You Aren’t In This Alone

“Look at the sky.  We are not alone.  The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. ” – A.P.J Adbul Kalam

I know what it is like to go through a fitness transition and feel like you are in it alone. Trying to be healthy and take on active lifestyle can seem lonely when all your friends and family don’t seem to get it.  Sure, they think it is great and they applaud you for your efforts but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it is enough.  The same friend that said they are cheering you on is the same friend giving you a hard time for making gym a priority or trying to tempt you into eating pizza.  It’s frustrating and it can hurt, but despite your feelings of loneliness it doesn’t mean that is the reality of your new fitness life.

I love training and competing in bodybuilding but it’s also a small subculture within the fitness community and can be looked at as “extreme”.  Even though the underline theme of fitness is a commonalty among gym goers it can still feel like a lonely process.   A few years ago when I was going through a tough time in my fitness transition, I was at the gym on the stair master, minding my own business and one of the physical trainers that work at my gym came up to me and handed me a sticky note.  On the sticky note it was a suggestion on how to change-up my cardio.  He explained the science behind it and went on his merry way.  I could have been offended by this action, but instead I was thankful.  I was thankful that this stranger thought to give me a tip on how to change things up because he wanted to help me succeed.

It was then I realized that in even my loneliness moments I actually have secret fans rooting me on.

So no matter who is giving you a hard time on your new lifestyle choices make it your mission to listen to those silent cheers.  Sometimes those secret fans have the biggest voices and they are there to let you know that you aren’t in this alone!

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4 Ways To Stay Motivated When The Scale Stops Moving

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You’ve been hitting the gym hard and cleaning up your nutrition.   You’ve stuck with it and its been paying off.  The weight is going down, you’ve lost 5, 10, or even 20lbs.  You’re progress has been great and you’re motivated to keep going.  And then it happens,  The dreaded plateau.  The scale that used to bump down a couple pounds every week is now stuck.  At first you thought you could just tighten up your nutrition and work a little harder in the gym and you’ll be back on track, but the weight is being stubborn.  Plateaus can happen at any time and they can be extremely frustrating.  It can be a challenge to stick with your fitness when you aren’t seeing the results.  Results were the reason for starting in the first place.  You wouldn’t keep going to work if you didn’t get a paycheck, right?  So how do you stay motivated?  How do you stick with it when it feels like the hard work isn’t paying off?

 

 

It’s not just about the weight.

As satisfying as it may be to see the scale moving in the right direction that’s not the only benefit or result you are experiencing.  In fact, weight loss is usually the by-product of adopting healthier lifestyle and it’s your health that is the most important thing.  When the scale stops moving take a minute to reflect on how far you’ve come and appreciate how much healthier you are now.  Think about how you used to eat compared to your current nutrition.  Think about how much stronger you are.  You’re accomplishing things that you couldn’t do a few weeks or months ago.  Stay focused on your health and the weight will (eventually) take care of itself.

 

Think of the big picture.

Progress feels good and not just in fitness or weight loss but in all aspects of life.  Unfortunately in fitness, as in life, things don’t always keep getting better the way we want them to.  If the scale hasn’t been going down, or (gasp) its even been going up, that doesn’t mean you haven’t made amazing progress.  Focus on the overall trend not just what happened this week.  If you’ve lost 5 lbs in the last month don’t freak out because you gained one pound back.  You’re still moving in the right direction.  There will be ups and downs on your journey.  It’s important that you embrace this and don’t beat yourself up over it.

 

Take a breather

If you’ve been working out consistently and the scale has stopped going down your natural tendency may be to do more;  cut more calories out of your diet, work out harder for longer, go to the gym six days a week instead of four.  Unfortunately this won’t necessarily yield you the results you’re looking for.  Even if it does short term you may be putting yourself at higher risk for burn out, fatigue, or even injury down the road.   All these things will actually set you back more in the long run.  Instead of doubling down on your efforts it may be more beneficial to take a break.  That’s right TAKE A BREAK.  As difficult as the idea sounds it may be exactly what your body needs.  Our bodies need rest in order to recover and repair.  It’s during the recovery that our bodies adapt and we make progress.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not advocating you say, “Screw it” and sit on the couch with a bucket of fried chicken.  Although that does sound awesome, rest and recovery may consist of light activity.  Take some time to go to yoga, walk the dog in the evening or take you kids to the park.  Just stay active but drop the volume and intensity.  When you hit the gym again you will feel rested, your muscles will feel fresh, your mind and body will be strong and ready to get back to work and chances are the scale will start moving again.

