Sunday, April 21, 2013

I've Been Stuck in My Head

I can't remember the last time I posted on my blog about fitness.  I have been thinking, talking, and reading about fitness on a daily basis.  I have been doing fitness on a semi-regular basis.  I haven't been able to pull it altogether though to share in a coherent way through a series of posts though so I'm just going to spill my thoughts and questions at once in an organized fashion.

Most days I think I don't like fitness.  The days I do fitness I think I like it immediately following the workout when I'm feeling that euphoric energy, clear lungs, and adrenaline.  Some days I look forward to doing fit things.  I don't know where I stand overall.  I have proven to myself that I feel better when I am exerting energy on a regular basis and I feel worse when I am not.  I've recognized I really need to think differently in my approach to fitness.  Some days I'm there and some days I'm not - I'll let you know when I figure it all out.  Have you ever struggled with changing your mind-set?

I was convinced for a long time that I needed motivation to be fit.  I needed a goal to achieve, someone to push me, someone to be accountable to, a reason to do it, a passion for it, and more.  The longer I struggle with longevity and the routine of fitness the more I'm realizing motivation has crap to do with it all.  I do not need motivation.  I need commitment, consistency, and plans.  I already have motivation - it is what gets me thinking about wanting to do fit things, setting goals, and researching new ideas, but it doesn't get me actually doing them.  Where do you stand with motivation?  I still struggle with this scenario from the past:  I am committed to going to the gym every day.  I've been going every day.  I wake up every morning not wanting to go and wanting to go at the same time.  I wake up exhausted, I have a zillion things to do, I'm not going anywhere near the gym and it's raining outside, and I also hate my current fitness routine...if motivation does not play a part in me deciding to go or not go, then what is influencing my decision???

I am more successful when I track the food I eat.  Plain and simple.  I stop tracking when I am consistently eating within my calories and by no surprise I immediately start to eat too many and lose all my hard work.  Tracking food makes me think about whether or not I'm actually hungry or if I'm just bored and wanting a snack.  I need to do this again and keep at it.  How do you find the balance between what you want to eat and what you have allotted to eat?

Working Out
I need to do this every day ideally.  I need to commit to a program and not deviate from it at the very least (ie. couch to 5km which I started last week).  Programs are designed to help me succeed.  I cannot succeed at them if I do not follow them blindly.  They worked for a reason - I need to trust this and not question it or try to speed it up.  When I do then I fail.  What programs have been the most successful for you to a)lose weight b)build strength c) build endurance d) increase flexibility e) feel empowered?

I am not competitive.  Not with myself or with others.  I strive to do well.  I'm happy when I do better.  But, ultimately I do not care if I beat my score or someone else's.  I am more apt to get frustrated and quit if I continue trying to strive for something greater than my current ability.  I need to focus on lengthy workouts not beat my time to get it done faster workouts.  More cardio=more success.  Instead of working to get done faster (my old mindset) I need to enjoy the time I do work so I will do more (my new mindset).

I'm sure there is more floating around in my brain that will spill out in the weeks to come.  For now, plans to track my calories, complete week 2 of couch to 5km, and learn to lift weights in my garage.  But, most all, to attack fitness with a positive mind.


  1. Okay, Amber, I'm going to try to answer some of these questions.

    1) Have you ever struggled with changing your mind-set? I so so so love listening to my iPod Nano that just the music is enough to make me love a workout. Further, I get away from the rest of the world, so it is like a mini-vacation for me. So even when I was terrible in the gym, I had super great music.

    2)If motivation does not play a part in me deciding to go or not go, then what is influencing my decision??? Ideally, it should become that you love your fitness and enjoy your gym buddies. When your workouts feel like chocolate and frosting, you don't need to be motivated whatsoever. Before that, you just need to develop a habit that is non-negotiable.

    3)How do you find the balance between what you want to eat and what you have allotted to eat? Sadly, girls have to eat girl-sized calorie amounts to weigh a girl-like amount. (You have to eat very much less than Chris.) I have found that I can NOT eat the foods I want to eat on most days. I have a little splurge about one meal out of every 10 days. On normal days, I eat boiled egg whites, plain oatmeal with a sprinkle of salt, cottage cheese, apples, oranges, scrambled eggs with green peppers and onions, and other things like that.

    4) What programs have been the most successful for you to a)lose weight
    Weight is lost in the kitchen by eating less calories.
    b)build strength
    Weightlifting is absolutely best for strength.
    c) build endurance
    Endurance is not a good thing because any exercise done too much wears down your joints.
    d) increase flexibility
    Yoga increases flexibility.
    e) feel empowered?
    Every exercise done very well.

    Amber, you definitely *are* competitive for fitness. You just can't feel that because Chris is a little overpowering in that way. If you weren't competitive, then you would not feel compelled to read my blog because I'm super duper competitive.

    Lastly, I kind of wonder if you should do your fitness completely independently of Chris. He is just excellent in fitness, but a person has to find their own fitness journey and make their own fitness buddies too. You need to spend some of your workout time talking to other gym members--who don't know Chris, and don't care about Chris. They need to be YOUR fitness buddies, not his. They need to only care about how YOU do with YOUR fitness, not his fitness at all. Yes, these are selfish completely wonderful relationships that you would really love. :D

    :-) Marion

    1. Thanks for the info Marion. I think that is why Chris and I go to separate gyms now. We have different interests and abilities. We've stopped working out together almost entirely (if we do it is more just for fun to spend time together and not to get our workout complete).

  2. I so feel ya! I really don't feel like doing anything, but it feels so good afterward. It's just getting started is the hard part. I don't even have the motivation of a gym membership, so I really don't want to do anything if it's cold or rainy out, and gee, my daughter is watching TV, so I can't do a DVD or use the Wii (when I could easily kick her out of the room!)

    I track my food fairly consistently, but portion sizes never look like enough! I work with a lady who has a cup of yogurt at lunchtime and that's her first meal of the day - this lady is fit & active, too. WTF? How??? I'd be chewing on the plant on my desk if I didn't have breakfast!

    When you find all the secrets, be sure to send them my way!