Made to Crave Action Plan: Week 3…The Three E’s

Jessica photo for The JourneyWe are on week 3 of meeting with about 12 women and going through a book titled:  Made to Crave: Action Plan.  This book really should be shared with everyone so I decided that I would do a little recap of the chapter that includes some great tips on nutrition and other ideas related to the journey we are on.

If you’d like to catch up or get a review on the previous weeks…you can find them at the links here:  Week 1  and   Week 2

Before I get to the post today…don’t forget to check out our giveaway!  This one ends on March 31st and the more who enter…the more stuff we giveaway.  You can find more info at this link:  Narrow Road Coffee Prize Pack

Back to the Book Study!  I would say that this week really is about The Three E’s.

  • Exercise
  • Eating
  • Exertion

made to crave action planThere were a few examples that hit me…where it hurt…during this chapter.  They all revolve around each of these E words.  Some of the words spoken or that I read were almost like someone was slapping me in the face saying “See!  This is a problem.”  or “You aren’t the only one who has these issues.”

I got it.  Some days, even today, I still have issues with these.

Shall we take a moment to glance at my life…in REAL time?  This is tough…but this is me.  I know that if I do this that some of you probably can relate (or at least I hope I’m not the only human being that does this…so if you do…let me know I’m not alone!)

The REAL stuff #1:  Just because you kicked your own butt at the gym or had an awesome workout today doesn’t mean that you can go through a drivethru and order anything you want.

Yep…I have done that.  In fact…I just did it about 3 weeks ago.  Fridays are sometimes my busiest days with “fitness” stuff.  A few weeks ago I taught a strength class at 5:45am, came home and showered, grabbed coffee and a banana and then went back to the gym for a major workout session.  I had another strength class of 55 minutes and then another that focuses on just the core (tummy and back areas).  *I don’t have abs of steel…but the class makes me work on this area too.  The women in this class seem to be able to plank forever and some even enjoy it.  I’m not at that point.*  After that 15 minute class I sometimes stay for Zumba.  I never thought that this would be something I enjoy but it is kindof fun.  I am sure that I look like a tool because I am just not very graceful with the moves…but the class makes me sweat.  That I know.

3 hours of working out.  I tend to believe that I deserve to eat something I want to eat.  I’m not always super hungry but that didn’t stop me from pulling in to the drive-thru to order something that was simple, easy and yummy to my tastebuds.  FYI…salads are none of those three things to me.  Things with bacon on them are super yummy to my tastebuds.

As I heard in the video we watched with this study, the words “If you say to yourself that YOU DESERVE…you have a problem”.  That was in summary but pretty much what she was saying.  Yep.  That is one of the times it hit home and I think Lysa, the author, had her eyes staring at me specifically.  She had known that I went to Culvers because I felt like I deserved to go there after I just exercised for 3 hours.

The REAL Stuff #2:  The curse of 100 calories…and all those cute little packs disguised as such.

At one point in my life I was a sucker for the marketing tactics of the “100 calorie” packs.  You know where these are…that one special area of the grocery store that are still in the junk food area but made to appear to be healthier because it is only 100 calories.

Let’s face it…for food addicts, like myself, 100 calories isn’t enough.  I’d open up one pack thinking that I was being good eating those itty bitty, practically Barbie sized Oreo’s and think I was awesome.  I was just fooling myself though because just a little bit later I would open another.  It wasn’t always because I needed to eat or that I wanted to eat but instead…because it was there and if it is in my house I will eat it.  My willpower just seems to be non-existent in times where junk food has entered my domain and if a package says “100 calories” on it I seem to think I have more leeway in how much I truly can eat.

Little did I know but…if you consume an extra 100 a day for an entire year you will actually gain 10 pounds by the end of that year.

What?!  Why is this not on the package (or 4) that I just ate?  100 calories shouldn’t work this way in my opinion…but it does.  All the chemicals and nasty stuff that are in those products and my lack of willpower aside…100 calories doesn’t seem like it could or should be able to do that much damage.  Those little packs that I thought were ok to eat because it was “moderation of calories” were actually helping me pack on additional weight.

What we eat and how much we eat really does make a difference over time.

The REAL Stuff #3:  We aren’t out for a grandma ride today!

I may make a few people mad with this one…either by the term “grandma” or by telling you that what you might be doing now with your exercise isn’t enough.  If you feel like I am attacking you…know that there are many people who read this and I’m not pinpointing anyone…but if it hits you in a certain way…there could be a reason for it and this could be the best thing that you read ever.  Or today.  No…let’s just stick with “ever”.  😉

During my cycle classes that I teach we often go for a nice ride that is not too fast, not too slow and doesn’t have too much resistance.  The riders get to pick their own pace and their own level of difficulty…but it is for endurance.  This ride is for their muscles to get ready for those long rides on bike trails that go on for miles while they are pedaling at a really good pace.  Unfortunately, by the time we get to this part of the class, many of the riders are tired.  Their legs are like Jell-o, their butt hurts and they are working hard at breathing and moving the pedals around…and having a tough time wanting to do both at the same time.  They like to use this particular ride as their “rest” and just want to take it nice and slow and not really work too hard.  That is where I pull out the phrase, “This isn’t your grandma’s ride…you have to pedal faster and work harder.”  All you Grandmas just covered your mouths and gasped…I know.

