Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Earlier this year I had invasive surgery. Like most surgeries, it was a significant setback for me physically. I couldn’t workout for many weeks and my muscles had been severed during the procedure. When I coached a fitness and nutrition challenge three months later, I felt that my strength overall was only about 30% recovered. I didn’t appreciate how I felt or looked, but the reward of working with the team outweighed my personal struggles.

When the challenge ended, I went out of town, did an intense workout, slept in a different bed and consequently had a flare-up with my back. I have subtle scoliosis that has caused spinal issues since I was a teen. As always, it was painful and, once again, I could not workout. Instead, I walked, stretched (a lot), foam rolled and alternated ice and heat. It seemed like forever, but after about a week of TLC, the back pain dissipated. 

THEN, literally the next day, I re-injured an old broken toe. Seriously! When it stopped throbbing two days later, I finally stepped back into my home workout room, but I felt defeated. This series of events over several months had left me much weaker, with higher body fat, little stamina and no motivation. 

I sat down alone in my gym, wallowed in my frustration and let self-doubt overcome me. I thought for a hot minute about quitting everything, even my health coaching. I texted my husband and whined. I questioned my passions. How can I inspire others if I don’t feel adequate? I can’t even do a “real” push-up right now. I should just quit!

Then I remembered the other times in the past when I felt that I could not regain my mental or physical strength, yet I did. After I bulged discs in my back. After I gave up my love of ballet and gained weight in college. After three pregnancies and c-sections. After the stress of caring for my sick husband with three small children. After grieving his death and feeling like I would never get out of bed again. 

Each time, I knew that I had to pick myself back up, even with zero desire. 

When I sat in my home gym reflecting on those bittersweet memories, I chuckled. Here I am, once again, with a relatively minor setback, and I am considering quitting. Really? No. I will not quit. Even though I am almost 48 years old and don’t always love what I see in the mirror or on the scale, I am so grateful that the years ARE passing, and I am here with a beautiful family and healthy body. I have nothing to lose by trying; everything to lose by quitting.

So, despite my self-pity, I just did it. I started with an eight minute cardio warm-up. It felt really hard. Then I picked up hand weights and a band and went to work. When it was over, 45 minutes had passed, I was sweaty and buzzing with joy. I made a healthy dinner with two of my teens and felt blissful as the endorphins worked their magic. I took a hot epsom salt bath (essential for sore muscles) then slept well. The next day I went back into my little gym and did it again. And repeated that the next day. 

And that’s how it’s done. One small step, one day at a time. 

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever cross the finish line of my physical goals. Probably not. My goals are admittedly a little unrealistic, and time and gravity are working against me. But regardless, I will continue to push myself forward through each setback, even when I want to quit. Even when I don’t think I will ever “win.” So I can feel proud of myself and help other people on the same journey.

Setbacks are often unavoidable, but what do you gain if you give up? Nothing. What do you gain if you keep pushing yourself? So much. Feeling proud of yourself, healthier, more energized, less stressed, less depressed and anxious, and like a stronger, more empowered YOU. 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

These are my top tips for getting motivated when you’re in a fitness slump:

Just show up

Even if you don’t have a plan or any desire. Tell yourself you will just do something gentle for 15-20 minutes. Go for a walk, ride a bike, stretch. Get started and you will likely want to keep going.

Schedule it in advance on your calendar

Even if it means getting up earlier or starting happy hour 30 minutes later, just do it. Make it a priority, like work and appointments.

Focus on the internal benefits of exercise

Usually the thought of losing 20 pounds or getting in shape is daunting. Instead, make a list of the internal benefits of being physically active: better mood, stress management, reduced depression, better sleep. Review that list regularly, and remember that you will change internally before externally.

Read more in this blog:

Five Ways to Make Fitness a Lifestyle | balanceisbest

14-Day Healthy at Home Challenge

14-Day Healthy at Home Challenge

April 27, 2020 – May 10, 2020

If you are ready to make your nutrition and fitness goals a priority at home, now is the time. Your health and well-being are more important than ever before. The 14-Day Healthy at Home Challenge is open for registration, so sign-up today!

