Here are some bits and pieces from my recent e-mail conversations...
- Motivation and will-power are really overrated, perhaps totally useless. If you rely on having them, you'll never succeed long term. You'll only succeed for the month or day or minute that you can keep it together. It sounds weird but I'm not motivated to workout. I don't put even that much thought into it. I just do it. It's part of my day like breathing or brushing my teeth. Create enjoyable, maintainable daily habits that you look forward to and can carry out even when you're a basket case or life is hectic. Don't wait around for some day in the future when you'll get motivated enough to deprive and annoy yourself.
- Stop dieting. Seriously, stop it. As long as you're on a diet, you'll always go off of it. The more ridiculous and strict you diet, the bigger and more out of control your binges will be. If you want to succeed, start thinking like an athlete and not a dieter. Athletes need quality fuel at regular intervals. They don't go hungry, and because they're not hungry, they don't rebound binge. Because they lead active lifestyles, they can lose fat while eating a lot more than dieters. Because their sport is something other than weight loss, they don't measure their success or self-worth by the scale. If you've dieted all your life, thinking like an athlete is a bit of a leap, but once you get there its paradise.
- Strength training is the real key to success. That's what will fix your metabolism, change the shape of your body, and allow you to eat satisfying portions and still lose weight. Boring steady-state cardio only burns calories while you're doing it. As soon as you stop moving, you stop burning calories. If you strength train and do some full-blast cardio intervals, you burn calories at an accelerated rate all day. If you plod along in the "fat burning" zone it's like rowing across a lake, as soon as you stop rowing you stop moving forward (stop burning calories and losing weight). Lifting challenging weights and doing short intense cardio intervals is like putting up a big freaking sail. Train smart (put up the sail) and you can kick back and relax the rest of the day while the afterburn from your workouts carries you toward your goal.
- I'm completely fascinated with what people eat. I was glancing through a weight loss blog recently, and my jaw actually hit my desk when I saw a typical day of food. It sounds like crazy talk from a crazy woman, but I often eat more calories than that person's *whole day* for my breakfast. Most women who have 100+ pounds to lose and any activity level at all, should be shooting for more like 1800-2000 calories for steady fat loss. Starving yourself will backfire horribly. It's the REASON for the cravings, failures, and out of control eating. Chronic dieters go, 1800 calories, oh that's so much food! It's not. Consistently eating 1800 calories a day is still a bigger deficit than eating 700 calories one day, 1300 the next, 1175 the next, and 14,385 on the fourth day when you lose your mind and eat an ice cream truck, a pizzeria, and half a bakery.
- If you look at nutrition as "now I'm dieting" and "now I'm maintaining" you may as well be going to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig with the diet ninnies. Eat well all the time. Think of yourself as an athlete all the time. Athletes enjoy treats when they can get away with it and they cut them out when they need to for competition. At any given moment, a hundred times a day, you decide whether to lean out today, whether to maintain, or whether to indulge. You don't have to cling to one extreme or another; it's always going to be a matter of degree. If you're not getting results, you adjust things until you are. If you're getting results but you're starving and miserable, your body and subconscious will adjust things for you by strongly encouraging you to eat anything that isn't nailed down. You have to find the middle ground where you're eating well and seeing progress, but it's maintainable and you're happy.
In addition to answering lots of e-mail (while pedaling my bike, of course), I added a few new goodies to my store
- books by Porter Freeman, Tosca Reno, Ferret Bob, and Dr. Oz. I also put up a 7-Minute Weight Loss Circuit
by Craig Ballantyne that uses only body weight exercises and can be done anywhere. I can't do squats, lunges and mountain climbers right at the moment, but it looks fun. I'm on a push-ups/pull-ups/dips kick right now. It's a very time-efficient way to destroy my whole upper body, and it leaves me plenty of time for the hour or more a day that it takes to do all my knee exercises and rehab.
Stupid Nigel has become transfixed by the elastic band that I do my standing leg work with. I guess it makes a sound or something when it stretches. So, I'll be standing there on one good leg, kicking my other leg through space, and he will wrinkle up his forehead and get as close to the "squeaky" band as he can possibly get. So far, I've stepped on him once and kicked him three times. Contact generally occurs after I've run him off the first time. He'll leave and then he'll sneak up on it again with the tilted head and wrinkled forehead. It's like he's in some kind of a cartoon trance. Silly dog.
Posted by skwigg
at 11:19 PM CST