Okay, so this is the I NEED MOTIVATION post. For the last seven-and-a-half months, I’ve embarked on a serious fitness and nutrition journey.
On March 23, I hired Steve Bechtel, of Elemental Gym, to be my personal trainer. I started training five days a week, two of which are high intensity strength, cardio and metabolic sessions with Steve and three of which are Intervals, epic long day hikes and more endurance-type stuff.
I drastically improved my diet. I’m only eating healthy foods, and on most days I’m limiting my calorie consumption to 10% of my body weight. I’m not eating much bread. I’m not eating pasta, potatoes, rice, chips, and for the most part, no desserts or sweet treats. I feel great and have more energy as a result.
If you’ve been following my fitness posts, you’ll recall that in the last seven months, I’ve lost 23 pounds and 12.5% of fat. I’m thrilled. I’m where I want to be with my weight and am in pretty good physical condition. I grateful for my progress.
Then Halloween happened. And yes, I got the memo. (That is, Steve’s ETC November newsletter dated Nov. 1 that featured a photo of candy corns on the front cover with the caption: Halloween is over. The leftover candy either goes in the trash or on your butt).
Didn’t matter. I figure I probably ate 12 small candy bars on Oct. 31.
Darn it. Until now, I’ve been steadfast in my discipline when it comes to my improved diet changes. And interestingly, on Oct. 31, I felt strong enough to resist the temptation of the candy, but for some reason I felt like punishing myself, which meant indulging and then paying the price for it.
By price, I mean the mental anguish I would put myself through for straying and giving in to crap food, which ultimately made me feel physically crappy and mentally crappy. I’m talking about the “wrath of Shelli” that I’m capable of placing upon myself. Trust me it’s far worse than the pound I may have gained as a result of snarfing a bag of baby candy bars. Still, I looked the candy in the face, and I ate it, 12 times. And it was delicious, thank you very much.
This fact, combined with the fact that I’ve already achieved my immediate weight and fitness goals, and the fact that the days are shorter, it’s dark earlier, winter’s coming — and let’s see, what other reasons can I come up with to justify falling off the wagon? â€“ made me think this might be a swell time to write a post about how one can keep motivated to stick to their fitness and nutrition regimen.
Because how to keep motivated is a challenge for me right now.
Don’t get me wrong. I know too well how I felt before achieving my current fitness level and weight goal. I will not let myself return there. That, I know.
But I do worry about how I’m going to retain the will and discipline between now (Nov. 6) and when the snow clears and the long days return so I can continue my epic, 25-mile day hikes in my beloved Wind River Range (mid-June). Sure, I will skate ski and snowshoe a lot this winter, but we need snow for that. Right now there isn’t enough snow for that. And yet the hills are muddy or have just enough snow to keep me from going too far into them. I know, woe is me.
The gym, well I like it. In fact, as far as gyms go, I love Elemental Gym. But I’m working out there five consecutive days every week. I’ve been in a serious relationship with both the Elliptical Trainer and the Stepmill for almost eight months, and frankly, I’m running out of ways to keep the excitement alive in those particular relationships. Weâ€™ve moved well beyond the honeymoon phase.
Thankfully, my two sessions with Steve each week are still something I look forward to, even if he does have me doing several sets of dead-lifts that equal my weight. (Deadlifts are not my favorite exercise. I prefer to call themÂ dreadlifts.) As a coach, Steve mixes it up for me but always drives me to become stronger and work harder. And, he holds me accountable. These are all reasons I look forward to my two workouts with him each week — even if they do scare me a little.
Check out this recent workout with Steve, some of which he captured on video. Does this look like fun, or what? Just think, this could be you:
So right now, I know I need my personal trainer more than ever. After all, he is my â€œcoach.â€ If lack of motivation is an issue for any of you reading this, I would suggest you consider hiring a personal trainer. If youâ€™re one of the 6,937 lucky people living in Lander, WY, Elemental Gym has several great coaches. I know them all, and I have several friends who are reaping benefits from their tutelage. (See bottom of this post for their contact information)
In addition to having a personal trainer to coach you and keep you working at a high level, having a specific goal to shoot for is another trick to overcoming lack of motivation. In the past Iâ€™ve trained for trail marathons and 50k trail running events to fulfill this need. Pick a 5k or 10k snowshoe or skiing event, or travel somewhere tropic for Spring Break and start the vacation with a running event.
One March we traveled to Hawaii to do the 37.2-mile Run to the Sun for this reason. It was a great way to start our spring break vacation and it kept us working out hard during the winter months. I’m looking for a similar event for 2010, but very importantly, I have six Wind River Day Hikes that range in distance from 24-32 miles each lined out on my calendar for next summer. These hikes are posted on our refrigerator as a reminder that helps motivate me.
And, I do still have my goal of doing 20 pull-ups. It definitely can’t hurt to have a very specific and measurable goal to work toward. Iâ€™m not yet able to do 20 pull-ups so that keeps me going back to the gym for more.
By the way, this motivation slip just started a week or two ago. During that time I tweaked my back a little, and our dog of 14.5 years, Taiga, passed away. Also, we experienced turn-your-clocks-back-an-hour, which truly marks the onset of Fall in my world. So maybe I have a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “Winter Depression.” In which case, I may just invest in a “Feel Bright Light Visor” and be good to go. Regardless, I’m hoping this lack of motivation I’m experiencing will be short-lived.
The point of this post is that at one time or another all of us lack motivation to become or remain fit and healthy, for one reason or another.
I’d love to hear how some of you confront lack of motivation in your training and health. Share with me if you’d like…
In the meantime, just talking about all this has been helpful. I’m feeling better already. Thanks for your continued reading and support. Yours in fitness, Shelli. xoxo
Up next, I will write about one trick I use to confront â€“ and successfully fight off â€“ junk food temptations. Because, other than the aforementioned Oct. 31 candy bar consumption episode, I’ve managed to do pretty well at fighting off all junk food for the last eight months. I will share one of my tricks for achieving that. :>
Elemental Gym has a fantastic gym, some terrific programs and classes that will help you achieve better fitness. And, I might add, some great personal trainers: Steve Bechtel, Ellen Bechtel, Jagoe Reid, and Sophie Mosemann.