Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Consistency...

How is it that 'pearls of wisdom' (in the form of words) appear just when you need them? Not that I'm struggling with my training or nutrition plan by any means...BUT, a random thought that pops into your head can take on a life of its own. For example, let's say that all of the sudden an urge to eat something that's not 'on plan' is sounding really the whole internal argument starts...well I've been doing so good that I could have just a little bite or the grand scheme of things, it's not going to hurt me any....SCCCCCCRRRREEECH...CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those last two words represented trying to 'stomp on the brakes and putting the thought out of your head, only to be derailed and give into the thought (urge) for that verboten (forbidden) item.

The short of that thought expressed above is to introduce a post on consistency that I found on a blog titled Thank YOU--Kari, for letting me post your post below...keep in mind that while it was written from a figure competitor's point of can apply this to whatever endeavor you're aspiring to train for...

Consistency by Kari Keenan

I know the secret to every competitor's success on stage ... it's CONSISTENCY. It's not some fancy training/cardio routine, it's not some complicated diet protocol, it's not the use of illegal substances, it's not some widely touted supplement ... it's just plain hard work and consistency.

Every competitor has a different plan that gets them to the stage. Different combinations of training, cardio, and diet work differently for each person, but the one thing that all winners have in common is a determination to succeed by working hard and by being consistent.

Consistency means sticking to the diet and training plan exactly. No deviations. The plan was written specifically for YOU by a trained professional, so why would you even think to question it? The diet is geared toward YOUR body's responses, so why would ask to substitute something? The entire protocol was developed for YOU to win ... to succeed ... so why wouldn't you follow it?

So many people question why their own methods aren't working, so they hire a trainer or a nutritionist or a coach. But when the professional gives them a customized plan, the person starts asking questions, trying to change it, to fit it to their current lifestyle. That's not how it works! You want to lose fat? Follow the diet! You want to get stronger? Follow the training plan! Simple as that!

But yet, for a lot of people, it's not that simple. Life gets in the way. There are parties to attend that have all kinds of yummy goodness to eat. There are luncheons at work at restaurants. There are events during the usual training time. For some people, these things can be show stoppers - reasons to not follow the diet or to train. What they really are ... are excuses.

They're excuses people give themselves for failing. They're excuses they give themselves so they don't have to take responsibility for not following the plan or making the progress they should have (or would have) made if they'd followed the plan. And then they wonder why they're not losing weight? Or getting stronger? Or getting leaner?

Consistency means holding yourself accountable and taking responsibility for your own actions. It means eating when and what you're supposed to eat. It means not skipping meals. It means not eating anything that's not on the diet plan. It means doing the exercises outlined on the training plan. It means doing the full amount and the kind of cardio at the designated times of day listed on the plan. It means not licking the spoon or the bowl after you make something that's not on your diet. It means drinking the amount of liquids you're supposed to drink each day.

In theory, this seems like such an easy, simple concept. But it's not, because life isn't consistent. That's no excuse for not making the diet and training consistent, though. The trick is making it a priority in your life. It's making your goals a priority.

So next time you find yourself about to lick some cookie batter off a spoon ... or trying to substitute almonds for olive oil ... or thinking about skipping the gym because you have a lot of homework ... or skipping a meal because you have a meeting at work ... or reaching to sample a piece of cake at a party ... think twice.

Think about your goals. Think about being consistent. Then think about being successful, and how good it feels to achieve your fitness goals.

THAT says it all...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

On discipline...

I was surfing through a variety of fitness blogs...I definitely have my favorites that I like to follow. Then I happened to click on the sidebar of one of these blogs, which is titled the Fighter Diet. It showcases the ramblings of a former figure competitor and fitness model by the name of Pauline Nordin. She marches to the beat of her own drummer/rhythm. She is 'ripped and shredded' to a degree that I really don't care to attain. But there is no denying that she has a smokin' body. I'd just like to see her with a 'softer' look--not quite so hard.

There was a recent post from her blog that made me really sit up and take notice. It was titled "How Do You Discipline Yourself?" It is reprised below:

"How Do You Discipline Yourself?" by Pauline Nordin

To discipline is not to punish. To discipline is to analyze what caused you to derail from your plan and then take proper actions in order to prevent it from reoccurring. If you go off your diet plan, it's not because you have no willpower, but willpower is not reliable. You can have a lot of willpower, but what happens those moments you simply don't really want to win the urge to cheat?

You let yourself cheat or go off your diet because you condition yourself into believing this will be the last time ever. It never is though, is it? You are always very strong and have high motivation after a slip; it's because you feel bad OR you are on a sugar high and think you are actually gonna make it this time. All is great until you binge again.

