Dealing with the motivation drop

It’s inevitable.

You know the moment I’m talking about – when, despite doing well for however long on your eating well and being active goal, you lose any motivation. You get rebellion in its place. Instead of choosing the apple for a snack, you brazenly pick up a chocolate bar a the checkout, knowing that you don’t really need or want it but darn it, you deserve it. You go out for dinner and you deserve to order the massive pasta dish, or chips on the side, or dessert. You’ve been working hard, you deserve it.

And so begins the back slide (no, not backside, although that grows too). You wake up after a big night of eating out and you’re still stuffed, but instead of listening to your body, you keep eating. And who wants to work out on a stuffed belly? Not you, so you take a day off. After all, you deserve it.

Soon enough, you misplace your gym card and your hand weights in front of the TV are gathering dust. Your treat meals go back to being your regular meals and any pretext of deserving it goes out the window.

This usually happens for me after a month because I start seeing scale results quickly as I drop water weight, then start ignoring the scale and focussing on my clothes, which fit so much better. I feel great! So obviously, I lose motivation.


Yeah, that makes no sense to me either. Surely when I’m doing well I should be hella motivated? You’d think but alas not. This is the time I have to fight to stay on track, to convince myself that I deserve better than junk food and sitting on the couch, that my body deserves to be active and fed well. Last week was not a good week eating-wise (other than the fact I ate lots of yummy food) and I ended up sitting more than moving, but it’s okay. This week will be better because I’m not letting the motivation drop Have any more of my energy.

I’m trying to focus on following through more this year and actually doing all the things I think of. Like making more friends and going out more. Like exercising more and writing more. Focusing my efforts instead of surfing the web or flicking channels while propped up on the couch. Television can wait. My health can’t.

How are you going with your goals so far?


Staying motivated even when the results aren’t obvious

Logically, we all know that the weight won’t drop off the minute we walk into a gym, or choose the first healthier meal. We know that the weight crept on and it will more than likely creep off too. We know this but we still want to see results NOW. Scratch that, we want results yesterday. We want to look in the mirror and see a svelte self; we want the numbers on the scale to start descending immediately. We want it all.

Compounding this is the fact that the first week of being on track – be it exercising or eating better, or both – we usually see results. We lose a lot of excess water weight and we feel quite virtuous. So, we step on the scale and voila, the number is lower. This is good, we think. This is easy. Why didn’t I do this years ago? This was me last week – I was down a pound and thrilled. All it took was making a few different decisions, like avoiding chocolate and moving more, and amazingly, I lost weight. Easy.

And then week 2 hits.

We gain it back or don’t lose anything else. Our body betrays us. And we remember why we didn’t do this years ago – because it’s not that easy. It’s bloody HARD actually. This week, my scale deserted me. It stood on the other side of the bathroom and laughed at me. It stayed the same and then, slowly, went up and up. I’ve gained that pound back and more. This week. I exercised more, I drank more water, I ate as well as I did last week and I gained weight. My skin has broken out, the weight hasn’t shifted and I feel like crud for it.

This week, I realised why weight loss is not easy peasy; why staying on course is not a given. It’s easy to stay focused when you’re losing weight because you’re getting a constant reward, but it’s when you’re not losing weight that you need to be even more focused and motivated. It’s when you’re not seeing the results that you need to remind yourself why you’re doing this. It’s not to look fabulous (although that could be one reason) but it’s to be healthy, to be strong; to feel great. It’s to be here for many years more.

Week 2 is when you need to support yourself and everyone else who’s on the course with you.

So this week, I’m still making good choices. I’m still going to get to the gym 4 times this week. I’m still going to drink a riduculous amount of water so I stay hydrated. And hopefully, my body will catch onto the plan and start doing what I want it to do.

I am focused because this is not a sprint. This is a marathon. This is for good.


Staying afloat

I know I’ve been a bit quiet here and it’s ridiculous because I finally have the time to blog and I’m not blogging.

The truth is that I’m struggling to be cheerful at times and I find it hard to blog when I’m, well, slightly depressed. Or rather in a funk.

I’m trying really hard to enjoy my time off and enjoy the sunshine and lovely weather we’ve been having. I mean, doesn’t everyone want to be outside in summer and not in an office? And here I am, with all the time in the world to enjoy the sunshine and I’m bitching about it? RIDICULOUS I say.

But it’s challenging. This is the first time since I was 14 (and 3/4) that I haven’t been working. The minute I could get a job, I did and I didn’t stop. I feel bored and stuck and frustrated. I hate not contributing to the budget at all but I know I’m lucky that The Boy’s salary is enough for us to live on. I feel like I’m losing brain cells on a daily basis and when it comes to conversations, I have very little to contribute. I mean, what did I do during my day? Laundry, grocery shopping, I read a bit. Boring really.

But I need a schedule! I said this the other week. I ignore my own advice (don’t we all do that?)

