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This is How I Stay Motivated to Exercise

By Jill Jacobs

Lately, I’ve been contemplating why certain people can stay motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthily while other people’s motivation wanes easily. They exercise a week or two and just quit. They lack exercise motivation.

I see it in friends, family, and even feel a lack of motivation in myself sometimes.

I think it boils down to a couple of things.

First, if a person has a dieter’s mentality, they will always feel either ON a program or OFF a program. Adopting a LIFESTYLE mentality would make a huge difference in this group. If you know you are committed to something for the long haul, you are not likely to give up when you aren’t performing perfectly. (I mean, perfection is a myth anyway!)

Take parenting for example. What if the first time you make a mistake with your new baby, toddler, or teen, you just threw in the towel and gave up? Never! That’s not how it works when you have a long-term commitment to something. You’d never give up on parenting your child and just hand them over to someone else to raise because of a misstep in your parenting!

The same goes for our health. Taking ownership and having a lifestyle mentality will go a long way towards staying motivated. When you make the switch to the lifestyle mentality, you become committed for the long haul. (If the dieter’s mentality is a struggle for you, having a coach and some type of accountability system in place are 2 ways to overcome this type of thinking.)

The second reason I think people quit is not having a solid purpose for exercising. Purpose allows you to tap into your inner motivation which is the kind of motivation that stands the test of time! Digging deep is how you ultimately find lasting motivation.

I’d like to share a few of my reasons (or my deeper purposes) for exercising, hence how I stay motivated and on track. I share these with the hope that something here will resonate with you. 🙂

5 Reasons I Stay Motivated to Exercise:

1. I’m training for the sport called life. I need to feel good and be strong to be the best mom I can be. Motherhood requires athleticism. Have you ever lugged around a toddler and grocery bags at the same time while having to squat down to get the keys you just dropped on the ground? Have you ever played tag with your kids? Sprinted against your daughter? Played football with your son? Exercise allows me to stay in shape so I can enjoy life to its fullest!

Exercise Motivation

I found this funny mousepad on Amazon!

 

2. I value my health and the health of my family. I want to avoid certain diseases that run in my family. I want to be healthy in my old age. I want to pass a legacy of healthy living to my sons and their future families.

When I value health, my example trickles down to the entire family. My sons make sure to do their pull ups every day without being prompted. They just want to! (Daily pull ups was their idea back in the fall of last year. I promise I’m not being a drill sergeant! ha!) My sons ask me questions like, “What’s my protein going to be for dinner?” 🙂 They’ve learned balance around food, and when they make poor choices, they are able to recognize that their bodies feel different (i.e. not good, sluggish, nauseous). I know I didn’t have that type of awareness as a child!

Raising my kids to value health is important to me, and I must lead by example not just words.

3. I value hard work, strength, dedication, and meeting goals. Outer strength begets inner strength. I can tell you this because I’ve witnessed it in myself and so many other women. Putting in the hard work, discipline, and dedication to meet a strength, endurance, non-appearance-based goal will not only make you stronger on the outside; you will be stronger on the inside!

You do not have to be hardcore, “I train, eat, sleep, repeat,” to be consistent and dedicated. Set up some minimum standards for yourself. This could be something like never missing a Monday workout, working out 4 times per weeks minimum, or making sure to move in some way (even leisure walking) daily. This will build healthy habits and you will start to feel strong and confident! There’s nothing more motivating than getting a few “wins” under your belt.

4. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. What I do with my body, what I put into my body, and how I treat my body MATTERS. I truly believe that God wants both our hearts AND our bodies to be used for His glory. Not one or the other; BOTH. My body is a gift. I need to be a good steward with this gift, treat it well, nourish it, and avoid abusing it.

5. I love endorphins! Heavy strength training is one sure-fire way that I use to feel better and more energized.  This is because of the endorphin production that comes with heavy lifting.  It makes me feel happy and alive. Even when I dread the workout and am completely unmotivated, within a few of minutes of starting my workout, I’m already feeling so much better. And then when I hit a PR, I’m on top of the world, smiling, confident, and feeling accomplished. Plus, when I have those endorphins flowing through my body, my husband is completely safe from harm. 😉

I’ve listed several reasons why I exercise. These reasons keep me motivated to stick with it for the long haul! Before I sign off, though, I’d like to leave you with a list of a few things that are NOT reasons I’m motivated to exercise:

  • I don’t exercise to be skinny.
  • I don’t exercise to achieve a certain number on the scale.
  • I don’t exercise to punish myself for eating “bad.”
  • I don’t exercise in order to earn food.
  • I don’t exercise to wear a certain size of jeans.
  • I don’t exercise to be a hardcore, “no excuses” #fitmom. 
  • And most of all, I don’t exercise because I hate my body. I do it because I love and appreciate my body and all that it does for me!

