Staying Motivated : Overcoming that Stubborn Stalemate

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When it comes to sticking with a fitness regime and/or new diet, there is a lot more of a psychological aspect to it than most would think. Your head has to be in it to win it! People who have a goal, or something to work towards are far more likely to succeed. However, when you have been working towards that same goal for a long period of time without seeing any sort of progress, it can get discouraging.

When I was in school, we learned a lot about setting up workout plans and making goals. Switching things up every once in a while, or evaluating what you are doing currently, can really help gain a new perspective. Our bodies are really good at adapting to changes and if you keep things the same for too long, it’s going to adapt. Take a step back and see what is working and what needs to be changed.

404329_10151332277480647_1617047419_nNo one is perfect and even I admit my motivation has been shot a few times during this current weight loss journey. I have struggled with the same 5 lbs over the last few weeks on my way to my first milestone goal. I know what I need to do or should do to get there, but how do you overcome the stalemate blues?

 

  1. One method I liked using when I was in university training for the half marathon was posting motivational quotes all over my walls. I would look at it every single day and on days when I didn’t feel like going to the gym those words made me feel good. Also, there is a reason why most of my workout playlist contains strictly motivational songs. Working out can be fun, but for the most part it can be pretty hard. Motivational music, I find helps me push a little farther… plus confidence guys… confidence.. ūüôā [You can find my workout playlist here: –>here¬†¬†<–]
  2. Have a goal, whether it be to lose weight, be healthy…It doesn’t have to be a huge goal, just something small. Make small goals or milestones on your way to a bigger goal or destination.
  3. Be realistic and patient with yourself; please don’t compare your progress with someone else’s – you are on a different journey. As I mentioned in my last post, everyone wants a quick fix but very few are willing to put the work into it. Know that it is not going to be instant! Also know that everyone’s bodies are different and are not going to change at the same speed.¬† I have known a few couples who have gone through weight loss journey’s and one gets upset when the other loses more than them. Focus on you but also celebrate each others’ victories!¬†There are going to be f-ups, learn from them and move on.CIMG0579
  4. Do it for yourself – there should always be some sort of self aspect. Similar to rehabilitation for addictive habits, if a person doesn’t want to change for themselves, as much as people try, nothing is going to change.
  5. Switch things up (this ties into number 2). With fitness planning, you should be changing up your workout routine every month or so and making it more difficult. Challenge yourself! You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for! Our bodies are amazing and have the ability to do so much – don’t limit yourself just because of fear.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! No one has all the answers 100% of the time. There are people out there that may specialize or have knowledge about certain things. Reach out and keep an open mind – other people’s knowledge is your learning opportunity. Also, this works in some cases (not all), working towards goals in a group – whether it be as a couple, in a running group…be each other’s cheerleaders, as I mentioned in number 3 – celebrate your victories and learn from failure.
  7. Keep yourself surrounded by a supportive and influential bunch – Nothing hits your motivational psyche harder than being surrounded by a bunch of Negative Nancy’s or Downer Daves. Surround yourself with people who are good influences and associate yourself with those that will be supportive to your goals. Friends and family who are truly supportive, will support your best interests and¬†cheer you on; they should want you to be your best and truest self. Don’t get bogged down by toxic relationships and as I said in my last post, don’t ever feel bad for putting yourself first once in a while – especially when it involves your health!

This post turned into more of a rant and a bit of self-reflective activity, but this is how I have been feeling lately. I doubt I am the only one…I know most fitness bloggers/lifestyle bloggers will only post about the good.. the victories – journey’s are not all about sunshine and butterflies..there is no journey¬†without the bad and the struggles.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope this post has helped you!

Until next time,

Ashley<3

[**As a side note, if you would like to keep up to date about what’s going on with the shop, etc, please check out the Mystic Moon Emporium Facebook and Instagram pages for frequent updates/posts.]

 

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Fitness 2018: Almost 10 lbs Down

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Me running the Scotia Bank Half Marathon back in 2012

Hello all! I know it’s been a while since my last entry! I hope you all had a lovely Easter! A lot has happened since February and I have been working hard towards my goals! This whole blogging thing is new to me so in truth, it took me a while to figure out what to write for this next fitness update.

