Motivation

Motivation

How can you motivate yourself? First, have fun! Fun stimulates and excites you to stay accountable. Reward yourself and feel worthy. You’ll feel competent, be successful and see results!

If your fitness coach takes the fun out of your routine, I guarantee you’ll lose motivation.  We need to feel good about ourselves, and fun challenges help us do that.

But what happens to our self-worth when we slip? Maybe you missed a training session or splurged too often, and you feel like you’ve failed. I call these ‘speed bumps’ and they’re part of life.

How do you overcome them?

  1. Stop what you’re doing and start over. Revisit your reasons for getting fit. A mistake is not a failure if the failure leads to success. Success means achieving YOUR goals.
  2. Is your coach helping you stay motivated? A great fitness coach can make a huge difference. What works for one person, may not be a good fit for another. Make a change if you need to.
  3. Build in extrinsic rewards for your successes. Track your results and get praise from your coaches, then reward yourself with (for example) new clothes: “After twenty workouts, I’m going to buy myself some new ‘skinny’ jeans.”
  4. Recognize the intrinsic rewards of working out. Your coach and fitness facility must create the right atmosphere and culture to help you develop an affinity for working out. In the right environment, you will recognize that you love the way you feel when you work out; working out becomes its own reward.

Use all your tools to keep yourself on track. Staying active in your facility’s “shape-up” challenges can help you be motivated when your internal motivation isn’t quite there, especially during your initial quest for fitness. Your internal motivation will help you kick things into high gear over the long run, which over time has greater value.

Motivation tools

When you feel yourself slipping, revisit this list and see where you’re falling short. Which of these tools can you use to address your lack of motivation?

Set goals for yourself. Can you work your way into your skinny jeans? Do you need to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol levels? Can you lower your body fat percentage?

 

Build variety into your training program. Make sure you’re changing your routine every four to six weeks, not only to keep your body guessing, but to keep you interested in your workouts.

 

Train hard AND train smart. If you’re not seeing results, you won’t be motivated. Spend 80% of your time on the most valuable 20% of your workouts.

 

Notice your results. Do you have a before/after picture?What health benefits are you reaping from your fitness routine?

 

Remember your reasons for exercising. Are you doing it to keep up with your kids? To relieve stress? To address a health concern? Use positive cues to remind yourself of these reasons.

 

Use your journal to keep track of food and workouts. Journaling helps you evaluate where you need to improve.

 

Look outside yourself for motivation. When your personal motivation falls short, look for inspiration in fitness books and magazines.

 

Find a reliable workout buddy. Be a reliable workout buddy.

 

Are you having fun? Remember that fun translates to more feelings of self-worth, which is self-motivating!

 

Think right. Is your self-talk undermining your ability to take the right actions? Beliefs are powerful, and you can change them if they’re not serving you.

 

Remember: see results, feel successful, feel worthy, repeat!*

 

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Doctor’s advice? Cut out all wheat products

In an article in the Vancouver Sun, a writer reviews this book, written by a Wisconsin-based cardiologist. It makes sense to me!

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

By William Davis M.D.

Like many cardiologists, Wisconsin-based Dr. William Davis has restored good health to thousands of his patients with his advice on dietary changes to improve the wellbeing of their hearts. Unlike most cardiologists, the diet Davis recommends doesn’t comply with any official stamp of nutritional approval.

Yet he seems to get some startling results, not only with the heart and circulatory conditions his patients see him for but also a wide variety of other health complaints, including skin rashes, diabetes, colitis, joint pain and insomnia.

Read the full article online.

 

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Real Questions, Real Answers!

This is a post by Rachel Cosgrove, one of my mentors, and co-owner of Results Fitness. — Gary

I own a gym and am there everyday, working and interacting with clients, answering their questions, and giving them advice to achieve the best possible results. We have more than 300 members, so I’m constantly bombarded with questions.

I always find the questions interesting because I think some should be obvious, while others I just find entertaining, but they’re all real questions from real people. I thought many readers might be wondering some of the same things I hear asked on a regular basis.

So, let’s get into a few of the more recent questions I’ve been asked.

Q: If I can’t use sugar in my coffee, can I have honey instead?

A: Remember the old song that said, “Sugar, oh honey, honey… Honey, oh sugar, sugar.” I hate to break it to you, but they were onto something.

Honey is sugar, so no, you can’t have either. You shouldn’t start your day off with sugar, whether it’s from honey or table sugar.

Of course, as soon as I gave this answer, the client whipped out the expected, “But I can’t drink coffee without anything in it and I can’t live without my coffee!”

I had to tell her, “Hmm, I guess you don’t really want this. If you won’t give up the sugar in your coffee to get the body you want, then I can’t help you because there will be much bigger obstacles and temptations along the way.”

She called me the next day and was so excited because she “survived” black coffee that morning, and now felt like she could do anything.

Q: If I use milk in my coffee, does that count as breakfast? Café latte: Heavy on the latte, light on the café?

A: This question came up right after a discussion about the importance of eating within 15 minutes of waking up. Breakfast is a very important meal — the most important, next to your post-workout meal — because you’re “breaking the fast” from hours of sleep.

My somewhat-sarcastic answer was, “I’ll let you count the milk in your coffee as breakfast if you’d consider counting it as your dinner, too.” I think I got my point across.

Most people would never think of having such a small dinner, but try to get them to actually sit down and have a decent meal in the morning, and they have such a hard time with it.

The bottom line is that you should be eating more calories for breakfast, when you’ve been fasting all night and you’re starting your metabolism for the day, compared to the calories you need at dinner, when you’re just going to bed.

