Personal Health Intiative Training

Archive for May 9, 2011

Staying Motivated

Sometimes we get caught up in the everyday ho hum workouts and it starts to make us lose our motivation. Doing the same routine day in and day out can be detrimental not only for our mental sanity but for our physical body as well. Our bodies are amazing machines. The body is great at adapting to different situations and stress. When that stress becomes constant, your body knows what to expect and as a result stops growing or changing. This is what we call homeostasis. Homeostasis is the reason why humans have lasted all of these years on planet earth. Our bodies have evolved to adapt to the changes in our environment. A wonderful thing because we do want our body to be able to balance itself, otherwise we would be in a state of constant turmoil. However, when you are trying to lose weight, this is not a good thing. Many people reach what we know as the dreaded “plateau.” Inevitably it will happen to us all and cannot be avoided. Your body is going through a big change and sometimes you might not see results every week because it is still playing catch up. Don’t worry, plateaus don’t last forever and can be minimized with changing workout routines and the food you eat. In my opinion (and many other fitness and sports enthusiasts), you should change your workout routine at least every four weeks. This will help to keep you motivated. One reason I stopped working out before is because I was bored! I had been doing the same workout for months and just burned out. Variety definitely is the spice of life.

 This is what I do to stay motivated to work out.

  • Subscribe to health and fitness magazines. A good example is Oxygen or Muscle and Fitness Hers. Reading these magazines keep you motivated because they feature real women in addition to professionals who are committed to a healthy lifestyle. They even have posters that you can cut out and hang in your house for inspiration.

Clean Eating magazine is new to my list of reads and teaches you how to prepare your favorite recipes in a healthy way.

  • Go to YouTube: Online videos are a great source of inspiration. I have found plenty of workout videos on YouTube which help me to vary my routine.
  • Read a book for God’s sake! There is all this information out there just waiting to be discovered. The other day, I went to my local public library and perused the health/nutrition section. There is a book out there for just about every topic you can think of. They have all the answers to all of your questions.
  • Challenge yourself when you are tired. When I am tired, I give myself mini goals to accomplish while I am working out. If I am running on the treadmill, I say, “Ok, just make it one mile…or just make it to a certain time,” and I usually end up going beyond that. When I am lifting I say, “Ok…pull out this last rep.” You have to talk to yourself sometimes when there is no one else to motivate you. 9 times out of 10 you are just mentally drained but not physically so you still need to work out.  
  • Track your progress. I keep track of how well I am doing by either weight or the way my clothes are fitting. You can also measure yourself…or just look at yourself in the mirror. You need something visual to keep you going. If that is weight for you fine, if it is your favorite bikini, that works too. When you see how far you’ve come, you don’t want to go back by not working out. (It is impossible to maintain a healthy body and be fit without exercise).
  • Take a class or join a sports league. Yes I have my routine that I do in the morning but I also attend Zumba, Yoga, and Step classes. This helps me to stay motivated because I am around other people who enjoy exercising. Dancing is so much fun and it burns a ton of calories.

Mother’s Day

Today is mother’s day and even though I don’t have any children and my mother is no longer here, I feel that I try to live my life in the spirit of her on a daily basis. There are times when I get off track, get discouraged or lose focus, but all in all I think she would be proud. Who knows, if she were still here if I would have the same story that I have now, probably not but as they say, things happen in ways that we don’t always understand.

I can’t say that this is my favorite day of the year but I am fortunate enough to know many mothers who inspire me or are like mothers to me. I am blessed in that way. This day just reminds me to keep going even though sometimes it feels that I will never reach my ultimate goal. This whole lifestyle is not always easy. When the world says, “do this or do that, or oh it’s okay, it won’t hurt you,” It feels like you are going against the grain and you are the only one who truly wants to do what is right. When you get pissed off at work or feel like you are just going through the motions, the last thing you want to do is exercise or even eat chicken and salad for that matter. That is when you have to pick yourself up and say that you are better than any negative feeling you may be experiencing at the time. The outside world should not define who you are or what you want to be. If you just do what everyone else is doing, you will be just like everyone else…just here and settling. You can’t become great living like that. If my mother was here, would she allow me to give in to circumstances? No, she would encourage me to keep pushing forward. If I can’t commit to my goals in this…I can’t accomplish anything. I have really come a long way.

So, if you still have your mother, you need to live your life in a way that would make her proud…and if she is no longer on this earth, live in the spirit of her. Does she not deserve that much? Don’t you deserve that much?

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