Monday Motivation: Tired of Starting Over?

Monday Motivation: Tired of Starting Over?

Hellooooo!! Monday Motivation time. Been trying to get more ideas for topics, and this one came to mind! How many times does it seem like you’ve yo-yoed back and forth with a fitness routine or healthy habits? This time of year is notorious for that. Instead of setting the scale back ten pounds, use this time to figure out why you keep restarting. Below are some factors that may help you figure out why!

  • Not sure what you like/don’t like when it comes to exercise
    • Possible ideas: group fitness cardio/strength training classes, working out alone vs. a group/dependable workout buddy, mind-body workouts (yoga, barre, pilates), recreation (biking, running, swimming), social ties (running/biking club),  willing to invest in a  personal trainer? (see personal training tab for more info ;)), etc.
    • Take into your account your personality, interests, schedule etc.
    • Its okay to NOT like something!
    • Make a note of what you like and don’t like…e.g. like spin, but not a fan of the class time or instructor? try another!
  • Location
    • Possible ideas: outside at a local park, big box gym vs. private boutique style gym, female based gym (curves), travel time (close vs. further away), corporate fitness gym. Deciding on location can be a make-it or break-it factor since it is a reflection of how often you will go. 
  • Emotions (this may take more thought)
    • Possible ideas: underlying cause to feeling a certain way towards exercise, nervous, intimidated, open to new things, enthusiastic to making a change etc. If you struggle with investing in a gym because you feel intimidated/excited for change, ask yourself WHY do you feel intimidated/excited for change.
  • Costs/budget
    • Possible ideas: Exercise doesn’t have to be costly!! Gaining happiness and starting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t require hefty price tag, however it may mean a small investment to jump start your routine. Buying workout clothes from Target is more affordable then Nike, running/walking in your neighborhood doesn’t require a gym membership, and healthy recipes can be found on the internet (particularly on pinterest!).
  • FOOD!
    • Sometimes a big culprit is not exercise but food. Yo-yoing because you feel confused over calories, what a fat or carb is, what is good for building muscle, etc. is something that is immensely helpful in achieving our goals. Checking out resourceful sites such as acefitness.org on nutrition basics can make a difference. If its a combination, looking into Weight Watchers or Beachbody can help with both exercise and nutrition! If you are serious about investing your time in to eating well, utilizing a nutritionist or RD is the ultimate way to go!
  • Lifestyle Choices
    • Being on the go, eating out a lot, food choices (e.g alcohol consumption, minimal fruits/veggies), vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, allergies, picky vs. non-picky eater etc. The little things you might not think of play a role too!

Even if you don’t make the effort now to do this, setting yourself up for success in the new year will still help you in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to jot down thoughts in a notebook, bounce ideas of others, do some research on a topic, heck! try on different styles of workout clothes to see what stuff/brands you like and don’t like! What works for you may not work for someone else, so there is NO RUSH! Exercising and healthy living isn’t going anywhere so focus on you and do it right. Don’t be afraid to DIG DEEP and be HONEST with yourself! You know you the best! 😉

Holiday Motivation: Maintain Don’t Gain (or lose sight of your goals!)

Holiday Motivation: Maintain Don’t Gain (or lose sight of your goals!)

Hi There! I took a small hiatus from blogging over the holiday, now I’m back with some new topics to share with you. Everyone knows the holiday season is upon us. For most people, that usually means more eating out, falling off of a workout routine, other seasonal stressors, and other ways to put health and fitness on the back burner. I myself, find it hard to juggle my workout schedule among a lot of things going on, especially during this time of year. SO, I’ve decided to share some motivation, tips on setting small goals for each workout, and why staying fit over the holidays matter.

Starting to feel that “dread” or “guilt” upon starting a workout or run or for not getting your workout in? I’m already there on some days honestly! #keepingitreal…LOL. Marathon training during this time of year has its pros and cons (burn off those christmas cookies right?) so I get it.

