Dear Motivation, You suck!

Dear motivation,
Once again, we were having so much fun before you decided to leave me once again. We had this great thing going. I was happy to get up every morning to workout and plan my healthy meals; then you bail like you have done in the past, slipping quietly out the back door.

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Why did you have to leave me again?! You always do this to me. Right when I think I finally found something that works and am filled with energy, you always manage to slowly disappear, get lost, and vanish.

And to make matters worse, you leave at the worst moments: when it’s cold outside, when I’m feeling stressed, when I have a bad night’s sleep, when the kids are sick, when I go on business trips, when I leave for a relaxing vacation… Don’t you understand that THAT’s when I NEED you the most!!!!!

angryA

Why can’t you be more like Discipline, I can count on her. She whips my ass out of bed (no matter how grumpy I am), gets me up when I don’t want to and pushes me into action. Sure, sometimes I push her aside but then she always wins because I know she’s right. I know that my workouts make me feel better, I know that eating regularly keeps Mrs Hangry pants at bay; why don’t you get that and stick around. Damn you motivation!

How do you expect me to get anything done if you’re not around? I look for you everywhere. It’s not like I don’t want to workout or lose the weight or tone up or stop eating that extra piece of chocolate, you’re just not there when I need you. Screw you! And willpower too while I’m at it!

And then once and a while you come back and were soo happy again and you make me feel like this time it’s forever, a new start, I can take on the world but then two weeks later you sneak back out again. I don’t have to take this.

From now on, we can have an open relationship. You can come and go as you please but if you’re looking for me, I’ll be with my new crew: Discipline, Patience and Consistency.  They may not be as sexy as you but those chicks, I can count on to get the job done EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

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See ya around mothafucka.

This is Why I think YOU’RE AWESOME!

I can honestly say that I love people. I love listening to people talk, how they think, relate to one another. I am intrigued by human life; figures why I studied psychology! It never ceases to amaze me that every single one of us is different. I mean, YOU are 1 in 7.5 billion! Nobody is like YOU, nobody was ever YOU and nobody will ever be YOU. Isn’t that mind blowing?

Ok. Now. Stop.

Take this in. You are 1 in 7.5 fuckin’ billion.

WOW, right?

Newborn-Stomach-Size-Smiling-Baby

We should be like fuckin’ jumping and shouting from the rooftops about how wonderful we are! The way you talk, the way you do things, the way you think is different than anybody else. Your signature is yours. Your voice. Your fingerprints. All YOU! Own it. Embrace it. Dip yourself in champagne for this is the best new we can get!

Let’s embrace this uniqueness. Let’s take a moment to feel how wonderful it is to be unlike anybody else. This also means that we owe it to the world to show the amazing things we, and only we, can do. We also owe it to those around us to raise each other up. To support one another. To cheer on our differences and embrace them.

Rainbow woman

Let’s stop being complacent and think that “big” things and making a difference are only reserved for the special few, for the brightest, for the prettiest, for the ones most privileged by talent. It is often not the best or the brightest that succeed but the ones that work the hardest, that don’t give up on themselves, or their dreams and who believe that they will succeed no matter what. Let go of limiting beliefs that have kept you from being your authentic you. Shed the beliefs birthed from the failures of your past and use them to shine a light on your future.

Ok, someone stop me before I start lighting some incense and singing kumbaya…

I will leave you with a poem my mom read to me as a little girl and that stayed with me all these years.

“The Man who Thinks he Can”, by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are;

 

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but think you can’t

It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.

 

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will:

It’s all in his state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are:

 

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You’ll ever win that prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

 

To the stronger or faster man,

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the one who thinks he can.

Keep seeing the good in the world and in ourselves, because it is always there if you choose to see it.

Why Hitting the Snooze Button can Kill

…your peak productivity.

OK, now that I have your attention, I want to let you in on an important fact that I recently learned about snoozing. Take it from an ex-professional snoozer like myself, I thought you might find it interesting to know that bypassing the alarm once, twice, three, fifty times may actually be detrimental to your health. Let me give you the deets…

I’m sure you already knew that getting a good night’s sleep works wonders on your productivity level but did you also know that how you wake up is equally important? Based on neurology studies, scientists have discovered that hitting the snooze button actually has a negative impact on brain function and productivity… and furthermore did you know that the effects can last up to four hours!!! Now, that might explain my blanking out at the last work status meeting (just kidding!… then again…)

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Here’s how it works. We sleep in cycles, right? Usually each cycles runs 90 to 100 minutes to complete (kinda like charging our Smartphones). About two hours before you wake up, these sleep cycles end and your body starts to slowly prepare to wake up. When your alarm rings, your body is in wakeup mode, ready to go (even if your brain isn’t). If you hit the snooze button and drift back to sleep, you force your brain to start a new sleep 90 to 110 minute long sleep cycle. Then when the snooze alarm goes off 15 minutes later, the cortical region of your brain responsible for decision-making, alertness, attention, and self-control, is still in the sleep mode! It won’t be able to snap back awake so easily – it would – get this – take another 75 minutes to finish what that snooze button started.