Successful dieting and fat loss comes from conscious thinking and reasoning. When the urge to eat appears in your mind, ask yourself why. What will eating do for you? What will that chocolate candy bar do for you beyond the pleasure of eating it that lasts for a minute or so? If you choose not to follow the mind's wish to eat it, what do you gain? You gain the first victory. You must gain many consecutive victories before your brain realizes that's how it works.

When you cheat, you condition your brain into knowing you will give in. If the urge is just strong enough, you will give in. Every time you cheat, you give the brain history information about how you tackle triggers...

Just like alcoholics are pretty much doomed to hang around other alcoholics if they want to quit drinking, you will have a tough time managing cravings if you sometimes give in, sometimes not. You must be consistent. When you are consistent, you know there is no darn way in the whole world you will derail from your plan of action and in knowing that you find strength. When you are not your own worst enemy, you find strength. You should not be scared of being left alone with the cookie box!

Throughout my years being into fitness, I've disciplined myself daily. I used to have chocolate bars, cookies, ice cream--yes all my triggers around me just to prove to myself that they would not affect me. I was close sometimes to give in of course. But it was practice--like being in school. I had all this junk food lying around until they became 'normal things' in my house. When I was not 'scared' of them, they lost their magic. Every day I told myself, "Pauline, you go ahead, you can have it all, but remember there is a consequence and don't tell yourself you have no idea why you are not as lean as you want."

Since I could not justify to myself to eat and blame 'bad genetics' or 'don't know why I don't get leaner, I do everything right--EVERYTHING. I just did not eat. I even tried to find reasons for giving in and enjoying some candy. I put up 10 arguments about it to see if I wanted it:

1. It tastes soooo good. 2. It's perfect time now when it's Friday and all. 3. It's comfy. 4. I love chocolate melting in my mouth. 5. So good when you watch TV. 6. Now is the perfect time. I have a shoot in a few weeks so if I want to have it, I must act NOW. 7. Tastes wonderfully good.

Then I ran out of arguments...Why should I eat that bar? It's only good for a little while - then what? I had trained myself off enjoying things that are momentary. I was interested in long-term beneficial enjoyments. The bar did not benefit me. And I realized that no food can help me if I use it for pleasure or to make me feel better.

It sickened me to know that giving into cravings was self-medicating. What was I medicating myself from: boredom? hunger? If it was hunger, I knew what to eat and that would not be sweets. Boredom: well get a life, eating for the fun factor? Well--that does not go well with my body ideals!

I still practice discipline. Every day. But now I don't need to work at it hard. It's second nature to me. When someone asks me, "but why not just have a bite of this tasty treat--it really won't affect you." No they are right. It won't damage my body at all, but what's in it for me? What do I gain? Why should I? And when the person's answer is "Well, because it tastes good!" I just cannot mean I am not an animal that just gives in to whatever urge or desire I feel right now, here and now...I am a thinking human being. I make decisions and commitments. And I am committed to myself and that I reassure every day by the discipline that I practice, my dedication 100%."

As Ava Cowan puts it so well in her own words - "Either you're in or you're out - period."

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Good Morning!


That phrase doesn't refer to how much food you put on your plate and eat. Rather it refers to your how much you put on your 'life's plate'. Are you piling on more than you can honestly handle? I sometimes find myself doing that. I get inspired, motivated, and excited to accomplish a variety of things--only to find out that what my brain dictates that I should do and what I actually accomplish are two very different things. It sometimes causes me to feel as though I've failed myself.

I found an interesting post on one of my special girlfriend's blogs. She has a perpetual calendar by Charles Stanley - a pastor, an author, and motivational speaker. It made a big impression on me and I thought I'd post it here below (she gave her blessing and I thank Charles Stanley as well).

Let me give a little bit of background on Angie's aspirations. She is turning 40 very soon and set a HUGE goal to run a 25K on 5/8/10. She announced her intentions back in December '09. GO GIRL!

Angie is also a wife, mom, and works full-time. BUSY as ever...with work and commitments to her family and church too. So--she has been blogging about her intentions and how she had to learn to scale them back. If you want to follow more of her story, click on the link below:


Those who have succeeded have not internalized their failures. They have not thought less of themselves personally for having failed. They have refused to think of themselves as failures or worthless. Failure is something they have done but not something they are. This is a huge difference. In some cases, failures have spurred them on to try harder or to explore new avenues. Those who allow failure to be internalized often give up in their failures and refuse to take the risk of failing again. One of the most important lessons you will ever learn is this: failure is something you do, not something you are."

