Friday, April 29, 2016

Weigh-in Update/Break The Mental Block

So, yesterday I weighed in and was up .2 pounds. That's not even half a pound, and I wasn't going to let it stress me, but I couldn't help but still feel frustrated. I know I need to do more, and as I mentioned in my prior post, I've added cardio and even a fourth private session with a different trainer. So, what exactly is it that I need to do?

This morning I struggled with the scap bar hangs during my workout. I had four rounds, and the goal was to hang for 30 seconds each round, but I couldn't go the whole 30 seconds without stopping multiple times. I've done them before, and I remember I really had to focus on pushing through, but I was able to hang the entire 30 seconds on all rounds the last time. So, why am I struggling today? Well, I told Michael I'm not sure why but I was struggling with my grip. So, he told me to chalk up on my last round. After I was done with the last set he said it's not my grip that's the issue, but he could tell I started to panic and would put my feet back. He said he knew it wasn't my grip because on that last round I went 40 seconds and only stopped once. He started talking to me about how something is blocking me, and I told him I know a lot of my problem is a mental block. He knows this, and it's like he said, it's 100% mental because I show up and I'm doing the work. But, he also said I need to start getting uncomfortable again. That when I reach that point where I'm getting uncomfortable, instead of backing off, I need to push through it and be uncomfortable. He said there's no reason I couldn't go another 10 seconds, and he's right.

After my session, and as I was showering and getting ready for work, I meditated on what all he said. I'm always talking about the importance of getting outside my comfort zone. I show up for my sessions and I will do anything Michael asks me to do, and he's been incorporating a log of new stuff lately. I might whine a bit, there might be new things I struggle with at first to get the technique down, and there might be times I don't like what I'm having to do, but I'll do anything Michael and the trainers ask me to do in my workouts because that's why I've invested in a personal trainer. They know what I need to do despite what I want or even don't want to do. I mean, I I don't want to do burpees, but I know I need to do them. They are an excellent total body exercise. So for me personally right now it's not about getting outside my comfort zone physically, but getting outside my comfort zone mentally. What this means for me is when I start getting uncomfortable in my workouts, I know I can do the work and I know I can push through it physically, but I need to get out of my own head and push through the mental block and stop backing off when I get uncomfortable. But instead, as Michael said, break through those barriers and push through them.

So, now the question is how am I going to do that? It's not going to be easy, but when I get to that point where I'm getting uncomfortable, probably the best thing for me to do is just give myself a pep talk or there's always Michael's voice inside my head that's talking to me and he does tend to give good advice. I just have to keep repeating to myself positive thoughts like, I've got to get out of my head, get out of my comfort zone, keep pushing through all the barriers, physically I'm capable of doing this, my body is stronger than what my mind is trying to tell me, I can do anything I want to do.

I love having quotes that tie to my blog posts, and I found this one that I think goes with this post perfectly!
"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't." - Rikki Rogers

Like I said, physically I know I'm strong and I know I can do what is asked of me in my workouts, so getting out of my comfort zone mentally is what I need to make sure I'm doing. Because if I can get out of my own head, and stop telling myself I can't do something and all the other bullshit stories I tell myself, my mental strength will be just as strong as my physical strength.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Don't Settle

Dedication is defined by Merriam-Webster as a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something. The quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc.

Perseverance is defined by Merriam-Webster as the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.

It took a lot of dedication and perseverance for me to get the results I've gotten in the last five years at Fitness Together. Prior to contacting Michael, the owner of Fitness Together, I joined many "Only $20 a month!" gyms just to only get the tour and never go back, and tried many times to start working out on my own and trying different diets. Why has this specific journey with Fitness Together been different than many other failed attempts? For starters I quit settling. I no longer settled for mediocrity or that it was "good enough". I no longer settled for anything less than what I wanted and what I deserved. I'm not saying it's been easy or that I haven't had moments I just wanted to give up; but because I no longer just settled my dedication to myself and my perseverance has kept me going and gotten me where I am today.

Now, I'm all about being honest in my blog about my journey, and 2015 wasn't a very successful year in regards to getting results on the scale or even losing inches. But, I will say 2016, despite a few bad weeks where I struggled to stay motivated and positive, I was able to get some results for my first 90 day goal of the year. I didn't meet my goal, but I did get results. As of 4/16/16, since January, I was down 7.2 pounds and down a total of 9.25 inches! Even though I had been hard on myself over the past few months, and even felt discouraged at times because the scale wasn't moving down like I wanted it to, when I saw the inches lost I was excited and proud of what I've done so far this year! But, it also reminded me once again how I can't just focus on the scale.

