Feel Better Fit

Feel Better Fit

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 15 - My Motivation

I'm starting my 3rd week. If the scientist are right, by the end of this week I will have established a new habit. I would have to say by my own observation, my chow, Jasper has already established not only a new habit, but a rather demanding attitude. He demands his daily jog!

My desire to inspire others is a great motivator to stick to this and to log my progress. Actions with purpose give us confidence and strength! I hope to continue my habit forming quest with the goal of overcoming my own health issues to motivate others.

While the typical fitness professional lives an active lifestyle and practices what they preach, most have not dealt with major exercise obstacles first hand. Despite the painful and sometimes debilitating effects on my life that I've experienced while battling Fybromyalgia, I still am grateful for how it has "leveled the field" for me. It's as if I am....well, out of shape. My body does not respond well to exercise. I have to use all my training knowledge, combined with extreme self-control to stay fit and active. I battle discouragement as I deal with a body that won't cooperate. So many techniques that I implemented in training others, I'm now utilizing on my own health quest. My new cognizance leaves me with a conviction to take what I've learned and teach, motivate and inspire others to conquer their seemingly insurmountable fitness and health obstacles one day at a time, one small change at a time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 14 - Peace and Confidence

It's Saturday, Feb 27th - Everyone is coming to my house and I have a REALLY big family. I squeezed in the jog just in time to jump in the shower before the kids got here - shew! I left my music off. Sometimes I just need quiet.

What a beautiful day with my family. After everyone went home, I rested peacefully. I feel accomplished and happy!

Sticking with a commitment makes other areas of your life better too!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 13 - Savor the Good Days

It's Friday, the 13th day of my jogging, but no bad luck today. Fridays I teach PE and usually shop for the weekend on the way home. I don't typically have clients or classes. This Friday, my wonderful husband got off early so we met for lunch and then made a grocery trip before heading home.

By the time I got home, Jasper was patiently waiting for his walk and after getting groceries in and put away I quickly dressed for our winter jog. I was determined not to let a day get skipped so I had to hurry. It would be dark soon. I finished with time to spare and took my excited little poodle down the street and back too. Almost ready for the weekend. :-)

Some days exercise feels really good. It's important to savor those days. Enjoy them and log them in the happy memory bank for future retrieval. When exercise is more difficult, remember the "good days" and just get through the tough ones. There will be more good ones soon and at least you will have accomplished something despite the discomfort!

Don't give up. Keep Going Forward!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 12 - Face the Wind Bravely!

Cold, windy bursts press against Jasper and I as we plunge forward with determination. There's a strange parallel between overcoming the obstacles this winter weather has brought us and and bravely conquering the storms of life. My mother used to say, "If you don't like the weather around her, just stick around awhile." Virginia is notorious for drastic change.

So too, when we take on a new challenge, we will face "changes" daily in the conditions that surround us. Enjoy the warmth of a sunny day and appreciate it especially after cold snow and flooding rains. Remember to count the blessings of life while accepting the "rainfall". The cruel whipping wind chills me today but wind moves on, weather changes and so does life.

Start each day with gratefulness. Live it in kindness.

Celebrate Success. Learn From Mistakes. Keep Going Forward!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 11 - Utilize Multi-tasking with cardio activity.

As my body gets accustomed to the activity and my chow learns to be more cooperative, jogging becomes more relaxed and I'm feeling "settled in". When a habit starts to become more "mindless" or requires less thought, spicing it up with something you enjoy is a great idea.

Reading a daily devotional during/before cardio is my "spice". I used to do this during my warm up walk before jogging. Now I read my devotional, then listen to my devotional music. This has a dual benefit.
1. It gave me something to think about (so I'm not thinking about jogging, lol).
2. I know have two productive objectives side by side, complementing one another.

As I've added a spiritual element, my faith to face life's challenges is refueled in my daily runs. My commitment to see it through has doubled with the extra benefit added.

Other "spice" ideas to overcome cardio boredom:
Make a play list of your favorite songs on an mp3 player.
Tune into a favorite talk show with a walkman type mp3.
Download audio books.
Learn a foreign language.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 10 - Overcome the "Too Busy" Temptation!

So far, this has been the most difficult day to complete. I feel fine, but I have a lot to get done today. As a trainer, the most repeated reason for not exercising is I don't have time. It's not an excuse, rather a perspective.

We must make time for the things that mold our lives, lest our lives begin to shape our future in opposition to the path we desire.

Take time to consider the times in your life when you were the most industrious. During those times, were you enslaved to circumstances beyond your control? Probably somewhat; that's life. However, you most likely spent time and energy in activities that enlarged your life experience; fitness, education, sports, hobbies.

Pursuits that may be classified as selfish are actually essential to our productivity in other areas of our life. Without them, we become over-taxed and our responsibilities become a burdensome drudgery. Our confidence and energy levels begin to drop and every task becomes more difficult.

