Finish Strong

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You can’t go back and change the beginning.  But, you can start where you are and change the ending” -C.S. Lewis
“The person who starts the race is not the same as the person who finishes the race.”
-Unknown

I’ve been there so many times.  I have started something with glee.  I started a new workout plan, diet, or project. I am so excited at the onset.  I think to myse;f “I am goint to CRUSH this.”  For example, I recently signed up for a 10K charity run.  I was excited to start training and adding in more cardio.  I was confident that this would be a piece of cake. I ran a 10k before.   Heck, I ran a half marathon before! This would be a proverbial “walk in the park.”  I had a positive mindset and nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal.

Or, was it? 3 weeks before the race, I started to train outside.  I quickly realized that I was not in the kind of shape I used to be.  I would get tired and pained quickly during my runs.  How was I supposed to run 6 miles?? My confidence and belief wavered.  You see, the deeper you go and continue to work, obstacles will almost always rear their ugly head.  Maybe you get tired. You get injured.  You get tempted and give in.  Is that the end?  Some would say so.  You failed. You “fell off track”.  It’s al l over once you hit a rut.

Or, is it?  You see, struggles and obstacles are part of the process.  They test your behaviors, discipline, and will to go on.  They make you want to turn back.  You feel like throwing in the towel.  But, These obstacles are just speed bumps. The glory lies in continuing on.   Working through and past obstacles.  Your spirit and will are stronger than the small obstacles in your way.  In the end, I did run that race.  I worked through the discomfort the whole way.  I committed to the process and took one step after another.  It was tough.  But, I knew there was an end to it.  As I reached the finish line, adrenaline kicked in.  I sprinted the last few hundred yards after an hour plus of running.

When you feel you are struggling, do not take the easy route.  Do not turn back or stop trying.  No, no, no.  Straighten yourself up. Proclaim that you will not be deterred.  These measly obstacles will not thwart you from reaching your goals.  Keep trying and pressing through your struggles.  You will come out stronger and smarter than ever before.  I promise.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 
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Start Slow

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“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”. -St. Francis of Assisi
“Start where you are. Use what you have.” Do what you can.-Adam Ashe


A few months back, I signed up for a charity race.  My company was sponsoring the event.  I had to work the vendor table before the race.  Naturally, I decided to run the race as well.  The problem was that I signed up for the 10K without a training plan!  Not the best strategy I assure you.  Even so, I began working toward running 6 miles.  At first, I ran on the treadmill for 10- 15 minutes.  After doing so for a week, I bumped up the time.  I ran for 20 minutes, 25 minutes, and so forth.  I worked up to 45 minutes comfortably on the treadmill after a few weeks.


Then, the weather finally improved enough for me to run outside.  I was stoked!  It had been close to a year since I have ran outside.  I was so confident I could pick it up quickly.  To my dismay, I STRUGGLED on that first run.  I had to stop at 3 minutes!  I eventually did a loop that took me 45 minutes while jogging and walking.  It was tough!  That run made me realize how different a jogging on treadmill and outside really are.

With 3 weeks before the race, I knew I was in trouble.  I was not prepared.  My endurance and weight was not where it should be to run 6 miles!  But, I did not want to turn back.  I did not want to shy away from the challenge.  So, I ran anyway.  Sufficed to say, I ran the race and finished.  I didn’t break any records to say the least.  Some lessons did come from this experience:
  1. Start any new goal/ venture/ change slowly
  2. Pace yourself and your progress
  3. Train with he same activity as your end goal/ event
  4. Work p to a goal
  5. Do not overwhelm yourself with a huge goal!!

Overall, the race was a great experience and I am glad I stuck to my guns and ran.  Next time, I plan to train more appropriately and seriously.  Have you ever set a goal and worked up to it?  Comment below! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

The Brighter the Better

 

 

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”- Allen Klein


“People in this world shun people for being great, for being a bright color, for standing out. But the time is now, to be OK with being the greatest you”.-Kanye West


“Revolution begins in putting on bright colors”.-Tennessee Williams

The other day, I walked past a woman in a parking lost.  She wasn’t hard to miss.  She was dressed in pink from head to toe!  A pink hoodie, pink sweatpants, and pink shoes.  Another man commented “that’s a good color on you”.  Without a beat, the woman responded “the brighter the better!”  That made me think.  Made me think back on some well known athletes who dress brightly- Tiger Woods on Sundays, Connor Mcgreggor at press conferences, Serena Williams on the tennis court, Rey Mystery Jr. in the wrestling ring.  They stand out.  They make a statement.  You cannot miss them.

More so, these athletes have a confidence about them.  They are enthusiastic and passionate individuals.  They give off positivity and swagger when they compete.  This made me think deeper.  Dressing in bright colors can help us as individuals.  We want to become our best selves in life and in the gym.  We want to be noticed.  We want to show off.  We want to feel confident and have that swagger in life. I am not sure what comes first- the bright colors or the attitudes of belief, confidence, swagger.  But, it doesn’t really matter.  They are both intertwined.  Next time you want to feel better about yourself and get noticed, dress in bright colors: bright shorts, shirts, socks, shoes, bandanas, you name it.  Put on your bright look and kill your workouts!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Get Dirty

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“I can say the willingness to get dirty has always defined us as an nation, and it’s a hallmark of hard work and a hallmark of fun, and dirt is not the enemy.” -Mike Rowe
“Opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and looks like work” -Thomas Edison
“Learn young about hard work and manners-and you’ll be through the dirty mess and dead again before you know it” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m noticing, almost daily, how there is a lack of work ethic amongst people.  While I am not perfect, I value and understand hard work.  I have been a part of the work force for 10 years.  I have worked in several industries and varying capacities.  One practice I have had all the way through is to do my very best.  I make a point to do everything I can- prepare, serve others, problem solve, get rejected, learn and study more- to complete my work.  Again, my work isn’t always on point or close to perfect.  But, I put my best foot forward each time.

