Friday, August 3, 2012

Staying Motivated.

Last summer, Evan and I were pretty motivated to stay in shape. It was the first time in my life I had ever enjoyed running, which was partly because of training for my first time doing a 5k:
an extreme 5k, at that
That is mud all over us.

We were both eating the same way, both determined and convinced that we were doing what was best for our bodies. (I mean, it wasn't bad, we were definitely quite healthy, but I would no longer agree that it was best)
I felt really strong and confident. It was a great summer. I accomplished things physically that I never had before, and I was really proud of myself. 

Now, it is summer again. Well, almost the end, isn't it?
Between last summer and now, I didn't change all that much physically. My size has stayed the same, but I have lost a bit of tone, which I would attribute to my not moving nearly as much as I was.
You know, it's dumb, and I am determined to change this, but when Evan isn't on the fitness wagon with me, I find it hard to stay committed. I am always trying to eat healthy, (though if I get a little lax it's most likely because Evan is, too*). Working out, however, was not my first love, and I only ever began enjoying it because of Evan's example, support, and motivation. So when he goes through his off-times, I don't exercise nearly as much.
As I said, I want to change this! I want to work out, no matter what Evan is doing, or what the weather is, or how busy I am etc., but I want to be doing it for ME, because that is the only way I'll stick to it! Now, it's so easy to say right now that based on how I'm feeling, there's no way I'll be okay with not working out regularly. But, I said the same thing last summer. And right now, Evan's super into working out. So, I guess the real test will come either with winter, or when Evan calms down (he goes through seasons, too, lol) whichever comes first. 
(Though, to give myself a little credit, this 7 week challenge was all my own thing!)
*My logic for doing or not doing what Evan does it because Evan ALWAYS looks great, he was very blessed in the ways of eating-anything-doing-nothing-still-have-a-six-pack. I am grateful, because I sure love having a hottie husband, but it can be bad when I, for some reason, convince myself that I might be able to do the same. Which, trust me, I can't! 

So, the things that have helped keep me motivated.
I know, it hasn't even been 2 weeks! But, I have heard that the 2nd week is the hardest. It really takes effort to make a change, especially one that you are hoping will be long lasting. I have to make a decision everyday that I will go running, as well as decide everyday what I will or will not eat. I mentioned on facebook, getting those 3 liters of water down isn't all that easy either! I don't have time to sit and sip on water while I'm at work (which I am for 50 hours of the week) and I don't like carrying my big liter water bottle while I run, which takes 1 1/2-2 hours, plus I ride my bike as a means of transportation, and it's awkward drinking while doing that....Point is, I am making decisions everyday, throughout the day, and sometimes it can be easy to convince myself that "today will be fine if I do, or don't do, [whichever goal I'm having a hard time with that day]".

To convince myself that I don't need that sugar

Sugar is my personal weakness. I love anything that comes out of the oven and involves chocolate chips. I also love ice cream. This is a newer one, I was never a huge ice cream person until the past few years. I really wouldn't have minded staying the type of person who didn't love it! ugh, it is my nemesis. It is SO BAD for a body. For me, it is the pure embodiment of all evil things that a food has to offer. But, that is because I love it so. This could be soda, or pizza, or french fries for anybody else. I do eat almost exclusively vegan, but oh man, if there is anything I will bend for, it is ice cream (and sushi on special occasions.) I will eat so so good all day and all week and convince myself that it's okay if I eat that scoop of Gorilla Munch ice cream from G's Dairy. But, it does not need to be that way! I am trying to teach myself to love GOOD foods...always. Even for desserts and sweet treats! I make all kinds of vegan desserts, but just because they're vegan definitely does NOT mean that they are low calorie, and unless I find them from specific people in the blogosphere, most recipes call for just as much sugar as any non-vegan recipe would. So, I try to stick to recipes that call for natural sweeteners such as stevia, dates, bananas, etc., but that still doesn't fix the calorie issue. And I have come to learn (wasn't too hard to realize) that I am very much capable of eating more calories than my body really needs! So, in order to keep my caloric intake in check, I really need to calm it down with the sweets. Once a week, at the most. (I could easily have a gourmet gooey vegan dessert everyday!).
To help me keep track of these calories, I use a lovely app that a great friend told me about:
 This application can be used from pretty much any electronic. Not only is each version free, (including signing up), it is super easy to use, AND it will all sync together! Meaning, at home I can put entries in using my iPad, then when I am at work I can use my phone, and both entries will appear on each device! It really is such an awesome system. I love it, it doesn't stress me out at all, and lays out what I have consumed so easily. It doesn't just do calories, it also measures fat, sugar, carb, protein, etc. I HIGHLY recommend it!

