Well hello! This week's Get Fit! is brought to you in a guest post by Juice at LA Juice. This week I wrote a post about bullying, and Juice was kind enough to write a post as well. I think some of you are also dealing with bullies, so part of our mental, emotional, physical, and professional strength is going to come from effectively dealing with bullies, stalkers, and our own self-worth. But today's post is about something else! Attitude, and Juice has plenty of that, and in the strongest, most positive, and supportive way. Thank you Juice! Here we go!
The secret to getting into your Size 8 Skinny Jeans and staying in them- REVEALED!
Your lovely Pish Posh asked me to guest post for your fit challenges a month ago and I have been waiting for a moment when I thought I might really be able to help all ya’ll. If you read my comments here at Pish or my blog, you might expect me to be a total smart ass. I apologize right now for disappointing you, because I take fitness pretty darn seriously.
Let’s start with the obvious: Why the H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks do I have any business talking to you about fitness?
Let’s start with the obvious: Why the H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks do I have any business talking to you about fitness?
- I’ve been a runner since I was 10, and I once won a race in high school by letting a far more talented opponent pace it, while I used her as a wind break. At the last moment I sprinted past her. In a former life, I was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I was teaching boot camp classes before Bill Blanks even coined the phrase “Tae-bo”. I was called the Queen of Mean, but every single class participant got in great great shape and stayed that way. I have trained NHL hockey players recovering from injury and I was an off-ice conditioning coach for a (good) boy’s high school hockey team in Michigan.
- My favorite half marathon is Big Sur. Someday, I am going to commit to running the LA Marathon.
- These days, I am a rabid, unwavering advocate of kettlebell cross training programs. I believe and know you can get incredible results out of your work out with 4-5 weekly workout sessions of less than an hour. I never do the same workout twice in the same week, and try not to ever do the exact same workout more than twice a month. I love to exercise and I have seen people who originally proclaim to hate it, find their niche and become life-long fitness freaks. I think you can become one of us. Every last one of you. (Even you.)
- After 20+ years as an amateur athlete and a fitness professional, I hope I’ve gained a bit of knowledge about motivation, and success in fitness. Pish and I began our dialogue because she is such a positive, committed individual and I wanted to see her succeed. She calls me her ass-kicking cheerleader, a title I welcome since it’s so much nicer than Queen of Mean.
As I read Pish’s Week 3 post, and some of the other posts by bloggers involved in the PPGFC, I really feel like the time has come to talk about the secret of keeping with your exercise program. Motivation!
For 4-5 long weeks now, each of you have worked hard to stick to your goals. You have deprived yourself of cheese and wine. You may even have left yourself hungry on occasion rather than break your diet. You have exercised when you really didn’t want to, when you were exhausted, when you had (perhaps) better things to do. You’ve been sore for days on end, you’ve been sweaty, thirsty and tired.
Many of you are getting good results. Some of you are even seeing these results. Some of you are getting results but not necessarily seeing them. No matter what your progress or your goal, real life is probably creeping back in. You are going to be tempted to stray from your program. You might even- gasp- take 3 whole days off. Or eat a whole pint of chocolate Ice Cream. And I am here to tell you it's okay. It does not mean you have “Slipped” or failed. No really. Its not even a big deal. It’s not even a big deal if you gained a couple pounds. No it's not. Just stop it. Don’t make me come over there.
First, let’s talk about weight gain or lack of weight loss. You have to stop focusing on the pounds. Tracking pounds does not get you into size 8 jeans. And the reason is simple: Muscle weighs more than fat. My average weight hovers around but never goes below 125 pounds, but when I am at my peak fitness levels, I wear a size 3. The point of this revelation is that muscle is leaner and compact- you will be smaller once you reduce fat and gain muscle, but that doesn’t happen all at once.If you include weight training of any sort into your exercise program, then you are going to be gaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat on a pound per pound basis and therefore it’s entirely possible that you have lost half a dress size, but gained pounds.
|Kitteh Stretches Before Workouts|
Its also possible you stayed the same size, but gained pounds. DO not panic. Do not give up. As long as you have been faithful to your exercise program and you have reduced your calorie intake appropriately, then do not despair. Do not berate yourself for taking 3 days off. Do not try to make up for it. Don’t give up. Just pick back up and continue on with your program as if nothing has changed. You are reaching a point where you feel you have been putting in quite a lot of effort, where you feel you are due some pay off, or maybe you are just thinking its not worth all this time, energy, focus and effort. (BUT IT IS!!!! I promise. You can learn to love the bomb, I swear.)
In my 20+ years I have seen several key reasons people fail to achieve their goals, or just quit their exercise programs:
- They tried to do too much. The tried to change everything all at once.
- They had unreasonable expectations for fast results and got discouraged because they could not meet them.
- They got discouraged when, after about 4 weeks, they hadn’t achieved as much weight loss or visual change as they hoped.
- They didn’t stick with a reasonable, achievable program for 21 consecutive days.
- They only treat their exercise program as a short term project.
- They beat themselves up for missing a day of workout, or for cheating on their diet.
See, here is the thing, this is the BIG REVEAL, the Secret to Getting into your Size 8 Skinny Jeans and staying in them:
The secret to getting to a size 8 and staying there for 20 years is really simple:
it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
WAIT! don’t go! You can’t go, all the plants are gonna die!
