Motivational Journey Part 2

“After The Crowd Leaves ….”

My last blog post was about my motivational journey from competing in one bodybuilding competition and trying to find my instrinic motivation to compete in a second show 3 weeks later. I never have backed down from a goal I set for myself whether it be a personal best time in swimming or completing a half marathon. It took a lot of self pride and reflection to say no to the second show. At first I felt guilty and disappointed in myself because I couldn’t find the intrinsic motivation to continue to the second show but sometimes saying no is just as a true test of strength as saying yes. The other areas in my life have become neglected, like an overgrown lawn, and I couldn’t be my best self with a manicured front lawn but an overgrown backyard ūüėČ

Now I have an entire year stretching out in front of me and your probably thinking how will you stay focused?! Having a coach keeps me accountable, if I miss a workout I have to email my coach to change my entire chart. My charts to me feel like they are written in stone!  I never miss a workout or fall off my macro chart when I am working with my coach but my mental state needs a little break & relaxtion before I have to go back under a guided fitness and nutrition plan. Without someone keeping me accountable sometimes it does get easy to miss a workout especially when I am near the beach everyday.

Being in atheltics by the time I could walk instilled a deeply ingrained intrinsic motivation into the make-up of who I am, It has become a part of me, like my toes or hair. Even without a small goal insight or coach its hard to keep myself from not being active! But one of the other ways I help myself head to the gym easier is by keeping it interesting and fun. Every week is a different workout plan, change of reps or exercise, I complete a long run outside on the beach, and I see all my teammate’s at our coach’s boot camp class. Being in charge of my own fitness and nutrition plan will also help me be able to be independent and do it on my own. It also uncovers unhealthy habits that peak back up, over exercising, which allows me to really work on those habits and kick them back to the curb!

 

I look forward to part 3 coming this fall ūüôā 

Mental Toughness Exercise for Fitness: Increase Your Confidence 

“Increase Your Confidence”

Practicing a mental toughness exercise daily while on your fitness journey will keep you  from quitting early on by strengthening your mind through challenges and fueling your motivation drive.

John Corcoran has created his own 4 mental toughness exercises from the art of war. One of the exercises stood out to me:

#1 Train Yourself to Increase Your Confidence

Confidence is a vital self tool that will carry you along on your fitness journey so you can complete the goal you set at Day 1. By not increasing one’s confidence then you have already decided, before you even began, that you will fail and not reach your goal. One way you can increase your confidence is by creating small goals for yourself that you KNOW you can obtain. Set a small goal for yourself each week to accomplish by the end of the 7 days. By achieving these small goals  you will slowly increase your confidence every week.

What will your small goal be for this week?

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Read the entire article here:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/07/17/keep-your-head-4-exercises-for-building-your-mental-toughness-inspired-by-war/

Mental Toughness Exercise: Find Instrinsic Motivation 

Intrinsic Motivation

As my fitness journey has gone from running, to swimming, to bodybuilding I have only succeeded and pushed myself to higher limits when I have found my own personal intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation for example, rewarding yourself with a pedicure or new workout clothes if you went to the gym 5 days this week, will only motivate you in your fitness journey in the short term. If you want to succeed, crush your goals, and have a fitness lifestyle you have to find your intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is not as easily defined as extrinsic motivation is. If you asked me to describe my intrinsic motivation right now I would need a few minutes to reflect and think deeply about it. There was no deciding moment or event where I can say I found my intrinsic motivation. I had intrinsic motivation before having my son – I wanted to gain the normal amount of weight during pregnancy- but I had to re-find it after giving birth to my son. It was very hard to wake up and even get off the couch because I was tired and quite frankly had zero motivation of any kind. In the beginning I had to force myself to put workout clothes on and go to the gym, which usually rarely happened. I was just going through the motions of eating my vegetables, going to the gym twice a week, and lifting weights. All of a sudden I found myself running out the door, counting down the minutes until it was just me, my sweat, and the weights. If you find yourself having to talk yourself into heading out for a run everyday or only going to the gym once a week just keep going through the motions, keep pushing yourself, and one day you will look behind you and find you already found your own intrinsic motivation.

What is your intrinsic motivation?

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Is What You Want, REALLY What You Want?

“You probably know to ask yourself, ‘What do I want?’, Here’s a better question ¬†“

Right now I am a working/stay at home mom and since I graduated three years ago with my Masters I have been trying to get a “foot in the door”job to jumpstart my career. Three years of interviews and rejections definitely wears on your body, mind, and soul. My frustration level has reached an all time high and then my father sends me this article. I not only enjoyed reading it to help me in my personal situation but I love how he also mentions fitness.

“You probably know to ask yourself, ‘What do I want?’, Here’s a better question ” is the title of an article written¬†by Mark Manson that¬†completely altered my perspective not only on my personal life but fitness as well. Many of the difficulties and challenges that you face in your personal life can also be related to your fitness journey. I wrote a blog post a while ago about how saving for a vacation equals long hours at work & a second job. These “sacrifices” are very similar to the challenges you face to achieve your fitness goal: early mornings or late nights & declining social events so you can afford your gym membership.

Mr. Manson talks about how we all want the perfect life: romantic relationship full of sex, the second vacation home on the beach, and a 4 hour work week. What we all seem to skip over and miss is that they didn’t just wake up one day married and rich¬†or¬†with a six pack of abs. What you don’t see are the 60 hour work weeks or the 5am gym sessions before they take their children to school and go to their 9-5 job.

