Author Archives: erickkroeger
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 🙂
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 🙂
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! 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.
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?
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.
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 🙂
Two Lethal Landmines to Avoid: Fast Food & No 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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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!
First, let me say that if you are working out and have some form of regular exercise incorporated into your life, congratulations! It is one of the easiest things to NOT do and make excuses as to why we don’t. I know, because for nearly a decade that was me. I came to abhor anything that would make me sweat, and it became easier and easier to not workout. As I got my workout legs back under me, I found three F’s that have served me well at age 40 in keeping up with the demands of some challenging workouts.
Essential #1 – Flexibility
I am not a particularly flexible person by nature. However, flexibility is a HUGE part of making sure that you not only have a good workout, but is critical in making sure that you can continue to workout. Be sure to have some light warmup stretches to ease into your workout. Be sure to engage in active stretching over the course of your workout, and post workout do some focused stretching on the muscle groups you worked that day. Don’t worry if you can’t stretch to the floor or discover you have as little flexibility as I do. Stretch to where you’re comfortable and don’t push into positions your body isn’t ready for.
Essential #2 – Focus
Once you begin your workout, ensure that you are giving focus to proper form. If you fail to keep the form and focus intended in your workout, you are wasting your time. This is not to say that your form has to be perfect. However, there is a marked difference in the results one will achieve by doing moves “similar” to the trainers and duplicating moves you are shown. Solid focus in your workout means you will have to give greater effort in your workouts, but that translates into some phenomenal results. You’ll be happy you did 🙂
Essential #3 – Ferocity
Have a ferocious mindset when you enter your workout. This does not mean that you push your body to the breaking point and beyond; what it means is that even when you have to modify your workouts, you want to make it to the end. Some days will be a breeze and you will be excited to “push play” (as we say in TBB) or just jump into your run or whatever workout you do. There are other days, though, when it is a severe act of will to just show up. When you enter your workout “zone” so to speak, be ready to bring it, and do not waiver in your commitment and determination. Final note: guard yourself against overtraining. After speaking to Focus and Ferocity, I know it can seem even counterintuitive to not go all out, but remember that you are in this for the long haul. Your endurance will increase as will your strength, but you must have the patience to allow your body to acclimate to the demands of a workout regime again. Thanks for reading, and stop by tomorrow as we’ll talk about two huge landmines to avoid so that your efforts are not derailed and your results stay on track!
Component 1: The right number of calories
While not the only component to weight loss, it isn’t any mystery that if you are serious about losing weight you have to create a calorie deficit. A number of people have struggles that go beyond the simple calorie count, but this is where it begins. If you don’t have a baseline and track in some measure where you are in relation to it, you have no chance of losing those unwanted pounds. That being said, there is a second component to having winning nutrition.
Component 2: The Right Kind of Calories
Many people who still struggle in losing weight after they have their calorie count under control see much improved results when they give focus to getting their calories from the right sources. While this example is a bit extreme, no one would recognize that there would be an issue in attempting to get all of your calories from soda and chips. You could technically gauge how much Coke and Potato Chips to have at all three meals to stay within a target calorie goal, but on top of feeling miserable you not likely see any changes. For some, that balance in the macros of your nutrition must be a bit more precise than for others. Keep your pulse on how many calories you proactively plan to get from protein, carb, and fat sources.
Component 3: Effective Distribution of Calories
One huge downfall many of us have fallen prey to is fasting through the day in an effort to use all of our calories in one meal. That does not allow our metabolism to achieve any balance, and is likely to wreak havoc on our body, mood, and emotional state. Avoid this pitfall! Plan at least 3 mealtimes on your day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and make an effort to stretch into 5 to 6 smaller meals on the day. With these in place, the 4th component is a no-brainer.
Component 4: Water
This was one of my greatest struggles. I had virtually lived on diet soda, and water was just too boring for my taste buds. I have made great strides by using water with lemon (and other citrus) to have some flavor and get to my 8 (+) cups of water on the day. The good news is that as you incorporate more water into your diet, the more your body will want it. This does not happen overnight, but I can tell you that I can actually sense my bodies thirst for water and soda has little appeal for me anymore.Seek to keep balance in your eating habits and you will see great strides in your weight loss journey. One final note, also be sure to not create too large a calorie deficit and so starve your body that it begins to shut down. One of the best tools I have found in helping me to reach target goals in this regard is an app/website called myfitnesspal (My fitness pal). You can put it on your smartphone or just log into it on your computer at myfitnesspal.com. It is totally free and allows you to track not only your calories but your fat, carb, protein, cholesterol, sodium, etc. Hope you have a terrific Tuesday, and drop by tomorrow for some tips on exercise 🙂
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As we enter the final week of August I decided to do a countdown on my fitness page each weekday to focus on things you can do to end the month on a good note and be poised to start September off right! Tune in every day this week to get tips & reminders on how to accelerate your weight loss and achieve your fitness goals.
Day 1 – Five Keys to Fitness Success: Exercise, Nutrition, Accountability, Commitment, Adaptability/Resilience.
There are a host of things we could look at, but let’s keep this simple. If you are serious about losing weight and/or getting fit the first item on this list comes as no surprise. It’s no secret that exercise is an essential part of fitness, no matter what level of exercise you engage in. It does not have to be high intensity, but you have to give your body some level of activity and elevate your heart rate. If you need this reminder as I did, renew your mind with the truth that it is ok to sweat a little.
Two inevitable questions that now follow: How much exercise? How hard should I go? In answer to the first question, make a plan to exercise at least three to four times this week. If you have been engaged in regular workouts you could even push to five or six workouts in the week. The level of intensity should be in line with what your body can handle, and only you know that. The real key here is to start slow if you’re just getting back on the horse or have never incorporated a regular workout routine before. You can always increase intensity the next day if things don’t seem challenging enough, but it would be terrible to get sidelined by an injury just coming out of the gate because of impatience. The duration of each workout is again going to be something you either know how to gauge because you know your body, or have to learn. If you are learning (or relearning) your body start with a half hour including cool downs. As you feel you can handle more consider gradually moving to 45 minutes and eventually even a full 60 minutes of activity.
Equally obvious is what nutrition you allow into your body. This is a huge deal because all the efforts of your workouts can be undone if you think you eat whatever you want simple because you “worked out”. Be smart, and identify some healthy meals you can use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to ward off the hunger monster.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves; A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
I know there is a huge temptation to believe you can simply get it done on your own. The truth that we all know to be true is this: we do better with accountability. We thrive and gain strength when we have someone who goes through the struggle with us and helps keep us focused. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one providing encouragement.
Find at least one accountability partner, but if at all possible get a group of 3 or four. Give them the authority to ask tough questions and be prepared every now and again to tell on yourself.
Don’t be in it for the short term. Make the commitment for the long haul. Temporary results are incredibly frustrating as the other side of the yo-yo diet always seems to leave us worse off than when we started. Make the commitment that you have decided to take ownership of your health and fitness goals and BE COMMITTED to them!
How does the saying go? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. Be prepared for the fact that your ideal plan to bring a fitness regiment into your schedule may not go entirely according to plan. You will have to “tweak” things, and possibly make sacrifices to get workouts in and be resilient enough to adjust to the curve balls life will inevitably throw your way. You can do it! It just might not look the way you envisioned it at the beginning 🙂
Your thoughts? Talk to me below! Comeback tomorrow as we give more focused attention to nutrition! (If no option to like or comment appears, click on the article title and scroll back down. Thanks!)