Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Are Your Bad Excuses?

I've been working out an a regular basis since my son was born over 6 years ago. It started out just running, then going to the gym, then crossfit, and now just mostly running again because of my shoulder.

I have had numerous people come up to me over the years and comment about how they want to lose weight or get in shape, and they need advice. They'll ask me about how much a gym membership costs. Some have asked if I would be willing to train them. A LOT of people ask me how I find the time. Some ask about nutrition. Some complain that they don't have any support. I am going to address all these things...

Is gym membership expensive? 
In my opinion, yes, if you go to a quality gym with trainers that know what they are doing, it is expensive. Before I came to ECU (where employees get a FREE membership for now!), I spent about $1200 a year on a gym membership, and that's on the CHEAP end, y'all. Committing to a gym is expensive. BUT... IT IS WORTH IT. You know what else is expensive? Getting your hair done, getting your nails done, eating out, going to the movies, buying clothes, paying bills... but we do all those things anyway. WHY? BECAUSE THEY ARE PRIORITIES. If your hair is a priority, then by all means spend your money on it. If having a night out with your spouse is a priority, then YES, spend your money on it! And if getting your body into shape is important to you, then PAY THE DANG MEMBERSHIP FEE. I've made a LOT of financial sacrifices over the years so that I could afford going to the gym. I don't regret any of it.

But also remember--YOU DON'T NEED A GYM TO BE AN ACTIVE HUMAN BEING. If you really can't afford it, then take up walking or jogging. Buy the DVDs you saw off that infomercial with the sweaty man telling you, "You can do it!" Look up some workouts on Pinterest.

"Can you be my trainer?"
NO. Trust me... you do NOT want me to train you. I am NOT certified. Asking someone to train you who is not certified is insane, I'm sorry. I have basic knowledge of fitness because I do it... but that does not make me a professional. It's like assuming that anyone who ever went to elementary school could be a teacher. Nooooo, it doesn't work like that. I can tell you what I do, and you can copy me if you want to, but trust me when I say that every body is different. You don't want someone untrained telling you what your body could or should do. Find a certified trainer, my friend.

"I don't know how you do it--I just don't have time!"
Yes, you do. Do you have time to watch The Walking Dead? Do you have time to go out and eat after church on a Sunday afternoon? Do you have time to read a book? Play on social media? Go out with your friends?

This excuse kills me. YOU HAVE TIME. The problem is that exercising is not a PRIORITY. We all do the things that are important to us. I have an 8-5 job and two kids. I am active in our church and I volunteer at least once a month. I go to basketball games, softball games, plays, movies, birthday parties, holiday events, dinners, field trips, doctor appointments... I have to plan out my weekends months in advance. We are SO busy. But I will never be too busy to take care of my body because my health (both physical and MENTAL) is a priority to me. So the next time you start to say, "I don't have time!" STOP. Instead say, "It is not important to me." Because that's really what you mean.

"Eating healthy is expensive. And hard."
You won't find me arguing as much here. Going to McDonald's is cheaper than buying the ingredients myself and cooking them at home. And it's also faster. And some people (like my rotten children) think it tastes better than a home cooked meal.

But here is the thing: I care about what goes into my body... I'm gonna say like 75% of the time. I stopped using artificial sweeteners in my coffee; I don't eat at most fast food restaurants; I don't drink soda; I buy mostly organic stuff; I try to plan ahead what I'm going to order if we go out somewhere for dinner...

BUT... I also eat really bad a lot, too. I can't say no to donuts or pancakes. I LOVE coconut cream pie. And my favorite meal each month is our Sunday evening potluck we do at church. Ohhhhh I loooooove casseroles and bread. mmmmmmm...

Learning to eat healthy-ish is hard. I spent years counting calories only worrying about that one number, but over time I've learned what kinds of good things my body needs and what kinds of bad things my body will tolerate. Do your research! If you want to go to the Olympics or be a body-builder or a model, you're going to have to learn to eat clean 24/7. Well I don't have the desire to do those things. So my rule is to eat clean most of the time. I make sure to eat plenty of protein, drink all my water, and eat my recommend servings of healthy fats, carbs, and vegetables every single day. And then if I want to eat the Reese egg out of my kid's Easter basket, well then so be it. I've learned to look at the ingredients instead of just thinking that "fat-free" means "healthy." Again... do your research!

