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March 5, 2013
One thing I’m always saying to my clients: consistency is key. I say it all the time and it trumps everything else, including the intensity of a particular workout that week or 3 days of strict, clean eating. While that tough workout and those good meals still count, if you go the next few days without any workouts and “fall off the wagon” the next day and let the rest of your eating habits fall with it, it doesn’t make much of a difference in your body or habits.
So…consistency. I’ve blogged about this before because I think it’s so vital to living a healthy life not just in the summer months when you’re out in your bathing suit but year around! And, speaking of which, bathing suit season is just around the corner… Hard to believe! While it’s great to feel good in your clothes and be happy in your skin, the bigger issue is your health and fitness – will you be hiking mountains and playing with your grandkids when you’re older or nursing a hip replacement?
I don’t have much in the way of advice to stay consistent (you guys know I’m struggling with consistency in my eating however on-track my workouts might be), but here are a few encouraging tips I wanted to share:
- Be realistic. If you hate vegetables, it might not be realistic to think you’re going to eat them at every meal. But instead of just giving up, find ways to get some in: blend some spinach in a smoothie (I promise you can’t taste it!); throw some veggies into your egg scramble in the morning; use a vegetable powder as a last resort to make sure you get in your greens. In other words, be realistic with your goals and your lifestyle in order to help you stay consistent.
- Do what you can. You might not be able to get 5 workouts a week in, but think about how much better you’ll feel if you get even just three 20 minute workouts in a week!
- Beware the all or nothing mentality. Just because you cave and eat a spoonful of almond butter with some chocolate chips every time you walk into the pantry (what? Just me?) does NOT mean you should throw the rest of the day away and give up your habits. I read a great quote from Jill over at Jill Fit that speaks to this mentality, using part of my favorite phrase:
Consistency is key, so don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Yes! And that gets at the heart of what I wanted to share in this post: let’s encourage one another to not go too crazy or too extreme but instead to focus on staying consistent in our food and fitness journeys and our lives!
Do you struggle with consistency? Any tips you can add to help us all out? Catch ya later this week with a final review of the SPUD.ca organic juicing business!
Live well & be well,
February 20, 2013
Life has been good recently (to catch a glimpse of what I mean specifically, check out my last post!). There is truly little I can complain about: I am blessed by a loving husband who is kind and gentle and enjoys me (and I him!); my in-laws are wonderful (we had a great meal and catch up with them yesterday!); my parents and brother are fun and God-honoring and we have a great relationship. There’s a roof over my head and food in my fridge and I have a great job that I enjoy.
So why do I feel a bit down these days? A bit like complaining and, frankly, having a bit of a pity party? Of course we all have days like this (the now-popular phrase and hashtag “#FirstWorldProblems” comes to mind) and it’s okay to be down and recognize what your problems are in the moment – it’s all relative. BUT…it’s not a place I can stay. In fact, life gets worse and I get more bitter if I stay focused on the stuff that gets me down, however relevant it might be. More than that, it was a bad decision to memorize Philippians 2:14: “Do everything without grumbling or complaining…” Really? It’s always in my mind! But I wanted to share a few things that have been putting me off and that require me to take action and make some change:
- Time with God. As per my 2013 goals, I’ve been more committed to spending time with God – not because I “should” or “have to” but in order to know him deeper. I think I’ve slipped into the realm of reading his Word and even journaling without remembering to seek his face for the sake of knowing Jesus better. I want to go in, dig deep and focus on our relationship, not just read a few chapters and call it a day. And it changes my day and view and attitude immensely when I do and don’t take time for him (*note to self*).
- My eating. It’s controlling me, not the other way around! I reposted this photo on my Facebook page and have been enjoying the discussion it’s prompted so far:
Lots of good thoughts over there and the discussion goes deeper and in different directions than what you might first think! But overall, I just don’t feel like I’ve been a good example of this recently. Sure, I eat healthy foods. And yes, I also eat unhealthy ones. But I think more than that I just haven’t been super balanced recently – just eating lots of everything and not controlling myself much. You know I’m not one for restriction but I don’t feel good when I let myself go too much. Still trying to see that change in my body (those 5-7 lbs I’ve referenced that I gained and cannot get off!) – but that won’t happen unless I treat my body well!
- My lack of plans/outings. Mikey’s going strong in school and needs time to study and get caught up on his regular work and Survive & Thrive details, which is fine except that I’m not the best planner when left to my own devices! I need to make plans, to get out and do things, to not let his weekend at home make me stuck at home (although I do love creating a supportive atmosphere at home for him to study!).
However, there are some victories in the midst of my struggles too…
- I’m realizing that I am a work in progress and am more or less celebrating my body. I have my days, sure, but at the same time I am learning to celebrate being me and being fit, capable and healthy. There are also days I realize that all this doesn’t matter in the long run – at least it’s not the bottom line. And sometimes those thoughts and time spent worrying about my body and health just are not worth the rest of life – people, work, life events, God!
