Training Log: Whatevs + Whatevs

I’m writing a training log about last week, only because I do every week :)

I was a little down with the sickness last week, so I’m not gonna lie.  It wasn’t an awesome week.  And I’m also not gonna lie, after a few days off, my zest for training isn’t exactly screaming right now.  It will come back, it always does.  But I don’t have tons of jazz hands about it at the moment :)

So, here is one fun circuit I did in the last week.  Jefferson deadlifts, a “get a heavy beast (24kg) off the floor and hold it over head” drill, and pull-ups.  I did a few rounds of this, I can’t remember how many.  I will do this again though, I liked it (even if I AM a little unmotivated at the moment).

Followed it up by this little single bell complex – 5 swings, 5 cleans, 5 presses, 5 front squats.  Rest a minute between hands (because you will be WIPED).  I think I did six total rounds (3 per hand).  Fun?  Fun, if you like to get gassed.

Other things I found cool last week:

photo 4

 

Loaded oatmeal – oats, banana, peanut butter, and a few chocolate chips.  YUM!  I think I ate this with something protein-y, but I can’t remember what.

photo 1 (1)

 

Scrambled eggs and fried rice – basically peas, onions, mushrooms and rice, scrambled up with three eggs, and drizzled with a little soy sauce.  YUMMO!

Things I learned in the last week:

– it is absolutely possible to emotionally eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies

– getting sick isn’t the end of the world

– I like to feel great, and when I don’t, it pisses me off

– sleeping, sleeping, sleeping is the shiz

– kickboxing is a nice “play day” away from regular training and keeps me fresh

– yoga needs to come back STAT

– getting rid of other people’s drama is the fastest way to get myself more energy

Have a good week!

When Is Enough…….Enough?

“Enough” is a funny thing.

Do we ever have enough money?

Are we ever thin enough or fit enough?

Is the job we are in enough?

Is the home we are living in enough?

Who decides when “enough” is enough?

WE do.  And the problem with that is…..”enough” doesn’t have a specific threshold attached to it.  There isn’t a chart somewhere that tells us when we have “enough.”

And often times, we are so trained on looking ahead at the next clothing size down, or the next milestone financial savings goal, or the next promotion…..that we forget to STOP and smell the roses around who we ALREADY are and what we ALREADY have.

Why isn’t it enough for us to workout and move because we friggin’ want to and because we feel like a boss doing it, and not to get us closer to that next size smaller jeans?

Why isn’t it enough for us to eat protein and veggies and foods we like AND that make us feel good because they friggin’ make us feel good, and not because eating them will maybe make our scale go down?

Why isn’t it enough for us to love the home we live in and the family and memories that are there…..instead of looking for the next big thing in whatever community is up and coming?

Why isn’t it enough for us to do a job we enjoy and that lets us live our life…..instead of killing ourselves putting in hours at a job we LOATHE, all for a bigger paycheck?

Those things ARE enough.  You can decide that YOU are enough.  That you already HAVE enough.  That you are FIT enough.  That you are focused on NOURISHMENT enough and you don’t have to diet.

YOU must decide your “enough” threshold.  No one can do that or define that threshold for you.  Hopefully you can decide your threshold is pretty much where you are at, right now.

That doesn’t mean that you stop trying harder or getting better at things.  It simply means you have decided to be content with who you are and what you have.   And you appreciate everything you are given.  You know, self-acceptance.  You are already enough.

When you decide you are enough, you stop caring or comparing yourself to “Suzy Wonderwoman” on Facebook – you know, where everyone posts how wonderful things are, and you can’t see their icky bits because those don’t get posted….even though they are the  same ones you have.

The harsh reality is, “enough” won’t happen in a smaller clothing size.  Or a bigger bank account.  Or magically when you get that new husband or new promotion.  It will only happen when you decide you are already enough and choose to live as you are already enough and act as you are already enough.  Not saying when you have or are “enough” that things are all rosy either.  Everyone has an off day or week or month.  Such is life.

You can keep chasing “enough” if you want.  Or you can spend some time on self-reflection and choose that you already are.

Enough is when YOU choose.

Make your choice.

 

Training Log: Another Check In!

After a weird “meh” week last week, I had a good one!  Or, rather, it ended on a good note I guess :)  So that was nice.  I had a check-in with my coach on Friday.  Which always makes me  a little nervous.  I mean, am I working hard enough?  Is my form on?