"No one really supports me, I don't want to do it alone"
It can be 300 times harder (scientific number, duh) to be active and eat healthy if your significant other/parents/kids/friends or whoever isn't doing it, too. BUT IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. 

You don't have to eat the same crap your family or friends eat. Sometimes if my husband and kids want to eat Sonic, I let them order their food... and then I go home and cook my own meal for myself. It isn't fun, but it's healthier.

When we cook at home and sit down as a family, I cook as healthy as I can and they either eat it or they starve. Sorry, kids, that's the deal. Same rule applies to my husband.

The other night we ordered pizza and I REALLY wanted a slice of cheese pizza, it sounded sooooo good. But I quickly realized there wasn't going to be enough if I ate some, so I skipped it altogether. While they ate the pizza, I had chicken breast and veggies.

I've been going to the gym by myself for 4 years. The first few weeks was scary--I didn't know anyone, I'd never been in a "gym" before, and I felt weak and out of shape. But I kept going. And now some of my closet friends are women I met at the gym!

I have never had a running partner. I have always ran by myself -- actually I prefer to run alone now!

If I can't make it to the gym and I don't feel like running, I program my own workout at home and I do it by myself. It's a totally normal thing at my house now for dad to be napping, kids to be watching tv, and mom be doing squat jumps in the living room. It can feel awkward at first... You get used to it.

If you really want to change, then change. You control your body and what goes into it. You are important. NOW GO MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Half Marathon Training and Stupid Shoulder, Update

18 weeks since surgery? Is that right? I'm at the point now where I really can't keep track anymore. It's kinda like when your kid turns 2... you stop referring to them as "24" months old. They're 2! So we'll just assume it's been at least 4 months (maybe more?) since surgery.

I still have so much pain, it's very frustrating. I try to work on mobility throughout the day and a little strength here and there, but I have so many other things to think about and I've spent so much time thinking about my stupid shoulder that I'm just OVER IT. I still don't sleep well, I can't reach the top shelf in my kitchen, and I would be completely worthless in a fist fight.

So anyway, that's where I'm at there...

Also... HALF MARATHON is 3 weeks from Sunday! What!? I've been keeping up with training mostly. I did really well until I started being more aggressive with crossfit and may have accidentally been a little too gung-ho... a couple weekends ago I did the Crossfit Open 17.5 workout. I had to modify because I can't do thrusters, so I did

10 rounds
9 front squats 65#
35 double unders

I didn't really think about the fact that I haven't squatted much over the past couple of months, especially with anything heavier than my 25# dumbell. So 90 total front squats with a 65# barbell was waaaaaaay too much considering I was supposed to run 8 miles the next day. OOPS.

So basically I was comatose for an entire week. I was THAT sore. I tried to run, don't get me wrong, but it was ugly and slow and I probably should have just rested.

Did I learn my lesson? HA. Let's just say... I'm a slow learner.

So here I am, on week 13 of my training and I can barely hit the 8 mile mark. Plus I'm losing half my toenails and my feet are basically two giant blisters. I like running, I really do. But I only like running when it is a 10k or less. I like running when it's only 2 days a week. I like running when the weather is perfect. I like running when I'm listening to music.

I do NOT like running when it is cold (65 or below), hot (75 or above), windy, rainy, or cloudy. I don't like running on a major highway because of traffic and I don't like running on our backroads because of dogs. I especially do not like running when the only option is a treadmill. Just NO. I don't like running when it's humid. I don't like running when I'm tired or hungry or thirsty.

Anyway, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent there... Where was I? Oh, half marathon training, right.

Today I will try to hit 8 miles again followed by some speed work. I am trying to hydrate reallllly well (last time I only had one glass of water the entire day... oops). But I'm super sore from crossfit (oops) so we'll see how it goes.