The benefits of this challenge include:

~ 14 recorded home workouts for all levels

~ 14 delicious and nutritious recipes

~ Daily informational and inspirational email

~ Private group of members on a journey to be healthier and more fit

~ Personalized health coaching with a Certified Nutritionist for Fitness & Wellness

10% of proceeds from this campaign will be donated to the New Song Center for Grieving Children

Sign up now!

Your one-time payment of $49 is due by April 26, 2020 and secures your spot in the challenge. You’ll receive a welcome email with further details after completing your payment below:

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bites

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bites

Who doesn’t want an easy and healthy breakfast to grab on the go? These sugar-free apple cinnamon oatmeal bites are healthy, delicious, easy to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for a week ~ if they aren’t devoured the minute they come out of the oven.

Most people admit that they should eat breakfast, but are too rushed or not hungry early, so they skip it and begin a blood sugar roller coaster that can last throughout the day.

Sugar-free Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bites to the rescue!

These simple, moist goodies contain oats for sustained energy, eggs for protein and apple for extra vitamins and fiber, as well as light sweetness from real maple syrup instead of processed white sugar. You can use milk for extra protein, but I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Enjoy your oatmeal bites cold, or warm topped with butter or nut butter. Delicious and perfect for everyone in the family!

INGREDIENTS:

3 C. Old-fashioned rolled oats

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

1 C. milk of choice

2 large eggs

1/2 C real/pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large apple of your choice, peeled, cored and chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat muffin pan cups with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir well.

In a separate bowl add milk, eggs, syrup and vanilla. Whisk together until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well. Mix in the chopped apple.

Using a spoon, evenly fill each muffin cup with the mixture. Bake for 25-26 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Enjoy warm or seal and refrigerate for up to a week.

Blueberry Granola Recipe

Blueberry Granola Recipe

I love making this Homemade Blueberry Granola because it makes the house smell like warm cinnamon cookies, is loaded with protein, vitamins, good fats and antioxidants, and is simply delicious.

When you try this, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make healthy granola- and will never want to buy the corn syrup, sugar and oil-filled varieties at the grocery store again.

After your granola cools, you can break it into chunky bars or crumble up and sprinkle on almost everything. It is a great snack after your workout or for the kids on road-trips. It even makes for a cute gift in a mason jar, but that means you can’t eat all of it when it comes out of the oven. Good luck with that and enjoy!

RECIPE

Ingredients:
3C. oats
3.5oz package dried blueberries
1/4C. dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
1/2C. chopped unsalted almonds or other nut of choice
1/4C. raw pepitas
1/4C unsalted sunflower seeds
1C shredded unsweetened coconut
2T ground flax seed
2T chia seeds
2T cinnamon
12oz natural creamy almond or peanut butter
2-4T organic pure maple syrup
1T vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir the dry ingredients together.

In a small pot on the stovetop, stir almond butter, natural maple syrup and vanilla extract together on low heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently until smooth.

Pour the warm mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and stir together until oats are coated. Add more syrup and almond butter if needed.

Use your hands to blend well and press evenly onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden. After it has cooled, cut into bars or crumble.

 

Julie Meyers Miller is a Certified Nutritionist for Fitness and Wellness and founder of balanceisbest. She is a wife, mom, and blogger on a mission to inspire holistically healthier lives at any stage of the game.

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Earlier this year I had invasive surgery. Like most surgeries, it was a significant setback for me physically. I couldn't workout for many weeks and my muscles had been severed during the procedure. When I coached a fitness and nutrition challenge three months later,...

read more

Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Copyright 2018, balanceisbest©

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t love pancakes. Those fluffy, warm flapjacks are guaranteed to take you back to childhood faster than a park swing. But the problem with traditional pancakes is they are, well, CAKE, loaded with empty calories and void of balanced nutrition, sending you on a blood sugar roller coaster that will leave you cranky and hungry by 10 am.

