Discouragement in Fitness: an admission

I admit it. Sometimes I don’t workout for a week. Sometimes it’s more than a week. Sometimes I have way too much sugar and calories and carbs. Some days I don’t feel fit. Because I’m not acting like someone who is fit.

When this happens, it’s great to have that accountability like I’ve talked about in past posts, but what about when you’re so discouraged and unmotivated that their words don’t help? What do you do then?

I don’t have the magic answer. I’m guessing you didn’t assume I did. But I do want you to know we’ve all been there. Even the super fit personal trainers.

Find something to workout for. What is it that you want? Why do you workout? Maybe your health – maybe risk of high blood sugar or heart issues run in your family and you know that working out reduces those risks. Your mental health – maybe you get discouraged and depressed when you don’t workout, you don’t feel fulfilled. You feel lazy. Your looks – you want to look healthy and feel healthy. Your stewardship – God gave me this body and I should take care of it in a way that’s pleasing to him. I need to be a good steward of what he gave to me.

You can probably guess that the last one is my main motivation. But really all those reasons are. Though I don’t have a lot of medical problems that run in my family, working out does reduce some illnesses. I feel so much better mentally when I workout and eat healthy. I also want to look good. I don’t want to be disappointed and embarrassed when I see myself in a mirror.

Find your motivation. And start to chip away at the paint. Eventually you’ll shed the ugly coat and you’ll find a beautiful color underneath. Then create a habit. Remember why you’re doing it, and put on the final coat, refining and toning.

This is thefitlife’s last regular post. We have loved the community we have been able to tap into. Thanks for all the comments and support that have been thrown our way. And stay motivated to stay fit!

-Christa

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I have no motivation…

 

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Staying motivated to stay fit and lead a healthy life is very hard. When you first begin on new workouts or a new diet it is new and exciting but sticking with it is very hard to do. It’s hard to stay motivated. You lose your energy and you end up stuck. How do I stay motivated? Well, to be honest, sometimes I don’t. I give up.

There have been many times when I stopped eating healthy after like two weeks. I have stopped doing yoga at night even though I knew that it helped me sleep. I stopped working out even though I could see I was losing weight and feeling better. I would just stop. Why? Because I lost momentum and thus motivation.

How did I get back on track? I would remind myself why I started in the first place. I did it for me. So when you feel stuck just think: Do it for you. Do it for your health. Do it for your sleep. Do it for yourself to feel better. Remember to do it for you.

Once you can say that you deserve to feel the best you that you can be, you will get your motivation back. Just do it, and do it for you.

-Sarah

Be comfortably uncomfortable in your fitness.

Hiking woman on top happy and celebrating success

Deciding to lead a fit life is making a life change. You’re devoting yourself to doing something differently than you have been, making conscious choices that now align with your new goals and desires.

For me, this fitness road is constantly looping. One moment I’m high and making serious strides and loving my commitment to exercise, one moment I’m low and never want to look at the painful seat of a stationary bike again. I know I have to keep moving, but I also have to give my body recuperation days.

I also remember that people need to be comfortably uncomfortable.

You need to be comfortable with yourself, accepting where you are with your body and fitness journey. You also need to make sure you’re comfortable with your fitness level and ability. Don’t rush yourself, push too hard, or deprive yourself of things to the point of harmful obsession.

But don’t let yourself get too comfortable with that fitness level. Keep climbing and kicking things up at a healthy pace.

Let’s keep this journey going fellow fitness geeks! Tell me your journey in the comments below.

-Kortnee

 

Mars recalled 6 products; will you recall your chocolate cravings?

milky wayAccording to MSN, Mars candies from the UK recalled some of their Milky Way and Mars Bars because of plastic found in some of the candy due to a protective covering that broke and may have gotten into the candy (read this for more info).

I got to thinking. YUM! Snickers. Of course it doesn’t sound fun to catch some plastic in your mouth while eating chocolate, but this is kind of a fun story thinking of how the candy bars must be made. My mind immediately thought of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the huge river of chocolate.

