Let’s Chat Motivation

 

We have all been there. New work out clothes, new work out plan, ready to crush our fitness goals, and then the motivation disappears.

I know I have experienced my fair share of motivation crashes. I think for anyone on a fitness or lifestyle-change journey it’s bound to happen. However, what is most important is recognizing that it happens to all of us. Yep! You aren’t going to motivated 24/7, and that’s okay. For me, acknowledging that motivation comes and goes was instrumental in flipping that thought in my head that I always had to be motivated. The trick is to pull yourself out of that slump before you get too far in and start to lose all of your hard work (and even if you do, guess what? You dust yourself off and start again).

In order to stay motivated you have to have a fire lit within. What DRIVES you to get up and workout every day? What drives you to do anything? Sure, you have to go to work because life ain’t free, but when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle, it really is easier to eat garbage and sit on the couch. Sitting is an easy activity that is hurting us every single day for the simple fact that we sit TOO MUCH! This is when we have to make a choice: take the easy way out or keep moving forward. It is up to YOU (not your trainer or coach, significant other, friend, etc) to make that choice day in and day out.

When it comes to being motivated, getting started is often the hardest part. Then once you get moving things feel a bit easier. Sure, the fire will dim and seem like it’s burning out, but then it’ll catch a spark and ignite again. What it comes down to is our choices. Isn’t that what everything in life is about? Seems like it, anyway. We can either choose to stay in our comfort zone or we can choose better ourselves and grow. If we don’t grow, we stay stagnant, and we are made to move! After all, we are not trees rooted in one spot : )

A few things I like to do to boost my motivation:

  • Change of scenery. Head to the track if you want to get your cardio in instead of using the elliptical, bike, or running your same route. Getting outside will also boost your mood!
  • Review your training journal (if you don’t keep one, it is a great idea to keep yourself accountable & on track!) to see how far you’ve come.
  • Have a cup of coffee & get yourself out the door.
  • Tell a friend. Chances are they will tell you to just do it.
  • ENLIST a friend. This will help you stay accountable!
  • Suck it up. It might be a pain to get the workout done, but I will feel 1000x better when it’s done and my motivation to keep that going will continue. Sometimes all it takes is ONE workout to light the fire again!
  • Remember: You are one workout away from a good mood!

What do you do to keep the motivation train rolling!? Share a tip in the comments.

 

Find all my previous posts on motivation here!

Making Fitness a Family Affair

Getting the whole family involved in a healthy lifestyle is a good way to not only keep yourself on track, but is also a great way to try new activities with your family.
It can be hard at first to get everyone on board. People like different things, and organizing the “perfect” exercise may be a challenge. However, you don’t have to get TOO crazy in order to make things work. This is especially important to me as I could easily fall into the Netflix-and-couch mentality every day after work. Instead, I wanted to share with you a few easy ways to incorporate fitness into your family life.
Find an outdoor activity: Whether you are hiking with your significant other or kayaking with your kids, getting outside is one sure-fire way to ensure everyone enjoys the activity. After all, who doesn’t love getting out in nature!? You don’t have to do anything hard, either. Simply checking out a new trail can be sufficient! Something Ryan and I have been doing lately has been going for day trips. We will go for a hike in a new area, or drive somewhere and walk along the ocean for a change of scenery. If you have a dog, this is a great way to get them out and about, too!
Some other outdoor activities include: running (trail or pavement), canoeing, skiing/snowboarding in the winter (can make a great family getaway!), swimming (always great in the summer), walking, etc.
Check out a new class: One thing my sister and I enjoy doing is going to a new fitness class together. We have gone to yoga classes, zumba classes – you name it, and there is probably a class for that! Fitness classes don’t have to be expensive, either. With a little bit of research, you can find a class near you (check out a community centre in your area) that won’t stretch the wallet too thin. My mom and I signed up for spin classes, and that was a fun way to sweat together and try something new!
Other class ideas include: bootcamp, barre fitness (ballet inspired work outs), drop-in sports like volleyball, spin classes, etc.
Walk it out: Simply going for a family walk is a nice way to not only catch up, but fit some extra steps into your day. Additionally, going for an after dinner walk can help aid in digestion and burn extra calories, too. Switch things up by walking on trails, walking through a new-to-you-neighbourhood or enlisting some friends for extra fun and conversation. If you are visiting with family members, maybe try going for a walk instead of going out to eat – you will save money that way, too!
Make it a challenge: Are you a fan of some friendly competition? See who can go one week without sugar (think junk food sugar, not natural sugars like those found in fruit). See who can fit in X amount of work outs into the week. Whatever your challenge is, make it FUN! You can also have a bet if money is something that motivates you, or a reward system at the end. For example, if you successfully go one week without sugar (just an example), maybe you will win a massage or some other kind of treat (and not the food kind. You are not a dog).
Workout at home: Working out can mean yard work too, not just taking the stairs or walking to get the mail. You can always get family involved with chores around the yard, as that often involves heavy lifting, clearing debris, and lots of bending and walking. Further, you can try online at-home workouts with family if you want to make a family work out night and get everyone involved!
Workout for a cause: Often times running races are centred around fundraising for a cause. For example, some Father’s Day runs fundraise for prostate cancer. Fundraising can be an excellent way to not only get the family involved in an event, but it can draw people to train together, too!
What are some ways you stay active with your family?
Let me know your fave way in the comments below!