Exercise Motivation

One thing is certain, maintaining exercise motivation is more difficult when you don’t enjoy the type of exercise that you do. Finding a way to move your body in a way that you LOVE and enjoy is so important! My love is for strength training, preferably with kettlebells (like the workouts found here). I keep my workouts short and intense. This way, they don’t take my day away from me AND they are still effective!

What are some of the reasons YOU exercise? How do you maintain exercise motivation? Or do you? I’d love to know! Comment below and let me know. 🙂

Oh, and join my 14-day e-course called Motivation Makeover for some additional support!

 xo ~Jill

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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5 Lessons Learned After My Birthday Crisis

By Jill Jacobs

As I get older, my birthday becomes more of a time of reflection than celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be pampered a little, but I find I reflect more on my birthday than when a new year rolls around.

Today on my 42nd birthday, I think about where I’m at in my life as a wife, a mom, a friend, a relative, a business owner and coach, and most importantly as a follower of Christ. I think about past goals, where I’m at with those, and where I want to go in the future.

I also reflect on lessons learned in the last year and how I can use them to grow and learn. This is what I want to share with you in this post because I learned so much in the last year!

Last year, literally ON my birthday, I was faced with a crisis. I was at the beach to enjoy a wedding and time with friends, but I found myself on the phone discussing my “situation” with an attorney. Not how I wanted to start our summer break.

What happened was this: I was basically forced to re-brand due to a trademark issue with the name I was using on my old website and on social media. Basically, I had to start over from scratch to rebuild my website, membership site, facebook page, Instagram account, and youtube channel.

My social media accounts, particularly facebook and Instagram, had thousands of followers that were completely lost when this company accused me of trademark infringement. My accounts were shut down without warning, and I wasn’t allowed to defend myself to them or simply change my name. I had to start completely over. It was a nightmare in progress. It took many, many woman hours, a few tears of frustration, but most of all, it took me sucking it up, putting my big girl panties on, and going deep inside myself to find determination and tenacity. I learned quite a bit going through this crisis and want to share my insights with you with hopes you’ll find them helpful. 🙂

birthday.blog

Here are 5 lessons I learned from this tough time:

  • Be tenacious, determined, and persistent. It’s tempting when life throws punches to just give up. In order to succeed, however, we have to be diligent, keep our goals in front of us, and resolve to move forward. It will actually make us stronger than before!
  • Choose to lean into the struggle rather than wallow in victimhood or self-pity. Another temptation when times are difficult is to play the role of the victim. For whatever reason, we humans tend to love this role. We get sympathy from others who shout with us, “I can’t believe you were treated so poorly!” Some people thrive on that sympathy and being the victim, but may I suggest an alternative. It feels so good to just lean into the struggle and take action! Action takers are people who prefer to move forward instead of dwell in the past.
  • Be willing to change and roll with the punches. The FEAR of change is much, much worse than the change itself! Plunge in, move with it, and join the dance. Change can be very hard and push our emotional limits, but the growth that occurs with change can be a positive and empowering! I’m choosing to be positive and empowered by this crisis. 🙂
  • Look for the silver lining. To be honest, this time last year I wasn’t feeling my brand anymore and had strongly considered re-branding. I looked at how much work it would take and resisted. My silver lining in this situation was that I was forced to do what I *really* wanted to do in the first place! Funny how that worked out. 😉
  • Practice gratitude. This tool has been a game-changer in my life. As humans, we all know how easy it is to get caught up in negativity, blaming, and other unflattering behaviors. That’s why I like having a few tools in my back pocket when these negative things come my way! Gratitude is a tool that has helped me when things don’t go “my way” or when negative things happen. Gratitude gives us all the ability to find the good in any situation and see the positive aspects in other people even when they mistreat us.
My 42nd Birthday :)

My 42nd birthday – headed to a family reunion 🙂

There you have it…. my top lessons learned from this past year! Having a proper perspective, I was able to change a major crisis for me personally and my business into something positive. I look forward to this coming year and what it has in store. 🙂

Feel free to share with me some of your top lessons you’ve learned recently over on my facebook page! Be sure to sign up for email updates below to receive some really great freebies and regular emails from me with tips on living a healthy lifestyle! I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

xo -Jill

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My 8 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

I just finished week #8 of working with my coach, Roman. Below is my current progress check in!

  • My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan is still in play until further notice. I switched from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase 3 weeks ago (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (higher carbs, slightly less fat than the first phase, and protein has increased).

