So I was on the phone with my Mom the other day talking about workout videos. She actually mentioned that she wasn’t very fond of the Jillian Michaels DVDS, which sidetracked us onto the topic of Jillian Michaels.
And my Mom informed me that Jillian Michaels went 7 weeks without working out and actually ADMITTED TO THIS FACT on TV.
For one…how could someone whose life supposedly revolves around fitness be ok with not working out for 7 weeks!?!
For two…how could you admit that you didn’t have TIME to workout when we trainers work so hard to tell people, that no matter how busy they are, they have time to live a healthy lifestyle?
And three….HOW CAN YOU NOT PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!?!
How can you expect to convince people to fit in working out to their crazy busy schedules if you don’t find the time to workout yourself? (And how can she admit that on TV!?!!?!?!)
It also goes back to one of my posts a few weeks ago about the girls who ate all the Paleo baked goods…The girls who claimed they were doing Paleo when in fact THEY WEREN’T!
I honestly believe that there are a lot of different things out there that work for a lot of different people. So maybe that fake Paleo worked for them (but still call it what it is…and it isn’t Paleo…)
I’ve even seen my own diet and exercise habits change over the years…heck even over the last 6 months…Not huge changes all the time, but definitely slight modifications….(I ate more dairy. I ate super super low carb. I tried out some corn tortillas. And now? Carb cycling with some rice and potatoes. Not much dairy. Not much fruit. Barely any nuts…Mostly meat and veggies. YUM!)
But whatever exact program I’m writing about and preaching, I’M ACTUALLY FOLLOWING IT!
This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when people talk about diets or exercise programs BUT DON’T ACTUALLY DO THEM.
Be it TV trainers like Jillian Michaels or even friends on a new diet and exercise program, I hate when people CLAIM they stand for something or claim that a diet does work, or for that matter doesn’t work, when they haven’t actually even DONE IT.
And I’m not saying that your current beliefs won’t change over time. They actually SHOULD change. You should constantly be learning and self-experimenting and adjusting to make things better as you learn more.
You should never be standing still. And just because you adjust your beliefs over time that doesn’t mean that you are admitting your were wrong.
It just means you are smart enough to always continue learning and GROWING!
You should take pride in the program that you do. You, in fact, should LOVE IT. And that means working always to make it the best it can be.
So whether you’re a trainer or weekend warrior, if you ever tell someone “get enough sleep,” “eat whole natural foods,” “cut out grains,” “lift heavy weights,” MAKE SURE YOU ARE PRACTICING WHAT YOU PREACH!
So since college, I’ve only played tennis a handful of times.
And honestly, over the past year, I haven’t hit once.
I got involved in other things. Lifting became my passion. It is what I trained for.
And I didn’t seem to miss the tennis at all. Which was funny since I’d loved tennis and it had been a HUGE part of my life since a very young age.
I just didn’t seem miss it. I loved all of training that I was doing.
I even started to question if I ever really loved tennis. Almost every other college athlete I knew went through “withdrawal” when they first stop playing.
But then two weeks ago, I began coaching again and even started hitting.
Suddenly that spark I’d thought I’d lost was re-ignited. Suddenly I wanted to play again and be good.
I wanted to be a top player again. But why? I then thought, “Will I ever truly be able to be as good as I once was and do I honestly want to dedicate the time and energy to become that good again?”
My answer was simply, “No.”
I didn’t want to spend hours a day hitting to try to get back to where I once was. I mean what truly would be the point?
I have no chance of going pro or really making it a profession outside of coaching. So why waste the time?
Yes, I love the sport, but I can satisfy that love by hitting just even a few times a week (even if it is sometimes frustrating that I’m only a shadow of what I once was).
But even though tennis will never play the same role in my life again, the spark is still there.
And I know realize, the spark never actually even faded.
While I love tennis as a sport in and of itself, what my passion, what my spark was really all about was more than just tennis.
My love for tennis stems from my love of competition, of learning and mastering a skill. From my love of physical activity where you are solely dependent on yourself, your skill and your mental toughness.
Because of all the reasons I loved tennis, I feel in love with lifting and all of the competitions that go along with it.
Anyway, this whole thought process started when I was thinking about athletes who get injuries that prevent them from ever again competing in their chosen sport.
