Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Off Track

My friends, I have fallen off track a bit. I haven't done my C25K workout in almost a week, and I missed kickboxing this week! My eating hasn't been terrible, but it hasn't been great either. I haven't been drinking enough water for sure!

I'm not saying this to beat myself up, but just to hold myself accountable, and to hopefully spur myself on to get back on track. It's easy to get distracted when life gets crazy, but I still have goals that I need to keep working towards. It is time for me to hop back on track and get to work!

Tomorrow, I am going to get up early, and do my C25K workout first thing. Then, after work, I will have kickboxing. I plan on finishing week 4 of the C25K training this week, so I need to really stick to it to make that happen! 

If you are having an off week (or month/year/etc), please don't be discouraged! Hop back on track with me, and get to work! I have more energy just thinking about it!

Have a great rest of the week, friends. I will be enjoying a 4 day weekend, and numerous workouts. :-)


Sunday, May 13, 2012

This Weekend

This weekend, I only worked out once instead of my planned two workouts. Instead, I spent amazing quality time with my friends and family. It was totally worth it.

This weekend, I didn't stick to my diet at all, and I indulged in some delicious food. It was totally worth it.

This weekend, my friends and family commented many, many times on how much weight I have lost, and how great I am looking. I may have not followed my plan for this weekend, but the support and encouragement of my loved ones will help me get right back on track once I return home tomorrow!

It's great to take a weekend off every now and then, and just relax. It's important to take that time, and not beat myself up over it. But it is also important to have the motivation to get back on track!!

More updates soon... Tomorrow I start week 3 of C25K!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Staying Focused

Good morning, and happy Friday, friends! It is a beautiful day here, and I am looking forward to going outside and working out a little later today. I hope you will do the same. :-)

This week, I have been thinking a lot about what it takes to stay focused and motivated on a goal. So often, we set goals for ourselves, but we don't follow through with them because we don't have anything set in place to help us stay on track. I think that is why I am staying successful on this goal... I have set numerous things around me to keep me focused. I would like to share some of those things with you, and hopefully they will help you reach your goals also, weight loss, fitness, or anything else!

Tell people about your goal
Goals are great. But they don't do us a whole lot of good if we keep them to ourselves and then never complete them. For me, a great source of motivation has been sharing my goal with others and hearing there feedback. Don't be shy! I talk to my friends, family, co-workers, and all over Facebook. I want people to know what I am working towards!

Give people permission to hold you accountable
How many of you have failed to complete a goal before, and no one said anything to you about it? You know why? Most people aren't going to just call you out and say "Hey, what are you doing eating that junk, I thought you were on a plan?" Unless, of course, you give them permission to! That's what I have done this time around. I work with a group of 18-25 year old young men and women. Part of the program they are in is focused on achieving goals, so I am regularly following up with them on their goals. Recently, I turned the tables and I shared my goals with them: weight loss, working out, and working towards the 5k in June. Not only did I share it with them, I gave them full permission to ask me how it's going and to hold me accountable. They have been so encouraging to me!! Someone asks me almost every day how my workouts are going. They tell me regularly that they can see my progress, and some even leave me notes of encouragement on my door. It is AMAZING how motivating it is to have people standing behind you, cheering you on! So, tell someone. Tell a bunch of someones. And give them permission to be a little nosy an hold you to your goals!

Make charts & trackers
This part is fun for me. I love tracking my progress. It gives me something to constantly look at that is real and reflects how far I have come, and how far I have to go. I have multiple ways that I do this. I have 2 trackers on my phone. One is the C25K app that tracks my workouts, mileage, and times. The other is the "Lose It" app which tracks my meals, workouts, and weight loss. I also have a total weight loss chart in my office, that is basically just a picture of a thermometer that I update after each doctor's appointment. I also have a calendar of all my scheduled workouts on the door to my office. Each day that I complete my workout, I put a smiley face over that day. That way, those at my work that are holding my accountable can see how I am doing. So far, that has helped me to not miss a single workout!!

Check your progress regularly and often
It's easy to get distracted with life and not track your goals regularly, but this is really important! You can't know how far you have to go if you don't know where you are! For me, this means I weigh in often... really, almost every day. I know many people say you should only weigh in once a week, but for me, daily works better. It keeps me accountable ever. single. day. I know that if I eat that huge, delicious, gooey, brownie, that it WILL show up on the scale tomorrow. So I think about that, and I decide if it is worth it. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't! The scale is not my enemy, it is just an accurate reflection of what I am doing in my life, and how I am treating my body. I actually get pretty excited when I get on the scale, because I am seeing daily progress, and that is exciting! For your goals, figure out what timeline works best. Daily, weekly, monthly... whatever is best for you and for your goal. But then put it on the calendar, and follow through. Know where you are so that you can get to where you want to be.

Give yourself time
It takes time, and you don't make huge amounts of progress overnight. This goes for ANY goal. For me, I have to remember that I didn't put on all this weight overnight, and I am not going to take it off overnight either. Set reasonable, attainable goals for yourself, and give yourself the necessary time to reach them.

Brag about yourself a bit
Don't be afraid to tell people how you are doing! I love being able to tell my friends and family that I am doing great and sticking to my goals! I love being able to brag a little about how much weight I have lost! (44 pounds today, by the way!) It is an encouragement to me, and I have found that it is often and encouragement to others as well. When you see someone making progress on their goals, doesn't it make you want to work harder on your own?

