15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Fitness – Part 1

MOTIVATION

 a ten letter word that is so hard to keep up. If this specific word has a gender, it probably is a lady that is super high maintenance.
 
We all can relate to writing resolutions at the start of the year and planing to work out – actively tackling it on the next few days, only to stop after a week or so, then trash it all and go back to the same old rut. It is the second month of the New Year, so how are we with our goals and plans?
 
But, how does a regular pinay with lots of things in her plate, find motivation to exercise when you feel that just thinking about it makes you tired already? I ask myself this million peso question every now and then, and I know that I’m not the only one.
Image from the net
Yes I have days when I struggle with putting in a workout in my schedule. I know that I should start making it a habit until it is part of my PinayFitness Routine, but the “M” word  is needed until the habit sticks and that, is where the challenge begins.
Recently however, I felt so happy because after lots of failed tries,  I was able to actually work on my goal – I was able to find motivation that was needed to make the habit stick. 
In this post, I am sharing what I did differently and what had helped get back on track.
 
The happiest loss of all. Loss of excess body fat.

Feel free to see if you can make some of these ideas “your own” so you can start working on your fitness goals..


     1.    Your before picture.
The past months have been really telling that I haven’t been exercising. The picture below shows how, from a fit 2014 me, I was transformed to a fatter version of myself.
My kids usually comment on how I gained weight and had been teasing me a lot about it  and that motivated me to do something before it goes awry – making it hard for me to get back.
 
     2.    Me Time.
Capturing the moment. My youngest kiddo and her “me-time” on the treadmill.
I enjoy spending time alone a lot. A time to think about things in my own personal quiet time. As a mom, a sister, a daughter and a wife, we usually take time taking care of others  but we don’t make time to take care of ourselves. Prioritize your “me time”, don’t miss your own workout appointment, so that you can give more to others.
 
     3.    How you feel after a workout
I know the feeling of dread before working out. “Oh no, do I need to work out again?” We sometimes hear ourselves complain. All possible excuses comes to mind once you decide to workout.  Interestingly however, during a workout, the adrenalin and endorphins kick in, that after a workout, it beats having an espresso shot!
Post Cardio Martial Arts Endorphin high with my daughters
and  Miss Universe / Philippines’ trainer John Cuay.
Store that feeling in your memory bank. Put that in your “happy place” and know that how you would feel afterwards would be a great motivator for your fitness goals. Tell yourself “You know you’re gonna have a blast and feel great after this workout  [INSERT NAME HERE], so let’s do it!
 
     4.    Having fun
Find a workout that’s fun for you. 
I love biking. I love the feel of air in my face (provided that I’m not navigating C5’s  and EDSA’s pollution filled road), I love pedalling through the streets of the metro and racing jeepneys and cars (in my mind hahaha). I love it so much that time just flies – 30 mins to an hour is over without me noticing it. 
Make it FUN.
Find an exercise that’s spells F-U-N for you. If it isn’t, look for one. It might be running, or having an outdoor adventure, as long as you’re moving, it’s all good. I also love lifting weights (no, it does not make you bulk up like She Hulk), so I spend some time lifting in the gym too.
Yes, this is FUN for me.. You have to figure out what’s FUN for you!
5.    How you’re going to look.
I have teens that love clothes shopping. 
Often times, we’d dress up and check out stuffs in the mall and they’d comment if it looks good or, if fat and flabs showImagine how consistent workout would let you buying the nice clothes that fits – Imagine how a fitter slimmer you can motivate. 
Imagine and let that visualization drive you. 
This was a recent photo after resolving to do something about it.
If 2015 was a not so physically good year, I will do my best to make 2016 better.

.

Once the changes start taking effect and unknowingly, someone notices it, it feels good and it makes you want to work out more.
 
 

Now That the Holidays are OVER: Damage Control


It has been a few weeks since we have taken down our Christmas decors. 
Christmas carols are not playing on the radio and the last of the fireworks of Chinese New Year is no more.