- There are no short cuts.
- You have to make exercise a part of your life.
- You have to commit to yourself.
- You have to find the fitness program that works for you for a lifetime. That you love.
- You have to work harder than you want to, and a little harder than you think you can.
Oh, I know you have heard it before. Maybe you don’t even want to hear it, but there is no other way. no other secret. Not lap band surgery, not lipo, not the “paleo-diet”, not Lipocor belly fat melting placebos, not Atkins, not Jenny Craig. Not Oprah. Especially not Oprah. Although to be fair, Weight Watchers and JCraig purport to be preaching life-long eating habits (its just hard to believe they mean it, or have much success, since that outcome runs counter-intuitive to what should be their basic business plan).
Here Are The Secrets to Gorgeous Size 8 Seksiness:
- Long Term Success. People who succeed in long term weight loss/fitness maintenance figure out how to live so that they are initially burning more calories (and then burning equal amounts of total calories) as they take in.
- Output > Input. If you have ambitious weight loss goals, such as 10 lbs or more, you have to do the math. Figure out how to cut a safe amount of calories and burn more calories over a set time period. Once you achieve the goal, then you don’t get to go back to your previous life style. You have to figure out how to limit your caloric consumption to your output.
- Love it or you will leave it. Find an exercise program you know you enjoy, that you can do 4-5 times a week, for the rest of your life. A program you can incorporate into your existing life schedule without very much sacrifice. My personal opinion is that you need variety and you see greater results in less over all time with a slightly short daily time commitment with a varied program. Going to cycling class 5 days a week is not only boring, it is a rarity that it will bring you complete fitness.
- Expectation Management. Have reasonable, manageable expectations, especially when first starting out. I say this especially to Miss Pish, because I read her Week Three challenge list of all the things she was attempting to achieve, and although I love her and do not want to dampen her amazing enthusiasm, I know that the probability of achieving every one of these things all at once is daunting. Most people don’t fail in their goals, they just fail to focus. Its our multi-tasking world. But you have got to break free of that. Take a look at her 21 day plan- honestly? Its incredibly ambitious- like our darling girl. But if I were personal training her, I would tell her to slow down, and let a lot of these little things go, focus on a couple things that will make the most impact.
- Do not work out EVERY DARN DAY. It is a really bad idea to exercise 7 days straight. Conventional fitness wisdom requires that you give your body, muscles and joints time to recover between workouts. There are studies that show the risk of injury from repetitive use workouts (running, elliptical, walking, classes, weigh training) increases astronomically when people don’t take day 7 off. Frankly, for most people 5 days a week is not only a significant commitment, but all you need if you do the right things.
Your muscles need time to recover. Its why you don’t see body builders training legs two days in a row. See, the way muscle is built is actually a process of destruction and repair. When you embark on a new exercise of which your muscle needs additional strength to accomplish, what happens at first is that the fibers tear. That is why you get sore (along with lactic acid). New muscle is the body repairing of all the microscopic muscle fibers you tore. Your muscle groups need recovery and rest periods to gain strength.
And always remember:
“Exercise gives you Endorphins. Endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”
Now for The Cool Down
In sum and hopefully without dampening your enthusiasm: [insert kitteh stretches picture here]
- It's crucial to think of this exercise kick off program as a habit you are developing for life, not just until you lose 20 pounds or fit into a dress.
- Do not go overboard. It's important to have reasonable, manageable expectations.
- Do not try to change 4,5,6,7,8 habits all at once. Its important to choose a program you know you can fit into your lifestyle.
- Start with adding consistent exercise to your life and sticking with that for 3 or more months and cutting 500-1,000 calories a week. Once you have made this your life style, you can change that up.
- Speaking of change up- keep it varied. Alternate cardio days with weight training days.
- It's important to take appropriate time to recover, maintain muscle health and avoid risk of injury.
- Do not beat yourself up when you miss a workout or eat one donut.
- Reward yourself when you start to see change.
Come on!! Gimme Just Ten More!!!
|Kitteh Pushes Through|
Speaking of habits: you’ll note that Pish talks about her 21 Day Plan. I have always been a cheerleader of the 21 day to form a habit plan and it is conventional wisdom that it take 21 days to form a habit. However, there are studies that it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to create a habit that sticks, with the earliest days being most crucial. See this and/or that.
The important thing to take away from 21, 66 or 254 days is the idea that you are trying to make this new behavior a life long habit!
21 days of commitment to your program is a great goal. It's not that long, and most people can visualize this period of time as achievable. So If you have kept to your program and exercised 4-5 days a week for the last 4 weeks, you are already over the 21 day threshold, and hopefully you are finding that you can work exercise and healthy eating into your life style.
Take Pish’s 21 days without cheese. Pish is trying to cut the cheese out of her life forever and she knows that if she can make it 21 days, she should be able to cut the cheese for life. She has developed a cheese cutting habit.(No, no. In fact, I could not resist. I adore a good fart joke. Also I used to teach Yoga classes, and we all know about the yoga farts.)
|Kitteh Does Yoga|
Grab some button! Write a post about your own goals, fitness or otherwise - writing, thinking, eating, playing, or working - and come back here and link up this week between today and Sunday!