Momentum and Motivation

I did not want to do a workout today. I was becoming increasingly comfortable with resigning myself to eating leftover pizza and picking something to binge watch on Netflix. After wrestling with it the through the morning, I knew I needed to get it done, but still didn’t feel any more motivated.

Rewind. It was a very busy May as we navigated the end of my daughter’s 1st grade year and addressed some family challenges. I have had some hiccups in my workout programs, but have always looked forward to getting back on track and getting in the groove. It took me almost 3 weeks to get going in my most recent program, 22 Minute Hard Corps, but I was in week 5. And then the wheels fell off. I lost every ounce of motivation to workout. I went almost 2 weeks without getting anything in, and this past Monday was supposed to be my reset day to start over on 22MHC. And then my daughter wanted a donut. And that meant we were all getting donuts. And who in their right mind has a donut without a Mocha Frappe or Coolata? No big deal. I’ll still kill the workout. Except I didn’t. My stellar nutritional choices caused me to do something I’ve not had to do (except for a select few workouts) in a long time. I had to modify to finish. Scratch that. I had to step out from two exercises to finish. Then I was crazy sore Tuesday, and didn’t workout. Then it was worse Wednesday, and… can you guess? Didn’t workout. Thursday I did a Combat workout, but wasn’t feeling particularly motivated.

Back to today. Fortunately, I did not compromise my nutrition this morning, and grabbed a water and was dialed in with intense focus on finishing every rep in every round of Cardio 1. It wasn’t all pretty, but I made it. And it felt awesome! And then I did the Core 1 addon workout, and felt better! And then was motivated to have something other than pizza, and made my chocolate Shakeology, and felt amazing! I was able to see the power of momentum in action, and was reminded to take things one step at a time. I just did that main workout. I have set the goal of losing 15-20 pounds the summer to see if I can not only shed some lazy pounds I let creep back, but to also get to a new personal best. The tricky part will be finding the motivation to keep going when:

1. I am sore
2. I am tired
3. I am busy
4. I just don’t feel like it

I tell you all of that to invite you to join me on my summer endeavor of getting back into a groove with my fitness. Do you have some weight loss or fitness goals that you know are important, but have just had no motivation in getting them done? I can relate. I can also tell you that if you don’t set the goal and make the effort, you’re guaranteed that nothing will get done. If you would benefit from an accountability group, need some coaching (advice) on how to get started, or just want push yourself to your next level of fitness, comment here or on my facebook page or message me. I will be creating the group, “Momentum and motivation”. Free to join; you need only bring a positive attitude and be willing to take the first step 🙂

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Efficiency in exercise

One thing I can’t stand is wasted energy or effort. Tony Horton’s upcoming Hard Corps workout makes sure that will not happen as you seek to invest in your health. I’ve gone through T25 (25 minute workouts) that took my cardio to a whole new level. I did P90X3 which is setup up with all 30 minute workouts, and got great results. Tony is all about the science of the workouts so that you can maximize your calorie burn and muscle gains, which means you drop the unwanted fat more efficiently than anything else out there. Now he has a whole body workout distilled down to 22 minutes. I’ll be checking this out at release. If you want to jump in on this, comment below or shoot me an
email
. It’s going to be awesome 🙂

The Need to Be Pushed

I have discovered something about myself over the past year and a half of acclimating to a healthier lifestyle and making fitness a priority: I need to be pushed. It was incredibly challenging to go from 276 to 186 lbs, and without question it pushed my physical limits as well as my mental limits in terms of my will power and deciding to remove negative elements of my nutrition. However, as it turns out, I have found that I thrive when I need to “Dig Deep”, and remain committed to a particular regimen.

Case in point: I completed the Les Mills Pump Program in September, and just thought I would kind of hodge podge some workouts together and not put myself on any official regimen. I have seen excellent results in every Beachbody program I have used, but have pretty well stuck to the prescribed schedule. It turns out that without something to push me to do the hard workouts when I was sore or unmotivated, I didn’t do them. My workouts have become sporadic, and my nutrition followed suit pretty quickly. I haven’t been a slave to the scale in some time, but knew things were going in the wrong direction so I jumped on. The damage? 10 POUNDS! That got my attention.

