Yep. I was angry. I woke up and looked at Facebook and my news feed was FULL of advertisements for all kinds of diets and challenges to lose weight. And most of them went along the lines of “summer is coming and you have to wear a bathing suit – reach your goal and wear your bikini.” I’ve seen this before, I’ve probably even typed it before – but today it made me really mad. It made me mad at our society that THIS is our goal and our only goal – to wear our bikini. KILL yourself in the gym, STARVE yourself between meals – SO you can wear a two piece. There are so many things about this that is wrong. It creates a yo-yo dieting mentality. It sets us up for failure if the results don’t come quickly. It makes this a sprint and a not marathon. It makes it so we are not taking care of our bodies for the future but wrecking them for a bikini. Continue Reading →
The lies can be well..deceiving.
There are some myths that I want to take on this week – lies that I have definitely given in to and maybe you have to. But today – we are going to knock them out one at a time!
Myth 1: Do any of these symptoms describe you? I want to battle the myth that we have to work out 4 hours a day to see results.
- decreased performance
- decreased appetite
- disinterest in exercise
- fat gain
- mood change
If so – you may be going a bit overboard in the exercise. Things to consider? Be sure you take a rest day or two each week. If you give it your all in our boot camps, you are getting an intense workout so you have to recover. Get 8 hours of sleep each night when you can. Fuel your body. Consider your workout schedule and make sure it is balanced with cardio and strength and REST. If you aren’t sure – contact me and I can help!
Myth #2: LESS IS MORE. I want to battle the myth that we have to starve ourselves.
I am sure we have all given in to this lie right? If I just eat LESS then I will lose weight. And you know? To start with – you will. But we are not created to be walking around starving zombies. So when your body (as amazing as it is) figures out it is hungry – it goes in to starvation mode or “adaptive thermogenesis.” This means your body is fighting to protect itself. Your metabolism slows in order to conserve energy and what happens when your metabolism slows? You stop burning. So when you work HARDER to lose weight (ie cut MORE calories) your metabolism pulls back harder too and shuts down even more. So if you find that you are working so hard and not seeing results – let’s evaluate your diet. Other symptoms of this include:
- obsession with food (you can’t stop thinking about it because your body is craving it all the time)
- weight regain
So if this sounds like you a bit – it is something we can work on together and try to make sure you are fueling yourself properly for the efforts you are putting in.
Today I just want to battle these myths that I have even succumbed to at some points. I want to be a light of shining hope for you as we work through this together. I am seriously on a quest for me, for you, for daughters, for women – everywhere. I am on a search to help us figure out TOGETHER what FITness looks like for #reallife. How are we going to make this a lifestyle, a marathon, a sustainable journey?
Well #1 – we get MAD about what we are seeing
#2 – we get SMART about the lies we are being told
I want you to spend time reflecting on your diet, your workouts, your results. Are they lining up in a holistic way? Are you seeing the results you should be seeing? Are you giving your body time to heal and recover? If you need help- just message me! That is what I’m here for! We will figure this thing out TOGETHER.
A while back, I took my Fitbit off and replaced it with this guy. Does this surprise you? Why would she take her FitBit off? Well, maybe you think that I’m only about fitness but I really want people to understand that I am working hard to be all about balanced and realistic fitness.
Let’s chat about why I did this. I loved my Fitbit. I loved when it vibrated on my wrist like a quiet congratulations for hitting my goals. It made me feel accomplished and strong when I knew I got in all my steps. I loved that feeling. Continue Reading →
We were so fortunate to have Tracy from Slingshot Health Coaching join us for a chat on Goal Setting for FULL Life. I absolutely jived with everything she had to say. If you missed this super informative, uplifting, and applicable chat – you must watch now!
And don’t forget – check out this blog post for more information on Tracy, contacting her, or even checking out her latest book!
Ahh – super excited to chat with Mandi. Start by reading this article on WHY what we think is soo important for our FITness journey. And then dive into Mandi’s story and encouragement.
First off, what “challenge” were you facing?
Overall, my biggest challenge was getting healthy, and figuring out where to start. I was heavy, out of shape, and eating poorly. About the only thing I had going for me was that I was young. But other than playing social sports (for fun and drinking beer) I wasn’t doing anything that was good for me! So I had to figure out what to do and how to change my life. The first step, was to get out and get moving. At first I tried to tackle it all at the same time, but that didn’t work. So then I had to focus on just one thing at a time.
Was it more of a nutritional thing you needed to change or a physical/fitness thing?
