Repost: Motivate Yourself to Work Out in 5 Easy Steps

Oh, it makes me giggle to see how far I’ve come. I wrote this one year ago, before I’d ever dreamt of running. Now, well, It seems I’ve become a gym rat. The horror! Enjoy these 5 workout tips, from a former no-worker-outer. ūüôā

Me no work out. And when I do, it must be short. Fifteen minutes max. There’s no point in buying me a gym membership because I won’t go. If I can’t work out in my pyjamas in my living room, well, it ain’t gonna happen because I ain’t doing my beached whale moves/crunches where any skinny gym rats can see me.

20140609-215253-78773105.jpg
Science has proven that wearing something made by Lululemon causes you to burn 25% more calories

Nevertheless, I’ve worked out for two months straight now, because I have my motivation strategy all worked out. And now, you can be motivated too! Here are five steps to motivation:

1. Tell Yourself How Good it is For You

You’ll sleep better, you’ll have better
circulation. It’ll clear the mental fog–but most of all, it will keep you limber. And for me, being able to finally sit cross-legged is a big deal.

Not kidding.

That failing, move to:

2. Stand in Front of a Mirror–In Your Underwear

First, flex your muscles and admire the biceps you have developed. Second, squeeze the jelly roll around your middle. Those reverse crunches? Oh yeah, it’ll be gone.

But if that doesn’t work.

3. Kick Your Own Butt

I say to myself “Who’s the boss? Who’s the boss?”

**meekly** “I am.”

“Then get out there!”

20140609-215050-78650942.jpg
I’ve got my game face on.

But if you’re still on the couch, try:

4. Promise Yourself Something

If I work out four times this week I’ll:

Eat chips.

Fail.

Buy the next book in The Mortal Instruments series. Ding Ding Ding!

But, if you cannot possibly bring yourself to do a squat, lunge or a step on the treadmill, there is one last maneuver you can try.

5. Watch Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition

If this doesn’t scare you into your workout gear, at very least it will inspire you. They always look so beautiful at the end, and they have so much confidence!

That’s all we want, right?

Friends, I’m a royal wimp when it comes to working out, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that doing what you said you would does wonders for the mind, body and soul.

So put on the sweats. Tie back the hair. Off the couch in three, two, one… go!

20140609-215404-78844679.jpg

I Believe in Resolutions

“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn‚Äôt matter which way you go‚ÄĚ (Lewis Carol, Alice in Wonderland).

Is this the year you actually do it? ¬†Woah, let’s not get crazy now.

Heaven forbid you make a New Years resolution, and it actually happens.  The apocalypse might come right then.  Hell might freeze solid.

Most of the conversations I’ve had about New Years Resolutions have been sheepish, defensive and short. Someone is making resolutions, otherwise the gyms wouldn’t be full in January. But I guess they don’t want to talk about it. I get it. Will power is a fickle mistress. Put a bag of chips in front of me and I’ll prove it to you.

But I still believe in resolutions. A year is too much time to waste, and how will I truly accomplish something if I don’t even know what I want to do?

Last year was the first year I made hard, fast resolutions.  I wrote two pages of them.  I accomplished about half.

Some were miraculously successful. I made the stereotypical resolution to lose weight. I wrote down the number I wanted to see on the scale, lighter than I’d been since graduation. But I didn’t have much hope, I think. So it’s a miracle that I’ve reached December¬†at¬†that weight-loss goal, thanks to Trim Healthy Mama and a lot of hard work.

I prepare to lace up for the first time.
I prepare to lace up for the first time.

This brought a surprise with it: running. I didn’t want to run. I was sure I couldn’t do it. But when a friend I met through Trim Healthy Mama goaded me to train for a 5K in August, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was the kind of crazy I needed. I bought a pair of shoes and downloaded ‘Couch to 5K’ onto my phone.

Two months later, I ran my first 5K. I was in love. I ran three more 5Ks. November 1st, I ran 10 kilometres for the first time and now run that distance weekly. Resolution #1 for next year? Run my first half-marathon.