Making a 21 day commitment to this new habit has been instrumental in pushing me past the place where I usually say, "Fine, I'll skip my workout and get to work on...'whatever happens to be pressuring me at the moment'."

When I think back to the times of my life that I view as the happiest, most grounded, secure and productive, I can find one common element - I made decisions for my own well-being.

Make a decision to take care of yourself for the one's who love! They just might help you to see it through. My huband and kids are happy to help me to follow me, but I have to make the decisions and make known to them how important it is to me!

When we fail to take care of the bodies we are blessed with, we are investing in a future of being a burden on others as we reap the effects that poor health and diet habits are sure to bring upon us: disease, pain, depression, possibly leaving us partially or fully incapacitated. I want to be a better partner for my husband for a LONG time!

So presently and in the benefits of a full and happy future, I am Celebrating my success in pushing past the pressures to "Skip just this one jog".

I Learned that this venture is teaching me things about myself and strengthening my confidence in making decisions based both on my knowledge and on my faith, rather than being tossed around helplessly like a ship in a stormy sea. I'm trusting my faith to lead me!

I am more determined than ever now, to not only succeed with this 21 days but to regain my confidence and strength in making decisions for my personal fitness a priority again as I Keep Going Forward!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 9 - Put your new habit on the top of the list!

It's Monday and back to the grind of work which makes it harder to get the jog in, but it worked out perfectly. A morning client called to post-pone till afternoon and I took advantage of the opportunity to rush home to engage in my new habit. On my way back from the afternoon session, it began to rain. What if I had waited? I know that if I am making something a priority, it should be as high on the to-do list as possible.

Try to plan workouts or new habits early in the day, if applicable.
In training, early morning workouts are better because, should life get in the way, you still have the rest of the day to possibly wedge them in. Evening sessions are frequently cancelled for traffic issues, staying late at work or just being too tired. Morning exercisers seem to be more consistent. During this crucial "21 day habit forming time" prioritize your new habit to be successful!

Today I Celebrate that I made a good choice and therefor didn't get rained out!
I Learned first hand that taking my own advice and prioritizing my workout works!
It's getting easier all the time to Keep Going Forward!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 8 - Cherish the Good Days!

Today was gorgeous! The sun came out and I only needed single layer clothing. We didn't get too far because that large dog came out again and got Jasper all upset, however we did get a really nice jog.

Some days are just easier than others. :-)
This needs to be in my mental bank for retrieval when I become discouraged. I can pull it out as a reminder to Keep Going Forward!

Inspirational Ideas:
When you have a great day, take a picture and post it for future inspiration.
Put a post it note on your mirror with a few words that describe how you felt on a good day.
These are the days we Celebrate. Log them in a Celebration journal!
Refer back on our Learning days!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

7th Day - Old Habits Revive Quickly!

One third of my 21 days is done and I already feel like I've established the habit. (I know it won't be that easy, but I do feel like I'm on my way!) I suppose I can attribute that to having created a running habit in the past.

Once you have done something long enough to be habitual, a little effort will bring it back.

A habit from the past can be retrieved or revived. The neuro-pathways are there, they just need the dirt and weeds removed and a little new gravel laid down. This requires will power, however, the investment will provide a quick return. Much like riding a bike, one never really forgets. A few pedal strokes and your off!

Just the same, refusing to let my guard down, I'm going to focus on the 21 days and stick with it!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 6 - The Learning Curve

Benefits of pushing through that first week.
This week has gone really well and I've noticed preperation for going out the door takes less time daily. As we repeat behavior several things happen that make our actions quicker and easier to carry out.

1. We get organized. I know what I need each day and the best order to get things ready. I have my running clothes and Walkman ready and I'm keeping plastic bags with Jasper's collar near the front door. I've figured out that my I can warm up by walking my toy poodle, Jolt first. This also keeps Jolt from barking when I leave with Jasper.
2. Our actions become more mindless. I know what I need to do and don't have to ask myself, "Have I forgotten anything?" I'm also getting so used to it, that it doesn't require as much effort. Jasper is behaving better all the time too! We're both getting used to it.

We've jogged 6 days in a row- YAY!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 5 - Developing Habits Changes You!

A story about Habits

Many years ago, I attended an evangelistic seminar. The speaker told an interesting story. He had worked in Canada for a logging company. The massive trees were cut and strapped to strong stately Clydesdale horses who hauled them out of the woods. He pointed out that these amazing animals, capable of pulling entire trees were easily driven by a small piece of wood in their mouth-a bit. A small tug brought discomfort to the animals and that discomfort could be relieved by heading in the appropriate direction to release the pressure. These huge creatures can weigh upwards of 2000 lbs and could easily break free to go in whatever direction they desired. However, having been trained thus, they were seemingly unaware of their strength and ability. Consequently, they were content to follow the bit wherever it led them.

