How to Get Motivated

I get asked how I stay motivated to work out so often, especially if I am not training for an event or taking a class at the gym. Honestly, it’s a habit now and one I miss when I don’t do it. It wasn’t always and there are days when I have to talk myself into making spin class or go out for a run.

Some days I give myself a pass and I just do something else. If I really don’t feel like running I’ll choose a dance class or break up my run with strength training. I get running intervals in but I’m not running for 3 or 4 miles straight. I’ll also make a deal with myself that I will work out for 15 minutes. If I truly still don’t want to workout I will stop. I’ve stopped about four times in 20 years, usually because I just didn’t feel well enough to keep going.

Yes, I’ve been working out pretty consistently for over 20 years. How the heck is that even possible? I didn’t start with hard exercises and I didn’t workout for long periods of time when I first started exercising again. I periodically add try new fitness trends to keep things interesting. Some I liked and some I didn’t.

Trying new to you workouts keep things fresh and can spark motivation. I had no idea that I would love belly dancing, bosu, or Pilates. I didn’t like Pilates very much when I first tried it, nor did I like spin – not one little bit. Now I do them regularly. Sometimes you have to try a few classes to see if you like it or not. An unskilled instructor could put you off something you might otherwise like.

On the other hand, if you truly dislike a workout there is no point in trying to stick with it. Fitness shouldn’t be something you dread, find something you like doing and that makes you feel good afterward.

I motivate myself for long runs by finding someone to run with. It makes it easier to get out the door knowing someone is waiting for me. Group fitness classes can also provide that accountability; my spin and Pilates instructors will ask me where I was if I miss class as do some friends I’ve made in the class. Knowing someone is waiting can be a great motivator.

Finally, get your clothes and gear ready the night before and exercise first thing in the morning. There’s less time to think about reasons as to why you can’t or won’t when you just get moving right away. Starting your day on a positive note is a great way to build a habit.

To recap:

  • Make a deal with yourself to workout for 15 minutes
  • Choose a different workout then what you planned on
  • Try new workouts
  • Give a workout a few tries before deciding if you like it or not
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Find a workout buddy or group
  • Do it first thing in the morning

Do you need help in creating healthy habits? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to see how I can help you create the healthier lifestyle you desire.

 

How To Motivate Yourself When You’d Rather Log Couch Time

treadmillA friend asked me how often I exercised and when I replied 6 days she seemed a little taken aback. She asked why I did it – did I enjoy the way I felt afterwards or the results from working out. The truth is I like all of it. I like the movement, the sweat, the sense of accomplishment and the way my muscles build.

I usually like the way I feel but anyone who does endurance or intense sports knows that sometimes you feel beat up. There is pride in knowing that I can do something I never thought possible and that only about 1% of the population actually does. I know if I can run 13.1+ miles I can pretty much do anything.

My friend doesn’t really like working out and sees it as something she has to do but would rather not. When she asked how she could motivate herself I ended up asking her the same thing. What would motivate you to adopt an exercise routine? Is it your health, the way you feel or the way you look? There is something very cool about seeing your body get stronger, fitting into a skinny pair of jeans or lapping someone younger than you.

Yeah, there are days I’d much rather sit on the couch than run or workout. Those days I make a deal with myself – I will run a mile or workout for 15 minutes and after that I can stop. It’s very rare that I stop but I know I have the option.

You won’t see me doing classes or workouts I hate either. I will check out new routines and workouts when they come out but if I don’t like them I don’t force myself to go back. I like riding a bike but can’t stand Spin.

Make a pact with yourself – 4 days a week you’ll start with 10 minutes of an activity you like. Then just build the time up from there. It becomes a habit after that and one you miss if you skip.

Need help on building health habits? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to schedule your complimentary power session.

Why Did I Think Running Another Half Was a Good Idea?

I’ve been having a kind of difficult time with my long runs lately. I’ve felt like I was struggling and not just because of the weather. I feel I’ve been slower than I was in April and fatigue more quickly. It’s annoying and I’m not sure what exactly changed.

I’ve been doing hill training and speed work. I’ve been running consistently but something hasn’t been clicking. Tuesday’s speed drills was one of the best runs I have had in a while. I pushed myself and was able to finish at a pace I was happier with. I was also able to do a mile more than I had scheduled.

On Saturday’s long run I decided to just go more slowly than I’d like and see if I had more energy toward the end of the 10 miler. Happily, it did work. I didn’t really need to walk and I was able to finish my run knowing that I could do another few miles. Yes, I would have like to run faster but it was more important to be able to finish.

In both cases I let go of my expectations and just went with what felt right. It’s hard to let go of the ego when I want a specific outcome. It’s hard to be in the moment and know that for today this is what I can do when I want to do more. But I’m learning I get better results when I tune in so I can either push or pull back when needed. I also enjoy the run a heck of a lot more!