I was hoping that since the tell-tale signs of the Holidays are now all gone, the remnants of the holiday bingeing, the proof of all these festivities would all be gone too. But sadly, unlike the Christmas decors, lights and Christmas carols, with FAT , that is not the case.  It is common fact that taking control of your weight can be hard during the holidays due to series of food-related celebrations during all those reunions and get together parties.  So how can you undo the damage done by a holiday meal so that it doesn’t have such a negative impact on your body weight?
I will be sharing with you how to go about with controlling whatever damage was done during the happiest season of the year.

1. Assessment : What is your number?

First of all, ask yourself: “How much weight did I gain during the past three months?”
Excessive eating and drinking might be the name of the game during the holidays and without you noticing it, the pounds have added up. A great wake up call would be to know that number and use that to motivate you into planning that GREAT COMEBACK!


2. ACT : Just Do It! 

The next thing that you can do to practice damage control is to get into the gym and do a weight lifting session the next day.  The common practice is to gravitate towards cardio training after a high calorie meal, but this isn’t really the most ideal way to go.  Weight lifting is what will use up excess carbohydrates in your system far better than cardio training, so will help to remove the excess calories that you consumed.
Also, weight training will help to elevate your metabolic rate for the hours after the session is completed, therefore will continue to help remove any excess fat that you may have burned off. Think of it as a way to scare off the bad spirits for the New Year.

3. Minimize Carbs Intake For a Week

Third, also make sure that you cut back on your carb intake around a week.   Protein consumption is one thing that YOU CANNOT REDUCE. This is definitely important as this is one of the building blocks to to maintain your lean body mass.

Fat can be reduced slightly, but sudden reduction would make you feel hungry all the time. 
Fat is a nutrient that will help provide some hunger control while reducing your calories, making reduced calorie intake much easier.  Just consider good fat sources like Omega 3 and Flaxseed Oil.

5. Never Ever Starve Yourself!

Finally, the last quick tip to help you recover from the holiday indulgence is to make sure that you aren’t starving yourself.  If you all of a sudden drop your calorie intake way down and keep it there, this would signal the body to start using up muscle mass as a fuel source which would waste all the hard work of the past training sessions that you have had. 
As always, a gradual approach is the best way to go. 
Bring your calorie intake much lower for two to three days and then adopt a more moderate calorie intake after that.

If you follow these quick tips, then you should have no problem reducing the damaging effects that the holiday indulgence that you had.


Related posts:

All About FAT 
Women and Weightlifting 

Twenty – Twelve : “Leaner & Meaner You” Program

Since Xhi and I became friends, around 2006, it has always been some sort of a habit for us to “declare” a theme for the upcoming year.

Yesterday, we found time to discuss our plans for the upcoming year and had decided to set our goals in line with the theme “Leaner & Meaner 2012”.

I could imagine our beloved readers asking themselves “Hmmm.. what does that actually mean?”

Okey, here goes, as in any plan, we then tackled the WHAT part..

Being “Lean” means cutting down extra fat, extra baggage in life : things that don’t work anymore, be it physical, emotional or mental. Things might be doing good right now, but imagine if you take away the emotional, mental and physical “clutter” in your life – that would definitely be a good way to start off the year.

No drama, no masochistic negative self-talk, no “damsel-in-distress” mentality.

Travel light.

Being “Mean” is about taking charge of your own life – holding the reigns and directing it the way you want it to be.  It’s about living your life with passion. Living your life with that fire burning in your heart, knowing that whatever you do, in the lives that you touch, you bring value in every interaction you make.

The HOW part of the equation had us plan for the actionable items in our list. We had then set our Fitness Goals for the year.

Both of us want to achieve maximum lean body mass / body fat ratio with focus on optimization of functional movements in our physical exercise routine.

We also want to go back to the doing the things we both love but  was just shoved under the carpet when “real life” kicked in – because, what’s stopping you from it not being part of “real life”?

Looking back at the activities that brings us back to our own “happy place”, we were reminiscing the days when we were one with nature. The lush green forests and diversified landscape that we encounter each time we celebrate nature by climbing mountains gives us that happy, heady feeling of blood rushing through our veins, the feeling of being truly alive.

