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Believe

3 Aug

“You know that whole I can do anything for 10 weeks thing? How did you do it really?” I have to say I honestly love questions like this. They give me an opportunity reminisce about everything that has happened and all of my progress over the last year. More importantly, it gives me the chance to encourage someone who is on a similar journey.  There are many things that contribute to my success, and one of the most important is a change in belief.

First, you need to believe you can handle today. This is an important point. I’m not asking you to believe you can lose 25 or 50 or 100 pounds, or that you can run forever or that you will never eat a cookie again. Many people starting their weight loss journey are super overwhelmed because they focus on the end point and it looks super unobtainable. Scratch that. You need to believe that for the next 24 hours you can and will make good choices that keep you on the path to success. What those choices look like on day 1 will be very different from day 25 and day 365. The key is to figure out what today needs to look like and make it happen. All these days will add up to weeks and months of success. You do not have to believe 100 pounds is possible.  You need to believe today is possible.

The other thing you need to believe is that you are worth it. You are worth the time, energy, money, sweat, and tears. You are worth the cost of a gym membership or a new pair of running shoes. You are worth the nourishment of freshly prepared food. You are worth a good night’s sleep. You are worth a 45 minute walk. The best things in life are not handed to us, they are earned. You are worth everything that goes in to every pound lost. I promise you, with 100% certainty, you are worth it. If you are not convinced, work up to it. For 15 minutes a day believe and act like you are worth it. Do something to take care of yourself. The next week, add another 15 minutes. Pretty soon you will find you are convinced.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Believe in yourself. Believe you can handle today. Believe you are worth it.

Anchor to the positive

9 Apr

There’s something I’ve wanted to blog about for a while, but have never quite felt sure I wanted to put my reaction to it out in the world in such a permanent way. I could write a whole post about each “hater” occasion… the friend who told me they liked the fat me better …the comments from the life long athletes who have NO IDEA of the courage it takes to face your biggest fear/weakness in front of someone who is perfect at it …the put downs on my excitement about working out… I expected it to some extent, and a part of me understands it, but most of the time when it hits it is surprising.

I started writing this post in my head this afternoon, detailing everything I have wanted to say over the last 9 months but didn’t. So you are going to start working out because “you don’t want to be fatter than Anne”?  Would love to hear how that is working out for you, especially now that I’m guessing we wear the same size clothes and it looks like I’m the only one on the way down.  (sorry I had to get at least one of my grumpy thoughts out there)

Then tonight I went to yoga and had a moment. Monday night class is all about stretching and relaxation. I am 2 weeks in to it and still have a long way to go, but I can already tell my posture is improving, my balance is better, and the meditation part keeps me centered. At the end of the class I was talking to the teacher and she was saying how crabby she was earlier and how much yoga helps her feel better. It hit me as I was walking out the door. The old me would anchor to the negativity that has been brewing in my head. I would take on everyone else’s junk and carry it around with me. I would worry about, punish myself for it, do what I can to make it better for the other person even if that meant putting myself down.

I don’t do that anymore. Now I choose to anchor to the positive.  It takes a conscious decision (and maybe some time to realize I need to flip the switch) but I do it. I focus on the people that fill me up. I’m not worried about how I compare to others. I am not going to apologize for making a positive life change and loving every minute of it.  And I’m certainly not going to pick up your baggage…got enough junk of my own to work through.

When you act out of positive intention, you are inviting goodness in to your life and are almost guaranteeing success. This has been a big shift in my thinking. I used to focus on what I was missing, what I was afraid of, what I couldn’t do, who didn’t like me….and quite frankly I was unhappy.  Now I anchor to the positive and have found peace. I can go to yoga and look at these women not with jealously of the stuff they can do, but with admiration and the knowledge that one day I can hold some of those crazy poses. I go to kick boxing class led by a seriously bad ass instructor and I don’t resent her but instead love the way she pushes the class to do better. I step up to the weight rack and remind myself “no fear”. All of the changes in my life have come because I opened myself up to the possibilities and quit listening to my insecurities.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Flip the switch and anchor to the positive.

anchor

 

Decide

3 Apr

Thursday night was my first run outside for the season and let me tell you it was brilliant. The air was crisp, the sun was still out and it felt SO GOOD to not be on a treadmill. I decided to take my usual route through the neighborhood. At the end of fall/early winter it would take me about an hour to finish the loop. It’s around 3 miles depending on which way I go.

I got to the park, ready to turn the corner….where way in the beginning my timer used to beep 1 minute and I thought about slowing to a walk.  That’s what I used to do… I decided to keep running.

