Summer Body Motivation?

Personal Trainer Rathfarnham

One of the biggest killers to motivation is lack of results or failure to maintain those results

I mean, what’s the point when your progress seems so slow or even non existent.

And if you’re anything like the SF Fitness over 40s ladies you probably know what you should be doing.

Everyone knows vegetables are healthier than chocolate

And boiled potatoes are better than chips

Moving is better than sitting on your arse

But knowledge is rarely the problem

It’s the method that can destroy your motivation and your results

Who want’s to cut out all their favourite foods?

Eat bland, boring, tasteless food?

Stop going out?

Exercise 5 days a week?

Having to endure vomit inducing workouts?

For the small hope that this time you might be able to keep the weight off?

What’s wrong with me?

Can you fix me?

Questions I get asked a lot

You may have thought similar about yourself

This assumes it’s your fault.

But it’s not your fault

Because more often than not

It’s the method’s fault

Sure, you are the one who needs to take the steps and make some changes

But if you’re going in the wrong direction, no matter how hard you tryPersonal Trainer Rathfarnham

No matter how much discipline or willpower you try to muster

You’ll still end up in the wrong place

And when it comes to fitness and health

The wrong place means you’ve found a way that’s too damn hard to stick to

It may work short term, lose a few pounds or whatever

But long term you’ll end up hating the process

It’ll feel too restrictive to continue

It will be too time consuming

It’s anti-social

And you’ll end up doing what you’ve always done

You’ll stop

I don’t like using the words quit or give up

Because there’s nothing wrong with stopping something that’s taking you in the wrong direction

Something that will never ever give you the desired happiness you want

There is no point in looking better if you have to endure & sacrifice too much

I’ve been there before

Thought I was great with all my discipline and willpower.

Eating ‘clean’ and low carb, only eating meals I had prepared

Never touching take aways or booze

I was a saint and thought anybody that couldn’t do what I did was weak or didn’t want it enough

That was until I realised I wasn’t truly happy

Sure my body looked and felt great but I sacrificed too much for it

My relationship, my friends, my family, my happiness

And it came to a point, in my early 30s, where I decided it wasn’t worth it

Life was for living and I had to find a different way

Sometimes this stuff can fall on deaf ears for young women

But I find women over 40 are in a better place

They’ve tried it all before and are fed up

They may even be at a point doubting themselves

Is it ever going to happen?

Personal Trainer Rathfarnham

image: unlockingthegrowth.com

But the way to make it happen is to find a way that feels doable

And this means making small changes instead of the drastic overhauls you’re used to

You may have promised to do something about your fitness and body at the start of the year

Started off gung ho, with an all or nothing mentality

Look where that’s got you

Still not happy

Feeling like you’ve failed again

And now summer’s coming

Panic time

personal trainer Rathfarnham

image: indiatimes.com

Do you really want to endure another extreme method?

Or maybe,

Maybe this time you try something different.

Start right now, make small changes like the ones listed below

And finally find the way to keep those results

These changes won’t sound sexy

They aren’t extreme

You won’t belong to a fitness cult when you do them

And you won’t lose a stone in a week

But they will work for you for the long term

And when combined will not only give you the confident body shape but the ability to keep it

Pick one, do it daily, once you’ve got a handle on it move on to another one

Chew Your Food Slowly – 40-50 bites per swallow

You’ll feel fuller sooner, naturally eat less and it’s better for your digestion.

I know the tendency is to wolf down your food, sometimes meal time gets in the way of what needs to be done. But chewing your food thoroughly activates hormones in your gut in that tell your brain how satisfied you are.

Plan 1 Treat EVERY DAY

Many diets recommend having a cheat meal or even a cheat day, one meal or day a week where you eat whatever you want. I’ve done this before. And it leads to all out binges. You wait the entire week restricting what you can eat and then go completely off the rails on your cheat day. If I had my cheat day on a Saturday Sunday would turn into a cheat day too. That or it would be spent trying to resist the massive cravings created from Saturday’s binge.

