Monthly Archives: September 2013

The secret to change and why you’re focusing on the wrong thing

I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed that the lower part of my back was missing a distinctive roll (okay, section of body fat) that I’ve had for YEARS. I mean this particular roll has been with me through two half marathons, a super Spartan Race and my kettlebell certification – and stubbornly been refusing to leave my body for y-e-a-r-s.

Unlike many things that leave our lives, this is one thing I’m not at all sad to see it go!

It’s sometimes hard to appreciate small successes when all you want to see are major results – but it’s really the small changes that add up to the big changes. It’s time we stop being hard on ourselves and put an end to ignoring the small wins!

When it comes to seeing results in many areas of my life, I’ve realised nothing worth having or sustaining comes easy. From your career to your relationships to your level of fitness – everything worth having takes time. When I get frustrated and feel like I should already have everything I’m working so hard for right now – my Dad always brings me back to reality and teases me by saying, “you have to put your time in Amanda – you aren’t going to be a  CEO overnight.” He’s right and I’ve realized that this advice also transfers over to my fitness goals.

IMG_2495IMG_2493(Current shots.. something I NEVER share on my blog.. but I need to start celbrating my successes and not just talking about them!)

Instead of focusing on the scale or on my waistline – I focus on my strength gains as a way to measure my success. Sure, it’s frustrating when my pants aren’t getting any looser after I’ve been eating clean for months and I literally work out 6-days a week… but when I can push press 2-24kg kettlebells overhead (something I’ve never been able to do) – that’s a small, but mega, success to me!

When I can do 20 burpees without stopping where as I only used to be able to do 10-12… that’s a major success.

It’s so important to give credit to the small wins. The pyramids weren’t built in one day, multi-million dollar companies didn’t reach success overnight, and fitness models don’t look like this:

Camille-Leblanc-Bazinet(Crossfit competitor, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet)

in 90-days. They put in many hours of relentless training and hard work. They don’t “cheat” on their clean diets or need to indulge in alcohol every weekend because they “had a hard week.” They are dedicated, disciplined and consistent in every aspect of their lives.

People ask me why I’m doing a 90-day challenge? I’m “already fit” and “already eat strictly” and I’d have to agree with some of that – but we are all a work in progress and I have goals I haven’t reached yet. You need to make change to see change. Whether your goal is to cut fast-food from your diet, stop eating that little bit of chocolate every day, to lose 10 pounds or to lose 100 pounds – everyone needs to start somewhere. That somewhere is making a consistent change that you haven’t made before – and sticking to it!

And while you think someone who has 10 pounds they want to lose has it “easier” than the person who wants to lose 100 pounds – you are wrong. Change and success might be measured differently by different people – but all come down to making lasting changes that you can stick to – and keep building on those new changes.

The-secret-of-change-is-to-focus-all-of-your-energy-not-on-fighting-the-old-but-on-building-the-new.

No matter where you are right now, choose some kind of change – even just a small change – that you can implement in your life and trust the process.

Some suggestions on how to keep yourself accountable to your goals:

  • Make it public – if you tell all your friends, family and even strangers, you will be more apt to stick to your plan.
  • Write out your plan – from a vision board, to blogging, to writing it down – make sure you have your plan in clear view on a daily basis.

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  • Find a partner in crime – find a friend, family member or co-worker who you can do a challenge with. It will cause you both to be more accountable and add a little bit friendly competition – which always conjurers up motivation!
  • Follow a plan – there are SO many places to find help and plans. From free workouts, to structured diet plans to professionals to help quit addictions – there is always someone out there who has just experiences the exact same struggle you currently face. Go find out how they did it!
  • Stop self-doubting – the biggest obstacle most of us face is ourselves. Let’s face it – that little voice inside your head that tells you not to get out of bed in the morning or to skip that workout you planned to go to – is your highest barrier for success. Don’t listen to it!

If you create a plan, trust the process and stay focused, I guarantee you will see a change. Commit yourself to making change and remember to celebrate the small changes, because you might as well enjoy the process, it will make reaching your goals that much richer.

Need motivation to get you out of bed in the morning? Here’s what I use:

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Filed under 90-Day Challenge, Positive Reinforcement

The secret about choices

On a typical Saturday night you would find me out with friends, at a bar or restaurant indulging in unhealthy food that I “deserve” after eating relatively healthy that week and drinking several hundreds (or thousands) of added calories in the form of beer or wine on top of my regular calorie intake for that day. I had a hard and stressful week and justify “treating myself” in the form of unhealthy calories as a reward.

Unfortunately, unhealthy foods and habits are not, and should not be justified as a “reward.” I used to use that justification to allow myself to make poor choices – sabotaging my own progress.

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In situations when it comes to how you spend your time and money – you are making a choice. Let’s be serious, those are the two components which we let effect all of our decision-making and choices every day. Every decision is based on either one of those, or both of those collectively. But, when you really step back and look at it, one you have zero control over and the other you have complete control over.

Money comes and goes. The harder you work, the more you’ll have. Time, however is one component to life that you can never, and will never, get it back. Yet, our world runs on money. How is it that those with more money seem to have it all? Reality check – they don’t.

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Reality check:

  • Money can’t buy you happiness. You choose to be happy.
  • Money can’t buy you more time when you feel like you’ve wasted it. You can never get time back.
  • Money can give you instant gratification, but time and hard work makes you appreciate what you have and what you’ve achieved.

A friend recently shared a quote with me followed by a video that he insisted I must watch. The quote stated:

“There’s nothing I can’t do, just things I haven’t done yet.” – Richie Parker
These words were quite profound to me because it’s how I live my life everyday. I try to live meaningfully and with gratitude – making sure I remember how fortunate I am and never taking what comes so easily to me, for granted.

I thought I did that, until I saw Richie’s story. Take a few minutes and watch:

Richie’s story inspires me to really consider the choices I make – because I’m fortunate enought to have choices. Not everyone is as lucky as you are.

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I make choices, not because I hate my body, but because I love my body. I want to keep it working and functioning optimally. I want it to keep working for me until it literally cannot anymore, and to ensure that, I need to make sure I’m making the right choices when it comes to my health – both physically and mentally.images

If you choose to constantly think about what you want – you will never appreciate what you have and how far you’ve come. If you want something, go get it. Don’t ever make yourself believe you can’t have or do something – because what ever you tell yourself, it is what will come to be. The choice is yours.

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Filed under 90-Day Challenge, Positive Reinforcement