Conquer defeat, build motivation

I woke up (not so motivated) at 6:15 a.m. and hurried (read: trudged) to the track for my Shocker Fitness workout.

Sometimes, especially when I am sleepy, I’ll tell myself that I won’t push myself, that I won’t work too hard, because, honestly, I do NOT want to be at the track at 6:45 a.m.

Too early. Read here.

I am mentally defeating myself before the workout has even begun.

During a quick warm-up lap around the track, I tell myself that I can go slow, plod along instead of pushing myself. It is the warmup, after all.

However, after moving through the rest of the warmup, I stop listening to the little voice in my head and just let my feet hit the track. I feel like I can push myself harder.

Today, I did.

We ran 150’s, which, to say the least, are not my favorite workout. I like short sprints and relays much more than 150’s up and down the track. (Running for endurance is not my favorite exercise, either; I much prefer running for speed, and then promptly pooping out.)

However, after the running part of the workout, even though I was tired, I pushed myself during the strength-training part of the workout. I did real pushups today! No knees, please. :)

After the strength circuit, we moved to stadiums, and I pushed harder again.

I love stadiums, I really do, but I am not a fan of just climbing to the top and walking back down the stairs.

One: I am pooped out 2/3 of the way up, and two: I do not want to go up again once I get back to the bottom.

Instead, I ran up 30 seats, about halfway, and walked down slowly, and then repeated that five times. Much more enjoyable. More sprinting!

(Secret Goal: I want to run up the entire stadium in one setting, no breaks, just sprinting and climbing. I know, once I get to the top, I will fall down dead, but I still totally want to do it. Look at me and my fitness goals! Doing sooooo well.)

Sorry, my point…

Every morning I wake up as a defeatist, mentally destroying my motivation and my ability to do well before I even set foot on the track.

But the track and the group do something to change that.

When I am on the track, I do not think (mental break!), I just go.

Ashley told me to do this during a workout when I was feeling especially nasty toward the thought of exercise. I tried it, and have been using the method successfully ever since.

Also, exercising in a group, Shocker Fitness members, and with coaches, Em and Nate, increases my motivation and my ability to do well even when I am silently defeating myself inside.

Have you ever suffered from the same motivation defeat? Do you mentally destroy yourself before a workout?

It’s OK. I understand.

I used to destroy myself before every workout. I was anxious about every workout. I was anxious about the whole process of getting fit and healthy. I had no confidence in myself… mentally. Read here.

It took me a long time to realize that I just needed to have confidence in my body. If I tell my body to do something, it won’t argue, it’ll just do it! The mind talks back, but the body is obedient.

(I think that also has something to do with willpower.)

I am not anxious about fitness anymore. I am not worried about failing. I have confidence in my body, even if I have to tell my brain to shut up in the morning.

The workout is not painful, mentally, any more. My workout is something I make. I make my workout.

And that is the best advice I could give anyone working toward a healthier lifestyle. Do what you made, and you’ll succeed, even when you feeling like you’re failing.

…again, straying from the point.

After the work out this morning I was STARVING. Sooooo hungry.

I ate a giant bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios, pretty sure it was at least 1 1/2 cups, and one whole, huge banana.

Breakfast!zomg. It was so good.

After breakfast, I read a bit o’ Burke, and then took a power nap before getting ready for my day. I love morning naps.

Husband and the cat were playing video games when I woke up.

Hobbes the CatWe have such a cuddly kitty cat!

How do you conquer defeat?

Morning fuel? Cheerios are the shiz. :)

OpEd: New Hair

Of the new hair cut…

Husband: “I think it’s cute!”

Friends: “So cute, Shae!”

Mother: “I love it!”

Me: “I still hate blow dryers, but shoot do I look good!”

And, quite unfortunately, that is all I have time for today. My list is so long, I don’t think it’ll ever end :(

School, school, school, school… I promise to cook something interesting and tasty next week! So recipes, and fitness tips, and health tips, and diet tips and… AH!

I just made another list…

Fitness + Food: My turning point?

I missed my workout on Wednesday from sheer exhaustion. I did not wake up until 7:30 a.m., and Shocker Fitness began at 6:45 a.m.

Wednesday FAIL.

