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How to make fitness fun again

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

As some of you know, I started (and by starting, I mean somewhat attempting) P90X this week and it's really kicking my butt. And I'm even modifying most of the workouts so I don't collapse on the floor and die! haha

I decided I would take it easy today since I'm in pain and I'm already filled with guilt about not working out or doing cardio. I just started thinking to myself tonight, "Since when has working out become such a chore and burden to me? Have I always felt like this? Have I ever really enjoyed working out?" I absolutely dread starting my workouts because I don't enjoy them at all and just want to get it over with so I can track my calories burned on SP.

When I recall my younger days, I never had a workout regimen. I only had the outdoors to go on bike rides and sports to be involved in. To me, that was NOT working out and I loved it. I could spend hours doing what I loved and somehow (miraculously to me) I was always healthy.

These days, I am not strong enough or fast enough (or so it feels) to be involved in sports and recreational activities; I feel like I have to work myself back up so I don't look or feel like a fool. I know most people would reply that I shouldn't feel that way and just do what I love, but it's really hard...harder than most know. To add to that disgusted feeling of myself that I have, I just think about how easy it was for me to do those things before...and look at me now!

I know I need to work on loving myself for what I am right here and now and forever. But how do people stay interested? How do I make these workouts more appealing until I feel comfortable enough to join a sport? Does it go back to motivation and inspiration? What are your thoughts?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MICAROO 3/19/2013 5:37AM

    I'm a cyclist. Not a racer mind you... I just tool along the back roads and thoroughly enjoy the ride. I only wish I could do it all year long. Bicycling makes me feel like a kid again. Once the winter is finally over, I'll be commuting to work on the bike every day, weather permitting.

But I hate strength training. It's just something I know I have to do. I schedule it and get it done. I don't like to do it, but I like the results, and I'm proud of myself when I'm done. But I don't push myself so hard that I'm exhausted for the rest of the day and in pain the following 3 days. It's a balance. I have to push myself enough to gain strength and endurance, so the next day I feel the workout, but not so much that I'm crippled.

I have never done P90X. It seems really grueling. I'm sure it's a great workout, but it's 6 days a week, 1-1/2 to 2 hours a day. For me, I'd rather do 3 workouts of 30 minutes than do one 90 minute workout. I usually schedule 3 workout sessions: 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch (walking) and 30 minutes in the evening. If something interferes with one session, I still have the other 2 so I won't end up with a zero. My lunch session is just walking. In the morning it's either strength training or spin bike, and in the evening it might be walking, strength training, spin bike or yoga, depending on what I did for the other 2 workout sessions. When I start commuting to/from work on the bicycle, I'll drop the spin bike from the plan.

Keep trying until you find a plan that works for you. And then keep tweaking it. There's no perfect fitness plan. You'll always have to keep adjusting it as your fitness level changes, or your schedule changes, or other circumstances come and go.

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    You are both right. I really feel like I have a lot of catching up to do, which is probably why I'm pushing myself into things too fast or things I don't really want to do. And when I can't exercise the way I used to, I feel like I'm failing a little which makes me hate the activity I'm doing. I will try and slow down a bit to enjoy the run. I'm getting better, especially with my breathing so it makes it a little more enjoyable. Do people eventually grow to love their workouts? I mean does anyone seriously grow to love a program like P90X? Serious question! :o) Because I wish I loved it and wished that I didn't want to end every workout early.

Don--I LOVE Zumba. And I'd probably love salsa and swing, but I don't want to touch anyone when I'm all sweaty. I know, it's probably something ridiculous to say, but I've become very self-conscious. Maybe Ill just check out some Zumba classes first!

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DDOORN 3/14/2013 10:45AM

    Variety is the spice of life AND workouts!

Fun and enjoyment is a big piece of having a successful workout also...who is gonna stick with a workout that's all sweat and grunts and aches and pains?

That is why cycling has been such a wonderful outlet for let's my "little kid" come out and WHOOP it up whizzing along streets and down hills. For me, taking it outdoors helps to considerably bump up my enjoyment of activities...which is why I try to incorporate activities such as kayaking, cross country skiing, hiking, Nordic walking.

Think back to your earlier years...what kind of activities did you really LOVE? What brought you "out to play"? How can you do more of that now?

Another fun activity to build into your routine is dance! Our area has a number of outlets for dancing, whether it's the Southern Tier Swing Dance Society or the Salsa Music Appreciation Club or the bazillion Zumba classes that are everywhere.

