After a month of strength training, I hope your body is in a place that has you ripping off your cover up at the beach or pool.
But just in case you're not there yet and are still looking for the motivation to brave the weights, here are three fundamental truths about weight training I learned while working with Elisa this month.
1. You have the time. We're talking 30 minutes per week, twice per week. Most people will ask you to commit to three times a week, and that elusive third time can put us in a tailspin and make us feel bad. So let's just do two, but let's do them. We're talking about your health, hotness and longevity here. Quality of life. Length of life. General feeling of bliss. One hour per week.
If you have the time to talk on the phone, watch TV, or read this blog posting (gotcha!), you can do it.
Elisa has very little time, but she decided that this was a priority, so it took the place of collapsing into a chair at night (and interestingly enough, working out gave her more energy). So time isn't the issue; next excuse. BTW, if finding a good strength training workout plan is the excuse, find inspiration in one of Elisa's solutions and find your workout online. Next excuse?
2. Stronger is always better. You're not going to turn into a bulky Schwarzenegger-like pro-wrestler. Really. That kind of bulk takes a lot more than a couple of dumbbells.
Being strong is its own reward. You stand taller, walk with more confidence, are able to do...well...just about everything with more ease. Walking up stairs, carrying laundry, groceries, enjoying a stimulating love life. You name it. Life is better when you're stronger.
Elisa did one thing this month that made her very happy -- she took her daughter for a bike ride as one of her strength training days, and they rode around their (very hilly) neighborhood. I look at the photo below of Elisa's neighborhood, and my thighs burn just imagining it.
But there they were, mom and daughter out for a bike ride. Elisa described watching her daughter pedal up those hills, working so hard to take that hill, and how it made Elisa so proud -- her little girl was giving it all she had. And the result? A stronger mama and a stronger little girl. What could be better?
3. "Whether you think that you can or that you can’t, you’re usually right." -- Henry Ford
I've been working out with an outstanding and entertaining personal trainer, Mark Fisher, for the last month. He tweeted that last quote week and it equal parts annoyed and inspired me. Because he was right. Mark was calling me out.
So fitness training, like all good-for-you activities is not the challenge. Getting over your excuses or reasons why you can't is the real challenge.
So when I'm explaining to Mark why I just can't lose these extra 5 pounds that jumped onto my hips this winter, I can keep making up dog-ate-my-homework type excuses, or I can just eat less and lose them.
At some point, we all become more invested in the excuse we've created for why we can't achieve our goal than just plain achieving it. But let it go; choose to be the strong, vibrant person you know you can be.
Thank you, Elisa, for your time, energy and commitment.
Please join me in July, as I coach a yet-to-be-named person who wants to add more healthy fats into their diet. We're talking delicious olive-oil vinaigrettes, guacamole and other avocado treats, and salmon on the grill. How often does someone ask you to focus on adding (healthy) fats to your diet? That tasty time has come for one lucky person. Join me and please post on our Facebook page why you think you're the right candidate for July's Healthy Habits coaching.