It was 2003 and I’d never run any kind of race before. I was doing my internship to finish up my degree and thought it would be fun to join everyone else in the gym in this “Main Street Mile”. It was only 1 mile so what do I have to train for? The day of the race they placed us in chorales based on speed. I’m fast, I knew I could run at a good pace so I made my way to the front. MAJOR mistake! The gun went off and we all started to run. I of course wanted to keep up so I started FAST. Well, by 1/4 miles into the run I was gassed. Everyone started to pass me real quick and I had to talk my way through the rest of the race. I had no idea a mile felt that long when you sprinted the first 1/4. I did complete the race in 7:24 but it took me the entire rest of the day to recover. And I probably could have done so much better if I knew to pace myself.
How many times have you busted your butt to complete something, then looked back and realized there was an easier way? Clearly, the least I should have done was practice running one mile properly. I think we all underestimate the importance of preparing ourselves for the tasks we have ahead. We need to prepare mentally and physically. How can we do this? We have to establish a plan. I could have easily asked a seasoned runner their advice on what I should have done to complete that mile (comfortably…) Don’t let you ego get in the way of asking someone for help. It will help you get through the task so much better and more prepared so you don’t end up killing yourself to get it done. So whether it is a fitness goal, nutrition goal, occupational goal, etc seek out someone who has completed that particular task before or a professional in the industry. You may learn quite a few things from their experiences that will save you time, money, or just physical stress.
So yesterday I went to drop my boys off at basketball conditioning and decided to go for a run. I typically do this while they are at practice knowing it’s the best use of my time. It was a little cloudy so I looked at my weather app and it said the clouds were moving north and the rest of the radar looked clear. Well about a mile into my run it was sprinkling a little. No problem, I can handle that and it even felt cool as I was running. About a half mile later it started down pouring. Ugh! I called my daughter to see if she could come pick me up and she came to find me. Well that didn’t go very well and I ended up running all the way back to the school. It wasn’t the most comfortable run, but I did finish my 3 miles so that made me feel much more accomplished than giving up. Initially, in my mind the run was ruined because it was raining buckets, but as I was running through it I was able to find my comfort zone and finish. Your mind has the ability to ruin your experience or make it more comfortable despite the circumstances. We all have things we can’t control that go on around us, but if we can learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable we will get so much more accomplished. The more you do this, the easier it will get and you will learn to reprogram your mind and not as much will stand in your way anymore. We tend to let our excuses dominate our thoughts. It’s just the easy way out, or so we think. Next time you are faced with an obstacle, stop and recognize how you are seeing it. Is there a way around it or is the rain not that bad that you can continue? That’s all up to you.
We all know that it is not easy to break a bad habit. It’s uncomfortable. We find ourselves in this routine that is easy to flow through, but is it? I love sleep and getting up early has always been tough for me to discipline myself to do if I don’t have to be anywhere. But making sure I have enough time to prepare my day is important. I don’t like to rush myself out the door, but for years I’ve always had early training clients or classes to teach so it made it difficult to wake up early enough to set my day up. Fortunately I’ve been able to adjust my days so that I give myself that one hour to prepare, do a devotion, and set up my task list. We talked about routine yesterday with your fitness and it is also important with how you organize your day so you become most efficient. If my days are not consistent, I will not get as much done as needed. Yes things come up later in the day so the hour at the beginning when I get up is my most important hour. It basically determines my mood for the day too. If you don’t have it already, give yourself one hour to set up and see how much better the rest of your day becomes. 🙂
Exercise we all know if so good for us, but if we are constantly changing our routine on a daily/weekly basis we could be doing our body more harm than good. It is important to allow our muscles and systems in our bodies to adapt so we can get stronger, increase our endurance, and stay flexible. The biggest mistake most make is just winging it and not allowing your body to adapt to any routine. One week you do 2 bootcamp classes, the next week you run 10 miles, the following week you incorporate a yoga class etc. one bootcamp and a zumba class. Unfortunately this will not help your body adapt in any way thus you will not see the results you are looking for. Routine is one of the most important things when trying to reach your goals. We must stay focused and consistent. Do you like weight lifting, running, swimming, yoga etc?? All those activities are great and can be incorporated in any routine, but it takes balance to do this.