 

Focus on the task rather than the outcome

When athletes train for a sport or competition they aren’t focused on their weight.  For them it’s all about improving their skills and athleticism to accomplish what they want on the field.  Taking a similar approach can help you break out of the mindset of being focused on your weight.  Pick a skill you want to learn in the gym and make that your priority.  It can be improving your running form, building up your mileage, perfecting your squat, or making your dead lift stronger.  All of these goals are great because they will keep you working on your fitness while getting you out of the weight rut.  Setting goals that have nothing to do with weight loss will add dimension to your fitness.  Achieving these goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you going until the scale starts moving again.

 

Your fitness journey is not a straight shot the end goal.  There will be ups, downs and stalls in that road but redirecting your focus and giving your body the rest it needs will help get over that hump.

 

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F*ck Will Power

Will power noun: control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control.

As I grew through my fitness journey I began to loathe the word “will power” and I resented anyone that used it. “Will Power” has just became another word to make certain people feel supernatural.  It gives this illusion that if you pick a subway sandwich over a salad then you lack will power.  If you lack will power then you must be weak and just suck at life.

According to the #fitspos of the Instaworld having “will power” means that you will go to the gym despite the hurricane running rampant or being sick in bed with the West Nile Virus.   God forbid, you turn into a human being and for whatever reason allow your emotions or lack of energy decide your actions for the day.  That human being clearly has no will power and he/she should continue to stalk the #fitpsos that make it seem impossible to obtain a fitness goal.

Fuckin #fitspos…they ruin everything.

As far as I am concerned “will power” doesn’t exist.

Someone who is struggling with an addiction doesn’t relapse due to the lack of will power.

Someone with an eating disorder doesn’t starve, binge and purge due to lack of will power.

Someone with trichotillomania doesn’t pull their hair out due to lack of will power.

Believe it or not, there are things in this world that trump “will power” at any given moment and making a decision to skip your cardio or eat something that is not on your healthy plan doesn’t mean you are a failure.  What you don’t realize is that a lot of those #fitspos post things from previous days/months.  They aren’t ripped 24/7 and maybe they do go to the gym as often as they make it seem, but do they have the life balance that you want?

Stop comparing yourself to others or deeming yourself a failure because your “will power” doesn’t match Booty Shorts Barbie and her fabulous filtered glutes; Your journey is your journey and you determine your lifestyle.  Your goals are your goals and you define your will power not #Fitspos or even dictionary.

 

Click here for my previous post on #Fitspos,
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Respect Your Goal

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I love this quote by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Yes, I definitely did say his full name.  Well, I didn’t say his middle name because I am not sure if Douglas goes before “The Rock” or after.  I guess that is something I will have to ask after we get married.  Anyway, not only do I just love this bald beauty (swoon) but this quote hits home with me. quote-the-first-step-to-achieving-your-goal-is-to-take-a-moment-to-respect-your-goal-know-dwayne-johnson-77-94-20

We all have big dreams of accomplishing something great with our lives and almost everyone has a big dream that would change their health and fitness.  I am sure we could all name a handful of people who have something they would like to accomplish to make their lifestyle a healthier one. And out of all those people you can think of, including yourself, how many of those actually accomplished them? …Maybe 10%? But why?

You have a goal? Great.

You created a realistic plan? Awesome.

Are you following through with this plan? Cool.

Oh but wait…you stopped? You got “lazy”? You lack motivation?

You aren’t lazy or unmotivated you just skipped a stepped; know your WHY. Why do you want to achieve this goal?  What does it mean to you to accomplish this? How will it make you feel? How will your life change? You need to ask yourself these questions to dig deep into why you are moving forward with such a new big task.  If you don’t understand why you are doing this then you will “get lazy and unmotivated”.  You are only going to limit your sugar intake for a week and stop the afternoon walks because at some point it becomes less fun, more work and nobody wants to work for no reason.