I got to the end of the street where my timer used to beep at 3 minutes and I thought about walking. Do I really want to run a half marathon…I mean, am I really worth it? I decided to keep running.

Continued down the street, up a small hill and headed towards the little running path. There is a bridge coming over the creek…it always makes me nervous running down a sharp hill…maybe I should slow down. I decided to keep running.

Kept on charging past the two small ponds and then cutting through behind some houses. There was mud on the path so I did tip toe through that and went right back to a decent pace. Up another slow hill and then out on to Plum Grove Road. Okay, I’ve run most of this route and this princess deserves a break. I decided to keep running.

Got to the foot of the subtle but killer hill at Plum Grove and Wise. My heart rate was high and I couldn’t get a good breath. Okay, now was the time to walk. I gave myself until I rounded the corner and was back on flat ground. Plenty of recovery time and I decided to get back to running.

Continued up Wise Road and its progression of small hills… holy heart rate batman.  Time for another small break. Then back to running. Checked my watch and my pace had definitely slowed since I started the run…maybe I should just give up and walk home from here. I decided to keep running.

Ran past the stop sign, a few more streets and I knew I was close to 3 miles. Checked my watch… 3.1 miles in 38 minutes. HOLY CRAP PEOPLE!!! This route used to take me an hour. My first official 5K was 45-50 minutes. Do you have any idea how amazing this feels????

While I’m excited to share my new and improved running stats, there’s a bigger take home lesson here. At each step of the way I had to decide to keep going. When I got to where I was comfortable, I had to decide to keep going. When the course got tough, I had to decide to keep going. When I wanted to quit, I had to decide to keep going. This lesson has been a central theme over the last 10 months. I can do anything for 10 weeks… What do you want more… I can do anything for 5 minutes… Hold for just 5 breaths…  Growth happens in the last 10 percent… Fight for it…Choose the rewards.

However you want to say it, success is your decision. To get something different, you need to do something different. I hope you decide to keep going.

My happy place

13 Mar
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There is something about being by water. I don’t know what it is exactly…kind of like a healing peace.

One of the secrets to my weight loss success is learning how to deal with stress in new ways. Whatever it was, the answer used to be “eat”. Now, I have a whole new bag of tricks to use to manage stress.

The first is a preventive measure: exercise. There is something wonderful about escaping for an hour every day…an hour that is all about me. I get to choose what I do, how hard I will work, and what music I will listen to. I get to set the goal…push myself through the last 10%…and feel proud of my success as small as it may be. If it is a really good day, there is a possibility to get a runner’s high or whatever you want to call it. Our bodies are made for movement and once you get moving it will thank you for the effort. What is it about getting regular exercise that just seems to make the whole world more manageable?

The second is in the moment: go to my happy place. It sounds silly, but somehow if I think about sitting by the ocean it helps to clear my head. I get real detailed with it…the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand, the awe of the ocean and everything in it…and I find a moment of peace. It gives me a minute to think “is this going to matter in 5 years” and refocus.

My last is probably the hardest: I ask for help. It’s hard to admit…because for this fiercely independent girl admitting struggle and defeat is not something I am not comfortable with. I’m all about bubbling about the exciting stuff and hiding the hard stuff. That’s changing. I think about what I need and who can help me…and I ask for it. I’m not very good with it just yet, but I’m getting better. So if you happen to be the victim of an odd request or an awkward moment…thanks in advance for helping me anyway.

 

Fight for it

7 Mar

“90% of growth comes from the last 10% of your performance. When the body says ‘enough’ – because that’s the limit it is used to – the mind must override this and push the body into new frontiers. That is the fundamental formula for results.”

This quote appeared in my Facebook feed today courtesy of Push Fitness. Talk about timely…

 

You know what is annoying? The harder you work, the harder you have to work to get results. I have now crossed in to “skinny people workouts” and I’m not happy. Let me describe half of today’s workout…all with a weighted vest that I’m guessing is about 30 to 40 pounds. Burpies, mountain climbers, plank, and jump squats tabata style…3 rounds…and did I mention the weighted vest? Then one more round without the vest just for kicks. The other half was equally as challenging and tiring. Who thinks of this crap? Freakin’ Tony that’s who…jerk.

I struggled, but I did it. The voices of doubt were LOUD today. There were probably 50 times I wanted to quit, and the workout is only 45 minutes. A few times I started chickening out and had to regroup. Quite a few times I had to tell myself to stop being a baby. Even more times I had to remind myself to quit complaining.