Power Pancakes to the rescue!

This healthy twist on comfort food has become my go-to breakfast, especially before a workout. These are simple, delicious, satisfying, and packed with nutrition. The combination of slow-digesting, high fiber oats, egg whites and coconut oil provides the perfect balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fats necessary to get you through the morning. And the added banana makes your dish sweet and creamy, with extra potassium, vitamins, and minerals.

I top mine with a little nut butter and a handful of antioxidant berries. My kids drizzle theirs with real maple syrup. Now you have healthy comfort food that tastes better than the old-fashioned variety from a box. Score!

Ingredients:

1/2 C. old-fashioned oats

1/2 C. egg whites (can use prepared liquid egg)

Half a soft, ripe banana*

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 T. coconut oil

Favorite toppings: Nut butter, berries, extra banana, almonds, pure maple syrup.

Stir oats and egg whites together in a bowl. Add banana and mash with a fork. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Heat an omelet size pan on the stovetop to medium-high. Lightly coat with coconut oil. Pour in all the batter for one large pancake, or several minis. Cook until golden brown and egg is thoroughly cooked, about two minutes per side.

This recipe makes one large or four mini Power Pancakes.

*If your banana isn’t ripe yet, mash it in a bowl and set aside for 30 minutes before making the pancake.

Enjoy!

Julie Meyers Miller is a Certified Nutritionist for Fitness and Wellness and founder of balanceisbest. She is a wife, mom, and blogger on a mission to inspire holistically healthier lives at any stage of the game.

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Earlier this year I had invasive surgery. Like most surgeries, it was a significant setback for me physically. I couldn't workout for many weeks and my muscles had been severed during the procedure. When I coached a fitness and nutrition challenge three months later,...

read more

Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Copyright 2018, balanceisbest©

Five Ways to Make Fitness a Lifestyle

Five Ways to Make Fitness a Lifestyle

Making physical fitness a constant in your life requires more than willpower. A healthy, fit lifestyle requires longterm dedication and a little creativity. These five tips will help keep you committed to your fitness goals.

1. Schedule it

My number one rule of thumb for maintaining a physical fitness routine is scheduling it in your calendar in advance. That means at the beginning of every month, make a note of the days you will workout, including specifics like what time, where and what you will do. Then, when conflicts arise, schedule them around the workouts like they are very important meetings, because they are. You don’t have to tell the dentist that you’re not available for your root canal for six weeks because you have Pilates.

Taking care of your health is a top priority, not an afterthought. That’s why you can’t wait until each morning to decide if you’re going to get physical that day because there’s an excellent chance you won’t be able to squeeze it in. Of course, sometimes life gets in the way and schedules have to change, but that’s okay because your workout can go somewhere else on the calendar. Don’t delete it; move it to a different day and remember: consistency is the key to your health.

Only YOU can make your well-being a priority.

2. Find your happy place

Quite often, when people decide to get back on the fitness wagon, they dust off the ‘ol gym membership card that is buried in the car console and try to repeat the same workout that they gave up six months ago, only to give up again. Has that happened to you?

Maybe you haven’t maintained a fitness regime in the past because you need to get creative and try something new. If you feel uncomfortable at a gym, set up a space at home where you can do a 30-minute workout without any watchful eyes. Or try a new activity that has always interested you, like spin, hiking or a group fitness class.

What about something you enjoyed when you were younger like swimming or dancing? Have you always thought about trying yoga or kickboxing? Do it! Try something different, or better yet, go back to an activity you used to love.

Resist the urge to return to a mindset that has set you up for failure in the past.

3. Be counted on

You may be surprised to know that most fitness professionals have their own personal trainers. Why would someone pay another person to show them how to do something they know how to do? Because it keeps them motivated and accountable.

