Think of going to the gym? Make the decision when you wake up, not before bedtime.

This is just me, but I’ve figured what works for me in terms of motivation. I don’t promise myself I’ll go to the gym the next day, before bedtime, because let’s be realistic, it is darn difficult to think about going to the gym when I wake up in the morning. After a good-night’s sleep, the last thing I want to do is get up from my warm bed. I look at the gym schedule the night before and set my alarm to a certain time (if it’s my day-off), but I don’t promise myself I’ll go on a specific time, unless there’s a gym class I really want to attend.

The key is not to add pressure or make yourself feel like going to the gym is going to be a burden to your day. If you go to bed relaxed, you’ll wake up hopeful and with the energy that will encourage you to go. If you wake up and feel too tired, then sleep in for a bit and go later. But, this will make exercise part of your life, not a roadblock. This has worked for me.

I’ve been told many times to make a schedule and stick to it; it doesn’t work for me. Life happens and sometimes it is not possible to stick to a workout schedule. The whole point is to reduce stress, live healthy, and be happy. Creating frustrations due to lack of gym attendance provoked by unexpected situations isn’t going to help me. 

That’s my opinion.

 

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❤ ❤ ❤ Love, Ellie ❤ ❤ ❤

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I’m going to the gym tonight! Yea right…

The thought is what counts…that’s what I’m telling myself right now to justify not going to the gym tonight. I woke up and told myself I was going to go to a gym class after work and I was going to rock it!

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Yup, that didn’t happen. I had a long, but awesome day at work! I’m not complaining at all, but as soon as  I got home I was done for the day! I’m still going to exercise, I just won’t do an intense gym class :p. But, I can totally see myself exercising this way right now:

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I don’t want to push myself too hard, so I listen to what my body says. Today my body says, do not push it, and so I won’t. Does this happen to you?

❤ ❤ ❤ Love, Ellie ❤ ❤ ❤

My brain, the Breadcruster.

Okay, I’ll give my brain credit where its due, but when it comes to cravings, this one is one huge Breadcruster. I call it ‘Breadcruster’, because I’m one of those people who don’t like bread crusts – I know, you’re a bread crust and you find this offensive- and it sounds cuter than ‘Douchebag’. Hey! My brain can be quite the antagonist, but I have to admit, I feel guilty insulting it – shh, don’t tell it!

I slept in today (I guess you can’t call it that, because I haven’t gone back to work, yet, and therefore, did not set an alarm) and peeked at the weather app. The snow stopped, but it was very cold. I mean, you tell me, why was I surprised of the cold? Was I expecting a 25 C weather during Ontarian winter? Probably. Okay, you may laugh, but only for 10 seconds.

I awoke with a craving for hot dogs. Wait, did you think I was a vegetarian? Actually, I don’t know why, but there are people who assume I am. I mention I’m an aspiring writer, and they ask if I’m a vegetarian or vegan. Does that make sense? Or perhaps, it’s because I tell them I don’t eat a lot of meat (I eat mostly chicken). Well, it doesn’t matter. I have nothing against vegetarians and vegans. I wish I could do it. But, let me go back to what I was saying. I wanted a hot dog, so I ate a hot dog. Yeah… I’m a bit impulsive when it comes to food.

Anyway, I satisfied my craving, watched an episode of ‘Charmed’, and turned on my laptop. I was in the middle of editing the last parts of my short story, “Laura’s Closet” when I felt like going to the gym. Now, I only go when the weather is just a bit warmer, because I walk 30 minutes to get there – I love walking, and surprisingly, some people give me a weird look, when I tell them I walk for that long, why? You go ask them – but, my brain tried to encourage me to go. So, I decided to pack my bag and walked to the gym. I did ‘Bodypump’ (I totally recommend it), and walked back home. After the workout, I felt like I could rule the world, and I guess I can thank my brain for that.

It was all going well, until Breadcruster brain decided to strike. “A toast with Nutella sounds good about now, doesn’t it?” It said. “It won’t hurt to have chocolate!” It said. “How about another hot dog?” It said. So, I had a teaspoon of Nutella, just so it would shut up.

Oh brain, you are always so unpredictable! But, the good thing is, now my brain says I should have tea :). So, I’m happy about that! And in case you didn’t know, I have a penguin mug :p.

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Of course! The world does rule me today!

Gym class unpreparedness

While I’m home for a visit, I still find time to hit the gym (all the calories found in all the great food here, aren’t going be vanquished on its own). There a lot of classes I like doing, but I had not tried an intense class, until the other day.

My regular class was canceled, because the instructor was ill, so they decided to replace it with a newly introduced class, called Body Shred by Jillian Michaels. If you know Jillian Michaels, you know you’re in for the workout of your life —or death, depends how you want to look at it. As the instructor explained what the class was about, I thought to myself I had at least a few minutes to make a run for it — but, I didn’t, I pay for this gym membership, and I like to get my money’s worth. It is a 30-minute interval workout, that incorporates cardio, strength, and abs. It is very fast and intense. I decided to give it a try and challenge myself.

When I say “intense,” I mean INTENSE. We’re talking about a non-stop workout (you can grab water anytime, but you don’t have much time, so keep this in mind). Obviously, the instructor encourages you to take this at your own pace, and do ‘squats’ if you can’t follow a move, which is good. But as the first 5 minutes went by (they felt like 1 minute), I asked myself what possessed me to stay in the class. I still stayed, I was curious. It felt like it was going faster and faster, and I started to hear grunting (that’s when you know it’s tough). I looked in the mirror in front of me, and somehow everyone was able to keep smiling — I like to think it was because they were in so much pain, their smiles were paralyzed.