Hoping you'll come up with some fun inspiration for yourself!


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GETSTRONGRRR 3/13/2013 10:16PM

    Start off slow and ease into it. Back in my running days, my first objective for every run was to enjoy it, then to finish it.

A lot of it has to do with building up your strength and endurance, gradually doing more...persistence and consistency are key.....then one day, you'll wake up wondering when you GET to work out, rather than thinking you HAVE to work out.

Good luck!

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Only one pound of fat lost...maybe 5 pounds of muscle gained?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Well I've been really determined and motivated this week. Every other day I went for my 5k walk/jog and I ate pretty well (I thought), but I'm not seeing as much of an accomplishment as I wanted to. So, I reevaluated my week, went through my fitness and nutrition trackers, my goals and what I've been through.

I hate making excuses, so I'm going to call these "reasons" why I didn't achieve some goals this week:

1.) I was under my caloric intake goal almost every day but one. This can definitely hurt my body and actually make it store food as fat as it goes into starvation mode.

2.) I didn't do any strength training. Although I just kept thinking that my 5k every other day would make me lose weight this week, it really didn't and it makes a difference when you do more than cardio 3x a week.

3.) I developed a bad cold this past weekend and didn't do a thing.

With that said, I'm going to try and stay on track this week and be a little more determined to meet ALL of my goals. I have to stop assuming that just because I jog for 3 miles three times a week, it doesn't mean I'm going to lose 2-3 pounds. I need to do cardio every day and strength training 3 days a week. I even started P90X yesterday and I lost a pound! (it's intense).

On another note, I need to keep chatting more with my buds on here...they really help to keep me going and I love reading their posts and blogs. It gives me a sense of community...and makes me feel that I'm not alone with my struggles. (Thank you everyone! )

So to wrap it all up...stick with it, work as hard as you can and stay connected!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hi Don!

Yes, you're so right! I haven't checked my BP yet, but I'm not experiencing anxiety anymore and my resting heart rate has dropped dramatically. So I'm guessing that my BP has also gotten better. I definitely need to remember about the other benefits of working out!

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DDOORN 3/13/2013 1:39PM

    Don't forget to track OTHER oh-so-important signs of progress: INCHES LOST! Perhaps blood pressure lowered? Overall feeling of well-being bumped UP!

Way to SPARK! :-)


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    Hey Jen!

Thanks haha! I'm really just trying to get through those videos... I can't do everything in them yet, but I make myself keep moving. And I'm still walk/jogging the 5k lol BUT it's a start! I'm still absolutely terrified of the run in May!

The food thing--yes, I definitely have experience in this area. Personally, when I was in high school I tried the Atkins diet and I lost 25 pounds in two months and was only 160 to begin with...but I wasn't eating enough at all. Maybe around 800 cals a day tops. I was working out a ton, but I was SO tired. All the time. By the time I started school and soccer that fall, I couldn't even keep up. My coach lectured me and I started eating and gained weight really really fast. Luckily back then I was constantly playing sports and kept my weight at a healthy level.

These past few years that I've gained weight, it's been crazy...I don't eat because I 1) Don't prepare it ahead of time and 2) Don't have time. I literally have to force myself to eat throughout the day to stay up at my caloric goal. And even when I've been eating less than 1000 cals a day (not on purpose) these past few years, the days I would eat more than normal (holidays, birthdays, etc) I would pack on the pounds!

And I know you said no scientific journals...buuuttttt...haha From my experience in nursing/nutrition/anatomy and physiology is called starvation mode and that's exactly what happens to your it's getting out of the long fasting winter and you need nutrients, so it'll start storing. Also, your body can only function normally or be "at equilibrium" if you have a steady, constant habit of eating throughout the day (eating healthy, that is). And it definitely won't help you achieve the best results in your workouts unless your body has the nutrients it needs (both for energy pre-workout and nutrients to repare muscle fibers after).

I used to be obsessed with trying to figure out exactly WHAT and HOW much food to eat at certain times throughout the day, pre and post workout, how long before bedtime, etc. It was EXHAUSTING trying to be so scientifically correct. Now I'm just trying to make sure I have healthy basics...4-6 small meals a day or 3-4 regular sized meals with one or two snacks. I try to have my snacks right before and right after workouts. Easy peasy!

