Me, Me, Me, Me: 6 Ways to Practice Workout Consistency

View from Diamond Head, Oahu

View from Diamond Head, Oahu

It seems lately that I plan workouts and then blow them off, typically coming up with a fancy excuse for not working out. “I’ve had a hard day and resting would be better for me than working out.” “The plantar fasciitis in my right foot is acting up, so best to rest it.” “I have been so productive doing x, y, z instead of working out, so it was worth it to skip my exercise time.” You see where I’m going here. I am quite good at coming up with perfectly reasonable excuses not to work out, and sure, everyone makes the choice to not workout from time to time, but my workout avoidance has been more consistent than my workouts have been lately, and that’s just crazy.

In my last post, I talked about how I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately, and, if I recall correctly, the stats show that women in particular will start to dump their workouts out of their schedules when they’re busy, prioritizing their kids, homes, work, before their workouts. Totally understandable: that’s the life I live, too. It’s not easy to put your fitness first, even when logically you know that you will have more energy, a healthier (and likely longer) life, and are setting a good example for your kids. Maybe, for me, it’s like yoga: workout consistency is a practice.

I’m not going to make some sort of delayed New Year’s Resolution and vow to nail my workouts from this day forward. That would be adding to the overwhelmed feeling I’m been dealing with. My strategy instead is this:

  1. Continue with my daily yoga practice. Since January 1st, I have practiced yoga daily, varying my practice to fit my schedule and needs. I’ve gone to hot yoga classes, yoga’d along to Yoga with Adriene You Tube videos, and sometimes simply spent time in a couple of poses in my bed when that’s all I felt would fit into my day. I have listened to my body and mind and I’ve done what felt good to me.
  2. Set aside time in my schedule for my workouts. Easy enough to do. The execution is what I’ve had trouble with. Still, just because I’ve had trouble following my schedule doesn’t mean that I should give up trying to make time for exercise. This is part of workout consistency as a practice.
  3. Prepare alternatives. The daily yoga has been working for me because I’ve been listening to my mind and body and going ahead with what feels right to me. It’s January in Saskatchewan, and while it’s been absolutely lovely lately (above freezing, even, which is a far cry from the usual -30 with the wind chill), mornings are dark, evenings are dark, and the sidewalks alternate between icy and sloppy. Going out for a walk/run has been less than appealing. Still, I have been professing that I want to run, and for me, running doesn’t happen easily. It requires a walk/run approach and slow progression. And, yes, consistency. Having said that, I am officially giving myself permission to stray from the schedule I set out, listen to my mind and body, and do what feels good, whether that means fitting in a 15 minute run/walk instead of a 50 minute workout, or jumping on the stationary bike in front of Netflix instead of going outside. Part of the deal, though, is that I still have to do something, and yes, my daily yoga practice counts.
  4. Be curious. What excuses am I making for not working out? Why did the time I scheduled for my workout not work? What workouts am I choosing to do? What’s working and what’s not? Take the opportunity to listen to what’s going on in my mind and body.
  5. Mix it up and make it fun. Sure, routine can be good, but my same-ol’-same-ol’ playlist is getting old and my running route is getting boring. It’s time to shake up my iPod, find a different direction to run, and maybe download that zombie running app that I’ve heard about. I will watch The Walking Dead yet again while I stationary bike, because I love it and for no other reason, and I’ll keep trying different yoga classes. I will remember to smile at the sunset or whenever I feel joy rise in my heart during a workout, and I will sing along to my playlists if I feel like it.
  6. Be prepared for workouts. Sometimes the hardest part of starting a workout is getting the gear together. I will do my best to pick out my gear and lay it out or pack it up the day before, especially if the time I’ve set aside for my workout is in the morning or right after work.

Practicing workout consistency is going to take planning, a willingness to be curious about what’s going on in my mind, and a commitment to listening to my body. Basically, it’s all about me.

Day 22 of 30: Veggies Are Back in My Life

My legs are pretty stiff from last night’s workout and stairs are quite the challenge. I’m working out with my trainer again tomorrow morning. Here’s hoping we’re doing upper body/core and giving my legs a bit of a break.

One of my favourite holiday things: a Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mocha. Click on the image to see the nutritional details.

Food journal for today:

  • Starbucks grande skinny peppermint mocha
  • orange
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 c cucumbers
  • All Bran Bar – cinnamon oat
  • banana
  • Oikos key lime yogurt
  • no sugar added chocolate pudding
  • Caesar salad
  • 1 1/2 pieces of garlic bread
  • beef and bean chili
  • 2 small shortbread cookies
  • hot buttered rum
  • orange

I’ve been meal-planning, and it’s made a difference. I’m consuming veggies and fruit with regularity again. Also, I spend way less money on lunches. Today was not a stellar eating day, but much improved over last week.

I’m still feeling wiped. Going to do some stretching and go to bed.

Day 21 of 30: My Legs are Rubber

I’m in bed. It’s 9:30pm. I’m feeling a migraine coming on, but just took a couple of Advil and promise I’m going right to sleep as soon as I post this.

I’ve been feeling lousy the past several days. Could be a mild virus, or the fact that it’s been full-on winter cold here, or that I basically don’t see the sun at all, or that I’ve been working hard lately. Whatever. I just feel blah.