I had a good check-in :)  I’m doing just fine.  A lot of weird little instability things are clearing up with practice, an ass ton of snatches, a day of core work, etc.  It is alllllllllll coming together.  Here is what I’ve learned after training about four weeks on my own at home after my last session with Andrea:

1)  Right side is my less strong side.  I need to incorporate a day or two of heavy carries with a 24kg or something around that size to get this shoulder more “stable.”  Guess what?  I’m an oddball.  I’m a right hander, so I am very surprised that my left side is MUCH more stable, but eh, life is short.  Might as well be an oddball, you know?

2) I have a weird knee thing happening on my right side.  ONLY when I load that side.  I call it a case of “elvis knee” where my knee moves in and out quickly when I clean on that side.  So what we did during my check-in was have me drop down into heavy squats and have Andrea “push in” on my knee on the way down so I was forced to push out and stay stable.  So, I now have a job for my training buddy sometimes….she will need to beat me up during my squats :) Want to see my “elvis knee?”  Here is my heavy clean practice from this past week.  Check out my right side compared to my left.  Just a little in and out move of the knee.  Truth be told, this issue used to be MUCH worse, so it is clearing up.  I just want it cleared up NOW.

3)  Pressing 16kg bells is not really hard for me (even though that’s all I really need to test with at the RKC).  So once or twice a week, I am to take about 3-5 single heavy kettlebell presses with the 20kg.  This is FUNNNNNNNN for me.  Because I don’t have to do it for reps and reps and reps.  And because doing it for a few times makes me feel balls strong.  This makes me want to take a few cracks at the 24kg….but baby steps.  Video below:

4)  So I tend to feel “tight” in my calf/ankle area.  And because my elvis knee is happening, and because I don’t have a ton of single leg work in my program these days, I now get to do Shrimp Squats.  OMFG.  Seriously, these are no joke.  I put a competition 16kg down as a target to lightly tap my knee to here, just as a guide.  I will try to get lower than this with time.  But right now, I feel severely uncoordinated doing this little gem.

5) I am tight on the insides of my thighs….straddle sits will help, along with stretching sides and lats because I am great at holding compression there – but not relaxing.  DUH.  I got a massage a few weeks ago and the lady told me that too!  Getting a little loose here might help a few things.  So I’m working on it.  I’m also contemplating adding a little yoga back to my life somehow.

So, we added more volume to my current plan and added in a few things.  And lightened up on the push-ups since I’m “there” but they aren’t pretty.  So, I am now working on making them pretty and still practicing them.  We will continue on with more volume for about 8-ish more weeks before backin the eff off for RKC.  WHOOOOOP!

I have to say, it is fun being at a point where I am really, REALLY confident in my skills.  I am watching heavy weight feel lighter, and I’m chasing some big bells, which motivates the heck out of me.  Also, I feel well rested for the most part as well.  I have some recovery things I need to dial in here (like working on NOT working out a few days each week, but just hitting movement- walking, stretching and mobility, etc).  I am also watching some physical change happen without effort because my consistency in my eating and training is there.  And I’m not chasing physical change – it isn’t a priority.  Heck, I don’t even care about it.  But because I am consistently training, consistently eating well (and enjoying some cupcakes too!), and consistently focusing on self-care and ENJOYMENT, this little physical change stuff is just a sneaky little benefit.  I really ENJOY feeling great and moving great.  This includes feeling great MENTALLY too, you know?  When all of those things start to intersect, it feels like I have hit the sweet spot.  Without effort.  Well, without MUCH effort anyway :)

Today is a good day to have a good day.

Help! I Fall Apart On The Weekends!

Do you find yourself struggling to eat well and exercise on the weekends?  Are you “on” all week nutritionally and fitness-wise only to fall “off” on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (and maybe even look forward to Monday so you can be “on” again)?

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately, because I hear it all the time.

“I was so bad this weekend.  I need to hit the gym really hard to make up for it. ”

or……….

“I can’t wait for Monday so my eating can go back to normal.”

This WAS me.  I was this way for a super long time.  I know other people who used to think like this too.  I know people who still do think like this.  I think…..anyone who has ever dieted or watched what they ate probably has, right?

