5 Motivation Strategies

I’m done with day 2 of week 4!  Yes.  One more workout this week and I will have made it half way though Couch to 5K.

I have to say that I’m loving the challenge and let me tell you, it’s been a challenge.  I’ve learned that getting my workout in first thing in the morning is the key to getting it done at all.  If I wait too long into the day, I don’t do it.  I also like the temperature much better in the morning (the afternoons are in the 90’s already) so it’s kind of a necessity to get it done early.

All that said, I do sometimes have issues with staying motivated.  I’m sure you do to.  Even elite athletes have days were they would rather stay in bed.  It’s how you react to those days that make the difference.  I decided to look for some motivation helpers and here is what I came up with.

5 Ways to Stay Motivated

1.  Change how you think about exercise.  Instead of thinking of exercise as a chore, think of it as a privileged.  When I’m on my runs I get tired but when I think about my ability to do what I’m doing, it gives me an extra boost.  There is a quote I read somewhere that really highlights this.  “Run for those that can’t”  There are plenty of individuals that wish they could run, swim, lug a weight around, etc. but are unable to because of an injury or disability.  It helps me to think about my ability to be able to do it. Check out Wings for Life World Run for extra motivation.

I also like to think of my kids when it comes to exercise (and eating well for that matter).  I want to set a good example for them.  I don’t want them to think of exercise as work, I want them to know that it can be fun.  If I’m complaining non stop about one thing or another, they are going to pick up on that as well.  For example:  I’ve been trying to get my daughter involved in running.  She doesn’t seem to like team sports as much as my son and I thought running might be something she would like.  She did a color run with me and loved it.  She goes with me on occasion when I do a C25K run.  At the beginning of the school year she would be down on herself about her time on the mile (they run it at school once every other week).  She recently improved her mile pace by a whole minute and was extremely proud of herself.  I love that she is feeling empowered.  I hope my own quest for fitness will continue to be a good example for her.

2.  Set a goal and/or find some friendly competition!  I’ve tried completing workout programs and other things without a goal in mind and I just don’t do well.  My goal after completing C25K is to move on to longer distances.  I registered for a half marathon and it’s always on my mind.  I know that I have to keep working toward that goal daily by completing my workouts and cross training.  Find something that you want to accomplish and keep it front of mind.  Stick it on your wall or bathroom mirror via post it.  Schedule your phone to send you periodic reminders of your goal.  Do whatever it takes to remind yourself why you want to do this.  Find a goal that will motivate YOU!

It’s also good to find some friendly competition.  There are a lot of 30 day challenges floating around on the internet (30 day Fitness Challenges or Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans have good ones).  My work has even set up a wall sit challenge for it’s employees. Seek opportunities to participate in a challenge where other people will hold you accountable and will ask you “how is it going”.  I recruited my BFF to do a 30 day arms challenge with me.  Knowing that she is working on her challenge daily, and being able to check in with her, is enough of a push for me to get it done too.  If you are running, it might help to get a running partner or join a running group.  It’s harder to skip your runs if you know someone is out there waiting for you at the park.

3.  Schedule a regular workout time.  I said this above and this has been a game changer for me.  Claiming that you are going to get your workout in “sometime today” isn’t going to cut it.  Put it on your calendar and stick to it.  There will be times when things come up and you have to make some adjustments, but for the most part, it should be possible to find a schedule that works and that you can stick to.  I do my runs right after I drop my kid off at school, don’t even pass home, and it’s done.  Set out your workout clothes and gadgets first thing and make sure they are visible.  Pack your bag the night before and hang it on your door knob on the way to work (no excuses for after work).  Plan, plan, plan!

4.  Find something you have fun doing.  I can’t stress this one enough.  If it’s not fun for you, don’t do it!  If you hate running, have tried it, and feel like its not for you…don’t do it.  If you can’t stand the gym, don’t get a membership.  If you feel like a wet rat after swimming, stay on land.  It’s going to take some trial and error to find something you really enjoy doing but it’s worth it.  I was running several months ago but only did it on the treadmill at the gym.  I cut some workouts short because they became boring. Now I’m running outside and even though it was difficult to get going at first I learned that I like it much better than indoor running.

