Don’t Give Up

Don’t Give Up

Being consistent is the biggest part to any success or change that is acquired. Without finding a path to consistency the results you desire will never show up or they will slip away. When trying to lose weight or build muscle people will express to others how they have changed the type of food they eat or the amount of activity they do each day and also state that they do not feel any different, cannot see any change, or maybe that their results were temporary. They don’t always mention that they quit before the results could show up or before they could recognize a difference and they don’t always mention that the results were temporary due to old habits creeping back in. These are some of the real reasons the desired results do not appear or last more than a few weeks. 

I have been in those positions with the same kind of responses. Feeling as though my efforts were useless and maybe I should try something different or just accept what I was not accomplishing. At times I felt good, but I didn’t see the changes in my body and skin that were obvious to others and thought that what I was doing was not working. Hearing others say that they could tell my lifestyle changes were working kept me doing my chosen routine long enough for my own mind to see the improvements and benefits of my new lifestyle. 

For several months now I have been focusing on changing what I eat. I tried the 30 days of whole foods (recommended by my physician) during that last quarter of 2020, and I have worked toward making those food choices a normal daily routine. In the beginning it was difficult to remove sugar from processed foods from my food choices but replacing the cravings I was having with fruit helped to curve my cravings for sugary foods.

I have ice cream or some type of dessert once a month or even more rarely than that, but it is not something that I crave anymore. Anything processed I do in moderation if I must go that route. Knowing what to eat has only been a small part of getting the results I desire, actually making the choice to choose whole foods at each meal is the consistency that brings the results. Not giving up after a few weeks of has allowed me to feel and see the change in my body and health.

Change cannot be rushed and if will not happen or continue without action. Sometimes you want to give up before you have given yourself a real chance to see what you can accomplish with commitment, consistency, and a new mindset. If you feel like giving up, consider the why.

Have you put in the work long enough, have you taken a good look at yourself to see what others can see? If so, then maybe it isn’t your effort or mindset that needs to change, you may need a different plan designed for your exact situation. When I want to change my eating habits I went to my physician with a problem, and she was able to help me with a solution. Don’t give up on you, figure out your problems and reasons and move toward real solutions.

Is it Unplanted, Growing, or Dead?

Is it Unplanted, Growing, or Dead?

It is the end of the first quarter. This is an ideal time to lay out in your mind what you have accomplished, what you have placed on pause, and what is dead. Some of our ideals and goals stop growing on the surface and some stop growing in the root. Depending on where the growth is happening or stopped at is how you can determine your next move.   

Your accomplishments can be the fuel you need for the next quarter. You started, completed some crucial steps, and now you know what you are capable of and you have the evidence to prove it. The list you have of things you desire to change, achieve, or acquire now has space for future goals because you have been able to check some things off or you are at least a few steps closer to completing them than you were 12 weeks ago. 

Now that you have taken some steps toward the change or lifestyle you set out to have this year you have likely realized that some of your goals are on pause and may stay that way for a while. Another way to picture them is to view them like seeds that are not ready to be planted or they have been planted and need some time to grow and transform before becoming a plant ready for picking. Being on pause can be a neutral state for you and can be what is needed for you to know if what you are doing is something you should continue or bring to a close.

Some of the change and goals you want to accomplish have a prerequisite that must be meet before you can even begin to work on them. If this is the case, consider what you first must do and once that first step is complete more options will open up for you to choose from. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself to define the stage you may be in: do I need to buy the seed, start the seed, repot the seed, or am I stuck deciding what seed to plant. After looking at the answers to these questions you can move closer to knowing if the prerequisite has been met and whether you can move forward or not.

Where are you with the life changes you have committed to? Has this quarter gone by and you are yet deciding on what it is you desire in this season of your life? Getting caught in between what you have done and what is next can initiate a halt in your plan if you don’t exactly know how to bridge the gap with the right actions. It may take you doing some meditation, research, or consulting a person who can be objective and helpful in guiding you. You may even find that it is time to stop beating the dead horse and pick a different seed. 

I chose my seeds, planted them and I am taking the necessary steps to see them grow and become a return for me. Some routes have come to a dead end and others are a progressing with turns and hills, they are paved and unpaved and some are difficult to maneuver. Yet, I am pursuing the lifestyle I desire for my body, mind, and emotions now and into the next quarter of this year. 

