CategoryHealthy Mind

How To Get Motivated

People often ask me how I find the time to exercise or how I find the motivation to.  When I tell people that I work out 6 days a week they gasp, “My goodness!  How do you find the time?” or “I wish could be that motivated!”.

To me, it’s simple.  I make time and I make exercise my number one priority, therefore I’m always motivated (or darn near close to it – I’m human, I don’t always want to workout you know!  It’s exhausting!).

But I can understand that it can be hard for others.  So here are my own personal tips on finding time and motivation to exercise.

Before I can go on with that though, we need to address something far more important.  Your level of desire or “want”.

Now, it’s easy for people to complain, “Oh I really want to lose a few kilos!” or “I’d really love to just tone up a little!”.  It’s EASY to just complain about it and do nothing.  But I often think, if you really want something, then why not go out and get it?  The world is your oyster and all that jazz, the sky is the limit etc etc.  Nobody wants to hear your whinging so you have 2 options:

a) Do something about it; OR

b) Live with your body the way it is now and embrace life.

If you want to do something about it, read on.  If you don’t, save your time and energy, stop whinging about how you want to change, because let’s face it – you really don’t, and just carry on with life.  You will be much happier when you stop complaining, I guarantee you.

So firstly, let’s talk about TIME.

We have 24 hours in a day.  8 of them should be spent sleeping, 10 – 12 of them are spent either at work or travelling to work and then you have a lovely 4 – 6 hours to do whatever it is you please.  You could spend some time with family, you could cook dinner, you could sit down to watch your favourite show and you should STILL be able to squeeze in 30 – 45 minutes of exercise (see here for some ideas).

You just need to make time.  Again, if it is important to you, (and you shouldn’t be reading this if it isn’t!) then you will make time.

Personally, I sacrifice my lunch hour to go and work out or I do it early in the morning so it is over and done with before I start my day.  You just need to find the right time for you.

Secondly, let’s talk about MOTIVATION.

Let’s get real here – it’s not often that motivation just occurs overnight.  You don’t just leap out of bed one morning and say, “From here on in I will exercise EVERY DAY, I will give it 100% and I will never give up!”.  If you have done that, and succeeded, well done you!  You should walk around with an S on your chest because you are one bad ass mo fo!

If you are anything like me (a human who has struggled with motivation most of her life), motivation will happen a little more like this – you will work out HARD, you will watch your diet, you will remain positive and ready to accept change, you will stick to a routine for a good 2 or more months, you will begin to see results and then voila!  Motivation.

Once you consistently see the scales move (numbers declining, not inclining!) and your clothes start to feel loose you will finally feel that spur of motivation to continue.  You will WANT to exercise, you will WANT to treat your body right and you will WANT to have that same feeling of accomplishment that you felt when you lost that first couple of kilos or when you shrunk those few centimetres.  It would be most unusual if you suddenly went, “Right, well that’s it for me!  I’ve had enough of feeling good about myself! I would now like to return to sloth mode, thanks!”.  Seriously.  That would be messed up.

So motivation takes time.  But stick with it – all guns will be blazing soon enough.

Alright, so let’s recap:

1. Make time to exercise

2. Assess your level of desire to change

3. Make exercise and looking after yourself your number one priority

4. Stick with your routine and remain positive – change only occurs when you are ready to accept it

5. Motivation will come with time

I hope that this has been helpful to someone out there in the blogosphere as it has really been helpful to me.

What motivates you to exercise?

The Follow On Effect

As I sat down to write my first article for Evve Online, I reflected on my past and my relationship with my body.  How philosophical of me!  I can be deep you know… you may call me Dr Amanda. Up to you.  I do welcome and encourage it though.*

I wanted to tell the readers a little about myself and about my lifestyle.  As I began to let the words flow I realised how wonderful and happy my life is ever since I embraced putting myself and my health first.

