3 Habits You Can Change to Stick to an Exercise Plan!
If you find it so easy to start and so hard to stick to an exercise plan then this is for you! The saying goes that the hardest thing is to start. That my friend is a lie!
The hardest thing isn’t to finish. The hardest thing is the middle. The getting up every morning early after the honeymoon period has worn off, the doing more laundry than your sedentary self would ever have to do, having to choose exercise over some other things in your life, and having to convince your friends or your family that this is something you’re not willing to sacrifice… all of that happens in the middle and that’s the hardest.
If you’re about to the finish line in a race, or just doing your own walk or run… it’s easy at first, and you have a burst of energy and an I-could-have-done-more at the end.., but the middle is where it’s hardest.
This short post is all about how to stick to your exercise plan. I’ve been dwelling on this recently because it’s fall. I’ll link to a recent podcast about how I do it. After I delivered it though I felt like there was something missing. The tools to actually do it and nail down why you might be – like so many of my students and private coaching clients – having a hard time. So there are three things that really need to change to stick to an exercise plan.
Let’s dive into them. And before I do this is a shameless plug for the sponsor of this episode, my new strength training program STRONGER. No matter what else your goals are – avoiding disease or getting off medication, boosting your mood and energy, avoiding osteoporosis, or just loving life more because you’re well, stronger, it’s a built-for-women-50-and-over strength training program. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t if you have limited time but want to start and not get overwhelmed.
Check it out right now while I’m recording. We start October 1 and you can register for STRONGER now. Once we start doors are closed but you can find out how to be the first to be notified when we open the doors again.
Weight training is about so much more than getting your muscles stronger. You’ll know it when you experience the magic of other women supporting you inside the STRONGER group.
So now, let’s dive into these three things you want to change in order to stick to an exercise plan. These obstacles will have to go.
#1 You have fictitious obstacles that are your limiting beliefs and personal “rules”
#2 You need to know your numbers
All of these will help you see evidence what you’re doing does matter – even if that scale doesn’t change.
#3 You’re hiding behind someone else
I would so appreciate you leaving a rating in iTunes! It really helps spread the word about the possibilities we have in the way we age. And it helps shunt women with hormone imbalance away from standard exercise prescriptions that don’t fit their needs.
Here’s the link to leave your rating and comment.
“How do you stay motivated to exercise?”
It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked. I know my successful clients and friends who are committed are often asked this too. The truth may be we’re not all that motivated. We committed to it and we go because we know there is truth in some social media memes.
I wish I hadn’t done that.
~said no one after a workout ever
You will feel better after an appropriate* workout even if you didn’t look forward to it. Your body chemistry changes within seconds after beginning exercise. Endorphins, serotonin, and appropriate levels of cortisol begin surging through you. The feelings of satisfaction and achievement that follow exercise stay with you long after the exercise is over. That kind of “fix” is how so many of us stay motivated to exercise even when life throws obstacles in the way.
By the way, I haven’t always been a regular exerciser. I had to start somewhere just like you. I didn’t go from being a rockstar athlete in high school (I wasn’t) right into running and lifting regularly. I have told more than a few stories about my days in “contract P.E.” in high school. I think we sat in the old wrestling room eating Oreos dipped in peanut butter. That is, after we’d snuck out to buy them. Nice, right? Picture of health.
Below I’m giving you some simple tricks I use to stay motivated to exercise in a way that changes my fitness level. By that I mean, in a way that follows a plan that increases my fitness level or positively changes me. I can write an exercise plan to take myself through 142.2 miles in one day but if I don’t followit and don’t do those workouts according to the plan I won’t have the same results.
Random exercise won’t reap specific results.
After 50 we have a little more urgency, a little less resilience to injury, and less time than we often thought we might in our 20s and 30s and 40s. So it is important to me to get it right. The biggest reason sticking to a plan makes sense is easy. Results make anyone of us motivated to exercise.
When you see and feel results, you will want to do more of what gives you results.
I break up my workout time into chunks stay focused. It’s a no-brainer on longer workouts but I like this even for short ones. When you’re going to do it another 50 years even those short interval-training sessions get predictable. Just doing a workout does not make up for a lack of intensity.
I never want to take for granted just because I’m doing an “interval” workout I’m working harder. Here’s how to know if you need to bump up your focus: you finish thinking that you didn’t work that hard! [Intervals are supposed to be tough and get you to fatigue, or they just aren’t doing the job they’re known and loved for: boosting fat burn].
Here’s an example of a longer swim:
Here’s an example of a long indoor bike session:
If the first example was increasing my focus on the workout itself, this one I can use either to distract or to focus. When I ran my first marathon I had a list of people I love to think about each mile (and .2 at the end) of the way. I am guessing many marathoners do similarly because crossing the finish line is emotional if you’ve ever watched runners come in.
I sometimes focus on an article, chapter, or a course I’m creating for a specific time during a longer, run, bike, hike or swim.
During intervals, I will use the recovery to do the same. I’ll focus on the activity as I charge uphill and then bring my thoughts back to the idea I want to develop. This works well for my clients who are corporate athletes. When you need to step away from your desk or have a difficult conversation with someone (or not) the movement and release of adrenalin can bring things back into focus and make your creativity flow. Brain-Derived-Neurotrophic-Factor (BDNF), which is enhanced by exercise increases productivity, focus and decreases depression and anxiety.
