just typing about my day!!)
I finally get home after 7 pm, but my day is NOT done. I still have to cook dinner, while unpacking the groceries. And after dinner, I am fixing food for tomorrow’s lunches and part of our dinner (which includes some beans, baked potatoes, broccoli, and quinoa. I have no idea what kinda meals I will be making, but I know I have enough cooked food to make my life easier.) I know that tomorrow is crazy busy with my day starting at 6 am and not ending until 9 pm because on top of work I also have football practice…whew! So since I know that tomorrow is crazy busy, and I know that I will be tired, I do as much tonight to ease that burden.
Ok, with ALL of that said…my life is BUSY!! But in spite of all that, I still make time to eat healthy at just about every meal and workout and stretch. People are always complaining about not having enough time to workout or how cooking a healthy meal is too hard. Well I would venture to say that I have as much time as most people, if not less, but I still get it done. It does take a lot of organization and wherewithal, but it is definitely doable IF it is a priority. I know regardless of what is going on, I will treat my body right and I will will offer my clients awesome service. No matter what has to happen, what time I have to wake up, and how much coffee I consume, alla my daily tasks will get done. Anyways, I gotta check on these potatoes before I crash. But I will leave you with some parting words…just git errrr done!!
There is a good chance that you, or someone you know, has been on (and fallen off) some diet plan. Many times, people start a plan with excitement, and see that the diet isn’t sustainable in the long term, or they revert back after they hit their short term goals. So what do you do? How do you sustain that excitement that you feel in the beginning? I know people get tired of hearing this, but it truly does require a lifestyle change. Here are a few simple tips…
- Journal what you are eating and the times of your meals. Seeing if you are eating enough or way too much will give you the information on where to start.
- Tackle breakfast first! Starting your day off with a satisfying meal will help control your cravings and keep you energized until lunch.
- Do not beat yourself up for not being perfect. Aim for constant improvement, not perfection.
- Don’t get caught up in fad diets, like low/no carbs, low fat, no sugar diets, and the like. Our bodies need a plethora of vitamins and nutrients which are found in fats, proteins, and carbs. So do not make any (real) food the enemy.
- Fool proof your house and your life. If you know that cookies are your weakness, don’t buy them…for you or the kids. If you are not able to resist alcohol just yet, don’t go to a bar for girl’s night out. If you know that your boss brings donuts every Friday, be vigilant about eating breakfast and bringing healthy tasty snacks.
- An easy guide for creating a well balanced meal: make half the plate veggies, 1/4 of the plate a healthy carb, and 1/4 of the plate a lean protein.
- Get some support! Find a reliable accountability buddy. Start a contest at work. Get a trainer. And if the people around you start to falter, get some new support!! You deserve it!!
I work at a busy gym, so I spend many hours people watching. I am watching how people walk, exercise, and just do basic movement patterns. I am also checking out how too much weight, bad posture, bad form, or unstable shoes may be negatively effecting a person. No, I am not walking up to people and diagnosing anyone, I am simply observing.
I know that people get super amped when they first get started in the gym or with any kind of new running or exercise program…and they just simply go at it. They will find a workout in a magazine or order the newest DVD and start off on their journey. But what many people fail to do is make sure that their bodies are adequately ready to take on the stress of a new program. Yes, they may lose weight. But they can honestly be tearing up their body in the process.
If you are just starting off on your journey, maybe you should really consider getting a personal trainer. Things that seem simple on a DVD or in a workout book might be a lot harder to execute. You may need someone to help with form and to assess how your body is moving through exercises. You may also need someone to help you progress through modifications to build up to certain exercises. Fitness is not simply “working out.” It is making sure that your body is able to withstand the challenges that you put before it. So maybe just consider taking a step back and ask a pro for some guidance.
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”- Oprah Winfrey
How do you keep the fitness fire burning after the initial excitement of New Year’s has waned? How do you keep pushing through the soreness? What do you do after your support system falters? You find something big to chase…a finish line. And even though we are in the dead of winter, now is a great time to research races in your area or where you may visit.
Assess your fitness level. If the thought of running raises your blood pressure, maybe you should start with a walk for fun with your family. If you are in pretty good physical condition, find something that will challenge you. A pretty reasonable time frame to get ready for a race, depending on fitness level and length of race, can be around 2-4 months. There are plenty of sites and apps available to map out a training schedule. Runnersworld.com and the Couch to 5k mobile app are 2 good places to start.