Here’s an excerpt (to whet your appetite):

I’m a firm believer that if your take care of your body and health first then the rest of the areas in your life will follow.  For example, most of my twenties I partied too much, I drank too much, I barely exercised and I put myself through hellish diets.  During this stage of my life I found it difficult to hold a steady job, I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, I had no motivation or drive, my relationship with my spouse was strained and I was overall an unhappy person.

Since I started living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of my body I’ve found that I’m driven, focused, motivated, positive and suffer none of the health and mental issues I suffered before.  My PCOS and subsequent symptoms such as insulin resistance have settled and I live a positive and happy existence.

My aim is to reach as many people as I can and let them know – if I can do it, you can do it too.  I know everybody says that but it really is true.  Only you have the power to unlock your full potential.

My strongest wish and desire is that I can persuade and influence people to embrace health and fitness, especially those I love and care about.   If I can do that for at least one person then my job is done. #

Welcome to the Good Life.

How Your Thought Patterns Impact Your Weight Loss

In this post I’d like to get a little deep. I want to probe you. No, not like an alien abduction type probing but a mental probing. I want to get you thinking about your attitude and how your thought patterns can hinder your success in weight loss. Actually, these types of thoughts can hinder any type of success! So I’ve put together some ideas on how you can simply and easily turn these thought patterns around. These are things that work well for me and I am confident they will work for you too.

The Exercise Hater

I know this type well! This was me! I hated, loathed and avoided exercise at all costs because I hated it so much. I know now that I hated it because I felt like I failed at it. I didn’t feel like I was any good and when you don’t feel like you are good at something then obviously it’s unenjoyable and you don’t want to persevere.

Firstly, it takes some time to get used to exercise. Like most things you try in life, you won’t be a natural the first time you try it (unless you are some sort of super-freak). But in order to lose weight you will at some point need to exercise.

So, how do you turn your exercise dread into exercise excitement? To begin with, you need to recognise your internal language. You might be saying things in your head like, “Oh I HAVE to go exercise now. Great” or “I’m not looking forward to this – it’s going to hurt and it’s going to be hard”. These are all negative thoughts.

Try instead saying to yourself, “I’m exercising because it will bring me closer to my goal”, “I’m exercising because it makes me feel good” or visualize yourself after your session and how good, strong and accomplished you feel. Once you break that mental barrier you will be virtually unstoppable!

The “I Wisher”

Another one I relate to. See if you recognise this scenario – You’re walking down the street/laying on the beach/sitting on the bus and you see a girl with great legs in a short skirt/toned arms in a spaghetti strap top/perky cheeks (of the bottom variety) in tight jeans and you sigh and say to yourself, “I WISH I looked like that”. Go on, be honest. I know I have had that thought about a million and fifty times. It happens to the best of us. But guess what? These thoughts are negative because they imply that you don’t have the ability to look the way that you want to look. When you think this way you are practically sending a message from your brain to your body that says, “See that, body? You will never look like that, no matter how hard you try, so let’s keep on wishing”.

New flash – wishes don’t come true. Sorry. There’s just no such thing. Only hard work and determination will get you anywhere in life so stop wishing and start changing.

Change the “I wish” thoughts to “I can’t wait thoughts”. “I can’t WAIT til I look like that!” or “It’s going to be so great when I can wear a skirt like that!”. This implies that you WILL find success. But remember what I said – only hard work and determination will get you there.

The Healthy Food Resenter

“Why can SHE have chocolate everyday and I can’t?”, “I am so OVER eating salads” or “God, I’d kill for some chips”. Yep. These are familiar too, I bet.

For your own sanity just stop thinking about what other people are eating. Please. It’s not worth your energy. Everybody has different bodies – some people will eat fast food everyday and stay as thin as a stick but for most of us we need to stick to a healthy, nutritious diet if we want to lose weight.

