Now go run!
So say you are starting out on a new health and fitness plan. You’ve grocery shopped for fresh produce, lean proteins, low fat dairy items, whole grains and maybe some dark chocolate to savor. You may have joined a gym, downloaded the Couch-2-5K app on your iWhatever or signed up with an awesome, kick butt boot camp program.
Overwhelmed? Often times the actual implementation of a new plan can be overwhelming. Sometimes feeling overwhelmed can actually get in the way of your implementing your plans. And while new healthy habits take time to be developed you can do it. You just need a bit of patience. Try this exercise for a few days and see if this helps.
Tonight, before you go to bed, fill in the following sentence…
Today I will __________________________.
It can be walk for 30 minutes, eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables, drink water, work on a puzzle when you’re feeling stressed, sad, or emotional in any way and drawn to the cookie jar.
It can be anything to help you get closer to your fitness goals BUT it can only be ONE thing. Just one.
When you wake up tomorrow, read what you wrote and then do that one thing. When you do that one thing pat your awesome self on the back and be proud. You did that one thing – you were successful!
Now, even if you eat an entire bag of Mother’s Circus Cookies (OK – full disclosure, I LOVE these little waxy textured little gems) and you have done your one thing you have had a successful day. Today, the cookies don’t matter.
But wait, Keli (I can hear you now) – I just ate a thousand calories worth of cookies, how can that be a good thing? And you’re right, it’s not. But today we were just focusing on walking for 30 minutes and by golly, you did it and you were successful. Today, you reached a goal. Great job. (And I promise you, we will deal with those cookies soon enough.)
Now here’s where it gets fun. The next day you are going to wake up and do that one thing again. And then the day after that you are going to do that one thing again. And the day after and the day after and the day after that you are going to do that one thing again. This is how you develop a new behavior and a new habit; a healthier habit.
Soon, you’ll find that your 30 minute walk is becoming second nature, it’s something you just do. Like brushing your teeth or watching Grease 2 whenever it’s on cable.
And as you get comfortable with your new healthy habit you can follow the same steps with other habits. The key is to find a good habit to add so that the less than desirable habits get pushed out; if you eat 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits, odds are you won’t have room in your belly for a bag of Mother’s cookies. Yes, you may try it once or twice but then you may settle for 4 or 5 cookies instead.
So tonight take a few minutes and figure out one thing to do tomorrow that will help you get that much closer to your health and fitness goals. Ah, ah, ah – just one. Remember, we are only trying to add one new healthy habit at a time.
Please let me know how this exercise works for you, I’d love to hear your feedback.
Now go run!
Here’s a trick I use when I just don’t feel like running or exercising (even though I know I should). I promise myself that I’ll just give it 10 minutes and if after those 10 minutes I still don’t feel like going further I won’t.
In the many, many times I’ve used this trick I think I’ve only turned around from a run or left the gym 1 or 2 times.
It’s a classic case of mind over matter. Once your body starts moving and you get the kinks out, you will probably find that completing your workout is a cinch!
What are YOUR tips and tricks to get you through a workout? Please share!
Now go run!
I have an opportunity to train with some very strong and dedicated ladies. Three mornings a week they drag themselves out of a warm, cozy bed and come to Boot Camp. They show up in the rain, in the bitter cold of January (ok – to clarify we live about 20 minutes north of San Francisco so bitter cold to us is like 50), and when it’s pitch black outside. In other words, when normal people are sleeping or inside!
Each gal is unique and at a different level of fitness. But no matter what I ask, they deliver. And therein lies some pretty hard core motivation and inspiration for me.
Face it, we all need motivation. We all need inspiration. We all need someone to push us to go a bit farther, a bit harder, a bit more out of our comfort zone. When we see what’s possible in others it gives us a glimpse into what’s possible in ourselves.
You may find motivation from a coworker, a friend or even from reading “How I lost 100 pounds” in this week’s People magazine. For me, it comes from a group of ladies busting out hill repeats on a chilly, dark Wednesday morning.
Now go run!
Yesterday I woke up at 4:00am on the button. Wide awake. Normally that would be ok, but unfortunately the night before I didn’t get to sleep until after 11 and the night before that I was up until past midnight and also got up at 4:00am. Bummer for me.
Running an early morning boot camp program does not allow me the opportunity to hit snooze or to turn off my alarm if I can’t sleep. Even on the days that I don’t teach, I will still wake up at 5am, not matter what time I went to bed.
And it’s not because I think I’m all badass or one of those crazy CEO’s who often boast that they only need 4 hours of sleep. I love sleep. I covet sleep. But the fact of the matter is that no matter how tired I am, an extra 15 minutes or a few touches on the snooze bar won’t really help.
But what I’ve found is that it does help to get up and move. Shake out the cobwebs, get the brain engaged. Move. Breathe. Your day will get much better, I promise. And when you lay your weary head on the pillow at night, you will sleep like a baby.
Now go run!
I’m a glass half-full kind of gal. Every cloud has a silver lining, a rainy winter means more snow in the mountains and water in the lakes. etc. You get my drift.
This kind of annoying optimism comes in handy for working out. I truly believe that a hard workout is one of the joys in life; a challenging trail run makes me feel alive and doing pushups until my arms are noodles makes me smile.
I realize that not everyone adores a tough run or a killer boot camp class and that’s ok. You don’t have to love it. Or even like it. But you have to do it. Yes. You. Have. To.
I know. You hate it. I hear you.
Get over it.
For one week pretend that you love working out. Dig up some faux enthusiasm for hill repeats. Get giddy over burpees. Preen for pushups. Face every workout challenge with a smile on your face and gratitude in your heart for being able to move your body and do something good for yourself.
When you want to skip something because it seems, too (fill in the blank with your excuse here) – take a second, a deep breath, then turn that frown upside down and charge into your workout. Repeat this exercise as needed.
Now go run!