Tag Archive | Progress

Rollercoaster Week…Ending on a High Note!

Hey guys, sorry for the delay in a post this week. I’ve had a hard time getting into my normal groove since last Thursday when my neighbor’s house caught fire in the middle of the night. Due to the massive flames and wind, I was evacuated in case it spread to my house.

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Ultimately, 3 houses sustained damage and mine was next in line. So THANK GOD for looking out for me! In the meantime, please send out some positive vibes to my neighbors who are dealing with this unfortunate disruption to their lives.  While I fortunately did not incur any damage, it was incredibly scary and unnerving and kinda threw me off for a good week or so.

On a positive note, I’d say this experience has made me MUCH more aware of and grateful for many things I often take for granted: a roof over my head, being able to wake up and have coffee in my living room, my closet full of clothes to choose from, getting to shower in my own house after a good workout, etc.  And I have been so grateful for the therapeutic effect of the gym this week…It’s amazing how an hour or so of doing something great for your mind and body can have a positive effect on your whole day!
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Speaking of which, I had something VERY great happen at the gym today that I wanted to share with you!  Now, I may not have really mentioned it lately, but since I started focusing on weight training (roughly 6 months ago), I’ve been dedicated toward building muscle and shifting my body composition.  From everything I’ve read, I know that it’s normal to experience feelings of water retention, swelling around the muscles, etc when building muscle. Buuuuttt, for someone who has had past issues with body image, knowing this and feeling this are two different things. In other words, it can be kind of a mind f*@k!

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Anyway,  lately, I’ve been feeling like I can’t tell if my hard work is showing or not.  And in the wake of the fire I mentioned above, I’ve just been a tad out of it.  So I finished an arm/shoulder workout today and wrapped up with a 20 minute run on the treadmill. I was on my way out the door and saw my friend Carol (die-hard gym goer and fitness competitor), and as I was about to say hi she blurts out “Oh my god you have been working HARD!!! You look GREAT!!!!”  She went on to tell me how she was on the elliptical behind me and was so motivated by how toned and powerful my body looked while I was running that she wanted to get off and run beside me! Run beside ME!!! I was seriously coming out of my skin with excitement because I know she isn’t blowing smoke.

So, yeah, I’ve basically been on a high all day because I’m feeling like my usual positive, energetic self. And it’s always great to know that the hard work you’re putting in (whether it’s the gym, a relationship, a career, a hobby) is paying off.

Cheers to the weekend!

Ciao for now,

-E

 

You’re An Animal!

Despite having several kick a** gym sessions this week, I’ve been feeling a bit “meh” about my progress. I know I’ve been consistent with training, and have been eating fairly clean (but I don’t count calories or limit myself to treats like wine or chocolate…because well, they make me happy! haha) So it’s really for no particular reason that I don’t feel as ripped as I normally feel after a gym session.

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The reason I’m sharing this is because I know there are readers out there who will totally relate to this nonsensical feeling of “meh.” And I’m sure there are ways to be scientific about figuring out why…food diaries, cutting out treats, etc…but honestly, I don’t want to be that rigid because I don’t think it’s good for my mental health.

That being said, I got up at 5:30 this morning, as I usually do, and headed to the gym. Today was mainly shoulders and I focused on how many more reps I am able to do now, and with more weights than when I started weight training. I finished up with some ab work and bumped into a friend I knew at the gym and he was like “Wow, I was watching some of your moves you were doing earlier…You’re an animal! Keep up the great work!”

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It felt great to hear the positive reinforcement, and it just goes to show you that sometimes we can be our own worst critic. We see ourselves every day, and it can be difficult to notice the changes that others are seeing that are the result of our hard work. Never mind the fact that the most important changes are likely happening on the inside!

Having an off-day? An off-week? Push through. Don’t quit. Hard work always pays off, even if there are days where you can’t see it in the mirror. Be kind to yourself…after all, you’re an animal! 😉

Ciao for now!

 -E

ProGress

We live in a success-driven world whereby “success” is perceived less as a journey and more as an ultimate destination. While this way of thinking can be motivating, it can also be discouraging and rob us of happiness “in the moment.” We think we will finally be successful when we ______________ …fill in the blank: lose 10 lbs, have a six-pack, get a boyfriend/girlfriend, get married, make x amount of money, drive x car… Can you relate? Are you auditing your own list of “I will be successful when’s?”

Rather than having this mindset, I’m reminded lately how much more beneficial it is to focus on and celebrate progress, rather than waiting for whatever finite parameters of success we have in mind.

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By definition:

prog·ress (n.)

1. Movement, as toward a goal; advance.

2. Development or growth

3. Steady improvement

pro·gress (pr-grs) pro·gressed, pro·gress·ing, pro·gress·es  (intr.v.)

1. To advance; proceed: Work on the new building progressed at a rapid rate.

2. To advance toward a higher or better stage; improve steadily

This means that every little step we take in an overall forward direction is progress. Your goal is to lose 10 lbs? Great! Celebrate each pound lost. Celebrate new, good habits of eating more healthfully.  Your goal is to go to the gym 5 days a week? Great! Celebrate each time you get yourself there.  Is your goal to make six figures?  Fantastic! In the meantime, celebrate the progress of getting a raise

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On top of that, research shows that positive reinforcement (i.e. celebrating progress) is more powerful than negative reinforcement (i.e. beating yourself up for not being exactly where you want to be). So, a kick in the ass may be necessary at times to get you going, but periodic self pats on the back will keep you going longer. 😉

 “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.” – Oscar Wilde

 Ciao for now!

 -E