Most of us won’t do hard things for our own good, but we will do it if someone is pushing and counting on us. I can’t tell you how many times I have been exhausted with deadlines looming only to look at my calendar and realize I have a workout scheduled with a trainer. Do you think I blow off my trainer and pay for an hour that I didn’t use? Heck no. I show up and magically the exhaustion passes and the deadlines get fulfilled. Finding a trainer, workout buddy or online fitness group can be the key to your success.

Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.

– Bob Proctor

4. Don’t check in with your feelings

I’m sorry to tell you, your feelings can be big, dumb liars. You do not ask yourself if you feel like setting your alarm for work on Monday, so why ask yourself if you feel like working out? Waiting for workout willpower is like waiting for your kids to do the laundry so you can wear your favorite outfit. It probably won’t happen. Ever. And the longer you go without fitness, the less you will feel like doing it.

So next time your calendar says “Home weights workout, 9 am,” push away all thoughts that are negative. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, you just got a perfect blowout, your cute leggings are dirty and the temperature is not quite 82 degrees with a light breeze. I like to annoyingly remind people that the man who runs down your street every morning at 6 am, rain or shine, did not wake up in his warm bed in the mood to run.

Stay committed to your plan, despite emotions, and remind yourself that once you get started, you will get in the mood. You just will. And when you are done and get that wonderful dose of adrenaline, you should high-five yourself, and make a positive mental note for next time.

I wish I didn’t workout today, said no one ever.

5. Reassess your downtime

I saved this for last because this one is always a touchy subject. Ready? Most of the people I encounter want to make positive changes in their lives, but don’t want to make a change. What do I mean by that? I mean the same people who binge-watch Game of Thrones, never miss a happy hour and sleep-in every weekend usually say there’s no time for exercise. I told you it’s a touchy subject, but hear me out. Downtime is important and necessary, but let’s be honest: If you’re super busy (and we all are) but need to make your health more of a priority (and we all do), you will need to get creative with your time.

If you only have weekends available, start using some of that time getting physical. Or get up 20 minutes earlier on weekdays (sorry, I went there) or stop at the gym before you get home from work. If you are home with babies and toddlers all day, try a home workout or a Mom’n Me stroller workout.

These are just ideas to help kick-start change; only you know your schedule, and only you can make yourself take action for a better lifestyle.

Don’t make change complicated. Just begin.

Julie Meyers Miller is a Certified Nutritionist for Fitness and Wellness and founder of balanceisbest. She is a wife, mom, and blogger on a mission to inspire holistically healthier lives at any stage of the game.

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Earlier this year I had invasive surgery. Like most surgeries, it was a significant setback for me physically. I couldn't workout for many weeks and my muscles had been severed during the procedure. When I coached a fitness and nutrition challenge three months later,...

read more

Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Copyright 2018, balanceisbest©

Top 10 Stress Busters That Are Good For Your Health

Top 10 Stress Busters That Are Good For Your Health

You’ve had a long day, so you pour a drink. You’re exhausted, skip the gym. Anxiety is creeping up, gorge on junk food. You can’t sleep, pop a pill.

Have you ever noticed that many of our bad habits arise from stress? If you are conditioned to manage stress with toxic substitutes that leave you more exhausted and frustrated than before, it’s time to make a change.

New habits don’t happen overnight; They require consistent practice, but eventually, these stress busters can become your regular tools for inner peace and contentment.

1. GET MOVING
If you only do one thing on this list, this is it: Get your body moving. Even just 30 minutes of exercise can stomp out stress, generate energy, strengthen the mind and body, prevent injury and disease, and manifest confidence.

For most people, exercise is the antidote to depression. During the hardest days of my life, when I wanted to stay in bed all day, I made myself go to the gym, where I literally cried through yoga classes, pounded out frustration on the treadmill and lifted weights until I had some strength to face the day. I didn’t want to exercise, but I knew that I needed to maintain a positive habit or stress would destroy me. And it worked. Over time, I became mentally and physically stronger, yet more relaxed and able to handle stress.

