Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Importance of Setting SMART Goals!

Setting goals for yourself is very important and can really help you achieve your “end goal”.  If you say “I want to lose 50 pounds” but don’t set any goals in between, you put yourself at risk for a very long, unfulfilling journey.  That’s not to say you won’t achieve your goal, you absolutely can!  But setting smaller goals in between really helps to keep you motivated and on point!  Now, there is a method to the madness of goal setting… you can’t just say “I’m going to lose a lot of weight and gain a lot of muscle”.  You have to be more specific!  That is where the SMART system comes in.  

*Note: There are many variations of S.M.A.R.T., this is just what I have chosen to use!






Specific Goals – your goal needs to include things like what you want to accomplish, what are the requirements and constraints, what are the specific reasons for this goal… etc.

Specific Example: “I want to lose X lbs of fat and gain X lbs of muscle and I plan to do so by joining World Gym and working out 3 days a week”

Measurable Goals – your goal needs to be measurable.  This can be measured in pounds, inches, days, weeks, months, hours… etc. 

Measurable Example: “I want to lose 5 pounds in one month”

Attainable Goals – make sure that your goal is reasonable.  If you said you wanted to lose 100lbs in 3 months, or prepare for a big show in 2 weeks, or something like that, you are not as likely to succeed.  It might be better to start with smaller goals; this will also keep you from feeling like the end is nowhere in sight.  Losing a large amount of weight is a daunting task, so breaking it up into smaller goals makes it more manageable! 

Attainable Goal Example: “I want to lose approximately 2 lbs a week until I reach my end goal” *Note: weight loss isn’t always that simple, some weeks you will go up, some weeks you will stay the same.  This is JUST an example.

Realistic Goals – make sure your goal is realistic… you wouldn’t expect someone to finish med school in a month, so don’t expect yourself to move mountains in the blink of an eye.  That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have high expectations because you absolutely should!  Pushing yourself and seeing what you are really made of can help you achieve your goals!  If your end goal is to lose 100 lbs make sure that the goals you set for yourself look something like this…

Realistic Goal Example: “I want to lose 100 lbs in one year and I will do so by losing approximately 8 pounds per month.”

That doesn’t sound so daunting, does it?! 

Timely Goals – make sure you have a timeline!  If your goal is just to get in shape… eventually.  There is nothing to push you to get to the gym RIGHT NOW!  You might feel like you can do it tomorrow, because there is no deadline.  So make sure you are specific about WHEN this goal needs to be accomplished by!

Timely Goal Example: “I will accomplish my end goal within one year and I will do that by achieving my “along the way” goals every month!”

Goals are so important and you can achieve every single goal you set out to accomplish if you make SMART Goals!  I know that when I first decided to get in shape I only thought of the end goal and it seemed SO far away.  So far that I wondered if I'd EVER get there.  So I decided to make smaller goals, ones that I could achieve in less time and they would help push me along.  Who wouldn't want to celebrate their way to a better body?!  Make the seemingly IMPOSSIBLE.... POSSIBLE!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Resisting Temptation

Hey everyone!

Today I’m talking about temptation!  You’ve all been there before… You are at an event, business meeting, or a night out with friends.  Temptation is everywhere!  Most recently, for me, I was tested while out bowling.  There were about 20 people; all very hungry and "in need" of beer and snacks.  Being the event coordinator, I had to take care of it!  I knew that my almonds wouldn’t make everyone happy so I went to the snack bar and ordered up 5 pizzas, 2 platters, and 6 orders of chicken tenders for everyone to share.  Then I saw them… Mozza Sticks.  In that moment they called to me, they said “come on… just ONE bite!”.  I thought FOR SURE this was it, all hell was going to break loose over these Mozza Sticks.  I brought the food over to the table and made sure I sat away from it.  Somehow, it ended up right under my nose.  People moved things around and the gooey cheese was right in front of me.  I pushed it away and decided to reflect on the past 2 months and how far I have come.  I thought to myself, “Kayla, you have worked so hard to lose just over 50 lbs… WHY would you ruin that now?”.  It was really hard to say no, especially when everyone around me was eating without worrying about what went in their mouths.  But I did it and I felt SO strong and SO proud of myself after.  Once I gave my head a shake I realized that I didn’t even WANT those Mozza Sticks.  They aren’t good for anyone and they certainly aren’t what I need.  I was able to then sit back, enjoy my almonds and cheer for everyone that was bowling. 

I believe that temptation is everywhere, all of the time; it is only during our weaker moments that we notice it.  That day I had just been to the chiropractor for my ribs (I popped one out of place and it felt awful!) and as soon as I sat in my car after the adjustment, I popped it back out.  So I was in pain all night while everyone was stuffing their faces and having fun bowling.  I can admit it, I was having a little pity party for myself and that’s when I noticed the Mozza Sticks.  It took a lot to say no but I did and I am so glad I did.  I was able to shake off my bad mood and focus on the positive of the night; temptation did not get the best of me.  I was STRONGER!

The moral of the story here is, you are in control of today.  You control how the day ends; it can end with guilt or it can end with celebration!  Cravings and temptations are strong feelings but you are STRONGER!  I love this quote...