It was by the middle of the class, during an abs workout, that my muscles wanted to call it quits. I was so exhausted, I literally crawled to grab a sip of water (more like 20 sips). My body was determined to finish the class (even if it meant losing my courage), but my soul became a prize to be won between the heavens and hell.

I managed to survive, but I lied on the floor like a recently squashed tarantula. My soul was gone, its crying probably open the gates of Hell. But, once the angels saved me and made me snap out of it, I felt like I accomplished one of the most challenging workouts I’ve ever done. I felt really good afterwards, and told myself I would do it again. I do recommend it, you basically do a year worth of workouts in 30 minutes. The first workout will feel like you’d rather throw yourself into a pack of wolves, but I’m telling you, it will feel worthy in the end. I do recommend it!

Oh, and make sure you go to the bathroom before this class. Those tacos you had a few hours before, might make you charge and shoot your classmate behind you.

Of course! The world sort of rules me today!

 

 

© Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. In addition, ‘Shares’ on social media may be used, providing full and clear link/credit is added.

Your fountain of youth

It happens instantly, when your agonizing muscles will not give in to your vigorous routine. You drop the towel, grab a drink, stand still or sit down. That’s when you are quick to disparage your efforts toward your healthy goal.

It’s easy to give in when you just finished abdominal crunches, and pose on the floor like you just broke all the bones in your body (because, in your mind, a simple crunch will ruin your life). So, after 10 crunches, you convince yourself you just burned away 10 pounds, and therefore, will not need to work out for the next week. I get it, your muscles are sore, your mind is tired, your heart is pounding.

Then, the next day, you choose to give it another try, but this time you push it a bit. You actually complete one of those seven-minute workouts. Sure, you want to rip your hair and glue it back together (to give yourself more stress and something to rant about), but then realize, why is a seven-minute workout feel so damaging? You must be really out of shape. And you are, but so is your spirit.

Nobody said it was going to be easy, but you can mentally make it so. Seven minutes a day is not as bad as it may sound. After the first workouts, it will feel like someone punched you with a mace, but the next day, it will feel rewarding. After a week, you will do things you were not able to do before. Your mind will conquer, and you will believe it could be possible after all.

Take it at your own pace, because only you and your body will react positively to what it feels right. Change it up a bit, go for a walk, increase the challenge each day. it really does work. Find something that inspires you to strive for your goals. Make your goals realistic and you will not despair. Treat yourself, so you have something to look forward to.

It is just like when you write, you won’t quit, because it is your passion. So, do not underestimate a good workout, give it a chance to become your passion. Don’t stop moving. You’ll find your own fountain of youth.

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^^^Fountain of youth (not a real one)

Of course! The world doesn’t rule me today (only when my muscles are tired from working out)

 

 

© Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Ellie and My name is Ellie and this is who I am, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. In addition, ‘Shares’ on social media may be used, providing full and clear link/credit is added.

Unproductive day off

We’ve all had those lazy days, which strike specifically on days off work. It doesn’t always turn out as planned, which I guess is nature’s way of getting back at you, for her own amusement (you know, because Mother Nature has 24/7 PMS).

The Planning: It starts the night before, usually before you go to sleep. You tell yourself, tomorrow will be such a productive day. You have so many things in your mind, that you’d like to do. Carefully, you write down a list in your mind and narrow down your choices. Sleeping in, breakfast, gym, errands, cinema, friends? My goodness! You have a fantastic day ahead.

Decisions: The first you’re going to do for sure is sleep in. You set your alarm so you wake up 2 hours later than usual. After all, you need to have the rest of the day free, for all the fun things you’ve planned. You choose your breakfast. Healthy or unhealthy? It doesn’t matter, you’re just happy you’ll have time to have breakfast. Besides, you’ll be hitting the gym soon after. You check the gym schedule and find out there are a few fun classes you can try! It’s going to be the best day ever! So, after sleeping in, you’ll have breakfast, then gym. There goes half the day already, good planning so far! After the gym, you gotta send some mail, get some groceries, but that shouldn’t take too long. Then, you’ll clean your room, skype with a few friends, and hopefully hit the mall to take advantage of clearance sales. How about ending the day at the movies? Awesome! It’s set!

Day off arrives: 

1) Alarm goes off! Yawn! Hit snooze. It goes off again. Yawn! Forget it, you turn it off. You want to finish this awesome dream. Wait, what? That’s not possible. It can’t be noon!!!!! You missed the gym class!!! Okay, relax. You still have half the day.

2) You’re now too upset to have a full breakfast, so you just eat a boiled egg and drink milk.

3) You calm down. Okay, you’ll exercise at home with your iphone app (because it’s like a fake gym). Ugh! You forgot to charge it, but it’s okay, you can still use it while it recharges. You workout and you’re happy.

4) You get ready to go run your errands, but then look at the weather and you see there’s a wind chill warning! There goes the daily walk. But, you won’t give in, you will still wear layers and get out in this freezing weather, and walk! So, you step out of the house, and as soon as you feel the cold wind, you regret everything you’ve ever done in your life.

5) You managed to run your errands, and there’s still a bit of time left to clean your room. You start organizing and cleaning to your favourite songs, when you somehow, decide to check Netflix. Bad idea! They’ve added a few movies. You take a sit…It’s now evening. Forget the mall, this movie is so good.

Conclusion: By the time you finish the movies, it’ll be time to get ready for bed. You know, for a nap, because you’ve taken most of the night watching movies.

The next day: You’ve only had a few hours of ‘sleep’ (because during your ‘sleep’ you were thinking about, how tired you’re going to be in the morning), and have an early shift at work.