Those results are long term but there’s also proof that exercise during the workday, regardless of intensity, increases productivity and problem solving skills in the afternoon.
Most women have loved multitasking since we first learned the word. It’s how our minds tend to work anyway! But you already know that there’s plenty of proof to show doing multiple things doesn’t get more done at once and it doesn’t get the jobs done well compared to what you’re capable of when you focus on one.
Yet in this case you combine movement and thoughts about an issue, you’re taking advantage of kinesthetic learning as well as the reduced tension and adrenalin so you can focus. Then when you go back to the drawing board with ideas and breakthroughs from your enhanced creativity, you will have a better outcome.
When I’m short on either time, or attention, I stay motivated to exercise by opting for short cardio and weight options in the same session. Instead of doing 40 minutes of running or weight training I’ll do 20 minutes of intervals and 20 minutes of strength training. The combined workout is higher in overall intensity than either one alone (the longer we go the lower the intensity).
When you have 20 minutes you pay attention. Face it, we baby boomers and over 50’s have an attachment to the more-is-better mantra. It’s been proven false over and over again yet what got in your head decades ago may be a hard idea to unlearn. When you give yourself just 20 minutes you don’t let your mind wander, you make it count.
When you make it count, you’re back to the real answer to how you can stay motivated to exercise. It works. It just flat out works.
It feels good to feel good.
At risk of stating the obvious, for many people paying for a program and committing to a coach or a group is a big motivator. Flipping 50’s STRONGER program is currently in beta and we’re testing it with a group of about 25 women. They’re committed to each other and to the study: we’re very dependent on their participation and their ability to be eligible at the 50% off rate hinged on sharing their results and doing all 16 workouts for 8 weeks.
So far as we enter week six, the comments have been fantastic. Women supporting women have made this a different experience. They share the completion of workouts, their comments on the difficulty or variety of each new week’s workout, ask for support in modifications and they’re feeling stronger! The accountability factor is a big motivator.[The STRONGER program will launch in September. If you want to be first to get the announcement be sure you’re getting out emails by adding yours here.]
*An appropriate workout designed for your collective hormone, physical, and mental needs is not just any workout. Don’t ignore signs your best workout might be restorative yoga right now. The right workout is sometimes a recovery workout and sometimes a tough challenging interval workout. It’s rarely a middle-of the road zone 3 workout (also called No Benefits Zone). Unfortunately, for most women that’s where they’ve been exercising for decades.
Share your own tricks for getting or staying motivated to exercise.
One must for my motivation is eating well. While some might find they temporarily are motivated to exercise because they eat junk, I’ve found for me and my clients the better we eat, the better we feel, the more we want to exercise and just move general. When you don’t eat like a couch potato you don’t want to be a couch potato! Seeing this before the end of August? Hurry… stock up and save 10% on my favorite breakfasts, post-workout meal, and craving-killers (chocolate-nut butter smoothie anyone?) that taste great and don’t sabotage you! Use First50 at the store.
This episode is all about how to become a regular exerciser. I’ve privately coached many men and women who wanted just that. They wanted to be the one who gets up every day and walks or who is a regular at the gym. They wanted to make time even when work-related social hours popped up and tempted them with cocktails. Our social media followers ask this quite often. So.. here it is. I thought hard about how I would lay out the steps to become a regular exerciser. These are my top five.
This episode is sponsored by the STRONGER program. It’s our newest program and it’s going to launch this fall. Right now we have 27 women in our beta group testing it for us and they’re seeing and feeling results. This is the start of week seven so they have this week and next in the beta program. Then we’ll share results. I can’t wait. If you want to be first in line for the launch of the full program then you want to join our subscribers and I’ll link to how to do that in the show notes.
#1 I don’t make excuses.
I grew up in a small town in the middle of the Midwest. I visit frequently. There is no “clean” food to be found. You’ve got to make your own.
I travel frequently. I take food with me, and often a blender. I stop for groceries. I ask about refrigerators in the room. I let my hosts know there are foods that don’t agree with me.
I will get up early before a speech, a travel day, following a golf tournament, or a conference to get fresh air and physical activity.
I was a single mom working two jobs, publishing a book, and training for triathlons. I spend hours upon hours following my son around golf courses, driving to out of state tournaments, and fielding phone calls from over 20 staff members and thousands of club members as a Personal Training director. Then responded to hundreds of students in my university courses. I understand obstacles. You can either look at them as excuses why not now or as reasons why now is absolutely the time.
#2 I take care of my own needs.
I’ll excuse myself early to go to bed because I’m a morning person and I know I can’t do both late and early and function at my best.
I let house guests know I wake early and might be making noise in the kitchen before dawn or out on a run when they get up and they can help themselves.
I respect others’ needs and expect the same.
If it makes someone uncomfortable or they don’t respect my needs I don’t spend a lot of time with someone.
#3 I know the difference between opportunities and best for me.
At conferences you can start your day earlier with breakfasts before the conference, do meetings at breaks, stay late after the party and it’s all in the name of connecting with people you love and want to collaborate with, but all of it is simply too much. I choose my priorities so I can keep the down time to recharge between activities.
When I’m traveling to an Ironman race, there are opportunities to do swims, and rides, and shake out runs and others seemingly doing them all. I know I have to stick to my plan and not be caught up in the “opportunity” to do what others are doing.
