Monday, February 27, 2012

Results and Healthy Habits

Exciting news! I survived Monday! Did you make it through okay? We (my fellow ELD teachers and I) had a rough day with some new activities that should be - and hopefully will grow to be - awesome but that are currently super stressful. It was the type of day where I had a million things to do but couldn't actually find time to do any of them. I'm very lucky to work with two ladies who have a sense of humor; otherwise I might not have made it through such a hectic day!

Maybe Scout could have gotten me through it. 

The afternoon, thankfully, gave me a chance to feel much more productive and less crazed. A short drive and a stop at Trader Joe's got me back to the apartment by 4:05! That meant time for prepping tomorrow's meals before my workout, so I have overnight oats in the fridge for my breakfast tomorrow, Terry's lunch is packed, and our water bottles are filled. Anything to save time in the morning makes me feel so much calmer and more ready to attack my day (oh yes, I attack; my days and I have a very aggressive relationship). Plus, I chopped some veggies for tomorrow's crock pot recipe - get excited for that one.

You should also get excited for tonight's workout. It was a doozy! I repeated my 25 x 25 workout with some modifications.

You'll notice I eliminated the 25 minutes of cardio but added a few more exercises (last time, I counted exercises with two sides as two, but this time I counted them as one). I decreased the cardio because of our half marathon training program; I know I have 4.5 miles to run tomorrow, so I didn't want to overdo it today. Still, this workout exhausted me. The hardest parts: the plank, the burpees, and the tuck jumps. Burn, baby, burn!

Speaking of the plank, check me out! Last time, I challenged you all to guess which exercise we couldn't complete - it was that damned plank. This time, I did every single exercise! 2.5 minutes holding a plank is no joke, and it showed me how much stronger I am now than even a month ago. I thought I would collapse after the plank, but I got myself up and busted out some calf raises! Results!

Results are a huge motivator for me. If I see that I'm getting stronger, my clothes are fitting better, my runs are faster or easier, I feel pumped to push even more. On the other hand, a lack of results can have the opposite effect. It's easy to feel like nothing's working, that it's too hard, that all that work was a waste. I have to remind myself that real results take time and that lasting results take even longer. It's even okay to have a few setbacks, as long as I know I'm working hard in the long run.

I assume that's the reason most "diets" don't work: They aren't realistic for long-term goals. We expect dramatic results fast, and when we don't get them, we quit. In my experience, the only way to go is to find something that works for you. Find your favorite exercise (or be like me and mix it up!). Find your favorite healthy foods. Developing healthy habits through foods and activities we enjoy makes it easier to add even better healthy habits later.

Yes, it takes longer. But it works! For my wedding, I knew how I wanted to look and feel, but I worried that having so much pressure on one day would inevitably make me fall into poor habits afterward. I felt that if I could start developing healthy habits before the big day, Terry and I could carry those habits into our marriage and the rest of our lives (rather than just losing weight and toning to look good for 12 hours).

I felt incredible on our wedding day - healthy, fit, confident. But I didn't want that to be the peak and watch myself go downhill from there. I think it's good to have a goal as a motivator - you all know I'm working hard to get to my bikini best for our Hawaii trip! - but I wanted to maintain positive habits and improve upon my fitness and overall health. So far, it's working! Those healthy habits are sticking with us because we have found healthy foods and fun workouts we enjoy.

Photos by Rhee Bevere

What kinds of results motivate you the most? Do you set short- or long-term goals for yourself or both, and why?

1 comment:

  1. Results are tricky! I definitely find my self looking for short-term rather than long-term results, and when I do see them, I may start to feel over confident. Then I start letting workouts slide because I've convinced myself that I'm in "good shape", and then before I know it, I'm right back to square one. Something I'll be working on!