Fit and Healthy Motivation Tips

After spending an evening with a friend who was very overweight, I changed my fitness challenges to fit and healthy.  It’s easy for me to copy and paste memes, recipes and workouts but it’s hard for me to follow them.  Lack of motivation is my biggest issue so I decided to do some research to not just help me, but help my fitness ladies, too.

  1. Buy new shoes.  Try on several pair, walk and jog in them around the store (they tend to frown on sprinting).  Get your feet evaluated at Fit2Run if you can.  Then go online and see if you can get a better deal (shhhhh!).

kicks I discovered I’m an Asics girl.

2. Visualize positive thinking. Visualize your muscles getting bigger and stronger while you’re coming up with excuses to avoid the gym. Think about how wonderful the sun will feel on your face as you take a walk outside (wear sunscreen!). Picture your heart smiling as you put down the Pop Tart and fix some eggs and a protein shake.

14993567_10211174071494413_7745794241319868662_n Powerhouse Athletic Club (shameless plug)

3. Reward yourself. Went a whole day without junk food? Put a dollar in a jar. Completed your step count? Add a dollar. Exercised 5 times in one week? Treat yourself to a movie (and pack healthy snacks in your bag). If you do a jar, at the end of 30 or 60 days, take the money and buy yourself a new top or pants; you’ve earned it!

wp-image-477638972jpg I have to hide my dollars.  My family tends to swipe them.  I have an agreement with my husband (he just doesn’t know it yet) to trade pennies for dollars in 60 days.

4. Be accountable.  Get a reliable accountability partner or better yet, be one.  Join a fitness challenge (shameless plug #2). Download the Pact app (Harvard guys) or sign up at StickK (Yale guys). This will not make you rich but it will motivate you to stick to your goals if you don’t have dough to lose.

5. Make small goals. Saying, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds is great but it’s going to take a while.  Write down that you’re going to lose a pound a week, eat 4 healthy snacks, go a week (or a day) without drinking soda or hitting the drive through. Create monthly, weekly and daily goals.  Write them down where you’ll see them. (I discovered my fridge and kitchen cabinets are dry erase marker proof)

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6. Reduce your excuses. Write them down. Start eliminating them one by one. “I’m too tired.” “The gym is so faarr!” “I don’t have time.” “It tastes so good!” “I’m broke.” You’ll realize how ridiculous you’re being. I’m ridiculous every day.

7. Ditch the boredom. Try something new like a Body Combat class, biking, roller blading,  pilates, aerial yoga, pole dancing (shameless plugs #3, #4 & #5).  Switch up your routine to shock your body, especially if you’ve hit a plateau.

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8. It’s good for your health.  Yes, looking smoking hot in those skinny jeans or that tankini are great motivators for getting fit and healthy, but remember the main focus is on improving your health to keep you around longer.

9. Sign a contract with yourself. It can be a detailed one or one that’s short and sweet.

I’m sure there are many more amazing tips out there but I made a goal to keep this short. #noexcuses

Today is a new day. Make it count.

​I’m not usually the worrying, stressed out type. But I have been for the last week. I gained several pounds, let my house go to shit, put off decorating for Christmas, ignored my family, deprived myself of sleep and it was all for nothing. I failed my statistics final. I won’t graduate this month, I won’t start subbing to help pay for my youngest daughter’s dance and I won’t be taking a semester off from school.

This sign has hung in my room for several years. I don’t remember why or when I made it. It is a new day. I can’t fix what happened yesterday but I can make changes today. I won’t bore you with my to-do list but think about this; we only have one life to live and we should fill every day of it with love, joy and laughter. Worrying, stressing and being angry or resentful are horrible ways to waste what precious time we have.
I watched my oldest daughter graduate from college last Sunday. I helped heal her broken heart with a new puppy. We shared an entire day with friends and family and it was wonderful. Every day should feel like that. 

I’m off to make today count. I’m going to make it amazing. I’m going to eat my leftover sandwich for breakfast because it was so good I don’t want to wait for lunch (thank you Carrollwood Deli!). I’m going to make sure that my husband and kids all laugh at least once today. And I’m going to end the day next to our fire pit in Florida’s 80 degree weather because it makes me happy. We all deserve to be happy. 

My mom taught me how precious life is. I grew up with so much love and laughter in our home and I’m passing that onto my children. Live for today. Every day is a new day. Make each and every one count. 

I will….be better

Several challenges ago, I encouraged the moms to decorate a motivational jar. Some of us even got together and had a craft day!

What’s the jar for? This is how I used mine: If I worked out, I put in a dollar. If I lost a pound, I put in a dollar. If I lost an inch, I put in a dollar. Aanndd, if I gained a pound or inch, I took OUT a dollar.

There are TONS of ideas on Pinterest. (Pinterest tip- set a timer!!!! Pinterest is like crack! I’ve never done crack but I hear it’s highly addictive…like Pinterest. You WILL get sucked in and be late starting dinner, miss your workout, forget to pick up a kid or hold up the car loop line).

These are both super cute. Some people like the marble thing- I like money.

