Competitor Blog: 1. 2. 3. GO!

When you first start your workout journey you have the excitement of something new and novel. You are going to go and you are gonna kill it, you are going to feel energized, you are going to have the clean body lines of a Lamborghini and it’s gonna be great! Unfortunately, the day dreams and the novelty wear off pretty quickly. What do you mean I have to go every day (or damn near close)? Quickly, many become frustrated when they look in the mirror and don’t see changes after day one (I did the thing! Where is my reward).

The exercise journey really is a journey and a mental marathon. So how does one find the motivation to get it frequently? Here are some things that I have found that help me:

  • Put money down on your goal. For me I am a bikini competitor. I find a show I want to do and I sign up for it or put a deposit down on a suit. I could absolutely not do what I signed up for but then I am losing money.
Another reason I can't work out at home
  • Tour the gyms and sign up for one. It’s similar to putting down money for your goal. I recommend finding one that is close to your house or work. Find one that you can easily hit when you are commuting so you can incorporate it into the already existing daily routine. For me the gym holds some motivation because I go there specifically to work out. When I am trying to workout at home I can be easily distracted by what else I need to do or I just lay on the floor because no one is going to judge me for that at home. 
  • Set yourself up for success. Every night pack your gym bag and leave it right in the way. Or if you gym in the morning put your gym clothes right next to your bed. You want to limit the chance for finding excuses. 
  • Be honest with yourself. I can come up with 100 very convincing sounding reasons why I can’t work out. These are excuses. I am not saying every day will be at the gym or be the most bad ass workout ever. Sometimes your workout will be short and lack luster. But honestly you can get SOMETHING in almost anywhere. 
  • Be creative. Some days you aren’t going to make it into the gym but you can certainly knock out something at home. Spend some time this weekend researching the web for free resource videos (Mike’s site, the very one you are reading this blog on, has some). Then write yourself a few home workout plans.
  • Invest in a few home items. Various resistance bands are a great place to start and fairly inexpensive. Keep an eye out at Ross and TJ Maxx for items you might use. I got an awesome 36” foam roller for $14 there! If you are looking to pick up weight keep an eye on Craigslist and OfferUp. Occasionally peruse Amazon. 

  • Believe you can do it. Because you can even when don’t want to. 

It is going to be work. You are still going to have to make the effort to do it. It will take time. But it IS worth it. Some days will good and some bad. Do it anyways. Invest in yourself, you ARE worth it.

Competitor Blog: The Feedings - How I plan for food success at events

There are a lot of people who start the fitness journey and say “I am going to be bikini ready! Gym won’t know what hit it! Abs are mine by summer!”. They go to the gym and a lot of people really do try hard while they are there. But what is a million times more difficult than making yourself go to the gym every day and lift things up and down or get that dreaded cardio in, is food.

Food has ingrained itself into just about every nook and cranny of our social structure. Birthday parties, anniversaries, baby showers, meetings, reuniting friendships, just general snacks hanging around the office. Food. Is. EVERYWHERE! And people get weird about other people not eating the food. I still enjoy participating in celebrations and catching up with friends. It just takes a bit more planning now on my part.

Here are some tips that help me survive events.

  • Eat a nice full meal before you go. Not some tiny little snack, a bit of lunch meat, saying it will hold you over. It won’t. Leave your place feeling full and satisfied. 
  • Pack yourself snacks in the car. My go to is cottage cheese. It’s relatively low in fat and has a decent amount of protein and can be scarfed pretty quickly. Jerky is another compact snack which is even easier to pack. 
  • Carry around a drink. I usually will grab a water or iced tea to have around with me. Other people are uncomfortable with the concept of you not eating. I don’t know why but this is a thing. When they see a beverage in hand they are able to relax that you are partaking with them. They don’t have to know what is in the cup. 
  • If the event is going to be particularly long, pack a lunch too. This is less likely to help you seamlessly blend into a group but it will ensure you stay on task. Make up any story you like. I stick with the truth: I am an athlete and I am training for an upcoming competition. If they want to know more they will ask.

You will get razzed from time to time but most of the people who do this are trying to be funny and lighten the mood. They do not understand the sacrifice and dedication it takes not to fall headfirst into the fruit tray (which are tons of carbs and you know you shouldn’t “eyeball” the weight). You absolutely can have your social time AND stick to your meal goals. It just takes some strong will and dedication.