Why You Should Reward Your Accomplishments

Hey, hey!
I wanted to chat about a topic I feel is important when it comes to health and fitness, and especially if you are transitioning into a healthier lifestyle.
It’s easy to get started on a healthier journey, but oftentimes it can be hard to keep going. What do you do to keep the momentum going?
Reward your accomplishments.
 
Okay, so does that mean I have a big fat burger and fries after a killer work out?
No, not exactly. I wouldn’t recommend it, anyway.
 
Here is an example.
After the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon last summer, I wanted to treat myself for accomplishing that goal. I had spent months logging in the miles, getting the time on my feet, and I felt that I earned something. Kind of a high five to myself, if you get what I mean.
So, I enjoyed my weekend in Vancouver and made wise choices when we were out to eat. For my post-race meal we went to a cute breakfast cafe downtown, and I chose to have an egg and veggie skillet instead of the eggs benny with that deliciously creamy Hollandaise sauce. Nope, I chose wisely, because I knew that my reward was coming.
What did I reward myself with? A spa afternoon with my sister. We got massages and pedicures, and I felt so relaxed and content. It was just what my mind and body needed. Additionally, during the Seawheeze weekend I also rewarded myself with a few new work out pieces and some yoga to keep my body feelin’ good. This was my celebration of all the time put into training for the race.
Setting goals is great and everything, but what happens after you reach your goal?
Some people want to celebrate with food, and that’s great if that’s what you are into.
However, I’ll tell you why I don’t personally like to reward myself with food.
Rewarding yourself with food, especially when it is something high sugar, high fat, or highly processed can aid in undoing all of your hard work, especially if you make that reward a regular thing.
What do I mean by this? If after every time I went to the gym I went to Starbucks and got a frappuccino and a donut, eventually that would start to catch up to me. Those extra calories would add up, and (knowing my body) I would get super bloated and end up feeling down on myself and wonder, why did I eat that? Ja feel? Choosing a whole food option post-workout is always a better idea from a nutrition stand point.
Are you saying you have never rewarded yourself with food? Nope, that’s not what I am saying at all. After my bikini competition two years ago I had a meal out with my family, and it was damn good because I hadn’t had a meal like that in seven months.
On the other hand, food is fuel for your body and should be used as a tool simply to put engine in your tank. Personally, if I want a glass of wine at the end of the work day, I will have one (if we have my favourite reds in the house). However, I cut myself off after a glass or two, because I know that if I have anything more than that I will A) be drunk and B) not feel great. Keeping your balance of food treats and whole foods in check will help keep you on track if you have a health or weight loss goal. Of course there are several other factors, but I won’t get into that right now : )
What I am saying is that there are other options when it comes to rewarding yourself.
Why should you reward your accomplishments?
Rewarding yourself for accomplishing a goal can help you stay motivated to achieve your next goal. Mentally, you will know that you have something just for you at the finish line, and that will propel you towards your goal. These are some of the biggest reasons why I reward my accomplishments, even if it is with something small.
A few ideas for non-food rewards:
– Book a spa treatment such as a massage or pedicure (my personal favourites!)
– Buy a new piece of work out gear
– Participate in a relaxing yoga session
– Take a nap! Seriously. So nice
– Take a bath with your favourite bath bomb, bath salts or bubble bath. Or all three!
– Paint your nails
– Have an at-home spa evening
– Unwind with your favourite movie
– Plan a road trip, vacation, day trip, etc
The list goes on and on! Sometimes you gotta get creative with it, but at the end of the day as long as you are doing something you love, that’s a reward in itself : )
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that everyone has their own way of rewarding their accomplishments, whether that is buying a new lipstick or going for a full on shopping spree. Rewarding yourself shouldn’t break the bank, either. It’s important to mindful about how you are rewarding yourself as you do not want it to become harmful to your finances.
 
What are some ways you reward your accomplishments?

WORKOUT! Upper Body Blast Workout

Good morning!
So, home workouts. I love them, how about you guys? I actually have not been to the actual gym in months, because I have been doing my own thing at home. Home workouts are super convenient, and a huge bonus is that you do not have to purchase a gym membership! I’m all about saving that cash money.
If you are looking for a good upper body workout then I would highly recommend giving this one a shot! Added bonus: you only need a pair of free-weights (or dumbbells). I have been adding this into my routine about two times per week after my shorter runs, or I will sneak it in after work. It doesn’t take all day, and the minimal equipment is a plus, too!

Modify the exercises if you need to. I took a 30 second to one minute break in between each exercise before moving onto the next one. Once all exercises are completed, take a water break and do ’em again!

I hope you enjoy the workout! Let me know in the comments what YOUR current favourite workout is right now : )