Tag Archive: fitness

Tough Love: A Lesson in Accountability

When people learn that I’m a personal trainer, they often start telling me about how they’re unhappy with their appearance or their level of fitness or their general overall health, and how they really need to start taking better care of themselves and working out. As a trainer, I get so excited to hear that they’re taking an interest in caring their for their bodies and I want to jump right in to “how can I help you achieve your goals?!” But I also know that before I (or anyone else) can help them, they need to be committed to helping themselves. They need to take responsibility for their current physical shape, and understand that, ultimately, only they have the power to change their lives and reach their goals.

Accountability

Photo by Google images

Be brutally honest with yourself: what choices are you making today that are keeping  you from reaching your fitness goals? You know what they are. They may be hard to admit to, but admit them to yourself. What are you doing wrong?

  • Are you skipping workouts?
  • Have you been doing the same workouts for years with no variety?
  • Are you eating fake (a.k.a processed) foods?
  • Are you drinking too many of your calories?
  • Are you not sleeping enough?
  • Are you not drinking enough water?
  • Are you snacking late at night?
  • Are you eating too much fat and/or sugar?

This can be a painful realization; to acknowledge how the choices we make on a regular basis are sabotaging our fitness goals. It’s so much easier to blame someone else, our circumstances, our lack of time, our lack of energy. We feel helpless to do anything about it and wait for someone to fix it for us, to make the circumstances ideal, to make the timing perfect.

The truth is only you can make it better for yourself. Only you can achieve your goals by consistently making choices that align with what you want. Your trainer can’t do that for you, your spouse, your boss, your kids – no one else can put in the work for you. No one else can eat the right foods for you, or exercise your body for you, or define your state of mind and self worth for you. This is a harsh reality: you are 100% responsible for 100% of the choices you make.

But at the core of that responsibility is empowerment. You are the only one making your choices. So make them good ones. You know what you need to do reach your goals. The trick is holding yourself accountable to do those things consistently, and being honest with yourself when you don’t do them.It’s ok to not be perfect; it’s ok to allow yourself to indulge once in a while or go easy on yourself when you need to. But be honest with yourself that it’s a choice you’re making, and if you want different results, you need to make different choices.

This is something that everyone struggles with, myself included. But instead of drowning under the weight of that responsibility, let it empower you. You know what you need to do, you know what choices you should be making, and you have the power to make good choices for yourself! Everything you want is within reach. Only you can put in the time and effort it takes to achieve your goals, and in your heart of hearts, you know if you really are doing everything you can to get there. Your trainer and your support system can help guide you and encourage you along the way, but ultimately, it’s all you. So what are you waiting for? Get after it!

Be Grateful for the Journey

Finally recovered from my mid-summer cold and have been pumped to be back in the gym! My first few days back, I experienced what most people who take some time off from working out discover when they try to get back into their normal routines – progress can be lost surprisingly quickly! When you’re mentally prepared to kick ass during your workout after being confined to your bed for a week, it can be so discouraging to reach failure with fewer reps and less weight than you’re used to, or have to stop halfway through a cardio routine that you normally breeze through. You think about how long it took you to get to that level of fitness before your workout hiatus, and worry that it will take just as long (or maybe even longer!) to get to that point again. That can be enough to make some people give up, take another week off, turn to comfort food or some other vice to soothe their disappointment and anxiety. Luckily, those who stick it out and focus on their exercise and nutrition come to find that you can actually gain it back pretty fast if you’re consistent, you push yourself, and you don’t give up!

Exercise is both a physical and mental activity. Quite often, your brain gives up long before your body does. When your body is recovering and rebuilding its strength, don’t let your brain psych you out. You may not be at the level you want to be yet, but every minute you spend working toward your goal is a minute well spent. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by what lies ahead or behind – instead pay attention to the moment you’re in. Focus on the task, the set, the road, the day in front of you, and do your very best in that moment. (more…)