The newest change brought a feasting period for 1 day each week. What that means is I can eat anything I want (preferably higher carbohydrates) beginning at lunch time, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. I posted what I ate in the “my successes” section.

On the flip side of the “feasting period” is a FULL fasting day. :/

For the first 2 weeks of this plan, I feasted on Saturday and fasted beginning Saturday night until Monday morning at breakfast. The third week I adjusted my feasting period to coincide with Thanksgiving of course! 🙂

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. The style of workout changed from traditional strength training to escalating density training. This increases work volume and testosterone. All of this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. As a matter of fact, I’ve only missed 1 workout in the entire 8 weeks. There have been a few times that I shortened a couple of circuits or substituted exercises at a hotel gym, but my consistency had been ON POINT. I continue to increase my weights in the strength workouts. My goals of getting stronger overall and stronger with my pull ups are definitely coming along!

I fully succeeded with my feast days. It wasn’t hard to do at all. Ha! You may wonder what I ate?!?

Well- The first week I had a normal breakfast for me, fajita chicken salad with chips and salsa, 3 slices of pizza for dinner followed by a donut and a package of Justin’s organic peanut butter cups. Yum! I had no GI issues from this. CELEBRATE!

The 2nd week I had IHOP for lunch (1/2 pancakes and 1/2 French toast with syrup plus eggs and bacon) then a normal dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables. For dessert I had 2 mini candy bars from my boys’ Halloween candy and a slice of creamy peanut butter pie from my favorite place. The IHOP meal gave me a tummy ache. 🙁

Then the 3rd week was Thanksgiving, so I just enjoyed all the plentiful food my family had available! It was so delicious, but I did get a slight tummy ache from the feast. BOO!

  • My Struggles: My biggest struggle over the last few weeks has definitely been the fasting period. With that said, I’ve made it all three times and ultimately felt fine. It’s gotten easier each week which is encouraging. During my fast, I’m allowed to have water, black coffee, and green tea. Once, I broke down and had a diet limeade to give my belly something to do besides talk to me. 😉 Basically, I feel physical hunger only a few times (under 5) during the fast. I ride the “hunger wave” and then it subsides. Of course the growling stomach hits on Sunday right in the middle of Bible class just in time to embarrass me! Lol. The good news is that I’ve woken up each day after my fast and been full of energy to crush my workout before breaking my fast. That part amazes me! I totally thought I’d struggle through, but no (to my pleasant surprise!).

 

  • My Outcomes so far:

Mentally, I’m stronger, more confident, balanced yet focused. Physically, I’m stronger too!

As for my overall numbers – I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

The numbers haven’t changed from week 5, but I can see a difference in my photos. Let’s be honest though, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving to the fullest, so remaining steady is a great thing! I’m a day or 2 away from “shark week” so honestly, it’s not the best time to weigh and measure. 😉

Anyway, numberwise, my body is being a bit stubborn on me. I’m excited to get my next phase any day now and see the tweaks made to deal with this stubbornness. If my weight was staying the same and my body fat was decreasing, there would be no issue. That would actually be a great sign of body recomposition! For now, I’m holding steady which I’m ok with. I’m realizing that where I am right now is exactly where my body is perfectly HAPPY. To get beyond this point in the past, it took drastic measures that I’m not willing to do this go around. If coach Roman has a way to move me beyond this point without my losing hair, losing my period, and becoming an emotional wreck, then I welcome it. If not, I’m just fine where I’m at continue my pursuit of strength and meeting goals!

That’s it for now… I will post again in few weeks and letcha know what changes I’m implementing!

Post in the comments (or in the linked facebook post) to let me know what goals you are working on! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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5 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

By Jill Jacobs

I just finished week #5 of working with my new coach, Roman. Below is my 5 week progress check in!

  •  My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan came recently, and my jaw dropped! I’m switching from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (a little higher carbs, slightly less fat, and protein is increased slightly). The newest change though is a feasting period for 1/2 day. What that means is I can eat anything I want, preferably higher carbohydrates, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. The kicker is that I follow the “feasting period” with a fasting day- Yikes! My plan is to “feast” on Saturday afternoon until bed and then fast on Sunday. I’ll break the fast on Monday at breakfast. I admit, this is going to be hard, so wish me luck! My initial reaction to this plan was the same as October’s – “What have I gotten myself into???” Haha!