If your reason for skipping physical fitness is that you are tired, remember:
 A body in motion stays in motion.
Saying that you are too tired to exercise is like saying you are too dirty to shower, silly. Exercise creates energy. If you have been idle for a long time, start with daily stretching and walking and work your way up to a strength program. It’s never too late to start.

2. GET WET
Let’s talk about WATER. It is one of nature’s most abundant and cleansing elements for the body and soul. Next time you’re tempted to reach for an unhealthy habit, stop yourself and get in a warm bubble bath, a hot tub, a cool pool, a steamy shower, or if you have access to the ocean, by all means, get in it! Give it 20 minutes and ask yourself: how do you feel now? If you’re not used to self-care, then a daily bubble bath (or two!) may sound indulgent, but water is naturally therapeutic, and sure beats a destructive habit any day of the week.

3. CHANGE THE SETTING
Often times, when we spiral into a stressful meltdown, we get stuck in the moment and feel powerless to stop it. When this happens, STOP and change your environment, even for 15 minutes. Get outside and walk around. Lay down and close your eyes. (If you fall asleep, even better.) Excuse yourself from the office and go make a cup of tea or coffee. Go somewhere that is peaceful to you: your patio, a park, a mountain, your bed, prayer garden, the beach, a bookstore, a coffee shop. Remove yourself from the situation and wait for the emotion to change, because it will change.

4. TURN UP THE TUNES
If a song can instantly transport you back to your eighth-grade dance, why not use it right now to shift you into a better state of mind? With constant access to our phones and tiny earbuds, most of us can pop in some music anywhere. And this won’t just work for you, it can have an amazing impact on everyone around you. When my kids are hungry and grumpy, sometimes just turning on music can change the mood for all of us, instantly. Try exploring some different genres, even if they aren’t on your usual radar. Need to unwind? Try spa music. 5 pm chaos? Put on a little smooth jazz. Sad? Crank some 80s music or whatever gets you shaking your thang, and just try not to get happy.

5.BREATHE
Your breath is a powerful force that you can utilize anytime, anywhere. When you feel the claws of stress closing around you, redirect your focus to your breathing. This is most effective in a quiet space, in a meditative position, but you can take slow, deep breaths in the middle of a Wall Street meeting and nobody will notice.

Next time you are about to lose it, try Dr. Wiel’s 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breathe in slowly through your nose, counting to four. When your lungs are full, hold your breath at the top, counting slowly to seven. Then, very slowly, let the air out through your mouth, counting to eight. Repeat until you are calm. This regularly helps me sleep, and is an essential tool for people prone to anxiety attacks.

6. EXPLORE ESSENTIAL OILS
Your olfactory receptors (sense of smell) are directly connected to your nervous system. That’s why warm apple pie whisks you back to Thanksgiving and a sweet rose reminds you of your Nana. Our senses are powerful. For thousands of years, humans have used essential oils for medicinal purposes and to impact emotions. Essential oils are the natural essence of plants that can be inhaled, diffused into the air and even ingested, depending on the oil.

If you need to chill out, rub pure lavender, rose or chamomile oil on your wrist and inhale. Add a few drops to a warm bath, spray on a pillow or rub on your temples. Need to be energized? Try lemon or eucalyptus oil. If you have a problem, there is likely an oil designed by nature just for you.

7. LET IT ALL OUT
A wise woman once told me that “Pent-up negative feelings don’t go away, they turn into depression.” That’s why you need to get your feelings out verbally or in writing. For years I was the “Queen of Fine.” Anytime someone asked me how I was doing I answered, “Fine.” One of my girlfriends threatened to get me a t-shirt that said: “I’m Fine.” But the problem was, I wasn’t fine. I was miserable, barely functioning robot, but I thought if I pretended to be okay, I would be okay. But it didn’t work. As promised, the feelings didn’t go away.