Recently Michael has been talking about how what got me where I am today isn't enough to get me where I want to be. I still have weight loss goals, I still need to lose inches, and I definitely still need to do some toning. But, I have to be willing to get outside my comfort zone and do more. This past week I've really been thinking about what I want for my body goal to be this next 90 days and how am I going to get there. I've already started adding in some things. I added a fourth private session in, but with a different trainer who can bring something new and different to my program. I've gone back to the basics as far as cardio that involve running/sprint intervals on the treadmill or outdoors.

Last night on the way home I kind of had another breakthrough, or Aha! moment after doing my cardio. For my cardio last night I decided to do option 2 that's on my list. It's a 5 minute warm up, and then 8 to 10 rounds where I run for 2 minutes and walk for a minute, and then a 5 minute cool down. Obviously my goal is to do the most I can, so before starting I told myself I would do 10 rounds. After my warm up, and as I was on round five of the intervals, I really wanted to stop. It was getting hard and my legs were achy. But, I knew I couldn't stop at 5, so I told myself I would do 8 rounds and that would be enough because there's no way I could do 10. I pushed through and as I was running I thought this is it, after this I'll do the cool down and then I'm done. Well, about the last 30 seconds of running I thought, really? Just two more rounds is all I have to do, which is only four minutes of running. There's no reason I can't do that and I realized I'm settling for "it's enough". I knew my body could do more, it was all the negative bullshit stories I was telling myself that I had allowed to get inside my head. So, I ended up telling myself to shut up and I completed what I set out to do to begin with.

As I was driving home I was thinking how happy I was I didn't stop and that I finished the entire workout. I also realized these past several months I've been settling again for mediocre effort, which means I had settled for mediocre results. Now don't get me wrong, I'm proud of the results I got my first 90 day goal of the year, and I'm definitely celebrating it and not taking anything away from that; but I also know telling myself "this is good enough" is settling for less than what I know I can do and what I deserve.

I found this quote and thought it was perfect for this blog post, but also a perfect reminder for me right now.

"Challenge yourself. Don't settle for mediocre or good enough. There is always more, better, that next level of achievement. Go for it. Believe that the best is really yet to come." - Mary-Frances Winters
Are you settling for less? Are you telling yourself "it's enough" and settling for mediocrity? If you are and you're ready to stop settling, then it's time to prove to yourself you have the dedication and perseverance to go for that next level of achievement. If you're in the local Tulsa area and want to check out Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside or Fitness Together Downtown, you can contact Michael Watkins to set up a consultation; or you're more than welcome to reach out to me and come as my guest to check it out for yourself!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Weekly Jump Rope Challenge

Starting this week I am going to do a weekly jump rope challenge and I encourage you to take it on as well. I knew there were many benefits to jump roping, but I struggle with my endurance due to my ankles starting to hurt after about a minute. So, when Michael has me do 3 minutes of work with 1 minute rest for three rounds, I'm not able to do the full 3 minutes without stopping for a few seconds. And, by the third round my ankles are hurting, and I know it's due to having weak ankles from all the injuries I sustained as a kid. I never broke an ankle, but many sprains, twists, torn tendons, etc. that caused me to be on crutches at least once a year between grades 4th and 11th grade. I started to research on how to strengthen my ankles, and low and behold every article indicated jump roping could do that. So, I decided to buy a jump rope for home and I'm going to start working on increasing my time (without stopping) and hopefully build up strength and endurance. Real quick though, before I get into what the actual challenge is for this week, I came across many articles that talk about all the benefits of jump roping. One article that I found very beneficial was from Not only will it tone your body and build up your endurance, but some other health benefits include improving your cardiovascular system and help with your weight loss. Other benefits include coordination, agility, quickness, and footwork (these are many reasons you see jump roping in boxing gyms).

So, for me personally, this is how I'm starting. Complete the following twice every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It will only take 5 minutes each time.

Jump rope for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds and do this 5 times. I am going to do what is called active rest. This is where on my 30 second of rest, instead of just standing there waiting for the 30 seconds to pass, I will do some type of light activity. This can just be as simple as jogging in place or if you're outside or in a large area just a light jog in a circle. Or even just walking/pacing back and forth. Nothing intense, just something light to keep your body moving. This will be what I do daily for this week, then next Monday I will increase my work time.