In life, we too are led by “bits”. We call them habits. We follow them because of the mild discomfort we feel when we resist changing direction. All it takes to unleash the hold they have on us is to realize our power to turn the other way and be confident that with some resistance we will break the “bits” and possible to create bits of our own liking. These new and better habits will shape our future. Let’s face it. Being creatures of habit, we will develop and be lead and driven by “bits”, however we do have the inherent ability to choose what they will be and where they will take us!

The purpose of this fine Pastor’s story was not only to instill a desire to overcome bad habits. More importantly, he added that despite our sincere commitments in life to any type of change, we will most likely be lead astray from time to time by the age old “bits” that we have unknowingly developed. Understanding how powerful and deeply ingrained habits are, should not lessen our original commitments but it should help us to view our propensity toward them as natural and when we are lead astray from our goals by them, realize this is a learning experience, rather than failure. Use the information wisely and start over again. Our focus should never be on the old habit we fell back into but on the new, better habit we are seeking to develop. The more times we try, the deeper the pathway in our brain is established that leads us toward our goal. Once this pathway is fully developed, it becomes easy to maintain the behavior. The old behavior may rear its head and we may resist or we may fall into it. Be assured that should you fall after you have succeeded in creating a new pathway, you can jump back on track fairly easily. Remember, once “it’s your habit”, it will only require a small initial effort to do it a few times and it’s all downhill again!

Remember, failing in deed does not mean we fail in desire. When we truly believe something is right and truly commit to following a path that leads upwards, we will fall and we will err. This is part of the process, for despite our sincere “decision” we are still only human and still held unknowingly by these annoying but powerful little “bits”. Good wholesome ventures are lost from discouragement due to “bits” taking us off path when our “derailing” would have been much more productive if used to teach us something about ourselves. Have you developed good habits in the past and that you have moved away from? do you feel like a failure? Be human. Get back on track and learn from your mistakes!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence (aka Areté) then, is not an act, but a habit."

~ Aristotle, 4th century bce Greek philosopher

Today is my 5th day. Despite yet another setback, Jasper and I overcame! Can you believe it? Another obstacle!!! I tweaked my foot running down the steps and every time I tried to jog, the pain shot through my foot. I tried stretching to no avail. Swift walking was OK...so walk fast I did! Day 5 happened and my foot has been fine all day! This wa a test for me. I'm determined to see this through now not only for my benefit but for others who may be encouraged some day by reading it.

I'm Celebrating that I didn't skip because my foot was hurting.
I learned that if there is anyway possible to follow through, do it! I would have been very dissapointed had I made a different choice.
Needless to say, I will Keep Going Forward!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 4 - Bad Day Advice - Reduce Intensity. Don't skip!

Not my best day!

I was sick during the night with a fever and achy but I decided this morning I would stick with my "habit" and just back it down. Usually I would cut myself slack and skip a day, but I know it's important during the 21 day cycle to be as consistent as humanly possible. I really felt OK this morning also.

Bad Day? Reduce intensity, rather than skipping during your first 21 days.
So off we went, Jasper in his thick coat and me in my double layers as usual. I decided to reduce the distance to my previous route which covers about 1 1/2 - 2 miles. I tend to be an over doer by nature so when I should have turned around, I actually thought about going farther. A massive dog appeared to deter me (not Jasper lol). Another dog was just ahead and to avoid a problem I decided to turn around.

As I neared my street, my overdrive kicked in again and I decided to go past it, but lo and behold, road work and flag man. "OK, I get it. Turn around and go home." No doubt in my mind now, there was some divine intervention. Time to "read" the signs!

One more successful jog and whatever bug was making me sick has been defeated. I've been fine all day. Work is done and I'm going home to rest for tomorrow.

I'm Celebrating that I'm more than half way through the first week, despite obstacles.
I've Learned I can be nudged in the right direction when I try to go wrong.
I'm curious to see what else will try to defeat me but determined to
Keep Going Forward!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 3 - Stick with it! Things work themselves out!

Somehow everything always works out if you put forth the effort!

Today I arrived home at nearly 2pm, with plans to leave for work again at 3:30. Jasper and I were both determined to jog and I decided, pressed for time or not, we're going! I changed quickly and just before I got out the door, my 4pm client cancelled. Today, things worked out and I was afforded the luxury of a much needed midday break after all.

Although very cold out, the sun was shining and in it's own crisp way the day was extremely beautiful. So taking advantage of the extra time and invigorated by the excitement I'm feeling at getting back into my jogging habit, we extending our jog (partly walking) to 3 miles. Afterward, I grabbed a nutritious lunch and if I hurry with this post, there is still time for a little siesta before my evening training groups.

