29. October 2013 19:04
This is a guest post by Julia Hunt – fitness lover, girly-girl, dating advice guru and founder of madly popular blog site becomingjuliet;. She also happens to be Libby’s little sister and someone who was born with a great excuse not to exercise – a club foot and no calf muscle in one leg, which has led to a knee that constantly dislocates and a back that’s often in pain.
We figure if there’s anyone out there who knows how to flip a fitness motivation killer, it’s Jules! She’s still in the gym every week, constantly experimenting with new ways to workout that won’t leave her in pain.
Here are the Top 10 de-motivating thoughts that tend to pop up in Julia’s world (erm, ours too!) and how she kicks them to the curb.
1. Looking at “Fitspiration” or “Fitspo” pics online
You know how I know when Summer’s around the corner? My Facebook newsfeed starts looking more and more like a supermodel. Oh, wait, that’s because there are supermodels ALL OVER IT.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good, healthy fitspiration fix, especially when it’s got to do with appreciating other people’s progress, but I do think that constantly comparing ourselves to others can lead us to create unrealistic standards for ourselves, instead of leaving us inspired.
I say that instead of looking to others, glance at one of your favourite images of yourself when you were looking and feeling your absolute best! Or take a photo at the beginning of your fitness journey and then every few weeks, snap another one and compare it to your last, using your own progress as motivation to continue.
Remember that if you do want to look elsewhere to get all body-inspired, make sure your “fitspo” is someone who lives a balanced lifestyle and values how training makes them feel, instead of just how it makes them look.
2. Being too strict with yourself
Think for a second about the times you’ve gone above and beyond to reach your fitness/work/life goals and had a lot of success.
Did you achieve that success at a time when you were unhappy? In a negative frame of mind? On a super strict diet? Trying hard to impress someone else? I know I’ve never done my best work during times like those.
In fact, I always do my best when I stop punishing myself, allow myself to live a lifestyle that I love and focus on being active, or working on a project for the fun of it and as a gift to myself, no matter what the end goal is.
Depriving yourself of something, or stressing about it is no way to get what you want, so don’t go making yourself feel bad or you’ll burn out fast and it’ll be an endless cycle of hard-to-reach goals.
3. Messy home, messy motivation
I’m a big believer that when you’re on a fitness mission you need to take a look at your surroundings and consider doing a big ‘ol space refresher! Yep, that means a spring clean.
Whether it’s as simple as throwing out the chocolate in your cupboard to make room for some more greens, or tackling the big summer wardrobe clean-out, everyone knows it’s easier to stick to a goal when you feel like you’re cleansed, focused and in control!
4. Waiting for the magic “motivation pill” to arrive
We all know the feeling. You wake up feeling like it’s just not a “motivated to exercise” kinda day. Maybe it’s raining outside, or you only got two hours sleep and you’re reminding yourself that getting enough sleep helps you to keep your hormones in check and lose weight too (this is my own all time favourite excuse).
Whatever the excuse, let me tell you that the reason you can’t find any “motivation” is because you’ve been led to believe a big fat lie. The lie is this: motivation has to come before an activity. But that’s not always the case!
I find my motivation almost always kicks in AFTER a workout, not before. It stems from being proud that I did something I previously had no motivation to do and that feeling of achievement carries me through the rest of the day.
There are only a small bunch of people who really do feel motivated to get up and train, the rest of us are just chasing that post-workout high, so don’t go tricking yourself into thinking you’re a lazy person simply because you don’t feel motivated.
Focus on chasing that post-sweat feeling instead of working out to lose weight and I guarantee you’ll reach that bikini-ready goal in time for summer, because suddenly it’s about the journey, not the destination.
And as we all know… you can’t just blink your eyes and suddenly arrive on a beach in remote Fiji, you’ve gotta catch 2 planes, hitch a ride in a ute, then take a ride over rough seas in a tinny first! Yep, it’s a case of “do before you can have” girls!