At first I decided to start with the physical side of things, and once I got that under control and it became a normal part of my life style, I changed my goals and focused on the nutritional side of things. So I’ve had struggles on both sides of the plate! Don’t get me wrong, the physical side is still a daily choice I have to make. It would be a lot easier to just chill on the couch, but I have to remind myself how far I’ve come, and how much better I feel now than I did when I weighed 100 lbs. more! But my most difficult struggle currently is nutritional!!
What do you think you were most “scared” of?
Failure! Who isn’t afraid of failure right? I fear that I will end up back where I started (or worse), that I won’t be healthy and I’ll have all the health issues associated with being obese. I fear I will get sick or injured and get so out of the routine of working out that I won’t be able to get back into it. Or that after one weekend of bad eating, all I will do is crave the yummy and unhealthy junk foods again. I also fear that once I stop working with the nutritionist, I might not know how to continue or if someone isn’t checking in with me weekly, that I will allow myself to slide back into my old ways and I will balloon back up to weigh more than I did before.
But you can’t let these fears hold you back and consume your thoughts!! I have to live every moment of every day as its own moment in time. I can only succeed at this moment. I can’t change the moments in the past and I certainly can’t get worried or scared about things that haven’t even happened yet! All I can do is take it one workout and one meal at a time. I try to set myself up for the most success I can. I do this by having all the tools I need to successful, like surrounding myself with like minded people, and having friends and family in my life to help me when I struggle or feel down!
Why did you have that mental block about your newest goal?
Because I’ve always been heavy, ever since I was a kid. I was always the big kid! So I had just accepted that’s who I was and had tried to convince myself that’s just how it was going to be and people had to just like me for who I was (and by people I also mean me!). So it was really tough to wrap my head around becoming a new person. I feared I would lose my old friends because they wouldn’t want to hangout with the new boring healthy me. I honestly didn’t know if I would be strong enough to hold myself accountable when I was alone, with no classes or workout friends, or boyfriend and nutritionist to hold me accountable to my foods. But I have been, I struggle, I fall, I have a bad week… But I focus on the next day and the next meal and getting myself back on track. Again you can’t change the past but every day is a new day to succeed!
Can you share with us the journey you took to overcome it?
The biggest thing I’ve done to help myself overcome these mental blocks is set small goals. I set one large end goal but I set a bunch of small goals to reach along the way. Take training for my first half marathon. Yes that’s crazy (or half crazy as runners like to say), and once I started running I honestly thought, “there is no way in Hell I’ll be able to do that!” Insert large end goal!! But instead of setting out with the intent to go from running 1 mile and being exhausted, I set small goals. Enter a 5K, run the whole 5K, get a better pace on a 5K, run a 10K… I didn’t hit that at first. I ran/walked the first 3 I entered so each time I changed my goal. After the first 10K I wanted to walk less times in the next race, then I planned to run the whole race without walking. You have to set small reachable goals and when you don’t achieve them, don’t throw in the towel and say “I can’t do this, this is impossible”. What you do is change your goals. Along the way, instead of running a half marathon, I found the Ragnar relay and decided that looked awesome and TOUGH. So I ran 2 of those before I ended up running my first half marathon.
When it came to my weight, my big goal had always been to get down 100lbs. That seemed impossible!! So I started by 5lb, 20lb, 50lb, then I hit a plateau and couldn’t seem to get over it by myself and I needed help! So I looked into how I might be able to get some help and what my options were, and then I ended up working with Max Muscle and now I’m finally near my “HUGE” goal! Once I hit that goal I will look for another goal and keep working on things from there. Maybe I’ll try to add muscle mass, or add a new race goal, who knows what’s going to be next for me!!
How did you keep going?
The feeling of success when I reach a new goal or when I can do something I didn’t even think about setting as a goal. Things like running pace, distance or strength goals. Also things like burpees, lifting weights, push ups etc. All of those things give me such a high that it reminds me of why I started this journey. Or when I play sports with my friends and now I’m one of the fastest players on the field and I can guard the quicker player! It’s also all the amazing friends I’ve made along the way. Having such an amazing group of friends to do things with is also what keeps me going!!
Now that you have overcome that hurdle – do the old fears ever creep back in? If so – how do you handle it?
Oh of course they do, those nagging little thoughts are always there! Every time I go on vacation or get sick or just have a stressful day I start to slip and feel like all this hard work isn’t worth it. Or when I try new clothes and don’t like how they fit. There are a number of times that these thoughts creep back in. But then I just focus on the things that are going right for me, and I focus on how far I’ve come!! I don’t want to get back to where I was EVER AGAIN! So I just focus on that as my true goal in this journey!
Is there a negative “voice” in your head you’ve had to quiet down….and do you have a strategy for doing that?