Willing Your Mind

Willing Your Mind

The physical and mental strength are tied together in some way. Wanting to become stronger and having the mental ability to will yourself to do it is an example of this. Are your limits mental or physical? How do you anticipate overcoming each part?

With a desire to become physically stronger I have asked myself these questions and the answer is a part of the question. Doing the work to become stronger and convincing self that it is possible to take on more weight, more resistance, more repetitions. Getting over doubt and unhealthy fear in the mind that you may not reach the goal or expected end so why even go fit. 

For me, February has been a month of not giving up on the goal, the change, the lifestyle that is sought. As I mention in a prior post the sparkle of new can fade so quickly and resistance of doing the new thing can settle in and cause old habits to return. The days are going by so fast that falling into old habits can sabotage any efforts that are being executed. Making the day count is what can help even if resistance to change appears on your doorstep. 

Consider this, you wake up and skip your workout or plan for whatever change you are working toward and it just so happens that you already had a scheduled rest day on the day before. There is no way to get your planned action in during any other time of the day. You can choose to stay dormant a few more days because you are off your plan or you can defeat old habits and go for the next action.

The thoughts you have about your actions can lead you to success or failure. Dwelling on what happened on a single day or week whether it moved you toward your goal or halted it can cause you to become stuck and create a clear path to the old habits you are working to resist. The mind and actions are so closely knitted together that you have to be aware or how you are willing yourself in all that you do or desire.

I overcome getting started doing a little if I cannot do a lot. If I miss the time slot for my hour workout or other plan of action, I go for 20 minutes at another time. When I miss a day, I remind myself that I cannot get that day back, but I can redeem the time by what I do in the future. I make it all count; in the end every action will add up to some result. How will you overcome the fading of excitement, the pain of going on, the doubt that you or change isn’t worth the time and work demanded? 

Conquer

Conquer

Welcome to a new year with me. Though it does not feel like a typical beginning of a new year I have set forth goals and milestones to reach. I haven’t done this out of feeling the need to become a new person or to set a resolution to forget in a few weeks. I am continuing a lifestyle. A day-to-day commitment to remember and act on the memory of what I desire to achieve each day. I am committed to building and keeping the lifestyle I want. 

I used to get caught up in the sparkle of a new year and make list of what I would do and how I would be. The truth is, only about one of my good intentions would actually make it off the paper. I am not sure of the exact year I stopped being so absurd in my plans and became more honest with myself about how to take the steps that were realistic for me to get the results I wanted in life, but it is a better way for me.

This year some of the things I am focusing on include strength, endurance, and being able to conquer what I set out to do each month. I want to become stronger in my physical body, but I see no limits to wellness and will also work on strengthening my total being. I can visualize my body taking on the movements and distances that will bring strength and endurance to every muscles and organ that is affected. Although I can see these things in my mind, I do not believe they will happen without action and commitment. If there isn’t a plan or guide to follow and a get up and do attitude the strength will not enter my body and the endurance will not show up. 

I can envision steps and goals being conquer day by day. Fitness and social goals, intellectual and spiritual ambitions are lined up in my mind ready to be swiped off the list and noted as accomplished. I feel empowered by seeing these things happen in my mind.  The empowerment feeling is a motivating force for me. It gives me the energy to get out of the blocks and run toward the path that leads to an end I desire. The good feeling about what is ahead and the change I envision will remain a picture in my mind and not a reality unless there is a plan and execution. There will not be a conquering without a beginning and a follow through for each step I have planned.

I encourage you to be excited about your life, your desires and the change you envision for yourself. There is usually a spark of excitement and energy in the beginning of anything new. As time goes by the excitement and energy that was present in the beginning can fade or completely disappear. When this occurs, it is helpful to evaluate the kind of change you have set to accomplish and see if it is still in line with what you truly desire. If they don’t line up, make your needed adjustments. If they line up the same, then you may want to consider why you aren’t acting on those desires. It can then get into a lack of planning and follow through, lack of inspiration or motivation, or the will to do is absent. Self-reflect and find out what is holding you back.

If you have started this year with a plan to continue or begin your total wellness lifestyle and adjust as your life changes you are likely on the path that will keep you from extreme pitfalls that can accompany some resolutions and vows to become this or that. As you go from week to week determine the action that is needed for the steps you want to take towards your goals. Remember whatever you desire or see yourself having or doing only happens with action.