I quit using that phrase because I started having Grandmas in my classes.  Go figure.  They laugh and think it is funny…but I also think that they secretly think that they are awesome grandmas because they are cycling like 20 year olds.  So really, I gave them a confidence booster.  😉  My new phrase is “I didn’t wake you up in the morning and bring you to class…you did that!  Don’t waste that effort by only working halfway.  Push yourself and remember why you got up this morning.  If you need to think about this in that phrase…go ahead.

The point of this entire story is this…if you are putting in the effort to exercise, then do it, and do it hard.

There is a lot of chemical and body technical stuff that I could chat about but it will go over 90% of your heads…because that isn’t what you want to hear.  You really just want to know what “hard” means.  Right?

Here are some tips about exercising to keep in mind:

  • What I look like after working out

    One of my shirts after working out…the light part is the dry areas. I know…it’s nasty. 😉

    Sweating.  I have had so many people tell me “I don’t sweat while I exercise” that I can’t even count anymore.  If I hear those words, I invite them to my next cycle class.  There are a few people with some medical condition where sweating won’t happen easily.  I know that.  The majority of people though who say they don’t sweat while exercising just aren’t working hard enough, fast enough or long enough.  The last person who told me that sweating wasn’t normal for them did come to a cycle class with me and said, “I never sweat but I did here.  That was a great workout!”  That is because it was a REAL workout.  You have to put that effort in and work hard.  Pushing yourself past the point where you are nice and comfy will benefit you…and yes, it will most likely make you sweat.  It is ok.  Wipe it off with a towel.

  • Put in the time.  The recommendations that are out there indicate that you should exercise 5 days a week for 25 to 30 minutes a day.  You can even break this up, especially as you are beginning an exercise routine…because your body really would only like to start with about 10 to 15 minutes at a time.  Start small and work your way up to that time recommendation.  I do this with those I work with at Real Results Gym…and it helps them realize that this exercise stuff is possible.  It may not be fun 100% of the time but it is possible and they really can do it.  We start small and slowly build up that lung capacity and the amount of exercises that they are doing and the effort that they are putting in during each workout.  Slow and steady will lead to less burnout, less soreness on the muscle groups we are working and higher confidence as well.  We work on those small changes because that will help us reach their goals that are in their big picture.
  • In the ring with some of my boxing friends last year.

    In the ring with some of my boxing friends last year.

    Find the Fun Stuff!  My story of how I lost weight talks about how I found boxing…and powerlifting…and cycling; these all are my favorites.  I have a few other things that I really like to do too and I make sure that I have something fun in my workout because that is what helps me keep going.  If I enjoy it…I will do it.  My body needs some other things though too that help balance out my luvs.  I don’t always enjoy them and they sometimes get to the backburner but I know they are important.  One thing I have tried to do is get the stuff that I don’t like as much…done first during my workout.  Example:  I really don’t like lunges.  I know they are important but I’d rather not do them.  If they are on my to-do’s for the day I will do these first and get them over with and then move on to the stuff I like the most.  This might not work for you but is something that I have found that works for me.

  • Know Your Limits.  I think that this is probably the hardest part for anyone…because your limit is all you.  It isn’t what the person on the treadmill next to you is doing.  It isn’t the amount of weight that your friend is lifting.  It isn’t the number of situps that the stranger is doing at the side of the gym.  This is all you vs. you…and something you have to figure out all on your own.  There are tools though that you can use that are really helpful!  1)  Heart rate monitors.  Everyone has a number range where they should be at while exercising.  This number varies based on your age and is actually really easy to figure out.  You can find out more about this tool at this website from WedMD.   They even have an online Target Heart Rate calculator you can use!  rpe_chart2)  Perceived Rate of Exertion.  This is a huge mouthful of words…but has BIG meaning.  In the classes that I teach we are in rooms where heart rate monitors aren’t available and so we use this chart or use it in a way to help people figure out their exertion level.  Your goal is to be at a level 7 to 9 for about 20 minutes.  You will have a warm-up and cool-down on top of that 20 minutes…but this is the range you want to be in for the work portion of your workout.  Read the words in the 7-8 range:  on the verge of becoming uncomfortable, short of breath, can speak a sentence.  In class I let them figure this out by saying, “If you can say Hi, my name is ______ and that is all…you are right where you should be at for your exertion level.  If you can’t say more than that sentence…take it down just a notch.  Being in this range is a workout.  It isn’t always fun and it is going to make you sweat and your muscles will get tired…but your body will love it and show you results!

Think about the last time you exercised and this about this chart…did you hit that range?

Work on those tips above and you will find results with your workouts.  Remember not to try to overhaul everything at once though but make gradual changes…because small changes lead to the big picture.

Thanks for being part of The Journey!

– Jessica


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