Friday, June 8, 2012

Fat Butt Friday: Some Tips to a Great Workout!

There is something very, VERY important that I learned in my battle with obesity.  First off, there is nothing anyone can do to force you to lose weight.  The choice to get in shape has to come within you.  You see on TV all these people sitting around trying to figure out why there are so many overweight people walking or rolling around.  Well, I will tell you it has nothing to do with so-called "limited" choices.  Please.  Give me a break.  We live in a America (well, most of us do) and there is a grocery store on most corners and they all have fruit and veggies.  Most fast food these days even have decent choices.  I get a little sick and tired of people who have never battled this battle personally, sit around, point fingers, treat us like we are stupid, and try to spoon feed us like babies.

I am not stupid.  I don't like being forced to do anything I don't want to do.  My life is mine, and I will make my own choices.  If I want to stay and be fat I will.  If I want to get up and do something about it I will.

Truth is, any kind of weight struggle (on either end of the spectrum) is a mental war within ourselves.  I like to think of it as a battle between our spirits and our bodies.  When we are depressed, stressed out, dealing with whatever "eating triggers" we have, or having anything that makes are will's weak, our bodies usually suffer when our spirits are down.  The will of my body, to eat, is stronger in those moments and I give in.  And I think that is true with any addiction.

So the answer is to pull ourselves out of whatever spiritual funk we are in, and get those will's revved up to make some changes!  Our spirits or wills need to be stronger to overcome the desires of our bodies.  We need to bring our bodies up, so that their desires are the same as our spirit's.  But it's much easier said than done.

The first step to strengthening our wills, is to get some self-confidence.  We need to feed our souls with positiveness.  We need to pump ourselves up.  Getting in shape, losing weight, and feeling better about ourselves starts with getting the courage inside to change the outside.  Clear our minds and stop worrying about what people are thinking about us, problems we have no control over, stress that impedes us from rising above all the garbage of the world.  Right now, when you are making choices for your own body, it's all about you.

Here are a few conventional and unconventional tips from someone who has been "there", is still sort of "there", and close to getting out of "there"!

Water:  When working out, take a water bottle with you, but only take small sips at a time, otherwise you can easily get sick or cramping.  I tend to get the cramping.  About an hour before I workout, I drink about 20 oz of water to hydrate myself.  Then when it is time to run, I can usually do most of my run without feeling thirsty.  Then I sip at my water after the run and I am walking to cool down.  This keeps my cramping at bay.  And NEVER drink cold water while you're working out.  Water should be room temp.

Small Towel:  If you are going to gym, take a small towel with you.  When I workout inside, I sweat like crazy!!  (Tip: sweating is REALLY good for your skin and body so don't be afraid of it!  If you aren't sweating as much as you should, then you are probably eating or drinking something you shouldn't be.  When I drink too much diet soda, I don't sweat as much...) So if you are a sweater... and hopefully, you are working out hard enough that you do, a little towel will help you to keep up your vigorous pace for a better workout.  I just started using one, and I can't tell you how much better and enjoyable my workouts are when I can wipe the sweat out of my eyes!

Music: Most gyms have TVs, but I will tell you, TV doesn't motivate me to step up my workout... great music does.  Take your music with you and it will make a difference.

Goals:  Do NOT ever go into a workout without having a goal in mind.  The other day, I went to the gym, I said to myself, "Cat, today you are going to run 3 miles.  I know it's been over two years since you did that last.  But today is the day, and you are going to do it.  You CAN do it."  And I did it.  It was hard and that last quarter mile was a bit of a killer.  I was sweating worse than ever, but I made that goal with myself and I was going to do it!

Motivate yourself:  Everyone needs to find their own motivation.  That one thing that keeps their eye single to their goals.  For me, every time I feel like pigging out or skipping a workout and I think about the military ball in November.  I am sick of going to those and feeling like the fat girl.  The next time I put on a formal dress, I am going to be skinny!!  That thought gets me off my butt just about every time!  I also want to run a marathon someday, I want to go in a clothing store and not be treated like crap when they don't have my size.  I want to be an example to others that it can be done!  There are lots of motivations for me.  What's yours??

Challenge Yourself:  Don't stick to the same routine.  If you go out and walk 2 miles every day, you will make goal of this challenge.  BUT you might not get so much out of it unless you step it up every so often.  Walk a couple miles, then try doing some hills, or going up and down steps.  Then try running a half a mile or for a minute and then push it up a little more every time.  THAT is when the real change will come... when you meet your challenges.