Down Time

Down Time

After weeks of my walking slower and finding ways to adjust my exercise plans to suit my foot injury I am back to normal. I am feeling good about being able to intensify my workouts and take on more miles while walking and running once again. I did not know that I would miss being active and unlimited as much I did during my down time. I have experienced feeling constricted by circumstances, but for some reason this time it affected me differently.

The difference was in the type of things I thought about while I was down with this injury. I thought about how many times I didn’t run, walk or do some other form of exercise while I was feeling good and able. Not being able to do what I wanted to do hit me really hard. I thought about the days I slacked for no reason at all. I remembered the days I ignored my will to get up and take care of my physical health and thought, now I really did not have that choice. I couldn’t even walk a few blocks at a slow pace without feeling a pain that caused me to shake and retreat into a limp. 

I did not want to dwell on the past and what I did not do, but I couldn’t ignore the thoughts I was having. I needed to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings and use them for the future. They would be a new momentum to cease the day and the moment while I could. During the time I was down I did not sit around idle waiting for a chance to get back to normal.  I was able to read a couple of books, get some needed research in and plan for January. Although I sat down more than usually, I made adjustments and did what I could to keep my health journey on track as a lifestyle and not a moment. I opted to do seated exercises and combinations of movements that I could achieve while lying on a mat to keep me moving forward and over the hump of feeling constrained. 

There are always challenges in anything that must be done or experienced. You will not always be affected in the same way as your siblings, friends, parents, spouse or even co-workers, but how you are affected is still important and relevant. Any part of your wellness dimensions can change abruptly for the good or bad and you have to be prepared for the impact or at least willing to adjust if you desire to thrive. To obtain the lifestyle you envision or to maintain the lifestyle you are currently living you must take on the difficult and undesirable tasks along with the simple ones. You also need to have a tolerance for unwanted change and the ability to know when a change should happen. 

I have learned from this experience and that is something I strive to do in all of life whether it is a situation that causes me to feel pain or joy, anger or excitement, I want to learn and have a take-away. I am understanding more and more to take the moments as they come and not to sit on time, it will not be there when you get up.

After Sunset

After Sunset

You are in your daily routine and all has been going well from week to week and month after month. Then a bump in the road appears and knocks your entire routine off what you thought was a well paved path. Your story may sound like this: you get home from work and gear up for your daily run. You are a couple of miles into your chosen path and well into your zone when you realize the sun has set and darkness is approaching faster than it did at this same time last week. Instead of your hour long run you have to turn back with barely 25 minutes in or you won’t be able to see a thing. 

This may describe you if you are not used to running and walking outdoors in the evening or if you misjudge the amount of time you have when the days begin to shorten in this season. The rest of you who are constantly outdoors for various activities are back home right when the darkness sets in with a full workout done and having your last meal of the day. You are accustomed to adjusting for the seasons and you have been waiting to implement your plan.

The other answer could be that your gym is open again and you were able to fill one of the available time slots, no worries about the daylight disappearing. Whatever the answer you had a plan and put it to work. If you are not the one to plan and you go with the flow that is your plan. You may spend this season speed walking around your house or office and doing sit-ups, pushups and other exercises right where you are, and you will have made it through the days without wondering what to do.

If you are wondering what to do and you know you are not the type join groups in the park or a parking lot for a cardio workout every day or you don’t have the time to and you don’t have the room or funds to set up an assorted home gym. The only way for you to get active right now may be the running shoes and a trail or a few dumbbells. If this is your situation, you will need to take a look at everything going on in your life each day and decide what to cut out or change.

Consider swapping out your even walk or run with something on your morning schedule or make bigger moves on your days off. If you absolutely have to stick to the schedule you have you might find virtual exercise classes a few times a week to be just what you need. What you don’t want to do is wait for your gym to open up for you to switch up your routine. Find yourself prepared when it opens back up and be ready to go to another level or maintain what you have gained. 

I have not let the setting of the sun or the need for a jacket slow me down. I am owning my health and my journey. As I look ahead at the last week of October, I know I will need an exercise plan for at least the next two months to keep moving forward with my wellness plan. Some of my routine will carryover and there are some new things to implement and now is a good time to be ready. Even if I do not know what the plan will be for the entire two months there must be some type of direction to keep the momentum going. One thing I am sure of is that time does not pause for us even if the clock is broken. 