Q: Sometimes I’ll have beer or a glass of wine along with a healthy meal. Does that mean I’m not following my diet plan?

A: I encourage my clients to stick to their plans 90 percent of the time and splurge (or miss a meal) 10 percent of the time. If you’re eating five meals a day, this works out to about three meals each week where you can relax the rules.

Alcohol isn’t part of the plan to achieve the physique results you’re looking for, but you’re welcome to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer as one of those three “relaxed” meals. Just remember that it doesn’t count as a “healthy meal” getting you closer to your goals.

I realize that eating grilled fish, steamed vegetables, and a glass of chardonnay seems like it shouldn’t be as bad as having a bacon cheeseburger and a Budweiser, but if you decide to splurge, you should have what you want for the entire meal. You may as well spike your metabolism and get some extra calories in during the meal.

There’s no such thing as “kinda” splurging or “sorta” cheating on a diet. You’re either sticking to the plan for that meal or you’re not. It is allowed and I encourage you to relax with 10 percent of your meals and enjoy yourself, so if you decide to make this one of “those” meals, go for it.

Just make sure that you do stick to the plan 90 percent of the time to get your body to change. The mistake I see a lot of clients make is that they do too many of these “kinda-sorta” splurges, but never really relax and have a true cheat.

They end up feeling like they’ve never enjoyed themselves, but when they review their food for the week, they’ve really only stuck to the original plan 70 percent of the time, even though they feel like they’ve been “sorta” perfect.

90 percent of the time, stick to the rules — eating protein and a fruit or veggie at every meal, saving your starches for post-workout and breakfast, and eliminating processed food and sugar. Ten percent of the time, splurge… and enjoy it.

Q: Is Diet Coke a processed food?

A: I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a Diet Coke tree, and I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t come from a plant or grow in the ground.

So, when I say that you should eat non-processed, natural foods… um… Diet Coke doesn’t meet that requirement. If you choose to have a Diet Coke, then it’s going to become part of one of your 10 percent cheat meals.

Definitely enjoy your Diet Coke, but you may as well do it like most Americans. Order it along with a Big Mac and fries, because you’re off the plan so enjoy the splurge, but then get back on track with your next meal.

Stick to no more than three splurges each week (10 percent of your meals), and remember that if you miss a meal, it also counts as one of these “splurges.” Missing a meal is just as bad as eating the wrong thing.

Interestingly, I’ve been asked this same type of question about pretzels and Wheat Thins. Again, there are no pretzel trees or Wheat Thin trees that I’m aware of, even though I have one client who swears that she has a pretzel tree and a Diet Coke tree in her backyard. I bet Bigfoot shows up to water them once a week, too.

Q: Can I go for a walk on my day off from training?

No, I’d really prefer that you sit on your butt and watch TV.

What do you think? Of course you can go for a walk! But don’t think that living an active lifestyle or going for a stroll around the park counts as “exercise” or as an actual workout. This also doesn’t justify having a big bowl of pasta afterwards, or skipping one of your actual workouts.

Living an active lifestyle is part of who you are now. I’m usually asked this because I preach that steady-state cardio isn’t the best choice for fat loss, but that doesn’t mean I don’t encourage you to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Get off your butt, skip tonight’s episode of Idol, and go for a walk!

Wrap-up

I hope that at least one of these questions answered something you’ve been wondering about. Maybe you thought you already knew the answer, and my answer surprised you.

You can agree with my answers or disagree with them, but these are real questions from real people, and these are the real answers I gave them. I wonder what I’ll get asked this month. I might have to report back from the trenches again.

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Nutrition is easy!

Popeye downs a can of spinach and defends his only true love Olive Oyl with some crazy strength move only a cartoon character could do. Try that at home and the only thing you’ll be having is the spinach.

“No specific food will make you faster or stronger tomorrow,” says Lonnie Lowery, R.D., PH.D., and exercise and nutrition scientist at Winona State University, in Minnesota. Instead, whatever your goal – packing on muscle, going the distance, or losing that gut – you have to think long-term. “Sports nutrition is all about many factors adding up over time.” In other words, think crock-pot, not microwave. It’s distance running, not a sprint.

So even though you can’t be Popeye, the Sailor Man, the combination of the right foods and drinks can help you train harder and longer, and look great. Your clean eating habits will support good workouts, and good workouts make the most of clean eating. I’ve collected the latest research to help in your efforts to get the body you want.

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Aerobic Exercise and Weight Loss Research

Recently  a study in the American Journal of Medicine that looked at all the trials on aerobic exercise (14 studies involving 1847 participants) was brought to our attention. The average weight loss after 6 months was 1.6kg (3.5lbs) and after one year was 1.7kg (3.74lbs.) Their conclusion? “Our results show that isolated aerobic exercise is not an effective weight loss therapy.” But aerobic exercise “may still be an effective weight loss therapy in conjunction with diets.”

Alwyn Cosgrove of Results Fitness writes: “It doesn’t work on it’s own, but it might work with diets? Let’s look at what else we know about aerobics and weight loss.

“There are several other studies showing that aerobic exercise has no effect on weight loss when compared to dieting alone. There are a ton of benefits to low intensity aerobic exercise, but time and time again, research and the real world have shown that it’s not an effective tool for fat loss training or really an effective use of your time, if fat loss is your goal.

“For losing fat, strength training is the number one way to make that happen. Metabolic circuits and interval training are number two. But they all fall far short without a solid nutrition plan.

“Fourteen studies on weight loss and aerobic exercise with 1847 participants have failed to show any meaningful results. Isn’t it time we faced the truth that aerobic exercise isn’t an effective fat loss tool?”

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