My jar used to say, “I can, I will!” but all that’s left is the “I will” part. It’s actually a very important part and I’m glad it’s stuck around. I will…not give up. I will… workout today. I will….be a better roll model for my fitness challenge moms. I will….fill in the blank every day. This can be fun!

My jar filled up pretty full. Then the people living in my house needed cash for various things like lunch money or McDonald’s and my dollar bills started disappearing like Dennis Rodman’s $1’s in a strip club. So I switched to pennies which I convinced my husband to turn into dollars when I reached my goal….which I’ve yet to meet.

Somehow, in a rare cleaning quest, I moved the jar into a corner cabinet and forgot about it. During another rare cleaning quest  (several months later) I found my jar and pulled it out of the dark depths of the cabinet.  This morning I emptied out the dusty pennies to start over.

The jar is now back on my counter next to the borrowed fat percentage checker tool thingy which was placed back in the creepy corner of my roll top desk (yeah, it’s old) and I recently ventured there to retrieve it. I’ve replaced my scale obsession with a body fat percentage obsession which is better than my food obsession. 

The jar works for me. I like money and I like shopping. Try a jar and see if it works for you. Or search Pinterest for other fitness motivational ideas like a dream board. But seriously, set a timer. I will honk and wave my arms (or fingers) at you if you hold up the car line.

Share it Sunday

Two weeks ago I started a new fitness challenge. We once again have a great group of moms and I’m excited to see them make positive changes and lead healthier lives.

In my experience, the more we share the better we do. Honesty is always the best policy. If we cheat and don’t own up to it, we are only cheating ourselves. We will fail. We will have bad days. Those who are most active are usually the ones who succeed. Success is defined in so many different ways. Blah, blah, blah.

Getting healthy is hard. It’s so much easier to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, chips, cookies and wash them down with giant sodas. Who wants to grunt and get sweaty? Yuck. I don’t like eating better or working out. But I don’t like busting out of my clothes either. I don’t like getting winded walking up one flight of stairs. I don’t like looking in the mirror and seeing extra pounds.

I want to feel better. I want to find healthier foods that are yummy. I want to make my own “fast food” (aka meal prep). I want to see my kids grow up. I want to travel when my husband retires and not ride on a scooter. I want to look in the mirror and love what I see.

I started these challenges to hold myself accountable. They have become so much more. I’ve seen some amazing transformations in many of my moms. That’s what keeps me going. They need the challenges, it’s like crack to some of those crazy bitches!! And I love them. I love their dedication, their motivation, their drive. I love seeing them fail and get back up. I love seeing them support each other and cheer each other on. They are amazing. 

Wow. Haha! This was supposed to be about sharing and it took a weird turn. Soooo, anyway…..what changes have you made to lead a healthier life? What made you stop driving through McDonald’s and make your own food? What made you put on your tennis shoes and walk or workout? If you are in my challenge or another challenge, how do you like it? What would you like to see? 

Share it Sunday!!!

I suck…..BUT I never stop fighting!

I suck.

I suck at blogging. I suck at working out. I suck at eating healthy. I suck at getting challenge prizes out on time. I suck at running fitness challeges.

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BUT, I never give up.  I never stop fighting.

Scroll through my blog titles and you’ll see so many that read, “Day 1.” “Day 1 again.” “Starting over,” “Starting over again,” “Starting over again, again….”

What you’ll never read is, “I give up…and mean it.” I’ve “given up” or “quit” but only in a moment of frustration. I’m sitting on my bed after spending an hour on Facebook drinking a protein smoothie and my first cup of water because the last thing I did on Facebook before I made myself get up was add the new weekly post challenge to our fitness challenge group encouraging them to eat healthy, exercise and drink more water. Yeah, that was a long sentence. I encourage my mom’s every day to do their best but I don’t. How can I expect them to give it their all when I don’t? Because I suck.

It took me two years to lose 25 lbs. TWO YEARS!!!!! Why? Because I’m lazy and unmotivated. Because I suck.  I see pictures labeled “January…….March” and see such a big difference in those women in just three months. I think, “Wow, if I’d gotten off my ass that could be me.” But I don’t. Because I suck.

Today I’m getting up. Today I am finishing my 64 oz of water and eating right. Today I will even finally do Day 2 of Bikini Body Mommy…..while everyone else is on Day 36. I can still catch up. 😉 Today, I don’t wanna suck.

Today I will send out more emails to potential sponsors. Today I will mail out the rest of the prizes with lots of apologies (I’m sooooo thankful to have such understanding fitness moms) (okay, it may be tomorrow). Today I will not suck.

Tomorrow, well, that’s for tomorrow. Tomorrow I might suck. Hell, I might wind up sucking today. It’s only 10:30 and I have a long to-do list. It’s much easier to sit here on my phone. But, today, I don’t wanna suck.

I think of all of the people who can’t get up and do.  But I can. Today, I will do my best not to suck, for them. Today, I don’t wanna suck.

Let’s not suck today!!!!!

What do you suck at? How do you make yourself get up and be not sucky?

I am not you. You are not him.

In the fitness world, we are like snowflakes.  No two people trying to lose weight, build muscle, eat healthy are exactly alike.  We have different bodies, different goals, different loves (and hatred) for various forms of exercise and eating.

