fitness

The Motivation Myth

 
 

If you’re waiting for the motivation fairy to come and bless you with the motivation to reach your goals, you’ll never reach them.

Living the fit life doesn’t come from some never-ending amount of motivation.

Fit people live normal lives just like everyone else. What’s different is what they’re making a priority, and how they approach that priority when they don’t feel like doing it.

Which I can assure you, happens often.

The Way Most People Think About Motivation is Flawed.

Motivation is not about always “feeling” like doing something.

It’s more about understanding what’s important to you, making that thing a priority, and being honest with yourself and your abilities in that given moment.

There are MANY days that I don’t want to lift.

I like to lift, but I don’t love it. (*You need to make sure you at least like what you're doing, if you hate it, you will never develop the right motivation around it) But, I LOVE walking outside in the nice weather-so that’s easy.

But, when I’m supposed to lift and I really don’t want to, I think back to why it’s important to me and I have a conversation with myself.

I say “Ashley, why don’t you want to do this today? Are you tired? Is there some other priority trying to makes its way in?

And then I get honest with myself. I say, “What can you do today?”

I don’t get attached to any outcomes, I just meet myself where I’m at and do what I can do. If it’s only a half workout, then I will either do another whole workout the next day or a half workout the next day.

Being honest with yourself and where you’re at (and honoring this) is what gives you slack when you need it (to continue being able to do this long-term) and kicking yourself in the ass when you need that.

Workout Perfectionism

This is where many people get hung up. They get into perfectionism mode with their workouts (if you can’t do the whole thing you don’t do anything.) And sure, this would be great if you lived in a bubble, but you live in the real world and you have to learn how to manage your life (energy levels, priorities, schedules) to be successful long-term.

Thinking in black and white will screw you over long-term. Life is not black and white. So, your workouts can be either.

 
 

Outside Accountability (Motivation) vs. Intrinsic Motivation

Another thing to understand, when you first start your health journey it’s totally fine to have outside accountability. Actually, better than fine, you probably want this to start. There’s a lot for you to learn how to manage in the beginning and this takes practice. It’s always great to have a coach.

But, understand that you’re not going to the Olympics here, you’re taking care of YOUR OWN health. You’re not training for a competition. There’s no destination. This is a never-ending journey.

You need to decide whether you want to rely on outside accountability for the rest of your life, or if you want to develop your own intrinsic motivation (which is what we talked about above.)

There’s nothing wrong with either choice, but needing to rely on someone outside of yourself for the rest of your life, makes this commitment harder to do long-term.

Life changes. People move away. Relationships change. Learning how to develop the tools inside of yourself to be able to do this on your own, obviously increases your chances of long-term success.

Because the only person you need to rely on is YOU.

You CAN Do This

You CAN get to the place where you can do this on your own. You just need to be given the right tools to be able to do it.

And you have to want it.

Ask yourself, “How do I want to live my life? Do I want to be a badass at taking care of my own health?”

If the answer is yes, then you’ve got this.

You just need to find the right coach to help you develop and nurture that desire inside of you.

What Makes a Great Coach?

A great coach helps you stand on your own two feet. They’re focused on teaching you and making sure that you understand how to apply what they’re teaching.

If they’re great at what they do, their end goal should be for you to NOT NEED them. If you want to stay with them, it’s because you love them and because you’re CHOOSING to stay.

Not because you need to.

A great coach gives you everything you need to (eventually) stand on your own two feet.

So, There You Have It

It’s not the motivation fairy you should be looking for (or even looking for someone to constantly provide outside motivation.)

You should be looking for someone who can help you get real with yourself and help you become the most badass, self-reliant version of YOU.

Think Fresh and Live Your Fittest and Fullest Life,

~Ashley

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Is Your Workout Making You Too Hungry to Lose Fat?

 
 

If fat loss is your goal, how you eat is your number one priority.

Your type of exercise (and amount) has to be in line with this. If your workout is too long/too intense that it’s making you ravenous (can’t control what you’re putting in your mouth) it’s going to be VERY hard to lose body fat.

You end up eating just as much, if not more, than what you’re burning off.

What Types of Workouts Do This?

Knock Off High Intensity

Understand that TRUE high intensity workouts (15-20 minutes of intervals pushing VERY hard) can be a great addition to your fat loss exercise regimen.

But, the problem is when they’re done for too long. This combination of length and intensity can cause a change in your body’s hormones. When these workouts are abused (done too long), you can potentially go from an optimal fat burning environment to a hunger and fat storage environment.

*Know this: If you’re doing high intensity for an hour, it’s not truly high intensity.

Let that sink in for a second.

The higher the intensity of the workout, the shorter the duration should be. Because if it’s truly HIGH intensity, you can’t do it for that long!

So, many workouts that are labeled high intensity aren’t true high intensity. They’re more like moderate intensity done for a REALLY long period of time-making them feel really hard. But not necessarily being the most effective when looking at the bigger picture and how many women’s bodies respond negatively to lengthy extreme exercise.

Cardio That’s Too Long

I was guilty of this for years!!!!

Back when I younger and didn’t understand human physiology, I used to think that running was the way to fat loss and the body that I wanted.

Of course when I first started to run I saw some fat loss. But, then it just all of a sudden stopped. And I would notice that my appetite was always high. So, if I ever took a break from running I would gain weight. Has this ever happened to you?

Sooo frustrating right?

Well, this is a perfect example of not being efficient with exercise. Just because something feels hard and you’re putting in a lot of effort doesn’t mean you’re going to see your desired result if you’re going against the physiology of your body.

So, many times women who run will see this happen and also women who do a lot of spinning.

This Doesn't Happen to Everyone

And of course the crazy thing is that this doesn’t happen to everyone! Many times, more men can get away with these types of workouts and not have it affect their appetite.

And some women can get away with it as well. It’s just that many women can’t. I am one of them.

But, everyone is different and you have to pay attention to how YOUR body responds.  

Are These Types of Workouts Bad?

Of course not!

It’s just that you have to know what you really want and how much you love that style of exercise.

Meaning, if you love running does that mean that you can’t run if you want to lose fat? No! It just means that if you want fat loss, you will have to dial it back (in length) until you find that it’s not making you hungry.

And to be even more efficient, add strength training into your routine.

How Do You Want to Live?

You want to ask yourself these questions:

“What are my goals?”

And

“How can I be the most efficient in reaching them, while also taking into account what I truly like to do?”

Think Big Picture

Thinking big picture means:

How can you get to your goal in the most efficient way possible and stay there for the long-term?

Cardio is not the most efficient way to keep fat off for the long term. It can help speed up the process of losing fat (as long as it’s not being abused), but to be the most efficient long-term, you want to be prioritizing strength training.

Strength training changes the hormonal profile in your body to be more fat burning and less fat storing.  This is why it’s sooo much more efficient long-term.

And I’m not talking about workouts that look like strength, but are actually cardio. If you’re holding weights, but doing a lot of very high rep exercises, this is not strength.

Relying on cardio for fat loss is kind of like being a hamster on a wheel. You always have to work for what you want.

Creating a strong body allows you to be efficient 24-7. When you’re working out and when you’re not.

The higher the efficiency (and taking into account what you like), the higher the chance of being successful long-term.

Be Fit AND Happy!

~Ashley

 

THANKS FOR READING!

If you think this could help someone you know, please share!!!

 

How to Stop Punishing Yourself for Eating "Badly"

 

*Video summary. Full written blog below.

 

After eating something unhealthy, do you HAVE to go “work it off?”

Do you say, “I had ice cream so I NEED to go exercise.”

I know you feel like this is just normal because you’ve heard this message your whole life, Eat something bad? Go work it off!

Normal right? Wrong!

The problem with this mindset (and if you have this problem, you know this all too well, like I did!) is three things:

1. You’re living in a never-ending vicious cycle of good and bad (you can never really enjoy food or life)

2. It makes exercise feel like a chore (which can turn into hate)

3. It can turn into further disordered eating and exercise habits (obsessive exercise, binge eating etc..)

Damn Fitness Media

This message comes from fitness companies that promise quick fixes-which if it’s a mainstream company, it’s pretty much all of them. And they’re all over the place.

For these companies to be able to brag that their customers got these CRAZY fast results, they have to go extreme and unhealthy behaviors.

Ones that end up creating mindsets that screw you over in the long-term. But, they don’t care about that. They care about getting your money-right now.

 
 

It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

Do you want to be able to enjoy tasty food on occasion without murdering yourself afterwards? Do you want to be able to enjoy exercise and feel like it’s nourishing you vs. punishing you?

You can! But you’re going to have to stop accepting this message as your truth.

How to overcome This 

Get Rid of Good and Bad Thinking

There Are Foods We Live On and Foods We Don’t.

You’re not murdering someone by eating an ice cream cone. You’re not a BAD person for eating an ice cream cone.

If you ate one, and you didn’t REALLY want it, and it’s not in-line with your goals, then you use this as a learning experience. What happened? Why did you eat it? What can you learn from this situation so you can do better next time?

When you tell yourself you’re a bad person for a certain action (shaming), this significantly increases the chances of you repeating your behavior. So, the very thing that you think is going to “fix” you, is actually making your situation worse.

*Shame and Guilt Are Not the Same

Guilt can actually be helpful. Guilt is, “This behavior isn’t in-line with who I want to be. How can I do better next time?” Shame is “I am bad.”

Guilt is good because it’s enough of a trigger to make us aware of our behavior so that we can change it. But, it’s not so negative that it’s making the situation worse.

 
 

Psychologically Separate Your Food and Exercise

Your Eating and Exercise Should Be Psychologically Separate. Period.

This means that when you’re exercising, you’re doing it because it’s time to exercise (it’s in your schedule), you’re using as a stress reliever etc. Not because you feel like a bad person for overeating-this becomes a vicious cycle.

You Don't Need to Earn Your Food

And the reverse holds true as well. Don’t get into the mindset of having to earn your food either. When you say, “I worked out so hard, I deserve this”, this is earning your food. A certain food is either something you really want or you don’t. It has nothing to do with your exercise. And pairing the two together causes problems.

Good and Bad Thinking is the Glue

But, the good news is, by getting rid of good and bad thinking, you’re helping yourself to separate your food and exercise. Because it’s this thinking that’s holding the two together.

Work On Your Relationship with Food

It's A Cop Out

Using exercise as damage control for eating is actually a cop out. It’s a cop out because it’s not forcing you to deal with your actual issue-your relationship with food.

If food is your issue (which if you’re assigning good and bad labels to things and yourself, it is), this is where your focus needs to be. If you don’t work on your relationship with food, you will stay stuck in this vicious cycle.

So again, get rid of the good and bad thinking.

 
 

Can Exercising After eating too much Ever be a good thing?

Of Course!

There is nothing wrong with putting food that we ate to good use to create a great workout! But, this is where the difference is, you are just looking at it from a scientific perspective, not a psychological (shameful) perspective.

And this is the difference. One is punishment, the other is not.

Life is Too Short for This Crap

This “I’m bad” talk takes so much quality from your life. Life doesn’t need to be a constant battle.

If you want a more balanced and happy life, mentally separate your food from your exercise. 

End your punishment.

Think Fresh and Live Your Fittest and Fullest Life,

Ashley Schoborg

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Why Strength Training Should be Your Fitness Priority

 
 

5 REASONS TO PRIORITIZE STRENGTH TRAINING IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR BODY, ENHANCE YOUR EFFICIENCY, AND OPTIMIZE YOUR LIFE. 

1. IT'S LIKE FINDING THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Brings Back Lost Muscle Tissue

Do you ever wonder why as people age, they tend to put on body fat? Sometimes they may even weigh the same as they did in high school, but look different. This is because as we age (if we don’t have a regular strength training program), we lose muscle.

It’s like that old saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it. “

This loss of muscle tissue makes the body less efficient and makes it easier to put on body fat. 

Helps You Move Better and Decreases Risk of Injury

Not only does strength training affect the look of your body, but it's function as well. Regular strength training improves balance, coordination, posture, and this can decrease the of injury.

It's Never Too Late

The good news is, even if you are a middle aged or older person who has lost a lot of muscle, you can still get it back by performing a regular strength training program.

Your muscles don’t know your age.

2. MAKES LOSING BODY FAT EASIER

This is Not Just About Calories. It's About Optimizing Hormones.

***This is especially true about losing fat after menopause. Learn more about that here: Why You Gained Inches After Menopause and What You Can Do About It.

During your strength training session, your body produces many different hormones such as growth hormone to free up stored body fat to be used for energy.  After your workout, your body continues this process while your broken down tissues are healing.

*Breaking down muscle tissue is the goal of strength training because as tissues repair themselves, they become stronger.

So, not only are you burning calories while you're strength training to contribute to fat loss, you're optimizing your body's ability to release fat from the stores and USE it for fuel. 

If fat loss was JUST about calories, the type of exercise and amount you choose wouldn't matter.

But, it does matter. 

 
 

3. MAKES KEEPING BODY FAT OFF WAY EASIER

It's Like Creating Passive Income

The effect that increased lean muscle tissue has on long-term fat loss is the best part. It’s like creating passive income for yourself. 

This extra muscle tissue that you acquire over time WORKS FOR YOU!  

Not only do you burn more calories at rest (because muscle is a more metabolically active tissue than fat), but because of the way muscle tissue interacts with hormones, more of the carbohydrates that you eat can get stored into the muscle tissue versus the fat stores.

The more muscle you have, the higher capacity you have to store carbohydrate in your muscle. Which means...

You Have More Wiggle Room With Food

I mean, who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?

Well, when you strength train regularly, and acquire more lean muscle mass, you will find that those occasional cookies will have a lot less of an effect on your body fat levels.

And of course, the more muscle you have, the more this holds true. It makes maintaining your new body fat level way easier! 

4. MAKES YOUR WHOLE LIFE EASIER

Since you're now stronger, when you have to lift anything, move anything, go up stairs, or walk up a hill it's way easier. 

You will notice such a difference in these activities that it will feel like you are cheating life.

It all becomes so easy.

5. CHANGES THE SHAPE OF YOUR BODY

If you're looking to change the shape of your body, and get that toned look, you won't get that from the cardio machines.

That comes from strength training. 

 
 

DOES THIS MEAN DON'T DO OTHER TYPES OF EXERCISE?

ABSOLUTLEY NOT

Every Type of Exercise Has It's Purpose

Just because you strength train doesn't mean that cardiovascular exercise doesn't have it's place. They're both different and cardiovascular exercise is great for burning extra calories, heart health, and overall optimal function of the body.

WHAT IF YOU HATE STRENGTH TRAINING?

TRY OTHER FORMS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING

Strength Focused Yoga

A strength focused yoga will absolutely rival a body weight strength training workout. 

Yoga or Pilates

If the intense strength specific yogas aren't your thing, than other forms of yoga or pilates would be best. These aren't going to have the same exact effect because they don't break down as much muscle tissue, but they're still a form of resistance training.

And remember, you don't want to hate what you're doing. 

If you hate strength training, body weight strength training, and strength focused yoga, regular yoga or pilates would be YOUR best thing! 

ANY EXERCISE IS BETTER THAN NOTHING

If you truly hate all the options above then just do some kind of exercise and make that a priority.

Understand you won't get all the benefits listed above, but anything that you can make a habit, and do consistently is what's going to be best for you.

Learn how to Strength Train at Brainy Betties!

If you think strength training is the best fit for you, but don't know where to start, know that this is part of what I do at Brainy Betties in Coxsackie. 

Brainy Betties is part small group fitness training for women, along with an educational program to help make you Fit AND Happy for the rest of your life. 

Or as a I call it...Living the F.A.B. Life.

Every session has 5 women or less. So, you are getting the personalized attention you need, but for a fraction of the cost of one-on-one personal training.

Want to learn how you can be fit and happy by living the f.a.b Life??!! 

Click Here!

Be Fit AND Happy!

~Ashley

Is Your Perfectionism Stealing Your Happiness?

 

*Video Summary. Full Written Blog Below.*

 

Are you tired all the time because you feel guilty for resting?

Are you constantly trying to keep up some image of “perfection?”

I call you the Superwoman Perfectionist. These are hard shoes to be in. I know because I used to be in them.

Difference Between a High Achiever and a Perfectionist

I know you might be saying “Well I am a high achiever, I like to push my limits and see what I’m capable of.” This is awesome and yes these are the words of a high achiever, but there is a difference between a high achiever and a perfectionist.

A high achiever is driven from within. A perfectionist is driven by trying to avoid shame. The shame of not-being-good-enough in the eyes of others.

Why We Live Like This

Our culture constantly pushes the images of the “perfect woman” and the “perfect life.”

A culture of women looking a certain way, acting a certain way, having certain material items, juggling multiple responsibilities, and a culture of busyness. When a friend asks us how we are, the typical response is “I’m busy.” And our friend says “Yea I’m busy too.”

It’s like if we’re busy, we’re worthy-we’re living up to the cultural standards. We put busy up on some life pedestal.

But, is this really giving us the great life we’re striving for?

Are we truly full of Joy? And living life to the fullest? Or are we actually too tired to fully live and be fully present in our own life?

 
 

Joy and Perfectionism Don’t Mix

The thing is, this “perfect” doesn’t exist and it has us living in an imaginary world of trying to keep up with others or look good for others- and it’s stealing our life from us. Stealing our joy.

Joy is the Deeper Good Mood of the Soul

Happiness is a surface emotion that fluctuates, but joy is that deeper feeling of contentment on a soul level. When we are constantly try to be “good enough” for something outside of ourselves, our soul doesn’t have the chance to be content and happy.

What This Means for Your Life

Not only does this affect the quality of your life (the way you feel about it and the way you feel about yourself), but it also affects how much energy you have to put towards other things that would make your life fuller.

Like exercise!

A perfectionist dealing with exercise can look like 3 different scenarios:

1.  Since you believe more is ALWAYS better and you’d feel less than worthy if you didn’t annihilate yourself during your workouts, you push your way through your exhausting workout sessions-increasing your chronic fatigue.

2. You get ‘all or nothing’ with it. So, if you know you can’t do the whole thing, you don’t do anything at all.

3. You end up saying “The hell with it” because you’re just so exhausted from all the other areas in your life where you’re trying to be perfect.

Either way, none of these are creating a positive relationship with exercise.

How You Can Think Differently to Make Your Life Better

Are you living your life for yourself or for others?

I am not talking about not helping others, I am talking about, are you making choices in your life because of what others will think about you? Or are you making decisions that are yours and make your life fuller?

How can you tell?

When you make a decision that is truly for you, it will make you feel fuller and more content. If it’s not, you will feel like it’s taking away from you and you are somewhat being forced into it.

You will be feeling “forced” because you’re trying to avoid shame. Not choosing to live your fullest life.

 
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Escape Your Perfectionism Prison

Life doesn’t have to feel like this.

You don’t have to go from day to day struggling for your worth. Your worth is already in there. You just need to realize it and choose to live from this place every day.

Stop giving your power away to others.

Be Fit AND Happy!

~Ashley

Do you want to be fit, but also live a balanced and fulfilled life?

Click here!