True Rewards vs. Self-Sabotage

Oh these dreary grey days. They’re one of the easiest days to wake up and suddenly feel as though all the motivation and energy you normally wake up with is just –POOF!– soaked up by your nice, cozy mattress.

I know they say that sunshine helps your mood, so it does make sense that on a day with a clear blue sky, you might wake up feeling a teensy bit perkier. Either way, though, coping with that oh so alluring temptation to just reset your alarm for an hour later and go back to bed is a fight I think we all wage from time to time.

Action vs. Regret

It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where this was a strong enough pull for me, but on Monday, when I was sooooooo tempted to just go back to sleep, my goals just kept going through my mind.

Good ActionsAnd I knew if I gave into my body wanting more sleep and went back to bed, I not only wouldn’t feel any better later in the day, I’d also have to live with the REGRET of not taking action.

And let’s face it: Regret sucks.

So I had a choice to make: Go back to bed or just suck it up and get moving. I chose to take ACTION! And it felt AMAZING and completely changed how I was feeling!

And because I took action, it led to others taking action as well. And there just isn’t a word that encapsulates how awesome that feels!!

Take That, Resistance!

I think that in all of our lives, we struggle with resistance and procrastination in all shapes and sizes. It could be as subtle as smacking the snooze button for the third time instead of sticking to your workout schedule. Or, it could be as loud as your family resisting the healthy changes you’re trying to enact for yourself (and for all of them in turn).

No ExcusesWhat’s tricky about this type of resistance is that we’re just so darn used to it, you know? It’s that teeny tiny little voice in our heads that goes, “Ah well. It was a really long day. It’s totally fine to have another glass of wine.” Or, “Meh. Eat the rest of the fries. You worked out, like, 4 times this week!”

To be brutally honest, it somehow convinces you that what you’re doing isn’t self-sabotage at all; it’s just warm-fuzzy rewards for deserving awesomeness! #mmmhmm

And who doesn’t want rewards and coddling? I mean, really. It just feels so GOOD! And that’s why we fall for it over and over again. However, you can break that cycle if you can teach yourself how to see through those “rewards” for what they really are. How?

Measure that Reward

The next time you feel that urge to “reward” yourself, try to build in a little space between the impulse and the action. You may think I’m crazy, but MAKE yourself count to 10 or 100 and see if you still NEED that “reward.”

Thought About SkippingOr, if you think you’re still hungry but you just wolfed down your meal, drink a full glass of water, wait 15 minutes and see if you’re really hungry. Also, the next time you get the impulse to reach for a snack when you logically shouldn’t need one, check in with yourself to see if you’re actually hungry or if you’re technically just BORED or emotionally zapped.

If you’ve already had your allotment of the tasty treat, ask yourself calmly and gently if a second helping is going to help you achieve the goals you’ve been working so hard toward. “Is that second scoop of frozen yogurt going to help me fit in my skinny jeans?” Or, “Will that second bag of popcorn help me keep my cholesterol low?” Most likely the answer will be NO.

I’m not saying DON’T reward yourself. I’m just suggesting that you do it within reason. Have treats — we all need them from time to time! But by weighing what you’re “treating” yourself with against what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll probably find that you have more inner strength to make the best choice for yourself. A la, “Actually, you’re right. I don’t need a ANOTHER cookie.”

Your Turn!

You know I love hearing from y’all! What are some of the ways you work to overcome your own self-sabotaging tendencies? Have you found a reward system that works for you?

 

Long Term Weight Loss Goals vs. Crash diets

One of my good girlfriends — like many of us — oscillates between being super on top of her game (a la P90X and Insanity) and being 20 pounds overweight. It’s painful to watch her cycle through her moments of feeling like a failure when they inevitably come. Over the years, I’ve tried to reassure her along the way and remind her that she can get back on top of it, just as she’s done many times before.

She’s currently coming out of one of her low times after having packed on some pounds in a stressful period of her life. What’s amazing, though, is that something seems to have clicked for her this time because instead of trying to get back into tip top shape in one month’s time, she has decided to commit to upping her fitness level over a full year.