  • Motivation wise:
    • Get half of the workout done anyways. Thirty minutes or less? Make it hard, fast, intense. This goes for HIIT workouts and speed/tempo runs.
    • Holiday fun runs or a 5k—so many good reasons for a 5k! Holiday runs are especially fun since they’re seasonal and allow you dress up. Get a group together or your family.
    • Experiment with *healthy* holiday recipes–a lot are re-created with healthy substitutes. My mom does roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries. It a festive dish and its healthy.
    • Holiday Challenges—I’ve done a running streak (with clothes on–LOL!!) where you run a mile a day from Thanksgiving till the new year. Not into running? Try doing a set of ten push-ups, holding a plank, etc. every day till the New Year instead. Get your friends together and make it fun.
    • Out of the box ways to motivate yourself: make your phone screen something motivational, a good quote maybe? Seeing it often helps you focus on your goals.
  • Go in the gym with a plan…Okay, so you made to the gym. Now you’re trying to figure out what you wanna work on. You might be feeling that “dread” set in but you know you need to do something. Instead you wander around and might not be efficient with your time. Aside from just showing up, plan your workouts ahead of time (see post on using a planner). For example, know you’re gonna do an upper body HIIT workout. Its okay if you don’t have the exact plan in front of you  (sometimes I don’t) but knowing what you’re doing *somewhat* makes it easy to get it and get it done.
  • Staying fit matters…Yes, we like to indulge this time of year. We should!! Tasty, wonderful food and treats are among us. It’s special. Try not to completely let it go to the point you hate yourself for it. All those thirty minute or less workout/runs, walks, and push-up  challenges, etc matter. Healthy food choices count too. Starting the new year with maintaining your goals is much better then having to start all over again with everyone else at the packed gyms etc. That thought alone makes me cringe! #packedgyms.

No one is perfect, but its the moments you don’t want to do anything that count the most! Plan it out, get it done, feel great, repeat…all season long. 🙂

Been There, Done That…Now What?

Been There, Done That…Now What?

Even with the most experienced runners, we all tend to get “stuck in a rut.” It’s a normal part of any fitness routine. It usually means that either we hit a plateau, need fresh workout ideas, a change of scenery, a buddy a to run with, new music, the possibilities are endless. These are just a few things that help me break out of my routine.

As soon as I start getting bored thinking about a run (which doesn’t happen often, but recently with mileage it is becoming more so), I know something needs to change. I take it as an opportunity to learn something new or challenge myself. However, with training for a marathon, it is a whole other beast to say the least. It is a different kind of commitment for sure which takes a lot of time and patience. I find myself always looking for ways to break out of my rut, since I find myself either running alone (not so bad since its my preference) or in the same location most times since its convenient. Aside from location, music, even a new workout top or headband—I must say a new piece of workout clothing is quite motivating! It’s not always enough.

Below are some tips and thoughts that go through my mind that help distract me during a rough patch or get me to look forward to my next workout or run:

  • FOOD- YES! Of course many of us runners or anyone who likes a good sweat are foodies at heart—at least I AM!! 😛 I come up with what I look forward post run or workout that gives me the right fuel, is tasty, or something special that makes doing the workout worth doing in the first place. Dread six miles early morning on Saturday or a workout class you have to drive to? Make homemade pancakes for breakfast with all the fixings and let it be special or go out for breakfast after.
  • Break down the milage or time. Fourteen miles sounds long right? Yeah, that’s what I thought this past weekend. Instead I thought of seven miles out and seven back, plain and simple. I knew I was only doing seven one way, which after resting the day before sounded do-able. My mind was fresh and was more mentally strong knowing I broke it down into managable miles or making my workouts simply thirty minutes.
  • Music that PUMPS YOU UP! Find a song that triggers your inner BEAST and let yourself get excited knowing that song is perfect for speed or tempo day when you need to kick it up or slow and steady for long run. Playing it before your workout, as you’re getting ready and part of your warm-up are great ways to get your mind psyched for your workout ahead.
  • New Route, Same Location. Yes, I mentioned this earlier, but a new place does wonders. Either re-looping the same route or reversing it helps a lot. The night before mapping out on mapmyrun.com is good for keeping nearby as well as checking out other runner’s routes.
  • Find a Race! The excitement and enthusiasm of other runners in a race is great motivation. With that comes a new location in some cases, other people, a little friendly competition, and maybe a PR! 😉
  • Running Groups. These are all over the place now. Its a great way to meet people who already have the same interest as you. They offer socializing and weekly meetups which helps with motivation as well. Not just for running either, but biking, walking, and workout groups too! Best part is that they’re free (or a small fee)! Checkout meetup.com for local groups in your area.
Set Yourself Up For Success: A “Workout” Planner or Log

Set Yourself Up For Success: A “Workout” Planner or Log

Hello!! So the weekend is winding down, and I figured we all could use more #MondayMotivation! In my previous #MondayMotivation post I wrote about tips to help get your Monday (and rest of the week) moving in the right direction. This time, I writing on specifically how to get your workouts moving in the right direction (lol) around a busy schedule…that again all comes with PLANNING.