I need to be pushed again. Yes, the workouts can be hard. Sticking to a good nutritional plan can be hard. But what is even harder is to try to make any progress (or even maintain for that matter) without being pushed. I am super pumped to get into Insanity Max 30. I am making sure I can start it next week! I need the push. How about you?

Check out the preview and email, facebook, or message me if you need to jump in on this! Available today, and at a huge discount through Beachbody coaches. Get committed to a good fitness plan before the next round of holiday festivities are here!

The Ten Biggest Mistakes People Make in Setting Goals!

The Ten Biggest Mistakes People Make in Setting Goals! by Michael Hyatt
December 23, 2013 at 11:23am

If you are anything like me, you’re already thinking about the year ahead. How will it be different than this one? What might be possible? What do I want to accomplish?

I don’t know about you, but I have been going through this annual exercise since my second semester of college, when a friend introduced me to the concept. Almost immediately, I loved the concept and saw the potential.
But I have not always done it well. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way. I have also watched numerous other people do it poorly.

Here are the top ten most common mistakes I see people make when it comes to goal-setting:

They don’t write them down. Unless a goal is written, it is merely an aspiration—lifeless and devoid of power. Once you commit it to writing, you set something in motion. You clarify what you want and begin focusing on how to attain it.

They create too many. An old Chinese proverb says, “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” While you probably need more than a single goal, you need to stay focused on a manageable number of them. I recommend no more than 7–10.

They only set them for one area of their life. Most people are accustomed to the idea of setting career goals. But life is far more than your job. If you are going to be happy and fulfilled, you need goals in each of the major areas of life—spiritual, physical, marital, relational, etc.

They don’t make them specific. Most goals—even written ones—suffer from being too vague. “I want to write a book” or “I want a better marriage” are too general. Which book do you want to write? How do you want to improve your marriage?

They don’t make them measurable. The only way to know if you have achieved a goal is to quantify it. “Lose 25 pounds” is much better than “lose weight.” “Earn 10% more than I did last year” is better than “earn more money.” When in doubt, assign a number or a percentage.

They don’t assign a due date. So often the important gets sacrificed on the altar of the urgent. A deadline is one way to create urgency and force yourself to pay attention to what’s important. Without a deadline, there’s little pressure to get it done. It’s easy to procrastinate.

They don’t keep them visible. How many times have you written down a set of goals and never looked at them again? I’ve done it plenty of times. That’s why you need a plan to keep them visible, whether that means reviewing them daily, weekly, or at some other regular interval.

They don’t stretch out of their comfort zone. Safe goals are boring goals. Unless we set our goals outside our comfort zone, we won’t find them compelling enough to actually follow through and achieve them. They shouldn’t be unrealistic, but they should be challenging.

They don’t make them personally compelling. When you pursue a meaningful goal, it is exhilarating. Accomplishing it, even more so. But the “messy middle” is where most of us get stuck. This is why we need to write down a set of motivations for each goal identifyingwhy it is important and what is at stake.
They don’t identify the next action. You don’t need an elaborate action plan for each goal. (Often this can just be a fancy way of procrastinating.) But you do need to identify the next action, so you can initiate and maintain momentum.

Chances are, you are going to live through 2014, one way or another. It can be another year just like this year and last. Or it can be something different … something extraordinary … something amazing! The choice is yours.

–Michael Hyatt

Does Your Weight Loss Plan Allow for a Treat/Cheat Meal?

To celebrate my daughter’s birthday she chose Chili’s. Is that allowed? Something critical to incorporate into your eating plan is the opportunity to have a “Treat” or “Cheat” meal. Going into it you know that you will have more calories than what is standard fare for the ideal meal plan. Remember, this isn’t to say that you go totally out of control and order appetizer, huge meal, and dessert; you can still overdo it, and it would be tragic to counteract your work for the week with that single meal. I have learned to plan for it, and normally know what I am going to have before entering the restaurant.