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. This is similar to last month, but the style of workout changed from traditional strength training to density training. This will increase work volume and testosterone. All this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. The sheer volume of what I’m doing has probably doubled from what I was doing before hiring Roman. I’m eating more to keep up with my body’s needs. The workouts are challenging, but I’ve gone up in weight on so many things!
  • My Struggles: Besides the struggle to eat so much food, my biggest struggle since my last update has been Halloween candy. 😉 I didn’t go overboard, but I ate, over time, more than I’d like to have eaten. I only ate my favorite things. I didn’t make “mindless” choices, so that’s a win! On the nutrition front, Roman has me tracking my macros to make sure I’m getting the correct amount of everything. That pretty much stinks and is time consuming. I haven’t been on top of that during November, but I’m good at eyeballing portions and knowing the macros. I’ve re-dedicated to tracking to spot check myself.
  • My Outcomes so far:

I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

PLUS….

  • I’m feeling stronger and more confident!
  • I’m feeling very focused! I’ve not been this focused on me and my personal goals in over a year, so it’s nice! 😀

That’s it for now…I plan to post every few weeks and fill you in on what’s going on!

Head over to the post below over on facebook and share some of your progress as of late! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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2 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

You may recall that I announced a couple of weeks ago on my facebook page that I hired John Romaniello to be my coach for the next 4 months (minimum) for some goals I have. Below is my 2 week progress check in!

  •  My Plan general overview from coach Roman: I’m in the middle of an “insulin reset” phase so my carbs are low (for me) on my 3 strength training days and almost non-existent on non-training and cardio days. I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts.
  •  My Successes: I was eating mostly nutrient dense, healthy foods before, so I haven’t had the headaches and dizziness that sometimes come with starting a new nutrition plan. In the gym, I feel really strong and love the new workouts. They are challenging but doable! I’ve never done stationary bike HIIT workouts but am LOVING those!
  •  My Struggles: I abhor the treadmill cardio portion! Lol. I’m running treadmill intervals on certain days and I’d much rather be outside running regular sprints. On the nutrition front, Roman has me tracking my macros to make sure I’m getting the correct amount of everything for this insulin reset period. That pretty much stinks and is time consuming. However, it helps me be accountable to everything I put in my mouth! I’m also having trouble eating enough food on my strength training days. The macros are pretty high for me on those days, so it’s a struggle to get in all the protein and fat.
  •  My Outcomes so far:
    • I’ve lost…
    •  in bodyweight – 1.6 pounds
    •  in body fat – 1% (no muscle gain or loss)
    •  in inches – 1/2″ from below my belly button, and about 1/4 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (waist, rib cage, hips)
  • PLUS….
  • I’m feeling more confident!
  • I’m feeling very focused! I’ve not been this focused on me and my own goals in over a year so it’s nice! 😀

That’s it for now. I plan to post every 2 weeks and fill you in on what’s going on!
Head over to the post below on facebook and share some of your progress as of late! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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On Turning Forty

forty

Turning forty.  Age is just a number.

Today marks a day for me that most people seem to dread; I’m turning forty. I haven’t dreaded it at all. I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’m more fit than I’ve ever been. I don’t plan for that to change because of a silly number! I can only hope that you, no matter your age, don’t hold back because you think it’s too late to get fit…IT’S NEVER TOO LATE! I didn’t start until I was 36 years old. There are many, many women older than me who are SUPER FIT and don’t let a number stop them! Join the group of STRONG women who are all equally as busy as you are. We are all given the SAME 24 hours each day. Each of us decides what’s important enough to spend those hours doing. Carve out a “weeee bit” of time for yourself!

As I embark on a new decade, I want to share 40 reflections and lessons I’ve learned over the last few years…