I use a running log aka workout planner to help me do just that. I didn’t start using a log/planner etc until a year or so ago. I found writing things down help lead me to see results and most importantly…made sure THEY GOT DONE! I started with just a plain journal…nothing fancy. From there, for christmas one year I got a running journal allowing more room to write down specifics such as distance, where/when, and comments about the workout. To this day I still use the same one!! Its different since its also a calendar but essentially the same format. I use The Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log 2015 Calendar by Marty Jerome you can find it easily anywhere! (Although I’m pretty sure my mom got it off Amazon :P). He writes cool tips, there’s a lot of room for comments/notes, a full size calendar for each month, as well as a motivational page each month with cool pics, etc. Props to my mom who found it and gave it to me!!

Anyways, my point here is that having a place to write your workouts down for the week is SUPER helpful in also committing to your fitness routine. Each weekend, mostly on Sundays, I take time to have my workout planner and daily schedule side by side to compare my availability, workouts, timing, etc among my busy life. *Notice there are TWO planners…workouts and daily life calendars are not together!* Thats what I call the SECRET! I personally like to keep them separate, but if you prefer one calendar and have everything on that, go for it! Its all about personal preference here!! What works for me might not work for you.

Benefits to Using a Workout Calendar

-Plan each day with what you plan to do and the timing of it makes a big difference in if you get it done or not.

-Track results more efficiently

-Its a HARD COPY so you can go back and see your progress easy!

Planning on my workout week back in March.
Planning on my workout week back in March

 

-A visual way to see your training (more motivation!)

-Allows you to set up a timeline for success

-Serves as a reference for future goals

-Keeps you accountable!! (once you write it down, there’s no going back 😉

I originally started with using it to train for my first few half marathons but then I loved it so much I decided I wanted to use it for everyday workouts. To this day, I use it map out my miles for the week, make the time for other components of training (yoga, cross training, strength training), and rest to get me to COMMIT and follow-through!

Writing down the timing can seem tedious, but I find that generally putting down a time-frame can help with when its gonna happen. For example, if I have a busy morning that day, and I put “leg day—pm” on that day in my planner I know doing it anytime after lunch or before my commitment late afternoonIMG_3646-1/evening gets busy again. I pin-point a time because things change, but it helps keep it realistic for me. It all starts with a thought…writing it down actually makes it happen!!

3 Simple Ways to Organize and TACKLE the Week with Confidence

3 Simple Ways to Organize and TACKLE the Week with Confidence

You’re reading my first post on #mondaymotivation! YAY! I’m gonna keep this category pretty open, but overall its going to help jumpstart us in starting our weeks in the right direction!

1.) First things first, on Mondays I make sure I have all the FOOD I need for the week. This includes everyday essentials (milk, bread, meat, veggies) and extra ingredients used for recipes.

  • That includes buying it fresh, preparing it ahead of time, storing it, and portioning it out so its only handled ONCE…key word *once*. No one has time to stand around in the kitchen and prep once our schedules have started. Even a Monday is considered late in the game for me when it comes to prepping and preparing. However, sometimes other things take priority and its pushed towards the beginning week. I wash and cut my veggies and put them in ziplock bags for an easy/quick snack during the week. I cook hard-boiled eggs and peel them as well as microwave or boil edamame.
  • Some veggies that make for easy storage and prep include:
    • carrots
    • cucumber
    • celery
    • sweet pepper
  • I make up to five baggies with about a full serving of veggies in each.

2.) I clean out various bags used throughout the week (e.g gym bags, purses, backpacks). I switch out my stuff pretty often because I do a variety of things and not one bag works for it all. Sometimes I pack for part of the day and include workout clothes, headphones, post-workout snack, etc. Other days I’m running errands and in between and seeing a personal training client in between so I’ll just take the essentials (wallet, phone, keys) and an extra snack or water bottle. Having it organized and put back in its place helps for organization the next day.

3.) Checking your planner or calendar more then once. Nothings worse then not knowing what to expect to start the week. Make sure you know whats going on generally each day and you’re not double-booking yourself (I’ve done this and feel AWFUL after). If its an event you can call/text/email to confirm go for it! I never hesitate to do this. Its important to know that you and the person you’re meeting with are on the same page.