The way we piece together our routine is important too. We base this on our ultimate goals and we only adjust as our goals change. Whenever I work with athletes, I adjust their program based on whether they are in season or out of season. This is so important as not to hinder their performance when they are playing.
Do you have a routine established and actively in place? If you need help with how to do this, reach out to a qualified fitness professional and they will be able to give you a proper fitness assessment and help you put in place a routine that will get you to your goal.
If you ask anyone I train, the most important thing when starting a new program is establishing a routine. Your body responds to consistency and it is extremely important to set aside that time to dedicate to training. Your routine does not have to be this extreme killer workout in the beginning (or at all for that matter). When I see those beginners start out and overwhelm themselves with trying to reach their goal all in one week, I don’t expect them to stay with it very long. A new routine is hard enough, but add the degree of difficulty in the workout and it makes it even harder.
So my advice to you if you are just starting out is:
1. Start out slow. Even if it is a 10 minute walk everyday. Then add on as you get comfortable and have more time.
2. For your nutrition do the same and add one element at a time. Work on a healthy breakfast, take out sugar from your coffee, stop eating cookies every night, or eliminate that carb filled snack you have at 3pm everyday and swap it with some veggies and hummus.
3. Grab a friend for accountability. I know you have someone whether it’s a friend or family member that deep down would love to join you in your quest for health. See if they would share a text with you daily to keep each other motivated. Or meet up for a walk 3 days per week.
5. Don’t give up! Just be aware in the beginning that things WILL come up and you will have to choose what is more important. In the beginning it will be hard to choose your new routine over the old, but I promise it gets easier over time. Your health is important. Keep it on top of your list!
These are a few of my tips to help you get started and keep going on your fitness routine. Our bodies are made to move and eat real food. Give it what it needs and it you will feels so much better!
Isn’t it true that the more time spent on something the more it grows? If you spend more time at your job, you will become more successful. If you spend more time with your kids, your relationship will grow deeper. If you spend more time at the gym, your fitness goals will be met. But how much is too much? Time is something we can never get back. If we spend too much time on one thing, other things will get neglected. As much as I love to exercise my biggest challenge is managing my time so that time does’t go by and I regret not spending more time in other areas.
When you are managing your schedule, make sure that you are writing down what is important to you and then spending the proper time on each. It’s like tending to a garden. If you focus all your time and attention on the tomatoes that is all you will get in the end. In our world today with social media, world issues, and money driven lifestyles it is easy to get caught up in any and waste so much precious time. My focus for you (and myself) today is take a step outside your everyday and see where your time is going. What is important to you? Are you giving those priorities each proper attention to make a difference?