5. Forgetting to set short-term goals
One of the biggest mistakes you can make on any sort of long-haul journey is wallowing in the feeling that it’s going to be an endless tunnel of doom and effort before the end result is within reach.
A lot of people talk about rewarding yourself along the way, but honestly I’ve never been very good at sticking to that. I always forget to do it, or think, “I could buy that dress to reward myself, but then I also need to pay this bill, so I’m just going to acknowledge the checkpoint and move on”, which sometimes isn’t enough to make me feel like I’ve truly accomplished something.
So, I came up with an idea I love. When I planned an attack on my most recent goal, I sat down and plotted some short-term “checkpoints” that deserved a celebration. For each of these, I gave my close friends $10 and asked them to buy me a cheap gift with it.
I opened these gifts, surprise after surprise, as I reached every mini goal and then ticked it off my progress list.
This might not be the right solution for you, but however you do it, make sure that instead of just looking at how far you’ve still got to go, you also take a second to appreciate how far you’ve come.
6. Going it alone
A person I met at a party once asked me what my dream job was. After I spilled the beans, I of course asked him the same thing in return. He said he’d prefer not to tell anyone because he thinks the more people you tell of a plan, the less likely you are to actually make it happen, and I want to take this moment to say I think he was wrong.
The more support you have on your journey, the better. Tell your best friends, tell your partner, tell your family, even join a fun program and if you can, lock someone in to come to training sessions with you!
We know it’s nice to have support in our relationships and in our jobs, so why wouldn’t it be just as great to have it on your fitness journey? Having people by your side will make it harder for you to lose momentum, so gather up that support network girl!
7. Not using music as your #1 training buddy
I have a playlist of songs that could sum up pretty much ALL of my life goals. We all know music is a winner for when you want to go hard at training, but it can also help to link you emotionally to the goal you’re trying to reach.
My biggest music tip? Find a ‘little wins’ song and play it when you beat your personal best, or when you say no to that extra slice of cake. It’s all about celebrating the small stuff! Because little by little, a little equals a lot.
Hint: we love “Can’t Get Better Than This” by Parachute Youth
8. Not working with a professional
You pay someone to do your hair, paint your nails, give you a massage and service your car, right? So why don’t you think looking after your body is a job for a pro?
Trust me, you’ll never know how valuable a personal trainer or nutrition coach can be to your life, until you find the right one. It doesn’t have to be a one-on-one trainer, if you need something more affordable just find an awesome group instructor, or find a training buddy who knows what they’re doing.
The trainer that’s rocking your best friend’s world right now is not necessarily the right person for you either, so shop around – it’s such a personal industry and once you’ve found the right trainer, or team who believe in you, reach out to them when you need a bit of support and you’ll be unstoppable!
9. Thinking you have to “do it all”
This has got to be the curse of the modern day woman! The more goals I’ve set for myself, the more I’ve realised along the way that task prioritising is my best friend.
When you first start something new, you have endless time and energy for it but as time goes on, that can start to fade and you’re left feeling de-motivated and like a whole box of timtams would definitely help to improve the situation (hint: it won’t).
Making sure you’ve prioritised your most important tasks (or workouts) and being OK with letting some things go, at least for now, is important. This way, you don’t get burnt out and frustrated, or give up early.
Just like running a marathon, it’s all about pacing yourself.
10. Not having a go-to motivation kicker!
Sometimes you just need a moment with your fave motivation kicker, to get you in the mood! Perhaps you’ve made your own personal winner’s bible, or fitspo page you like to refer to in times of need. For me, it almost always comes in the form of a good YouTube video. My two favourite go-to vid’s for a quick motivational kick in the bum are:
The greatest speech ever – I am a champion!
I am the greatest
9. September 2013 18:25
Well, it’s that time of year again, it seems like every second person these days has either just come back from a holiday, or is just about to zip off to enjoy the last few days of the hot European/Balinese sun (and the tempting fiestas that come with) .