I think I’m super sensitive to it now because I’m NOT that way anymore.  And I know how I feel now.  And how icky I used to feel when I was “on” or “off,” depending on which day of the week it was.  How not in control I felt on the weekends.  Because one french fry would lead to the whole plate of fries, which would lead to a sweet treat after dinner, which probably was on Friday or Saturday, which made the next day, and possibly the day after…..a day where I just “gave up” because I was powerless and would just wait until Monday to start “on” again.

For me, there are a few things that went into this “on” and “off” business.  For starters, my weekdays were tight.  I mean, probably pretty strict.  No wiggle room.  Probably not even a whole lot of flavor going on.  Or, basically I was eating solely to lose something.  So, by the time the weekend rolled around, or a social event, all bets were off, man.  I felt so “deprived” all week, that once I got a taste of something, I would just go balls to the walls on it, and feel very, VERY out of control.  If alcohol happened to be in the mix, then this just was all very amplified.  I mean, who DOESN’T want a Totino’s pizza after the bar?

The second big thing that went into all this was that I deemed some foods “good” and some foods “bad.”  I labeled things, and only ate “good” things.  Or tried to only eat “good” things.  And then when a “bad” thing slipped in, I felt like a failure.  I failed.  I ate the “bad” stuff.  Why couldn’t I just eat “good” things?  Why did I suck so bad?

……which only leads to…….

The third biggie.  FOOD GUILT.  When I ate “bad” things, I felt guilty, and like a failure.  I attached my food choices to how I felt about myself.  I kept score on how good at life I was by how I ate.

Do either of these things – strict, strict eating, labeling foods as “good” and “bad” and then feeling guilt – do any of them sound like things you have dealt with?  And then one more question…..do any of them sound like they really WORK?  You know, shooting for perfection, with an approved list of foods, and then feeling guilty for failing?  Recipe for disaster, isn’t it?  Because immediately upon failing and feeling guilty…..don’t you just start the whole cycle again?  It is the worst constant loop you can find yourself in.

I’ll share with you how I ended up finding myself out of this icky loop.  I will also put a big fat note here…….THIS TOOK ME A LONG TIME, AND A LOT OF MISTAKES AND LEARNING ALONG THE WAY.  So, what I’m trying to say here is that I had to learn to keep trying, and not worry about making mistakes.  So in YOUR journey, whatever steps you decide to take…..always give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and always, ALWAYS give yourself compassion freely.

So, here they are:

Remember super strict during the week me?  And then binge out of control on the weekends me?  I was not eating nearly enough during the week.  So, by the weekends, I wanted food because my body was like “Hey YOU….YOU need to FEED ME” and then gave me cravings and such because it was trying to get more food.  Duh, my body wasn’t an idiot.  It wanted AND NEEDED more food!  I just wasn’t paying attention.  Der.  So, the me right now has learned how to eat enough ALL THE TIME.  Which doesn’t make me feel like I need to go crazy on the weekends, you know?

Alright, let’s move on to food labeler me.  The me who deemed foods “good” and “bad?”  Yup, I had to learn how to throw away the labels.  I decided to not label things anymore.  I decided that every food was a possibility for me, and that I could eat it if I wanted.  This might sound TERRIFYING to you.  But guess what?  I didn’t balloon up a bajillion kazillion pounds.  Because this allowed me to TRUST myself.  I learned to trust myself and my food decisions.  Which was empowering.

……….which of course, you can imagine, led to…….

DITCHING FOOD GUILT.  I decided to remove judgement about how I ate.  I no longer spend energy feeling guilty about my food choices.  I CHOOSE my foods.  I TRUST my choices.  Within those two things, there really isn’t room left for guilt, is there?

So, for all of those peeps out there “on” during the week and “off” on the weekends – I feel you.  I do.  I know that cycle.  I’ve lived that cycle.  It is NOT a fun cycle.

However, you need to start paying attention to how much you are eating.  For chronic dieters, we don’t eat enough normally.  Not intentionally, but because we’ve jacked up our ability to feel real hunger or eat according to what our body tells us and what a normal size meal looks, tastes, and feels like.  This takes some time to sort out, it doesn’t happen overnight.  I can tell you that if your workouts are in the tank, and you have no drive to do them, even though they are usually something you love, making sure you are getting ENOUGH food or enough protein or ENOUGH of something is very much worth looking in to.  This isn’t going to come in the form of an online calorie calculator or My Fitness Pal if you are leaving it up to a website to calculate your calories.  You actually need to spend a few weeks/months getting in some food and decent meals, and getting your energy back up where it needs to be.  This will be a MIND GAME if you are a chronic dieter, so I’d recommend you’d find yourself  a coach to help you wade through it.  The last thing you need is another 21 day fatloss program, you NEED food.  MORE not LESS.  Constant cravings, at least for me…..are a sign that I’m not eating enough (or over-tired, but that’s a story for another day).