I am successfully under 200 pounds now using a planned “treat/cheat” meal strategy, and that means I am down nearly 80 lbs. from my worst weight of 276. Over the course of retooling my eating habits, I have discovered that my body does not have the same cravings it used to. I still love rich foods, but I am more easily able to manage the portion of them that I eat, and can enjoy the food without being obsessed with having as much of it as I can. This was a process, and didn’t happen overnight; I’ve blown my cheat meal before by turning it into a “cheat day”. It’s not over if that happens, but I got to the place where it was no longer worth it to me to take that step backwards, and realized that as my body was adapting to healthier habits, it was not reacting so well to an overload of rich food.

I will endeavor to remember that tonight, and encourage you to do the same! Where will your next cheat meal be? Have you found the balance of incorporating it successfully yet?

Fitness How To’s: Consistency

Number One Way to see  Ongoing Results

Here it is. The final week of August comes to a close tomorrow, and so summer is done (unless you live in SW Florida; it’s always summer here). My hope is if you had opportunity to check out this blog series that you may have been able to implement an idea or two to your daily routine. Often times, we can even see some positive initial response from our body when we take steps in the right direction for our health. The trick now is how to keep forward momentum and see those results continue. The best way is pretty simple:

Duplicate What Works!

We’re all familiar with the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” When it comes to our health and fitness, it’s funny that we have so many “quick fix” offers claiming to zap us into better health overnight. The problem is, these things do not last. Whether it’s a fad diet, a crazy new pill, or some crazy “sweat it out in an hour” offer, these simply do not provide lasting results.

I’ve done the fad diets and had temporary success with them. I had gotten into the 230s shortly after marriage, and was able to drop back under 200 with the infamous Atkins diet. What happened? It was simply not sustainable as a lifestyle habit. Two to three years afterwards, I was into the 240s; then 250s; and eventually 276. I was tempted to try the “fat pills”, but never did, and never went for a wrap or anything like that. I did know people who did though, and were very excited about the quick, initial results. Over time, however, it was clear that it didn’t have the staying power to help them achieve their goals.  Turns out there’s something to the conventional wisdom of healthy eating and exercise.

So if we know (on some level) that we actually do have to be disciplined about our eating and exercise habits, why don’t we? We want to have good health; we know what it takes; why don’t we do it? The list of excuses why we don’t is extensive and plentiful; but make no mistake: they are excuses.

find a way

I know that may sound harsh, but please know that I am speaking to myself first on this one, and have drawn my line in the sand that I will never go back to relying on excuses as to why I let my weight get out of control. The bottom line is this: you have to find your reason why you are going to make a change and that must be strong enough to drown out your excuses of why you don’t.

For me, it was my kids. I was well aware that I had terrible eating, health, and fitness habits, and as a teacher I know that for kids the habits and behaviors they engage in are more often “caught” than “taught”. My daughter is about to turn 5. If she was catching what daddy was doing in his eating habits it would have been a bad thing. Change for me was imperative. Find your why, and then make it happen. I came through my fitness challenge with Team Beach Body, and will never look back. In moving forward, I am now involved in the coaching aspect of the challenges. If you would benefit from support in making a change, I can totally identify. We say, “Decide. Commit. Succeed.” I had already made the decision. My commitment was unwavering, and as a result my success was assured. I can tell you that part of my decision and commitment was to find and do whatever was necessary to achieve and model good health for my family. The programs through TBB poised me to achieve the success I was committed to in the shortest time possible. 70 lbs are gone, and beyond that I know that I have a true level of fitness that I haven’t had since high school, if even then. I am most pleased with the results of my investment, and will continue to make decisions in line with my fitness goals, both for myself and my family.

As this blog series closes, I wish the best for all of you who have stopped by my page. Thanks for reading! I pray you will achieve your health and fitness goals. If you would like more information on a challenge group and (like me) would benefit from a world of support to get going in the right direction, please email or message me. I would love to pass on to you what has worked so well for me, and DUPLICATE that success 🙂

Fitness How To’s: Two Lethal Landmines to Avoid

Two Lethal Landmines to Avoid: Fast Food & No Food

Fast Food

On some level we know that fast food is bad for us; no news flash there. However, our hectic schedules and sometimes the company we keep can dictate where we wind up at a meal time. For that reason, I highly encourage you to plan ahead and take measures to ensure you don’t wind up in the fast food trap. I know they are trying to have “healthier” options and you don’t have to get the fries or triple cheeseburger, but you might be disappointed to discover the nutritional content of that “healthier” option falls far short of what you could have created for yourself at home.