- I am loved by a God who reaches out toward us on the idea of grace and forgiveness – so I can get back up again after a bad few days of eating or some negative self talk (working on it!) for bigger reasons than because “I’m worth it” or “My body deserves it” or “[insert fitness slogan on Pinterest here]” but because I am loved by God. Those are all good reasons, but knowing that I am sought after by God, that I am fueled by his love and that my life has been redeemed and repurposed gives me energy and life! And it needs to be a daily reminder for me to act upon it.
- I improved my pull ups! I LOVED working on this skill for the last 30+ days after finding this pull up program from a FitFluential friend Amanda who completed the program (her results were awesome! – and much cleaner than my pull ups). So, after sticking with it consistently and enjoying every minute, want to see how I did?! I started doing about 3-4 before I dropped, and yesterday I did:
Wahoo! …now that’s something to celebrate.
Do you ever get stuck in a rut in your food, your thinking, your relationships with God and others? How do you get out of it? Do you resonate with any of these struggles? And share some victories with me!
Thanks for being a good sounding board to me! I appreciate you guys and my blog being a place where I can be honest and chat about the good, bad and the ugly (pull up form). Live well & be well!
February 4, 2013
Monday morning: bring.it.on, week ahead! I’m feeling ready for a new week after an enjoyable weekend, a fairly active one, but one in which I didn’t eat the best…It happens to the best of us! Anyone else ready to get on the clean eating train again? I love viewing weekends as part of the daily ritual of moving and eating well, but it’s hard not to be more liberal with them as well. But it’s a fresh day and another chance to fuel well and nourish ourselves as Mrs. Cotter would say (right, Linds?)!
I thought it might be fun to recap the weekend via my twitter feed and phone pictures for something different! More photos and some videos (for my new February vlog series! Did you miss the first one?) to come! But for now…let’s check out the stream:
Friday, after a very full week, I had 7 clients back-to-back and assumed I’d be ready to leave and not squeeze a workout in at the end of my work week. Typically I let Fridays be rest days as I’m tired physically and because of that ready-to-leave-work-as-soon-as-possible mentality. But last Friday was GORGEOUS and I really felt I had to take advantage of the weather. I’m not sure how it happened, but I hit the road for a 10 mile run. With music pumping in my ears I kept moving, stopping two or three times to stretch a bit and just take in the scenery.
Friday night was an at-home night that was low key and much needed. Don’t you love those evenings? After a bit of a sleep-in, I woke up to train a Saturday morning client and enjoyed taking her workout outside for some stairs, body weight work on a bench and walking with a clear view of the mountains.
Errands, cleaning, relaxing…and then a surprise run! It was again just too beautiful and I felt like I had to get outside. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the easiest of runs; I got an odd shooting pain down the right side of my right knee and had to stop and walk it out more than once. I just tried to embrace being outside without the pressure of running for time and enjoyed the weather and so many others out on the paths!
a colorful outfit!
the view: Calgary at sunset
Later that day? Girls’ night out! The only picture I snapped was right before I left, but that’s because I was busy enjoying a meal out and chatting the night away in an unrushed atmosphere with some girls from the gym!
Also in the mix this weekend? I received a care package from my mom! It was 1:15 pm, I hadn’t had lunch yet, was out doing errands, and decided to dig into my favorite part of the package: Mixed red & black Red Vines! My FAVORITE licorice (pure fake, of course) that isn’t sold north of the border. I didn’t worry about the sugar or calories and enjoyed many handfuls before shoving it in the glove compartment for safe keeping. I also received some GREAT mugs – some of my favorite ones that I always use at my parents’ house – that Mikey and I enjoyed coffee in this morning. Thanks, mom!
The weekend finished off, after a great morning at church and lunch out with some friends and their cute little boy, with parkour! Class 2 out of 8 and I’m still loving it. So far, so fun! Tonight we played dodegball tag to warm up, learned and practiced vaulting over objects (super fun!), worked on our forward/backward rolls and played on the scaffolding and bars. I’m loving it! Great night and a fun way to wrap up the weekend.
It’s a little disconcerting to see a post full of basically only pictures of yourself, but I assure you that Mikey and I hung out too. Someone had to finish off those waffles! I love and appreciate that man so much – grateful to have him in my life!
On the week ahead? Training, training and training – mainly clients, but also getting in some workouts myself! Still going strong on my pull up program, although I feel as if I’ve hit a plateau since they were getting easier with the reps increasing and now they’re getting harder. Today’s reps were: 7-7-6-5-4 and I finished them off with a slight toe touch on the ground at the parkour gym. That plus more high intensity intervals and some cleaner eating and I’m looking forward to the week ahead!
How was your weekend?
What are you looking forward to this week?