Whether you’ve just come back from a trip big or small I think you can agree that the hardest thing about coming back isn’t that big stack of emails waiting for you in the office, or the pile of washing, but rather the dreaded thought of getting back into your regular fitness and nutrition routine. Let me tell you now, I hear you!
Seeing as this is something I’ve recently experienced, I thought I’d start spreading the word on some tips that will help you get back into your fitness routine in no time!
1. Start at a lower intensity
Slowly ease back to your normal training routine by starting at a lower intensity and frequency in the first week depending on how often you usually train. For example, if you normally train five times per week, start with three times during your first week back. People are often too eager to get back in shape that they over train on the first day and are sore afterwards for a week. Don’t set yourself up for failure — begin with a maximum of 80% intensity and frequency in your first week and slowly progress.
2. Eat in moderation
Your stomach may have adjusted to the excessive amount of food and alcohol consumption in the last weeks of holiday indulgences. The increased appetite will cause your brain to think you need more food than usual. It can take a while for our bodies to adjust back to the normal, so be patient.
3. Have more frequent meals
Try to have five to six small meals throughout the day to allow your stomach to adjust to smaller food intake. This will result in less cravings for unhealthy foods and help you get back to your normal eating routine with ease.
4. Ease back into cardio training
For some of you it might be difficult to pick up running again right away, especially if you haven’t done anything during your vacation. Start out with 20 minutes of slow jogging for the first week. Then from the second week onwards, slowly switch to jogging for 30 minutes two or three times. In the third week you should be able to run at your normal pace and distance. For more tips on cardiovascular training, check out the running set below. This is the best way to get back into cardiovascular shape and should be combined with weight training.
To help with your cardio training try this routine on your next run; start at a slow pace to really feel like you’re properly warm and ready for action.
Jog – 2 minutes
Sprint – 1 minute
Jog – 2 Minutes
Sprint – 2 minutes
Jog – 2 minutes
Sprint – 3 minutes
Jog – 2 minutes
Repeat - aim to repeat this set twice, and start to build on it week to week until you’re comfortable.
5. Combine weight training with intervals
For those who prefer weight training or high intensity interval training (HIIT), you will love this routine and see results fast.
Alternate between a 40 minute moderate intensity workout, a 40 minute intense workout and a rest day 2-3 times a week for 4 weeks. You’ll notice you’ll be as fit as a fiddle in no time.
It might look like this:
Monday – Moderate workout which can be done on your own and should include plenty of body weight exercises
Tuesday – Intense workout done in the gym or outdoors with resistance moves. Best to do this work out with a buddy or in a group to give you that little extra push
Wednesday – Rest day which could include a long walk, yoga, pilates or a nice long stretch
Thursday – Moderate workout
Friday – Intensive workout
Saturday – Rest day
Sunday – Moderate OR Intensive workout
For a quick and simple HIIT workout, repeat these 3 moves for 15 minutes and see how many rounds you can get through (aim for 15!):
20 Air Squats
10 Push Ups
5 Chest to Floor Burpees
Remember to be kind to your body and try not to go ‘over the top’ with your training. A few gentle sessions first will give your body more time to get back into the swing of things. Your body will respond better to a gradual increase of physical exertion over punishing yourself with the same intensity you used to train. Instead of wishing you hadn’t had that last mojito, start slow and you’ll end up on top in no time.
22. January 2013 18:26
Got a resolution to actually keep your resolution? We’re here to help! Every year seems to start the same, “This year I’m definitely going to stop; smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking coffee, eat unhealthy foods, stop taking drugs, taking the bus and start; exercising more, eating healthy, meditating, growing my own vegetables... right? [More]
7. June 2012 17:09
A BUF client-turned-trainer shares her weight-loss story and gives us an insight into the hormonal, metabolic and other physical changes to expect when you're just starting out on your weight loss journey. [More]
6. March 2012 21:18
Crying tears of pain and determination at the gym might be pretty common for weight-lugging men, but what causes a female Personal Trainer to turn on the waterworks when her session has barely begun? [More]