My schedule is going to include 5 days of gym in some way – heck, I have the time now, no excuses! Even if it’s a home workout on a day like today – it’s pouring outside – I need activity. I also need personal interaction but that’s another story.

I bit the bullet yesterday and signed up for more pilates classes at Peak Pilates which is hardly cheap but worth it since my hip has been feeling better since I started the classes. I didn’t sign up for more personal training though – can’t justify that while I have workout plans. I just need to implement the plans.

People, I need your help. I need pushing here and on twitter (@BelletristNZ). I need you to remind me to be active, to engage my brain and to be thankful. If anyone has any connections in Melbourne, Australia, I also need a job there for the new year. But that’s another story altogether.


Crunch time for new goals

We’re beginning the third week of January. This is prime time for resolutions to start to falter. This is when the motivation we start the year with wears off. The initial weight loss is wearing off and your initial motivation and enthusiasm with your exercise regime is wearing off too. It’s also where real life starts intruding more and more – we’re almost all back at work after the holiday break, routine is drawing us back to reality and suddenly we don’t have time to focus on our new regime all the time.

This is when you should hear DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

(Sidenote: You know that I’ve never actually seen an episode of Lost in Space and yet I know all the pop culture references? Weird.)

I’m facing the exact same challenges. I had an easy few days into the new work year last week until the proverbial hit the fan and I’ve been on the go since Wednesday when I realised that my 2 weeks off over the break was not the best idea in the world. Sure, I deserved a break but I didn’t deserve the fallout and stress. Nonetheless, I’m getting back on top of things but my resolve to exercise everyday has taken a beating. My healthy eating ideas have taken a beating too because, really, after a long day staring at excel, my body craves a treat and a treat that I don’t have to think about or cook. So I’ve been snacking a little more. Luckily, we have fairly healthy things in the apartment so I’m fairly safe but still, my resolve is weakening.

So, I present to you some tips and please chime in with your own!

Change up your exercise

I know, it’s only 3 weeks in but if you’re bored, you’re unlikely to actually do any exercise. You should be challenging yourself so if you’re finding your regime too simple, change it up. Maybe it’s as simple as upping your weights or more like taking a new class at the gym or popping a different DVD into the player. Anything to make it interesting again.  I know that the 30 Day Shred is super popular and I’m thinking that next week may see it come out of hiding of me, but I’m thrilled that Zumba is back up at the gym so my Wednesday nights are set.

Stop boring yourself to tears with dinner

If you think that grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies is all you can eat, there’s no way you’ll stay on track. If you’re cutting out entire food groups, again, you’re unlikely to stay on track. Experiment. Show your taste buds that eating healthy can taste awesome. There are some great recipe sites online with super delicious healthy recipes that don’t take a ton of time. I found some delicious chicken recipes online today that I’m dying to try out. Healthy for sure, but definitely more interesting than grilled. Nothing wrong with grilled though, but it’s nice to have a change.

Stop being a hardass

This is a big one. Stop expecting to be perfect. You’d never judge anyone else like you judge yourself. So you need a night off cooking and you throw together some pasta ready-made from the supermarket. You need to eat, don’t you? One night of pasta is not the end of the world, regardless of what all the Atkins converts say. So you craved chocolate and ate a Snickers? Not the end of the world either. Life is not all-or-nothing, black and white. Life happens. If you slept really badly and are carrying a strain from work and need to be social instead of going for a run, it’s okay. The world is not going to end. Tomorrow you’ll get back on track but let go of the need to be perfect. Make this new regime part of your life and accept that sometimes life happens and get on with it.

I know that I haven’t eaten perfectly recently (that Snickers mention above may or may not be a personal anecdote) but I’m proud that I’m still doing the whole C25k thing (I’m repeating Week 2 at the moment because frankly, Week 3 scares the living daylights out of me right now) and I’m proud that I’m back to making the whole drinking-water thing a priority and getting some sleep at last (it’s amazing how well you sleep when you’re not baking yourself under a too-heavy-duvet). I’m making myself a priority for 2010 and sometimes that means sitting in front of the tv with The Boy, watching Clue (how did I go through life NOT having seen that?). Sometimes life just calls for a Snickers bar. And then tomorrow, I run again.

Any tips for getting through the Week 3 danger zone for goals and resolutions?

Bouncing back

I’ve had another tough week. I won’t bore you with exessive details so here’s a breakdown (not that I’m having one yet):

  • Still exhausted and still working 10+ hour days
  • Still stressed and not really sleeping well because of it
  • Eating better
  • Went to the gym once this week but did manage some home workouts (see below)
  • Number of co-workers I wanted to slap this week: 2
  • Number of paychecks I received this week: 0 (stupid accounts payable)
  • Number of epiphanies: 2

This pattern is likely to continue for a while – this project is challenging to say the least. I am glad to be challenged but sometimes I would prefer some sleep. Minor issue really.