I don’t join a lot of groups that ride or run or swim because then I would end up doing someone else’s workout instead of following my own plan. There are times when it’s a fit and there’s a reason to be with others who push you, but most often you need to plan your work (and workouts) and work the plan. A single coach may be better than a group fitness program with 90 classes available to you.
#4 I set goals.
Since I was 31 and trained for my first marathon I’ve set big goals so that I train with purpose. I don’t train for toned arms or a flat belly. Those are benefits of focus on specific goals. First it was marathons, then short triathlons, then long ones. The difference in mindset is dramatic. “Exercise” is something random without a specific reason or deadline.
Goals I set revolve around life experiences I want and often around people I want in my community. Become a regular exerciser by keeping yourself on the hook with a goal.
#5 I can relax without exercise.
I don’t rely on it. I don’t stress about it. I do feel better when I exercise regularly, but I also know the value of days off and I take them. That plays right back into the motivation to exercise. If you want to become a regular exerciser, regularly taking a break is key.
So often we get caught up in having to do it daily. The people I know who do this only miss because they’re sick, or they get burnt out and stop seeing results and quit because the attitude is, it doesn’t matter what I do… I don’t see progress.
Join our subscriber community for the first chance at early bird (and special rates) for programs like STRONGER this fall:
The thought of participating in the Senior Games as an athlete may have not even occurred to you, yet. That doesn’t mean it’s too late.
I’m forever telling clients to get off that scale. They nod and agree. Then the first thing that comes out of their mouths when we talk about status is about either losing a few pound – or gaining a few pounds – or the dreaded plateau.
What would shifting your goal to a starting line do for you? What if it weren’t about weight loss at all or about what to eat or a forever search for the right workout?
What if it were about getting better at a sport, performing optimally, and getting focused on something fun for you yet bigger than you? Enter my guest on this episode, Kyle Case of the Huntsman World Senior Games.
Huntsman World Senior Games:
The Huntsman World Senior Games is the largest annual multi-sport event in the world for athletes age 50 and better. Every October the Games welcomes more than 11,000 athletes from all around the world to St. George, Utah to compete in their choice of 30 different sports.The event was founded in 1987 and continues to strive to achieve its mission of fostering worldwide peace, health and friendship.
Kyle M Case is the CEO of the Huntsman World Senior Games. He has managed sporting events for over 15 years and loves the life-changing impact that these events have on individuals.
Questions we answer in this episode:
Today you can participate in any of 30 sports at the Senior Games including racewalking, swimming, golf, basketball, swimming, and so many more you can learn about when you connect with Kyle.
Get Connected and inspired:
This post is full of tips, tools, and tricks to make your workouts more fun, so you can stay motivated, and continue to get better results. Whether your better workouts are about enjoying them more or about avoiding injury or obstacles, you’ll find something here to inspire you!
You’ll get a better grip with gloves. That’s important whether it’s hot and humid in the gym, you’re sweating, or you have a little arthritis in the hands making it hard to grip. An added bonus: they make you feel just a little more badass, and that may be just what you need for better workouts.
Years ago, my client Willa was new to weight training and seeking bone loss prevention during menopause. Her hands were slipping on weights. I gifted her a pair of weight training gloves and we never looked back.
Pick something that inspires you, and something that’s intelligent. If you know the facts about muscle recovery doing the same type of exercise daily for 30 days isn’t the most advantageous for your fitness level. However, a well-planned challenge that focuses on something important to you can keep you focused.
Flipping 50 Café members have 30 different challenges to choose from and there’s a new one every month to help you in whatever area you need it most. I’m there as not only your virtual trainer but your coach to help you decide which one will be most beneficial for you right now. Are you a member?
Registration is open for the 28 Day Kickstart! Save your spot for this live coaching program and get your bonuses now.
My favorite playlists match the intensity that I am shooting for during a specific workout. Whether it’s running (step tempo) or biking (pedal stroke) I use my music beats per minute to improve form. That might mean I’m going double time, half time, or right on the tempo. If you feel yourself slipping into slow slogging and heavy steps, this is a favorite coaching trick. Here are some of my favorites for matching quick steps during intervals:
One of my clients listens to spiritual music during her runs. Music is personal for sure. Try varying your music selection on your next workout if you feel like you’re no longer paying attention to it. There are workouts where that might be the goal but if you need better workouts right now try a change.
Double dip. Catch up on something inspiring, educational , or just entertaining while you’re walking, spinning, or lifting. That’s exactly what I do weekly. I catch up on podcasts while I’m lifting weights (if I’m not shooting a video). Kinesthetic learners like me (and we all have a degree of it) retain information best when we hear it as we’re moving.
Did you know the Flipping 50 podcast was acknowledged by AARP as one of the top podcasts to listen to for over 50s?
I’ve posted some great podcasts about gut health recently on Flipping 50. You’ll find podcasts about fat loss after 50. There are podcast interviews with bestselling authors (many of whom are also flipping 50). You can search at flippingfifty.com for a topic you want or just start binge listening from iTunes right to your phone.
Buy something you love yourself in. When you where something that makes you feel amazing you will be inclined to repeat it more often. You may work a little harder, a little longer, or both. Don’t skimp on shoes or bras. You can cut corners on shorts, shirts, hoodies, and socks (this is one place I make sure I have at least two awesome pair!)