Yes, it is usually more of a voice saying “you can’t do that, you are not strong enough” or “you don’t have the cardio to run for that long/far’, blah blah blah…”. Mostly I just have to reach down, find whatever motivation and internal strength I can to push through, and keep moving. When it’s something I’ve been struggling with for a while, I will reach out to my friends, tell them what I’m struggling with and ask them to help push me and keep me moving.
For my half marathon I had a HUGE mental block about the 10 mile mark. I could not seem to run any further than that without giving up. So one day, I just set out with the soul purpose of running 10.5-11 miles no matter the pace…. Well it took me 2 attempts and lots of encouraging text and conversations with friends/family, yes even while on the run/walk that day. But I kept pushing and I eventually got there!! You have to find what works for you and tap into that.
What is your major piece of advice you’d give another woman who may be struggling with the mental road block of her FITness journey?
So if you are struggling with a mental block along your journey, let me or any of the powerful fitness ladies know, and hopefully we can help you find a way to work past it! We are all part of this #specialkindofcrazy family together, and we are here for each other!!
This week for our Think Twice Thursday challenge, we chatted in our boot camp group about mental relaxation. I wanted to share the original challenge and the ladies’ awesome tips with you!
First off, I asked the girls to “think twice about their mental health” – it isn’t all about what we eat or how much we exercise. We have to consider our mental state as well. Here are a couple of tips you can try today to cut back on that anxiety build up!
- Are you stressed? Think about signs that may show you you are stressed even when you don’t realize it. Anger, exhaustion, inability to sleep, short temper, loss of appetite….experiencing any of these things?
- Don’t say yes to everything! Think twice before saying yes (I have to work on this) to make sure that what you are saying yes to fits into your life stage right now. Don’t over commit so that you can give quality attention to the priorities you have right now.
- Organize – sometimes we are stressed because we feel out of control. Take some time to go sit and organize yourself – work out the calendar, plan meals, cancel things that don’t matter! Maybe you just need an afternoon to organize the pantry or put away clothes. When we get our environment settled, it can help our mental state.
I think asked the ladies what tips they had to share on how to “bring it down a notch?” and I got some awesome responses.
Sarahbeth said: Awesome tips! I have been working so hard this year on saying no to extra curricular things… it’s hard but you can’t do it all! I have learned many lessons!
Eileen followed up with: ES! This is important. You don’t have to say yes to every birthday invite, to every party, every outing, every school event, every sports practice .We want to make our families happy do “fun” things but in the end if mama ain’t happy ain’t no one happy.
Laura said: The dry erase wall calendar lets me see our major commitments (visitors, trips, out of the house plans) so that I can see when a week or month is just getting too full. I find it helps me stagger our plans and say no to things that put us into crazy territory. My Google calendar merely shows that I’m “free” which can lead to over commitment.
Eileen also said: I also do the “10 second tidy”..this comes from Molly and the Comfy Couch, a kid show from long ago (dating myself here). In a nutshell, I “take a few minutes” to tidy each bedroom upstairs, bathroom every single day. Sounds crazy, but it really keeps it from building up. I clorox wipe the bathrooms, make sure beds are tidy, clothes put away (for the most part I have taught my kids to do all this) but there is always something. If I keep up every day, its never overwhelming and my house can always welcome visitors without being a nightmare.
Tricia asked Eileen: How do you get the toys cleaned up? Do the kids actually do it and if so how did you convince them to get it done every day?
Eileen responded: From the time my kids are super little we sing the BARNEY clean up song!!! Google it! I’ve just always had this rule (its my OCD really) but we don’t move from one thing to another until the toys are cleaned up. Meaning, if we want to go outside and play then the family room gets cleaned up. Make as much mess as you can, but it gets cleaned up. Do I help?? Absolutely. I also have a basement that is very kid friendly…it does not get cleaned daily. More like weekly. Sometimes I pay a child to clean it. Sometimes I go on the warpath and everyone chips in..but if I left my whole house this way I’d be the angriest, meanest most yelling mom ever. Everyone helps clean. Everyone. Its never a choice.
I love the way Jamie is taking this lower stress thing literally! She says: In the last few days I decided to stop worrying about selling this huge bag of maternity pants that weren’t my size, and just donate them so I can have my bedroom floor back. It’s not worth another 6 months of stress.
Hillary adds some awesome advice too: Self care. Do it. Do something indulgent for you every day. Even if it’s only 15 minutes. You won’t be your best for everyone else if you aren’t taking care of you too and sometimes, that means taking a bubble bath or reading by yourself.