Try to embrace this delicious new way of eating. Tell yourself things like, “I’m eating this not because I HAVE to but because I WANT to. It makes me feel good, it gives me energy and it is helping me achieve my weight loss goals”. Again, it’s about changing those negative thought patterns so that you can allow success into your life.

If you are able to follow the advice above your weight loss journey will be more bearable and an overall positive, life-changing experience.

Do you experience any of these negative thoughts? How do you combat them?

You Are What You Think

Source: stock.xchng

This is a lesson for me as much as it is for you. So let’s learn it together, shall we? Alright class, now let’s begin.

I’m going to talk about today about how you can free yourself from negative self-talk and gain confidence in what you do. I’m reading a great book at the moment called “Ultimate Confidence” by Marissa Peer and am gaining quite a lot out of it!

So many of the things that she says not to do are things that I either have done or still do when it comes to self-talk. For example, using overly descriptive words. How many of you have been in a difficult situation and have thought to yourself, “This is hell”?  I know I have. The situation is probably only just slightly uncomfortable so in order to turn this thought into a confident thought we need to change our internal dialogue.

When we use such overly exaggerated words our minds begins to believe them. If we think we’re in hell then the mind will truly believe we are in hell and our body will respond in turn – sweaty palms, erratic heartbeat, quivering. So we need to reassess – “Is this really hell or am I overreacting?”. Chances are it’s just something like a job interview, which is something you would need confidence for, so recognise that you can turn that thought around and your mind and body will follow suit. Change the negative thought into a positive – “This is a little difficult but I will get trough this” – and your outer confidence will shine.

This can be applied to many situations in our day to day life…

Exercise

“This is so hard. I’m dying. I’m never going to get through this! When will it end??? Oh god, I’m going to pass out.”

Change to:

“This is challenging but I will finish this and when I do I am going to feel awesome.”

Work

“I hate coming to this hell hole everyday. I dread waking up. Kill me now.”

Change to:

“Work can be difficult at times but no matter, I will pull through and do the best that I can.”

(If you can’t bring yourself to say this it might be time to get a new job!)

Flying

“I’m surely going to die. What’s that noise?! This is terrifying. Why are we dipping downwards?! Oh god no, we are seriously all going to die!.” (This is an excerpt from my own brain when flying)

Change to:

“I’m slightly nervous but I have confidence in my pilot and when I land I’m going to enjoy the best damn holiday ever.”

See how easy it is? All you need to do is catch yourself thinking those negative and overly exaggarated thoughts and turn them around. Once you are able to do this you will become a more confident person and be able to take on the world! Nothing will be too hard for you ever again! Awesomely confident to the extreme! Just don’t become an overly confident a-hole, alright?

In what kind of situations do you find your confidence lacking?

Treading a Thin Line

Earlier this year, when I got serious about losing the excess weight I was carrying around, decreasing my chances of contracting diabetes and disease made up a big part of the reason why I wanted to lose weight.  Of course I wanted to be thinner as well (because I have to admit… I’m pretty vain! Haha) but getting healthy was a huge factor.

A couple of months ago a Doctors check-up revealed that I was no longer in the ‘danger zone’ for diabetes.  This news was awesome but not for a second did I think, “Great!  Now I can just settle into a healthy pattern of eating and exercise and not worry about the weight loss part anymore”.  Is that because I, like so many women out there, also feel the pressure to be thin?  Could be.  But I set myself a goal of 68kg and by god, no matter what I WILL get to it.  Once I put my mind to something I am a force to be reckoned with and I will not give up.

I was chatting to my trainer (and most importantly, friend!) about how I’m starting to struggle finding balance between work, my relationship and losing weight.  I’ve put so much into thinking about my health and my body that I felt like I was starting to let other areas in my life slide.  She said, “Well, do you think you might be ready to stop with the weight loss and be happy with where you’re at now?”.  Immediately I said, “No – that’s easy to answer.  I am not happy with where I’m at now so that’s not going to happen”.  So we launched into a plan on how to get the other areas in my life back on track.  I’m happy with that plan and I’m already noticing positive changes.