Well, I had a session scheduled with my trainer tonight, and even though I felt dead tired, I sure didn’t cancel. It was just what I needed to get my body going.

It was a tough workout. 2 separate circuits of 4 exercises, with each circuit repeated 4 times. It was all legs and included plyometrics. My heart rate was crazy high and my legs are now rubber. So, basically, it was great. Love that feeling, even though I know that trying to sit down on Saturday is going to be killer.

So now I’ve got a major headache, but I’m chalking that up more so to hormones and the sinus/tension headache that’s been nagging all week, and not so much to my workout. Basically, it’s time to invest in a humidifier and a visit to my massage therapist.

Leg workouts: love ’em or hate ’em?

 

 

Day 12 of 30: So. Much. Sugar.

I have a sugar problem. Once I start, I find that I justsugar cubes want to keep consuming it. Inevitably, I crash and feel terrible. Rinse, repeat.

Anyway, I know sugar/starches are a problem but have some major self-control issues when it comes to both. Tonight, I came home, promptly consumed some leftover Halloween Peeps and a peppermint brownie with vanilla ice cream. Once the sugar blues kicked in and I started to feel nauseous, I decided I’d better take control and get some cardio in. I got into my workout gear and hopped onto my stationary bike for half an hour. Feel much better now.

I have no solution, but thought I’d lay my problem out there, because I’m pretty sure I’m not alone, especially when it comes to mindless eating in the evening.

So, workout – yes. Water – not so much. Vitamin D and acidophilus – before bed. Food journal – nope. Tomorrow is another day.

Day 7 of 30: Food Journal Update

No blogging yesterday, and no food journaling, either – way too long a day. I did workout and did pretty well with the water, but it was the kind of day where you get home and barely have the energy to get ready for bed.

Today was better. Not as tired. Worked out with my trainer tonight – upper body and core. I am going to be so sore in a couple of days!

As part of my November goals, I committed to keeping a food journal. It’s a tool I’ve used in the past and I found it really useful when I previously lost weight. As you might imagine, the food journaling has been interesting. I haven’t altered my diet as of yet, but I am amazed – in a bad way – at how much crap I’m eating and how few vegetables I’ve been getting in. Today was worse that usual, but not by much:

  • Mini Wheats and skim milk for breakfast
  • a slice of Pizza Hut Triple Crown pizza, a Diet Pepsi, coconut Oikos Greek yogurt, and ripple chips and dill pickle dip for lunch (I was ravenous and obviously made bad choices)
  • DQ for supper: cheeseburger and onion rings with a medium Diet Pepsi (in a rush and tired and no food in the house)
  • 3 mini Mars bars
  • banana

Yuck, right?!? No wonder I’ve been feeling like I have no energy and am tired all the time, and I can’t lose weight – I’m eating like I want to pack on a few pounds. I’m fueling my body with crap! Nothing like keeping a food journal to open your eyes to what you’ve really been eating and to motivate you to do better.

I’m definitely keeping up with recording what I eat. Gotta keep myself honest, and it’s really pushing me back toward meal-planning, too, which is a good thing.

Day 5 of 30: A Little More Yoga

The sore throat is nagging again tonight. I’m treating it with herbal tea and going to bed right away. I did not sleep well last night. My daughter, who’s 7 years old and likes to cuddle when she has bad dreams, crawled in with me around 5am this morning.and disrupted the rest of my night. She likes to hog the blankets and bed, so I ended up cold and shivering and nearly falling out the the bed before I shoved her over and got myself an extra blanket. Let’s hope tonight’s sleep is better.

Decided to get some yoga in tonight because I didn’t have the energy for much more than that and I’ve got a kink in my neck. Not sure the yoga helped that much, but my hips feel better.

Was short on water today, but did take my acidophilus and vitamin D. Have not food journaled yet, but plan to before I go to bed. Got a workout in, too.¬†I’m working out tomorrow morning, and then I’m working out with my trainer Thursday night. Friday will be either a cardio or yoga day, and then I’ll lift some weights Saturday. I’m thinking yoga or cardio on Sunday – maybe both. What do you do when you have a sore throat?

 

 

Day 4 of 30: A Little Light Cardio

I’m feeling a cold coming on. I’ve got that sore, tight feeling in the back of my throat that not only suggests that I’m getting sick but also makes me feel sad because it’s the same feeling I get when I’m trying not to cry.

A round-up of today:

  • Food journaling – check
  • Workout – check (5 min warmup, 15 min moderate cardio, 5 min cooldown)
  • Acidophilus and vitamin D – check
  • Enough water – check

I was going to lift weights tonight, but since I was feeling a little under the weather, I decided what I needed was cardio, just not at too hard a pace. I also figured I needed a bit of a mood lift and scrounged through my DVD collection to find a movie to watch while I rode my stationary bike. I wanted something funny but not too cheesy and dug through my drawers and bins until I found Love Actually. How can you not laugh at Hugh Grant dancing to the Pointer Sisters? I also have a total crush on Andrew Lincoln (Officer Rick from The Walking Dead) and will watch pretty much anything with Colin Firth.

Is there a movie that lifts your spirits every time you watch it?