Monthly Archives: September 2015

how to workout when you just don’t want to

I want to talk about motivation when it comes to exercise and working and I want to start by sharing a personal experience.

Last Sunday I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to workout. I woke up, had my coffee and breakfast and then around 11:00 a.m. I was hesitant but decided that I was going to go to the gym.

I got dressed and was literally on my way out the door. But then Lulu (my golden furbaby) wagged her tail at me and I cuddled on the couch with her for a bit and I do not know what happened but my motivation went flying out the door.

And even as a fitness professional I get these feelings of not being motivated to workout quite often to be honest.

It is not always the lack of the motivation, it is the mental battle in my head with the positive and negative reasoning.

Just go to the gym. No I don’t want to.

You will feel so much better once you are there. But I don’t want to drive.

Think of the feeling when you are done. But what if I can’t give 100%. It is not even worth it.

Just go. I don’t wanna go.

And you know what I find the most obnoxious with this situation. The ambivalence and indifference in not being able to make a decision. I kinda just felt like I could take it or leave it. Whatever.

I sat on the couch and started playing with my phone and even got a little teary because I just hate it when I create this unnecessary scenario. SO what did I do?

I told myself. You either go the gym or don’t and be ok with either scenario. Guilt, regret and dwelling in my own pity party were not an option.

And then even though I did not want to do, I intentionally fought my feelings in the moment it was hardest and got up and simply walked out the door in a matter of seconds.

If you followed my habit challenge a few weeks ago you know this is the key to habit change. Fighting the habit in the moment it is hardest. Does it always play out like this? No.

Sometimes I stay home, but more often than not I fight the urge to go against what I know will ultimately help me long term. You see motivation is not something that you always have, it is something to create. And the more you intentionally fight habits the greater chance you have at breaking them, but the more you give into them, the better you get at that too!

So the next time you feel your workout motivation wavering here some new mindset and motivation shifts to use and practice.

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Think about how you will feel after you are done. Most of the time getting to your workout is the hardest part, but once you there, and once you complete your workout you are so happy you did. Look to your future emotions and feelings to get you motivated. Because isn’t this something you deep down want? To be healthier, leaner, in better shape. Yes it is! I know you want those things so dig deep and keep the bigger picture in mind. Enduring that ambivalent moment where you can’t decide and pushing through is where your success lies.

Find an accountability partner, trainer or coach. Having someone hold you accountable is a huge motivator because being in something together makes it less about you and more about the experience as a whole. It’s not just about you. Find a reason to do it for your family, support your friends, or simply be committed to a greater purpose then simply the way you look or that you just have to exercise. Because doesn’t working out bring greater meaning to your life when you are doing it for your health and longevity, not for your dress size.

Choose an activity that you enjoy or feel comfortable with. Will I tell you that resistance training is the best type of exercise to do to build strength and get results. Yup. But does it trump actually moving and doing something you enjoy or will actually do? No. Exercise you will do is better than none at all. But if you feel uncomfortable weight training, ask yourself why? Are you afraid of failure, are you afraid it will be hard, are you afraid of starting something new? Start small and learn to enjoy the pursuit of something new, something challenging, and something worthwhile. 

Workout at home. Doing an at home workout is one of the quickest way to erase all those excuses in your head. You don’t even have to go anywhere and could do your workouts in your pajamas for all I care. I am confident you can find 15 minutes in the comfort of you own home to do something.

Intentionally fight the urge not do your workout. This is how poor habits are broken. The more you say no to actions that lead you toward your goals, the better you get at it. The more you fight the urge the better you get at it too. Make your decision in seconds and just go. Be ok with whatever you decide.

Change your beliefs. I don’t care what you pre existing beliefs are about you and exercise. I don’t care if you feel lazy, don’t like it or don’t considered yourself a “good exerciser.” Don’t make those statements because that is how your life will play out. Start to proclaim that you want to workout to be healthy, that you go to the gym 3 times a week, that you are motivated to workout and get fit and you would be amazed at what will unfold.

Get comfortable with the fact that this is a life long commitment. Get use to the idea that this is not just something that you are doing this week, month or year. This is something you are doing for life and if you are in it for life, it better be something you can stick too.

 Commit to the process. Do the work. Prove to yourself that you can do tough stuff and that you can push through the tough emotions in life. Because if we always waited until we were motivated to workout, we probably wouldn’t be doing it a whole lot. You don’t need any reason but the simple choice that you can change your direction at any time, in any moment.

How to cultivate a loving perspective with your body

If you are like me, this health and fitness stuff is all good and well but ultimately you just want to move in a way that feels good to your body, eat food you don’t stress over, spend time with people you care about and live your life doing more of the things you want to do and less of the things you do not. This is the reality I have cultivated over the years. But it didn’t always feel this way.