But why can’t I be happy with the size I am now?  I’m just under 75kg, a size 12, I’m healthy and I’m fit.  Isn’t that enough?  For me it simply isn’t.  Again, it’s because I set that goal and I would feel so let down and disappointed if I didn’t reach it.  However, I do worry about what happens when I get there.  Will I stop then?  Will I be happy?  What about if I’m not?  I’m not going to know the answers to those questions until I get there I suppose.

What I do know though is that I love a womanly body so I don’t want to lose my curves or my femininity.  I love the look of healthy, toned girls! It’s what I aspire to be.  I just hope that’s enough to prevent me from going overboard.

So this is a call to my supporters and friends – give me a cold hard slap if I get to a point where I’ve gone too far (it’s very unlikely)!  Because bones are out baby, and curves are IN.

Goodbye Burgers! Hello Health!

I had an interesting conversation in the kitchen at work yesterday.  There was another girl in the kitchen preparing her lunch.  Hers – a salad and tuna wrap.  Mine – a tuna salad.  I overheard her talking to her colleague about how she was ‘detoxing’ (shudder – THAT word) as the party season was coming.  I might just add here that this makes absolutely no sense to me.  So you’re eating healthy because you want to pump alcohol and bad food into your body in the near future?  I can’t even begin to express what is wrong with that theory.

Okay, so there we were making our lunches and she turns to me and she says, “Wouldn’t you rather be eating a burger right now?”.  Now, dear readers, what do you think my response would have been to this question?

a) “Oh yes!  I would much prefer to wrap my mouth around a big, greasy burger!  Let’s run away now to McDonald’s!”

b) “What are you, some kind of moron?  I am a picture of health!  Why would I want a burger?!”

c) “No, I actually would not as it would make me feel sick.  Eating healthy makes me feel good”

If you guessed a) get off my blog right now.  No, don’t look at me like that.  You think those puppy dog eyes work on me?  No way.  You go and don’t come back, ya heard?

If you guessed b) then you are nearly there.  I mean I AM a picture of health, let’s face it (cheeky, cheeky).  But I’m not that rude.

If you guessed c) then congratulations!  You are officially my favourite reader!  Well done you.  Come here, let me kiss that little face of yours.  *MWAH*

Right, so where was I?  Oh yes, I replied to her, “No, I actually would not as it would make me feel sick.  Eating healthy makes me feel good”.  She looked at me skeptically and said, “Yeah, maybe you’re right”.  Hopefully that’s another person I’ve reached with my healthy living message!  Only time will tell.

Don’t get me wrong, of course I love to indulge every now and then but the majority of the time I eat healthily.  This took some time though.  It wasn’t overnight that I suddenly said, “No more treats!  No more chocolate at night!  No more booze sessions every weekend!  No more subsequent hangover food!  No more this!  No more that!”.  It took me a LONG time to get to the stage where I can simply live without it.  Not only did it take a long time but it took a huge internal battle.   I spent months (if not years) self sabotaging and going back and forth in an endless tug of war between mind and body before I finally gave in to my body and did what it wanted me to do.

I’m a realist.  Most things I see are in black and white and living in such a grey space was making my head hurt.  I wanted so badly to be healthy and have the body of my dreams but I was living in a fairytale world of eating badly, boozing and then exercising.  I’d cry and say to my husband, “But I work SO hard and I’m not getting ANY results!” whilst eating icecream.  He would nod and make soothing noises, god bless him.  But the reality was too loud to ignore.  If I wanted to be healthy and have the body of my dreams then I needed to clean up my act.

So slowly I eliminated foods from my diet until I got to a point where I now eat mostly unprocessed, natural and whole foods.  I’ve found balance where I can still eat the things I love occasionally and not feel like I need to have them all the time or that I am missing out on something.