Read more on the effects of snoozing

After that, it can take up to four hours for the grogginess, sleep fog feeling to subside and for your cognitive functions to return to their full capacity. Wowzer, right? So now, you’re probably thinking, sh*t how many years did I shave off my life by snoozing???!!! Don’t worry, there are ways to remedy this problem.

woman waking up happy

Here are some tips to avoid hitting the snooze button the first time the alarm goes off:

  1. DON’T TOUCH THE SNOOZE BUTTON. Get up. Not negotiable. It may take some practice but IT CAN BE DONE!
  2. GO TO BED EARLIER. If not getting enough sleep is the problem, set a bedtime for yourself. Or do what I would do when I did postpartum, go to bed when the kids go to bed. It might suck at first but you’ll feel so much better in the morning. The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, take that into account to set your bed time. Plus, your iPhone has a cool Bedtime feature in your Clock app that can help you stay on top of your bed time and set you up with a bed time alarm too!
  3. TURN OFF ALL SCREENS at least 1 hour before bed for a deep, restful sleep. That’s right, no more Netflix binge watching, or late-night social media trolling 😛 Read an actual paper book, magazine or get your meditation on always helps.
  4. PUT YOUR ALARM CLOCK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM to avoid the temptation to hit the snooze button once the alarm goes off in the morning.
  5. HAVE KIDS*, trust me, either you won’t have a choice to get up to feed/hold/sing to them once they start crying (unfortunately they DON’T COME with a snooze button) or you will want to get up before them just to get some peace and quiet 😛

crying baby

How many times do you hit the snooze button before getting up?

(*Try option 5 only once all other options have been exhausted. Fabmindfitbody.com is not responsible for any births resulting from reading this post. ;P)

Open your eyes: What do you see from your window?

“If you just open your eyes and your mind you will realize that amazing things, events and people surround us Every. Waking. Moment.”

I work in a downtown highrise. I am lucky to have an office with a window. I get to see the sunlight brighten my work space everyday. It isn’t a corner office. It isn’t a big office either, in fact I share my office with another colleague. Yet all this time, I never thought much of this office space. I always compared it to my past offices that were bigger and with better views of downtown Montreal or so i thought…

Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel

You see, what i neglected to say was that my office window faces the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel and peers directly into the window where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their bed-in for Peace in 1969. A moment that changed history forever. A time that was marked by change and people who fought for what they believed in. Strong souls that made history and the place where the ever historical and popular song “Give Peace a Chance” was born. A song heard many times over in different parts of the world and cultures, all voicing sounds of optimism for a better world.

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One can say that the view from my office stares at a grey hotel building with a bunch of windows but that’s not the way I see it anymore. My view is one of hope and dreams. One that inspires me to be and give my best everyday as a human being. To live my life to its fullest because people that are no longer among us would trade places with my most dullest day any second.

There are wonders all around us if we choose to see them.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one…

-John Lennon (Imagine)

Now, Imagine that 😉

I would love for you to tell me or post a picture below of your view today!

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED AND CRUSH YOUR GOALS

Motivation is a finicky concept. When starting a new fitness program we are unstoppable! We feel like we can take over any goal. We are bursting with energy, we are trying things we never did before, we are excited to learn new things. This lasts about several weeks, then it starts getting old. We skip a workout one day, then two, then slack on our diet… before we know it, an entire week has gone by and we have reverted to our old habits. So how do we keep motivation alive?

First, know that it is completely normal NOT to be motivated ALL the time! Instead picture motivation like a wave. There are peaks and there are lows and you just have to ride the wave. Here are some tips on helping you get your motivation back on track.

Don’t lose perspective of your WHY

When you feel less motivated, remember why you started the program in the first place. Was it to have more energy to play with your kids or to live a healthy lifestyle so you can be around for a long time. I find visualizing your success extremely helpful. If you are a visual person, try putting a photo or image where you can easily see it on a daily basis as a reminder or create a vision board of your goals. If you are more auditory, write out a mantra or phrase that you can repeat to yourself to keep you going when the going gets tough.

Remember your WHY

Go through the motions: Fake it ‘til you make it

One thing I have learned recently is that when motivation lacks it is not a reason to quit. Although you don’t feel like working out or making another meal plan, just do it anyways! Don’t overthink it. When we overthink something we already lack motivation doing, we tend to find reasons to talk ourselves out of doing it. Fake motivation, this is where discipline steps in. When motivation lacks, let discipline take over. And before you know it, motivation will make its way back, guaranteed.