When done right, I truly believe your health and fitness are a catalyst for these things and I am not talking about a certain degree of leanness. I am talking about being able to do the things you want to do and not letting the health of your body or your own irrational fears hold you back.

Because it’s not about changing your body, it is about changing your mindset first and foremost and here is exactly how you can begin to do that.

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My motto. Move often. Eat Simply. Live Freely.

Move Often. Ask yourself how you love to move and go do it!

Growing up in an active family sports were never really about “exercise.” They were about being active, healthily, and doing something as a unit, whether that was a team I was on or doing something with the family.

But trying to find movement fun in adulthood? I lost that for awhile.

I had a huge mindset shift a few years ago after experiencing, what I call, my 365 days of back pain. After finally healing, I developed bundles of gratitude simply for my body and what it does. I realized that exercise was about not doing more, but being more efficient in my workouts, in shorter amounts of time and including movement I truly enjoy and that feels good for my body.

But it all started with changing your mindset around movement. It is something that should enhance our lives not take away from it, and it is something we get to do!

How to move and improve your body. If you find you have this negative association with working out or being active I want you to make a list of all the things about why you feel it is negative.

It is too hard. It is something you have to do.

You have had a long day at work.

You don’t know what to do.

You have no one to move with.

Then replace each sentence with a positive outlook. It does not have to be hard. I get to do it. I can go for a walk. Moving makes my body feel good. Repeat your positive outlook over and over until you believe it.

Eat Simply. Oh food, how we spend so much time stressing and criticizing you, while indulging and spending time with you.

Here is the deal. We have to face food every day. The thing is, it does not have to be complicated and we should spend more time enjoying it, then stress or over OR under indulging with it.

So instead of viewing food as this dreaded thing or this excuse that you love food so much and that is why you eat, view food as information for your body.

Pay attention to:

How food makes you feel.

What triggers you to eat and why.

What you do in social settings?

What you enjoy and actually like. And what you don’t enjoy.

Take all this information your body gives you and learn from it.

Does eating fast food make you feel bloated? Do you eat everything on your plate no matter what? Practice leaving a few bites. Is wine something you enjoy? Well, please don’t get rid of it altogether.

The more you deprive yourself the more likely you are to indulge. So instead of this constant battle of restricting and then binging why not try eating mostly healthy and build in a few indulgences throughout the week so you don’t feel the need to overindulge or proclaim anything off limits.

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How to eat simply ( with less complication & overwhelm).

For starters, spend less time and energy restricting and more time putting things into action.

Use, what I like to call, sabotage prevention foods. Food that prevent your own self sabotage.

 Ask yourself. What are two things you love to include in your diet? Wine, cookies, peanut butter, a steak, bacon, a banana? Make sure you have a small portion a couple times a week.

Adding these foods in, in small amounts can actually work to prevent you from your own self sabotage, restricting for weeks and then indulging for days. Why?

Because you have been including these things in your diet so there is no need to overindulge and claim it as a cheat meal. This week, try to make your focus eating healthy and strategically place these things in your diet. While at first it can seem like a little bit of work, it will eventually become effortless, and that is the goals right? To make eating feel a little more effortless and a lot less stressful.

Live Freely. It sounds so simple but all we really want to do is just be happy right?  Feel freedom in our lives, comfort in our own skin, and free from stress and negativity.

Here’s the thing. Struggle will always be a part of life and the more we can accept it as that, the less we will have to fight it.

One of my favorite quotes on happiness is by positive psychologist Shawn Achor.

“Happiness is the joy we feel working toward our full potential.”

Happiness is not an arrival or a claim that our lives are perfect all the time. Happiness is a journey and process of growth and as long as we are growing, we are thriving in a sense. In our relationships, in jobs and careers, and in our health.

Being stagnant sends us straight on the path to misery. And maybe not in the moment but eventually if you look back and you are exactly where you were 10 years ago in any area of your life, you may find yourself desiring more. The good news is that it is never to late. You can start right this very minute.

Be a happiness hunter?

Do something. Growth does not have to be this huge concept and is not achieved in one day. Or is it? The beauty of growth is that we can do little, tiny things each and every day to contribute to our well being and personal development.

Learn a new skill.

Read a personal development book and start your day with a fresh perspective.

Try a new exercise in the gym. Add some weight.

Learn a new recipe.

By practicing, learning, and opening up yourself to growth in smaller areas of your life, it will translate to bigger areas in your life.

