Aunt Janice and the Gym

When I woke up yesterday I felt a little lethargic, and I didn’t feel particularly motivated to workout (even though I knew I would.)  I procrastinated a little bit until Aunt Janice suggested that we go for a walk.  Walks with her tend to go on for miles so I agreed.

During our walk I told her how much I enjoy circuit training at the gym.  I told her about the ladder, the metal wall, the bosu ball and planks among other things, and we decided to cut our walk short and hit the gym.

We did circuit training in two minute intervals, and we did the things I just listed in addition to tackling the rowing machine,  the KeepItUpDavid Machine, I mean StairMaster, pulling the sled around the track and working our upper bodies before relaxing in the sauna.  By the time we left the gym we were both drenched from head to toe, and it felt awesome.

I was channeling Keep It Up David during this workout.

When we started doing planks she dominated them!  She held her pose for over a minute, and I beat my own personal best reaching 18.8 seconds.  (Hey! Don’t judge me.  A little over a week ago I didn’t know I could do them at all!)

Now that I know I can plank I'm determined to make it last longer.

And one of my new favorite workouts is climbing the wall.  It doesn’t seem tough at all, but if you do it long enough it will make you sweat.  I’m definitely sore as a result of that little wall!

I can't look to the side when I get higher. ;)

Upper body....Boom!

I’ve never really been a fan of working out with someone else, but that certainly has changed recently.  I’ve done cardio workouts with friends before, but I’ve never had anyone push me until recently.  Having someone there to tell me to keep going when I think I’ve pushed as far as I can inspires me to do more, and I’m definitely looking forward to more of that.  And may I just say that I adore the sauna?  (What can I say? I love to sweat!)

I have a full day planned which will include some fun stuff, but I plan to hit it hard at the gym again this morning.  What are your plans for the day?  What kind of workout will you do?

 

 

Reader Questions: How Do You Stay Motivated?

When I started this blog, I really had no idea that anyone would care about what I had to say.  Receiving comments and e-mails is one of my favorite parts of blogging! And while I still plan to dish out my unsolicited opinions on a regular basis, I also welcome your thoughts and questions.

If you have a question or comment about clothes, food, workouts or anything else I ramble about incessantly, feel free to submit the question by going to the “Ask Kenlie” tab at the top of my blog.  It might even appear on my blog at some point.

I’m still catching up with e-mails, and one of the recurring questions is about motivation. Obviously, I’m no expert. If you read my blog, you know that I am constantly searching for motivation, often lacking it, finding it then starting over again. But I’ve been doing this long enough to know what works when I’m doing it right. ;)

Ashley writes…

Hello,

I too, am overweight. According to all the charts I am “obese.” And the very sad thing is, I haven’t always been. B/w poor diet, lack of exercise, quitting smoking, and medication, my weight has gotten out of control. I would love to know what motivates you to get up every day and lose the weight. I can’t seem to get motivated. After college, I lost a lot of weight and was wearing 4’s and 6’s. Now I am 32 and wearing an 18, and I am not motivated to get up and lose weight every day. I am only 5’3 so, the extra weight is hard on my body and my bones. I am feeling the extra weight with each pound and each Birthday.

I would love to hear your thoughts and get any feedback that might help me get going and sticking to it.

Thanks for your time and being there to inspire others.

~Ashley

Hi Ashley,

This is a tough question, but here are my thoughts. I’ve said before that we often look around for motivation when we should be looking within for the will. And it’s true. I think we often confuse motivation with willingness.

Some mornings I wake up ready to complete a killer workout.  More often, there are days in which I spend the entire day making excuses in my head about why I can’t workout or why I should do it later. But I know that those are the days in which dragging myself into the gym or outside for a walk are the most important days because by doing it (even though I don’t feel like it) I’m proving that I’m worth the effort. And that willingness and confidence breeds motivation.

This journey is ebb and flow. Sometimes I do everything right – I track my food intake, exercise, eat fruits and veggies, sleep at a decent hour. And other times I fight tooth and nail with myself. At the end of the day, at least for me, it’s not about feeling motivated to make healthy choices. It’s about being proud of myself for finding the will to make healthy choices.

And as far as exercise goes, pick an exercise you like. And look, “I hate every exercise” is not a good answer. Think about it…try swimming or riding a bike or loading your iPod with upbeat tunes and taking a spin around the block. Just start somewhere. Do more today than you did yesterday because those little successes add up and create big results.

Thanks for reaching out Ashley!  I sincerely hope that you find that willingness and start taking steps in the right direction.  It sounds like you have already overcome SO MUCH! Congrats to you…Now it’s time to add one more thing to the list.