Haha All I can think about is being long-winded again! But I hope that answered your questions. I aced my upper level nutrition course (I know...toot, toot! lol), so if you have any specifics you want to know, ask away! I have the best resources from the nutritionist who taught the course!

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JEMLOVA29 3/12/2013 5:44PM

    Keep it up! You are awesome - I wish I had the drive like you to work out so much. The only time you'll see me running is if I'm being chased, and if you see me running you should probably run too because it's serious stuff lol.

I hear that P90X is amazing and super tough. That's great! You will hit all your goals in no time if you keep it up!

I was sick over the weekend too and didn't do much of anything good. Nice work buddy.

I want to ask you - do you have much experience in not getting enough calories in a day? I find somedays I just don't make time to eat enough, has this really hindered losing weight for you? It makes sense that it would, but I like to know what effects these things have on others from their own mouths and not some scientific study :)

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BECKYSRN 3/12/2013 11:35AM

    Also, muscle is heavier than fat...

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Reflections...physical and mental.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

I want to talk about motivation. Why is it so much easier to support other people than to support ourselves?

Let me start by going back to my competition blog (about comparing myself with someone else). I used to think that motivation of any kind is healthy; it gets you moving, gives you a target to set your mind on, gives you that drive that you need. So why is it so different when you use someone else as motivation...I think I know...because there's a line between inspiration and motivation. Ahhhh, yessss....a fine line, but it's there. By using the way someone else lives or looks for motivation am I really focusing on what I should be for ME? What I could do for MYSELF? My intensions are technically lose weight and look good. But am I going to have confidence in the end? Or am I constantly going to find reasons to say I'm not there yet...I'm not good enough...and I will always feel that someone else is better.

Let's look at what happens when a "motivated" girl (me) starts training for a 5k (or starts exercising at all): I started jogging/walking a 3.1 mile route the other day and I stopped so many times because I was scared of 1) having a heart attack and 2) the pain in my legs from lactic acid building up. Would a confident, inspired girl do these things? Maybe...but she wouldn't be so scared.

The point is, I don't believe in myself. And I'm so thankful for a friend who made me realize this on my other blog post. I love to help others be motivated and stay positive SO MUCH because I believe in how much it can help! But do I ever listen to my own thoughts? My own advice? I'm sure I wouldn't believe myself if I did!

How do you get over that devil sitting on your shoulder? Or that nagging voice that you always picture as your nasty relative who never has anything nice to say about you? What has worked for you in terms of building confidence?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow! I'm so overwhelmed by these responses! I want you all to know that I took everything you all said to heart and went out for my 5k practice tonight...and just kept thinking about you all over and over again. Your words really made me focus on relaxing my mind and body and just getting into a comfortable place; I didn't feel the same horrible pressure to compete or perform! I just really enjoyed jogging and taking in the scenery. And I even finished ten minutes earlier than my last jog!

I'm so grateful to be able to talk with friends here on SP who can relate and inspire. It's SO hard to convince yourself that you have what it takes without boosts of encouragement from others sometimes. And I will someday be able to encourage myself!

Thank you all SO MUCH! By the way, I've read all of these about 5 times, haha.

And Jen--I'm also long-winded! I can't help it; I have to fully explain myself!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JEMLOVA29 3/7/2013 6:17PM

    Also I'm really long winded, I know haha sorry~!

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JEMLOVA29 3/7/2013 6:16PM

    I completely agree with everyone who is commenting here.

It's so much easier to be positive when it comes to others. You can only beat yourself up so much, and what good does it do? If having someone to compare yourself to is bringing you down in any way then it's time for a change because that approach just might not be one that works for you. I think that comparing ourselves to our friends (sisters in my case) and other people doesn't help me accomplish anything. It just makes me feel even worse about how much I've "let myself go" and I know that for me that is not what helps me push harder. I do the best at achieving my goals when I remind myself every chance I get just how awesome I am, not because I'm reminding myself how fat and disgusting I am. That just makes me want to retreat and I set myself up for failure. Do you think that in a way comparing us to our peers might just be a set up for failure?

