Tag Archives: goal

Being Accountable for Your Workout: Tips & Tricks for Keeping it Going

17 Jan

Write firm goals. Post them so other people know. Put them up where you can see them.

OK you’ve made your goal and you’re maximally motivated. Let’s get real for a second. On those off-days, the stressful busy days, when your sick–what is the bare minimum of your goal to still keep it alive, but also slack off a teeny bit. Decide a minimum per day that’s acceptable. Probably make this decision after you’re out of the out-of-shape phase, when you know what your maintenance-level is. And hold yourself to it! Nothing less. But try not to use it either, if you can help it. This is reserved for emergency bad days.

Send check-ins to someone else. You can do it on social media or a phone call (and in person once you’re vaccinated for Covid-19, but not before that). Do it immediately after your workout, so your rosy, sweaty face is proof. But check in, tell another person (truthfully and accurately) what you did, and keep up on this. On the days you feel lazy or cheat-y, you should think if what you’ll have to tell this other person. And it should properly motivate you to just get it done. And don’t lie or be sketchy–you’re only cheating yourself!

Don’t rush the results. Impatience can kill a workout. You’ve been working your ass off! You pushed too hard past the out of shape phase, worked out every day even when you were tired or just wanted to screen instead. But why is that number on the scale not budging? It’s not fair! This is the time a lot of people get discouraged and quit. But don’t. This is a time you need to remember WHY you made this goal in the first place. Look at your written goal. Think or write the reasons success of that goal will make you feel better and be happier.

Write a motivational poster. It’s time to write down what motivates you. You want to wear a bikini. You need to keep up with your hyper-puppy on your dog walks. You want to take the 3 flights of stairs at work instead of taking the covid-ater. What do you want in the long term out of this goal? Write those things where you can see them. Then go online (I like Pintrest for it) and find your favorite motivational quotes. Make a poster with like 12 things and put it where you work out. When you want to skip-read it. When you’re tired of running have a pic of it on your phone. When you’re struggling through that last set, look at it as you lift.

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 12: (L-R) Victoria’s Secret models Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio, Erin Heatherton, Lindsay Ellingson, and Lily Aldridge attend the Victoria’s Secret Supermodel cycle to benefit cancer at SoulCycle Tribeca on July 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Don’t justify bad behavior, get real with yourself. I mean, your mind can make all sorts of justifications and excuses. But your body is keeping track of exactly what you are doing–accurately. Don’t let a disconnect happy. Be absolutely honest with yourself. Because you only hurt your own progress if you don’t.

Give yourself pre-planned breaks. For a holiday, or off day. Know which days those are, and do your minimum.

Don’t do too much too fast. You’ll burn out. Or get injured. The big challenge is to do this LONG TERM. This is a lifestyle, that’s the only way you will lose weight and keep it off. So whatever you do has to be sustainable over time.

Make it easy on you. Not a social butterfly–don’t sign up for those zumba classes. Get bored easily? Don’t buy a treadmill. Not a morning person? Don’t say you’ll wake up at 5 AM to do an exercise video. Work with you, as you are–not as you wish you would be. Figure out when your highest energy level during the day is, what you will do, and cater to that. Because if you go against your nature, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Do it 1st thing in the morning. Go to bed earlier so you can be rested to get it done first thing. Get up and do it. It’ll be done, and one of the sayings we use nearly EVERY day is: Another run done–feels good when it’s over.

Just get it done procrastination makes it feel worse. I’m talking through experience-it’s worse if you don’t just do it and get it done. The later I waited, the LESS I wanted to do it. I had eaten and couldn’t comfortably do it. Things came up. I just wanted to relax… But there was this guilt and regret about not wanting to skip it. Seriously, on the days you don’t want to do it–those are the days to make sure to get it done as soon as possible. Do it sooner. Then you’re free! If you wait, it’s hanging over your head.

Starting a new habit–and keeping it up

12 Jan

I swear to you–I am lazy. I hate logistics. I don’t want to do things. BUT I do cardio 7 days a week and do strength training at least 4 days a week, and recently, every single day. I want to give you the tips that worked for me, because trainers are too crazy, people that love to exercise are the exception to the rule, and it’s hard to sustain it if done the wrong way (too much, too hard, too soon).

Go to bed earlier!

People need adequate sleep. Stop screening, and go to bed early enough to get 7-9 hours of sleep. Every night.

Lack of time” is actually a priorities problem.

There are 24 hours – lets give us a very good rest of 9 hours = 15 waking hours.

OK, you have a job, and have to drive to that job, shower, take care of the kids, all your logistics: 9 hours of work 3 hours (?) of logistics = 12 hours of time you HAVE to do stuff.

15-12 = 3 free hours

The Mayo clinic wants adults to get 30 min of exercise every day.

