Well it's that time of year to pack away the "Hot Enough for Ya?" questions and pull out the "Sure is Cold Out There!!"
This month we continue with our exercise series and take on how you can take your "why you exercise" from last month's Newsletter and build a workout around it.
This is the time of year when pies, cakes and cookies start coming out of hibernation. So this month's recipe focuses on a healthy Lemon Blueberry "pie" that can take the place of those sweets with a lot less guilt.
Finally this month's Mindset discussion is on setting Internal Boundaries. We've all heard of setting boundaries with friends and family, but setting boundaries with yourself is just as important.
Last month I talked about how to find out ‘Why’ you are exercising. To continually ask yourself “why'' when you are finding a reason for exercising, and the final answer to ‘why’ should have an emotional connection to it. The goal being that you have a solid reason to workout and something to draw on when your motivation and drive are low. This month I want to talk about how to put this ‘why’ into practice in a practical sense. That is how to program your workouts to help you get to the goal you are shooting for.
For this I’m going to continue the example from last month’s post. In that example we followed a brief progression of the ‘why’s’ that ended with an answer “I want to be able to play with my kids because it will increase my bond with them, and it will make me happy.”
So with this “why” let’s start to build a workout plan to get this person to their goal.
Before we get to the details let’s look at some questions you need to answer:
Is my goal more endurance or strength focused? That is something that is going to have you moving for a long-ish time (45 minutes or more) or is this going to something where you will be lifting heavy things frequently but not for a long time?
What are the primary movements that you are going to be doing with this activity?
What exercises look to mimc and/or complement these movements?
How to put this all together in a workout that fits my goal path?
Now let’s answer these 4 questions to get to a workout that will help with the goal of “I want to play with my kids more.”
Is this mostly a strength or endurance focused goal?
Playing with young kids is definitely going to be an endurance sport, with a bit of lifting. So your workout should reflect training your body to be able to move constantly for a longer period of time.
What are the primary movements?
Crawling around on the floor, climbing over things, running around a yard/park, lifting, throwing, squatting, jumping, etc
What exercise looks like that can complement these movements?
Weighted squats, Shoulder presses, Weighted step ups, back extensions, deadlifts, chest press, push ups, running (both for distance and sprints),and balance work.
What would a workout look like?
Playing with kids is going to be something that can last for a while and be very scattered in its movements.
One minute you could be crawling around on the ground then the next moment playing chase/tag, then climbing around on a jungle gym.
So making your workout similar to this can help and a good format for this is a circuit workout where you do different movements back to back with limited rest.
The goal of this workout is to have your body start to adapt to the variety of movements that comes with playing with your kids. Of course playing with your kids is going to be the more direct way to do this workout, but that isn’t always going to be an option.
So once you get your “why” you are exercising, use these 4 questions to start building the workouts to help you get to that goal. Listening and understanding your “why” and building the workouts you need is what we do at Phoenix Fitness and a great way to start with this is our 3 Month Jumpstart program. We go through the goal setting, workout building as well as keep you on track to reach your goals.
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Cakes and Pies are going to be surrounding you this holiday season. So instead of you either indulging in something that doesn't fit with your long term goals, or trying to avoid the tasty teats all together - How about make your own that both scratches that sweet desert itch and keeps you on track with your long term goals.
Lemon Blueberry “Pie”
⅔ cup All Bran Buds cereal
2 tsp coconut oil
6 drops liquid stevia
1 ½ cups Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder*
2 Tbsp Sugar Free/Fat Free Cheesecake pudding mix
6 drops liquid stevia
½ cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1. Combine cereal, coconut oil and stevia in a food processor. Pulse until finely crushed.
2. Divide mixture among 4-1 cup dishes. Pat down evenly.
3. Combine Greek yogurt, lemon juice, almond milk, protein, pudding mix, and stevia, in a bowl and whisk well until combined.
4. Stir in blueberries and any juice.
5. Divide pie filling among dishes.
6. Cover and refrigerate until set.
Calories 177, Fat 3g, Carbs 23g, Fiber 10g, Protein 18g
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When it comes to setting boundaries, we typically think about the boundaries that we set with the people in our lives. Yet it’s not so often talked about setting boundaries with yourself and for many people this is a more difficult thing to do. But if you don’t have strong internal boundaries then it can be difficult to set external boundaries.
Internal boundaries are how we interact with our emotions, thoughts, and physical wellbeing.
Internal boundaries are when you are able to feel your emotions and be able to give it the attention it needs without it overpowering you. An example is allowing yourself to feel sad at the loss of a family pet without that feeling overwhelming you.
Healthy internal boundaries also regulate your thoughts about yourself and reactions from other people’s statements and judgements towards you.
For example, when self limiting thoughts pop into your head like “I’m stupid”, “I’m a failure” or “I can’t do X” having good internal boundaries will quickly shut down those thoughts. It’s when you can tell yourself “nope, that thought is inappropriate and doesn’t define who I am.” or some version of that. It’s not allowing yourself to be defined by specific thoughts.
Having good internal boundaries will help you learn to take pause before reacting to an emotion that has been brought up. If a co-worker accuses you of something that isn’t true, when you have strong internal boundaries you can stop yourself from taking your emotions out on that person and give yourself time to calm down and respond appropriately.
When you have developed healthy internal boundaries it also lets you say “no” to unhealthy thoughts as well as keeping to a plan around your eating and exercise habits. When you get that desire to eat a cookie after a meal, a healthy internal boundary will say “no, I don’t need that and it will keep me from reaching my goals” or by not letting that “I don’t wanna!” thought win when you had planned to go to the gym. It’s creating a strong self advocate.
So how do you go about setting up good internal boundaries?
Define a limit
Define what appropriate actions you will have to support that limit
Build a supportive mindset to strengthen your boundary
For example - Becoming more consistent with exercise
Define your limit:
I’m no longer going to allow weak excuses and “I don’t want to” statements to hold me back
Having your gym back packed and in your car
Sign up and pre-pay for any exercise classes you are going to take
Schedule time to meet your friend at the gym
Pre-pay for personal training sessions (and pre-schedule those sessions)
Have alternative activities when life goes weird on you (have a walking route set up, have a short at-home workout setup, etc)
Statements like “Although I’m feeling a bit run down, I know working out will make me feel better.
"I deserve this time for myself"
Practice makes this easier.
At first setting these boundaries and holding yourself accountable to them can be challenging, yet the more you keep yourself accountable the easier it will become for you. And for the times that you mess up, being kind to yourself will help you the next time.
If this is something that you are having a difficult time with, part of what we do at Phoenix Fitness is bariatric mindset coaching. We can help you build these internal boundaries along with coaching you through other roadblocks to your success.