Maybe it comes down to confidence? I don't know, I'm just babbling and throwing out ideas haha. I remember a time when I broke up with a guy I'd dated for several years a long time ago... I felt worthless and I needed to fix this. I made a choice that I was going to pretend that I was the most confident person there is. Why? Because then no one would question me or pity me or pay me the kind of attention I didn't want. It changed my life - everyone still thinks I'm this confident woman when really all I'm doing is faking it lol. Maybe it's not a good thing, I don't know. All I do know is that I'm a firm believer in faking it til you make it. And if your "weakness" is comparing yourself to other people maybe you can try faking that you don't care as much as you do about their progress until you actually start feeling that way. Does this even make sense? Probably not haha, I'm at work sneaking on here and my attention span is all over the place! Replace the nagging version of you that sits on your shoulder with the version of you that consistently tells you how great you are and how you are unstoppable. It might take a while but eventually you just may start believing it and your goals will start falling in your lap - we could hope anyways.

Remember - you are just getting better with time. I think confidence comes with age too - it seems as we get older we just care less about spending time on the things that bring us down. And when you spend less time getting pulled down, confidence just may be part of the package. Focus on your greatness!

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DDOORN 3/7/2013 3:35PM

    It isn't easy and it isn't quick...!

Reach inside of you and turn up the patience as patient, kind and loving toward yourself as you would be to a close friend or family member.

Reflect on and list your positive attributes, qualities and accomplishments! Stumped? Speak with someone you are close to whose judgement you value and trust and ask them. Odds are, they will be able to come up with ideas for your list without a moment of hesitation! Keep this "brag list" in a conspicuous place and any time you can think of something to add to it, do so!

Deflate the devil on the one shoulder and build up the angel on the other by recognizing your accomplishments and giving yourself due credit and healthy rewards for them!

Kudos to being out there and putting one foot ahead of the other! Dispel your fears of heart attack, etc. by talking with your primary care provider and making sure that they have given you proper clearance for the exercise you are pursuing! Believe me, in this litigiously-minded world they are not going to say, "sure, go ahead and train for that 5k" if you pose any heart risks! If you've got the clearance, than GO FOR IT! Use your body as a guide. If you need to stop, stop: pain is not going to help you reach your goals. As your body builds its resilience you will go farther the next time before stopping. And farther yet!

Know that you truly can DO THIS! :-)


Comment edited on: 3/7/2013 3:36:43 PM

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READY4CHANGE81 3/7/2013 3:25PM

    You are SO right! I just had this conversation with my significant other last night about motivation and how I used my "old self" as motivation. I used to be disgusted with myself and hated who I had become. However, we need to learn to love ourselves no matter where we are because when the weight comes off what do we have left? For so many years I have focused on what I couldn't do or what is wrong with me when all along there is so much I can be proud of. Once you can shift your mind to the postive side you will be able to conquer anything. I know it isn't easy because I still struggle with it to this day, but know you will get there!!! :)

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The Color Run (and 5k's in general)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

So I've wanted to sign up for a 5k since I became more motivated. Since I just started getting back into exercising, I thought it would be a good idea to register for one of these races in the middle of summer or late summer to give me time to get ready. BUT...there are some runs close to me that my friends want me to join in May. Can I do it?

I told myself when I started this journey that I can't say no anymore because I'm scared. That I have to be a "Yes Man" (woman) like Jim Carey in that movie. So I said yes to a "Color Me Rad" race in Syracuse, NY. May 4th...YIKES! I've made a commitment! And now I have to be accountable! It really excites me and frightens me at the same time.

Who can relate? Can you tell me how someone might stay truly motivated to work towards something like this? Because I'm working on building my confidence, I'm still worried about being embarrassed or letting myself down if I walk instead of jog. How do you cope with these feelings? How do you prepare mentally?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks, Don! I mapped out a 5k around the bird trails near my house. And I half jogged, half walked it. Not as bad as I thought--I brought my iPod like you suggested and it helped a lot.

I did struggle with my fear of having a heart attack though! I know it's irrational, but I can't stop myself! How do you get that little voice out of your head when you feel like you have to stop? Also as soon as I feel the lactic acid building up in my legs, I stop because I hate that pain. Even if it goes away after a while, I always stop.

Don or anyone can answer--when this happens, do you push through the pain until it goes away? Does it always go away or are there times when it never ends until you stop?


Comment edited on: 3/7/2013 1:51:59 PM

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DDOORN 3/5/2013 8:56PM

    My forte is road cycling...not at all a fan of running. BUT: we're coming up on my 3rd year at the Binghamton Bridge Run on May 5th:


which I have pushed myself into doing each year so I can "mix it up" with my cardio and also to join in the fun with other members of SparkPeople along with THOUSANDS of others.