When you know your WHY you are more connected to your goal and those hard days won’t seem so hard.  When I trained for my first bikini show I was a chronic binge eater, purged in many ways and never lifted anything heavier than my handbag.  Getting on that stage wasn’t just about being in the best shape of my life but it did start out that way.  As I continued to struggle through the process, I began to realize that this wasn’t about getting “skinny” any more.  It wasn’t about having a dream body and being confident in a bikini.  It was about proving to myself that I can accomplish this “impossible” task because up until that point I felt like I failed in everything I did. I didn’t want to be a failure anymore and now it was about showing myself that I am capable no matter what anyone said.   Once I understood what it meant to achieve this goal I was unstoppable.  Did I make my mistakes? I sure did.  Every weekend I ate a jar full of fatty mistakes but I didn’t let it stop me.  Aside from being in my best shape my only goal for this show was to place Top 5.  I said it every day to myself going to the gym, at the gym, in the morning when I didn’t want to do cardio, eating my fish when I couldn’t stand the smell any more and even after my anxiety driven binges.  Top 5. Top 5. Top 5. 

So what happened? I placed Top 5, literally.

Don’t mistake my binge remarks as that I am implying that I was healthy through this prep process, but it was part of my journey and I refuse to lie about it.  This prep journey was the beginning of my healing and luckily for me I was able to grow from it instead of going in the opposite direction.

I got to my goal because I respected my goal.  I knew what it meant to me to achieve it and I felt it every damn day. My WHY is what kept me in the gym, waking up early, following my meal plan as best as I could and telling myself I can do this even when I really didn’t believe I can.  Knowing my WHY forced me to make changes in my life that weren’t productive to my goal and these choices felt natural. Knowing my WHY forced me to respect my goal and respect what it was going to take to get there.  Knowing my WHY created this unstoppable woman who achieved the one thing she wanted; Top 5.

Set a goal, create a plan, follow through with that plan, but first, RESPECT what it is means to achieve that goal.  Know Your WHY.

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Convince Yourself

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Success and accomplishment require hard work, commitment and sacrifice.  To achieve your goals, you must be willing to invest yourself in them, day after day, year after year.  So before you can begin to achieve them, you must convince yourself that they’re worth the effort.  If you’re half-hearted about pursuing an achievement, that achievement won’t happen.  So it’s vital that the first person you “sign on” to the project is yourself. Truly convince yourself of the value of your pursuits and you’ve created a powerful and effective advocate for them.  Know, deep down and throughout your being, why you want what you want and you’ll find a way to get it.  Goals chose haphazardly will rarely be reached.  The goals you will attain are the ones you know without a doubt that you must reach in order to fulfill your own best possibilities.  What are these goals, what are those possibilities for you? Find them, understand them and go for them with everything you have.  When you’ve convinced yourself that you must, you will.

Daily OM

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Changes That Happen When You Become a #FitChick

Fitness ModelsBeing “girly” takes a back seat.

There was a time in your life where make up was a must, cute bras were a thing and you had more heels and handbags to last you a month without repeating.  Then you started lifting and loving it.  So what happens? Your heels have been replaced with sneakers, your purses barely see the sun because your hands are full carrying your gallon of water, six pack bag and gym bag and cute bras don’t belong under your cute muscle tees. Ok they might, but not in the gym.  Becoming a #FitChick has now given you two advantages in life; you’re always ready for an impromptu workout and you’re prepared for the zombie apocalypse.  The girl running in heels and a handbag is definitely going to die, but you won’t because you’ve got on some Nikes and muscles.  Winning!

“Does my ass look big in this?” takes a whole new meaning.

There use to be a time when asking that question and getting a “yes” was straight up depressing.  But now, that “yes” is music to your ears.  I mean, after all the days you spend cringing as you sit on the toilet after leg day you better hope your ass gets bigger!  We aren’t squatting for our health here….. that would just be silly.

You stop worrying about your weight as much.

Before lifting all you could worry about is the scale number getting smaller.  That was all you wanted and all you cared about and it didn’t matter where the loss came from or how you did it; You felt “good” at that lower weight.  Then you start lifting and eating differently to build and shape your body and what happens? Your body fat stays around the athletic mark but your weight goes up. Well shit, now it’s time to brag about it because you got gainz!

Food is no longer your enemy.

And one glorious morning you wake up and realize “Wait, I need to eat more food to lose body fat? I need to eat more food to gain muscle? I can eat more carbs? More fats? I CAN EAT DONUTS AND NOT DIE?!?! WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL ME THIS?”  Well, they have been but you just refused to listen.   That’s ok.   It only took 10 years and 550 cycles of crashing dieting to figure it out, but at least you are on the right path now.

 

Turning into a #FitChick has so many perks in life; you start to learn what feels good for your body, you enjoy sweets guilt-free and you become so strong you could crack a walnut between your legs. But most importantly the confidence you gain from all the hard work you put into the gym spills over into other areas of your life and nobody can take that away from you because you’re a #FitChick.

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