It was unanimous that we SHOULD climb mountains on 2012 – a goal that my hubby fully supports since that is one of his passions too.

Setting a goal should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bounded.
A realistic number for us is one mountain per quarter. One mountain every three (3) months.

To give reason and rhyme to it all, we decided that the four mountains will be one for each corner of the archipelago: One mountain from the North, one from South, from East and from West.

That got us excited!

For that to happen, as we plan in being more “kikay”, we want to look good while doing it (that’s just our personal preference, don’t mind us. Haha).
Looking good entails us to climb the trails without huffing and puffing our way to the steepest part of the trail and negotiating it with gusto despite the sweat, mud and what-have-yous.

This then needs to be supplemented by going back to the gym and revisiting our Program and the Nutrition that backs it.

January 2012, Xhi will give birth to baby Malcolm, a second addition to her team. After recovery, the plan is a come-back with the “Leaner and Meaner 2012” Mantra.
I on the other hand, plan to spend time with my own team of four lovely girls and further instill in them the value of Fitness – Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.

This is my WHY – my four lovely daughters.
Have you ever noticed why, for most part, the plans and resolutions one makes at the start of the year ends up being a wish-list than an actual action plan? I believe the main reason for that is that one has not set the most important part of the equation. After plotting the WHAT and HOW, the heart of the matter is the  “WHY”.

What is your  “WHY”?

Why do you need to do what you are doing? What is the consequence if you don’t? How big is your  “WHY”?
Your  own “WHY” should be the fire that powers up your HOW so that your WHAT would easily be met without out even wondering if everything is all worth it.

My  “WHY” is for me to enjoy God’s gift of life to the fullest and be an inspiration to my four daughters.


I would want it that when I grow old, I would still be able to have fun with them, laugh, run, bike, swim and climb mountains if they want to with their own little ones. This lady IS my inspiration.

Xhi and little Lulu
I would want my husband and I to continue on exploring nature having the time of our lives as we grow and mature as partners.

Xhi’s “WHY” is for her to be a stronger mother to her kids.


Knowing your  “WHY” is very important in your goal setting for this coming New Year.
Like your own True North, this is the one that fires you up emotionally and is connected to your own sense of happiness, your own sense of pride.

So dear readers, wrapping it up, WHAT – HOW – WHY (of course we got the “when” part covered already!).

 I hope all of us take the time to assess how the year that was came to pass and how we plan to improve on ourselves on the Year of The Water Dragon.

Here’s to a leaner and meaner 2012!

Women and Weightlifting


Why lift?
I ask you, why not..

It has been said that Filipinas are known to be shy, submissive and soft-spoken.
Not that I’m speaking in behalf of my sisses in our country, but, sad to say, that is the stereotype.
Well, a typical view for women is the so called “damsel-in-distress” who is always in a look out for her knight in shining armor to whisk her away from her misery.

This may also be the reason why most of us are afraid, or rather, hesitant to go to the gym and pick up those dumbbells, barbells and what-have-yous.

For most of us, most of the machines look like some scary contraption that might eat us alive.. my sisters, hear me out — don’t you know that those machines and iron that look frightingly intimidating to you is actually The Holy Grail of Fitness?

Yes.
Since I started my quest for fitness way back 2000, I have tried lots of things.
I started road running, dieting and various gadgets in home TV shopping that promised quick fix for a few minutes of your time.

I searched and searched until I finally got it.

That is why I decided to start this blog for those Filipinas and non-Filipinas alike who is in their own quest for a smaller waistline, lesser tummy fat, and stronger physique.

I wish for you to accompany me in this journey, share your thoughts and ask questions – for us to shed light to all those myths in Women and Weightlifting.

I believe that it’s about time to get rid of the damsel in distress mentality and work our way to independence.
Join me in my quest as I share with you in my posts what worked for me.

Why lift? Because it works.

Here’s hoping that it would work for you too.