  • My thirties have been my best decade yet. I plan for my forties to be EVEN BETTER!!! Let’s get this party started! I celebrate turning forty!
  • A number doesn’t define what I can or can not do.
  • When I was 30 (or 20 or 15 for that matter), I couldn’t do one pull-up. At age 40, I can do pull ups for reps and even weighted pull ups with birthday balloons attached!
  • When I was 30, I didn’t know what “for reps” meant. Now I do. 😉
  • There are a number of things I can do besides pull-ups that my 30-year-old self couldn’t have imagined my 40-year-old self doing…. lots of strict push ups, heavy military presses, heavy squats, running sprints, working on flexibility and stretching (that’s never been my strong point which is WHY I need to keep working on it!), and much, much more!
  • One thing I can do is snatch heavy kettlebells. Today, on the morning of my 40th birthday, I snatched a 40 pound kettlebell for 40 reps. Woot woot!! That’s a PR for me!
  • My body is worth honoring through my lifestyle. I’ve been given only one body to take care of. If I want to be able to live and serve others to the fullest capacity, I must take care of my body.
  • When I started making changes, I wanted to make sure I was a mom who was able to get down on the floor and play with my kids. I wanted to be able to run around at the park without feeling tired or out of breath. Mission accomplished! Now, I look MANY years down the road and want to say the same when I’m a grandma (Did I just say that??!!??).
  • Fitness is based on “lifestyle choices” not based on how old you are. I started my fitness journey at age 36….only 4 years ago.
  • My fitness journey has evolved. What I do and how I do it has changed over the last 4 years. I expect it to continue to change. Change is GOOD! (S/O to my friend, Brandi, who got me motivated to start 4 years ago! S/O to all of my coaches and mentors for all of their inspiration and guidance over the last couple of years!)
  • I can give myself the gift of health by eating good food and exercising. This is NOT selfish. It makes me a better wife and mom and sets the right example for my children!
  • With that said, I don’t have hours a day to do cardio, so I do my best to workout in the most efficient way possible. My goal: the least amount of effort for the maximum amount of results. Finding that place has been great!
  • It’s fine that I don’t have hours to do cardio. Running actually hurts my knees, makes me hungry, and doesn’t change the shape of my body at all.
  • Once you start working out, it’s hard to NOT workout. It becomes a habit just like taking a shower or brushing your teeth.
  • Being strong and healthy is different from skinny.
  • No matter how hard I workout, the excess skin from having babies will always be there. It’s a side effect from pregnancy that’s very much worth having!
  • Making this change for me was a CONSCIOUS choice. Lasting change doesn’t happen by accident.
  • Just start. Start somewhere, anywhere. If you don’t know where to start, ask for help.
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for help. No matter how much you know, there is always someone who knows more.
  • Accountability at some level is helpful for me and for most people.
  • Finding sustainable ways of eating and exercising are important. If I can’t see myself doing what I do in 5 years from now, then I need to stop. It won’t last anyway.
  • Body change victories go WAY BEYOND the scale. The scale is a liar.
  • Fat loss foods don’t have to be boring.
  • Although many people believe I deprive myself by eating healthy, they are wrong. Every morsel of food I put in my mouth is DELISH!
  • If I can’t eat a food responsibly, I HAVE to keep it out of my house! (ahem…almond butter!)
  • Life is about finding balance in all things…even in the way that I eat. I’m not a perfect eater 100% of the time.
  • Fat loss (body re-composition – more muscle, less fat, higher metabolism – WOOT!) and weight loss (less fat, less muscle, LOWER metabolism – YIKES!) are NOT the same things! Fat loss comes from proper nutrition and lifting heavy weights. Heavy weights don’t make women bulky. Body fat makes a woman bulky (See my “before” photo below taken before I knew that I needed to lift heavy!)
  • Sleep, recovery, and stress relief are just as important as diet and exercise.
  • MINDSET is the KEY to change.
  • Don’t complain. Take action and make changes.
  • Overcome fear and live out your dreams.
  • Failure is important for success. Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again. This time, more intelligently.”
  • Negative self-talk does me NO GOOD! I continue to practice self-compassion, throwing myself a bone, and giving myself (and others) the benefit of the doubt.
  • Be me. I’m one-of-a-kind and am the only person on this earth that has my exact experiences. What I offer the world is TRULY unique to me!
  • Collaboration is always better than competition – in business and in life in general. There is enough success to go around for everyone! (S/O to 2 or my mentors Jill Coleman and Jillian Teta for those wise words!)
  • Getting out of my comfort zone is truly where the magic happens.
  • I’m doing my best to let go of what other people think. Old habits die hard! (Work in progress on this one!)
  • Being kind is more important than being right.
  • Dreaming BIG is important.
  • Having gratitude is MORE important!
Before turning forty

Lifting heavy doesn’t make a woman bulky. Having this added layer of body fat makes a woman bulky. Case in point….

 

I want to share with you what I looked like at age 36….25 pounds heavier than I am right now. Seeing pictures like the one to the right and the one below is what made me DETERMINED to make a change for the better. I wanted to look better and FEEL better! Now I do! 🙂 I only hope that I can inspire just ONE busy mom to make a change for the better. You’re worth it! Find a mentor if you don’t want to go at it alone. The results of making a positive lifestyle change include confidence, empowerment, strength, motivation beyond what you can imagine, and GAINING HEALTH! If you want it, start today. Pick one new thing to change, and JUST DO IT! 🙂 Make the choice.

turning forty

Just before I MADE A CHOICE to start making a change

turning forty

This is how I looked at 40… Bout to run hill sprints! 🙂

I choose to make the rest of my life, the best of my life. ~Louise Hay

p.s. Are you looking to improve your health? Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program next round! I’ve been through the program twice with Coach Amanda Tress and LOVE IT!!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!