Insider tip: I love Darn Tough socks. Try a pair and you’ll know why. Besides the fact they come in colors that make me smile, they last forever, keep my feet dry, and feel like a glove. The other thing I love is color. You’re not going to see me running in gray. It’s about no one else but me, and I’m a color girl. The world has enough beige and neutral.
You’ve got to have some essentials. Keep your keys, lip balm, and cash in hot pink zippered pockets. You might as well love it. Most of them now breathe and have elastic so they’re comfortable. It’s the little things.
A Headsweats visor is an essential for outdoor workouts. It holds your hair back on windy days, or covers helmet head after a bike or harnesses it after a swim. Most importantly keeps the sun out of your eyes so you’re not wasting energy squinting.
If you’ve got a couple flat tires under your feet, it’s time to shoe shop. If you can afford it, buy two pair of the best fit ones for your foot (it’s not based on color until it’s based on neutral, stability, or cushioned to fit your neutral, flat, or high arch). [I’m inserting my resources page – there’s the link to where I get ALL my workout shoes- for a lot less! You could say I buy in bulk.]
Buy two pair, then rotate wearing them so they get a chance to breath. Don’t double dip on your workout shoes wearing them for work all day and then workouts too. They’ll last twice as long. Invest in shoes for the task and you’ll have much more support and look forward to and have better workouts.
Self-assess (you body never lies) with a coach first. If you can’t figure out what your hormone status is right now so you can respond appropriately, test. Even if you’re working with a coach, I’ll sometimes recommend a client test because she’s been struggling to do the right thing (self-care, change workout timing or type). Seeing it on paper can help confirm your physical signs you’ve been trying to ignore.
I test regularly (6 or 12 months) depending on changes I make. Before or after a higher intensity training period, or if I am seeing signs that things have shifted and want to catch it before it’s gone too far. Better workouts are no accident, especially after 50.
Shakes make an easy meal. If you’re trying to lighten up you’ll love the ease and the “no-brainer” my participants enjoy once they start. There’s no thinking about how to make breakfast either fit in, or be healthy. Where else can you add 2 cups of veggies, a small portion of berries, healthy fat, high fiber, and 30 grams of protein so easily that will keep you full till lunch time AND boost lean tissues … in a way that takes less than a minute?
My three-day reset includes two consecutive smoothie meals plus clean meals of delicious soups and easy-to-digest foods coupled with more mindful and less intense exercise. It’s a game-changer when you’re feeling overwhelmed with high-intensity exercise, life, or you’re not sleeping well. Most of us need to step back before we can go forward. Better workouts have better fuel.
There’s nothing like a starting line to change the way you commit to exercise. Make it big enough it makes you a little nervous and a little excited. Or make it close enough you can’t skip. Two of my clients did their first half marathon last fall. Which meant that by this time last year they were beginning to think about it and with 12 weeks to go you’ve got plenty of time (I’ve trained women for marathons in 16 weeks).
If not a race, choose an adventure that’s a commitment: an organized hike, or bike, a swim point-to-point. Flipping 50 retreat attendees have had a training schedule for the retreat weekend for two months to prepare for the hikes at altitude three days in a row. When you’re focused on something you don’t let workouts slide. When my clients know what to do when they do their workouts every week – and get results. We all need a little help putting the plan in place.
From ballroom dance to golf or Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP), lessons can inspire your workouts in so many ways. Of course, the activity itself can be the workout. Say you get a running coach, weight training coach or a swim coach or join a master’s swim session; you’re bound to be out of ho-hum when someone else plans the session. But if you love the activity and it’s not necessarily a workout– dance or golf – and want to get better you may find that you start doing more consistent core or strength or yoga because it now has a greater purpose.
Just in case you’re looking for a bit more inspiration… try Fitx Talks for 10 minute inspirational chats. I’m there with 30 other experts sharing short sprints of just content no fluff.
Are you motivated? Where does motivation even come from? Do you think it takes discipline and willpower to get fit after 50? Do you think you simply don’t have it?
Do you have clarity around these two things:
1. what exactly you want/want to change
2. how to get it
Women notoriously have a challenge stopping to put themselves and their own wishes first. They say they want to but when they really have the chance it’s hard! You’ve been ignoring or stifling what you want for too long!
Then, even if you do resurrect those personal desires and have a vision of what you’d love life to look and feel like, do you have a clear path to get it?
With infobesity and information overwhelm, it’s a challenge to know who to follow and what path to take. That’s not a motivation factor. Now one can be motivated to act if they don’t know what the actions are. If you know, like, and trust someone who can help you’re way ahead! I’m honored if I’m one of those people. And yes, I can help you sort through real and real for you right now at midlife in the midst of hormones and stress.
Then there are two other things to consider.
How much energy do you have to carry out the tasks that if you find clarity on what to do, have to actually be done? You may not have the right chemistry to do it. You may need to commit to nutrition or sleep in order to take action. Action takers have energy, even before they begin to make changes.
But it’s just a matter of habits. No one is born with good habits. They acquire them one by one and so can you.
How urgent or necessary is this for you? Do you think it’s really important or matters that you show up 100% for yourself, for your family or for work or someone else? If you don’t you’re going to have a hard time. Your motivation will wane if you think it doesn’t matter.
If you want more clarity on what to do to burn fat after 50, I invite you to my free online webinar Fit-U:
I’ll teach you:
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Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve got intentions about getting fit after 50.
I just returned from the gym. It was 5:45 pm, on a Monday, in January.