I practically whooped with joy when she calmly told me that she decided to make that change (instead of crash dieting and punishing her body with grueling workouts over a short period of time). When we talked about what inspired the change in her approach, she admitted that a huge part of it was from seeing me and a number of our friends slowly but surely change our lives and fitness levels over many, many months and years. Continue reading “Long Term Weight Loss Goals vs. Crash diets”

Meditation: 5 Reasons It’s Good For You

I want to preface today’s post with a confession. I have been closed-minded to meditation in the past because of my own personal pre-conceived ideas and notions about what it is. However, after studying the benefits and how-to’s of meditation, I now see how it can not only be greatly beneficial but is a NECESSARY practice in this fast-paced world.

Meditation can hold different meaning for each individual while the practice is the same – much like yoga. In the next 2 blog posts I’m going to answer the question about what it is, share the benefits of practicing it and then share some how-to’s and tips for incorporating it into your life.

So I encourage you to put aside everything you’ve thought, read, heard, whatever about meditation and just follow me for the next couple blog posts. Can you do that?

“Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It is meditation. ” ~ Jonathan Haidt

That quote in and of itself is a pretty amazing reason to give meditation a shot, is it not?

Continue reading “Meditation: 5 Reasons It’s Good For You”

Top 3 Ways To Feel Your Best

One of my favorite “side effects” from working out regularly is generally feeling pretty darn good overall.

I mean, who doesn’t want to feel strong, look better naked (or in a swimsuit), and have better health and less wobbly areas overall?

There are a ton of factors that play into our sense of well-being, so this week, I thought I’d send a little inspiration your way for how to feel your best! Continue reading “Top 3 Ways To Feel Your Best”

Overcoming Your Inner Critic

For those of you who took part in the Team ROAR Free 7-Day Challenge, what a success that was!

It was truly such a pleasure getting our collective sweat on together, and I’m so thrilled that it was such a blast!

I hope that those of you who rocked the challenge not only enjoyed the comradery but also felt the impact that peer support can have on your own fitness.

As my friend Beth perfectly observed, “Overcoming mental obstacles can be harder to conquer than the toughest physical obstacle course.”

It seems that the collective concept of “fitness” includes the pursuit of rock-hard abs and getting rid of anything that jiggles. #backfat #lovehandles #bellypooch #wobblyarms

However, fitness doesn’t just make your physical body stronger – it also can make incredible changes in your mind and mental processes as well. Continue reading “Overcoming Your Inner Critic”

Why Does Fear Hold Us Back?

Oh fear. How I loathe thee.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve hesitated to follow my instincts for fear of someone else’s (gulp!) judgment, I’d probably be a wealthy lady indeed.

Granted, I used to struggle with fear far more until a few years ago, but still — it’s aggravating even fathoming how many good, true-to-one’s-self decisions have likely been derailed by fear. Continue reading “Why Does Fear Hold Us Back?”

Busy Butterflies – Finding Inner Peace In A Crazy World

When I hear the word “meditation,” I think of sitting uncomfortably while my thoughts swarm around in my head unbidden, like a rabble of fanciful butterflies.

Don’t get me wrong, I love butterflies but when I’m trying to slow my thoughts and focus? Not so much.

Is it so surprising, then, that the typical form of meditation is one areas of mental wellbeing that I have not exactly explored? I think not.

However, I am the first person who will admit that your mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing are equally important and probably pretty inextricably linked. Continue reading “Busy Butterflies — Finding Inner Peace In A Crazy World”

Excuses

While sitting in front of a warm, cozy fire the other night, my husband and I were discussing excuses and how flippantly we throw them around. It seems this has become something of a second nature to us — and by “us,” I mean the entire human race.

When it comes to health and fitness in particular, excuses are rampant. I hear people wishing for and wanting things to be different, yet when it comes down to it, their excuses continue to hold them back.

Now, don’t think I’m getting all high and mighty on you — I allowed those same excuses to hold me back for a long time as well. Continue reading “Excuses”

Openings

My friend and I were talking the other day about her work with a voice coach in NYC. She had been singing ever since she could remember but wanted to try to take her voice to the next level with formal training.

She was telling me how she had a lesson a few months into her vocal work where she burst into tears for no apparent reason. Embarrassed and trying to get the tears under control, she apologized to her coach, not being sure how to explain the waterworks.

Continue reading “Openings”