How Do You Make the Kale Salad Taste Better than the Doughnut?

So I had a terrible day today. Not catastrophic or importantly bad, just super annoyingly bad. Very little of it was in my control except for my response and I did a little angry ranting and a lot of stuffing. I have a stuffing problem since I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. So instead I stuff it and feel sorry for myself as a martyr. That really does not make me nicer in the long run btw. It makes me passive aggressive.

One thing I actually didn’t do was go to the store and buy a bag of sugar filled something and scarf it down. It used to be a habit of mine. If I had a really bad day I would just say f*ck it and get a ton of crap. I thought about it today and the craving was there but not as powerful as it used to be. A new thought that I’ve been trying to cultivate was also there: how terrible I feel after.

To be honest I did have two glasses of wine but that’s a far cry from the Sin Dawg, chocolate covered raisins, doughnut trifecta that has graced my poor gut before. (My mouth is watering just thinking about them dammit dammit dammit.)

Let’s move on already. Kale salad, kale salad, kale salad. Okay, better. The really exciting thing here is some actual progress in changing an entrenched habit. I’m continuing to read Making Habits Breaking Habits and this week I learned the following:
  1. We want intention to create our habits but that’s not always the case. 
  2. Habits = intentions + past behaviors. 
  3. So although I intend to never eat sugar again, my past sugar mongering will have something to say about that. The stronger the habit the less impact our intentions have. 
  4. Strong habits are frequent (weekly or more) and especially strong if associated with a context (think: I’m in a coffee shop, what are the odds I’ll get the same thing I always do without thinking much about it).

So it’s very normal for strong habits to override the best of intentions. And my intentions won out this time! True, it was not a weekly event for me to sugar monger. And being on a lower carb, no sugar diet means my physiology isn’t screaming over the voice of my intentions. But hell, on a day like today, this totally goes in the win column.

Also I did about 140 kettle bell swings and a billion goblet squats and Biz made me laugh so hard during the Turkish Getups that I almost dropped the weight on my face. Another bonus, Mike checked my food journal and I killed it this week. It may yet become a habit…

The habits are working in the gym – in that context it’s easy to fall right into good habits – especially with Mike leading the way. I go and I feel so good. My butt hurts already but I’m getting so much stronger! Biz even on her worst days always has me laughing. Having the training appointment to go to was a nice diversion from the store and after, I feel good enough to skip the sugar stop on the way home.



I'm failing d*mmit! It's not my fault, right?

When in Rome...this is still not a
good decision - plus it was Utah, not Rome.
So I really want to lose some belly fat and I've been training for a while and yet there is that persistent belly fat! I am absolutely stronger and that is making my body look better thank you very much Mike! I also busted out a stupidly easy crow pose this morning at yoga with my bad*ss arm and core strength. But there are no pounds falling away. Or to be more accurate, there are about three pounds dropping and reappearing.

I don't believe it's about will power - will power is like a muscle and that muscle is helpful but will never be stronger than my mental craziness. For me it's about habits. When I fill out my food journal regularly, I make better decisions. I have to face how many glasses of wine? And is it really all that hard to drink 8 glasses of water? And h*ll yeah I burned that many calories!!
<Biz is AWESOME!

And then I fall away - a stressful day, a work trip, or a night partying. And invariably the next day does not get recorded either. One slip and it feels like I'm starting over again. Why is that? What is going on???

I don't know and I won't have the answer here but I have some ideas. I just starting reading a book called Making Habits Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean. I am through just chapter 1 but so far so good. First thing - the whole 21 days to form a new habit really only applies to tiny goals. So I need to plan for more time and help or break my goals down into much smaller ones. Also, context is a big influence - from your general environment to the people you hang out with.

Bad context - anything with sugar in it placed where I can see it. It will get eaten. Period.

Good context - When I check in with Biz every day at 3 when my alarm goes off - I'm more likely to complete my food journal. If I'm having a crappy day, I get a pep talk and encouragement back because Biz is awesome. No matter how many days I slip up, when I see Mike once a week I get back on the horse.

When context changes, habits are more easily changed (a move, a new job, having a baby, getting divorced). So I'm thinking it's during these times where it's good to break a bad habit, but also watch out for your good habits! This is when they can slip. Sure enough, last business trip I did better than usual to start but fell off the wagon two days in and it took two days at home, a check in with Biz and a training session with Mike to get back on the wagon. ARGH!

I will say that Mike checked in on my food journal today. THAT HELPS! Accountability is a big deal. I think that will help especially in the beginning of habit formation when it's harder.

But we shall see! I'm hot on this habit thing and hopefully the research will give me some good guidance on how to move behaviors from hard to automatic. My #1 goal is to fill that journal out religiously!!!

On another note - today was haaaaaaaaaaard! But it was so good. Super intense starting with upper body and finishing with lower. It really pushed me mentally and at the end made the victory of the finish so very sweet. If only I can stay conscious enough to enjoy it.

Big thanks to my buddy Jim who came in for the next
session. Sorry I couldn't pay you back man - I fell into
a coma shortly after this picture was taken.


It's All About that Bass

It was Booty Booty Day today in the Land of Mike Welch, Professional Butt Sculptor. I believe at one point I actually said, "I think my butt is actually going to just pop right off!"

It did not. It is still there but since I started working with Mike it seems to sit a bit higher than it used to. Lots of squats. LOTS. And deeeeeep. I would like to state for the record at no point did I sh*t myself. I know it looks like I was close but kegels have many bonuses (and per Mike you really should engage your pelvic floor when squatting - so you don't sh*t yourself!).

But as usual we started with warming up. Some evil stair climbing while I stared at a giant bruise on Biz's arm and distracted us from our burning legs by making up a true story as to how she got it (farm animals were involved and Settlers of Catan).

One of the reasons I go to a trainer is because I would never work out this hard on my own. The other reason is he tells me things like, "Do glute activation on your elbows to restrict lumbar spine compensation." It's a lot of big words but basically it's helping me protect lower back.

The next phase of the workout involved skipping and bounding (leaping diagonally forward right then left). This was great because it raises your heart rate, works on balance and explosive motion for strength. I have been trying to do some Tabatas between sessions and I plan to add bounding and skipping in with the flat out running. I will look weird on the bark path but I'm okay with that. I can re-inflate my ego but checking out my booty afterwards.

We then just did all kinds of squats and leg presses and single-leg-dead-leg-don't-make-me-lift-my-leg-again lifts.

We ended the session with Mike asking each of us what we needed for the next week. I needed to fill out my food journal and Biz needed to follow through on her PT exercises for her knee. Mike gave us our assignments and promised to check in with us next week. That help with accountability is a big deal.
I had to laugh at our friends Jim and Brenda as Biz and I filtered out and they started their warm up...they had no idea it was Booty Booty Day. Enjoy that foam roller and sweat-free brow while you can!