Learn to trust your decisions and learn to eat at a level of feeling good.  Like satisfied, and good.  Not satisfied for an hour and then looking for another meal.  Satisfied for a good couple hours so you don’t have to spend your days thinking about food.  Play around with different food groups and get them to a level that makes YOU feel good, not mimic what your best friend is doing because that’s what makes HER feel good.

You can eat 2000 calories of just orange and still not be nourished because you ate JUST oranges.  The same is true if all you do is eat Twinkies.  A GREAT diet (and by diet I don’t mean restrict, I mean what you eat on the regular) is balanced with many choices from all the food groups.  There aren’t “good” foods or “clean” foods or “bad” foods or “dirty” foods.  There are JUST different types of food.

Throw away the useless guilt trip.  It will not serve you.  Guilt is like that crazy ex-boyfriend that you got rid of years ago – the one that is good for no one.  Guilt is the same way.  Ditch it.

Practice these things for awhile.  Add steps that YOU need to add.  Subtract steps that YOU need to subtract.  Take your time.  Give yourself compassion.  If you have been on the diet roller coaster for far too long….it’s time to get off.

 

 

Clean It Up!

Do you ever feel crowded?

And surrounded by junk or ick?

Clean that ish up, yo!

See something on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter that just annoys the crap out of you each day?  Unlike, unfollow, unfriend.  It’s easy!

Feel overwhelmed by all the crap that hits your inbox each day?  Do you even read it, or are you just deleting by habit at this point?  Take the time to unsubscribe.  Seriously.  Over the next few days/weeks that you do this, you might be surprised at how NOT overwhelming your inbox feels.

Got some old numbers of people in your phone?  Like….the people that you haven’t talked to in ages – like from your old job, or a crazy ex, or whoever?  Are you ever gonna call them again?  Delete, delete, delete.

Got a bunch of clothes in your closet that you never wear because A) it doesn’t fit right B) was expensive but you never wore it so you feel guilty throwing it C) can only wear it when the stars align and you feel confident enough or D) you tried to put together a jazzy outfit and it didn’t work?  Donate, donate, donate.

While we are at it…..

Attack your appliance cabinet.  I bet there are some old crock pots, or useless appliances that take up space that don’t need to be around either.  You might have cabinet space again!

What about your sock drawer?  Throw the misfits away.  You won’t ever find the missing one in the dryer.  If you do, who cares.  Socks are cheap.

Whatever you do, though…..don’t EVER clean out your t-shirt drawer.  Everyone knows that t-shirts, no matter how old, are vital to have around.  Even if there are holes in the armpits.  That ish is still legit.

But seriously, like Erin Brown says……edit your experience.

Take control of what gets in front of you each day.  Choose what you see and don’t react to things that annoy you – just clean them up!  Your mental space and energy is YOURS and doesn’t need to get chewed up and spit out by “those” people, things, or ideas that drain you dry.

Clean it up!  Use all your extra mental space on YOU and those that YOU choose to include, and ideas that YOU need and choose to allow in.

Even if it is still winter here….a good pre-spring cleaning might do wonders for your soul right now.

Training Log: Recovery + Protein

I had a “meh” week again this week.

Not a bad one.  Not a stellar one.  Just one where I was less than enthusiastic about seeking out the kettlebells.  I do not enjoy these weeks (although they do make me appreciate the good weeks).

So, I have been keeping a food journal since the beginning of the year.  Not as a score of how “good” or “bad” I am by what I eat.  However, I am coaching a group of peeps who are journaling their food, and we have adopted a food habit, and this journal serves as a way to see how we are doing at incorporating that habit.  By doing this, we are able to pick up patterns of not incorporating the habit, and follow up on the reasons why we don’t.