Expectations

Expectations

How is your journey going? You may have planned out a new path or life’s events pushed you into change without warning it still adds up to your journey. It’s your way of doing what you do and embracing what cannot be erased to get to the next phase or even the next day. I hope you are enjoying your wins large or small and not marinating in your losses or setbacks in a way that freezes you up. 

I do not want to get caught in the freeze up. I started on the path to a better lifestyle as a whole for results. Keeping a momentum that I can work at each day is how those results will come. I tell myself this to refrain from moving so quickly that I cannot keep up each day or to keep me from slowing into a full stop. Once the routine of getting up and doing becomes a natural flow I still have to decide how much I want to give to each activity I do. 

How much effort can you put into whatever you are working toward and not be exhausted to a point that you do not want to continue without seeing the results you are expecting. Even though you know there is a process for just about everything you want those timed results that have been set in your mind by expectations. It may sound like this: I want this in a week, that in three weeks and in 90 days I got to have these results. If those expectations have been out of an attainable reach or lower than your actual results your momentum can be unwillingly shifted. Figuring out your personal momentum and being able to stay on target or adjust your expectations during the successes and failures is a way to keep your natural flow of getting up and doing in motion. 

As I put time and effort into my health I expect to benefit from my actions. I am looking for physical results. I think about what I expect and what I am doing to get the results. I need the correct actions for the expectations. If weeks go by and the body is not responding I have to consider if what I think I am doing right is the problem and research until I get the answer.  I know if one part of the being is improving the entire wellness areas can benefit from the change. This is my desire a totally improved package. 

If the body is strong and healthy it can lead to feeling better mentally and emotionally. You can take on a range of new experiences with a better health. It may be exploring nature through hikes, cycling or doing the thing you wanted to try but didn’t have the energy to do it. The new experience could also come by way of meeting new people due to a rise in esteem and confidence. You are less worried and anxious about health issues and open to enjoy life again.

Every part of the being fits together and works together in some way. Being mentally stressed or emotionally drained can cause physical complications and the physical illnesses can strain the psyche. Work on being fit and strong in your way for your best results each day to keep your total wellness in the best shape. Have the best week.

Rhythm and Sunshine

Rhythm and Sunshine

Ahhh October. That is an expression of happiness. I am feeling good about entering into the next phase of building a healthier lifestyle, a stronger body and new heights of writing. The last 9 days have been a time of releasing. Releasing all the energy I had gather each day for exercise and not saving a portion for the following day. I wanted to make the most of my daily walks and runs and not be caught up in what I would do “tomorrow” even though I had a schedule of daily exercises to work through. I didn’t feel like I had to remind myself to run, walk, or to do some other type of activity each day, I awakened each morning with a mindset to do it.

I felt the habit I have been working toward kick in. It was similar to getting up and making a cup of coffee or eating breakfast every morning without really thinking about it I felt the need to do it. I had a mind to get the most out of the month as it came to a close and in doing so I strolled into a rhythm and found my natural flow for staying active. Oh, and the weather has been favorable which allowed me to be outdoors more and jump back into my running plan.  

I took my strength training routine out to the deck in my back yard. I love being outdoors to experience the elements while exercising. There is something about the sun shining down bringing warmth and energy to the body and mind, it sets the mood. For training I am working all the normal areas triceps, biceps, chest, legs, abs and glutes on rotating days. I started with lighter weights and have been increasing by 2 to 5 lbs. depending on the chosen exercise and muscle group. Sometimes I have an audience due to being in view of neighbors, but it doesn’t bother me. I am focused on my reps, sets and heartrate. I tune out the humans and tune the sounds of nature in.

 I remember the few times that I had to adjust to the public eye when I joined a gym several years ago. I would get to the gym and hop on the treadmill or use the elliptical without hesitation. Using the weight machines and free weights are what caused me to feel the eyes of the public whether real or not. I hadn’t entered into a gym for years and joining again sent my confidence in using the machines free falling without anything to catch it. I was being watched, at least by the employees and it was an uncomfortable feeling filled with doubt.

After about a week of watching me go for it I was approached by the staff and receive assistance with learning proper techniques and what would be great for my immediate needs. Soon after I was tuning everyone out just as I did while using the cardio machines. I had gotten passed the eyes and centered on the self-improvement. Now I am comfortable anywhere. I am comfortable enough to sweat, get exhausted, and take on the next level. 