No Food

Almost as bad as throwing “bad food” into our body is putting NO food into our body. While some of us may have acclimated to approaching our eating habits in this way it should be somewhat obvious that it does not promote an optimum state of health for us. We have to have balance in how we approach our daily nutrition, and making a habit of going without meals, or even going an entire day without food will not serve us well.

If you haven’t already guessed, I am suggesting that you incorporate changes to your meal plan to ensure you are able to stick to a viable nutrition regiment each day.

Meal Planning

The first rule of your meal plan:

HAVE ONE. Many of us get so busy that we don’t give any attention to our eating and have no plan. A meal PLAN means that you have considered what options you have and what will be best for the day (and even week!) ahead.

The second rule of your meal plan:

plan for 3-6 meals in your day. Opinions vary on whether it is best for your metabolism to stick with the traditional breakfast lunch dinner format or to make a concerted effort to have 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the course of a day. For myself, I make sure to have my standard 3, and typically incorporate an afternoon snack if needed. I have already planned what that afternoon snack can be, and have it at my disposal should the need arise. I am a teacher, and my morning goes nonstop through lunch so I don’t really have an opportunity to stop for a mid morning snack, but I also have not felt the need for one as I use Shakeology for breakfast.

The third (and final) rule of your meal plan:

Do not attempt to make up for today with tomorrow. If you blow your meal plan on Monday, do not create an extra calorie deficit on Tuesday in an effort to make up for it. Monday was blown. It happens; deal with it. Then come back stronger on Tuesday. Identify where you dropped the ball and make improvements until your daily habit match your meal plan and it will start to become automatic.

As I have had my own struggles in creating, implementing, and sticking to a meal plan I wanted to offer some recommendations to the three primary meals in the event that you can relate these experiences. I hope you find them helpful 🙂

Breakfast:

Some of us get acclimated to having no breakfast and just go through the morning on coffee. It should come as no shock that this is really not the best idea. Your goal should be on your fitness and health, not simply losing weight or maintaining weight. You have an awesome opportunity in the morning to jump start your metabolism and give your body what it needs. Take advantage of that by PLANNING to have breakfast, however simple it may be.

Lunch:

When I failed to have lunch planned out, serious disaster could result. When this was coupled with failing to eat breakfast, it was even worse. Lunch time would roll around and I would be starving and have nothing in front of me. Solution? I’ll go get something real quick. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if I need food, and I need it fast, I am probably going to wind up with something for lunch that compromises my nutritional goals. It is critical that you plan your lunch the night before. If you are consistent, it won’t take long until you are looking forward to some of the lunches that you find you enjoy the most.

Dinner:

For dinner, I simply had to pay attention to my portion sizes. To be honest, this is largely because I have an awesome wife who plans our family’s meals for the week. She is an amazing cook, and it is an easy thing to have too much of a great dish that is served at dinner. In fact, it took her a little by surprise when I started paying closer attention to my food quanties, and having just one burger instead of two. I would measure the portions of my dinner sides; I started using the measuring spoons to give myself an exact portion of a salad dressing. At the end of the day, I am usually pretty spent, so having the blessing of a meal already prepared tempts me to disengage my brain altogether and just eat. I came to the place where I no longer wanted to “undo” the efforts I had made throughout the day. Again, in time this became more automatic, but it did require a bit of effort at first.

You Can Do It!

Some will face more difficult obstacles than the standard ones I have presented. The bottom line is that if you PLAN, you will have a huge advantage in sticking to your nutritional objectives. For myself, I found a tremendous advantage in using the approach presented to me by a college buddy who got me plugged into a challenge group that helped to give me balance between my exercise, nutrition, and accountability. I’m down 70 lbs so far, and have now entered my best fitness level since high school football. Drop a comment below or email me if you are interested in learning more about this. If I was able to do it, I promise you can too!