Staying On Track When You Can’t Work Out

This week I got hit with a nasty summer cold (aren’t those the worst?!). Sitting around doing nothing while I’m laying sick in bed makes me incredibly restless. I can’t go to work, I can’t work out, I barely have enough energy to drag myself to the kitchen and make a cup of tea. During times like this when I’m out of commission, whether it’s due to an illness or an injury, it’s hard to stay in a good headspace about maintaining my fitness. I feel guilty that I haven’t been to the gym all week and when I’ve been able to eat, it hasn’t always been the complete, well-balanced meals that I’m used to. Other people I know have felt this way while they were recovering from an injury (knee injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries – they can keep you out of commission for several weeks!). So what can you do to stay on track when your body needs a break? Here are some suggestions: (more…)

The Power of a Workout Buddy

There are a few key factors that contribute to the success of any lifestyle change. One of them is MOTIVATION. In order to commit to and stick to a long term goal, you have to be properly motivated. That’s what will keep you going when the going gets tough. Another one is EDUCATION. You can have all the best intentions in the world, but if you don’t know what steps to take to make your goals a reality, you won’t get very far. Hopefully this blog can be a resource for you to continue expanding your knowledge of how to go about achieving your health & fitness goals. A third key factor, and the one that this post is going to focus on, is SUPPORT. Nothing great is ever achieved alone. Even though no one but you can do the work it takes to change your life, having a support system to cheer you on and hold you accountable can be a huge advantage. In my experience, when you’re trying to live a healthy & active lifestyle, the most authentic & powerful support comes from your workout buddy.

Photo credit: bulubox.com

Photo credit: bulubox.com

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What is your “Why?” and Other Thoughts on Motivation

BCyoucan

Imagine you’re 15 miles in to your first-ever marathon, wondering what it was that ever possessed you to subject yourself to such a tortuously long race. Or maybe you’ve just been sweating it out hard on the treadmill for 20 minutes and the ‘stop’ button is seductively staring you down. Imagine you’re 2 sets in to your 3-set workout, thinking about dropping your weight to about half of what you should be lifting, or ditching the last set altogether to finish up early. In those moments, when you feel your resolve slipping away and nothing sounds better than giving into the temptation to stop or slow down or give up, you find yourself asking “why?” Why am I doing this? Why should I keep going? Why not go easy on myself? Why not give up?

It’s nearly impossible to achieve any goal without having proper motivation. Our reasons for living a fit life are as diverse as we are, and in times of doubt and temptation and weakness, it’s important to know what your “why” is. Whether it’s to rock your bikini on the beach this summer, to cross the finish line at a race you’ve always wanted to participate in, to play with your kids without having to stop and catch your breath, or maybe to add a few more years to your lifespan, your “why” is what will keep you focused on your way to achieving your goals. It’s what will make you turn those moments when you feel like giving up into the moments when you push yourself the hardest. (more…)

Let’s Be Honest: It’s Not Easy, But It’s Easier Than You May Think

On this journey to achieving health & happiness, I always want to be honest with you. Let me begin by honestly admitting that this blog won’t always be a constant source of motivation and positivity that will instantly inspire you to throw out your junk food, stock up on organic meats and produce, and make you enjoy kicking your ass at early morning workouts. Because, honestly, it’s not that easy. It’s one thing to say it’s easy, but anyone who’s tried drastically altering their lifestyle knows that it isn’t true. Especially not for people like me who love chocolate and wine and sleeping in late and could spend an entire day on the couch watching every episode of Friends back-to-back without feeling the urge to hit the gym. Honestly.

In my experience, living a fit life can be hard. It takes time and effort and sacrifice and commitment and patience. It can be hard to take the time on the weekend to plan, shop for and prep your meals for the week. It can be hard to push yourself during your daily workout when all you want to do is sleep, and it can be hard to choose cardio power hour over happy hour at the end of a grueling week. And it can be really hard to stick with it when you’ve been working so hard and still aren’t seeing the results you want. It’s hard to stay focused and sometimes, trying really sucks. I know this. All I’m saying is that it’s worth it. With the right mindset and motivation, it can get easier.

If you get only one (or 3) thing(s) out this blog, let it be that 1) you’re not alone, 2) that you don’t have to be perfect, and 3) that living a fit life – as annoying and inconvenient as it may sometimes be – is entirely worth the hassle. Honestly. (more…)