I love taking walks. I love fun 5k runs (except I walk them).  I’m learning to love lifting.  I love dance fitness DVDs, some of the P90x videos and I now tolerate Brazil Butt Lift about twice a year….for a few days.

I have friends who absolutely do NOT want to weight lift.  For some, they fall under the “I don’t want to look like Arnold” misconception but for many, they just don’t wanna.  I have friends who have to go to the gym and they LOVE to go to the gym.  Some of them can run on the treadmill for an hour.  Some love the different classes.  Some love the weights.

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I have friends who hate any form of cardio.  Some of them love to lift weights, some just don’t exercise at all- in any form.

We are all different and I respect each of my friends, their goals, likes, dislikes and opinions.  I even respect the ones who choose to lead unhealthy lifestyles.  They know how I feel.  If they want to jump on the bandwagon, I’ll pull them along myself.

Our fitness movement is growing every day.  Let’s not allow social media to start a war within ourselves- “they” love to do that.  Look what they’ve done to moms and politics.  Let’s band together, learn to love each other, learn from each other, support each other no matter how we choose to get fit and healthy.

Don’t break down others because they don’t share your opinion.  Share your love, share your passion, share your tips and share your advice.  You might just change someone’s perception.

Positivity brings happiness

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“Be genuinely happy for other’s successes in life even when things aren’t going well for you. Give it time and positivity will finds its way to you. I learned this first hand today. #blessed #grateful #lucky

I posted that on my Facebook the other day after a friend reached out to me to thank him for always being supportive of him.  I truly believe that if you express positive Karma, good Karma will come to you.

I run fitness challenges for moms through Tampa Bay Moms Group.  I’ve been doing them for four years now and they are finally taking off.  They are becoming bigger and better and more moms are getting healthier and more fit.  We recently finished a fitness challenge that went really, really well.  I knew something was up when one of the moms removed me from a group chat.  I didn’t think much of it, though, and figured it may be like when you confide in your mom but sometimes you just want to chat with your friends with her out of the room.  This morning I found a package on my doorstep and was shocked at what I found when I opened it.

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Look at the amazing gifts they bought me!!!!  I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I cried.  I was sitting at a stop light after dropping my daughter off at school when I opened the package.  I just sat there crying….until the light turned green.  When I pulled into the driveway, tears were still spilling down my cheeks so I snapped a selfie. Normally, in my Vanity Smurf mode, I’d never take or share a picture of me like this (roll out of bed, throw on dress, drop kid off, come home, roll back in bed- it’s a tough life).  I’m getting over my insecurities and learning to live in the moment- even when my hair hasn’t been washed in 2 days, it’s sticking up everywhere and I have no make up on.

I plugged the Fitbit in right away, popped some batteries in my massager (perfect timing since I just started P90x again), posted a thank you that didn’t seem nearly as adequate as it should and went back to bed.  Here is my message-  My fitness moms are in trouble!!!! I can’t believe you girls did this for me. And I look like crap but I wanted you to see the tears. I can’t thank you enough for all of the work you’ve done during the challenges and how much you all have motivated me. There are no words to express how shocked I am (damn, here come the tears again) and how blessed I feel to have you all in my life. I knew y’all were up to something when Nicole kicked me out of the group chat!!! I love you all so much! heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon heart emoticon. <I guess heart emojis don’t copy and paste LOL>  When I hit the WBFF stage, you ladies will be one of the biggest reasons why!!!!

Here are the wonderful messages these moms left for me:

  • Jenn- <she always makes me laugh> Good. Now, can we get some FitBit challenges going, please?
  • Michelle- We love you! Thank you for your encouragement and dedication to us!
  • Rita- No the Thanks goes to you. I met you that day at the 5k last fall and you have been there for me ever since that day. Helped me get into the group and supported me on this journey when I felt I had no one here to have my back. That is the least we can do for you. You have a heart of gold and we thank you for that!
  • Kelly-You are welcome! It was Nicole’s idea. Thanks for all you do.
  • I wish we could do so much more. You are an amazing friend and I will forever be grateful for the day I typed “mommy friends in Tampa” into Google and found you.
  • Nicole- Xoxo!! Thank you for all u do!!
  • Jessica- You work really hard for us ladies. I send you messages in the middle of the nigh and you always answer. You are a great coach friend and work out leader!
  • Lens- You got me tearing up! Thank you for putting up with us!

I can’t express how amazing it feels to read messages like that and know that they are for you.  Those make all of the hours I spend on the challenges completely worth it.  I’m on a new high to get things set up for the next challenge, too, wanting it to be even better than the others.  Treat others how you want to be treated and see what happens.  Love and respect happens.  Eeeeee!!!!!!  Totally excited.  😉

I already set up a challenge for them and have to get myself moving, too!!!  They might wind up wishing they’d bought me a pet rock instead!

We all go through hard times and how we handle those times defines the kind of people we are.  Things have been rough for me for a while but I choose to be happy for others, choose to be positive and choose to be happy for myself.  As my youngest daughter, Maggie says, “Do you, be you!”

Are you consciously happy for others when your life is down?  Does it make you happy to be happy for others?