Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reaching Your Goals

Infomercials these days really push getting the body of your dreams in 90 days or getting rich with "X" or technique. However, for some, these dreams are much farther than 90 days a way. I can't vouch for the get rich programs but some (especially the Beachbody products) of the fitness programs are quite good and give great results if you put in the work. But again if you are farther than 60 or 90 days away, it can be discouraging.

I want to encourage you to look for the small steps. If you have 100 pounds to lose, you will never reach that goal if you don't lose the fist 5 pounds. If you want to bench press 200 pounds you will never reach that goal if you don't increase from 150 to 160 pounds. Some goals, like the ones above, are easier to see the progression than others. One of my goals is to be able to do a full pull-up. At least to me, this is a hard one to see progression with - you either make it up or you don't. I will periodically go out to a bar (a chin up bar not a drinking bar - LOL) and try to do a pull-up. I get myself part-way up and still can't quite get my chin over the bar. Have I gotten myself up farther than I could last year? Probably but I don't know that for sure. However, yesterday something pretty cool happened. I have been trying to add some swimming into my routine. It is not an everyday thing but whenever we make it to the pool I like to try and get in a few laps. The pool we belong to has a 50 meter lap lane and last year I would swim a few laps, get tired and need a break. The break didn't need to be a long one but I still needed the break. This summer has been different in that respect. The first time I tried I did 6 laps straight and then stopped. If felt good and I made the decision to try 8 laps the next time which also went well. Yesterday I did 10 without difficulty.

Now here is the cool part! There is a fast lane and a slow lane - I use the fast lane but you never know what the overall speeds are going to be in the lanes. There have been days when really fast swimmers have shown up and days when even the "fast" lane is quite slow. Yesterday was an average day - all the swimmers were able to continuously swim (no one was stopping at the wall) at a nice even pace. This is the part that was really encouraging to me. I was not trying to swim hard - I just wanted to be able to swim 10 consecutive laps - but I found myself catching the swimmers in front of me when I swam freestyle and keeping pace with them when I swam breaststroke. I credit this to my increased back strength (especially with the breaststroke). Then on my last lap, I caught the swimmer in front of me and since there was no one coming at me, I decided to power my way to the end and really surged past the woman and had quite a big gap between us when I hit the wall.

Why bother writing about all this? Last year, I would have never been able to do this after only swimming laps 3 times this summer. I am stronger physically and cardiovascularly. I HAVE made lots of progress. Can I do a pull-up yet? No, but I am getting a lot of satisfaction out of the progress I did make. Look for YOUR progress and enjoy it. Set little goals and celebrate when you reach them. Sometimes we miss the little achievements if we don't look for them - so look for them!! Remember though, once you meet one goal - make another and then another and then another until you reach that big goal. Once you reach that big goal....make another one. There seems to be a pattern here (lol).

What small goals or achievements have you reached lately? I would love to hear about them!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Asylum: Day 20 Game Day & Overtime

Today was a really tough workout! If I'm being completely honest...I Did Not feel like working out this morning. However, I knew that I needed to do it and I got myself moving. I'm quite proud of that fact!!!

Game Day in and of itself is really hard but I knew that I was adding Overtime and I think this is why I didn't feel like getting going. I was nervous about the session but that is when you need to push through! We all have days when either we are just plain tired or when we just get that "I don't want to workout" feeling. Assuming your body is trying to send you important signals like "I'm exhausted and I need a rest!", push through on the above days. When you make your body exercise when your head is telling you no....that is when we truly grow and get stronger! Just get started and if you can't keep it going then so be it but at least try!

That was where I found myself after the Game Day session. Once I started Game Day, I was loving it but by the time I was finished, I was toast! But, the wanted to try the Overtime workout so I immediately pushed play. After about 3-5 minutes I just knew that my body couldn't do it. I was not happy that I had to stop but I knew it was for the best.

My important take home message today is to just get up and try! It may turn out great and it might turn out to be crap. The important thing is that you get up and do your best. I know that is cheesy but you know what???? It is the truth!!!!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Asylum Day 19

I've been busy lately! This past week I started Chalene's 30 Day Challenge. It is a program on organization and time management. It has been good! I've had to think about things that I haven't really put concrete thought and action to. A lot of us make to do lists, some do so every day and some do so only every once in a while, but this program is forming it into a set program. I've really been enjoying it and encourage everyone to check it out. BTW, it is free.

As for my workouts - they have been pretty good. I had a great run the other day! I think it was especially satisfying because I didn't really want to go fast that day but the group shot out of the gate. I had a decision to make: stay slow and have them run away from me or change my mindset a get on my horse. I chose to go fast but I'll be honest, I was ticked about it at first but I dropped that attitude as fast as it came on. I just focused on doing my best and I was extremely proud at the end! My average pace was 8:39 and we ran 5 miles. This was made especially difficult by the 74 degree and 100% humidity weather.

Tomorrow I have Asylum Game Day and Overtime on the schedule. I've done Game Day once and it was really hard but I've never done the Overtime session yet. I was exhausted the first time I did Game Day so I'm really nervous about adding another 15 minutes of Overtime onto the first session!