Regardless of your situation, you probably have feelings you shoved into a deep place that turned into anxiety, anger or sadness -and you turn to a bad habit to deal with those feelings. If so, it’s time to let it all out. Start a journaling habit, talk to a professional, record your feelings in private videos, reach out to a person in your life who can lend an ear. Whatever avenue you choose, be sure to make it a habit. I’ve worked with clients who reported that regular journaling alone changed their entire outlook on life.

If you told me five years ago that I would eventually blog about the saddest days of my life, I would have said you are out of your mind. But here I am, pouring out my guts for the world to see, and feeling amazing. You deserve it too. Just be honest. Be vulnerable. And let it all out.

8. DO A NEGATIVE WIPEOUT
When you scroll through social media do you feel inspired or disgusted? Do you feel good about or dread your commitments? With the barrage of stimuli coming at you every day, you need to regularly assess what is occupying your time and mind. Of course, life is filled with little annoyances and commitments that cannot be avoided. But isn’t it time to ask yourself if it’s all necessary? Do the people you follow on social bring you down? Delete them. I used to think that once I hit the “friend” button I was in a committed relationship with that person forever. I laugh at that now! If you follow someone who conjures up bad feelings every time you see their name, then block them. If you say YES to commitments that you dread, stop. Just because you have “time” to do something doesn’t mean you need to say yes. And if you loathe your job every day, explore new options.

You are not a leaf aflutter in autumn; You are the wind. You are in charge of your life! Write down the top things that deserve your time, energy and commitment. If you are devoting yourself to things that don’t serve your list, they probably need to go away.

9. GET NOURISHED
Your body is a delicate yet strong machine that requires nourishment to function properly. If you treat your system like a dumping ground, then you can’t expect to be in a mental and physical state that allows you to handle the drama that life throws at you.

You can better assess what you are consuming by starting with a nutrition diary for one week. Food awareness will allow you to ask: “Is this making me healthier, or filling some other need?” Are you eating dairy or gluten even though you have a sensitivity? Are you drinking excessive caffeine even though it makes you irritable? Are you eating foods that keep your blood sugar on a rollercoaster? Your diet directly effects your overall health, including mood and stress management. Consuming nutritious fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and beneficial fats, as well as pure water and calming teas, can bring your body and mind into homeostasis. And as a bonus: You’ll look amazing too.

10. GO TO BED
If you have children (of any age) or are juggling some serious life drama, sleepless nights are bound to happen. But if you struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep on a regular basis, you need to make a change. According to the American Psychological Association, adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress.

If sleep isn’t working for you, stop and reassess your nighttime routine. Is your bedtime routine healthful? Do you spend evenings staring at screens, catching up on work and pounding alcohol, then pass-out only to wake up at 2 am with your mind racing? Do you stay up late even though you know the 5 am alarm is looming, then drag through each day? If so, it’s time to assess your nighttime routine.

If you like to watch TV or peruse Pinterest in the evening, go for it, but stop at least an hour before bed and begin a routine that triggers the brain to shut down. Your routine depends on what relaxes you. For me, it’s early dinner because I do not like to sleep on a full stomach. Later, I take a bath of essential oil and Epsom salt for my sore muscles, plus hot chamomile tea and some quiet time with my kids and husband. At the same time every night, repeat your routine so your body knows that it’s time to shut down. In time, you will probably find that you are getting some much-needed sleep.

Positive habits are not always easy to establish, but with some consistency, you will reap the rewards of better health and wellness.

Julie Meyers Miller is a Certified Nutritionist for Fitness and Wellness and founder of balanceisbest. She is a wife, mom, and blogger on a mission to inspire holistically healthier lives at any stage of the game.

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Getting Motivated After a Fitness Slump

Earlier this year I had invasive surgery. Like most surgeries, it was a significant setback for me physically. I couldn't workout for many weeks and my muscles had been severed during the procedure. When I coached a fitness and nutrition challenge three months later,...

read more

Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Copyright 2018, balanceisbest©