The satisfaction of giving in to temptation is very, very short lived.  But the satisfaction you get for saying no to temptation is incredible.  Always keep your goals in sight and make the right decisions today, so you can celebrate all of your tomorrows!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Overcoming Obstacles

Hey everyone!

First I must apologize for being so absent this past month, it has been … hectic.  This post might read more like a diary entry but I think it is important to be open and honest, it keeps me accountable.

I guess I’ll just jump right in!

February was not my favourite month so far this year… February and I got off to a bad start and the negativity lasted the entire month.  School is stressing me out big time (it is my LAST semester!), I hurt my knee (it’s already kinda crappy… I’ve got Osgood-Schlatter Disease), and my already sensitive hormones were completely out of whack.  I’m really trying to focus on the positives while I deal with my hormonal imbalance, but it’s challenging.  I’m most disappointed by my lack of weight loss this month… I’ve stayed the same and it has really bummed me out. 

School… I have always had a love/hate relationship with school.  All I can say about it is I am glad that I went to university and I am glad it is almost over.  I really believe in education but holy moly it stresses me out!  I’m not even going to go into detail about this one or we could be here allllllllllll night.

Knee… My stupid knee really pisses me off sometimes!  I haven’t been able to do a real leg day all month.  My knee aches and I get these pains that feel like ... well, the best way I can describe it is, you know the feeling you get (if you have sensitive teeth) when you drink or eat something really cold?  Its that sharp pain and then it slowly fades away… That’s what I feel in my knee after cardio or sometimes it’s the reason I have to cut it short.  I started going to physio again but just didn’t have a good feeling about her.  I didn’t feel like we had a real plan or reason for this pain.  So I’m going to my RMT (registered massage therapist) this Tuesday; she should be able to help me out!  I am really hoping I can get this sorted out so I can get back to doing leg days!

Hormones… Oh hormones… I have always had a “sensitivity”, I guess you could call it, to any fluctuation in my hormones.  Well this past month has been the worst I’ve ever felt when it comes to those pesky buggers… I would cry at the drop of a hat, take something to heart and brood over it for days wondering what that person meant by it, and so on… it was mentally exhausting!  I went to my doc to see what I could switch my BC pill to (that’s the culprit… as soon as I started taking it my hormones went BONKERS), so we shall see what it is like next month!  I am optimistic!

You may be wondering what the point is or what my message is here and I guess you could say that the point I am trying to make is, we all go through ups and downs and sometimes those “downs” are pretty hard to dig yourself out of but you have to!  Obstacles are a part of life and you have to figure out how to get around them!  I love the saying “fall down 7 times, pick yourself up 8 times”.  It is so true!  You cannot let anything keep you down.  Not an injury, not stress, nothing!  There were times I wanted nothing more than to stay in my bed all day but I got my ass out of bed, got ready, and went to the gym.  I felt SO much better after I worked out.  Cortisol is a nasty hormone that your body releases in response to stress; it will linger if you don’t get rid of it even after the stress is gone.  So going to the gym after a stressful event is SO important.  You need to rid your body of that stuff; you will be SO glad you did. 

This month I really pulled back and hid in the shadows for a bit, hoping that nobody would ask about my progress… If they had I was sure I’d burst into tears!  However, this weekend I really had an “Aha!” moment and decided that I can’t beat myself up over the events of this month.  I didn’t plan for it to be such a stressful month and there is nothing I could’ve done to prevent it.  So I just have to work with it instead of trying to resist it. 
When I am stressed I avoid food, so today I cooked up all of my chicken and lean beef meals for the week and packaged them up.  This way, I can just run to the fridge and reheat my meal instead of pulling out the pots and pans and cooking up the whole meal right then and there.  I am choosing to be PROactive, rather than REactive.  I am also choosing not to be so critical of my weight.  That’s not to say I’m not paying attention to the numbers, I just mean that I’m not going to be upset with myself about the lack of change (tomorrow is a new day and I will work even harder to make that change happen!).  Sometimes there are lulls, sometimes there are ups and downs and that is OKAY. 
Here is a picture quote that really helped me this month (thanks Alyssa!):

It may have been the month from hell, but I came out of it a better person.  A stronger person.  I know that I can learn from my weaker moments and rise above them! 
Even if you don't relate to these particular "stressors", just sub one of your "stressors" in place of mine.  Maybe money is tight right now and it is stressing you out.  You can still apply this way of thinking to your problem and help yourself get through it.  Maybe you fell off the wagon and regained some weight and are feeling defeated... Just pick yourself up and get to the gym.  Learn from your mistake (maybe you binged, maybe you stopped going to the gym, etc.) and be stronger this time. 
Someone very wise often says something that never made sense to me... in fact it was kind of annoying LOL "just try harder"... If you can't do a push up... just try harder.  If you can't finish that rep... just try harder.  But in all honesty, it's the only thing you CAN do.  If it didn't work out for you the first time, that's OKAY, just try harder next time and you will get closer to success!

I leave you with this quote…

 “I've come to believe that all my past failures and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” - Tony Robbins