Laura has her time slots down for self care: Yes! I aim for the 15 minutes right before the bus comes or the first 15 minutes after bed time. These seem the most consistently doable.
Tristan has some practical strategies for doing this: I was in a training once where I heard that you should really only have 5-6 “roles” in order to avoid feeling over stretched. It’s hard! I know we all want to volunteer for every thing for every kid & for our churches, our neighborhoods, etc. Also, “mom” does not also mean, “cook, housekeeper, household manager” etc. Those are all separate roles. If you are the sole housekeeper, how is your partner helping out with household stuff? So if you feel overstretched, start saying no to some things and don’t feel bad…or ask for help! I legit asked my mom to help me clean my house for my birthday. I didn’t want a present. HAH! I will always be a friend, a sister, etc. but sometimes those aren’t your every day roles. If a friend needed me, I would drop something and maybe “cook” would drop out of my roles that day. An example would be, When my sister was planning her wedding and I was her MOH, that for sure put “sister/MOH” in the forefront of my roles for a few months, but something else had to give.
I hope these tips help you find ways to handle it all, say no to some things, and live life to the FULLest!! And isn’t it awesome that this community of women at PowerFull Fitness just shares and helps like this? I love seeing these notifications pop up throughout the day – giving me motivation and accountability all day long!
Join us on this special series as we chat with real #specialkindofcrazy mamas in our crew about their experience with PowerFull Fitness!
These responses are brought to you by Aspen:)
- How many kids do you have and what are their ages? I have two kids, ages 3 and 7. My 7 year old is in school and has only attended a few evening classes, but my 3 year old is with me all of the time.
- What scares you about working out with kids? I’ve always dragged my kids with me to mommy-and-me workouts. I have never been afraid of them being bored or not having enough stimulation for 45-60 minutes because it’s such a short amount of time relative to the rest of the day! My biggest fear about working out with my kids is that other moms will judge my parenting when the kids act up (and they DO act up – they’re kids!). I was very self-conscious about this for a while, especially when my little guy was going through a rough time and not getting along with others. With some encouragement from Powerfull friends, I realized that we are all in this together. No one is perfect and no one expects perfection from you or your kids. I’m so thankful for that!
- What did you find happened when you brought your kids to class? When I brought my kids to class, I found that they figured out how to entertain themselves. Sometimes they played with friends (sometimes they fought with friends). Sometimes they played with toys. Sometimes they ran laps with me or climbed on my back while I did planks/push ups. Sometimes they cried and wanted to be held. When they do the latter, all it takes is a little attention from me to get them back to entertaining themselves! You’d be amazed at how much a preschooler giggles while being “squished” under mom when doing a push up, or being used as a weight during squats!
- What is the biggest change you’ve noticed since joining PowerFull Fitness? My biggest personal change is that I’ve regained some of the muscle tone I had in my 20s. I’ve always been thin (thank you, genetics) but most people don’t understand that being thin does not equal being healthy. I had honestly forgotten that myself! I hadn’t been pushing myself to workout and didn’t notice that, while I maintained the same number on the scale, I began to lose muscle and replace it with fat. I’m heavier than I was when I started Powerfull Fitness classes in January, but my clothes fit better and I don’t feel like pile of skin, fat and bones anymore! There’s MUSCLE under my skin!
- Best advice for finding balance between FITness and Real Life? My advice for finding balance between FITness and Real Life is to find what works for you and stick with it! Walking, classes with kids, classes without kids, early morning boot camps, piyo, running… whatever it is, love it and keep at it. You will have a bad week or a bad month, but don’t quit for good. Just pick yourself off, dust yourself off and drag yourself back to class.
- What is your favorite thing about being a part of our #specialkindofcrazyarmy? My favorite things about being part of the #specialkindofcrazy army are the accountability, accessibility and acceptance. You begin to get to know people and they start looking for you at class and wondering where you were – that helps keep me accountable. The Facebook group and website are wonderful places to find fitness resources and experts – the accessibility is something you won’t get anywhere else. And finally, Laura and her instructors truly meet women where they are in their fitness journey. You don’t have to come in knowing anything about working out. They are there to help you get started and keep you on track no matter what your situation – which helps us all feel accepted and wanting to come back for more!
- And your go-to Fit tip? Favorite snack, favorite way to sneak in a workout? Favorite way to stay active during the day? My go-to Fit Tip is to find a water bottle you LOVE and can bond with. When I’m out and about, I love the flip-top squeezie disposable water bottles and will keep one well past its intended life to reuse! At home I always get the biggest cup I can find and fill it with ice, water and a smoothie straw. I find that I don’t drink nearly as much water when I don’t love my cup!