Back on focus, have you ever given up anything for a period of time to better your health? Maybe it’s time to recall chocolate in your life for a while. Drastic changes sometimes create the best outcomes, because if you commit to them, they also make the biggest difference.

Consider giving up chocolate for a time! (Mars has already incentivized you to stay away from them. 🙂

What do you guys think? Is it doable? I think I’ll take the test. I won’t eat candy bars of any kind for a week or two and see how it goes. Keep me accountable!

-Christa

 

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!

A new study has shown that eating flavonoids (which are found in plants) help you lose fat. People who eat a diet rich in these flavonoids have been proven to maintain their weight as they grow older. Which is a good thing because if we maintain our weight (and even continue to build muscle as we get older) we will be in a better position to burn calories and fat.

So how do you eat foods that are rich in these things called flavonoids? Well it’s simply. Eat more fruits and vegetable! I know, easier said than done. I don’t really like vegetables either and fruit can be expensive. You want to know two simple things that I do to get more fruits and vegetables into my diet? The first is I either roast my veggies with oil, salt and garlic (which makes them actually take good!!) or I toss my veggies in with pasta. Chicken, broccoli Alfredo is one of my favorite dishes to make and I can even make it in my dorm room!

Fruit is a little easier. One word: Smoothies. You can literally add whatever you want. My favorite is frozen strawberries, blueberries, a banana, OJ, and yogurt. That’s it. Blend it up and you have a delicious smoothie that is full of good things for you. Again, it’s perfect for a dorm room too because all you need is a little blender and if you buy your fruit frozen it saves you tons of money.

What other tips do you have to add more flavonoids into your diet?

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/27/health/flavonoids-foods-weight-loss/index.html

-Sarah

Exercise That Belly!

young-overweight-belly-woman

On my fitness journey, I’m always looking for great tips to help me in my exercise. Plus, doing the same thing every, single time during workouts gets dull and seems to become ineffective because it isn’t motivating anymore.

So, I took to the internet and found an interesting article on Huffington Post Canada’s website (I’ll link it below), that gives 5 simple exercises for achieving a flatter stomach. There’s even a lovely video with fitness expert Natalie Jill demonstrating the moves. It’s so nice and accessible. There’s no extra equipment to buy in order to do them, and the exercises are beginner level which is always good for trying out new moves.

But the article makes it clear that doing these exercises isn’t just to be about becoming aesthetically pleasing, it’s about being healthy. The article says, “For years, doctors have warned against expanding waistlines, noting that excess stomach fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”

It should be our goal overall, to strive to be healthy and live a fit life. It’s not about instant results and being “runway acceptable.” It’s a good reminder. Love yourself and keep trying.

Comment below and see if the article inspires you!

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/16/stomach-exercises_n_9243664.html?utm_hp_ref=health-fitness&ir=Health+and+Fitness

-Kortnee

4 Weekend indulgences that won’t ruin your workouts

This title must look pretty enticing. YOU CAN INDULGE and not ruin your weekend workouts! Here are four weekend indulgences that you don’t have to feel guilty for!frozen

  1. Sleep in- The weekend is great for sleeping in. After a busy week this is a great opportunity to catch up on sleep, which is healthy! Also, the more sleep you get, the less energy you need from food which means less hunger pangs. Indulge and sleep in!
  2. Have a specialty coffee- sure there may be more calories in a specialty coffee than a normal cup, but it’s the weekend. Go ahead and indulge. Just try a small size, do you really need a large, and do you really need the 100 calories of whipped cream on the top? Ask for yours without! The caffeine you get from the coffee may give you the added energy to get out and workout! Good motivation I think!dessert.jpg
  3. Have dessert- Yeah we’re usually trying to avoid the sweets, but it’s the weekend. You can have some. But try limiting yourself to one serving, and try not to eat super late into the night when you’re about to go to bed. Your body processes food better when you’re awake!
  4. Lastly, try some new recipes! Instead of donuts make something tasty but not as detrimental to your healthy eating habits. Here are links to a few awesome recipes on Pinterest!

          Bacon in the Oven

          Egg Bake

Now some recipes I haven’t tried, but look promising!