Generally, I don’t enjoy counting calories or logging food via apps and things.  A notebook serves just fine.  I like to eat about a palm size serving of animal protein at each meal (or beans, or sometimes both).  This is usually my “starting point.”  More than that may be necessary some days or some meals.  After being a little bit pissy about having another “meh” week, I decided to consult the food journal.

Yep, I am getting protein at each meal.  Which is a positive (and necessary, when you are trying to keep on a regimented training plan).  However, I am at the bottom range – I am hitting just the palm size serving at most meals.  I’ve also noticed that my mid-morning and mid-afternoon “snacky” feelings are back.  I’m not really hungry, but I want to eat things.  I’m not keeping that satisfied feeling.  I’m also noticing that I’m not feeling “recovered” like I used to.  This might sound weird, but when my protein is dialed in hardcore (and I don’t like to do things hardcore, but things do tend to slip sometimes so it is nice to recognize and get back to normal)….or, when I really AM hitting adequate amounts of protein, recovering from workouts really isn’t an issue (along with the other reason, which we will talk about below).  I feel like my muscles are ready for another workout on my workout days, and like I can kick ass.  I am not feeling like this now.  So….I shall focus on bumping up my protein servings a bit and see if this doesn’t help.

The second piece to this puzzle is sleep.  I’ve been nailing about 7-7.5 hours (with a random 5 hour night once this week due to a night out).  Yeah….I need sleep.  I enjoy sleep.  I don’t function like a human being when I don’t get it.  Also, sleep is when the ole muscles and body “repair” themselves.   Sleep is VITAL.  Sleep regulates our hormones, rests us, and we need it, and we need QUALITY sleep.  Normally I’d blame my caffeine habit – but I haven’t even been drinking tons of coffee – and I am really limiting it to before noon these days.  Aside from an oddball Diet Coke, I can’t say caffeine is my issue.  I do, however, have issues with shutting off my brain at night, it seems.  So….I might try and practice a “brain dump” before bed – or journal, or something like that.

The other big part of this whole recovery thing for most people tends to be stress.  Stress can really throw things off.  I can say that my stress is pretty low these days.  I’m learning to deal with stress and manage it.  I don’t have stressful things happening.  So I really don’t think that’s it for me.  I’m pretty confident with a little extra protein and a little more and BETTER sleep, I will nip this thing in the bud.

And I’m not whining….I promise.  I really, really, REALLY just enjoy feeling amazing and nailing my workouts.  While I realize this doesn’t happen all week, every week ever…..when it starts to happen more frequently, I get a little pissy.  So rather than just keep being pissy about it, I must do something about it :)

For funsies, here are some of my meals last week:

photo 1

This is a breakfast, and right off the bat – I can see I could add a little more protein here.  An egg, another piece of sausage, that fruit mixed up in Greek yogurt, etc.  Just something a little more (even though all of that did taste delish)!

photo 2

Hard to see in this one, but there is a hamburger crushed up in this salad.  Probably a quarter-ish pound.  Not bad, especially with the slice of sausage along the side.  This is probably a decent amount of protein.  Aside from the protein, this is snap peas, rice, mushrooms, cheese, red onion, banana pepper, and mixed greens.  It is also YUM.

photo 3

Pretty much a mock-Chipotle burrito bowl with fridge-cleanout veggies.  The veggies were zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, and cabbage.  Then, on the side there was rice and guac.  And ground chicken taco meat (a little light on the meat here….need MORE), plus a few tortilla chips on the side.  PS – I could eat this all day, every day.  It is so yum.  And…..it happens to be pretty high up on Miss Emma’s list too, especially if we add taco sauce and shredded cheese.

Also, if you are wondering how to incorporate more protein into meals, start simple.  Add in a little animal protein (meat, eggs) to what you normally eat.  Eat the protein stuff, and just a hair less of everything else you eat.  Once you sort of get the hang of it, it gets easier to know how much protein you need….plus how much of “everything else” you need.

 

Stop Thinking Loss + Motivation

For a long, long, LONG time…..I thought in terms of subtraction.

Subtracting weight from my frame (or the scale).

Then I learned the difference between lean and fat mass.  So…..I still focused on subtraction, except this time, subtraction of fat versus scale weight.

I must LOSE something.  That was always my mindset.  Somewhere, somehow, when I was “less” of what I was now, that is where happiness kicks in.  Or body love.  Or whatever.