You can do everyday activities and they count as exercise.  Take a hike and explore.  Get the kids on their bikes and check out a new area of your neighborhood.  Walk to work, school or the store.  Do some gardening.  Sweep the driveway instead of washing it off.  Take the stairs.  And so on and so forth.

5.  Reach out for support.  Getting your family and friends onto the exercise wagon is probably the number one support network you need to establish.  If everyone you encounter day to day sits around and doesn’t want to do anything but watch sports on TV, you might have a problem.  My husband pretty much works out 8 hours a day at work (construction) so when he comes home from work, he’s done!  He at least supports my effort and asks me how my workouts went.  If you can’t get the people in your life to join you, at least solicit support.

That said, if you can’t get the support you need at home, seek it elsewhere.  There are numerous Facebook pages and community boards that will cheer you and encourage your efforts.  You will have to poke around to find one you love.  I joined several different pages until I finally found one where I feel comfortable and valuable.  Check out Women’s Running Club on FB…my fave.

 

Well…there you have it!  I found that these things really helped to motivate me when I needed it.  There will always be times though when you might not want to and taking a break  is totally acceptable as long as you get back to it as soon as possible.  Don’t let too much time lapse between your workouts.  In order for exercise to become a habit, you have to keep working at it.  In the end, the one thing that is always a constant is that you should never give up.  Things happen (schedules change, injuries, travel, etc.) but you can always get back to it.

 

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C25k – Week 4

I MADE IT!

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I can’t even believe that I did it.  I was breathing like a wildebeest trying to escape a cheetah.  The entire time I was running I would have little doubts creep up trying to tell me that I should just stop and take a break.  Let the breathing settle a little!  But each time my head won with more positive talk.  I just had to keep telling myself that I wanted to do this and that I could.

There is something to be said for mantra’s.

“You can do this”

“Do you want to do this?  There is no other option.”

“Keep your legs moving!”

“Strong, strong, strong”

“13.1 one day!”

“You can do anything!”

 

There is also something to be said for good music.  I’m not to the point yet where I want to hear my foot fall or breathing (like some other runners).  At this point both of those sounds are not soothing but rather anxiety producing.  As in, “damn…is that my heavy breathing and is there a herd of elephants about to trample me?” type of anxiety.

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I love this song right now!

 

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I’m really proud of myself for just hanging in there and getting it done.  I could have quit.  I could have made excuses.  But if I had I would have gone home and felt guilty about it.  Instead I got to go home and pat myself on the back!  I did that and sat in my backyard enjoying the peace and feeling alive.

Can’t wait for Wednesday!

Monday Check In

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Look at all the crap I strap on for a run. I don’t even think elite runners do that! Ha!

Quick check in before I head out to start week 4 of C25k (yes…I changed the days again, I can’t seem to get my behind out the door on Sat/Sun when the family is around. Ugh!). I’m absolutely terrified to start this week. The run intervals are sooooo long. It doesn’t seem right!!

I hope I make it? Hahaha.

Today’s measurements:
Weight: 186.4 (-0.6)
Bust: 39 (+2.5…I must have measured wrong on day one?)
Waist: 36.5 (-.5)
Hips: 41.75 (-.25)
Thighs: L-22.5 R-22.75 (-.5 & +1.75)
Arms: L-12.5 R-12.25 (-.5 & +.25)

Some of those measurements are weird but I’m thinking I probably messed something up then I measured on the first day…even though I measured several times. I also stood to measure today so maybe the differences come from there as well?!

I’m pretty ok with that outcome. I have to say that I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate lately and I thought for sure that I would be up 5 pounds today. I was pleasantly surprised that I had a loss, however small.

My goal for this week is to track all of my food, complete C25k week 4 on Mon/Wed/Fri, and keep drinking lots of water. I also want to add in some cross training on Tue/Thurs. Maybe a workout video or just some squats/lunges/etc.