Celebrate Success
- I'm ecstatic!
Learn From Mistakes
- I learned yesterday to bring an extra puppy bag lol
- Today, I found out that usually, if you follow your gut
and stick with your commitment, it all works out.
Keep Going Forward
- I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 2 - Use all your will power. You'll need it the first week!

Almost didn't make it!!! I was tempted. Had to cancel morning classes for icy roads and just as I'm planning my alternate plan for the day, my best friend calls. I couldn't help myself. I volunteered the kids and I to come help her pack a household while entertaining her two small kids. I have to work tonight so it was now or never and it's COLD outside! This afternoon would be warmer, but probably wouldn't happen...Jasper WAS incessantly barking...ugh...ok, I'll bundle up and go. Btw, that was me arguing with myself.

When change is just ahead but stubborness stands in the way, focus on your goal. Willpower WILL get you over the hump. Use it!

So double layers of clothes and off we go! I'm starting to think of Jasper as my trainer lol. He's establishing a path for us to take and we're compromising on the pace. He's already learning to stop for cars.

Day 2 happened and I'm pumped-Celebrate Success, even the small stuff!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

21 Days - Change Your Life, One Habit At A Time!

You've probably heard that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Good news - It's actually backed scientifically! I'll be telling you more details about this subject and how significant it can be to your life in future posts, but for now, I'm here to practice what I preach and pick "One Small Change" and stick to it till it's a habit!

Establish A New Healthful Habit
1. Pick one small change-something with significance that requires effort but is both practical and feasable utilizing my current circumstances in life.
(I better make the most of where I am, for I'm not of much use where I am not!)
2. Figure out how to fit it into your life and premeditate EVERYTHING that might get in the way, creating solutions ahead so you won't be detered when obstacles arise.
(If you've failed to plan, you've planned to fail!)
3. Commit to 21 days (NO EXCUSES!) Commit to put forth the effort for at least the 3 weeks with the rewards in mind of not only improvement but also the establishment of a new habit!
(Always look at the horizon. Keep your eyes on your goal!)

So I have this big adorable, stinky chow! He's soooo sweet and well behaved. Unfortunately, while I'm at work, he spends alot of time fenced in my back yard. Feeling terribly guilty for leaving my sweet pet outside so much, I yearned for a solution. Nature solved the problem for me. My back yard flooded and stayed that way for over a month. I chained Jasper, my regal friend to the front porch while I was at work and brought him in at night. It temporarily solved the problem however, dogs need exercise too! So I began asking my son to walk him daily.

Remember that my change plan requires a participant to utilize their circumstances. Embarrasingly, I have to admit, that struggling to work and be a wife and mom while battling fybromyalgia, even I, the Master Trainer, put exercise on the back burner! It only takes one step to change your direction and I'm commiting to that step now.

Jasper and I have taken up jogging together and we're having a blast! I'm actually returning to the sport and he's just learning to do it on a leash. Before I can get out of the van, my hairy new jogging partner is jumping for joy and barking loudly at me (something my well behaved Chow rarely does). The demanding continues until my running shoes are on and I appear with the leash. The few jogs we've taken over the last two weeks have brought us both alot of joy which led to:

"My 21 Day Commitment"

Jog with my dog and post my results while sharing helpful information and inspiration to others. I want to improve my life, my fitness level and be a blessing to others but I often feel utterly helpless and frustrated with the odds that are stacked against me. It seems like life continually gets in the way and discouragement is always trying to foil my plans. I know I am NOT alone! My clients each have their unique obstacles to overcome.

Stick with me and see if you can create your own "21 Day Commitment" to improve your life!

So today, day 1, we jogged in snow flurries, but having predicted that might happen, I rushed home quickly and bundled up! It was great and I'm soooo happy I did it!

Notice important characteristics of my commitment:
1. A time frame to completion - 21 days. I can see the horizon of my efforts.
2. Practicality - we both need the exercise!
3. Feasability, utilizing my circumstances - not much time, too many responsibilities, a need to feel like a better pet owner, a need to squeeze in some exercise for me, a midday break most days, a dog that loves to jog :-)
4. Something to be gained that is significant to me and will give me a strong sense of accomplishment, building my confidence and improving my health!

In my business, Feel Better Fit, I have a motto:
Celebrate Success. Learn from Mistakes. Keep Going Forward!

As I apply my motto to my Small Change, Celebrate I feel accomplished having made a sincerely productive, practical, feasable commitment and set it in motion. I found myself more aware of what I was eating and began thinking ahead to obstacles that I might have to overcome. Both of these initial effects of a positive change are invigorating and encouraging! I'm celebrating right now in this blog! Learn I learned that weather might get in the way and plans are formulating already to overcome the possible obstacle. I have made commitments before and I look at how they changed and improved my life. I think of the set backs and stumbling blocks I encountered in fulfilling them and I am decidedly headstrong to Keep Going Forward!

Kathryn Mccall Lafferty, Master Trainer