Best,

Kenlie

What do you think?  What can Ashley do to find motivation?  What do you do when you fall into a rut?

 

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Yesterday was such an incredible day.  Nothing extraordinary happened, but I felt like a rock star so I made a little video in an attempt to capture the moment.  It’s incredible what a couple days of sweaty workouts can do for a person.  I literally feel transformed! And instead of concentrating on what I wish I had done differently or how long it has taken to get to this point, I find myself appreciating what I have accomplished. Sometimes small accomplishments matter the most, and they definitely mattered most yesterday.

The video was recorded on my iPhone as it was getting dark after Megan and I did Level 3 of the 30-Day Shred and did two mile walk/run intervals so forgive me for the poor quality.

I Think I Need To State My Goals

For more than a year, I have attempted to complete at least 1,000 minutes of cardio or more per month, and I’ve been successful since 2012 began.  I’m happy about that, but I think it’s time to change my focus a little so here are my goals for the month of May:

  •  Complete at least 1,000 minutes of cardio – a piece of cake when I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing…
  • Complete at least 10 5k’s – I’m pretty sure I did this in March and maybe other months, but now I plan to document it.  I completed my first one today.  Only 9 more to go!
  • Lose at least 8 pounds – I can and should be losing at least 8 pounds per month…period.
  • Do 101 crunches everyday – I’m going to start again after falling out of my groove.

These goals are attainable, but I noticed something last week that has made me keenly aware of what I need to succeed.  As I approached the end of the month, I noticed that my cardio goal was in jeopardy.  And I knew that because I skimped on workouts while I was in Colorado that I might have trouble reaching my 1,000 for the fourth consecutive month, and I felt like throwing in the towel.  The difference in my performance came from knowing that I’d post those numbers on my blog, and I wanted to post my achievements – not my failures so I succeeded.  I reached my cardio goal only moments before midnight on April 30.

The point is that posting my cardio goal – and even my goal for daily crunches (which has been a #fail lately) gives me the extra push that I need to do what I know I should be doing.  If you have a blog, you may already be aware of the power it yields in keeping you accountable.  At least, it does for me.

Announcing my monthly goals is (mostly) new to me, but I know from the sidebar on my blog that it works.  Do you have monthly goals?  Do you post them?  Does it work for you?

Try..Tri…

I want to compete in a triathlon.  Is that a weird thing for me to say while my weight is still in the upper 200’s?  I know I can finish.  Does it matter that I’m quite sure I would finish last?

My friend, Brad, has decided to coach me through my first (and second) tri, and I’m ready to do what it takes.  I’m not sure what this means for me today, but I’m ready to face it and find out.  Check out this message from Brad.  It’s so powerful! He truly believes that we can accomplish the goals we set because he’s done it.  Check out his blog, http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com, if you feel like being encouraged and inspired..

Wish me luck…training begins now.

*****

And check out this beautifully delicious looking salad made by Zepherine!  She’s doing great with this challenge!  Wow..I wish I had one of these in front of me right now!

 I’d love to see your pics too!

Inquiring Minds?

I’ve been asked about the #7DayChip and #30DayChip a few times today and a few times prior so I think it’s time to share more information about it.  My friend and fellow blogger, Brad, designed the chip as a motivational challenge to eat well (without binging – whatever the means to us individually.)

I tried several times last month to complete seven days of healthy, mindful eating.  And after several attempts, I received my #7DayChip on January 5.  You can see the details of my chip here.  Now, a couple of weeks later, I’m chasing the #30DayChip!  I’m currently on Day 23, and while Day 30 seems far off in the distance, it does seem attainable!

Several twitter friends have already earned their #7DayChip.  And in our attempts – the restarts and the achievements we’ve found support in each other.  You can find all of the information about the #7DayChip and the #30DayChip on Brad’s blog: http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/7-days-without-a-binge-time-for-a-chip/!  I usually ask before sharing a link, but I’m confident that Brad will be thrilled to add new-comers to the mix.

The #7DayChip is a motivational tool…a challenge for yourself, with yourself..that comes with a lot of support from folks who are attempting to make healthier, more controlled choices too. If you want to work toward your own #7DayChip, let @BradGansberg know on his blog or via twitter.   And follow these #7DayChip -ers too:  @loosing_it, @EMRUK, @violettfem, @DaleLambert and more.

It’s always a good day to make healthy decisions…so let’s do it together..

Am I Really Saying This Again?

I enjoyed every minute of the holidays. And while I didn’t eat everything I in sight, I ate much more than I should have eaten. I don’t feel guilt as much as disappointment in myself…and I feel bloated.