I also set a goal to release my first book. It was late, but We are the Living¬†was published at the end of the summer. I’m proud of it, and I learned a lot. I’m now almost done my next novel.

Where I¬†failed¬†was finances. I think my goals were realistic, but I made some bad choices, and some thingsliving_front didn’t go the way I planned. The time wasn’t wasted, because I learned a lot and gained humility.

Will I make resolutions for 2015? You bet. I’m in the midst of thinking and praying and drafting a list. I encourage you to write a list too–if nothing else, to help you remember what you’d like to do this year.

Here are a few pointers.

1. Make the goals specific. If you don’t know your destination, how will you know when you get there? ¬†For instance, instead of saying “I want to run farther next year,” I wrote “I want to run the Imagine Mental Health Half-Marathon”. ¬†That gives me a place and a time. The goal is measurable.

2. Make it reasonably attainable, but not too small. In order to run a half marathon, I need to double my distance. I’ve never even run a 10K race. But, I’ve already doubled my distance once, and I have a training plan I can implement. It will be a lot of work, but if I’m healthy I can do it. It’s realistic, but I’ll need to break it down into small steps. I can’t do it all at once.

3. Make¬†a time-limit or deadline–even if that is just ‘by December 31, 2015’. Build in some urgency. ¬†For instance, I know that I need to double my distance by mid-September in order to attain my half-marathon goal.

4. Make it fun. I wrote a whole list of random things I wanted to do this year: go to Folklorama (a cultural festival in Winnipeg), go catfishing, go to the symphony, cook Christmas dinner for my family, learn a new skill, make a new friend and so forth. ¬†Just a bucket list of sorts that I’d be disappointed if I forgot to do. ¬†I learned a new skill, and I made two new friends. I didn’t go to the symphony. But there’s always next year.

I would suggest making goals in various areas of your life (i.e. finances, fitness, family and friends, faith) but not too many. 2 pages may be too much. Finally, write this all down and reread it many times during the year so you don’t forget.

Ultimately, plans change and some of the resolutions you make at the beginning of the year will be unimportant at the end. ¬†But a year is a lot of time to waste, so why not figure out what ‘time spent well’ looks like to you, and resolve to make this a year of growth.

Still Fat on the Inside

“Reject the the philosophy that is causing you to fail, or you will never succeed” (loose quote of business leader Claude Hamilton).

It’s been seven months since I committed to losing weight. ¬†Wonder of wonders, it actually worked and I am sitting here on a smaller butt than I was in March.

And it’s been five months since I began running. ¬†Tomorrow I’ll run 10K for the first time. ¬†The other day, my sister made an off-handed comment about ‘yeah, but you’re in shape’ and I went ‘ha ha… oh.’ ¬†I guess anyone who can run ten kilometres can be vaguely construed as in shape. ¬†I’ve never, ever been in that category.

But am I really a different person?

_DSC0198
January 2014
cabinrun
September 2014

Most days I don’t eat sugar, and I eat my veggies and my flax and my sweet potato fries. ¬†I like eating that way. ¬†I feel good.

But then the next day¬†I have unbearable cravings and I polish off a bag of chips. ¬†I did that yesterday, and afterward I was like “why the heck did I do that?” ¬†I know that about halfway through I’ll stop enjoying them, but the hand will keep going to the mouth just because… because why? ¬†I don’t know. ¬†I can’t seem to stop it.

A lot of things have changed, but some key things haven’t. ¬†I still love food far, far too much. ¬†If anything, it seems to take a more integral part of my life because now it is all about timing my meals to get optimum energy, and obsessing over if something has too many carbs or not enough, and feeling guilty every time I eat pumpkin pie at a family gathering.

I did that when I was fat, too.

I’m not talking about body image. ¬†I like my body, thank you very much. ¬†I’m talking about freedom.

