Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Stronger and Smarter Me

Each day that I lift myself out of this chair and into a sports bra, I know I'm getting stronger. I know it's worth it to be sore all over and not want to get out of bed to do anything. I feel better inside and out, from mental status to physical. Exercise is crucial for life.

How do you get stronger? Working out. Resistance training, cardio training, plyometric (jumping/reacting) training. Exercise in general will make you stronger. You must push yourself farther than you ever thought you could go. Yell at yourself to push harder, be better, be stronger. You will be surprised at how much you can lift, push, and pull if you dedicate yourself to a fitness plan.

I'm currently learning how to be a personal trainer in NASM's (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer program. The pressure to be fit as a fiddle, or should I say trainer, is intense. Sixty minutes a day doesn't seem like enough, but I know overtraining your body will just result in major fatigue and injury. That's the thing with people: they expect results quickly.


Those are all gimmicks. Even if you DO lose weight from there, you bet your fat ass it's coming back...faster than you lost it. Hard work and dedication are what give you a bangin' bod. Not weekend diets, lemon juice detoxes, or weight loss cookies. Trust me. I've tried.

I used to strive to be skinny, and now I strive to be strong. 

It's a real process. Not a fake process. Not a surgical process. A real, sweating, crying, showering, process. I'm sure you've heard "Rome wasn't built in a day," well neither is a fit body. It takes conditioning. Months and months of stabilization, strength, endurance, muscle enlargement, and power, to really become the best you can be. It helps to have motivation, but as you can see from my other blogs, I'm still enjoying life. Eating my "skinny" root beer floats and vegan "healthy" pizzas. I have to stay happy and realistic, you know?

I know that is the last thing you wanted to hear, but it's the truth. Good things take time.

You can't just eat smoothies and salads, get super fit, and expect to keep it that way. You have to incorporate your fitness into your life. If you work 9am-5pm, you have to go before or after work. Of course there are days where I'm like "Ahhh I don't wanna do anything!" and end up not working out. But guess what? You bet I'm hitting it harder and faster the next day, because I'm feeling guilty for not getting it done today. If you fall off the train of fitness, jump back on asap. The longer you wait, the more your hard work goes to waste. 

How does one reach their goal to be a fitter, happier, and healthier person? By setting and achieving goals. Your body isn't a microwave; you can't just set and forget. You have to tend to it daily like a delicate flower.

SMART Goals 
Smart goals are very helpful in terms of starting a journey. It may be to fitness, health, happiness, or all three, but goals are crucial. And placing them in your face is even more important.

Specific-Write down the specific goal you want. (Weight loss, toning up, bigger muscles, feeling better, etc.)

Measurable-Make sure you can measure them. (Inches, pounds, centimeters, level of happiness 1-10, etc.)

Attainable-Make it attainable for you and your lifestyle. (Cut out junky things slowly, and add healthy things in to take their place.)

Realistic-Results come slowly. (Make your goal realistic so that when you reach it each week, you will feel great about yourself and hard work. Realistic is not 5lbs, 5 hours, 10 books, or $1000, a day!)

Timely-Things take time. Life takes time. (Make your goal in a timeline you can handle, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and a year are good marking stones.)

DID YOU KNOW? Setting goals and achieving them  is proven to help you achieve the life you want. Write it down on a huge neon poster board and put it in your office, kitchen, or bedroom. You can use SMART goals with anything in your life, from your job to your kids, to your health. Make little reminders on your smart phone or computer calendar. Track your results so you can go back and see how much you've put in for yourself.

Here is a rough sketch of my goals right now. I put "Goals for March", but I meant for these goals to be finished for March. So really, they're my February goals. When you're making your poster, make it clear and concise so you can't go back on your own word to yourself.

There not set up in SMART format, but you get the idea. Even if you don't want to buy a neon board, make it your desktop image. You're probably on your computer pretty often, so you'll see it everyday.

A great site to track your diet and exercise is I use it to see the nutritional content of my homemade recipes, and have used it to track my daily food for a few days. Tracking your intake for 3 days by every single bite easily shows you how many calories you're ingesting, and how much you should or shouldn't be!

Good luck on your journey to fitness and health. And wish me some luck too!

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