I've made some nutritious snacks today. I made a couple of different bars (one from Leanness Lifestyle and one from Precision Nutrition). The one from PN is a bit high in fat but the carbs are pretty low and the one from LL is a bit more balanced between the protein and carbs. I also made some muffins - I hadn't made these muffins in a long time and boy did they taste good today! They too are more of a balance of protein and carbs with lower fat levels. My goal is to make a week's worth of snacks so that I can have lots of variety but I don't have to make it and it isn't highly processed.

This came about because the the 30 Day Challenge. I'm going to make not only 4 weeks of dinner menus (which I do pretty regularly) but I'm also going to create 2 weeks of "daily meals" that have lots of variety but are all put together so I don't have to think about it.

Gotta run - Peace!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Asylum: Day 16 - Vertical Plyo

It has been a few busy days since my last post. My hubby has been on vacation since Thursday and I love having the family together but it can really throw off my exercise routine (especially on the days I usually run first). I can ask the kids to go up and watch TV or something if I'm doing Asylum later in the day. This is much harder to do when the hubby is home too.

Onto my my last post I talked about my Game Day session. I have to admit that this workout really wiped me out! However, I did push through on Sunday and I got my Strength session done. I had actually thought about increasing my weights this session but boy am I glad I didn't! It was during this session that I REALLY felt how tired my body was from Game Day. Everything was really hard on Sunday but I did my best and am proud of it. I still struggle with the Progressive D-bell rotation - I can keep up the pace on the first rotation but on the 2nd & 3rd rotations I can't keep up the pace (push-ups really slow me down) and don't get in all 8 reps. I just really try to do as many reps as I can and will continue to work on it until I can get all 8 reps for all 3 rounds!!

On Monday my body rebelled a bit. I woke up to exercise but I could not get moving. My body was totally exhausted....or so I thought. I decided to not do my Asylum Speed & Agility workout but in a couple of hours my body was itching to do some exercise. Monday is one of the days that I usually run with the kids so I decided to do something with them. It turned out that my daughter slept until 10 am so before she woke up my son and I went on a 5 mile bike ride. It was not a very high intensity (I think my son is still a little nervous riding out in other neighborhoods) but I got myself out and that is important! When we got back to the house my daughter was awake so the 2 of us set out for a 5 mile bike ride. The intensity was a bit higher. I'm really proud of how she is riding her bike because as of a couple of months ago she was totally scared to ride a bike. So for me it was a total of 10 miles on the bike - I haven't gone that far in a long time.

Monday night we took our 2nd annual Fireworks Express train ride. We take a nice train ride (about an hour 1 way) and then watch a beautiful fireworks display and then ride the train back. It is a wonderful night but it is also a very late night. Which brings me to this mornings workout. I was supposed to run first thing and then do my Asylum Vertical Plyo session. I did not make my run this morning because of the late night but I did do my Asylum workout! I may also try to get a run in a little later but I'm not going to freak out about it if it doesn't get done. We may also go to the pool today and if we do I may substitute some swimming for my run.

One last thing....I have just started the Chalene Johnson 30-Day Challenge. It is a program to help you set and achieve your goals. One of my assignments is to publicly promise to achieve my Push Goal so here it is: I promise to save $30 per month, track my spending and set a budget for myself. I will incorporate updates on this endeavor in my blog to help keep me accountable.

Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Asylum: Day 13 Game Day!!!

I got back on track yesterday and had a great day! My eating was good and I got back into my Asylum workouts (Back to Core - absolutely love that one!), got in a 2 mile run with the kids and a 1.6 mile bike ride. I would have liked to bike more but we just rode to the library, got some books and rode home. I'm trying not to push the kids too hard - I want them to think of exercise as fun and not a chore because that is the only way they will continue it for a lifetime. I've always said, my kids don't have to be sport super-stars but I want them to be active. I want them to find something that they enjoy and are willing to continue.

So today was Game Day. I've watched the workout but hadn't done it yet so I was kind of nervous. I was right to be nervous - it was a BEAST!!! The workout is broken up into sport groups: running, swimming, soccer etc. Then you do a few different moves - Shaun T. style - that simulate that sport. I was absolutely dripping with sweat when I was finished and boy was I finished!! LOL! My entire body was exhausted! I will admit to needing breaks - my goal will be to get through the entire workout without any extra stops (there are water breaks built into the session).

I was pleased with my ability to recover AFTER breakfast. My hubby and I took the pup out for a walk (aprox. 1.5 miles) and my legs felt good. In fact I still feel pretty good but I am feeling a bit tired - I may take a nap. Tomorrow will be my strength workout and I'm looking forward to that workout. I'm going to stick with my 10# dumbbells and see how I get through everything - I may try to increase the weights a touch on the next strength session.

The other thing I would like to try is the jump rope that came with my Asylum package. I can't use it in my house for the workouts because my ceiling is too low. However, I think I may try to get the rope out and try some of the moves in the program. I would just do it as something extra to get some more footwork in. Agility has never been my strong suit and I think the rope will be good for helping me with that as well as helping me get more power in my legs.

Until next time - have a great July 4th weekend!