Wednesday WIN? I weighed in at 130 pounds! OMG! Ten to go! :)

Fortunately, I dragged myself out of bed this morning and got ready for Shocker Fitness (after unloading the dishwasher and picking up the bathroom), and then pumped my muscles in a relay circuit and running up stadium seats four times totaling an hour-long workout.

All on a half cup of coffee.

(Not on purpose. I only had time for a half cup. I’m drinking more now, no worries.)

What I am saying is… Because I missed Wednesday, I made up for it today, while attempting to promote this thing, and now my body HURTS.

Hurts in a good way, no more of that nonsensical pained butt muscle.

I’m excited about this particular soreness, which is strange. Usually, I hate that I’m sore. It annoys me… But I am enjoying these workouts!

Next thing…

Remember I’m addicted to yogurt?

Snack timeWell, I also might be addicted to eggs.

These rather new yogi and eggy obsessions come as a surprise. (And by new I mean that, while I have always enjoyed both yogurt and eggs, I have never enjoyed them as much as say… French fries.)

Why is this even relevant?

Well, the good news is that I enjoy eating healthful foods, such as protein-crammed eggs and calcium-loaded yogi.

More good news: French fries and fried thing appeal to me less and less, as when I go out with friends, I tend to order a salad.

(Unfortunately, when I was hurt, I snarfed some fried things like a crazy person. Le binge.)

I suppose I feel better about myself because I finally enjoy exercise (for the most part) and because eating healthy food isn’t such a chore anymore.

I is gettin’ healthy! :)

I suppose since I feel healthier, my skin and hair will become healthier and my face might just clear up from this I-am-a-teenage-boy thing it’s doing…

Who knows? Issues with the way you look don’t always just clear up when you clean up your act, but it sure is helping.

Where was your turning point? When did you feel what you had been doing for so long was actually working?

Today… Maybe, it happened over some time.

P.S. Husband and I decided on Heidi Klum hair.

I made the appointment for Wednesday at Sabo Salon in my hometown, only 15 minutes from Wichita – not a long drive.

My mother’s or my aunt’s (I don’t know who knew who first) friend has cut my hair for a while now, and I really like her, so I do not want to jinx (knockin’ on wood) it by going to someone else! She is responsible for this cut, which I loved…

(I think my hair was thicker then… I’m thinning out… seriously… I might go bald.)

Skinny shopping list

Today is grocery day! Another chance to save money, use coupons and still eat healthfully.

Let me tell you… Not easy, but I’ve got to do it, and I usually don’t do the best job. I just keep trying.

I found a skinny shopping list – the groceries of skinny people – to “follow” on my trip today. I wonder how well I’ll do…

Skinny Shopping List
Apples… are full of fiber and uber delicious. Similar to the sugar boost of a large candy bar, apples can boost your energy while filling you up with enough fiber to keep your full for far longer than a Snickers. Pears have more fiber, but “they’re ripe for half an hour!” (Eddie Izzard). Both fruits are rich in pectin, which lowers blood sugar.

I pick up five or six green apples every shopping trip. Better or worse than red or pink? I’m not sure. Green apples are sweetly tart!

Berries… are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants. Naturally sweet and filling, berries are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Plus, Women’s Health Magazine once advised that you should stuff your face with them.

Berries are expensive and do not come in portion sizes that I desire. For instance, a package of blueberries QUICKLY rots from the bottom up. If I do not eat ALL of the berries (huge package) the same day I bring them home, I cannot eat any of the berries.

Crunchy veggies… such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are low in calories, high in fiber and full of potassium and calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium – some even more than milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower are pretty much “banned” from the house. Husband hates broccoli, and I hate cauliflower. I’m willing to eat as much cabbage as I possible can, though. LOVE cabbage. Green cabbage on the list!

Mushrooms… blech! Low in calories but unfortunately disgusting. No mushrooms in my house!

Nuts… awesome! Protein, fiber and healthy fat found in almonds, walnuts and peanuts! LOVE! However, I cannot keep nuts in the house for very long. Husband covers them in peanut butter for double the yum and devours them in one setting. All of them.

Have you ever fed a behemoth? It’s hard. (Behemoth is one of my GRE words!)