What do you do when you aren’t getting the performance out of yourself that you hoped for?

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Surpassed My Goal and Had a Blast

Nike finishI loved my race and I was able to set a personal record (PR). It was a beautiful course and it was well-organized. It was breathtaking to turn a corner and run towards the Lincoln Memorial. (for some reason I am obsessed with the architecture of this building).

I didn’t sleep well the night before. I didn’t think I would but I didn’t expect to only have 2 hours. I ran my first race on 2 hours of sleep so I knew I would do it. I also told myself if I had to walk I’d walk. I didn’t train and travel to give it a pass.

I was planning on running with one of my training partners. We’ve been running together for months and this was the first long race we were both participating in. Except we were in different corals and I couldn’t get to her and she couldn’t move up to me. Damn.

I couldn’t find any of my team so I started solo. I soon found my coach and some teammates so I ran with Patti for a few miles. I had to slow down, I was running too fast and didn’t want to tank. I found her again around mile 6 and stopped to wait for some other teammates. After a few minutes I ended up taking off because I really did want to PR.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother runner started chatting with me around mile 8 as we hit the golf course and we stuck together until we had about 1/3 mile left to go. I don’t know her name, but she was a running coach from Canada and I thank her for the company and the distraction. She also helped me push my pace when I might have slowed down.

I am not a speedy runner, I’m a middle of the pack finisher. I’m thrilled that I ran faster than my goal and I wear my Tiffany necklace with pride. I’m looking forward to my next half in Brooklyn in a few weeks time. It’s a hillier race so I don’t expect to run it in the same time but I know I’ll have more confidence after this!

Tiffany necklace DC

Do you have a goal that you want to reach but aren’t sure how to get there? Maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you want to be around to dance at your grandchild’s wedding or you really want that promotion at work. Changing the way you eat could honestly change your life, I know because I’ve done it. Intrigued? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.

You Are Enough

acceptthatyouareSeriously, you have the tools you need within you. You may need some guidance or a hand to hold along the way but you are more than okay. This is just a reminder amid the ads, magazine and email headlines, and the barrage of media that you are subjected to daily.

Yeah, we all have areas we can improve on but having flaws doesn’t make us broken. Having a past that has hurtful things does not define our future. You have the power within you. There’s no shame in asking for help if you need it but you alone are the one who can turn things around. The rest of us are merely guides and support.

I received an email filled with “hand-picked” beauty treatments. Things I believe to be unnecessary at best and downright hurtful at worst. I read it and wondered how many people believe they need body contouring done to get rid of cellulite. How many people are going to buy the magic pill to lose weight? I put these up there with snake oil treatments, scare people enough and they’ll be desperate to try anything.

Some things you can do are:

  • Eat whole foods, foods your great grandparents could recognize and identify as food.
  • Move your body daily, even if it’s just some good stretching or a brisk walk.
  • Find hobbies that make you happy and pursue them.
  • When you need help, ask for it.
  • Get out and get fresh air.
  • Mingle with others who make you happy and lift you up.
  • Call a friend when you are blue.
  • Smile, wear the bright color or the red lipstick. Whatever empowers you and makes you feel great.

Do I sound like your grandmother? You know she was full of sensible advice!

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Why You Need to Find What Motivates You

I did itWhat motivates you to eat healthy, to exercise or lose weight? It’s much more than wanting to “be healthy.” What does that even mean anyway? I’m pretty sure it means different things to each one of us.

There is a bigger reason on why you want to be fit and feel good. Is there someone you want to be around for? Then focus on what would happen if you weren’t there. Is someone you love not around? How does that make you feel. Connecting to those emotions are big motivating factors.

What are your reasons? How would you feel if you weren’t able to fulfill them? Who else are you effecting and what’s the outcome?

Answering these questions is one of the keys to achieving your goals. It’s hard to stay on track when you don’t have something tangible to work towards. Short term goals are great but when you achieve them you think now what? I reached my goal and it’s over. Old habits creep back in and good intentions get blown off.

Connecting to long-term goals keeps you on track. I want to be mobile when I’m a senior citizen. I watch my father-in-law struggle to take a walk and he tells me don’t get old. My heart goes out to him but I know it does not have to be that way. I have friends who are older than him who still run, take yoga, lift weights and kick box. They may not be as fast or as strong as they once were but they’re still out there and moving.

One of my clients doesn’t want to be sick and miss out on her grandchildren. Her mom didn’t get to meet her grandchildren and it bothers my client. She feels her kids missed out on a wonderful woman and she also missed having her mom’s love, support and guidance as she raises her children. Connecting to that emotion is what helps her stay on track.

We all have our own story, what’s yours? If you don’t want to write it publicly please feel free to send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, I’d love to hear from you.

Do you need help staying on track? Having support is another powerful tool to help you reach your goals. Send me an email to set up a 20 minute strategy session to figure out what your top challenges are.