           21 Healthy Breakfast Foods

           34 Healthy Breakfasts for Busy People

So indulge this weekend without ruining your workout routine! Have a good one!

-Christa

5 exercises to start your day right

I know how busy we get. Believe me, I’m super busy; college does that to you. And I suspect that you all of you are just as busy, if not busier than I am. So what do you do when there comes a day that you just know you won’t be able to do a full workout but you don’t want to feel bad about eating ice-cream later…  You do a quick workout before you shower! Just do these five exercises:

  1. Squats. These will get you legs burning and your heart pumping.
  2. Jumping jacks. If you really want to wake up and get moving, just do a few dozen of these…
  3. Crunches. Or any other ab workout, your stomach full of ice-cream will thank you later!
  4. Pushups. Yes, I hate them too, but man do they get your shoulders burning!
  5. Tricep and Bicep workouts (whichever are your favorite). Make sure you get your arms done too.

With this quick workout you will feel good about yourself that you got a workout in and you will be more energized as you go about your day.

Happy working out!

-Sarah

5 Tips to Staying Hydrated During Fitness.

Waterbottle

Hydration is key. It helps balance your electrolytes and helps your body regulate itself after losing sweat. This can help with endurance and keep you energized throughout your entire workout routine.

Here are 5 tips to help you do so!

  1. If your mouth is dry or you feel thirsty—quench it.

Even if you don’t feel your body will shrivel up and die that exact moment, if you feel a mild need for a sip of something, or your mouth feels a little dry, take one or two sips of something. Even a mild yen for liquid can be a warning sign that your body is becoming dehydrated. Also, the feeling of hunger during a workout may be your body’s cry for liquid. Try a few swallows before succumbing to the protein bar. Better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Eat a complimentary fruit platter.

Certain fruits are amazing in keeping up your electrolytes, but some also can help with hydration such as watermelon, strawberries, and honeydew. These alone won’t do much, but coupled with drinking fluids, eating fruit can be a great help in regulating your hydration.

  1. Embrace sport drinks and coconut water.

Sometimes tap water won’t exactly cut it. When sweating we lose electrolytes and sports drinks and coconut water can help replace that. They can taste salty and not exactly be our favorite, but they can be good for staving off hydration. Though keep in mind that sports drinks in excess can be harsh on your teeth, so enjoy in moderation.

  1. Listen to your body and your muscles.

When your body is lacking H2O, it gets more easily fatigued. Also pinch the skin on the back of your hand, if it takes a bit to relax back to its normal position, you may be dehydrated. Your body will let you know it needs liquids, so make sure to listen and respond immediately.

  1. Just Drink!

Regular water is perfect! It rehydrates your body and your body yearns for its replenishing powers. Try to drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during your exercising. But also listen to your body if it’s too much, slow down. Too much water and hydration can be just as detrimental as too little. But please, drink water and be merry.

Hydration is key! I hope these tips are useful to you.

-Kortnee       

Good foods to finish off your workout

I had to look up some of these foods, so I hope you appreciate this post. 🙂

I am so excited for this post! Foods are really important parts of our workouts and I want to add food as support to my workouts.

milkAfter a run, chocolate milk is a good option. After some water, top off your thirst with some chocolate milk. According to fitnessmagazine.com chocolate milk is full of carbs and proteins that are good post-workout.

Or, try working out right before lunch or dinner. After you complete your workout, grilled chicken is a great source of protein, and tasty! Omelettes are another good meal to have right after a workout. More foods: Sweet potatoes (for the carbs) and salmon (for the protein and joint support).

 

According to BuzzFeed, eggs (which may be obvious because of the mentioned omelette above) are a good option, giving protein and vitamin D. This is great for those who love morning workouts and can end with a healthy, tasty breakfast. Add to that breakfast some OJ, a good source of Vitamin C and lots of potassium.

Both of the places I visited to find this info said that chocolate milk and orange juice are better for you post-workout than Gatorade and other sports drinks, probably because they have so much less sugar!

I hope this helps and motivates you to eat well after workouts! Let me know what foods you love after workouts, or what foods you avoid! Happy eating and fitnessing!

-Christa