When you plan to have a treat, and it can be anything you fancy from chocolate to crisps, it does a few things. One it removes the whole deprivation, can’t have mindset. It removes the guilt associated with I shouldn’t eat this. And it means you will avoid the ‘fuck it binges’. You know those binges after you’ve broken your diet? Where you’ve had one you may as well have the whole pack and now the entire week is ruined and it’s only Tuesday? Planning on having that treat each day means you aren’t breaking your diet when you have it.

They key is to know how much to eat. Generally 10% of your daily intake should be allocated to something you fancy. Counting calories can be a pain in the ass and is very often miscalculated. Which means even though we think we are eating a certain amount we aren’t. But if we count cals for your treat. And take the average 2000 cal a day diet. That means 200 cals a day can be given to that treat. And it doesn’t have to be meticulous a few cals either way won’t change anything.

Record What You Eat

There is only one sure fire way of knowing what works for you. Write it down. Your brain will play tricks on you. You will partake in some form of mindless eating. And you’ll forget what you ate. By writing it down you have a record in black and white. And that means when it comes to improving your results it’s easy to make changes. You can look back on what you ate and make a small change like the next one, eat more veg. Otherwise you’re just guessing, you’re just leaving things up to chance. You may or may not get results. 

Personal trainer Rathfarnham

image: https://d.justpo.st

Eat More Veg

A simple one and no matter how much veg you eat already you can always add more. By adding more you’ll add more fibre and more nutrients. You’ll feel better and fuller which makes staying on track a lot easier. Aim for 4-6 fist size portions a day. So if you are on 3 at the moment aim for 4. When you’ve nailed that for a week or two aim for 5.

Measure Your Results In Multiple Ways

Just hopping on the scales is a sure fire way to piss yourself off. You’re putting in loads of effort and if they don’t move you’re gonna feel frustrated. So take a photo and take one every 4 weeks. Measure your waist and hip circumference every week. Use a pair of jeans that don’t close and try them on every 3-4 weeks until they do. 

Move More

I know, obvious right. But there’s a lot more to moving than you might think. So I’ll be covering this in a separate post. Including why I recommend to stop walking if you want to change your shape or improve your fitness in any way.

However I do recommend you move more during the day without doing any specific exercise. Get up from your chair more often, set an alarm on your phone every 40 mins and just get up and move. Or park further away from where you need to go, whether that’s in a car park or just down the road. Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator. You’ve heard this before I’m sure, but the key is in the doing. It works. The more active you are the more you’ll look like you’re active.

Sleep Better

Did you know sleep deprivation can reduce daily calories burned by up to 20%, that could be as much as 400 calories a day if you’ve poor sleep patterns. 

It has also been shown to increase cravings and hunger so people who are sleep deprived end up eating more unconsciously. 

The good news is there’s a lot you can do. And, as someone who has suffered from insomnia, I’ve tried them all. Here’s a few that work best.

  • Make your room as dark as possible, get a blackout blind. 
  • Avoid stimulants like coffee after 2pm
  • Eat a banana in your last meal (bananas contain tryptophan which increases serotonin which in turn helps you sleep and feel good)
  • Avoid blue light from TVs, phones, laptops and tablets. These stimulate your brain and will prevent you from producing optimal levels of your main sleep hormone, melatonin. You can download an app that turns this background light into a red light which will do the opposite and increase melatonin production.
  • Drink a calming tea like chamomile or tulsi
  • Write. Write out your following day’s to do list before you try to go to sleep. Get rid of everything that’s on your mind by writing it down. That simple but profound act sends a signal to your brain something has been down about it and there’s no need to worry about it.

 

There are plenty more options but the key is to try them and find the ones that work best for you.

In the next post I’ll go more indepth about the best kind of exercise including why I recommend you stop walking for exercise.

Or in the meantime if you want to know more about what SF Fitness can do for you click here

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About the author

John O’Connell is the Owner of SF Fitness Personal Fitness Centre in Rathfarnham. He’s a 2 time international best selling author, has appeared on numerous TV programmes on RTE and TV3 and was named World Fitness Elite Trainer of the Year 2013.
John was also a member of the rehabilitation staff for the Heineken Cup winning Leinster squad of 2009. And he worked with the New Zealand All Blacks in 2004.

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