Actually, whatever you just imagined, it wasn’t quite that bad! There were parking spaces and really it was kind of quiet in the weight room and cardio area. Must have been the warm weather today that allowed Coloradans outside.
Yet, this time of night isn’t without some bumping into big young guys in the weight room anywhere in America.
I don’t wear ear buds & ipods at the gym so it’s hard not to overhear. That’s so much kinder than saying I was eavesdropping. Two college-age guys were excitedly chatting about a business plan and an app they’ve got in the works, well at least the idea stage right now.
Had I not wanted to rat on myself, and the fact I was totally listening, I would have injected a comment. I didn’t. I did smile ear to ear though, thinking what a funny comment.
“The hardest thing is deciding,” one said. “It’s committing. I feel like that day is the hardest day. Once you do that everything is easy.”
LMAO on the hip sled as they were bench-pressing mirror muscles, I thought, we’ll see.
See, I believe THAT day is the EASIEST day! It’s every day that follows that is hard.
Whether you’re talking about a business plan, a project, a marriage, or having a baby or … your getting fit the easiest day is deciding, signing up for the program, setting the New Year’s intention (or whatever you fondly call them), declaring I’m in for good out loud to the universe and maybe God and everyone you know… that’s easy.
Then there is the follow through on the commitment …
… when the alarm goes off at 4am (and it’s dark and it’s warm under the covers)
… when your spouse does something that really makes you angry or hurts your feelings
… when the cuddly bundle of joy you had is projectile vomiting across the room for the first time or has colic and you can’t stop it
… when it’s intimidating to walk into a new gym, new weight room
… when you don’t like the way you look and feel in your exercise clothes let alone the way you feel hot and sweaty
… when you have to travel for work and plan ahead how to order at restaurants and bring healthy food in your suitcase
… when you don’t like what your trainer has planned and you throw every possible obstacle out there for why you can’t do it
… when you’re full of excuses and it’s really not about the program, the trainer, but it’s about you doubting you
… when you want to believe that anyone who is getting fit after 50 must have a luxurious life with maids, and trainers, and no laundry to do and more hours in the day than you … but even you know that’s false.
That’s my observation about the hardest day on the journey to getting fit after 50. It’s every one after that first day you jubilantly declare your optimistic future dreams. Those days when you have to roll up your sleeves, not because it’s always about manual labor or hard work… but because it is about changing your habits and your mindset about the way it was going to be.
You are stubborn; a creature of habit. So am I.
Habit gravity is like the devil.
When you’re committed you’ve decided everything is “figuroutable” and even if the GPS you thought you were setting isn’t going to get you there, you do the U-turn and keep going.That is darn frustrating, right? To realize in the hurried state we’re always in that you’ve been driving in the stinking wrong direction?
So it is if you’re “eating healthy” or exercise hard every day and can’t lose a pound of weight. Not necessarily the right answer and usually the dead end for a woman whose started peri-menopause or is over 50.
Every day that you drop a little of your resistance to the plan that is right and you trust that process instead of giving into that devil-like resistance keeping you from what you want, that’s a good day.
When you recognize that you have resistance before you sabotage yourself with resistance again, that’s a good day.
If you want some support reducing your resistance and getting fit after 50 click here. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, click here instead – for my course specifically designed for fat burning, for women, over 50 based on science, and over 30 years of primary research working with midlife and older women.
This is the collection of most popular podcasts and blogs of 2017 for women flipping 50! The “top 10 collection” is based on popularity, measured by listener downloads and reader shares. If you see something you like, I’d love your share. It tells me what you want to hear more about.
I’ve added my comments below each show. Whether you’re looking for a tip-rich source or a juicy slice of inspiration, there’s sure to be something here! To add comments (I love to hear from you! Or get the links you hear in any show, just visit flippingfifty.com/podcast)
I felt compelled to include with these most popular podcasts and blogs of 2017 my list of inspiring podcasts and expert interviews. I am grateful for the people I am privileged to interact with and share with you throughout the year.
Honorable mention of the most popular podcasts and blogs of 2017 goes to an episode posted in 2016 with the most downloads in 2017:
I ‘ve been coaching the mindset since 1989 when I began grad school for Exercise Psychology. I went through a two-year deep dive to enhance my coaching skills for mindset success in 2000. Change requires far more than the right information or knowing there’s a gap between where you are and want to go. The popularity of this year end blog suggests you know that too. I’m thrilled. It means that change is available to you at any moment.
This episode about chronic fatigue is full of small action steps you can take to feel better. Chronic fatigue and adrenal stress are realities for too many women over 50. They don’t have to be.
Weight train to lose weight! It’s a slower road to changing the scale, but your pants will become baggy and you’ll change your body in a way no other exercise has the power to do. If you need some motivation to both lift you up and get you lifting, this is your listen.
No question that internally and externally our lives are changing during midlife. How do you take it in without stress getting the best of you? This one clearly struck a cord with listeners.
Protein is an evergreen topic around here. Food gets emotional fast and I’ll be the first to admit that poor information coming to women over 50 (and women who want to flip 50 feeling and looking great!) gets me a little crazy. This is one of the single easiest things you can do to avoid muscle loss (sarcopenia) that IS a part of aging if you aren’t lifting weights and recovering with adequate protein (it takes both, plus rest, it’s not a choice between one or the other).