While it is most definitely than simply graduating because it is a FORCED separation, the point is the spark is still there in both.
The key though is to use that spark to become great at something else that fills the void.
Once an athlete, always an athlete. No matter your age, you never lose that spark.
But for some reason I just can’t get myself to do it consistently.”
We know that we should be exercising and we know what foods we should be eating, but for some reason it is sometimes hard to make ourselves do it!
Why is there sometimes a gap between what we know we should be doing and what we actually make ourselves do? And how do we close that gap?
I think we can have issues making ourselves stick to a healthy diet or workout program for numerous reasons.
Self-control, stress, schedule, support and resources all influence how easily we transition to a new lifestyle and maintain it.
Honestly, you can name a thousand reasons as to why we don’t eat the way we know we should or workout as much as we should. You can even claim you don’t truly know what is healthy because of all misinformation out there about health and fitness.
But if you truly want something, only you can make it happen. No matter how many excuses you can come up with, only you can CHOOSE to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips to help you transition to a new healthy lifestyle and STAY COMMITTED:
- First determine which works better – slowly eliminating bad foods or going cold turkey. Don’t go cold turkey if you know that it will make you feel so deprived that you feel the need to cheat in only a couple of days. For some, it works better to do a looser version of a diet and slowly become more strict. For instance start eating whole natural foods, but keep in rice and potatoes while you eliminate grains if you eat lots of carbs currently. Then maybe slowly lessen the amount of each that you eat. OR if you are a sweets person, don’t cut out all treats. Maybe just allow yourself only “healthy” treats like dark chocolate or berries or the Man Bicep whipped cream! If however, you are the type of person that just needs to go cold turkey, don’t tease yourself with little treats…GO COLD TURKEY!
- Write up a plan. It’s easy to cheat on some vague idea, but when you have a solid plan written down, it is a lot harder to cheat on it. Outline what foods you want to eat or what workouts you want to do on certain days. Also plan out how long your program or diet will run. If you set an end date, you can REWARD yourself when you succeed. Treat yourself to something when you accomplish your goal (preferably not food related!). I found it motivating to know that I would get a treat like a massage or shopping spree if I stuck to my plan! And yes, we are striving for a lifestyle change, but if you make up a plan for three months and stick to it, you will find that after that you’ve made it enough of a habit to go it on your own!
- Display your plan and let others know what you are doing. If only you know about your plan, you are much more likely to cheat…especially if you hide it away in a drawer. Display your plan on your door or in your kitchen on the fridge. If you can see it every day, you are a lot less likely to cheat. And if you tell others about your plan, they will help keep you in line. Both their support and just the fact that others know will make you want to succeed so that you don’t let them down!
- Don’t DEPRIVE yourself! When you feel deprived, you are most likely to cheat. So don’t starve yourself! Eat till you are satisfied…not stuffed just content. Also, allow yourself days to indulge a bit more. For one, it will help you stay committed. For two, calorie cycling can help you lose that last little bit of fat since your metabolism won’t slow from constant calorie restriction! For me having one day each week where I eat as much as I want of “healthy cheats” allows me to recharge. Also planning in full cheat days helps me remain committed because I know that even if I feel deprived, it won’t be for long! Remember, the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time and indulge 20%!
Workout partners and trainers are also definitely good motivation…Anything else help you stay committed?
What are your fitness goals?
Are they to be the strongest? Or the fastest? Or even just the best looking?
Or what if your fitness goal isn’t necessarily to be the best in one thing but to be great at everything?
That is my goal. I want to be a fitness renaissance woman. Actually, I want to be a renaissance woman in life, but that is a story for another post.
What is a fitness renaissance woman?
It is a woman who can partake in any physical activity and do it half-way decently even her first time. It is a woman who is willing to try any fitness related activity at least once. It is a woman who can lift heavy weights, sprint quickly, go on a long jog, play a game of basketball, go paddle boarding or even just go for a leisurely hike.
It is a woman who trains for life and looks amazing while doing it!
I am that woman. I train to be that woman. I encourage others to be that person!
That is why I can’t stick to a purely powerlifting or bodybuilding/fitness modeling workout program.
Each is too narrow in what it makes you good at. A strict powerlifting program will make you super strong, but will totally ignore the cardio part of being in shape. It won’t make you an awesome sprinter or make you able to go for long jogs outside just because the weather is nice.
