The one simple habit that started it all…
Aristotle taught us that, “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” His words aptly apply to fitness.
A little story of one woman’s journey…
Sandy started her fat loss journey with 56 pounds to lose, though if you saw her now you’d never believe that she was once overweight. Today the lean and attractive mother of two walks confidently with a spring in her step and a smile on her face.
Given her amazing transformation, it’s easy to see why she’s so confident and happy.
Before her transformation, Sandy was fed up and constantly stressing about her weight. She was sick and tired of feeling unattractive, embarrassed and discouraged. None of the diets or exercise plans that she tried ever worked. She felt hopeless about ever regaining the attractive body that she once had.
Sandy’s story was very typical, she speaks of the way her body changed after her pregnancies, how the weight continued to add up over the course of a few years, and how each pound rendered her more frustrated and hopeless.
Sandy decided the first step towards regaining a body that she felt excited about again was to change one simple habit. For Sandy, dropping 56 pounds and becoming a stronger more confident version of herself was not the result of an act, but of a habit.
The simple habit that she adopted was to place her gym clothes on her nightstand before going to sleep each night.
Every morning the first thing that she would see was the tidy stack of clean gym clothes. So her first act of the day was to put them on.
Naturally, now that her gym clothes were on, Sandy would then go directly to her workout. By starting her day in such a positive, fitness-oriented way, Sandy was then able to continue making healthy choices throughout the day, ending it by putting the next day’s gym clothes on her nightstand before bed.
Did she have any hiccups along the way? Certainly. There were days that would start out great, but then she’d get off track sometime after lunch. Discouraging as the occasional setback was, she kept on putting her gym clothes out each night.
By starting her day out with such a positive fitness experience, Sandy was able to make a habit out of fitness. As a result she lost 56 pounds and regained her confidence and sunny disposition.
The One Habit….
What about you? What habit could you adopt that would keep you on track with your fitness goal?
It shouldn’t be complicated.
Maybe you will start putting your gym clothes out each night, like Sandy. Maybe you will make the recipe below for Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken each week to pack with some veggies in mini meals to eat throughout your day.
Pick one simple, fitness habit and add it to your daily routine.
Don’t wait –start a new habit today!
Daily Quota and Big Goals
Big Goals give us a purpose. The way to reach your Big Goal is to put daily quotas in place. These are the little steps that add up to the achievement of your Big Goal.
In writing a book, the daily quota is typing a minimum number of words per day. In fitness, your daily quota is your workout and clean eating.
Put your own daily quotas in place, and each day you’ll be closer to the achieving your BIG GOAL!
Go get ‘em Crew!
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
Having healthy prepared protein on hand for the on-the-go meals is a must when it comes to packing healthy meals to eat throughout your day. Put 4 to 6 ounces of protein (like this amazing pulled chicken!), a handful of cooked veggies and a handful of fresh arugula in a little Tupperware and drizzle on a bit of homemade balsamic dressing for a simple, quick, get-lean meal.
Eating small meals every few hours consisting of protein and veggies is the most reliable way that I know of to drop body fat and maintain a steady flow of energy throughout the day. It’s pretty darn tasty too, when you make the meals yourself!
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
Here’s what you need
- 2 ½ lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry. Season with the salt and pepper on all sides.
- In a slow cooker, whisk the chicken broth, tomato paste, paprika and garlic. Add the seasoned chicken breast and the bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, flipping the chicken after 1 hour.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool for 20 minutes. Strain the broth. Use two forks to gently shred the chicken, discarding skin, fat, cartilage and bones. Store the chicken and broth separately in the fridge to use for up to 4 days. Enjoy!
One serving equals: 191 calories, 5g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 960mg sodium, 0g fiber, and 34g protein.
I hope you will find one simple habit to change today. It can be whatever you think will make a difference in your fitness and health. One simple thing you can do each day to help you reach your goals.
When you post today, tell us what your one simple habit will be and start it this week. This one simple habit could be a game changer for you!
Day 21 Plan:
- Meatless Monday!
- Morning Workout Routine and/or Coffee Break Workout
- Day 21 exercises
- Speed Work – Plan ahead for when you will get it done this week
- Bonus – One Simple Habit – Pick your one simple habit and share it
Day 21 exercises: 2-3 sets of 10
- Goblet Squat
- Dumbbell Swing
- Suitcase Carry
- Forearm Plank (3x :30 or more)
Speed Work: In the last 800M (1/2 mile) of a 5K, the last mile of a 10K, the last 5K of a half marathon, and the 10k of the marathon, YOU have to show up.
You have to be ready for it to hurt. You have to know how to push through that; you have to REMEMBER a time when you did. You have to watch failure lure you to the dance floor and turn it the F down. If you let fatigue beat you once, it will beat you again. Maybe not in the same way, but it consistently tries. When you feel this again, it will be when it counts, and you have to KNOW that you’re better.
This workout is all about chasing that 800m repeat effect: It’s learning how to fight fatigue and battle the breakdown that will come when you’re pushing yourself hard. When you come around the last curve of your final 800M repeat, knowing you finished what you started, you will understand the reason behind speed work. When you finish that goal race and the jet-power showed up, it will be because YOU called for it.
The endorphins want to be chased, and the effect they reward you with is not to be missed.
Workout: 800 meter repeats (1/2 mile repeats) – The # of repeats you do will depend on the race distance you are training for.
- 5K – 800M x 4
- 10K – 800M x 5
- Half Marathon – 800M x 6
- Marathon 800M x 8
- Start with your warm up of 1-2 miles. This also depends on you. I prefer a nice long easy warm up and always shoot for 2 miles. In reality, I would love a 3-4 mile warm up because that’s when I really start to feel good!
- Take a few minutes to stretch and do some warm up drills like hip hurdles, butt kicks, lunges, slow skips, side skips, bounding, etc…
- Go into your workout – take a 2 minute rest in between each 800 meters (1/2 mile). Do NOT take longer than 2 minutes. Force yourself to keep going without letting your heart rate come all the way back to resting.
- Finish your full workout.
- End with a nice easy 1-2 mile cool down.
Speed work is not for the faint of heart….but you are a runner. There is nothing that you cannot do when you set your mind to it! Chase those endorphins and feel the amazing effects when you finish what you started!
Day 21 “how to videos”:
Goblet Squat: The goblet squat is a lower-body exercise that increases strength throughout the legs. Due to the position of the weight, the exercise also strengthens the shoulders and core while improving posture and hip mobility.
Dumbbell Swing: This emphasis of this exercise is on core & arm strength, endurance and balance. The exercise also targets your hamstrings and glutes, but you also use your back, quadriceps and shoulders. If strength improvement is your focus, try a lower rep count and heavier weight.
Helicopter: What this video to learn how to swing both legs in unison for a deep stretch and to obtain greater core strength. This is a long video, but the main portion of the move is shown in the first minute or so. We want to keep a strong core while focusing on the leg movement.
Suitcase Carry: This is a core strength move. Brace your core as if expecting a punch don’t compensate to one side as you are walking.
Forearm Plank: Build strength in your core, lower back, arms and glutes by doing the plank core exercise on the forearms.