In this episode I launched my announcement that I was going to begin training for an Ironman distance triathlon. I described the pre-testing and post-testing I would do along with the reduced volume training schedule I’d planned for myself. It was indeed a ride! (and a swim and run!) You’ll want to listen to the “after” episode coming as soon as results are back from labs I’ll be sharing!
I loved this episode with Vicki Hunter from Boulder. Ultramarathon distance runner, and water exercise expert, she’s far more than that. She had a miraculous recovery from an accident you’d never guess from looking at her. She shared far more than exercise information with me as a part of the summer inspiration series.
Dr. Stuart McGill has been a favorite expert of mine since 1989 when I was thrown from a horse onto a pile of wood. I spent a summer rehabbing and researching. For the last 25+ years I’ve referenced him, quoted him, and continue to study his work and research. This uplifting discussion with the world-renowned back pain specialist is one of my favorite.
In this episode, I return to mindset. It really has to start there and it never ends. Your mindset shift can change everything.
This episode is like a checklist to see if your moving toward long-term success and maintenance or setting yourself up for a fall. Some of the things we learned early in our adult life about exercise won’t continue to serve you into the second 50. As the saying goes, what got you here won’t get you there. True whether you’re experiencing success or not.
This is the run-away winner with 33% more listeners than any other episode in 2017! This describes in part the difference between Flipping 50’s 28-Day Kickstart and the Fit-U program and why there is such a distinction.
I’ve added a short list here if you want to hear some hope and inspiration about your ability to start something or achieve weight loss or athletic success after 50.
I had the honor and pleasure of getting to know and interview so many expert guests this past year (and there are more lined up in 2018). I include a list here of the guests and the podcast title below to make topics easy to see.
To get them all just subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and take them with you on your walk, drive, or as you lift!
Many of our listeners find us through flippingfifty.com/podcast or YouTube (and we’re glad no matter how you do! That often makes the iTunes rating that supports a bigger reach another step.) Share this list of most popular podcasts and blogs of 2017, too!
That’s it! It really matters and helps us increase our reach, end confusing and conflicting information overload, and raise the roof! Thank you in advance for sharing the most popular podcasts and blogs lists.
None of these would have made it to a most popular podcasts and blogs of 2017 list without you, our listener and or reader. Thank you for being here and for making your comments, questions, and struggles known so we can keep providing information, motivation, and inspiration.
The emotion of Ironman triathlon has caught me.
I keep telling myself that I can write this in a week or two.
But I can’t.
In two weeks it will be over. As my fingers type this post out it’s Wednesday. One week from Sunday I’ll be doing this thing.
It wasn’t the experience I thought it would be.
It never is.
Neither this sixth experience of the emotion of Ironman triathlon or any of the marathons I’d done before were what I expected. I’d always based that expectation on what had happened during the one before it. Though that isn’t what I’d done with this one since I’d purposely planned to do less volume and more intensity it’s compulsive to compare.
You go to yoga, you compare your outfit to the one in the front of the room. You compare your pose to hers.
You go to the store and compare contents of your shopping cart to the one you pass in the isle.
You compare your dirty car to the spotless one in the parking lot.
It’s worth trying. But it’s hard not to compare how I felt going into the last week-to-10 days before other races and the emotion of Ironman triathlon events I’ve done. There are things that tell me I’m normal at this point in time.
Like the inability to think straight.
Like the check and recheck of reservations and times for bike shipping and race checkin that I find myself doing.
Like the lists of last minute things that are probably 80% unnecessary but somehow must make me feel like I’m more prepared.
Like the feeling I’m not ready, I haven’t done enough, I should have done another long run, or gotten up earlier on those swim days to fit in work, appointments, and longer swims more consistently.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that I’m doing this one in survival mode rather than full on training mode. I’m testing the bare minimum of training with a less-is-more approach.
It’s hard to ignore that I’ve put together a lose training program for myself based on three different coaches I’ve worked with, my time and travel constraints, and that it’s at this point not having a coach becomes most challenging.
The emotion of Ironman training is a leg of the race no one talks about. They talk transitions (from swim to bike, and bike to run) and about nutrition and sleep. But this is the stuff that media broadcasts talk about and stir up.
It comes down to wanting it and overcoming the discomfort during the race. It comes down to planning the hydration, and nutrition more carefully than anything else because at this point you don’t control anything else. You’ve done the work or not. You’re as strong and as aligned as you’ll be, you have as much endurance and stamina as you’re going to have.
It’s now about not doing anything silly in a last workout that will waste energy you want to be there on race day. It’s just about staying tuned up.
It’s about not gawking at elite bodies when you arrive or listening to stories about other people’s training or what they’re going to do even in those last few days approaching the race.
It comes down to now having planned the work, working the plan. You have to trust yourself and stay your course.
I’m staying at a hotel away from the main expo and the meetings. It’s away from the finish line enough to matter. I nearly ended up at the race hotel but it was full by the time I was booking and then it became a need for dependable internet. Like football coaches take their teams to hotels the night before a game, and golf coaches book their teams away from the rest of the competition, controlling your environment and the stimulation you have is important.
In the end, it comes down to your mindset. Your body is what it is at this point. Your job is to let in only the thoughts that help you and release the others. You need details and facts and then you need to avoid all else. O.P. (other people’s) fears, dreams, worries, plans … can’t be yours. This is where the emotion of Ironman triathlon can make your experience or rob you of it.
