Thursday, January 6, 2011

Endorphins Make you Happy

Today my training plan called for 8 miles.  I pretty much knew ahead of time that there would be no way I could fit it in.  I was determined, however, to squeeze out every mile, foot, inch I could.  I got to the running trail at exactly 12:00 noon.  I had to be out of there by 1:15 but definitely no later than 1:20 to pick Ella and Jack on time. 

Mile 1: 10:38
Mile 2: 10:38
Mile 3: 10:40
Mile 4: 11:09
Mile 5: 11:05
Mile 6: 10:49
Mile 7: 10:54
Total:  1:16:00
Average: 10:51

Rockin' the new compression sleeves, I'm very reflective!

So yeah, am I good or what?  I made it back to my car just in time to put it in drive and arrived at the school at 1:30 and was the last parent to pick up both Ella and Jack.  I had not one second to spare.   I could have skipped my workout today because things were so rushed but I decided that was a poor excuse.  I would do what I could and it didn't matter that it wasn't EXACTLY what was on my training plan.

I think part of being successful in fitness is being flexible.  Lately I've been getting a lot of emails (ok maybe not A LOT) but some emails telling me I'm an inspiration (who me?  awww thanks) and asking for tips on how to get started.   I've been thinking about it all day and here is what I came up with .

  • Take baby steps
    • Don't think you can just go out and run a mile.  Trust me it doesn't work that way.  Go out the first time and do what you can.  The next time do 30 seconds more.  When I first started working out I could barely do the elliptical on level 4.  Now I do it on level 20 and it's a breeze. 
  • Don't try to be perfect. 
    •  This goes for eating or exercise.   If you spend so much time worrying about being perfect you'll get discouraged when you aren't.  Let's face it no one is perfect and expecting that you'll eat good ALL the time or hit ALL your fitness goals is unrealistic.  Try to get over that all or nothing mentality. 
    • Make one better choice a day, one better choice a meal.  Don't try to go from eating a cheeseburger and fries to carrots and boiled chicken.  Try a burger (hold the mayo) and a side salad.  Or eat the fries but choose a healthier main course.  Or my personal favorite, eat what you want but eat only 1/2 of what you normally would eat.  You'll probably find you're satisfied if you can just make yourself stop.  Most of us over eat and if we'd just stop before that full feeling our brains will catch up and let us know we're full after all. 
  •  Know that your journey will not be an easy one
    • Guess what?  Exercising is hard!  There will be days that you don't feel like doing anything but if you remind yourself how good you'll feel AFTER, you'll probably get out there.  Some people make exercising look easy but trust me EVERYONE has struggles.
  • Don't expect immediate results
    • So many people get discouraged because they don't see results right away.  It's really hard not to focus on the pounds but honestly the pounds shouldn't really be your motivating factor.  Let health be your goal and you'll feel accomplishment with every workout even if the scale doesn't move.  Remember that once you made the decision to get healthy you already accomplished half the battle.  Focus on little outcomes and not the big picture. 
  • Engage with like minded people
    • You wouldn't expect an alcoholic to hang out in a bar so if you're trying to get on the healthy train it wouldn't be wise to hang around a bunch of lazy Debbie downers who don't support you.  Working out with my friends is so much fun.  I may not be looking forward to my workout but I'm looking forward to my girl time.
    • I read a lot of health and fitness blogs.  Reading along with other people's daily lives and what they do to stay healthy helps keep me motivated.  Most of these people didn't start out healthy but wound up that way.  Everyone starts somewhere. You can see the blogs I read daily on my sidebar. 
    •  If you want the most motivational story ever, keep up with Ben Davis, once 358 pounds, at  Be sure to watch his video here
  • Set a goal for yourself. 
    • I'm not talking about a pounds goal either.  Set a goal to run a 5K.  Try this training program.  It's foolproof (not that you're a fool).  For me knowing that I'm signed up for an event keeps my training on track. 
  • Find something you like to do. 
    • Running isn't for everyone.  Your thing might be Zumba, maybe yoga, or cycling.  The thing is, if you don't love it you won't want to do it. 
    • Don't be afraid to try new things.  I was so terrified to try new things but when I forced myself, I often fell in love (pilates, spin, swimming, heck even running I initially thought I hated).  Try new things until you find something you love.
These are the things that work FOR ME.  Everyone is different but I think my suggestions are relatively easy. 

You deserve to take time for yourself and become a better YOU.  You deserve to treat your body with respect and be healthy.  Make the commitment to be HEALTHY and everything else will come along with it.  Trust me I've never regretted a workout.  Endorphins make you happy! 

After my 4 miler on Tuesday


beachgooloo said...

LOve this Susan!!! So happy for you today! SO glad things are looking up. You are such a motivation b/c u are so real... you know what it's like & not afraid to share it. I love your attitude, drive, motivation & when you tell me like it is. <3

Anonymous said...

Very insightful - don't focus on lbs., but HEALTH. That makes sense! xoxoxo G.

A-Nik said...

"Do your best and forget the rest" - from your favorite person. hahahahahaha

Ronald said...

Great post Susan! One other thing that helps me is to make this decision only for yourself. Sure in the long run you look better and your spouse likes that...but ultimately exercise is for you and you alone.

A-Nik said...

"Do your best and forget the rest" - from your favorite person. hahahahahaha

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