The human body is an amazing thing! It can store energy, it holds life, gives life and you can sculpt it however you like! Research in science have made so many break thru’s when it comes to human anatomy and how the body works. When undergoing some sort of change to my body, I like to refer to it as my own little science experiment…strange I know.

Rule number 1 to self-care: Never let anyone tell you it’s selfish to put yourself first once in a while, especially when it involves your health.¬†I fully acknowledge that gaining weight like I did was entirely my fault.¬†I lost my motivation after the wedding and though I already made so much progress at that point, I stopped¬†caring about myself. When you stop caring about yourself, it goes downhill from there.¬†Learn from your mistakes and move on.

409503_10151332285210647_1246205432_nEveryone wants a quick fix but the reality is, it is going to be a slow, steady process. Knowing what my body is capable of if I put the work into it (running 20-40 km’s in one bout) and not being there physically right at this moment,¬†is frustrating. I want to do so much but I am limited to what my body can do now.¬†I have a life rule I like to tell myself often and I like to think I can incorporate it into my fitness journey : if you are unhappy about something, do something about it. Be patient and consistent with yourself! I know even I struggle with not beating myself up over small failures; this is something I battle with daily. If I have a day when I go over my calorie count or don’t make it to the gym when I know I had no excuse not to, I get guilty and it becomes a downward spiral of negative thoughts. If you have a bad eating day, or a day when you can’t make it to the gym, pick yourself back up and move on. Fitness journeys are equally about the mental as they are about the physical.

I have managed to lose about an average of a pound a week since February, but not without a bit of resistance (no eating plan, no personal trainer, and no diet gimmicks). Some may view this as very little progress, but as I have learned from my schooling, a small bit of progress is still progress.¬†Also,¬†the faster one loses the weight, it’s typically harder to maintain the weight afterwords.¬† Maintenance¬†can prove to be a harder challenge than burning off the weight, I remember this from my weight loss journey over 6 years ago…

In my current journey, another one of my biggest struggles have been recovering from days of overeating or overindulgence. I’m not sure about any of you, but when I eat certain foods I bloat up like a balloon, experience water retention, and overall I feel terrible for days after. It usually takes me a few days to recover. I have found that on days like this, to get rid of the bloating it helps to drink lots of water (hot herbal teas throughout the day can help too), avoid¬†trigger foods to give your gut a rest (for me its staying away from dairy, and heavy carbs), make sure you are taking your fish or omega supplements to help with inflammation, and exercise.

Back when Thierry and I were living out-of-town for Thierry’s schooling, one of his teachers recommended something called intermittent fasting. I know what you’re thinking, fasting can’t be healthy ; you’re essentially starving yourself! Actually, when done properly this can be pretty beneficial as it gives your gut a rest and acts almost like a reset button to your digestion tract. Thierry actually lost close to 40 lbs by doing this method a while back. I may make a post about this in future days.

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Believe it or not, this was 16 year old me

Since my last post, I joined back up with my old soccer team as motivation and a way to get out of the house. When I was a kid, I played soccer and it was all I ever wanted to do. Eventually, I ended up playing competitively for a number of years. I had to give it up to concentrate on University and my studies.¬†Despite rejoining a team afterword’s, I had to give it up again when Thierry and I moved – my work schedule always ended up getting in the way.¬† Athletically, I’m nowhere near where I was in my prime years, but I still look forward to getting back into it. I have been training to be successful¬† and my fit bit has kept me active (best¬†investment¬†by the way)¬†and tracking calories on My Fitness Pal has kept me accountable.

The thing I like about my Fit bit is it also tracks activity done during the day when I am not necessarily at the gym doing an intense workout. Most people don’t realize their bodies actually burn calories when they are not doing anything.¬† The challenges for the Fit Bit are pretty awesome and fuels my competitive side. I have been able to sync it up with the My Fitness Pal application to keep track of my food and exercise/sleep and water habits. Despite the Fit Bit app already having an option to track food directly on it, I have found the My Fitness Pal app to have a larger database for foods for scanning bar codes.