I’ve kept this post “safe” until now. Have you noticed? I drifted into “you” instead using “I.”
I feel pretty vulnerable right now.
My honest reveal of emotion of Ironman triathlon right now? I am most worried about the run. Of all things I’ve put in less time on my feet and fewer miles. Both.
I remind myself I can walk it and inevitably there will be a significant amount of walking. I’m OK with that. Strategy-wise I plan to follow a run-walk from the beginning. An Ironman triathlon isn’t a speed race, at least not for me.
I also remind myself that I could not possibly feel worse starting the run this year than I did in the Cozumel Ironman triathlon 2012 when I had nothing but water and a single Power Bar during 112-miles on the bike. I managed to wrestle a teenage volunteer out of a half a banana at some point over half way though the bike leg. [By comparison I was used to taking in at least 4-5 times that.]
In 2012 I had just tearfully watched my son play his last season of high school golf, sign a letter of commitment to play golf at UNI, and was contemplating leaving my job, and hadn’t shared that with anyone yet. I wasn’t without other [besides the physical] stressors at that point in time. The emotion of Ironman triathlon that year was mixed in with so much of life I can’t be sure what I felt that day. I do know I was done. Cooked. Toast following that race. And then absolutely fine the next day.
This year I’m prepared. I’ll have more than enough food on me, and be prepared to add my own electrolytes to my water. I also know the impact of the emotions of Ironman triathlon better and plan to harness it.
Though I have a level of apprehension, like anyone would or does when you set a goal, a meaningful one, and you’re about to do it, it’s different. It’s as if I have a shield between me and the apprehension. No one is bleeding or dying or going to because I do or do not do this event or do it in 30 minutes more or 30 minutes less time than I predict.
At this point in the last long bikes (last Sunday), last long runs (this last Monday), and last long swims (this coming Sunday), I have tears. I go to my “why,” as I insist every client and every participant in every program do. That “cry why” is a crucial reminder for me of two things: the significance and the insignificance of this race.
The significance for me is not about a physical feat. If you’re on the outside looking in it may seem that is the focal point. It’s so not. Perhaps for elites or even age group athletes who’ve switched to focusing on wanting a podium finish that’s true, too. For me there’s no denying that additional tone or a new definition from a little more swimming is nice… but it’s so minimal… you (and I mean you), can achieve that in two short swims a week, the “extra” from endurance training is minimal.
It’s where my friend Dr. Stuart McGill might say the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. In less eloquent terms, the threshold of no returns was passed a long time ago in endurance training. I’ve in fact been more toned and defined on a fraction of exercise… 20 minutes a day to be specific.
The significance comes down to every person and every memory I’ve loved and felt deeply in my life. It’s what brings the tears at the starting line of a race or during the middle of these long workouts this week. I am glad to be alive. I’m glad for every person who by no accident has been in my life or is there now. All those bittersweet and poignant moments flood in. Monday on my run I found myself thinking about my oldest (10-year old) great nephew. I had been thinking about his dad who was killed in June of 2016, and how doing this race has significance for me in living fully. He has been such a shining example. I have put things off during the past. I’ve decided not to do things… yet, or that the timing isn’t right.
It’s never right. And the plain truth is life, and death, are never convenient. You better get on with it. I’m traveling to Cozumel alone, but I don’t feel alone. The people around me most likely to go along just can’t right now. Someone said, so you just like to do these things yourself? I was taken back a little… and laughed… “No, no, of course not, I just don’t let that stop me!”
I am way past asking for permission. I don’t need someone to go with me to have someone be with me.
All those people will be with me. Every one of them, along with a few angels.
It’s never been and will never be about race day for me. It’s about the human race. The simplicity of using a strategic plan to change the status of the human body and increase the strength, stamina, and change markers of aging. (More on telomeres, mitochondria, and brain function when emotion doesn’t win over science in my topic!)
So this race has significance. I decided Monday during my trail run that I am giving my nephew my medal. I want the memory not the medal after all. And, you know, I get the t-shirt! Really what I treasure is the race water bottle truth be told.
This race is also so insignificant. The emotion of Ironman training is the emotion of life. I’ve thought about what could go wrong. And really, it doesn’t matter.
The last time I did Cozumel the water was pretty choppy evidently. I didn’t realize. But a hundred or more athlete’s day ended there. They’d gotten sick. That could happen to me I suppose. I could realize what it was when jellyfish sting me this time and get hung up on that.
I could have some issues with heat and humidity on the bike. Wind was an issue last time as well. You never know what could happen on a bike. It’s not just you; a tire, a chain, or another rider could be an issue.
On the run, I clearly remember getting off the bike in Cozumel last time. I said to myself I must have been blocking this memory. Run, or cover, 26.2 miles now? Really?
Then again, it’s just a long workout, with friends, and a buffet. During long rides that had to be done on my trainer I watched 100-mile ultra runs on Youtube.com and reruns of Ironman world championships in Kona, HI. They’re inspiring. And just as you have to surround yourself with people who are choosing to eat better, sleep earlier, be less addicted to sugar and work and wine, and to exercise regularly even when it’s not convenient, I surrounded myself with people who think 100 mile runs are normal.
That makes what I’m about to do seem more balanced.
