Exercise Motivation

Why We Should Support Our Fitness Friends

I believe one of the absolute best foundations a person can live by is to be a supporter, not a competitor. I’m not saying participating in competitions is bad – that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m a huge believer in participating in races, going for your dreams, trying to the best you, you can be. What I’m talking about is more comparing yourself to others in a competitive manner.

So you exercised five days a week, gave up pantry snacks, and your friend lost weight but you didn’t. That’s frustrating, I know. It doesn’t feel fair, does it? But what’s the alternative – she gain weight? She become sad? Is that what you actually want for your friend, for the sake of keeping things “fair”? No! For your own sanity, your friendship, and for you to be the person that shines a positive light on others, congratulate her. Tell her your proud of her, and keep doing you, boo.

Since becoming a mother, I have noticed how excited a child is when they see him/herself in the mirror. You ever notice that? A toddler is all smiles and excitement! Simply pure joy to see their face, their outfit, their crazy post-nap hair. If we all looked out ourselves in the mirror with the same excitement of a child, we’d be a much happier world. But so many people will look in the mirror and start pointing out the negatives. They start comparing their hair/face/make-up/body/attire to someone else, or to some standard. Again – comparing and competing only does harm to ourselves.

A gym should be an encouraging, happy place. Personally I never pay attention to other people at a gym – It’s “me” time – and I firmly believe the perception that people are being judged while there is just something people have made up in their heads from being self-conscious and uncomfortable in that setting. Yes, I am certain judgments have happened, but screw those people. They are likely few and far. If you’re severely overweight, don’t think someone at the gym is judging you negatively for being there. You’re there! You’re trying! If you’re walking on the treadmill and the person next to you is running and slinging sweat everywhere (I hate when that happens) it’s okay. You don’t have to run. Tell them they’ve done a good job – even the pros need an encouraging, positive word now and then.

Don’t compare. Be supportive. And if you want to wear a princess dress while doing TRX, put on that tiara and do your thing girl.

General Fitness

The Strength of Life

I’m supposed to be writing about strength training this month, as that’s what I promised to whoever follows me on Facebook and Instagram, but I have something on my heart so I’m going to stray off topic. But it’s just a smidge off, I promise. Hopefully it’s worth it to someone other than me.

We take care of our bodies. We wreck our bodies. We carefully prepare each meal, or we eat whatever want. In the end – and I mean the real end – it only partially matters.

Yes, eating healthy and exercising gives us the energy to grab life by the balls and live it fully. Yes, it will keep us from getting certain diseases and impairments. But when our last day comes, there is only so much we can could have done to prevent it. I would like to think that most of us don’t say, “Well my life was great – I traveled, I loved, but… I never fit into that smaller size I always wanted to be.”

My races and physical challenges that I have embraced have made me proud, and I’m not afraid to be proud. I think somewhere in childhood we learn to be scared to be proud of ourselves in fear of coming across as arrogant. There’s a difference and it should be easy to spot. If you gave yourself a challenge, or were confronted with some tough obstacles, and overcame them, then yes be proud of yourself. Tell us on Facebook. That’s not bragging. If we’re really your friends, we’ll be proud of you too.

But with an effort towards leading a decently healthy lifestyle, I still don’t know when my final day will come, as you likely don’t either. Most don’t. I will still eat my vegetables. I will still exercise, because I firmly believe that most people who exercise are generally happy people. There are still those bad eggs in the bunch, but typically we’re happy, encouraging folks.

Live the life you want to live. Eat ice cream. Go for runs. Feel the pain in your limbs when you’re climbing obstacles. Find the vegetables you actually enjoy, and say “F That” to the ones you don’t. Life is too short to eat horrible food, but too long to not give a damn.

And because I did promise to talk about strength training… How can one fully get the benefits of life if they don’t feed their muscles? I have young children who still want to be held at times, and if I didn’t work on my arms and back, I’d wreak havoc on my body. I can’t lose that precious, fleeting time with them, so if it means spending time with weights and a bar, I’ll do it. They want to run around the yard, ride bikes, jump on the trampoline. Mommy couldn’t do that if she didn’t strengthen her legs. I’m not a “sit on the sidelines” kind of person. I hope you don’t want to be either.

So keep living, y’all. Lift a few weights. Go a run or walk and feel the fresh air all around.

Until next time…

Fitness Guides and Gear

Can you workout with Pinterest?

Ah, Pinterest. What a great invention, right? We can get lost on that site for hours. Have seaglass you don’t know what to do with? Someone on Pinterest will have an idea for you. Want to teach your child to speak Spanish? Someone on Pinterest already has a plan for you. It’s great, seriously.

Have you ever checked out exercises on there and wondered how good they really are? It can be overwhelming and you can easily lose focus. Do I want to work on my abs? Do I just want a quick, full body, at home workout? Do I want to do push-ups for a 30 day challenge? Realistically, we can spend so much time pinning these exercises and then never actually end up doing the exercises!

But how can we effectively use Pinterest to help meet our fitness goals? First – Have a focus. What specific exercises are you looking for? Do you want body weight exercises, or 30-day challenges, or to learn how to use specific equipment at the gym so you don’t feel or look silly when you go to the gym and try to use it? Figure out that focus, and then only pin exercises related to it.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a professional to pin, so if you see exercises that seem a little wonky, maybe not try those. Be smart. Be safe.

I am a fan of using the 30-day challenges on Pinterest. Anyone can easily stick to doing at least one exercise everyday for a month. I’ve done challenges for ab exercises, burpees, push-ups. It’s a great way to challenge yourself, give yourself a goal, and give you the instant gratification one needs to see improvement in strength and ability.

What are your favorite Pinterest workouts?

Happy pinning!

Exercise Motivation

Why do you want to exercise?

Welcome to my blog. It’s nice to have you here.

So why do you want to exercise? Or diet? And how can my page help you on your journey?

I’m Jen, and I’m “normal”. I don’t stray too far on either side of the fitness or healthy eating spectrum. I believe exercise is a vital part of life. I prefer to do some level of activity everyday, but dedicate 30-90 minutes of structural exercise 3-6 days a week. I know and appreciate the value of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, and minimal fats in my diet. But, I also understand when you’re in a new country or on vacation, that carpe diem should be applied to one’s diet.

So yes, I’m normal. But I also consider myself a motivated person, and I have had a few people tell me I’ve motivated them on their fitness journeys, even when I hadn’t intentionally tried to.

Why do you want to exercise? Is it is for your own mental and physical well-being? Is it because a medical professional told you you have to? Is it because you feel the social pressure to do so? Before one can succeed at reaching any sort of exercise goal, this question must be answered. You must also figure out if it’s a strong enough reason to keep you motivated. I exercise because I like it. I like watching myself overcome a fitness feat I had doubt I could reach. Mentally speaking, if I don’t exercise for a few days, I get really grumpy. Physically I feel a little gross. But that’s me. Those are my reasons. That is part of my exercise journey. What are your reasons? What keeps you motivated?

Why do you want to diet? I know you’ve heard this before, but doing a diet without any plan to change how you eat for the rest of your life is doomed to fail. If you stick to a diet for 2 months, good for you. But if you return to a previous, unhealthy way of eating immediately afterwards, well then what was the point?

How can my page help you? If you hadn’t already read on my Facebook page, or from following me on Instagram, I am on a mission to try out different exercise and diet plans over several months. I will give honest feedback on how the plans are going, and whether they live up to the claims we all hear about. For the month of May, I checked out the Zone Diet, which is very popular among crossfitters (I am not one). During June I will continue the Zone Diet, but without it being the main topic of focus, as I will be dedicating this month to Strength Training. I hope you join me!