Let’s make it a good week!! 🙂

Sore Legs=Strong

I took a few days off from C25K and felt guilty the entire time.  On Tuesday I was completely dressed (minus shoes) and ready to go when I realized that my running shoes were in my husbands car who was at work.  Since running in flip flops is probably a bad idea, I had to skip the workout.  Mental note to self…get more running shoes.

Then I planned on getting out there yesterday (Wednesday) and I just felt crappy.  My ribs and chest hurt and I wasn’t even sure from what. I didn’t do any weight lifting or strenuous anything so it was kinda weird.  It also hurt to breathe which is probably not a good thing (there was no coughing or anything like that) so I decided to sit out again.

I woke up this morning and still felt sore.  My ribs still felt weird but I decided that I’d probably be ok to ignore it.  Working out at the sports park, there are always a ton of people there in the morning.  I figure one of them would come help me if I dropped?!?!  At least I would hope so?

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So I got my Nuun energy ready, dropped the kid off at school and went straight over to the sports park.  I sat in my car for a bit dreading the run.  I didn’t so much dread the actual act of it but I was certain that I wouldn’t be able to do it (my last run was over a week ago).  I thought for sure that I wouldn’t have the gusto to get it done.

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I finally got out there and felt GREAT!!  I just felt alive being out in the sun and fresh air.  The city workers were cutting the grass and the smell of that alone gave me a huge boost.  I just kept thinking how lucky I am that I can walk and run and move my body.  The sports park also has a community pool and part of my route goes right past that.  I thought about summer time and how I want to take my kids to the pool during the day (one plus of working in the evening….I’ll be able to do fun stuff with the kids during the day).

I was just all nostalgic and shit.

PS:  Treadmill running is sometimes a necessity but if you run, running outside is so much more enjoyable!

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I did end up struggling a bit on the last 3 minute run.  I try not to keep too much track of how many intervals are left or how much time I have to go.  I try to just think about other things but I did get a little “lord is it over?” when I was in the last minute of my last run.  I just felt like I was about to tucker out so I was really glad when the friendly C25K lady told me it was time to cool down.

I have one more week 3 workout to do and I’ll probably do that on Saturday morning before work.  Either that or Sunday if the kids want to go to the park to play.  I guess we could make it a family adventure.  😉

Next week is scaring the crap out of me when I look ahead.  Run 4, walk 2, run 6 (wtf!!!), walk 3, run 4!  I honestly don’t remember the runs building up that quickly last time I did C25K.  Are they sure that’s correct?  Ha!  I’m going to push and remember to go at it slowly when I start out.  I still have that tendency to start running at a pace that’s a little too fast.  I think that’s why I struggle pretty hard during the last couple run intervals.

Any who, all that said, my legs are nice and sore right now and I feel strong.  I can’t wait to get out there again!

Check In Monday

Hi…

It’s Miss Indecisive.

I’ve had some really busy days in the last week.  I’m working more than I want to be (everyone else is apparently out of hours so guess who gets to work for them) and I’ve been simultaneously trying to get my shit together.  We also have family staying with us so the house is full (not to my enjoyment) and there has been nothing but junk food and other crap traveling through the house on a steady basis.  It’s enough to make you scream!

My one saving grace has been getting out of the house for my wogs.  Last week I was able to get out once and I started week 3 of C25K.

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I discovered that the sports park is really nice and flat and that there is a semi good path to jog on.  I even have an option of dirt or pavement which was super exciting.  Except for the fact that the dirt path had some areas that were over watered by the city and were more swamp like than dirt like.  I enjoyed my run at the park nevertheless.  There are a lot of joggers over there and pretty much every single one gave a wave or a “Good Morning”.  I thought that was really amazing considering that most of the time people are so self involved.  Sorry…you know it’s true!  I’m going to use the sports park until I get bored of it.  I honestly don’t think I would have been able to complete the C25K workout as scheduled if I had done it in my hilly neighborhood.  I know hills are good to train on, but come on!  I don’t think they are good to train on if you can barely run in the first place?