To convince myself that I should go running:
  • A new thing that I am doing for the first time with this 7 week challenge is instead of listening to music while I run, I listen to audiobooks. I am listening to The Hunger Games right now. I have already read it, but I enjoyed it enough that I don't mind listening to it again. The thing is, I am only allowed to listen to it while I run. Not while cleaning, or in the car, or riding my bike. So, since this is a book that I am thoroughly enjoying and would like to hear more of, the only way I can keep listening is to get my butt out there! This really has helped give me the little push out the door that I need sometimes. But, I am a lover of books, and don't mind listening to/reading books that I love over and over. So it helps that I can know how much I enjoyed a book, and use that to judge if it will be a good enough one to keep me coming back for more.
  • I try not to think about running as an option. Each day, it is kind of a given: I will wake up, and I will run. Kind of like for us LDS peeps and tithing; that gets taken out first and foremost and you don't really consider not paying it. (or is that just me?..I feel weird speaking for other people sometimes). But running is part of my day, and that's that. When I work in the mornings, that makes it a little harder. I plan on running after work...but sometimes Evan has plans for us, we want to hang out with our friends, etc. See this is when it's great to have Evan on the same page as me, because he will be making time for his workout as well. But at times when he isn't, it's hard to say no to spending time with my husband and/or our best friends. It's just a decision I have to make everyday! Hopefully I can make this a habit of my own that will last, no matter what the circumstance.
  • I am a person who enjoys visual motivation. I can imagine this not working for some people, though. I am able to look at a picture of a chick with a killer bod and realize that, no, no matter how hard I work, I will never have a body just like hers. I have a booty, I have hips, I have boobs (sorry!) that have proved that they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. So, no, I won't ever look like Cameron Diaz. But, I can look at a picture of her abs and use it as inspiration to PUSH myself to be the best I can be. So, yes, I use pinterest to get a collection of pics of scantily clad ripped women. But, if doing so will only discourage someone, or make them hate their body because it doesn't look like the woman's in the picture, I would not encourage doing such. 
  • Though only some might benefit from pictures, I feel it would be safe to say that most people can be motivated by words, if they can simply find the right saying that rings true with them. An awesome place with a collection of motivational sayings:
    Here are some of my favorites:

 (in case you're curious, here are the reaons why these help me so much.)
#594-If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you should know that I would absolutely love to deliver my future children naturally. Honestly, it is probably my number one motivator as far as what gets me through more than anything else: I want a strong body so that I can have a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. It is so, so important to me to have those. Not just for looks, though that is a part of it. But I also want to treat my body with respect, and give it the opportunity to enjoy one of the greatest things it will ever have the pleasure of doing.
#417-I have fallen into the trap of wanting my body to look a certain way, and becoming mad at myself when it doesn't. But when I focus my efforts on health, and ability, rather than the vanity part of it, I not only become happier with myself but I succeed much more. I try to look at food as fuel and medicine for my body, and eat according to what will help it function best, rather than what will help me be thin vs fat.
#369- as I said before, I don't let myself think about it. I feel this way about all good things in life. I have faith that good deeds and efforts will result in a good product. So when I know that a formula works (eat well+exercise=healthy strong body, or prayer+not judging=increased love for those around me, etc.) I don't think about the if's or why's. I take advice from Nike: Just Do It.
#390-haha this one is just kind of for fun. It makes me laugh, and makes me feel empowered thinking about having a body that can acclimate to just about anything, the way Katniss's can.
#481- This obviously directly relates to my 7 week challenge. I try not to look too hard in the mirror each day so that when the time comes to take that "after" picture, I might be able to recognize my results even more.
#474- Exercising definitely helps stabilize my moods. Though I continue taking my medicine, I would dare say that exercising and eating well has had just as much, if not a greater impact on my bi-polar disorder. I feel confident saying that because I feel like if I had to choose just one or the other, (medication vs. healthy living) I'd probably have more success with the latter.

Sorry for the insanely long post...just look at it as a make up for my months of neglect :)
I'm excited to be back!


    1. You are such an inspiration! Love ya lots! And keep up the great work!

    2. Loved this post. LOVED it.

      I'm susceptible to schedule changes. I get into a routine that works, then something changes (family in town for a few weeks, Tatton's shift at work, etc.) and suddenly my whole system falls apart and I have to rebuild. And that rebuild process takes effort and time. That drives me crazy! Why can't I be consistent day in and out? Then I have to remember I'm a woman, and I am NOT consistent, but cyclic instead.

      Tatton loves to run to meditation music. He's a freakin' beast. Have you ever looked into DailyMile? We're both on there. Though, shamefully haven't posted anything for awhile since our summer has been nuts.

      Anyway girl. I miss talking health, fitness and life with you. You get it. Most other people are just after a number or pant size, but not you. Love you for that.

      Keep up the hard work girl. It is for life after-all.