Action 460 – Choose Only One.

Argh. I hate not being able to have everything I want. Yes, I realize that I sound like a spoiled brat when I admit that. But there it is, anyway.

There are three things I want but I can really only afford one of them. They each cost about the same, so…

Action 460 – Choose Only One.

I can run the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon on June 3rd.

Totally fun, another full marathon, and I love shiny medals.

or

I can run the Nanny Goat 24 Hour 100 Mile Challenge on May 26th.

It’s a huge challenge, the “medal” is fun, and it’s a brand new experience.

or

I can buy myself a new iPod Nano to use on the Pasadena Marathon.

I want to be able to switch playlists – from dance club to rock – and my Shuffle doesn’t do that. Plus, it would be a reward for finishing like my watch was for running the Marine Corps Marathon.

I can make a good argument for each of them. And I can afford one, but only one.

Fortunately, I don’t have to decide tonight. I can think on it over the weekend and make my decision early next week.

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Action 459 – Don’t Confuse Travel With Holiday.

Tomorrow after work, I am flying out to Austin, Texas, for the weekend. It is my Grandfather’s 90th birthday and Sunday is Mother’s Day, so it’s the perfect time to see the whole family. The old me would see this trip as a vacation and not think at all about what is going on with my training. But I’m not the old me.

Action 459 – Don’t Confuse Travel With Holiday.

Yes, I get to see my family. And yes, I’m sure I’ll indulge a little in food and drink while I’m there. But I’m still in training. In fact, I’m in my last ten days before the marathon. That means I need to remain focused on the prize.

And I’m prepared for it. I have already packed my gym bag for the morning workout before I head to the office, and I have my suitcase packed with two other sets of running gear for Saturday and Sunday mornings runs. I will run bright and early and then have the rest of the day to focus my attention on the family.

I will prove to myself that I can have it all this weekend. I can enjoy my family, have a great trip, and still commit to my workout and my training.

Celebrating Grandpa’s birthday in 2009.

Action 458 – Run. Pedal. Sweat.

A late start this morning meant no workout before heading into the office. I’m not a fan of the gym after work, but too bad. That’s what I get for sleeping in, right?

Action 458 – Run. Pedal. Sweat.

I mixed it up today with a brick – a run followed by a bike ride. It felt pretty good, actually. I ran a 5K and some change followed by nearly seven miles on the bike.

And the sweat? No problem. As you can see for yourself, I made it look good.

Action 457 – Tell It Like It Is.

Being the SparkPeople Success Story Manager and an active member of the site, I get my share of emails from new members asking questions. I know how much I appreciated encouragement early on, so I always take the time to reply with whatever help I can offer.

Action 457 – Tell It Like It Is.

Today, I received this email from a new member:

Do you have any weight loss tips?

And this was my reply:

Nope.

Not being mean or dismissive, just I have never had any luck chasing weight loss goals. It wasn’t until I focused on the basics of being healthy that I was successful.

Eat healthy. Be active. Repeat consistently. That’s it. No tricks, no sneaky way around it. It’s all about the basics.

Start small with simple goals, like drinking enough water each day or taking a 15 minute walk each day at lunch. Whatever the goal, just start. Repeat. And when it becomes a habit, add another goal.

That’s what worked for me, at least.

I know what she was asking, and I could have certainly phrased my answer more as “weight loss tips.” But I went with what felt more authentic to me. Focusing on weight loss alone may be a good way to drop pounds, but I don’t think it is a way to keep those pounds off.

I don’t judge people who resort to extreme and restrictive diets or surgery to lose weight. I’m not in their shoes and it’s not for me to approve or disapprove. But speaking for me, I think that those solutions may help you lose weight, but once you return to your normal eating habits, the weight will come right back. To successfully keep weight off, you need to learn new and healthier habits for life.

So, I told it like it is, at least for me. There are no shortcuts to this.

Action 456 – Make The Motivation.

Being a person who is pretty open and upfront about my weight loss and fitness journey, I’m used to people asking me questions. No surprise, this is one of the most common.

How do you always stay motivated?

I think the answer surprises most people, but honestly, I don’t. I’m not always motivated. Some days, I don’t want to workout and I don’t want to think about what I’m eating. I want to sleep in and eat junk food and watch TV for hours. Some days, I’m just not feeling it. But those the days that I most need to do something good for myself, because doing right by my body also helps improve my mood.

Action 456 – Make The Motivation. If I don’t have it, I find ways to push myself in the right direction.

For example, today, I’m not really feeling it. I woke up this morning too late to go to the gym before work, so my reaction is to just skip today completely. But that doesn’t help me prepare for the marathon, it doesn’t help me burn calories, and it definitely doesn’t help me feel better.

My solution? I packed my gym bag and brought it with me to the office. I could have changed at home afterwards, but I know better. I would go home and not leave again for the gym. Bringing my bag means I don’t need to make a stop on the way. I have also brought my bag into the office with me. I don’t need to, since I am going to change into my workout gear at the gym. But leaving it in the car makes it easier for me to change my mind and not go. Out of sight, out of mind, you know?

Instead, my gym bag is right here at the end of my desk. It’s a constant reminder that I have a place to go and something to do right after work.

I’m still not really feeling all that motivated to go run and workout this afternoon, but I know that I am going to do it. And I also know that afterwards, I am going to be glad that I did. I have never worked out and thought, “pfft, that was a mistake.

If you don’t have the motivation, make it. Your mind will come around once your body starts doing all the work.