No Excuses:  I have heard them all.  Mostly, from my own lips!  Ben is going to be gone in another week.  It's going to be hard to get in my workouts with 3 boys.  But I have some ideas and I am going to do it.  My own health is important, not just to me, but to them.  I am a mom, I have to be healthy if not for myself, then for my family.  I have all my arms and legs, and I should show gratitude that I have that much and use them!!  This picture is from a military site, these are Military vets that compete... I LOVE this poster and it motivates me to have no excuses!
Boredom:  If you are like me, sometimes running long distances can get boring.  When this happens, I try to get creative.  Sometimes I will listen to a book on tape instead of music.  At the gym, I take my Kindle Fire and play games while I am working out.  I have seen people with iPods and iPads watching movies.  There are also those who read magazines or books... I can't do this because it makes me motion sick, lol.  Find something that works for you.

Don't be afraid to be a little crazy sometimes!  Sometimes when I am alone in our little gym, I will talk to the treadmill.  "Okay treadmill, you think you are going to beat me today.  I don't think so.  Today I am going to... (state my goal) and I am going to show you how amazing I am!"  And sometimes I even cuss out stuff like my Wii Fit.  Once in a while, if I start getting bored, I will do a little dance or something to keep me going.  Yeah, I am a total nut when it comes to working out... but it works for me :)

Get a Cute Outfit!  I know it's such a girly thing, but having a fun workout outfit can really be fun!  It motivates me sometimes, to go to the gym not looking like a total slob.

Post Visual Reminders:  I have little quotes and pictures all around my house to remind me what my goals are.  Like the picture above.  I even look at my "skinny" pictures often to be reminded what I can be again.  I have a quote posted that says, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."  Also, a good motivation for me is to look at my fat pictures often as well.  Do I really want to go there again??

And last, but one of my favorites:

Get a Theme Song!  This song will get you through the hardest of workouts!  You listen to it at the beginning to get yourself all pumped up, and then in the last stretch at the end you listen to it again to give that last push to the finish!  Sometimes, if I get a little slumped in the middle, I will listen to it then as well.  Choose a song that is upbeat that you can run to if you want to, a beat that motivates you to go faster!  And choose a song with a meaning for you.  When I first did this challenge that I started losing weight, my song was Taylor Swift's Fearless.  This year it's Katy Perry's Part of Me.  Please feel free to share YOUR theme song!

I hope that this Summer Challenge gets you motivated to make some changes in your life.  I know it has gotten me a little more active.  We have lots of challengers this summer, about half reported yesterday, a bunch are new people that just joined and will be reporting next week.  NOTE:  I am only posting the updates for the challengers who HAVE REPORTED.  So if you don't see your name on the list, you didn't report me (or for some reason I didn't get you on there, in that case I apologize).  Even the names with zeroes, still reported and for that I am grateful -- even if you don't do anything, it is good that you report because in a way it will motivate you not to give up!!  Also, I haven't had the time yet to connect the challenger's blog/web sites to their names, I will get those up for next week!

Here's to a happy active week!!


PS It is still not to late to join the challenge!  If you are interested, please click on the purple link at the top of the right sidebar.

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Breezie said...

Love it woman! And I know how you can work out with all those kids! WE'LL TRADE OFF! I kind of slacked on our monday, wednesday, friday deal. If you want to get it back going, let me know! I just started Insanity this week, and it's totally kicking my butt, but I am still going to try to run 3 miles 3 times a week. (At least two, depending on how bad Shawn-T kills me for the day!)
And you have some AWESOME ideas!!! I love that I'm not the only one that talks to the treadmill! I called it a bad word once. :)

Samantha Kay said...

What happens if I drink cold water while exercising?

Cat said...

Okay, if you google the whole cold water thing you are going to find that there are people who take both sides: cold water vs room temp water while and after exercising.

My take: your body can process water at room temp much better than cold water. Have you ever noticed that you can drink more water if it isn't cold?

I used to drink it cold while I worked out. Then my husband actually did some military training about it, because soldiers have problems staying hydrated.

My problem was that I could never really do a vigorous workout because I kept getting cramps in my stomach, sides and legs. Ben told me that I needed to stop drinking my water cold. So I did, and my workouts improved 100% AND I drank more water and felt so much better during and after my workouts.

Ultimately, it's up to you and how you like it. For me, it's just a little painful, and I don't come out of the workout feeling like I did my best. Now I just fill my water bottle up with the tap water. It doesn't have to be warm or anything, just not chilled.

If you do workout with chilled water, you should just give the room temp kind a chance and see if you feel a difference :)

Ariana said...

Wow! I love seeing everyone's miles together!

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