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Accept that you will not always be motivated…

Some days or weeks might seem harder than others but instead of quitting, show up and you will see that it will come back. When you accept and acknowledge this, you learn to see your level of motivation as a gage and see if there is anything you can do differently. Instead of taking it as a cue to give up, take it as an opportunity to try something new or change it up a bit. Maybe try a new fitness workout (there are so many out there, so many apps and if you have all-access Beachbody on Demand, then you have no excuses not to try something different) or spice things up with your meal prep. Try new foods, new moves, push a little harder, take up a new sport, etc.

Just rest assured that the feeling will eventually pass and before you know it your motivation will come back.

Motivation

Join a Challenge Group for Accountability

People who have an accountability partner or join a challenge group have greater success of sticking to a program and losing weight. In fact, according to a 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport, the dropout rate if you have a fitness buddy or support system is as low as 6.8%, hence 93.2% success rate in sticking to your program for a year! In fact, that’s what was the game changer for me when I joined Beachbody. My coach was amazing and her challenge groups just reinforced the positive energy and the healthy habits I was instilling in my own life. That’s also what pushed me become a coach myself! So much positive energy, you have no excuses not to workout and change those unhealthy habits.

So, if you are feeling a little unmotivated these days or don’t know where to start, join me in my upcoming Challenge Group: Shape up for Summer! And see your motivation soar!

Summer Shape

Tell me, how do you stay motivated?

Celebrating your Non-Scale Victories!

You know the feeling when you set your mind on getting healthy and over the course of several weeks, you’ve been giving your all by working out, skimping on treats and opting for clean eats and, as a results, you feel great, walk in a room with more confidence! Then, one day, you cheerfully step on the scale to quantify your success… and boom! WHAT THE F**K?!? The number is not what you expected to see, it may have even gone up! (I used to change the battery every time this happened! Couldn’t be me, naaaaah!)

Woman-with-Scale

Now you feel like sh*t! You are hopeless, feel like all the work you invested didn’t amount to anything and are ready to throw in the towel. This is what would happen to me over and over again. This is what happens to most people who follow a program and start to commit to a healthy lifestyle. We want results fast! Why haven’t I Iost 2/5/10 pounds, I’ve been eating healthy for 5 days now!?!? Why don’t my abs show, I have been doing my sit-ups for a whole week?!? We all have these thoughts when we are starting out. They are normal thoughts and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having them. You have worked hard. It takes superpowers sometimes to say NO to that delicious ooey-gooey chocolatey brownie your co-worker has just offered you.

So what gives? Where are the results?

In the first several weeks of starting a program, our bodies are adapting. We may have started weight training, which pumps the muscles with blood as they are getting stronger. We may be upping our water intake, so we may be having more water weight for a while, our hormones are also adapting to the chemical changes occurring when eating healthy clean foods. During this time, your muscles are getting stronger. Your heart is pumping more blood and getting active, your blood pressure is adjusting and circulation is improving.

After a couple of weeks…

  • You start feeling more energized.
  • You are in a better mood.
  • Clothes are fitting differently, better.
  • You are starting to see some definition in your legs/arms/stomach.
  • You sleep better.
  • You are more motivated to do more at work and in your workouts.
  • You can run, jump, squat with more endurance.
  • You workout out regularly and are enjoying it.
  • You have more control over your cravings.
  • You start having a more positive mindset.
  • You up your water intake.
  • You make better food choices at home and in restaurants.
  • You meal plan for the week.
  • You eat within your calorie range.
  • You have more energy to keep up with the kids.
  • Your immune system is stronger.
  • You are more in-tune with your body.
  • You are more focused at work.
  • You feel less stressed.

These are all examples of NON-SCALE VICTORIES (NSV)! We need to celebrate these NSVs and be proud of our accomplishments (regardless of the number on the scale).

I had one challenger that committed to a program and during the 4-week challenge lost only 2 pounds on the scale but lost 11 inches in total when she took her measurements again! In my case, I have remained the same weight since the holidays but my arms and stomach are more defined now. Keep in mind: Muscle does not weigh more than fat. One pound of fat is the same as one pound of muscle but it’s denser! It takes up less space, your body is leaner even if you weigh a couple of pounds more!

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Let’s make a pact and stop fretting about that number on the scale. Instead, let’s show the scale who’s boss and measure success by how we feel, our energy level, our happiness level, our confidence level that we can do anything we put our minds to.

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Share you’re non-scale victory and let’s celebrate together!