Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Find your Motivation

Someone recently asked me what motivates me to work out on a regular basis. You would think it's a common question I get, but to be honest with you, it caught me off guard, and the first response I came up with was "I don't know." Truth is, I'm not sure what motivates me anymore. I have been weight training and exercising consistently for 2 years now, and the motivation back then is a little different than it is now. In the beginning I was motivated by the most beautiful little boy I had ever seen - my son, who was 2 weeks old when I began this journey. The lives of him and his older sister meant absolutely everything to me and I needed to be the best Mommy I could be to both of them. I knew that part of that would include taking control of my health and ensuring I had the energy and positive mental state to always be engaged with their lives in a healthy and thriving way. I had just given birth to my son. My body amazed me during the process. My labour was 3 hours long, which would have been shorter had the little guy not decided to turn around. I pushed for 8 minutes, didn't need a single stitch, and hopped off that bed feeling amazing, home within 3 hours of having him. I was beyond grateful for such an empowering experience and I was able to get a glimpse of how powerful the mind-body connection could be. For maybe the first time ever, I absolutely appreciated my body, and was motivated to nurture it and see what else it was capable of. Finally, having lost my Mom in 2004, I had an awareness of how vitally important taking care of your health is. Had she taken care of her health and made different choices, I no doubt believe she would still be here. My kids would know her. I would be provided the opportunity to witness her love for my children, and theirs for her. Her death was such a powerful event in my life. For awhile it crippled me. For awhile I was completely lost without her. After having my own children, I figured a way I could use that pain and loss for positivity - and that happened in the gym, lifting weights heavier than I imagined I could. For now I don't have any big goals. I have done half marathons, done the Tough Mudder, the Spartan and competed in a bikini competition. It's a lot to pack into a couple years and for now I'm enjoying the freedom of eating what I want and creating my own workout programs. (In another post I will talk about the competition specifically, I have a lot to say about it!) For now, working out gives me peace of mind. I am more patient, less fearful, more confident and have such a sense of accomplishment and pride. The mornings I don't get up to get my workout in I feel off. I'm more tired and way more irritable. I go to bed disappointed (except for my scheduled rest days). I have come to love and appreciate my body. The way I honor my body is through proper nutrition and exercise. This is my body, it is so important to take care of it and treat it well while I can. A day may come when I no longer have this luxury. I owe it to my Mom, to my husband, to my children and of course, to ME. I deserve my health, and I don't take the topic lightly. So you see, when someone asks me where my motivation comes from, I have trouble answering that simply. It's a complex, multi-faceted response that is largely personal to me. I wish there was an easy answer that can be translated into your life, but there's so much more to it. You will need to find your own motivation, your own will power, which I expect will be very different from my own. And those answers will be what powers you to get out of bed when your eyes can barely open, or what keeps you moving when you desperately want to sit down for the night. And when you discover what your motivation is, please come back and share with me, I would love to hear your "why" xxoo

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Don't Have Time

One of the most common reasons excuses I hear from people regarding their health or fitness habits revolves around time, specifically not having enough of it. Reaching for unhealthy food is deemed acceptable because there just isn't the time. Blowing off a workout because there just aren't enough hours in the day. Not committing to a fitness plan because they work full time, have children, volunteer, have extra curricular activities, and are barely sleeping at night because there are just too many other things they HAVE to do. I hear it all the time, whether it be with clients, potential clients, friends, family, or random people I encounter. I cannot tell you how many times I hear this as a reason for not incorporating fitness into the daily grind.

I listen quietly to them. And cringe.

The fact is, NOBODY has enough time. We fill our plates with so many things, we keep ourselves busy from early morning to late night with something. There are other commitments to attend to, other people to please, other activities that must be engaged in. If I were to respond to these people (and depending on who it is, I do) it would be this: "then being healthy and fit just aren't that important to you." Fact - you are in charge of prioritizing your days. If working out isn't fitting into your life, then it is because you are making the decision that other things are MORE important. Let's cut right to it - anyone can find 30 minutes out of a 24 hour day to exercise in some way. Nobody says you have to work out for hours, in fact that's totally unnecessary and unhealthy. 30 minutes is enough to get your body working hard at a level that will induce change. Personally I feel like I don't have time to work out either. I have 2 very young children and a lot of responsibility in my life. I decided a couple years ago though that my health was a priority. If I had to let go of some other things, so be it. Fitness made it to the top of my list and everything else would either fall into place around that, or fall away entirely. Because time feels limited to me, my days typically begin at 4:30. I sacrifice a little bit of sleep to ensure my health is taken care of before anything else. That's how important it is to me. A few years ago I never would have believed I would get up so early. The thought of it would have made my stomach churn. I mean, who in their right mind gets up in the middle of the night?? Not only do I want to make sure I take my health seriously, I know that mornings are when I am most successful I know that if I don't work out right away, it's likely I won't work out at all. I set my day up to be successful before it even begin.

I don't have time. I MAKE time.

Yes, you do have time. If you completely disagree with this statement, then if you are really ready and really desiring to make a commitment to your health, you must make a conscious decision to let something else go. Perhaps perusing Facebook, or watching 2 hours of t.v. at night or drinking on the weekends will have to go.

If your health is that important to you, you will find a way.

So my question to you is this, how do you make the time to incorporate fitness into your life? Or if you are just starting out on your journey, what are you willing to do to make it your priority? As always, contact me with any questions, I am here to cheer you on! xxoo

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What is MOST important to you?

The other day I was playing with my kids at the local Early Years Center when I found myself engaged in conversation with a woman probably a few years older than myself. She was there with her daughter, who was 4 years old. She was very open and talked to me about her struggles with post-partum depression, the hospitalization she faced because of the severity of it and the 7 medications she then began taking. Over the past 4 years she has managed to wean off 5 of them but still is taking 2. She claimed that because of the medication she gained 65 pounds very quickly. Since then she has tried a variety of ways to lose weight - Weight Watchers, Herbal Magic, online programs and others. All were unsuccessful for her. She alluded to the fact that she believes she is unable to lose the weight because of the last 2 medications. I remained mostly quiet but it was obvious to me exactly why nothing was working for her - it wasn't the medication, it wasn't that the programs weren't effective, it had to do with something else entirely.

In describing her weight struggles with me, she claimed, "nothing worked for me. Well....I would lose weight but not quickly. So I figured I might as well just eat what I want and be happy instead."

Two issues with this statement:

1. She was losing weight - should be considered a success right? The speed at which weight is lost isn't important. It's safe to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Any more than that can be unhealthy and oftentimes is related to water weight. The problem is we want things FAST. We aren't willing to put forth CONTINUOUS effort. A couple days here, maybe a week or two when we're really motivated and then....well....screw it. One of her issues was that she never worked long enough at something to see the results she was hoping for. When it comes to losing weight or sculpting the body, consistency is absolutely vital. Time will pass anyway, might as well be spending it taking care of you and creating the body you want.

2. She isn't happy with her weight, it was obvious in the short time I spoke with her. Yet as unhappy as she was, she placed more value on immediate gratification rather than her long term happiness. It's definitely challenging for many people to find that determination and discipline, but by continually choosing immediate satisfaction that is contradictory to your long term goals, you are reiterating to yourself and those around you that your overall goals aren't important. You have to determine for yourself what you want MOST and realize that there is a huge difference between that and what you want right now - if the two are not aligned, it's time for you to decide which will hold precedence in your life.

So answer me this: What is MOST important to you? Now go base your every day decisions on that answer and be unwavering in your commitment to achieving this goal. There you will find success.