I really needed to read that, as I have been feeling like a failure for switching to the 10K instead of the 25K. I've felt like I set this big goal, made it very public (it was in the DeMeester family Christmas letter, for Pete's sake!), and now I'm not fulfilling on it. I was feeling like I was a failure for that.

However, in seeing this, it's helped me to understand that I'm not a failure for changing my goal. I'm still reaching for something that was beyond my grasp 6 months ago. I'm still doing something many of my peers can't do (or maybe don't want to do! LOL!). I'm still doing something to better myself and stretch myself... to remind me I'm alive and blessed with the health to set a goal like a 10K. And, no one says I can't run longer later.. I plan to...just not on May 8.

So, I hope that post might speak to you like it spoke to me. If you internalize, like I've been known to - KNOCK IT OFF! :-) Failure is something we do, not something we are! :-)

To which I say "Amen, Angie!" You 'hit the nail on the head' with that one!

Rock your day!


Friday, April 9, 2010

The Saga of My Morning Workout - Friday - 4/9/10

Phew, folks--my sincere apologies to those who follow my blog...did you start to hear the crickets chirping? It's been so darn long since I've given an update! Time has been slipping through my fingers and just slip-sliding away in general! Life is GOOD & BUSY - both at home and work.

Anyway, I had the MOST awesome workout last Friday morning!!!! Now my workouts are usually great in general, but I asked my 'real-time' coach--Stephen (a fellow co-worker of mine)--to really make me train my shoulder/bum/legs/abs HARD! He obliged and I'm going to put a bit of a comedic spin on this...there's really no other way to look at it!

Here goes:

Disclaimer—this e-mail was typed while still giddy from an endorphin rush that is lasting better than 3.5 hours…please enjoy the entertainment provided below:

Good Morning & Happy Friday (4/9/10)!

4:55 am – Get to work. Pull open (or try to) women’s lockerroom door to find it’s on ‘lockdown’. Race to office, get 2 doorstops, prop doors open. E-mail Security Coordinator to let him know and re-set system.

5:05 am – Race downstairs to lunchroom – looking for an extra ‘energy injection’ to get through a workout that promises to ‘knock me on my bum’ (by my own request). Consider energy drink, but instead choose Diet MD…cheaper, faster energy fix…and this girl usually NEVER drinks Diet MD. I also had 2 scoops of Jack3d—a pre-amp…

5:25 am – Race out of the office to warm-up on the upright bike. Coach Stephen comes downstairs to find me and Jen—who usually shows up at 5:30-‘ish’…(read 5:40 am). No Jen today. This morning she confesses later on, “Hello my name is Jennifer and I’m an oversleeper”…

5:35 am – With warm-up complete, Coach proceeds to put me through a workout that emphasizes shoulders, backside, and hamstrings. Game is on! Here’s how the breakdown went:

Set 1
Deep Squat/Overhead Shoulder Press
Walking Lunges w/ side lateral raises
Ab Work (sorry--don't remember)

Set 2
Single Arm Overhead Presses
Stability Ball Leg Curls
Flutter Kicks/Scissor Kicks

Set 3
"Truck-Drivers" - 10# weight plate - front raise, rotate right/left, then down
Frontal Leg Hip Swings
Planks - start with hands under shoulders, then lower to right elbow, then left elbow, back up to right hand, then left hand

Set 4
Upright row, then rotation to overhead press, then back down to beginning (hard to explain - 6 ct. move)
Leg Curl Machine - 20 reps - full range of motion
Knee to Chest Pull-ins on stability ball

6:30 am I had to endure some additional comments from the “Peanut Gallery” (3 gentlemen who come in 4 mornings a week to work out together) about being the one to whine, instead of making someone else whine…fair enough—I did ask for this…I did some additional hammering when one of the guys (part of the 3 Musketeers) opened his mouth and invited me to join in the ab bench situps—he told me I had to do 50 so I said ‘whatever I do, you have to match’—he agreed. I did 35, then 50 (“Kim, you can stop”)—that was just fuel to my fire. I did 75…he started whining, so I stood right next to the bench and counted down by sets of 10 until he made the 75. His buddies just stood there laughing all the way. For the 2nd round, I still had 75 left in me – he did 35. See what raising 3 boys does to me! Then it was on to some bicep stuff – one of the 3 Musketeers calls it “B.A. Baracus” (Mr. T – “A” Team) – brachialis emphasis. I did 3 sets of 12 – 12# in each hand, then 20# in each hand, then 25# in each hand. Then up the stairs walks one of our senior executives, who proceeds to add his own commentary, but also with a smile and in good humor…he asked me if I have brothers who I had to keep up with…”no—but when you have 3 boys, that’s motivation enough”…more smiles from the senior executive.