I see this all around me.   On “Transformation Tuesday,” it is very common to see a before and after picture of someone’s physique change.  I’m not knocking Transformation Tuesday, or weight loss, or body change.  I think change is very cool.  I really do.

Changes made in ways that are SUSTAINABLE (repeatable, and can stand the test of time), plus the confidence that comes with doing things you thought you couldn’t do…..that shit rocks.  That shit is sexy.  When change happens because you realize YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT, now that is the real good stuff.

The part that I don’t always enjoy is that we think “loss” or subtraction to get us to that point.  We have to do less, be less, eat less, WHATEVER.  We are #winning when we only ate a little bit today and beat the shit out of the treadmill for about 1000 calories.

I was that person.  I always thought in terms of loss.  I exercised in ways that I hated because I thought it was “the way” to loss.  I ate in ways I hated because I thought it was the “holy grail” of the perfect physique life.  None of those things made me happy, although for 10 seconds they did inspire me.  So did seeing people who were once not ripped and now they were ripped, that was sort of inspiring to me for a bit too.  Perhaps they even lit a little fire in me.  So I kept doing the shit I hated, and mimicked the stuff of other people who were “successful” because I was temporarily motivated.

Two things I learned here.  These are a big two, so pay attention, because you actually might nod your head in amazement when you think about them for yourself.

Numero Uno:  

The things done by those that I deemed successful were not wrong (in most cases…..there was some dumb shit done too along the lines of over-training and under-eating).

They just weren’t RIGHT for me.

I was trying to do a bunch of miles via running that I didn’t enjoy, even though I thought it was the “right” thing to do.  I’m not knocking running, but chasing that goal of “being a runner” was actually limiting ME.  I was doing something that I didn’t enjoy.  I was FORCING myself to do something I didn’t enjoy to get “there” (that magical place of self-acceptance, happiness, and body love).  I was limiting myself and my abilities by doing things I hated to do, as a means to try and be “less” and “lose” something, and not actually discovering all the things that I could do that I actually ENJOYED.

When I began to try other things, I ended up finding a love of lifting.  I love to lift stuff.  I love to move barbells stacked with plates around.  I like to press and swing kettlebells.  I like to do Turkish Get-ups as smooth as freaking possible because they make me feel very zen and powerful at the same time.  Like I own the world.  After one of the first few sessions with my kettlebell coach, I realized that I somehow, somewhere, at some point in my life, NEEDED to share this love with other people, because it was THAT POWERFUL to me.

Where would I be if I had continued to do the shit I hate to “lose” something?  I would probably be not doing those things anymore.  I also probably wouldn’t be doing a lot of exercise or physical activity either, because I would be burnt out and not motivated by it…………

…….which leads to……..

Numero Dos:

Motivation is temporary (at least in my opinion).  And a little bull-shitty.  Finding those temporary things that immediately light a fire under your tail are cool.  And extremely useful!  Watch a YouTube video or two of someone doing something very cool that inspires the heck out of you…..and then USE that motivation.  Find a song that lights a fire for you, and blast that ish all day errr day if you need to.  These are not wrong.  These are GREAT!  Use these little doses of motivation for all they are worth.

Realize though, that the thing that drives you must eventually come from within.  If you are motivated by your goal to lose 20 pounds, what will drive you when the 20 pounds are gone?  What will keep you coming back for more?

Here is something that I often think of.  I know a few people who have made some physical changes.  And those physical changes stuck around.  Those folks started running or exercising or lifting.  They maybe even started as a way to make some physical changes and that was sort of their sole reason at the time.  But then……they realized something.  They realized that they wanted MORE.  How could they be a more powerful lifter.  How could they be a faster runner.  How could they be better at moving and improving their form and strength.  They found that thing that drives them.  And in the meantime, their physical body DID change.  But so did their mindset.  And many of their habits.  They wanted MORE so they eventually changed their habits to reflect that.  Then…..their physique changed.  Pretty much without them trying to change their physique.  In fact, that physique change was actually just a little bonus, because in the meantime, they were so dang focused on improving from yesterday.

Because they were laser-beamed in on what THEY could do to improve THEMSELVES from where THEY were, and what would make them MORE.

Not what they could do to be the same as someone else doing something they maybe didn’t enjoy doing.