So when I started my fitness career, my goal was to help others get in shape. Simple enough right? I meet with my clients on a weekly basis and they workout with me, change their eating habits, and voila…success! Well, I quickly learned that it is not so simple. I had to get inside their heads, find out what their mental blocks were and help them break through them. Now that I look back on it, a degree in psychology would have helped me so much better. My determination to change lives is my ultimate calling, it’s what I live to do and find joy in. And I can’t just do that in the gym providing the workouts. I love to read, so I researched a book that deals with conquering the mind. On Amazon I stumbled upon a book called “Can’t Hurt Me” written by David Goggins. Goggin’s wrote a documentary on his journey of becoming a Navy Seal after a childhood of verbal and physical abuse. He set out to prove that the mind is stronger than we think. According to him, we only tap into 40% or less of our full potential because of the mind barriers we let get in our way. We all get to a certain point where excuses and “pain” prevent us from achieving our goals. Although, he pushes his body beyond the point where I’d recommend my clients safely going, he set’s out to prove a point. We are so much more capable of what we “think” we are. He pushed beyond his mental barriers and achieves some pretty amazing accomplishments that most of us would look at as impossible. One thing I love from his book is that he talks about how important it is to achieve little accomplishments. When you have a lot of weight to lose or feel it is such a large goal it becomes overwhelming and impossible to reach that goal if you look at the big picture. This goal is not going to be done in a few days, weeks, months, or possibly years. But the best way to get there is to achieve smaller accomplishments along the way. If you want to go run a marathon but you have never run a 5k before it may seem like a stretch. But once you run that 5k the 10k doesn’t seem as bad…then the half marathon etc. It is human nature to take steps and be fed by accomplishments. When we achieve one thing it makes us feel amazing and will carry us to our next challenge. So when you look at your fitness goals, don’t get overwhelmed if you have a long way to go. Don’t let your mind talk you out of reaching your potential. It’s a powerful thing and can definitely keep holding you back if you don’t control it. Instead of achieving only 40% of what you can do reach for that 70%. Push your limits and be proud of yourself for achieving some amazing things you never though possible because you allowed your mind to hold you hostage. ~Carrie
When I was heading into college I was so excited to learn about how the body works, how your metabolism works, and how to exercise with proper form and prevent injuries. I was so determined to be the best trainer ever. So you mean, “I can meet with people, show them how to exercise and they will just follow and do what I say?” Boy was I totally wrong! What I didn’t learn right away was the psychology of health. I can have all the exercise science degrees in the , but if I didn’t learn how to transform the mind, I would never help one single person. Did you ever read a book or watch an infomercial on a new workout or diet plan and get all excited to finally get fit? You get all excited start real well for the first week (or even a month) but then trail off into your old habits. What are you doing wrong? How come you can’t stick to it? It’s absolutely because you let your mind take over and make the decision to stop. Your brain is what determines your actions from waking up in the morning to skipping the gym at the end of the day. When you are sitting in your car leaving work, you can either head to the gym (like you planned to) or you can head home. Does your car decide where you will go? Absolutely not! Your mind determines where the car will go. How do we change this? If you are excited to go to the gym, of course you will choose that. How do we get excited about it? First you have to enjoy the exercise program you do and second you have to love yourself enough to take care of your body. So next time you hop on the wagon to take that first fitness journey step, make sure you work on your mind. Surround yourself with like minded people, read lots of motivational books, and make sure your house reflects health from what is in your fridge to organization that will decrease stress levels.
Happy Hump Day!
I used to be a huge fan of little house on the prairie back in the day (ugh, I think I just aged myself!) If you have ever seen that show you realize how much physical labor was required back in the 1800s just to live. Let’s face it, unless you own a farm or build houses for a living, you need exercise! Our bodies are made to move, but with the advances in transportation and computer based jobs that cause us to sit for hours everyday they are not moving as much as required to keep us healthy. This is the reason fitness facilities exist, they didn’t need gyms back in those times because their lifestyle was very active. So if you are looking to increase your quality of life and keep your body in top shape for as long as possible, you must incorporate exercise somewhere somehow. Find something you enjoy and make this a daily habit to invest in your future self. Or you can sell your car, start a garden, or start hunting for your food instead 😉
What’s your reason for wanting to exercise and eat a healthy diet? In boot camp this past Friday I went around the class and ask each participant why they were there. Most were to look good, lose weight, or to feel better. All valid reasons but are they big enough to conquer your excuses and not quit? Some like the idea of feeling better and losing weight but never take that action to get there. Now those in my boot camp obviously were taking action towards their goal because they were there. CONTINUOUS action separates success and failure.
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving, they may make mistakes but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton
When you set a goal, you may take that first step and things will go smoothly for a while until you hit that first bump. At that moment do you quit or do you pick yourself up and keep going? We all hit those roadblocks. If you really want to achieve your goals make it a promise to yourself that you won’t quit when the times get tough. KEEP MOVING FORWARD.