At the time of writing, I am almost twenty-four hours into a day of prayer and fasting. ¬†No food. ¬†For those who’ve never fasted, it isn’t that bad. ¬†For me it is almost entirely psychological. ¬†I hate to not eat. ¬†I hate the dull ache in my stomach. ¬†I hate having nothing to munch. ¬†I even miss cooking… kind of.

It took me days to talk myself into doing this. ¬†I’ve fasted before. ¬†Last time I spent all day fantasizing about food, until at about half way into my late shift, I got dizzy and had to break the fast early. ¬†Today my work day was too busy to allow time for daydreaming, but now that I’m home, I’m considering padlocking the fridge and throwing the key off the balcony.

But I want to be free.  I want to be free of my external weight AND this internal weight.  I want the food monster to stop dogging my step all the way around the grocery store.  Food was supposed to be one of the most innocent of pleasures.  What happened?  So it seems right to give up eating while praying about freedom from food.

At midnight National Novel Writing Month begins. ¬†I’m going to stay up, have an omelet and begin my next novel. ¬†I don’t expect to be free in an instant, but tomorrow will be a new day, a new month, and a new chance.

 

5 Benefits of Trim Healthy Mama (losing weight is not one of them)

Yesterday marked two months of this low-glycemic, holistic lifestyle called Trim Healthy Mama, and I’ve yet to lose enthusiasm. ¬†Quite the opposite.

Yes, I’ve lost weight–fifteen pounds, and two pant sizes. ¬†But I’m also seeing a slow transformation that I wanted to share with you, in hopes of converting you, of course. ūüôā Here are five benefits I’ve seen outside of weight loss.

1. Acne gone

I think if this was the only thing cured, I’d still be pumped. ¬†My acne, which has plagued me for the past twelve years, has been reduced by eighty percent. ¬†My aunt, who hadn’t seen me in weeks, said my skin looked better over all–clearer and softer.

2. All day, abundant energy

While my coworkers are suffering from their three o’clock crash, my eyes are wide open. Heck, I’ve been known to ‘Rawr!’ spontaneously. ¬†Because my blood sugar does not spike or plummet, my energy levels remain steady throughout the day. ¬†If I add a workout to this, I can feel downright unstoppable.

Naturally, nothing can make up for proper sleep and taking time to rest and relax, but this is a really good start.

3. Renewed enjoyment of food

I used to feel guilty for loving food. ¬†I couldn’t enjoy a decadent meal without ‘feeling’ my waistline expanding. ¬†I couldn’t enjoy junk food or desert without some measure of regret.

But now, I know that everything I eat is beneficial to me–even the sugar-free, crustless cheesecake is doing me no harm. ¬†Actually, it’s benefiting my mental wellness!

When I do eat chips (which I do occasionally–life is for the living), it is a conscious choice, not a compulsion. ¬†I say to myself “I will enjoy this without guilt” because they are a treat, not a staple of my diet.

4. Banishment of the carb coma

This weekend was Easter, and Easter in a Mennonite family means feasting. ¬†I decided I would not deny myself, as my Saviour’s resurrection is cause for celebration. ¬†Our gathering was redolent with carbs and sugar, but I decided to skip the most starchy items (corn, potatoes, buns) and eat as much as I wanted of the meat, veggies and other treats. Of course, I indulged in Paska (sweet Easter bread), but I brought my own sugar-free Easter treats.

The result was, though I was VERY full, I was wide awake–none of that compulsion to nap that so often follows holiday feasts.

5. Renewed love for all things health

Two works: work out. ¬†They weren’t part of my vocabulary–ever. ¬†But now they are, and the more I exercise (and my stomach flattens), the more I want to exercise. ¬†I feel… I feel like I’m not quite myself!

Don’t get me wrong. ¬†After two months, I’ve definitely had my bad days, bad weeks even. ¬†I think that’s just part of being a woman (or a human). ¬†But success begets success, and the better things get, the less attractive the bag of chips looks.

As I said in my Trim Healthy Mama story, though I’d love to convert you, I know there are many ways to achieve optimal health. ¬†I encourage you to do your research and embark on your own journey.