Their motivation came from within.  Except it wasn’t maybe motivation anymore.  Well, maybe it was.  But motivation comes and goes.  But they still do those things, regardless of if they feel like it that day.  Because now it’s part of them.

Find the things that you ENJOY doing.  And be sure they allow you and your goals to spiral out and be MORE in your life.  Fill up your life with MORE things that build YOU.  Let LESS and “losing” fall to the wayside.

Focus on MORE enjoyment.  MORE self-acceptance.  MORE things that feed your spirit.  MORE things that are positive.  MORE people in your tribe that build you versus drain you.  MORE family life.  MORE faith.  MORE down-time.  MORE quiet and reflection.  MORE gratitude.  More YOU.

That’s It?

I enjoy a good workout, er training session, er…..whatever you want to call it.  Typically, I enjoy it when it pushes me just enough, and reminds me of my strength.  Typically, I enjoy it a little less when it reminds me that getting my heart rate up and rolling is a good thing (although I am learning to embrace this a little more).

Today was basically the self-care version of a workout for me.

Today is “Day 3″…..the day in my “plan” (I am going to be  a little excited again when my “plan” is a little less formal and more loosey-goosey)…..where I have to do the things I typically like to avoid.  So sometimes I loathe this day.

Truthfully, though, since I am coaching a bunch of peeps on self-care this month, I would argue that this day is one of the *most* important days in the plan.

Today isn’t the day where the pounds get moved.  Or the kettlebells get snatched.  Or squatted.  Or cussed at.

Today is the day in my rotation where I “check-in” with my body and how it feels.  How it moves.  How it crawls.  How it rolls.

Today is the day where I focus on joint mobility, stretching the hot spots, roll and crawl around and rock like a baby, work on things like hanging knee raises and a variety of planks, and then finish up with lovely foam rolling, and sometimes a tennis ball or two.

This is the day where I can see how all the things I’m pressing, snatching, squatting, moving, etc……this is the day where I can be sure they *make sense* for my body.  Can I still do all those things and feel great?  Without pain?  Without compromising form?  Without getting those random kinks and aches from overdoing it and pushing too hard?   Today, after “checking-in,” I can answer those questions.

This is much like a daily self-care practice.  Taking a few minutes each day to “check-in” with yourself through journaling, silence, a devotion, or whatever you choose to do….allows you to see if what you are doing in your life aligns with how you really want to live, and it keeps you in balance.  It allows you to feel any of those feelings that might not be feeling awesome, and figure out why they are they and where they are coming from so you can adjust as needed.

My workout today was no different – I did the stuff I *need* to do, but can so easily be overlooked for the big, fun, sometimes more exciting workout things.

You might ask yourself, that’s it?  That’s all you did today for your workout?

You might also ask yourself, that’s it?  You are *only* taking a few minutes each day to “check-in” to see how you are feeling about your life?

Yes, that’s it.  Try it, you might be surprised at what you discover.

Training Log: A “Meh” Week

I could avoid writing about my training last week, but that wouldn’t be awesome.

It was one of “those” weeks in the training department.  The not fun ones.  The ones that make you feel icky because everything feels really hard and cleaning my cat’s litterbox with my toothbrush seemed way more fun than knocking out a snatch test.

I sorta had the eff-its.  Not sorta, I DID have the eff-its.

They come once a month-ish, or once every 6 weeks-ish.  They suck the big one, but they remind you how awesome the awesome weeks are, and how amazing even the “normal” weeks are.  So that’s cool.

I’ll tell you what I did.  I still did the work, but in some cases I cut the sets, the weights, or the reps.  So, I clocked it in.  Am I a quitter because I didn’t follow my plan “exactly?”  Maybe, but I don’t really like the approach of beating myself into submission, you know?  I wouldn’t do that to one of my clients, so why do it to myself?

You know what else I did?

I made an effort to go to bed on time.

I tried to make sure I ate enough protein and veggies, and STILL had some great Super Bowl snacks plus fun lunches (and CUPCAKES) with friends.

I journaled all the feelings.

I read a few devotions.

And, last but not least (and possibly most important), I gave myself PERMISSION to just not stress and feel guilty about this week.

We don’t have to be She-Ra’s all the time.  We can sometimes fly under the radar and just do a little self-care.

Why I Still Love My Fitbit

I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for a little over a year now and I still love it.  Previously, I’ve written this review on it.