Many of us want the¬†results,¬†the 6 pack abs, but we don’t want to endure the sacrifices that get us to those results. When we say, “I want to lose 10 pounds!”, actually should be stated, “Do I want to put in the sacrifices to lose 10 pounds?”. Mr. Manson states that if you really wanted that second vacation home or the lean physique then you wouldn’t mind and actually would enjoy the sacrifices and struggles¬†on the journey to your goal.

Think about what you want, who you want to be, where you see yourself in 5 years…If you really want it then do you see yourself enduring¬†the sacrifices head on?

*My first bodybuilding competition Sept 2015. You definitely have to really want to do it because¬†of the strict diet of¬†16 long weeks of prep for a competition show! Many just want the lean physique and not the hard work to get there & many do not compete again…

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Monday Motivation

Sometimes when a goal is far away it is hard to stay on track and complete the small steps or the small goals that will ultimately lead you to your DREAM goal. I have 5 weeks left of my prep, out of 16 weeks, for my bodybuilding show. 5 weeks! So close right? Compared to starting off at 16 weeks. But the last few weeks are the hardest because your diet becomes strict (no dairy or protein bars) and your dirty treats only can be 5% of your total macros, coming from a girl who loves her dessert! Your also always tired & run down so the weeks tend to drag out. Temptation becomes harder to resist and also easier to indulge because you have to stay on track 100% everyday . Today I really needed this blog post because I lost my motivation over the weekend and I needed to reflect and think about what my motivation is going to be for Motivation Mondays so that I can conquer this week 100%. Today and each day this week I am going to picture myself winning my Pro Card, the atmosphere, the audience, and the emotions/feelings I will be feeling.

 

‚ÄúSmall Daily Improvements are the Key to Long-Term Staggering Results”

Motivational Monday

Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow

 

So you created a goal for yourself, “tone my lower body”.¬†What if you have self-doubts and¬†think that this is a goal that you will never obtain? I see a lot of postings on social media about moms who have given up, place the white flag in the sand, and stated¬†that their new body is what they are now going to have to live with. I disagree with this line of thinking! Everyone who sets a goal for themselves can achieve it¬†if¬†they set themselves up for success. One way you can do this is by creating small successes for yourself, little goals that you know you can achieve. Going back to the goal of toning your lower body, maybe your first success would be that the first week you work on your form, by watching videos, asking friends, or an employee of your gym, and perform body weight squats. The next week you may hold a 5 pound weight in your hand. These small goals, goals that you know you can achieve, will keep you motivated to continue on the path towards your ultimate goal. This week write down a small goal that you know you can achieve!

Now rise & grind!

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Motivational Tip

“When You Feel Like Quitting, Think About Why You Started”

 

Thursday. By now you probably have completed a few workouts and now you only have one more workday before the weekend begins! If you have had big wins or small wins so far this week reflect back on those wins you have accomplished. Now I want you to think back to why you started this fitness journey. I started my new fitness journey a year ago, April 2015, when I decided to compete in a bodybuilding competition. I have my next show in 8 weeks where I plan on beating the girl in the picture below! As a former college athlete the bodybuilding competitions have given me a new challenge, a new goal, and a new path on my fitness journey. As each week goes by it does not get easier, BUT you become stronger. Lets finish out this week strong and be one step closer to our goal!

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Motivational Monday

 

Spotify. When I need extra motivation to go to the gym I will browse through their “New Releases” page and find a new album that I haven’t listen to yet and I will save it to my playlist. I will grab a mini peppermint patty or a chocolate & oats fiber one bar and run out¬†the door! Knowing that I have new songs to listen to motivates me to complete workout #1 for the week ūüôā What will motivate you to exercise today?

 

 

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Today’s Motivation

“When your Good Workout Week Has a Hiccup”

 

So you have sweated it out, made some PR’s, and completed 2-3 workouts so far. BUT¬†then the inevitable happens….Did you drive all the way to the gym and¬†forgot your sneakers? Halfway through your workout week and extremely sore? Didn’t pack your post-workout snack and hangry (opted for last nights pizza instead of the much needed carbs & protein)? ¬†First thing, remember that every challenge and obstacle is only going to make you more¬†mentally tough.¬†This will lead you to be able to continue your fitness journey with more ease! Don’t let this one “bad” moment take away from your PR’s or¬†THREE¬†completed workouts. Our brain is wired to focus on the bad rather than the good but you can retrain your mind to focus on¬†all the positive moments you have collected so far. And that tomorrow is a new day!! Stay in the moment and don’t let a little hiccup keep you from further progressing and challenging yourself ūüôā

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Today’s Motivational Tip

Monday morning is just around the corner and, especially after a holiday weekend, you may start to feel stressed about all the tasks you have to accomplish in the upcoming week. Everyday this week use just one of my following tips to help keep your stress level at bay. This will allow you to not only stay focused during the day but it will help you maximize the results from your workouts.

  • Eat oatmeal in the morning: Not only does the complex carbs of oatmeal provide a sense of fullness & long lasting energy, but the complex carbs releases a neurotransmitter, serotonin, which naturally gives you a sense of calmness
  • Dark chocolate: When you eat dark chocolate¬†your brain releases feel good¬†endorphins
  • Green tea:¬†Theanine, found in tea, is known to release “alpha waves” in the brain, which is a signal for relaxation
  • Walk outside: Just 5-10 mins of sunlight will relax you. The sunlight triggers the release of serotonin in your body
  • Join a book club/knit club/mommy group, grab a coffee, or meet up with a friend: Each of these social interactions will release hormones that will counteract the effects of stress

 

On Monday, which stress reliever will you choose?