That 30 min of exercise is less than 17% of your FREE time. It’s 7% of your waking hours outside of work. I suggesst you do your own personalized math, and write down what percent of your day it is. My personal percent is 1% of my day is 10 min. So like, nothing at all! And when I’m feeling tired, lazy, or defeated–I remind myself it would be 2% of my day.

Write your goals down.

Be reasonable. Be specific. Have a realistic timeline and write that end date. You can have a big dream. But it’s better to write a goal or 2 with the big dream in mind. Have a plan of what smaller steps you need to take to reach the ultimate goal.

OK, now that you know it’s not that much time, think about WHEN a workout could fit in your schedule. Since you went to bed earlier and you’re rested–you could do it first thing in the morning!

Which I do recommend. Because:

-it starts your day in a productive way

-you don’t have to worry about dressing out & everything, or sweating at work/in public

-starting before your brain is awake gets the exercise done before you can think of excuses NOT to do it

-working out 1st thing wakes you up, and also sweats out in toxins. Get rid of that salt from dinner, that after dinner alcohol, and any sugar from dessert. SWEAT. it. out. It’s true, you’ll automatically feel better, endorphins aside even.

-do it before you’re tired or fatigued or have a bad day

So you have the time, you carved out a spot in your schedule to always do your workout, now TAKE IT EASY!

I don’t want you to go hard. Overdoing it is a sure way to have an unpleasant experience, get tired, be sore, and dread the next workout. Don’t burn yourself out! It’s difficult enough just to put on a sports bra and sneakers. Just do enough. You want to stair step your progress over time. And when you’re beginning a new goal-remember you’re just on the very first stair step. Don’t pole vault up to the top–because remember what happens after you clear the bar? You fall, fall, fall all the way down and land on your back. Instead, we’re looking to stand at the top of those stairs. Progress slowly!

The big, big thing to starting a habit is to do that habit every. single. day.

All days. As you know, I’m big on not breaking the chain. And I’m really gung-ho on it because it has worked for me. I have run every single day in a row for the last SEVEN years. I did it with flossing my teeth, because I was lazy-ing out half the time, and I’ve now accumulated 203 days in a row. It works because not doing the habit on one day isn’t just messing up that day, it’s fucking up a string of days, a record. And who wants to throw away a week for a moment of weakness? Or longer? This also works because people say a new habit is ingrained after 26 days of practicing it. So it’s science too.

In the past, it has helped me to attach my goal, let’s say doing ab work, to something I absolutely have to or want to do. I cannot shower until I do my crunches. That way, you’re putting your new goal on something that’s already a habit, so it’s likelier to stick.

Remember, it’s better to do a light or short workout rather than skipping. Just. do. something.

That means if you’re sore–don’t skip! Go lighter. Or shorter. Or easy.

One last thing–plan ahead. If you have a big presentation early in the morning, plan to do the workout after work that day. If you’re going on vacation–remember to pack your running clothes. Part of starting and maintaining a habit is planning ahead for those irregularities.

Starting a habit is more about training your brain than it is about training your body (at first).

And seriously. Just keep your appointment with you and if you do only 8 min of biceps–that is A-OK–congratulate yourself for accomplishing another day. Don’t get all down on yourself and quit. Just keep swimming.

30 20 10s HIIT Running Workout also Gets You in Shape FAST

6 Jan

When I’m trying to bust through that dreaded out-of-shape phase, I also (See my incline and intervals post for other workouts that help you get in shape faster) do 30-20-10s. That stands for 30 sec normal speed-20 sec fast-10 sec at peak speed.

It’s the same premise as intervals. And it works your heart real good (I think) under the same premise. But it’s more levels. The big thing about this workout is aside from helping you get fit faster–it’ll help you run faster! Serious. It has helped me get personal records and also increase my endurance.

Here’s how it works:

I’ll go backwards in the description (and sometimes I do run it in backwards order and do 10-20-30). The 10 seconds is supposed to be literally the fastest speed you can possibly do. Like, the speed you can barely get to in the first place. A speed so fast you’re nearly falling off the treadmill. It’s only for 10 sec, so the thought is, you can do ANYTHING for just 10 seconds. And I find that’s true.

The 20 seconds is your fast speed. The high part of your low-high intervals. A fast clip. It’s a challenge, but not the TOP speed you can go. I try to split the difference between the speed of my 30s and my top, top speed that I do on the 10s.

30 seconds is faster than comfort pace. It’s not your warm up pace, but not too far above it.

Some hardcore people just do the 30-20-10s and repeat 30-20-10s for the time/distance of their workout. I like to put a slow rest period after that 10 sec. So I do 45 Sec to 60 sec of warm up or slower depending on my fitness level at the time.