I’m feeling fitter, stronger, sexier, more confident, happier, healthier and wiser than I have ever felt.  This is how I stay motivated.  I’m addicted to the feeling of wellness.  I don’t want it to ever go away.  So I work hard and eat well.  In my down time I relax, I eat what I “want” (and what I want differs from eating junk just for the sake of it) and I enjoy life.  Because I work this hard for a reason – to live.

Happy New Goals!

Look.  I’m not really a fan of making a new years resolution.  I think if you want to do something badly enough, why wait for the new year to start?  Why not start now? Yes yes, I know NOW is the new year but I mean why not start as soon as the idea pops in your head?

It’s almost a cop-out – you’re giving yourself until the new year to focus on your bad habits so that you can continue to indulge them for just that little bit longer.  It’s like the smoker who says, “Come January 1st I will quit for good” and then for the last 2 days of the year they pretty much chain smoke so that they can get in that last little bit of self-gratification.

Or the person who wants to lose weight who binge eats until the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year.  If you really want to quit smoking / lose weight /  stop drinking / [insert resolution here] then why not start then and there? It’s probably because you’re not ready to do so and you haven’t really thought it out.

That being said, I’m a massive fan of goal setting and I set goals all throughout the year.  If goal setting had a concert I would totally go to it.  I would put its poster on my wall fo sho.  I like to tick off little milestones and track progress – it’s pretty much what this little blog of mine is about.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to achieve this coming year over the last few days.  What are my dreams?  What are my desires?  How will I achieve them?

I have 2 main goals for the year so far.  I will add more goals as the year goes on, no doubt, but I know myself – if I create a list with too many goals on it I will be overwhelmed and not even know where to start!  I have one health goal and one non-health goal that I will put all of my focus into right now:

– Get to my goal weight of 68kg by April 2011. I will do this by continuing my training regime and sticking to a clean, healthy diet. It’s only 5 more kilos!  Even though I don’t really like to put a time limit on weight loss I know that this goal is achievable.

– Learn to drive and be on my provisional drivers license by June 2011. I will achieve this by having at least one driving lesson per week.  Look out roads!  No seriously.  Be careful when I’m on the roads, k?

What do YOU want to achieve this year? Remember to be SMART – make your goals Specific (define what it is you want to achieve), Measureable (how will you know when the goal is achieved?  What measure will you use?), Achievable (define how the goal will be achieved), Realistic (the goal must represent what you are both able and willing to do) and TIMELY (when will the goal be achieved by?).  If you follow this approach almost any goal will become a reality!

He Trials: Rhodiola Rosea

One lazy evening, Justin and I were relaxing on our lovely new leather lounges reading magazines.  Magazines, you ask?  Why would you do that when you have a perfectly good flat-screen TV in front of you with pay TV?  Yeah, I know, this shocks me too!  It practically goes against everything I stand for!

Regardless, there we were like an old senior couple (shudder) when Justin came across an article about Rhodiola Rosea.  Justin has been feeling a little strained lately.  He works shift-work which is very demanding on the mind and body and he has been feeling tired, sore and stressed out.  Rhodiola Rosea seemed like something that could help alleviate that pressure.

So, what is it?

You can read all about it here, however in a nutsell, Rhodiola Rosea claims to have the following benefits:

  • Helps reduce work and personal related stress and strain
  • Reduces nervous tension and anxiety
  • Improves mental clarity and mental stimulation
  • Improves and enhances mood
  • Enhances physical and mental performance
  • Accelerates recovery from exercise
  • Improves energy levels
  • May be of assistance with chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Increases immunity
  • Is anti-aging

We bought EL8′s Rhodiola Rosea and it arrived in the post quickly.  Justin has been taking it now for a few days and has  already noted an increase in energy levels and reduced stess however we will wait a good 4 weeks before we do a full report on it.

Have you tried Rhodiola Rosea?  What do you think of it?

Amanda’s TV Debut!