I am glad to have a rhythm now. Whichever ways I choose to change my body and health I feel confident in knowing that I am set into living a new way. I created a natural flow by breaking old habits and taking new actions. I view the month of October as an open opportunity to continue in the rhythm I have entered and allow it to carry me to the next level.

Have you entered into your rhythm for the things you are working to change? Keep pushing and making the choices that will bring the change you desire until your natural flow appears. I encourage you to move with the confidence you have and get what you need for it to grow. The journey continues.

Taking a Different Path

Taking a Different Path

Day after day the air in my area was either filled with smoke from the wildfires, very unhealthy or simply not good for a person with any type of breathing or lung issues to run indoors or outdoors. It hasn’t been great for anything that requires deep breathing or being out for a few hours.

I was not able to accomplish all the running goals I planned for September. Even with a mask on I could not run indoors or outdoors for 6 to 8 miles three or four times a week and not feel the discomfort of the poor air quality. Disappointment set in quickly, but I still had to find a way around my disappointment each day and get active. That is exactly what I did. 

Every morning I would open the weather app to check the air quality and determine whether or not I would run for the day or try doing something that did not require deep breathing. I felt deprived once again not being able to lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement whenever I wanted to. The days that the air was good were my run days or vigorous activity days. I did not take any of those days for granted, I didn’t have any to waste or to spend sitting around the house wishing things were different.

The first couple of weeks of the month I had to choose an alternative to running. Although I really wanted to work on increasing my running mileage and time, I did not mind a switch up in my workout routine. I was able to use my weights more and focus on different ways to strength train each week. 

The last couple of weeks have been better for running and being outdoors and I have made them count. I have been getting in enough miles and hours of running each day and staying as active as I possibly can. I didn’t get the mileage each day that I set out to accomplish for this month and that leads me to revisit my 6 to 8 miles three times a week plan. I cannot skip this step in my running goals and try to jump into 8 to 10 miles in October. I believe in pushing pass limits to grow and become stronger, but there must be levels or steps to get to the finale. I am willing to be patient and work through whatever nature hands out.

I’ll be working on increasing my mileage once again in October and exploring what has worked well and what has not. Living well doesn’t come to an end it is a lifelong choice that is adjusted as needed. Adjustments may need to be done weekly, monthly or even yearly and you make those adjustments so that you do not quit on yourself. Keep moving forward, I am.

Time

Time

In Seven days, the month of September will be over our shoulders and we will enter into the last quarter of this year. Some look at November as the last month of the year to get any real work done that will bring results. December is seen by many as a time to slow the work and look at what the year has been. It is also used as a time to reset and prepare for the upcoming year. Looking through the eyes of wellness, slowing the approach or coming to a stand-still if only for a couple of weeks can have an undesirable outcome especially if a new routine is not yet a habit. 

Think about the times that you decided to change your diet, your daily activity, your thoughts or reactions to experiences. You had to actively work at making these kinds of changes until they became unconsciously made choices. Until the automatic decision making for the new life you are pursuing kicks in slowing the approach or skipping important habit building days can lead you back to the path you struggled to get off from. 

You definitely need a time to recover and pan over what you have achieved you just have to pick the right time to do this. That time will not always be aligned with the norms of the world, it will align with when you started, your goals and your plans. Evaluate, plan, and adjust as you need to. Consider the day to day choices you make, those choices will connect and add up to some type of result. The actions you take or do not take today will show up in the weeks to come. 

I have the opportunity to close this month out the way I desire to and you do too. Nothing is holding me back and there are not any obstacles that cannot be overcome. Have you thought about your obstacles and how you will get through them? I will not wait until the 30th and try to eat seven healthy meals in a day, write for seven hours straight, or run until I cannot take another step. I will work on each area of my life I desire to change for a reasonable amount of time each day and adjust according to what is or isn’t working. When the second week of October arrives, I’ll put into action the gain I would have achieved by then from the next seven days of September. That gain will sure up my confidence and take me to the next level.

Becoming faster, stronger, healthier, more knowledgeable, more understanding, more of anything will depend on what is done now. Closing out this month with actions or acquired information toward your personal achievements will show up in the next weeks or months to come. If you have not executed your plan or adjusted your thoughts and actions to align with the change you are awaiting do not expect the desired results to land in your hands ready to be unboxed. 

Take it all in. The past, the present and your vision for the future. Give yourself some time to know what you want and how it should be acquired. Your plan, executed according to your ability and your daily choices. Rest when you need to, gain some insight and never give up.