And as with regular intervals, you can change the rest period, and all 3 speeds. Which I do. I try to shorten/eliminate the rest, and I try to push that top speed up. Which will happen naturally as you practice and get in better shape. The 10 sec should ALWAYS be your very fastest speed that you can barely do.

An example workout with speeds:

30 sec at 7 (my warm up speed is 6)

20 sec at 8.3 (to kind make a halfway point between my 30 and 10)

10 sec at 9.5 on the treadmill

45 sec of rest at 5.5 (more time or slower if I’m out of shape, less time, faster speed, or eliminate the rest when I’m in good condition).

Again, this example is for when I’m in good condition. Right now, while I’m dealing with coldness/holiday out of shape I would do:

10 sec at 8 or 8.5 (depending how cold it is in my house–DON’T pull a muscle, in cold go slower!)

20 sec at 7

30 sec at 6

rest at 5 for 1 min

Good luck, I hope the 30-20-10s help you as they have helped me.

P.S. per the usual, consult experts if you have health conditions.

The out of shape phase

3 Jan

I suspect some people never push past this 7-10 day horrible feeling. When you get off the couch and just start running/lifting weights/fasting/drinking water/*insert uncomfortable habit here*

When you first start, running feels horrible. You are really tired and out of breath, you get sore all over, and your feet hurt. It super-sucks. You feel like even the shortest distance is so long, and you’re sweating like a maniac. And running after that–on top of the prior day’s soreness… It’s actually awful.

Lifting weights. At first even the 5lb feel so heavy. You have to be cheat-y on the reps, either skipping some or half-assing the form. Your arms wanna float to the ceiling when you’re done. Your muscles tremor, and even lifting a coffee cup is taxing for your arm. Every. Step. Hurts. The shaking and weakness. And the days after that are nearly impossible!

Skipping that 1st meal plain sucks. You feel weak and headachy. Your mind is preoccupied with food, and every fast food commercial and Taco Bell ad on Spotify is a personal affront designed to torture you. You daydream of burgers and dips and cake… You feel pale and horrible. Light-headed and shaky. Your stomach won’t shut up! Water makes it worse. The hours go by ever so slowly…

You try to drink more water. But it makes you feel full, and maybe like you’ll throw up. You drink and the water doesn’t taste good. It’s plain, it’s boring. You’re overly full. You are not at all thirsty. And you’re peeing every 2 min. Like, your boss is giving you the side-eye b/c you’re going to the dirty, public bathroom so much. You are only halfway to your water goal, and feel discouraged and like you may explode.

I get it. I’ve been there. All of these things are everything I’ve felt, and they are the worst. But do you know what’s even worse? The guilt, regret, failure of quitting before the 2 week mark. You never get into a groove and feel the benefits of what you’re trying to do. I promise it gets better by the 7-10th day. If you just stick with it!!! I am NOT miss fitness. I am actually very lazy, and love watching TV and snuggling with kitties. But b/c I finally stuck with these things, I can feel a difference between that ugly out-of-shape phase and maintenance.

It never feels amazing, I’m not going to lie to you, and I’m not one of those insane people who like fasting or running–that shit is crazy (or lies). But I promise, promise, promise all of those things suck a lot less when you’re a little used to them. And what IS awesome is the the long-term benefits and sense of accomplishment from following through all those things.

The running stops being owie. Your cardiovascular, muscles, and feet DO get used to it, and every sec doesn’t feel like an eternity. Running is good cardio so my heart and lungs are strong. My legs are also toned. I feel good when I reach speed or distance goals. And I always, always feel like I did at least 1 productive thing when I run. Even if that’s the only thing I did that day!

Lifting weights adds years to your life. It also makes you look good in a tank top–and who doesn’t enjoy that? Incorporating strength allows you to do more in your daily life. Carry that heavy cat litter, no problem. Lift that railroad tie in the yard like a beast. Be tough and independent. And you do end up being able to do every rep with good form, and even increasing weight! And most times I’m maybe a little sore like I worked, but not sore to walk and sit and roll over in my sleep anymore.

Fasting cuts down those calories without going without your favorite foods. You don’t have to give up all carbs or stop drinking your wine. Fasting makes your mind more focused. It helps me lose weight more than any of the daily exercise I do (unfortunately). And that meal that breaks your fast? Tastes so damn good! I had a few times that it was a breeze too. Play with the times you start and stop, as changing from a dinner-dinner fast over to 10 AM lunch (anywhere in that 2 hr range) zone for 24 hours made a HUGE difference.

And finally, drinking water helps you feel more energized, makes your skin look younger and softer, eases digestion, gives your hair a sleeker look, helps you fight heat, keeps your salt in check, so many benefits I can’t list them all here. And you stop peeing every fucking minute when you drink a lot and your body gets used to it.

So please, any resolutions you made: Stick to them for at least 2 weeks, and it does get easier and less sucky.