Practice gratitude. I will leave you with this. The trouble with gratitude is, it works. In any given situation, if you can shine some light and appreciation on where you are and what you have in your life, you are well on your way to living a happier life.  Because there is always beauty and opportunity in each and every day, challenges, and obstacles we face.

what you can learn from a plate of fries

Before fries…Real Quick. 

Next week I am super excited to open enrollment for my 5 Week Healthiest Self Refresh.  I created this because I had a new vision. I want to teach women how to develop an effortless way of healthy living . To free you from the diet cycle of on again, off again. Of restricting then indulging. Of time consuming workouts, then no workouts. Of all or nothing. There is an in between and I want to help you find it. Not by giving you an exact plan, but by helping you create your own way by changing your beliefs and changing your habits so you have the tools you need to move forward that you can use forever. Get on the wait list, or even if you are just curious and want more info, here.

NOW…

I find lessons in all areas of my life.  Sometimes it is on my walks watching the way my dog reacts to her surrounding, sometimes it is people watching at dinner, sometimes it is with a my plate of fries.

Last month on my vacation to Oregon I was at the airport with a 3 hour layover and grabbed lunch with my sister.  I usually order salads when eating out simply because they fill be up (with plenty of protein and fat thanks to chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado, dressing still on the side, not just lettuce cucumber and tomato) but on that day I was extra hungry and knew I needed something with not only that protein and fat but carbs too!

So I ordered a bacon, turkey sandwich and went to order my usual side salad but they said it was going to be $4.95. And I thought 5 dollars for a side salad which I know will be lettuce and croutons, no thanks. But my other option was fries.

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I did eat the entire turkey, bacon sandwich but I managed to leave most of my fries….

And if you have been with me for awhile you know that I do GREAT at sampling fries off my boyfriends plate. Although he kinda messed up my practice because this year he gave up fries for his new years resolution, which is a completely different story, for a completely different blog. Although I will say he has stuck to it like a champ!!

Anyways I have been so good and practicing this but I rarely practice ordering my own fries and moderating them. So within seconds I noted that this would be good *practice* for me to have my own fries and just have a few. I was actually a little bit nervous because what if I ate every single fry off that plate despite not being hungry. Because sometimes self control just goes out the window!!

But you know what? I had to practice, and I did. I ate half a sandwich and had a few fries. And then ate my other half and had a few more. This is not something I have always been good at. I used to eat them all and then I gave into the lazy way of self control. Just avoiding foods I can’t control all together. That way of thinking, while is a good way start, doesn’t really help us practice saying no. It is having to face the food you actually want and say now.

Now I have not always been good at his but I have practiced and practiced over the years and it has paid off!

So then do you know what the fries had me thinking?

How lucky am I? How lucky are we?

How fortunate we are that food is always be available to us?

I think sometimes we get so caught up in the idea that if we don’t have food and have it NOW that it won’t be available to us.

Like if we don’t have it now, we are saying no forever.

And alot of it comes into play because we tend to try to restrict ourselves and end up in this cycle of doing the same thing over and over again. Restrict, binge, guilt repeat.

But what if you changed your thought process and started to become more aware. Just because I don’t have dessert or wine tonight doesn’t mean I can’t have it tomorrow night. Just because I pass on food now doesn’t mean I can’t have it next week. Just because Girl Scout cookies are for sale now doesn’t mean I can’t get them next year when they are on sale.

How can you change? Start by using what I call my AAA formula.  

For every change you need an:

Affirmation + Approach + Action

You absolutely need to have the belief that you can change your ways. You need to have an approach (knowledge, desire, know how).  And you need to actually do it. When you are missing a link, nothing gets accomplished.

Once you change your belief that you don’t have to eat everything in sight, you need to learn how to apply it and practice it. And this is the strategy I will share with you today.

Practice saying no to food on occasion, when you are not truly hungry. Many times we eat food because it is circumstantial. Your co-worker brought in cookies, so you have one. Costco is giving out samples so of course you take them. It is a holiday, so you indulge. You have dinner at your moms so you clean your plate. You are at the movies so you need popcorn. The truth is, you do not need to do any of these things, unless you want them. Start to pay attention to when and why you eat, and if it is just because of the circumstance gently remind yourself that you do not have to. You can have the same foods tomorrow if you truly wish. Food will always be available to you. 

Because practice makes progress! And progress is what we want and need for growth! Next time you have the opportunity practice. You may eat it all the first ten or twenty times. But if you stick with it, you will get better. The only way you can’t improve is if you give up.

Again be sure to get on the wait list for my 5 Week Healthiest Self Refresh program. Because the answer is not to eat less and less and to work out more and more. The answer lies in your Affirmation + Approach + Action!