2015 – Finish with a BANG!

finish line ahead

It’s the beginning of December and I’m saying to myself (as usual) – “where has this year gone?” Time has flown by. At least that’s what we always say. When the New Year starts it’s hard to see the end, but once the end comes it always feels like the time has flown by.

I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve been able to accomplish this year. What did I have on my to-do list in January that still remains now? Did I lose those unwanted pounds? Did I grow my business? Truth be told, the year started out well. I was excited and motivated and knocking things off the list. I participated in a health conference promoting healthy living. I started a nonprofit organization that’s intended to create community gardens in urban neighborhoods. I even made connections in the community garden world in Atlanta. I met people who were more than happy to assist me in my new endeavor.

That sounds like a lot, but somewhere along the way I managed to get off track. I lost my wind about a third of the way through the year, especially this last quarter. It’s hard to say why or where it all began to go south. If I had to guess, I’d say I lost my focus. I started allowing myself to be distracted by people and things in my life. I know from prior experience that when you’re trying to accomplish goals it requires laser focus. That’s true for both professional and personal goals.

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I lost my focus is I kept waiting to “feel” like doing something. That’s not how it works. Getting started creates the energy and momentum needed to keep going. If I sit and wait for the motivation, nothing happens. Energy begets energy. I’ve noticed that the more I sit around and watch TV, the more I want to sit around and watch TV.

The other part of discipline is knowing that discipline comes from doing it. The more you do the thing you don’t want to do despite how you feel about it, the easier it is to do it. I’m learning to leave my feelings out of the equation.

So, even though we’re in the final month of the year, here are some tips to get back on track in order to start the New Year with some momentum.

  1. Remember why you started in the first place. What compelled you to set that goal? What is it your health? Your lackluster job?  Your children? If those reasons still exist, then you need to get back on course.
  2. Identify what you’re willing to do to get to the end result. Determine what it is that you’re willing to give up to ensure you reach your goal. Anything worth having requires sacrifice.
  3. Don’t wait to feel ready, just get started. Once you start you’ll be able to create energy that you can build on. The more you do, the more you can do.
  4. Remember, you have everything you need at this moment to do what you need to do. It’s not dependent upon having more money, more resources, or more people. Do what you can with what you have. Trust in the fact that you will always have what you need at the time you need it. Sometimes that means doing something on a smaller scale, but do what you can.
  5. Believe in yourself. You are skilled, talented, and you can do anything you set your mind to.

So, as we prepare to wrap up this year in a few short weeks I encourage you to get back on your saddle and finish strong!  Until next time…

Peace, Love & Fitness!

How to Gain Momentum and Reach Your Fitness Goals

For the past month I have been working with a trainer to try to get ready for the New Year. There are some things I want to accomplish professionally, and for me, the success of those endeavors start with me being fit. I want to be my best self as I launch out into unchartered territory. If I feel secure with myself it gives me the confidence to pursue my dreams.

leapingimage

Prior to starting this process I was feeling really disconnected. I actually sought out a trainer to help me get some motivation and gain some momentum before the New Year. I had been working out and eating right, but for the most part, I was just going through the motions. That led to a plateau. I was no longer making any progress on my own. I might be a health coach, but I certainly find myself in situations where I need a little inspiration and motivation. If I don’t take care of me, I can’t be there for others, including my clients.

I know if I’m accountable to someone I tend to do much better. I also know if I’m paying for a service, I perform better. I don’t believe in wasting money so I have to get the most bang for my buck. I have to get the results I’m paying for.

I struggled the first couple of weeks. I floundered around trying to get into a groove. I needed to get accustomed to working out in the mornings again, and most importantly trying to track my eating. For months I’ve been winging it. That was not working for me.

Now that I’m a month into this process, I’m learning some lessons that are helping me get some footing and hopefully make some traction before I wrap this up this month. So, I wanted to share some of those lessons. Here are some things that make it easier to accomplish your health goals.