The same sort of thing goes for a bodybuilding workout. The main goal of a bodybuilding workout routine is to make you look good. You won’t necessarily get super strong or develop strength in other areas of fitness, but you will look good.
Is it worth it to do these programs and really only be great at one thing?
Why not do a program that can make you strong, fast and look good all at once?
Maybe it’s because I’ve set narrow goals and achieved them only to realize there is so much more out there that I want to experience. So why not experiment and try everything I can!?!
That is why I lift heavy, sprint often, go for long bike rides (and even jogs…preferably outside since I don’t like running very much), do some boxing and even some gymnastics!
And guess what, doing that made me strong enough to win a powerlifting competition EVEN though I didn’t do a strict traditional powerlifting program.
This program made Candy powerful enough and in great enough cardio shape to row a 2k in 7:33 even though we never actually rowed any 2ks over the last two months.
This program allows me to feel like not only can I do any physical activity that someone asks me to do, but it also makes me look pretty freaking good!
I’m not saying I look like a fitness model, but I look strong and lean.
So why spend time on a strict program that makes you super good at only one thing?
Why not do a program that makes you great at everything so that you can take on every physical challenge life throws at you AND look good while doing it!?!
Be a fitness renaissance person! Be a Man Biceper!
Here is another weekly workout to help make you awesome at everything! 🙂
- The giving or delegation of power or authority; authorization
- The giving of an ability; enablement or permission
I started thinking a lot about this last night as I was falling asleep….(Which unfortunately kept me from falling asleep and then made me start hearing creepy noises around the apartment, which I don’t usually hear since I’m passed out by like 8….)
Anyway, I started to think about how much more empowered I’ve felt since I started doing my heavy lifting/Crossfit style workouts a couple of years ago. Not only have I gotten physically stronger, but I also feel mentally stronger – more confident, more enabled, more capable.
I’m not intimidated by challenges or other people’s negativity. I actually believe that my workouts have helped me develop a stronger sense of self.
It’s kind of weird to think that something I’ve always done just for fun and to keep physically healthy, may have actually done even more for my mental health and strength.
Why has working out made me feel so empowered?
Because I’ve taken risks and experimented. Every single workout, I risk failure. I risk not lifting up more weight. I risk not being able to complete all of the challenges I’ve written out for myself that day.
Each and every workout though, I REFUSE to give up. I refuse to not push myself to my limits.
And guess what? I never fail even when I fail.
Sometimes, I can’t lift up as much weight as I want. Sometimes, I can’t run that last sprint as fast as I would have liked. But the thing is, I TRIED. I risked failing.
Just like I risked failing when I entered that powerlifting meet.
And guess, what? The risk paid off because now I’m more confident and stronger. AND I even found something I enjoy!
I dared to try something new. And each and every time I experiment with my workouts, I push myself to overcome new challenges and risks. I’m not afraid to face failure because I know it will only make me stronger.
Daring to try something new. LEARNING and EXPERIMENTING. Risking and ACCEPTING failure…No wonder I not only got physically stronger, but also mentally tougher….
And the thing is, I think my new dieting endeavors and experiments are having the same payoff.
There are risks every time I adjust my diet. I always worry the new adjustment won’t get results or will even cause me to backslide. Each and every time I change something, I make myself face new challenges. Sometimes I even push myself to the limit of my self-control.
But each time, I learn something new about myself. Whether or not I succeed or fail, I learn something new.
And the thing is, I never give up.
And never giving up, gives me confidence not only in the realm of diet and fitness, but in everyday life. My experimentation and risk-taking with diet and fitness have empowered me.
Now, what makes you feel empowered?
This is an article by a guy that I worship, Martin Berkhan. Ryan sent me this article today and I love it! It is a great article that makes you really think about the way you workout and if it is working.
If you have any of the 25 symptoms (and I know a lot of women who suffer from number 10), you should really rethink your workout program. And Man Bicep can definitely help you with number 10 (You’re afraid of “bulky muscles” and use terms like “toning.”).
I’m pretty sure most of us will find we suffer from at least one. I know Candy and I suffer from number 4 (You’re doing too much shit). We definitely aren’t minimalists with our workouts, which is something we will be working on.
Anyway, check it out! Lean Gains “Fuckarounditis”