Any who, before I knew it the week was over and there was only one work out done.  Woomp Woomp!  I’m not sure what happened there.  I just got really busy with all of the other stuff I had to get done during the week.  Appointments, grocery shopping, kids carpool, cleaning the house, etc. etc.  What can I say, the week just got away from me and I chose not to make time for myself.  I don’t want to fall back into my old habits.  I was doing well putting myself first for once.  It is what it is!

Seeing that it’s Monday today it’s a perfect time to revisit what I need to do this week.  I busted out my little weight loss folder today and discovered that I have not kept track of my measurements or weigh ins at all.  It’s just been really inconsistent and all over the place with the weigh ins. Oops!  I’m pulling out the weight loss tracking sheets and putting them next to my bed. That way they will be visible when I get up in the morning.  I’ve also decided that Monday is going to be official weigh in day for me and I’m only tracking it on my paper journal and here in a blog post (that was the other problem…too many places to update). Put that on the calendar!  We’ll see how it goes.

C25K workouts will continue to be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.  One mistake I made last week is that I let others get in my way.  For example, my daughter asked me one day to wait for her so she could go with me after school, long story short, it didn’t go down as planned.  I’ve learned that I’m better at morning workouts.  Not because I’m a morning person but because that way I can get it done and over with and have less time to make excuses all day.

Any who, today’s stats:

  • Weight: 187 (up by about 2 lbs)
  • Bust: 36.5
  • Waist: 37
  • Hips: 42
  • Thigh: L-23 R-21 (WTF?)
  • Arms: L-13 R-12 (again…WTF?)

 

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I also got my Nuun Energy sampler pack.  I’ve tried the Wild Berry and Cherry Limeade so far.  They are both decent but I don’t know if I notice much of an energy surge after I drink them.  I suppose I feel a little more alert but over all it doesn’t seem like much.  We’ll see how I perform during a wog while drinking them since they are meant to be an electrolyte and energy boost for exercise.  The tablets are full of B vitamins and caffeine.  They don’t have very many carbohydrates at all and there is no sugar. That’s pretty much what drew me to them…the no carbs/no sugar aspect.  Check out the details here!

So that’s about it for me.  I’m going to be working hard on getting my ass back on track.  I’m going to watch what I eat with no official “diet” to speak of but trying to keep it as healthy as possible most of the time.  Move my behind like I said I would so I don’t fall off the training wagon.  I know that completing C25K is a must!  If I can’t get this done and have enough discipline for it then I will never be able to complete the half marathon training as planned.  It’s just a fact!

Let’s do it!

Super Restrictive

The next time I have this grand idea that I’m going to do a super restrictive diet like Atkins or South Beach, slap me!  Super restrictive is super hard.  And messing up on super restrictive is double the trouble.

After my pizza incident I have kinda gone off the deep end.  Carbs galore!!  I feel like I haven’t eaten carbs in years and for some reason I feel like I need to get my fill.  I feel super crappy too.  Carbs and sugar do make you feel awful, don’t they.

Before my Atkins stint I was at least eating half way decent.  Post Atkins it seems like anything is a go.  I need to reign it back in and stop with the weird train of thought I currently have going on.

Couch to 5K tonight.  I didn’t start week 3 yesterday. 😦  Going out tonight with the kids to get it done.  Lord help me!

That’s it for now.  I’m going to get myself together, put my big girl panties on and move along.

Gratitude Journal:  I’m grateful that you can always “start over”.  Nothing is final!

Moment of Weakness

So, I’ve been hanging tough on Atkins and really sticking to it.  Today would have been day six of no carbs, no sugar.  I say “would have” because I had a moment of weakness.

To begin with, my family went to the grocery store last night and came home with fresh baked french bread and freaking cinnamon rolls!  I can resist the cinnamon rolls, I’m not into sugary stuff, but the bread was warm and smelled so good.  You probably think I ate it, don’t you?  Well…..I didn’t.  I managed to be strong and ended up eating mashed cauliflower with cheese and then I baked some pepperoni with mozzarella on top.  They hit the spot but the bread was still calling my name.  It’s even calling me now since there is still a little piece left over from last night.