Oatmeal… We have oatmeal, I just need a recipe for oatmeal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Beans… are not glamorous, of course, but they are super nutritious. Dana @mylittlecelebration puts them in brownies! My next mission in baking? Putting protein and fiber filled beans in something sweet and sneak feeding it to my family or husband.

Beans on the list!

Quinoa… is too expensive for my wallet, but it is a protein-filled whole grain of goodness! No quinoa for us this week.

Fish… is on the menu at least once a week at our house. Easy to flavor and quick to thaw and cook. Check out my baked tilapia! It’s so yummy.

Our frozen store is running low. Tilapia is needed!

Lowfat yogurt… is filled with all the good things you’re supposed to get from dairy products. Buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten naturally with berries or nuts.

Husband and I tried Greek yogurt… twice… and we really wanted to like it, but it’s just so gross. We have Yoplait Lite! in the fridge. No yogurt this trip.

Eggs… Oh. My. Goodness. I love eggs. Eggs are good with everything, just like apples or crackers. Spicy eggs, sweet eggs, savory eggs, you name it, I’ll eat it. And we’ve only got three left! :( Eggs on the list.

Olive oil… should be used to cook everything. It’s just that awesome. But we’re stocked so no olive oil for me this week.

What’s the first step?

Finding recipes/food that we’ll eat for the next two weeks, and then I will gather my coupons, make my list and go hunting for the best and healthiest deals.

Wish me luck! Update when I get back from the store.

Clean bill of health!

On Monday, I went back to my doctor to get this checked out. (Caution Male Readers!)

For the past six weeks, I struggled to reduce the (overly) large amount of caffeine I drink on a daily basis by MORE THAN HALF.

Well, I did it!

My doctor told me she could really tell I cut back on the caffeine, and then she said that I had to keep it up.

I believe her exact words were: “And not a pot of coffee a day.”

And she said it with a “doctor glare.” You know the one.

Weird thing: We discovered I have one big rib on the right side. It’s just larger than all my other ribs. (I checked.) Fantastic.

I promised. Of course, I might have to break that promise come August.

School is soon! I’m excited, but only because I need to accomplish things. I need to accomplish papers and speeches and teaching.

Ugh. I’m not good without school, I suppose!

Unfortunately, with school comes Ramen Noodles and all-nighters, which leave me too exhausted to workout.

I’m gonna get fat. Boo.

Currently, my workouts and diet are going… OK.

Dieting is just no fun, and daily I learn that I eat too much by counting calories. Counting calories is impossible.

I did Pure Cardio of Insanity today, and it went well. I pushed my body until my legs went out and I fell on my butt.

Twice.

Yeah, I went back for more.

And I died! (Eddie Izzard)

Well, my computer is acting weird, and I have studying to do… Hate on the GRE with me!

Also, I have a gross giant zit on my face. I would show you but the picture wouldn’t turn out right.

WEIGHT DROP!

While I truly believe that I will gain weight by the end of Insanity instead of lose weight…

I LOST 4 POUNDS!

Woo hoo!

I’m so excited! Can’t you tell?

I feel good today! Good workout today! Still bites on the dieting front. :)

I’m a busy bee right now, but when I get a break, I’ll let you know how my six-week checkup for this problem went.

Have you sought pleasure today? Food and feelings

I just love articles like this…

Livestrong reporter August McLaughlin reflected on German philosopher Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach’s comment: “Man is what he eats.”

After I just lost the battle to half a bag of Grandma’s cookies, I agree. (As in Grandma by Frito Lay. My grandmother makes amazing oatmeal raisin cookies that I will never feel bad about eating. Scrumptious!)

McLaughlin called that statement the mantra of modern-day fitness and nutrition gurus in describing the effect that food has on the body. But she believes that dietary habits can affect more than just the physical self; they can also make or break a person’s self-esteem.

I agree. When I’m faced with the decision to get a turkey sandwich from Subway or a greasy cheeseburger from Sonic, I always feel better about myself when I choose a fresh sandwich instead of a fast food burger.

No matter how badly I wanted that burger, I never regret NOT eating it. Sometimes, I also don’t regret eating it. Depends on the day… and I’m working on the guilt thing.

In Nourish Your Body, Nurture Yourself, McLaughlin describes several guidelines and opinions about nourishing your body to nurture your own life.

