What Motivates You?
Mike Fohner, cross country running coach, tells this story about one of his students:
Last year, one of my young cross-country runners was fully content walking up the hills and avoiding physical exertion to the maximum extent possible. I tried all sorts of tactics and motivation techniques…to wits end. Even my “walkers club” (post practice sprints for those that walk during practice) had no effect. One meet, this runner unexpectedly knocked 3 minutes off her best time to which I gave a look of amazement to her parents. They smiled and said, “Well…she didn’t walk…so I guess we owe her ten bucks!!” So it appears that money is an effective motivator for all ages!
Brace yourself. According to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Fitness Laboratory at the University of Georgia, nearly 50 percent of people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first 6 months. The question is, “Why?” What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes so many people abandon it?
The answer? Motivation. They don’t want health and fitness badly enough. It is a simple fact of human psychology that if we want something badly enough, we’ll do everything we can to get it.
Your challenge is to find out what motivates you to get serious about fitness and stick with it.
Unlocking your motivation
Mike Fohner’s student found that money was the motivation she needed to push her out of her comfort zone and into a commitment that she previously hadn’t been interested in.
Bryan Reece found a different motivation. Told by his doctors that he was minutes away from a heart attack, Bryan decided to fight back. Even though he had not been in a gym in 30 years, he turned his life around and eventually became a finisher in the Arizona Ironman competition. You can read his story in the book, You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon by Jacques Steinberg.
You do not have to be part of that 50 percent who quit. You can stay committed and finish strong. It is all about finding what motivates you personally.
Here are some possible motivators for you.
- Do it for your health. Consistent exercise and healthy eating are the two very best things you can do for your health. You will develop a strong, healthy heart, reduce your chances of many cancers, prevent diabetes, keep a sharp mind and resist dementia and avoid many of the common ailments that come with aging. It is possible to age without decay, and the key to this is exercise and eating well.
- Do it to look better. Appearance isn’t everything, but most of us care how we look. A strong and healthy person just looks good. And it isn’t all physical. Your demeanor will change as you develop the confidence that comes from the discipline of fitness. You will appear more energetic and confident because you will be more energetic and confident!
- Do it to relieve stress. Really! It isn’t a cliché. Exercising really does cause physical changes in your brain and nervous system that results in feelings of calmness and well-being. In fact, you may get so hooked on the mental benefits of exercise that you will crave it!
- Do it to be strong. If you have never done focused weight training, then you literally have no idea of the total transformation that you will feel after just a few weeks. There is nothing like bending over to pick something up that normally results in discomfort, strain and even pain, only to find out that it is a piece of cake! And by getting strong now, you reduce your risk of age-related falls and fractures because you have the core strength and balance to keep yourself stable.
It is worth taking the time to discover the powerful motivators in your life. Don’t worry about ‘bribing’ yourself: do what it takes to get yourself moving. Find out what makes sweating worth it. Find out what you want more than that brownie. Your health is at stake; in fact, your very life is at stake. It’s time to transform yourself. Talk to a coach now!
Stop Counting Calories, Do This Instead
If you’ve ever pulled out all the measuring cups for your spinach, torn meat into tiny pieces as you placed it on a scale, or counted out exactly 26 almonds then this is the article for you. Fed up with stubborn fat or not looking and feeling your best…you found a hardcore plan that spelled out EXACTLY what you were supposed to eat. You religiously plugged everything you consumed into a special calculator. You lugged around an oversized diaper bag laden with tupperware containers of your “meals”. Yea we’ve all been there…
Trying to balance your macros based on your calculated energy expenditure is one popular way to build a diet plan. It works for a lot of people who need to eat specific quantities of food to lose weight. So why doesn’t anyone stick with it?
Quite frankly it’s not really worth the time and effort of tedious weighing, measuring, and portioning. Especially when counting calories has some serious flaws. In fact calorie estimation is kind of like a game of telephone. Depending on lab equipment, human error, rounding, moisture, conversions, and a host of other factors calorie estimations can be widely miscalculated.
Yes it can be a great learning opportunity and gets you really thinking about what you’re putting in your body. But there has got to be a better way…Right?!
Instead of counting calories focus on quality of food and learning how to estimate portion sizes to keep your body healthy and satiated. You only need one tool to measure your food with and you just so happen to be blessed with two of them (unless you’re Jaime Lannister). That’s right, your hands are the only measuring tool you’ll be using from now on. Let’s explore how to use your hands to measure different food categories so you can stop wasting time counting calories. Your hands can be used to calculate:
Let’s take a look at how.
For protein you want to use your palm to estimate portion size. That means a portion the same length, width, and thickness of your hand without the fingers. Men should eat about 2 palm sized portions of protein at each meal and women should try to eat 1 palm sized portion. This applies to foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
For vegetables you can make a fist with your hand and use that to estimate portion size. Mens should try to eat 2 fist sized portions at each meal and women should shoot for 1 fist sized portion. This works for foods like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, carrots, peas, and many other veggies.
For carbohydrates you will want to curl your hand making it into a small cup shape. Carbohydrates include grains like bread and oatmeal, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and fruits. Men can eat 2 cupped hand sized portions and womens can eat 1 cupped hand sized portion per meal.
Last of all is calculating your fats. For fats you can use your whole thumb to estimate portion size. Men would use two thumbs to estimate their fat portion and women would use 1 thumb to calculate theirs. This works for foods like oils, butter, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
What has two thumbs and knows how to easily balance their meals?
–> THIS GUY! <–
Now that you know how to easily estimate a healthy portion size for your bodies it’s time to ditch the scales and measuring cups. Focus on quality foods, a daily movement practice, and enjoying your life!
If you are looking for more ways to make healthy habits a fun and easy part of your day then get in touch with one of our coaches today!!