One goal I made with myself was for example, to stop buying my lunches and to eat more whole and natural foods. People don’t realize how many preservatives and extra ingredients that are put in foods you get from eating out. Staying wholesome, at least I know what is going in my body and that it will be nutrient rich foods.

In my last post I introduced my workout playlist – I have over a hundred motivational songs on my iPod at the moment which I have added a few to the YouTube link (I will link to it here again). I will be adding more over the next while as I get a chance. I find it hard to workout without a good playlist – when I am at the gym and I get into that zone, everything around me just fades away and it’s just me and that moment.¬† I hope you all enjoy the songs on the playlist and that it helps you as much as it has helped me.

Until next time,

– Ashley ‚̧

My Fitness Journey: 2018 Edition.

fitness blog¬†Prior to mine and Thierry’s wedding, like any newly engaged bride-to-be I decided that I didn’t want to look at our wedding photos and hate looking at myself because of my weight.¬† I decided to get my butt in gear and make it a priority to lose weight.

Since as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my weight and body image. Fast forward to university, as most college students living on residence do, I gained a bunch of weight from a combination of bad eating, not exercising, stress, bad sleeping patterns, and outside influence. In second year university, after gaining almost 20 lbs I was at a low. My older sisters challenged me to enter a half marathon that summer as motivation to lose the weight I had gained. At that time I could barely run 5 km let alone 21.

That summer I had a lot of time to myself as my two best friends were gone to British Columbia for the summer. I was training for the race and when I wasn’t training, I was working. Over the span of a few months, I lost close to 20 lbs and felt fantastic! I did another couple races that year but it was hard to train properly while at school so I stepped back. In my last year of university, I was working while at school and the pressures began to return – those 20 lbs I lost, I gained back and then some.

Fast forward to before Thierry and my wedding, I tried to conjure up the same motivation I had during those months of training almost 6 years ago.

Prior to going wedding dress shopping, I knew exactly the type of dress I wanted to wear. When my mom and I were able to finally go shopping, I was worried I wouldn’t find one I liked because my options were limited being a size 18 with a big chest to boot. I was luckily able to find my dream dress. From when I first tried it on leading up to the final days before the wedding, I managed to go down two dress sizes and lose about 17 lbs. For the first time in a long time, I weighed below 200 lbs.

After the wedding, I admit that since the pressure was off I slacked with continuing the weight loss so most of that weight I lost, well I gained it back again. *sigh* Currently, the pressures of fitting into an expensive wedding dress are gone but I am still left with the feeling of wanting to feel healthy again. Thierry and I want to start a family at some point within the next year or so and I want to be at a healthy weight when that happens- that is my current motivation. Throughout this whole process, I have learned having a reason to work out is what gives you the motivation you need every day.

I’ve started back up at the gym and am watching what I eat – also back at working on my sleeping patterns.¬† My background in Kinesiology and fitness and health promotion has given me the resources to be smart and realistic about my fitness goals so this time I can loose the weight and keep it off. It’s important to know results are not going to be instant, but a slow and steady process.

Nike-You get it by WORKING FOR IT

Back when I lost those 20 lbs from racing, the big thing that helped me was motivational quotes, motivational music, and positive thinking. Getting your butt off to the gym on the days when all you want to do is sleep, is all about your mental state. I have found even now good music really has made a huge difference in my mentality and how hard I am able to push myself in my workouts. Click here  for a (rather long) list of songs I have on my playlist with the artists. I have close to 180 songs just on my Ipod dedicated to working out!

Other than good music, I have found keeping track of calories and recording my food has helped me with portion control and accountability. A lot of the time people eat when they are bored, or mix up being hungry with being thirsty. The MyfitnessPal app and the Fitbit I recently purchased have helped me with this Рits a bonus that my Fitbit also tracks my sleep patterns. I have included the link for these below!

My Fitness Pal for Android!

My Fitness Pal App for Apple

Fitbit

For those of you sticking to your New Years resolution even now at the end of January, all I have to say to you is – keep going and stick with it! Think of how amazing you will feel when you reach your goal and even afterword. Your body and health are worth the short term struggle! You are amazing!

Stay tuned for future weight loss journey posts!