Like I said in my past review, I’ve had heart rate monitors and the like in the past, but I don’t have a use for them anymore.  I don’t track my calorie burn during workouts, nor my heart rate.  I train based on feeling, and always with a past review of what I did the previous workout(s) so data like calorie burn and what my heart rate is doesn’t matter.  (Although…..I can see how that information would be helpful for someone like a marathoner in training, as a way for them to manage their pace and heart rate).

My Flex does not track heart rate although I think since I’ve gotten it, Fitbit has come out with something that does.  It does, however, track my sleep, my steps, and based on my steps and how active I am each day, it will generate a calorie count of how much I should eat each day…..although my guess is the calorie information probably isn’t very accurate – at least for me, since it doesn’t track my strength workouts or conditioning sessions.  The accuracy of the calorie count doesn’t bother me, I don’t count those either :)

Alright, on to the reasons why I love it.  Even though, jokingly (or not), I call it the FitBitch when it tells me I have zero active minutes and I’ve just done about 300 kettlebell swings, and I want to toss it on the highway and watch semis drive over it…..I do still love it.  It reminds me to be active.

You see, we can “work out” four days a week, and they might even be some nice, intense sessions.  But the remaining 164 hours each week might be still pretty sedentary between sleeping, sitting at a desk at work (or maybe not a desk, but maybe just not moving much), and then of course we gotta catch up on Real Housewives on DVR sometimes, you know?  We, at least ME, are sedentary people…..even though AT TIMES during the day we are active.

I really noticed this over the past month or two.  Last winter, the winter from hell in MN, where we went something like 60 days below zero or whatever the heck craziness it actually was, I somehow managed to knock out an average of 9000 steps per day.  This winter?  This pretty mild one?  I’m embarrassed to say I was getting an average of 6000 steps for a bit.  And I couldn’t figure out why.  I actually have a very consistent workout schedule, although I don’t get a super awesome reading of “steps” during my workouts (and I press and snatch a lot of kettlebells, so I take off my Fitbit to avoid it getting damaged).  And I would say I’m chasing a toddler more now than when she was littler last winter and wasn’t moving as much.  But I’m still not getting steps in.  No walks, although I have started again in the past week.

I think the reason of not as many steps is that I was justifying to myself that my workouts are enough activity and so I’m golden.  The truth is, I AM getting enough in the “work out” department each week, but my activity of just overall movement could use some improvement.  Here is how I can tell.  When I don’t move a lot, I feel “crunchy” for lack of a better term.  I tell my chiropractor this all the time.  I feel stiff, and creaky and all those things.  When my activity is up, not workout activity but just moving in general – housework, walks, running up and down the stairs while Emma goes between different toys in our house – I feel awesome.   Not crunchy.  My lower back doesn’t get stiff.  I don’t have things that creak and pop and make noise when I squat down or bend weird.

Checking out the dots on my Fitbit reminds me to move during the day.  Because it syncs to my phone I can check my stats and see where I’m at and where I’d like to get to for the day.  It has sort of become a little game for me.

Also, I had a stretch from late summer into fall where my sleep was in the tank.  I could see that information on my Fitbit.  Even though I was “in bed” for eight hours every night, my actual sleep was more like 6 hours, with quite a few restless times in there.  So I wasn’t feel rested.  Well, DUH.  Some of those days, my diet coke habit slipped back in….only it wasn’t a can for lunch it was a can mid-afternoon.   Caffeine, after about noon it seems, really does affect me.  Since taming that back, my sleep has gotten much better.  Not saying I don’t have crappy nights of sleep sometimes, but I am really focused on getting decent rest.  I’m not one of those people who can function well on little sleep, no matter how much caffeine you give me.  I am truly 90 hears old at heart, I would LOVE to go to bed by 8:30 every night.  And I’m just fine waking up pretty early too…..if I get my sleep :)

Final reason I love my Fitbit….my tracker had an issue during the fall where it wouldn’t hold a charge.  I contacted customer service and within about two days, I had a new tracker to use, and it didn’t cost me a thing.  They asked me a few questions, and had me provide a copy of my receipt, and done.  New tracker.  I thought that was pretty awesome!

Do you have a Fitbit?

Fitbit wireless activity + sleep trackers

 

 

 

 

Originally this was my journey to Tough Mudder…now it's my record of all things fitness and health!

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