Reward yourself for progress made
Set mini goals as you work towards your big goal, and reward yourself as you go! With my weight loss goal, my rewards are pretty simple... clothes that fit!! I am not really buying new clothes right now, since I know they won't fit soon either. But, I did splurge on some cute personal items last month... For me, it was so happy to be able to go into Victoria's Secret and find cute things that actually fit me!!! :-) I think my next reward may be a mani/pedi day. I need a little pampering!

Don't be too hard on yourself
We all have bad days... or bad weeks... or months. It happens! Lately, I have been out of town almost every weekend! It is much harder to follow my diet and exercise plan when I am away from home. But, I do the best I can (which sometimes isn't much!) and then when I get home I kick it back into gear. This weekend, I am headed down to Sacramento. Over the next few days, there will be a graduation, much celebration with friends, many meals out, and a BBQ with my Dad and family. Not much time to workout... But I am going to try my best. Lots of food temptations, but I am going to try my best. I know that there is a good chance that the numbers on my scale will be a little higher when I return, but as long as I do my best, and get back on track when I return, I am okay with that. I still have a life to live!! So, don't beat yourself up if you fall off track! Just dust yourself off, and continue on your way. As Dory from Finding Nemo would say: "Just keep swimming!"

That's what is keeping me focused friends. I hope my tips help you out a bit too. Now, it is time for me to get busy... I have a house to clean, a workout to complete, bags to pack, and a friend to visit. Busy day for me!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When It Hurts... Keep Pushing Through

It was only a matter of time until this happened. I went from not working out at all, to doing two kickboxing workouts a week, to alternating kickboxing and running for a total of 5-6 days a week. Of course it was going to catch up to me. Of course my body was going to start rebelling.

Last night, my workout was T O U G H. It hurt. I wanted to cry. I thought I was going to lose my lunch. I cramped up. There were parts of the workout that my body just could not physically do. When my body said "no more", I slammed my fist against the mat in frustration. BUT. I finished. I got through it. I pushed through the pain, and I made it happen. Today, I am stronger because of it. Tomorrow, I will be even stronger as I keep pushing through the pain.

These are the moments that make or break people. These are the moments when many would stop and say "it's too hard, I can't do it." I'm not going to do that. I am going to keep pushing through. I will grow stronger with every day. I will continue to push through the pain, and jump over any hurdle that I face. I will not give up.
Why? Because I know that if I give up, the only person I am hurting is myself.

I am worth so much more than that. You are too. Push through it.


Monday, May 7, 2012

My Motivation

This weekend, I was up in Oregon spending some time with my family. My younger brother is leaving for Army Boot Camp today, and we had a farewell party for him. It was a great time to just enjoy my family and spend some quality time together!

At one point, my brother's girlfriend asked me about my recent weight loss. She asked me ho much I had lost, and how I was doing it. Then, she asked me why I decided to make these changes now... what motivated me to start eating better and working out. Our conversation was interupted, and I never realyl got to answer her. So yesterday, while I was completeing Week 2, Day 1 of my C25K training, I started thinking about that question. Why am I doing this? What changed inside of me to make me finally really want to take care of me? What is motivating me? After my workout, I shared my thoughts with her on Facebook. I'd like to share them here as well.

I have decided that I am worth so much more than I have given myself up until this point. I have realized that I am stronger (physically and emotionally) than I ever thought I was. I am tired of being complacent and lazy and have decided to do something about it. Basically, for the first time in over a decade, I have remembered that I am the only one that can or will take care of me. I am tired of sitting back and watching life pass me by, and so I have decided to get off my @ss and do something about it. I want better for my life than what I have been living up until this point, and the only way I am going to get better is by putting in the work necessary to get there. I want to be a better version of the person I am now. I'm not interested in being stick thin, or a size 0... but I am interested in being strong, fit, and healthy. I love life, and I plan on living a long and amazing one. This is just my first step towards that. :-) 
So that is what is motivating me. That is my driving force to keep pushing forward on this journey. That is what I say to myself when my lungs are burning and my body is aching: Push through Amber... you are the only one who can do this for yourself... you are worth more than what you have been giving yourself... work towards a better you... just push through... you can do it.

Recently, I have had a number of my friends tell me that I have been a motivation to them. That my blog and posts on Facebook have encouraged them in their journey as well. That makes me beyond happy, and I sure hope that continues! We all need motivation, and some of the best motivation ocmes from those who have been there, and truly understand. I hope that whoever is reading this today finds motivation and encouragment in my words. I hope that you will realize that you also deserve a better version of you, and you are the only one who can make that happen. Now... Make it happen!!!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Workout Schedule

In order to hold myself accountable to my goals, I have been sharing them with friends, family, and co-workers so that they can ask me whenever they want how I am doing! It is much nicer to answer that question when I have been sticking to my plan! So, on that note, below is what my current workout schedule looks like. Basically, I am combing my kickboxing classes with the C25K schedule. C25K is supposed to be just 3 days a week, but I am adding in a 4th day every other week, because I I have 7 weeks to complete the 9 week plan before my race.

Monday: 30 min C25K, 1 hour kickboxing
Tuesday: 30 min C25K
Wednesday: 1 hour kickboxing
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 30 min C25K
Saturday: 30 min C25K (every other week)
Sunday: Rest

I may change the days of the week, just depending on how I feel, but that is the basic idea. 4-5 workouts per week, 2-3 rest days to allow my body to recover. So far this week, I have totally kept on track! Yay me!

And now, for the first of what I am sure will be many before & after pics... Only a face shot right now... I'm not quite ready to show the full body shots *cringe*. These pics were taken about 6 months apart... the one on the right in fall of last year, and the one on the left, last month. I know it is a different angle, but I know I can certainly see the difference in the chubbiness of my face!

More updates soon!