We are afraid to get dirty.  We are afraid to look bad or make a mistake.  This is a viral issue.  It pops up wherever hard work is required to have progress- a diet, a workout program, the workplace, relationships.  We are insecure about putting in the effort without having all the answers.  We want a sure outcome before going in.  We don’t feel ready so we wouldn’t try.  But you know what?  Life is messy.  It’s not clean and efficient all the time.  Sometimes, to get what we desire, we need to get dirty to some degree.  Yes, I am talking about sweat, pain, and effort in the gym.  But, it goes deeper than that.  In order to progress, we need to be willing dive into the “gunk of life”- scary emotions, scary situations, tough decisions, taking risks.  Life becomes more meaningful when we accomplish things through effort and sweat.

What examples do you have of getting dirty??  Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Gear Up

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“Organize, don’t agonize.”  ― Nancy Pelosi
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is. Concentrate on the fact that you are willing to learn. Absolute miracles will happen.” -Louise Hay

To me, getting ready is an odd concept.  It’s an essential part of our lives.  We get ready for work, get ready for school, get ready for a party, and so on.  Each person has their own definition and routine of “getting ready”. Here, I will focus on getting ready to make a health/ lifestyle change.  But, you can apply this to anything in your life.

Getting ready occurs once we acknowledge something needs to be done.  We realize that our mood has been off, we could lose a few pounds, or ate too much dessert recently.  There is something about our health we want to change.  The first step of any change is “preparing.”  Once you take the first steps, change becomes easier!  Therefore, we need to consider how to get the ball rolling in order to make these changes stick!  Consider these questions when looking to make a change:

-What resources will I need?
-Do I have said resources?
-How much time will I commit to this change?
-Who can I count on for support?
-What are my goals?
-How will I keep motivated during this change?
-What happens if I hit obstacles?

Take, for example, that you want to start running more often.  You realize you need running shoes and workout clothes.  You decide you will commit 1 month to making it a new habit.  You want to run for 30 minutes straight after that month.  You will count on your trainer friend to encourage you and help you with any unseen troubles along your way.
Obviously, this is one hypothetical situation to illustrate how to being making a lasting change.  What other questions would you ask yourself as you “gear up” for a change? Comment below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Why I Workout

“I’ve always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You’ll have more energy to be a better mom. You’ll feel more deserving of love” -Jillian Michaels
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” -John F. Kennedy

I am by no means in my top physical form currently.  I’ve never been a top athlete or have the sexist body.  It’s important to know that your body does not have to be perfect.  You do not have to be a perfect 10 or be featured in a fitness mag to reap the benefits of exercise.

Currently, people will come up with LOADS of reasons why not to do something.  It’s easy.  We can dismiss the activity or person with one tiny excuse.  We stay in our comfort zone and keep going on our merry way.  If it’s inconvenient, it’s not going to happen. Thats what occurs often in society now.  Some typical excuses include: “I don’t have the time”, “It’s too inconvenient”,” it’s too difficult”, or my personal favorite- “why would I get sweaty on purpose?”

We’ve all been there.  We know it’s important. We know we should be doing it.  But, we comfort ourselves by rationalizing why it wouldn’t work.  We don’t want to disappoint ourselves or others.  But, life is not supposed to be 100% comfortable.  It’s CRITICAL to do something you would not normally do to get the results you want.

Instead of making reasons why not to workout, think of some reasons why it IS a good idea.
-It feels good to get moving
-You think more clear after working out
-You get a sense of accomplishment by doing something difficult
-You have a better mood from working out
Of course, your body, mind, and emotions will become more healthy!
Are there other reasons you exercise?  Share below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Common Core

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“Core strength is key to everything. it’s not the way I look, but about stabilizing my body so I can perform better on stage” -Paul Stanley

“But if I keep my core and back strong, the scoliosis does not bother me” -Usain Bolt

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Everyone is different. We have unique nutritional needs and wants. Some people function well on low carb, low fat diets. Others function well on low fiber vegetarian diets. Some people have extreme allergies and need to avoid certain foods altogether. Some people need to lose weight while others need to gain weight. You get the picture.

But, we all want the same thing.  We all want that strong and sexy core.  We want that “perfect” body with hard muscles and curves.  We want those formed, rock hard abdominals and obliques.  To get there, each person needs to follow certain “common core” practices to stay healthy, well, and improve their bodies. First, Each and every one of us needs to feed our bodies with certain, necessary nutrients:

-low fat protein for strength and healing

-whole grain carbohydrates for long lasting energy

-fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals

-Dairy for healthy bones

-healthy fats for maintenance

-water or low calorie fluids to stay hydrated


Consider these principles as well when choosing your foods:

-No one food is good or bad. We create our personal beliefs about foods and humanize them from our experiences and thoughts around them.

-Moderation is key. Small & irregular desserts & snacks are OK.

-Choose to eat high quality foods to satisfy hunger and nutritional needs. Do your best to avoid eating out of boredom or emotions.

-High quality foods and calories will almost always create better health than low quality foods and calories.

-Preparing foods at home will be more healthy than eating out most of the time.

-Consistent portion sizes are key. Appropriate portion sizes of foods will help you get to a healthy weight and keep your body working well.

-Exercise will make your body strong and get you to a healthy weight over time.

Of course, this is a short list of core principles toward a balanced, healthy meal plan. Consult a dietitian and personal trainer to find realistic food practices for you. As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!