  1. Have a plan. It’s important for me to structure everything. I schedule when I’m going to workout and when I’m going to eat. Having a schedule helps me avoid getting off track. Also, plan for the unexpected or scheduled deviations. If you know you are going to be getting home late or traveling a lot, pack your meals and your snacks. This will keep you from getting hungry and avoid fast foods.
  2. Track your food. Logging my food is the best thing I can do for myself. Writing down everything I eat helps me avoid eating bad food. For me, I find it less appealing to eat a bag of potato chips when I know I have to log it later. When I don’t write down my food I tend to underestimate how much I’m eating.
  3. Get plenty of rest. If I’m going to be successful with my strenuous workouts I have to get my rest. If I’m working out at 6am, I can’t stay up until midnight. Recovery is so important when you’re trying to lose weight, and especially build muscles. Research shows that people who get inadequate sleep weigh more because they tend to snack more on sugar and caffeine to help them get energy.
  4. Make small sacrifices now to get big results later. I have to say no to things that will interfere with my eating and workout schedule. I know that I can’t alter my schedule too much because it’s so hard for me to get back on track. Therefore, I consider it a small sacrifice to skip a few events or dinners with friends so I can feel great later.
  5. Count every victory. I have to admit that I get really frustrated when I don’t see big gains on the scale. I’ve had those moments during this process. But I have to still acknowledge other gains I’ve made. I’ve lost inches in my waist and hips. I’m stronger and getting more tone in my arms. These are things that encourage me when I want to give up.

I’m using these lessons to help me complete this process. I hope you can adopt some of these lessons for yourself. Just remember, change is not easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve only been at this for a month. I never intended this to be a quick process. I understand that it’s a journey and there will be highs and lows throughout. Nevertheless, I have decided that I will stick this process out as long as it takes for me to hit my goal. I won’t quit when I’m tired, I’ll quit when I’m finished.

By the way, if you need a little extra support to gain some momentum to reach your 2015 goals, I will be offering a 21-Day Jumpstart Challenge in January. Check it out. If you feel it’s for you, I hope you’ll join us.

Now, I want to hear from you. What do you do to help you stay on track when you’re pursuing your goals?

How to Get Through the Holidays Without the Weight Gain

We are less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, which signifies the official start of the holiday season. That means people will be spending, partying and eating way too much. Then as the New Year rolls around most people will vow to lose weight and get in shape.

scale with santa hat

So, I suggest we get proactive. I’m not saying you should forgo the great food over the holidays. Let’s face it, the food is one of the best parts of the holidays. Just don’t over indulge. In order to do that you need a plan. I’ve come up with a list of seven things you can do to avoid the holiday weight gain.

1. Eat a good breakfast. Don’t make the mistake of saving your calories until Thanksgiving dinner. You end up starving yourself and then eat way too much. If you eat a good breakfast and some nutritious snacks throughout the day you won’t be starved at dinner and you will eat less.

2. Decide your “must haves”. What are your absolute favorite indulgences that you cannot do without? Is it sweet potato pie? Macaroni and cheese? Fried chicken? Whatever it is, make the decision that you will indulge on those foods. Knowing that you will be able to have it without the guilt eliminates the desire to overindulge. Most people tend to binge eat on foods they feel are off limits.

3. Lighten up where you can. To make allowances for your indulgences, cut back in other areas. Put more veggies on your plate- instead of starches, drink water instead of sweetened beverages, and eat on smaller plates. Most importantly, avoid going back for seconds.

4. Make sure your meal is balanced. In most households people are just loading their plates with everything that has been prepared with no regard for balance. I know in my family it’s not unusual for someone to have potatoes, corn, cornbread dressing, and mac and cheese on one plate. That’s way too many carbs in one sitting. Ensure you have carbs, proteins and fats on your plate. Just by adding proteins and fats it’s going to keep you full longer and keep you from craving more sugars and starches later.

5. Don’t eat everything just because you can. Just because it’s all there in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat everything. Only get what you need or just get the foods you really want.

6. Skip the leftovers. One of the biggest problems with holiday eating, especially Thanksgiving, is the amount of food that is left over. As a result, people are eating heavy meals throughout the weekend. If you’re hosting the dinner, make sure you give your guests food they can take home so you’re not left with all the excess.

7. Get in some activity – I know it’s a holiday, but that doesn’t mean you should take a holiday from your workout. This is the day you absolutely need to hit the gym or the park for a quick run. In fact, most gyms are open half the day on Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t get in a typical workout in the morning, you can at least take a brisk walk through your neighborhood after dinner. Grab a couple of family members you want to catch up with and take a couple of laps.

These are some simple, practical things you can do to be proactive and avoid excess weight gain. If you take the right steps and have a plan before the holidays begin, you will have less weight to lose in the New Year.

Of course, once the New Year kicks off, I have a plan to help you “Get Lean in 2015.” My Get Fit FAST – 21 Day Jumpstart Program will kick off on Monday, January 5th.
I will also be teaching a Tabata Bootcamp beginning Wednesday, January 7th. I’d love to have you join us.

Registration information for both events is posted on my website under Upcoming Events.

Question: Which one of these tips do you think will be most helpful to you?