It’s really sad when you get your second wind at 10am.

So, the home workouts. I finally got my 30 Day Shred DVD (Jillian Michaels, you are the devil). It’s crazy – 20 minutes of pain and then suffering the next day. It’s so funny though – every point that I reach where I want to quit, she stops and gives us a pep talk of sorts – almost like she KNOWS when I’m fading. Jillian, are you watching me?

And my epiphanies?

  1. I cannot drink coffee during the workday. We’ve had free Starbucks at work for the past week so I’ve been drinking up. And crashing. And drinking up. And crashing. I know that I’m tired generally but these crashes are not right. And yesterday, when I was *thisclose* to napping at my desk by 2pm, I realised that this could be connected. So we’ll see – I’ll stick to the green tea and same insane schedule and hopefully the crashes will go.
  2. I always thought I was a morning person. After 2 weeks of getting up at 5:30am, I realise that I am definitely not a fan of mornings.

Any relaxation/stress reduction tips for a super stressed gemfit?

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

The best laid plans

After my workout on Friday, I came home and resolved to get to the gym at least once, if not twice over the weekend. After all, it was going to be quiet and cheap weekend, considering I was getting my hair done on Saturday and would therefore be broke.

Oh, how God obviously laughed at my plans.

So, Saturday’s hair appointment took about 3.5 hours (I have a lot of hair to colour!) and I had to get some food in me so I went home and ended up doing laundry and then napping. There goes the gym on Saturday – but no fear, Sunday is still an option. After all, Saturday night is going to be a quiet one … right?

Ummm. Yeah. Quiet one.

N came over and we sat chatting for a while and then decided to go to a pub for some sweet potato fries and a quick drink. We ended up ducking into Scruffy’s and encountered a group of English rugby boys and 2 bottles of white wine.

Let’s just say I got no sleep and spent Sunday nursing the most wicked hangover I’ve had in a long time. Okay, 3 weeks.

And this after promising my trainer I would cut down on the alcohol. Psssht.

I didn’t make it to the gym. I was in bed last night at 9pm and slept through to 6am, when my alarm should have gone off, had I remembered to set it. I’m really glad that I’m a creature of routine because otherwise I would probably still be asleep, oblivious to work and the world around me.

I kinda wish I was.

Oh well, onwards and upwards. Training session tonight with J and then off to see Sex and The City with the girls.

Thursday workout

(I really should come up with a better title, shouldn’t I?)

It was such a gorgeous day today that I had to get out of the office at lunch so I grabbed two of my colleagues and we went for a walk. I would have liked a bit more intensity but considering that S didn’t have her sneakers, it was still nice. We walked through the park nearby and through the streets and got back to the office 45 minutes later. Nice.

Then I got an email from N cancelling our gym session. No worries, I had my gear with me and decided to go anyway. I had to stop and get something to eat before working out though – I had lunch (a piece of pizza, yes, I know) but I was starving. So the whole way to the gym my angel and my devil were arguing.

Devil: Hmmm … I could so go for some sweet potato fries right now

Angel: No, a chicken wrap from Timothy’s will be much better – we could get a green tea with it for the caffeine boost

Devil: True, but those fries and that mayo dipping sauce is heavenly

Angel: Shut up stupid. We’re getting a wrap and that’s that

The Angel won but it was a close call. Getting off the bus gave me the option: turn right for fries, left for a wrap. I won’t lie; I hesitated! But then I remembered and (small) piece of cake I had this afternoon and I picked the wrap. I will have to indulge in those fries at some stage – they’re too darn good to avoid forever!

So, the workout. I picked today to do some cardio and also push my body by doing stuff I either haven’t done for a while or at a higher intensity. I downloaded some new workouts from iTrain and I was keen to try them out.

I started on the recumbent bike and picked an iCycle 20 minute workout and pushed myself as hard as I could during the sprints and climbs. I really need to bring my heart rate monitor to the gym – the monitor on the bike wasn’t working properly but I know I was definitely burning so it was all good.

I followed that up with 20 minutes on the rowing machine to keep the cardio up and get my upper body involved. I would have liked to have used the elliptical tonight but no matter how many machines they have, they’re always taken at 6pm so I’ll have to be quicker next time.

I wasn’t sure what I felt like doing after that – my legs were sore and my back and arms were burning. But, sticking with the theme for the night, I picked the step machine. I haven’t been on this for a long time and I knew I would hurt so I only aimed for 10 minutes at level 7.

Let me tell you, my legs are aching right now and my arms aren’t very happy either. I’ll have to get rubbing with the A535 before bed otherwise I will be useless at training tomorrow. But I’m really glad I pushed myself through it tonight, especially since my eating has not been on an A+ level. Nothing seriously bad, just not great and I’m working on it.

I’m a work in progress 🙂