But today is a new day. I know I’ve said this a million times, but today is a new day full of opportunities to make good choices. And I’m determined to make that happen.

One of my heroes, SeattleRunnerGirl, said something that has resonated with me since I read it yesterday. She said, “My body is satisfied with far less food than my mind.” And while that probably isn’t a new realization for me, it’s definitely food for thought. And I’m determined to win this battle within myself.

Right now I’m hungry. I’ve eaten well today, and as the evening continues I find it hard not to snack myself into the late hours. This has always been true, but in the first year of my weight-loss I prepared for it by eating healthy, whole foods during the day.

And another thing that helped me as I lost the first 100 pounds was reminding myself that I can eat again tomorrow. I don’t have to eat everything in one day because the food will still be here tomorrow.

I had some solid workouts last week, but I haven’t exercised since arriving for holiday fun with my family. I committed to doing 30-Day Shred six days a week for a month, and I am recommitting to working out today.

This inner struggle is getting old my friends. I’m frustrated with myself, but I won’t give up. I am going to keep trying and keep admitting my faults and weaknesses until those weaknesses no longer exist. Maybe I’ll regain the control I had in the first year…or perhaps it will be a battle for the rest of my life. Either way, I will fight to succeed…to lose weight…and to take pride in myself for doing my best.

It’s not easy today, but I’m going to do it and hope that tomorrow is a little better.

What Motivates You Today?

I am rarely motivated to eat well or exercise by negativity. Okay, I’m never motivated by negativity. But there are days in which I don’t feel like working out. On those days, I have to look at where I’ve come from to remind myself where I want to go, and that is what I did today.

After looking at a few “before” photos there was no question that I needed to walk to the gym so I did. Never again do I want to be the girl who hides behind the table in the hopes that I won’t look so huge.


Nor do I want to be the girl who is satisfied wearing pants that are too long with a sweater that doesn’t fully cover my abdomen.
I know now that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve proven it to myself! And I’m going to continue to do what it takes to be a healthier version of me.

Is my “no going back” approach negative? What motivates you to do what you need to do when you don’t feel like doing it?

Getting Serious

I have begun to get back into a serious groove over the last couple of weeks, but I’m still not completely secure in my standing. And now that it is (unofficially) the holiday season, it’s time for me to ramp up my efforts even more.

I’m not a big fan of Halloween so I managed to get through the holiday without consuming much candy again this year. But this is the time of year in which I begin baking tasty treats, making enough homemade hot cocoa mix to last through Winter (actually, that’s already done) and asking Mom for her homemade secret candy recipes.

Saturday I made 11 mini-loaves of pumpkin bread, and it was delicious! I brought a few loaves to the church hayride that Dad and I went to over the weekend and froze a few loaves to take home too.

It would be easy to say “It’s just one slice of pumpkin bread” or “It’s just one cup of cocoa with whipped cream.” You get the idea…but it’s far more important to me to make choices that will leave me feeling confident and healthy going into the new year.

Life will be full of tempting treats for most of us in the next 60 days, and I plan to enjoy some myself. But I’ll remind myself to look at the bigger picture, just as I did last year.
Here’s an excerpt from a post about holiday eating last year:
I also post status updates on Facebook almost religiously. (Yes…I am that person. hehe) And over the the last week or so, I’ve posted messages about standing over the stove preparing this stuff, and I’ve heard the same question from several people, including the woman at the market:

“How do you make that stuff and still lose weight?”

My answer is pretty simple…I don’t eat much of it. I have a piece here and there, but I plan for it first. When I make any dish (dessert, dinner, hot chocolate) I use the recipe builder on WW e-tools to figure out point values of each piece. And believe me, when a tiny piece of peanut butter fudge is valued at 3 points, it’s much easier to say no. I also store the goodies in air tight containers rather than leaving them on platters because it takes more effort to nibble. ;)


When I get the urge, I remind myself that I already know how it tastes. I picture it then I picture how I’ll feel when I step of the scale showing a loss, and that seals it for me. I would rather lose weight than eat junk — even if it is quality junk food. ;)

There is so much more to the holidays that rich foods and decadent treats. And while it’s absolutely okay to indulge in a bit of that, I choose to indulge in the fun and excitement that surrounds this holiday. It worked at Thanksgiving, and it will work again.
So my plan going into the holidays will be to embrace the season and my loved ones rather than focusing on the dinners, the treats and the decadent desserts. Life is about so much more than food! And if I go into this time of year prepared, I think I can come out of them healthier and happier than I was going in.
Do you have a plan of attack for the holidays? Am I ridiculous for thinking about this early?!