I'm no speed demon and if I ever say I "run" this 5K I about a fast walk or a jog? :-)

I start preparing several weeks ahead of time by clocking out a few 5K at Otsiningo Park and another downtown Binghamton along the Riverwalk.

The Galloway method is intervals of jogging and walking...increasing the amount of jogging and decreasing the amount of walking over time.

For me, the right music on my mp3 player makes a HUGE difference!

Kudos to your efforts! Step by step we KNOW you can DO IT!


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    Wow! I love those ideas! I'm definitely going to try the marbles and put the jar in an obvious place :-)

Yes, I agree that making a commitment like this really makes you stick to it and get your butt moving! I guess it's a good thing, haha. I just jogged/walked 3.1 miles today and it seems like I COULD do it...I just have to make sure I go out every day.

Thanks for the motivation advise. I'll try those things and I'm hopeful it'll help to remind me what I need to do!


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LIAMAY3 3/5/2013 12:55PM

    I signed up for the color run this summer as well, and Im not in shape at all. I was sick of getting in my own way though and decided the only way to motivate myself enough to actually do the run is to pay the money and register. Now I have post-its all over my room with reasons to get my butt in gear (they range from simple things like the color run and buying a little black dress that is actually little to broad overall desires like a clean bill of health and liking what I see in the mirror). The post its have been super helpful. I also made motivation jars which are just 2 jars or glasses, one labeled pounds to go and the other labeled pounds lost. Put as many glass marbles as pounds you want to lose in the first jar and every time you lose a pound move a marble to the second jar. I put them on my dresser so I see it everyday. The last thing I did to keep motivated was a vision board. Mine is small on a piece of construction paper but you can go as big or as small as you please with it. I made mine with visions and goals for the year 2013 but kept it realistic. I dont expect to look like a supermodel in the matter of a year, ya know?! Hope this helps and congrats on signing up!!

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Comparing myself is not good...or is it?

Monday, March 04, 2013

Wow, my first blog entry!

I want to start by saying that I am so excited to start losing what's weighing me down...and it's not just the physical weight. I was scared to join and ask for motivation, but just by reading so many motivational posts by others, it really gives me a sense of hope! I created my first post of a group forum asking for friends and soon after had a response! I love how complete strangers can reach out and help others. It's something almost unknown to me.

So, I digress. Onto the subject of this blog entry.

There are many reasons that have pushed me to become seriously involved with the SP community, mostly for support and accountability. This week however, I had a huge motivator which may seem unhealthy to most people, but I'm not totally convinced. I used to be best friends with this girl (Kate) in college. In those years I was fit and thin while Kate was overweight and I became her motivator. I wanted to help her to not feel uncomfortable in her own skin. Unfortunately we moved away from each other after college, but stayed close. We both gained even more weight, but only one of us decided to make a healthy change and it wasn't me. I was so angry that she did this without me and was actually succeeding! Kate was going to be healthier, skinnier and more confident than me for the first time since we became friends and I was alone. I made a huge mistake and lashed out at her by basically saying she didn't need my support. And she left me to be with myself in my own sulking world. Why wouldn't she? I was completely negative and ruining her mojo. But what she didn't know was how much that hurt me too.

Recently, after 2 years we've reconnected over FB and she's lost almost 100 pounds and looks great. I've lost 2. Needless to say, this has set a fire under my butt (is that the expression?), but in a good way. I want to have the best positive outlook and be able to support the friends I make on here. And unlike Kate and unlike the person I used to be, I won't abandon my friends when they need help. And I really hope my SP friends will do the same for me. I'm willing to say it freely now...that I need friends...I need support....I need motivation.

WHO'S WITH ME??? (Said in a Mel Gibson voice from some movie like Braveheart)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You're right, Jen. I think I do sell myself short sometimes. I need to think about my own health and goals. It's really hard for me to find motivation without it being competition with someone else....whether it's a friend or a Victoria's Secret model (but we all know that there's no competetion I think you really just made me change my thinking! But now I need help with "retraining" my motivational region of my brain. Any ideas? Thoughts? This might be my next blog...haha.


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JEMLOVA29 3/6/2013 6:33PM

    Awesome first blog entry! I love how honest you are.

It's too bad that the reality of things is that weight can sometimes get in the way of friendships and relationships but the important thing is you were able to reconnect. It's not really fair to yourself though to compare you with a friend. I think when we do that we end up selling ourselves short. Don't sell yourself short buddy :)

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