First, Seek Pleasure
What excites you? Makes you laugh or smile? When is the last time you “played?” These are not questions you ask when considering your diet and physical health.

In her book – The Emotional Energy Factor: The Secrets High-Energy People Use to Beat Emotional Fatiguepsychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum explored energy and emotional fulfillment. Her conclusions found that 70 percent of a person’s total energy is related to emotion. (Makes sense to me!)

Feeding your emotional self with activities, relationships and practices you enjoy is more important than any other factor in promoting energy and well-being.

And your diet should promote pleasure. Stanley J. Gross, a psychologist and author of Pathways to Lasting Self-Esteem, said developing the ability to experience pleasure when you desire it.

How in the world do I do that? Getting past the point where I find THAT impossible to the realm of “can actually happen” sounds hard.

I still have problems enjoying chocolate after I’ve eaten it.

 Don’t Let DIET Be a Verb
Are you eating a healthy diet, or are you dieting?

According to the article, dieting typically promotes deprivation of favorite foods, entire nutrient groups or sufficient amounts of calories. It can pose serious damage to self-worth.

 I believe it. No matter how badly I want to try a raw food diet, I know I never could. I love cooked food too much and feel that taking it away would be counterproductive even if it’s healthier for my body in the long run.

So what do I do? What would you do?

Try it? Half it?

Registered dietician Ellen Reiss-Goldfarb warns dieters to avoid deprivation because it leads to disordered thinking and, possibly, bingeing. Instead, tell yourself you are worthy of healthy foods but also have the right to enjoy occasional indulgences.

I still don’t know how to make the raw food thing work. Ho-hum!

Breakfast for a Better Life
(Finally, something I am good at!) Skipping breakfast is NOT a sign of self-control, Gross said. However, the low blood sugar levels, moodiness and excessive hunger that follow do not promote a healthy life.

Starting each day with self-care (breakfast) might strengthen your willingness to care for yourself the remainder of the day. (Nutra Grain bar commercials?)

While the article recommends something amazing – old-fashioned oats topped with low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit and toasted almonds – I will probably stick to my shredded wheat, skim milk and sliced banana.

Although, lately, it’s been honey nut something or other.

Take Aim at Toxins
Do specific foods trigger poor self-esteem?

French fries.

According to the article, no specific food does. A generally unhealthy diet rich in added sugars, saturated fat and preservatives, however, does not fuel positivity. Every meal and snack provides an opportunity to make a healthy or unhealthy decision and to seek pleasure or not. What you choose makes a difference.

For example, consider the balance of two vital nutrients in the typical diet: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids – both of which are essential to human health. However, we tend to consume too much omega-6 and too little omega-3, which leads to increased inflammation and may dampen hormonal levels and moods.

Vegetable oils – safflower, corn and sunflower – and meat are loaded with omega-6. Fish, flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil may help relieve depression, hormonal imbalances and infertility and are also loaded with omega-3.

Get this! By eating primarily fresh, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you are taking care of your body AND bolstering self-esteem because those foods boost feel-good brain chemicals.

Raw food diet? I might have to now. I could use some more self-esteem.

Reach Out to Rise Up
The article said that focusing on the internal aspects of physical and emotional health can lead to neglecting external factors like support. Emotional support – from a spouse, family member, best friend or therapist – is important to make lasting healthy changes.

J. Scott Shonka, personal trainer and lead drill instructor at Extreme Boot Camp in Santa Monica, Calif., said, “Eat and exercise with a friend with similar goals who cheers you on. Anyone who puts you down is bad news.”

Finally, the article offers this: “Addressing underlying emotional issues before or while making dietary changes is also important. If you carry excess body weight, diet compulsively, have disordered attitudes about your body and food or frequently turn to food to cope with emotional stress, seek therapy that addresses your emotional and behavioral health.”

That’s really important advice. Eating and dieting disorders can cause serious self-esteem problems and health problems.

The article proved to me how much my happiness with myself – my body, my self-esteem and my attitude – really depends on the choices I make, especially with food. I want my choices to reflect my happiness, and I really want to try this concept of seeking pleasure. Sounds fun…

No more Grandma’s cookies. Sheesh.

On the fitness front I am doing well!

How do you seek pleasure?
I might steal your ideas.