Then today I wake up and think to myself that I should be down several pounds after torturing myself for the last 5 days and by passing up anything that has carbs or sugar in it.  And to be honest, it’s only been 5 full days but seems like a life time.  Any who, I weigh myself and I’m down 2 pounds even.  What the fuck!  2 pounds?  That’s it?  Even 3 sounds better than that.  The 2 pound thing hung over me like a dark, thundering cloud.  I just kept thinking to myself that it was “only” 2 pounds and it didn’t really seem worth it. Was it worth passing up that french bread last night?  I don’t even know.  What. the. fuck. fucker!

After my Atkins shake breakfast I headed off to the chiropractor.  That’s still going well so I was excited to go.  I did my cracking and electrostimulating and then headed off to Target to get the kids their Easter basket stuff.  Well…at this point I can smell chocolate through the packaging and if you have been to Target lately you know that the candy aisles span about half the store.  So it was like a chocolate covered dust cloud as I got closer to the candy area.  Just to remind you, I can resist the chocolate, but as I’m perusing the candy aisles I can’t help but have the following dialogue with myself:

*Passing a display of Cadburry Eggs

“Oh…I’ve heard those are good.  I don’t even think I like them but I only lost two pounds after not eating them or any chocolate so maybe I should try them.  Better put two in my basket.”

*Passing a display of Goldfish, Easter Style

“Hmmm…I know I like these.  If I eat a few I’ll probably not lose any more than 2 pounds anyway.  These are definitely worth it.”

*Checking out at the register

“Don’t look over toward the ‘food court’ thingy.  Um, I think I have a coupon for 10% off those Pizza Hut pizzas.  Don’t look!  Wait, how much did I lose again after NOT eating pizza.  Oh yea, it was only two pounds!  I’m eating pizza so fuck Dr. Atkins!”

Here is the problem.  Atkins boasts that you can lose up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks so of course my mind is stuck on stupid thinking that that averages out to about 7.5 pounds a week.  I’m close to a week in and now I’m thinking that I should be closer to a 7 pound weight loss instead of a TWO POUND weight loss.  See how that happened?  The self sabotage!

And now I feel guilty and stupid for having that moment of weakness.  I feel mad for torturing myself the last 5 days only to fuck it all up in a matter of 20 minutes.  Messing up on Atkins in the beginning stages (or even SBD) is like a finality.  The first week on Atkins you are trying to get to the point where your body will burn fat for energy instead of carbs.  So basically you are trying to rid yourself of most carbs (sans 20 grams a day) so that your body is forced to start burning fat to function.  Eating a personal pan pizza fucks that process up in one fell swoop.  Who knows, I could have woken up tomorrow and been down the 7 pounds I was longing for.  Fuck my life!  Wanna know how many net carbs are in a personal pan pizza….64…that’s how many.  That’s definitely exceeding the daily allowance.  I did some googling and discovered that the consensus seems to be that you can’t fuck up on Atkins. You can’t have a “cheat” meal for the reason above.  You must stick to the eating plan to a T.

Now I’m conflicted as to how to move forward.  Do I get back to no carb/no sugar or do I eat what I want to eat and watch my intake?  Or do I attempt a combination of both?  Eat mostly “clean” and allow myself a “treat” once in a while so I don’t want to murder people for swinging french bread in front of my face?  Sometimes I think that I would need to go live in the wilderness and hunt my food and only grow my own vegetables to succeed on a plan like Atkins.  There are so many temptations staring you in the face at every turn.  What’s a girl to do?

I’m struggling with how to move forward.  I don’t have an answer.  I’m tempted to go back to Atkins full force but I know that I will be faced with temptation again so I’m conflicted.  It’s just proof once again that a.) if something sounds to good to be true it usually is and b.) there is no magic pill/solution for anything.

C’est la vie!  Ahhhhhhhhh.

Today’s Weigh In:  185.4

I guess that’s my new lowest in years by 0.2 ounces.  Woopty do!  I’ll let you know how I proceed after I mope about it for a few more hours.  That’s about the only solution I can come up with right now.  That and I’m not going to weigh myself again until Friday (yea right!).  I need to let things “settle”!  I’ll check in tomorrow which also happens to be day 1 of week 3, C25K.  Yay.