Other considerations: Always check with a physician to ensure that you are healthy enough to begin a training program. Go get fitted for proper running shoes with ample support. Make sure you are cross training (strength training and doing cardio other than running), to make sure that you are not over exercising some muscles while neglecting others. Grab a friend or join a running group for support. And most importantly, have some fun!!
I have journaled pretty much my entire health and fitness journey through my Facebook page and my blog. Many times, I am NOT posting to motivate myself. I am posting because I KNOW someone is watching. It is the craziest thing, but over the course of my 4 year personal journey, and short time as a professional, people ask AND take my advice. I am humbled each and every time I see my friends, family, and clients succeed and hit their goals. I am even more stunned when they do my crazier challenges or my slightly sinister workouts. But they do them, and they trust me, and they keep coming back. I believe that I garner trust because I am a living breathing billboard for health and fitness. Some people can separate what they “do” (their careers) from who they “are.” I cannot compartmentalize my life and work…my lifestyle is what allows me to be so passionate about my job.
Someone is ALWAYS watching!! Always! We live our lives out through social media. And yes, people are judging you. You might as well be the the type of example that fosters positivity, success, and awesomeness. Otherwise, you might just be the “don’t end up like such and such” tale. You never really know the impact that your life, your story, or your example can have on others. Make it so your life becomes a “how to” book.
(You can be an example of to anyone, young or old. Here is a picture of me with my dad. He took on a 30 day vegan challenge and gave me the update. He lost about 7 lbs, his pants are too big, and he is eating healthier. I was even more impressed with the fact that he didn’t quit his challenge because of the Super Bowl! My daddy rocks!)
A few weeks ago, I was eating in the break room at my job. (I am a personal trainer at a gym.) And to be completely honest, though we are in a fitness environment, not everybody eats the healthiest. Actually I have seen some pretty questionable food choices, but typically I keep my focus on my food and comments to myself. This one particular day, one of co-workers was eating at the same time, and talking to me about this 30 day resolutions challenge that she was a part of. She was explaining this all the while eating her lunch of some cheesy soup and greasy pizza. I kinda raised an eyebrow at her choice of foods, and she explained that she would eat it over the course of the day. I’m thinking to myself, “mmmm hmmm.” But clearly I don’t believe that she is serious…her actions don’t match her words.
If you are living a certain way or really trying to accomplish a goal. Your actions should speak to that goal. Your words won’t be necessary because actions are in fact louder than words. When I’m eating or grocery shopping, though I might be chillin’ happily in my own world, people will come and see what I have. They think that there are gonna catch me with something…not sure what. This past Saturday one of my friends saw me at the grocery store and started rummaging through my cart (which contained mainly fruits and veggies.) People really don’t understand, this is truly how I live. My actions speak for my lifestyle.
You REALLY have to drill into your head that any goal or change will require a subsequent action. You cannot do the exact same things and expect different outcomes. I’m sure everyone knows the definition of insanity. If you want a new job, update your resume, go to networking events, and start the leg work. If you want to save money, quit shopping at every sale, create a budget, and stick to it. If you want to lose weight, slowly start to eliminate fast, fatty, and processed foods, get up and exercise, and eliminate your triggers for previous unhealthy behaviors. All of my examples are concrete actions, but they are so necessary if you want to change.
We are approaching the end of January. Most people started out this month with such fervor and fire. They were gonna lose that 10 pounds, quit smoking, commit to more family time, build healthier relationships, and find a career that they are passionate about. Ok, maybe they were not gonna do all that at one time, but those are the typical resolutions people make for themselves. ? And one by one people lose that fire that they had on January 1st by the time February comes around. But why is that? What is it about February that kills motivation?
Confusius said, “The man that moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” What people forget is doing something and exertung some effort may not move a mountain right away, but it gets the process started. We want to see big changes immediately and don’t have the patience to enjoy the journey.
If you have already started to lose fire, I suggest you take a step back and evaluate your goals logically. Really bang into your brain that this will NOT happen overnight. Ask yourself if you need help, then get it if you do. Sometimes family or friends’ support will suffice. Sometimes you may need a professional. Are your goals and expectations realistic for where you are RIGHT NOW? Maybe you have a journey that may take 3-5 years. Be honest with yourself. And then really ask yourselfnif you have put in the effort necessary to achieve your goals. Self evaluation is a mutha, but it is sooo crucial. Now pick up where you left off yesterday because we have a lot more year left!