Whatever happens, keep moving forward and not allowing yourself to slide back, whether it’s in your relationships, work, fitness or pursuit of truth – progress, not perfection, right? Make it a great week! Live well & be well,
January 29, 2013
Progress…It’s something we’re always trying to achieve, be it in work, in school, in our relationships and, as it concerns a blog like mine, in fitness. It’s easy to set standards in any of these realms for ourselves that our tough if not impossible to meet, and yet sometimes it pushes us to be better and try harder. Sometimes it discourages us and the we’re bombarded by lies about ourselves – our bodies, our self-worth, our lives in general.
But a work in progress? Now that’s something a bit different. There’s room for disappointment, for missed marks, for failure even. There’s the chance to be moving towards something and pushing to see change with a bigger perspective in mind.
That’s exactly where I feel like I’m at right now both in my life in general and in my fitness more specifically. I’m a work in progress, and always will be, until my time here on earth is done. I’m not a huge fan of the term “self-improvement” because I think it implies that you’re doing the work yourself. Thank God that I have him to help me! To guide me and correct me; to convict to challenge to change me.
We will always be moving towards something: towards better health, towards a more fit body, towards a more focused and diligent mind – OR away from those things. There’s really no standing still. So when it comes to your fitness, which direction are you moving in? Not just in a physical sense, but is your mind in alignment with what you’re doing in the gym? Are you working out hard and then berating yourself if you eat a cookie, or focusing just on weight and the numbers and not on how much more you can lift or how your injuries have diminished? We work together, body and mind, and it affects how we live our lives.
If you’ve been reading my blog since the fall, you know that I gained about 5-8 lbs and have had trouble getting it off. I know some might look at my life (and the above picture, the best of all the ones I took over the weekend – #YesIScreenMyPhotos) and think, “5 to 8 lbs? Oh come on.” BUT I know how my body feels best – when I’m eating well, when I’m pushing hard in the gym, and when I’m leaner. I’m a bit softer, a bit wider, and bit less tight than I’d like. While this gives me something to shoot for in terms of my physical body (it’s just true that I would like to get those extra few pounds off!), I also recognize that my pull ups are getting stronger and better; I’m lifting heavier weights; I’m consistent with my workouts and eating on the pretty good scale most the time.
But more than that, I am ever reminded of the verse from I Timothy (4:8) which reads: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. In other words, while it is acknowledged as being good and important, there’s more to life than training.
I just wanted to share some of the things I’m processing with you lately. Are you moving towards PROGRESS or PERFECTION?
Are you moving backwards in your life (fitness or otherwise) or moving forwards in some way?
And are you matching your life up with your gym time? Are you on the same path with your mission in your life as well as what you eat, what you preach to others, how you view your own body and life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until then, keep livign well & being well – both inside AND (more importantly!) outside the gym,
January 28, 2013
Hey everyone! Cheers to you on this first day of the work week… I hope your Monday’s off to a fantastic start and if not, you can find the good things to be thankful for and take your focus off the bad stuff going on around you – sometimes easier said than done…but more on that later.
UP: I had a lot of friend time time this weekend! Climbing Saturday with friends Saturday, girls’ night later that day – wahoo! I don’t often get so much time in with friends so it was great to connect with co-workers outside the gym.
DOWN: Mikey was gone – and I just like being around that guy.
UP: Climbing – literally! Up and down the walls. I love going with people who haven’t been before, so it was great to help teach a bit about technique and form and just cheer people up the wall. Such a great social and physical activity! Loved it.
Vanessa gettin’ after it!
DOWN: I continued my pull up program but over the weekend it’s all finger pull ups because the only place I can do them is on our building’s door frames. That means my forearms were already a bit tired so they were pumped out not too long after a few hard climbs! …but at least it means I was climbing hard!
UP: Feeling good moving and using my body for fitness. It’s been great to keep focusing not on weight but on how I’m feeling and what I’m able to accomplish.
DOWN: Mikey’s not quite in the same boat. He was away on their yearly guys’ trip to Revelstoke and for the first time ever (ever!), got injured. We’ll find out later what’s for sure wrong, but it seems to be some ligament tear in his left knee – not good. He’s limping, frustrated and down because of it, and because he is I am too! It’s rough to see someone you love bummed out, and it means his (our) ski season is pretty much over. Now begins the rehab!
UP: Box jumps, leaps, bounds…my first parkour class! I had a blast at my first all women’s intro to parkour class at No Limits A.F.C. (alternative fitness concepts). I LOVED the facility and concept behind moving with purpose!
DOWN: We not only learned how to move “up,” but also down – learning to fall the right way and then be able to get up and move with grace from that fall. SO great! I can’t wait for next week (and to get on those bars!); my quads are feeling the burn from what we did last night!
So just a few ups and downs to share with you guys today. I’d love to hear an “up” and a “down” from your weekend – hit me up in the comments below!
Have a great start to your week, guys! Live well & be well (and keep working on those pull ups!),