It’s the power of the mind and the emotion of Ironman triathlon that makes athletes want to return to it. You might say I’m crazy. Yes. Come on in. I’m crazy about life and experiencing it. You will not find a place where the human spirit is challenged or cherished more than when you’re reaching for something that other people say can’t be done. Or that you yourself wonder if can be done. Does it excite you and scare you both?
In the end… if a flat tire ruins my day or I struggle with not feeling good, it really is not the purpose of this whole exercise to finish the race. The purpose is to sign up. To start. No matter what I’ve still got another day of beach vacation in flip flops to face the tough decision about the chair by the pool or the chair by the ocean. No one is bleeding and no one is dying. It’s a tropical vacation for crying out loud.
My niece, who became a widow a year and a half ago at age 34, said something to me one Sunday morning when I ran into her in the parking lot at the gym. As I was going inside to swim she was returning from a bike ride in the canyon.
“I want to get better riding on gravel.”
Who does that? Who says that?
I thought to myself on the way home after my swim. She’d been riding on gravel at that point for 14 months since Bill was killed.
We are all stronger than we think. You just don’t know what you’ve left unused until you look for it. Most of us don’t until we have to.
I’ll go. I’ll start. I do believe I’ll finish. I also believe this doesn’t define me. Not if I finish or how I do. What defines me is how I think about it after.
Harness the emotion of Ironman triathlon. It’s available to you, too. You don’t have to do an Ironman, a triathlon, or a race for that matter. You do have to find something that scares you a little, that attracts you, and you have to say, “yes” to the fact that it’s not convenient, it’s not the right time, and do it anyway.
The emotion is about the message. Who are you? What message are you sending yourself about who you are? When you find something that at first feels like a distraction taking time and energy away from what appears on your to-do list, it may actually be the beacon that makes the rest so much more clear and meaningful.
P.S. The next post will be on Thanksgiving from Cozumel. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving early!
P. P.S. I’ll be testing my hormone levels to report on cortisol and adrenals within a couple days of my return on the 28th. I’ll compare them to the pre-training test done last June. I’ll also update body composition and weight changes along the way along with the self-report on sleep quality, stress, levels and mood and function.
In this episode Susan asked for help getting and staying motivated. Though there are a few steps that she needs to do so that she has a plan for exercise and eating that will help her, that’s not the motivation obstacle for her.
If, like Susan, you’ve got a life’s passion that has simply disappeared from your life, start there. Put it back! Even in small scale, it matters. Susan, for instance, loves to sing and she’s not had any singing gigs for years. Did you notice? She never mentioned the need for compensation or money, just the singing.
None of us get motivated by setting a logical goal.
Susan’s nutrition and exercise are the easy part for her once she has some excitement back in her life about “why” to do them.
Our minds form a “who” we are and we treat ourselves accordingly. As soon as we start acting as if we already have what we want and taking actions to get it, things begin to change. It’s not all meditation and woo-woo! You can’t pray your way to being different. You do have to hustle. In Susan’s case I suggest she start creating ways she can sing. Whether it’s getting in front of an audience at a coffee shop to sing carols during the holiday season, or creating holiday or Valentine’s playlist on YouTube that allows her to begin marketing herself, or she gets a gigmaster.com listing for a few months to see what happens.
Just taking action and beginning to dream again can change everything about your motivation to take better care of yourself.
Then, she’ll be more likely to use the equipment in her house – or take a risk and get outdoors.
Get motivated with the right “uniform.” We have had it all backwards for too long. Waiting… to wear clothes you love, to get out and do the things you love… needs a flip! I sat down and talked with Skirt Sports owner Nicole DeBoom in this episode about the relationship you have with you body NOW. It’s so important to feel good while you’re on the journey (and end that, anal-retentive attitude of …when I reach XYZ…then I’ll ABC)! Watch the transformation of our real women models!
Get motivated with the right food for all-day energy.
You think the wheels fall off the bus at lunch but truly it happens when you fail yourself at breakfast.
If you nail breakfast, data show that we voluntarily make better decisions at the next meal.
2. Then, keep it simple. Plan, plan, plan for simple high protein, fat, and high-nutrient dense foods whether you’re on-the-go or at home. My lunch included: shrimp, avocado, nuts, and you could add berries or an orange for a little carbohydrate to power your afternoon and defeat cravings before they begin. The most important part of lunch? The insulated cooler so it’s simple to go out the door ready to win.
3. Make dinner. Snacking because no one else is at home to cook for implies you’re not worth it. Make preparing for each meal a priority.
Get motivated with all the right moves.
Check this Basic Training planning tool out so that you get started simply, progress gradually, and get onto the workouts that will reap you rewards.
Big thanks to our friends at Skirt Sports today for showing us how to fit now. When you look good, you feel good, and you do good. You’ll be inspired to exercise more often and longer when you feel good about the way you look. Dress for success. Make sure you’re on our subscriber list so you don’t miss any juicy episode or the special discounts and giveaways that our partners and sponsors share! Visit Skirt Sports online (and find out how you can visit for a live fitting with Flipping 50’s Fall Flip weekend in Boulder, CO)!
Go to Flippingfifty.com for free access to all the shows as a subscriber now! In addition to exclusive coupons and gifts to make your fitness more fun from friends like Skirt Sports, Nutribullet giveaways, $50 off Instant Pot, and more!
The Key Flip of the Day
Get motivated by making it easy to do the right thing and tie your heart strings to it. Plan ahead, and live in the present. The best way to do that is to: