Fitness Goal Setting

Goal setting. Seems simple enough right? "I want to loose weight"," I want to build muscles" or "I want to run a half marathon." Seem simple that think about something we want and boom it's a goal. 

But is it? Not to pull out all the cheesey fitness quotes but as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said "A goal without a plan is just a wish." 

So how do we set fitness goals? How do we make it a goal and not a wish, a real live attainable thing? Let's take it back to elementary school with how to solve a problem. Figure out the 5 W's and the H.

  • What? What is your goal? Do you have an event you want to race in, a weight/size you are looking to achieve? This I think is the easy part of goal setting of course. What do you want?
  • When? When do you want to achieve this goal by? Thinking something reasonable, maybe planning to run a marathon in 3 weeks and you've never run a day in your life is a bit too much too fast. But set some timelines of the things you wish to obtain.
  • Who? Who do you need to support you in your goal? Tell these people your plans. They can hold you accountable and/or help you with your goals. You might be surprised to find the people rooting you on and/or you inspire to do the same! Do you need a personal trainer or coach? Do you need workout buddies?
  • Where? Seems like an odd question, but in reality, where do you need to be in order to obtain this goal? Do you need a gym membership since home workouts and self motivation you know are a hurdle for you? Do you need to be able to run outside, do you have a place to do this?
  • Why? Ah, this is the tricky one. Think good and hard about why you want to obtain this goal. If you heart isn't really there, the love and joy of obtaining your goal likely won't. I wrote a bit about loving your personal fitness journey and it helping in this post Love Your Fitness . Take some time to sit and actually think about why you want to do something, because if it comes from this place of self hate or self loathing, you'll likely hate every minute. Taking an honest look at your feelings will help you use them constructively, instead of burying them inside a workout. 
  • How? Sit down and write out how. I'm a pen and paper gal, where if I write something down its official. Maybe you like spreadsheets of how often you plan to workout or what your nutrition will look like. Write it out, type it, print and put it somewhere you see often. A reference to look back on to see if you are on track, or a place to write what did or didn't work. Remembering sometimes our journeys take us different routes then we thought.

Now go and take action!!!! You have planned and prepared, go crush those goals!

Love, 

Jen

Take It Outside Workout

This morning my 6am club friends and I took our workout outside. It's been record breaking warm and beautiful here in the city for mid April and we took advantage of it. 

We met up at the bottom of one of the 50 sets of stairs in our city and got to it. Up and down a few times and at the top as the sun rose we did a fun bodyweight workout I put together. 

We laughed, we moaned, we had a blast and I feel refreshed and energized for my day. Not just from the workout, but the fresh air and the quality time with people I adore. 

At the top of the Whitemud ravine stairs is this awesome crochet/pom pom tree project.

At the top of the Whitemud ravine stairs is this awesome crochet/pom pom tree project.

Grab some friend and try this workout! 

Where do you like taking your workouts outside?

Love, 

Jen

Update

A month ago I wrote a little post called The Project. Introducing you to 3 people who I am coaching through nutrition and blogging about their results. I'm sorry I haven't updated as much as I'd like, we've been moving and it's hectic!

Anyways. I wanted to share a little bit of their results and what they had to say about it. Perception is quite the thing. We may think we see no progress but the rest of the world sees it all. Or we may see little progress and think "what a waste of time" but in fact that small progress but be huge to someone else.

Jenn

In the first month Jenn has done very well. Some "cheat" days where macros were forgotten about and some workouts missed. Guess what? This makes her human like the the rest of us. And guess what else? She still had results. She kept getting back on that horse the next day and she has results to show it.

  • Weight - Down 4 lbs
  • Chest - Down 0.5"
  • Waist - Unchanged
  • Hips - Down 2.75" (WOWZA!!!!)
  • Thigh - Down 0.5"
  • Arm - Down 0.5"

I've put Jenn on a plan to loose on average 1 pound a week. So it looks like she's on track. I know it might not be aggressive enough to some or to her (her goal is about 35 lbs), but two things I want to point out.  Firstly it didn't take 3 months to gain weight, so slow and steady is the most sustainable way to loose weight. And secondly our marathon mama here does A LOT of cardio training for her half marathon in two months, traiathalons and so on this summer. Steady state cardio like what she is doing lets your body adapt to it. So it's harder to use cardio to burn off extra fat like in others, in conjunction with the caloric deficit. This is all said, I think she has done amazing! The perseverance in this busy working mom of two is downright inspiring.

Vanessa

Vanessa also endured some personal stuff that put her off track some days, but again still had progress! I'm even amazed the one night she came to my place with some friends and we were wine drinking fools and she kept to the no alcohol for the first month part. Good on you girl!

  • Weight - Down 5 lbs
  • Chest - Down 1.5"
  • Waist - Down 1"
  • Hips - Unchanged
  • Thigh - Gained 1.5"
  • Arm - Down 1"

I've also put Vanessa on a 1 pound a week deficit. She started HIIT cardio and lifting heavier weights. This would be why she's gained that 1.5" in the thigh. For someone tall like her, that can be a difficult thing to do! Her goal was originally to loose 15 lbs. The last check in she said "I'm not sure I'm going to get to my weight loss goal with the muscle I am building, but I feel good about where it is going". There ya go. What's that saying? Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about how you get there. She wants to look a certain way based off a weight she was before. But if she looks that way and weighs more does the number really matter? Good for you Vanessa!

Here is a side by side of the first month's difference for Vanessa.

SideBySide

Dylan

The strong silent type. Ha ha. I ask each of these three a bunch of questions at check in and he never has much to say. But let me tell you the strong in that part is real. He's been pretty on point with his nutrition plan and macro counting and his results are damn impressive.

  • Weight - Down 14.5 lbs !!!!!!!
  • Chest - Down 1.5"
  • Waist - Down 2"
  • Hips - Down 1.5"
  • Thigh - Down 1"
  • Arm - Down .5"

Any females reading this wishing they were a man? Ha ha. I kid I kid. I've put Dylan on about 1- 1.5 lbs a week loss. I wasn't sure on his numbers exactly because there was some additional factors for him. Some cardio/supplements he was taking that may or may not have messed with his metabolism a bit. But here we are. I even almost upped his calories after the first two week because of a 10 lbs jump! He' s also missed a few workouts from work and had to change his cardio plan a bit because of an injury, but he keeps on trucking along. Great work, well on your way to your goal of coming down 25-30 lbs. Can't wait to see you after the three months with that commitment!

All three of them started with a daily meal plan for the first two weeks. One I worked out specifically to their macro numbers. After the second week I spoke more about macros, what they are and how to swap foods out. Because I can only imagine how sick they were of the same thing everyday. No alcohol was for the first month. Alcohol is one of those funny things, that once consumed, makes us forget about calories and macros. Think back to all those late night pizza binges after the bar! Now they are all free to swap out meals and food within their daily goal numbers. I've helped them with being able to calculate alcohol into their plans as well, putting no foods really off limits, just kept in moderation to reach their goals.

Thanks for reading!

Take care,

Jen

 

Why Do I Want To Compete

It’s funny how I can’t recall one person asking me why I wanted to run a half marathon when I was training for it. Or I have never thought to ask friends why they want to compete in Crossfit competitions or Super Spartan races. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I want to compete in this bikini competition. Is it because it’s basically being judged on your look? Maybe a contemplation for another day, before I get to far into it? I originally planned to write this post after the competition, but today seemed like a good day.

I first decided I wanted to compete in September last year. Original thought process was “that would be cool to do one day”. And it went on the bucket list. But ya see;  the thing with me is sometimes I become fixated on things and I have a  hard time letting go of them. This became one of those things that stuck.

So why compete? Why not? Why be ordinary? Why not do the things that we think are impossible? Why not dare to be extraordinary?  We don’t all have to be extraordinary by selling our worldly goods and moving to India or jumping out of airplanes. If you do those things and they make you happy, then amazing. But for me, smaller odder goals are my thing. That new song about being the life of the party and take your shot, it might be scary…. Exactly. Maybe it’s the scary that attracts me to doing things like this.

I did it to push myself. Doing the uncomfortable makes us grow, makes us learn about ourselves. I never want to look back on life and say I wish I tried this, or I’m too old for this now or whatever lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not doing the things we never did. Bring myself to that “edge” as my yoga teacher calls it. Nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limit. As long as you don’t stay there I suppose.

To self observe, to learn about myself. I remember telling a friend I wanted to compete when I first started thinking about it and was told to make sure I don’t take it out on my kids. I was a little offended at the time, but the more and more I’ve read about people not handling the process, well I understood it more. Lowered calories/carbs, excessive training, meticulous food intake, no alcohol, dehydrating practices or heck even the excessive peeing from crazy water intake would have an effect on anyone. The things I’ve learned about myself are incredible to see. Again, probably another blog post.

To prove something. To break the mold of the “typical” bikini competitor. We see them typically as young, childless cardio bunnies, who eat only chicken and broccoli. Well I saw them that way I guess. I wanted to do it another way.

  • As a vegetarian. I have been a veggie for 19 years and get asked ALL THE TIME, “how do you get protein?” Let me tell you something, all veggies are sick of this question. Especially athletic ones.
  • As a mom. I have two children, 1.5 and 3.5 years old. Being a role model is important to me for my girls. Not role modeling ab out having a lean body. Being a role moel for ssetting goals and sticking to them. Persevering through tough times and being humble when they are good.
  • As natural as possible. Non GMO soy products, no funky heart racing preworkouts, no fat burning pills, and aside from the occasional Quest bars that had sucralose in them, no artificial sweeteners.
  • As a “if it fits your macros” counter. Again another blog post, but google macro counting, it’s pretty cool. I basically ate oreos my whole prep until the last few weeks. Not a lot of them, but better then the none most get. Ha ha. This kind of has a second point to it. I wanted to make sure I maintained a healthy relationship with food. Not look at a carb and cry how it will make me fat, or have an accidental slip on my diet and starting thinking of ways to negate it. I’ve read over and over again how competitors have many eating disorders.

Prove to me? Prove to you? Not sure exactly. Just to see if I could do it differently. Following the road to competing but on my own path, on my own journey.

And finally for the athleticism of it. I enjoy working out. I love weight lifting. Maybe not cardio so much to be honest ha ha ha, but I have become one of those people that loves fitness. It’s exciting, and I will try any type of it once at least. Even if it includes doing deadlifts 3 days a week……… Don’t lie to me, aint nobody like deadlifts.

So on the eve of the eve of my competition I’ve had a nice reflection of why I have done all this. Tomorrow I get my tan and go for my weigh in for Saturday. It’s been one incredible journey. No matter what happens Saturday, first place, last place or flat on my face, I’ve done it my way, learned a lot along the way and am ending with self respect, self love and a whole lot of pride.

(Don't mind the black and white, my suit color is a surprise until show day. You're welcome to guess the color!)

bikini

bikini