A bad ass doesn’t whine…fight for it…don’t be a baby…quit your bitchin’…just do it already…fight for it…you can do anything for 5 minutes…push…fight for it…

Mother heifer! Why does every workout have to be so hard?  Because I can do it. Because I made progress. Because I fought for every last pound. Because I deserve it. Because I feel AMAZING. Because I CAN do skinny people workouts now.

In a million years I never thought I would be here. Yes, I say that all the time but it is true. I just can’t get over it. I eat vegetables on a regular basis. I fit in to regular size clothes. I can do 40 situps without thinking. I can run an 11 minute mile. I make it through 45 minutes of kickboxing and want more. HOLY CRAP people! This blows my mind. Do I talk about it all the time? Yes. Do I get a little braggy with it? Probably. Do I care? Nope. To get something different, you have to do something different. For the first time in a long time I am pushing myself well beyond my limits and the results incredible. I earned every last pound lost, I fought my mind and body, and I’m owning it all the way!

Three week challenge

3 Mar

Yesterday morning I met a fellow Push Fitness client for coffee. Sioux is bad ass. I sometimes watch her workout while I workout and she is hard core and the stuff she does is amazing.  Every time I would see her doing something crazy I would say to Tony “she is so bad ass…I want to be there one day”.  A few weeks ago I was killing time in the waiting area at Push and was looking through the before and after pictures of some of the success stories and there she was. I couldn’t believe Sioux used to be a fatty like me. There was no way… my workout hero was fat?

I asked her before a workout if it was true and she said yes. I had to know more. This woman already walked where I am trying to go and she knows a part of the story that I can’t get from Tony. I asked her how she made the mental jump from being so big to so fit. Her advice at the time was to go shopping.  Keep trying on the right sized clothes until you believe that is your size. She joked about doing laundry and thinking she shrunk all her clothes when they actually all fit. That is so me!

Last week Sioux saw my before and current picture that Tony posted on the bulletin board and congratulated me on my progress. Then I told her she is my hero and I would like to hear more about how she lost the weight and kept it off. We ended up meeting for coffee yesterday and I learned a lot from her. Our stories are different but there are some strong similarities. She shared her secrets to making it through tough workouts, how friendships changed, how she started to thinking differently, and we even laughed about our trainers. I told her about my plateau… I am the size I was in high school and I don’t know what it is like to be smaller than this… and I’m afraid of what it will take to get there.

Sioux put out a challenge.  Three weeks of clean eating and giving 100% on my workouts all judged by Tony. If I make it then she will work out with me. Holy cow!  Workout with my hero.  Yes!  Three weeks of clean eating, writing it down, no complaining during workouts, giving it 100%, and no popcorn or pretzels. I told her I was a little nervous and she asked “of what, being successful?” Okay, when you put it that way, it does sound dumb. It’s on!

 

Want it like nothin’ else

26 Feb

So I have this goal to run a half marathon this year but can’t seem to make it past running more than 1 mile at a time. I’m on the treadmill so I know exactly how far I have gone in what time. The pace is good for me, my heart rate is in the right zone. Every time I come to a mile suddenly I am dying of thirst or have to walk a bit. I just couldn’t do it.

Last week I decided I needed to break past this barrier. It was gonna happen Sunday. I planned to meet someone at the gym to make sure that I had someone to stand there and make sure I passed a mile straight. I thought about it all week. Okay, maybe I could do this.

After a fun Saturday night, I woke up Sunday morning expecting to feel like hell but instead I felt great. Downed some water to combat the dehydration. Then I got a text…my workout partner bailed. I went to the gym anyway. It was supposed to be the day I ran more than a mile straight. Looking back, they really did me a favor by not showing. I needed to want it, do it, fight for it, believe it. This needed to come from me…for me.

25 minutes later and over a mile for sure, I slowed to a walk. It felt AMAZING. I did it!! It wasn’t until I really wanted it that I was able to do it. And just because I’m an overachiever, tonight I ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill…straight. No breaks. No water. 12 min/mile pace the whole time. I think I told myself “fight for it” at least 50 million times. Honestly, I probably could have done this weeks ago but I was a big chicken.

Tonight was as a big a milestone as meeting a weight loss goal in this journey. Actually, this one is bigger.  The old me would discount the accomplishment…it was on a treadmill with no elevation, it was slower pace, it wasn’t outside so it didn’t really count. The new me owns every part of it and will brag all day tomorrow. I finally decided I wanted it like nothin’ else and it was mine.

The same goes with making any life change. It won’t really happen until you want it like nothin’ else. You are willing to do anything, give anything to make it happen. And you mean it. You make changes. You get used to being uncomfortable. You focus. You struggle. You fight. You succeed. Want it like nothin’ else….work for it like nothin’ else….and let me tell you it feels like nothin’ else.