The Pause Button

Life didn’t come with a pause or a stop button, so neither should your commitment to your fitness and nutrition.  Yes, that is correct. This is the cold hard truth: pausing is quitting. You develop the habit of quitting every time “life” happens to pause your fitness and nutrition, stopping your workouts, or ignoring your nutrition.

However, by hitting pause you are sabotaging yourself in achieving your goals. Did you ever notice that when you are resuming your fitness or nutrition routine it is easier to make excuses, like “I will eat better tomorrow” or if you miss the gym one day, “I’ll go tomorrow.”  However, you are working against yourself!! So, here is how to stop self-sabotaging your workouts and your nutrition.

This took me a little bit to learn and once I did, I found peace with my workouts and nutrition. I no longer attempt to hit the pause button. This method is how I successfully trained for my second half marathon while selling our condo in MA, buying a home in PA, transferring my business from MA to PA and getting my family set up in PA.

Are you ready to know the BIG secret to fitness and nutrition success?

SKILLS.

Yep, one word. You can have all the willpower in the world, but you will still hit the pause button. You need the skills to get fit and eat nutritiously in real-life situations.  Here is how I developed the “skills.”

Step 1: LIFE DOES NOT PAUSE OR STOP.

To be honest, I felt like I was punched in the face when I realized this. However, when I accepted this my excuses began to drift away. Let’s face it, life only gets crazier!

Step 2: THERE IS NO MAGICAL EASIER MOMENT.

Your family, personal and work demands will never go away. Neither should your nutrition and fitness in your life.  Let’s reverse this thought, can you pause your family, personal and work commitments for your fitness and nutrition? I am betting the answer is no. So why would the reverse be true?

Using my life as an example, we accepted the offer on our condo 4 days before Christmas. While we were driving to PA for our family Christmas I literally had three devices in my hands signing documents while (I am pretty sure I grew a third and fourth arm) tending to the kids in the back seat. On Christmas Day we found out our offer was accepted on our dream home. I was overjoyed because this was the most expensive Christmas present I would ever receive, and once my feet hit the ground again, I took a deep breath because I knew it was go-time. I had 6 weeks to pack up my family, move a business and get my business and my family’s life set up in PA. I was also 10 weeks out from my half-marathon. Full confession, it would have been incredible easy to say, “I will resume training when I move,” but 13.1 miles would hurt more and I would be discouraged I did not make my goal time.

I sat down and sketched out what I needed to do. Trust me, it was not pretty, or even a plan I would repeat, but it was one I could manage. My plan was to run two times per week (first run for 40 minutes, and second run as an interval run to boost my cardio capacity). Outside of those runs, I found every opportunity to get extra movement in (sprint or bound up the steps, deep squatting with moving boxes [filled], parking farther out in the parking lot with the kids in tow pushing the cart into the store and making quick nutritious dinner at home.  I knew when I arrived in PA, I needed to increase my mileage in a healthy way to continue my preparation for the half-marathon. In the end, my training plan was far from perfect, however; I achieved my goal time and ran a personal best. I didn’t strive for perfection but I employed skills to tactfully train within the demands of my life.

Being a mom has taught me if I wait for the perfect timing, I am going to be waiting for a while and nothing will get done. Life is messy, there isn’t a perfect plan, but if you employ your skills to see life’s demands as opportunity to grow, and find new ways to maintain your fitness and nutrition, you will have greater success then the “all or nothing” principle. For me, my new mantra and my businesses mantra is “Believe, Achieve.” If you believe in yourself always you will achieve. Believing in yourself means not losing hope or quitting on yourself when things get tough, but believing in yourself that you will continue to achieve no matter the demands. All you need to do is regroup, and make sure your expectations are matching your demands.

Do not press pause but adjust your life accordingly.  Use a scale 1-10 (notice I didn’t put a 0 there). Periodically assign a number to your fitness and nutrition on that scale – you should always fall between 1 through 10 and never be at 0 (see graphics at the end of the blog for a visual). How to use this scale? 10 means all meals are planned out and workouts are in high gear. Family, hobbies and home improvements are in maintenance mode. Yes, this does affect people however, when the scale is at 10 it is with my family supporting me 100%. It is how I was able to be at a 10 for the last 4 weeks of my half-marathon training last spring and the last 6 weeks of my marathon training this past fall.

When the scale is under 5, there is no guilt. I know I am more present and at peace when my family, my business, and personal demands take the primary focus. Again, always believe in yourself and you will achieve whatever your focus is but you must know what the primary focus is and how to channel your energy so you are not riddled with guilt or burdened for not focusing on everything because the “all or none” principle is setting yourself up for self-sabotage.

If you are struggling to employ “skills” in your life, I am here to help, email me at kat@kat.fit or if you are a mom looking for a supportive group of moms who are committed to a life of fitness and nutrition, join my FREE private FaceBook Group: TeamKatFit: Stretch Marks, Messy Buns & Yoga Pants.

Photo Credit: Precision Nutrition

Photo Credit: Precision Nutrition

Photo Credit: Precision Nutrition

Photo Credit: Precision Nutrition