Remember when I announced I was using the Hanson Method for my third marathon? I was soooo confident that I’d stay on top of strength training.

Yeah, that wasn’t happening.

It’s not that I don’t have the time or energy to strength train in addition to the runs. Truthfully, most days I could swing a quick workout right after the run or something after dinner. I was just …. bored. I’ve been working out with the same DVD’s for two years now. I think I’ve purchased one new one in 6 months (if that!) I love working out from home because it saves me so much time and money, but it wasn’t working for me anymore since I was never motivated to workout!

Last month at Fitbloggin I got to try PiYo and T25 for the first time thanks to my awesome friend/coach Katrina.  Here’s a shot of Ruthie and I before the workout (I miss her, too!)

FitBlogginAfter one sweat filled hour I was hooked. It was AWESOME. Honestly, I’d probably have decided to go with T25 if I wasn’t in the middle of marathon training but I know that PiYo is exactly what my body needs. While I know PiYo is all over the internets right now I’m sure some of you aren’t familiar with it so here’s the quick & dirty version:

  • PiYo is a low-impact, high-intensity body-transformation program that uses the most effective Pilates- and yoga-inspired moves to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.
  • It’s low-impact so you won’t have to jump around or strain your joints.
  • It’s high-intensity so you get the fat-burning results of a more extreme program.
  • It’s designed to help you get an intensely defined, long and lean physique
  • NO weights & no equipment of any kind needed!

It’s an authentic, incredibly effective body-transformation program that combines Pilates- and yoga-inspired moves, all set to a faster pace, so you get your strength, flexibility, and cardio all in each workout. PiYo delivers the long, lean muscles and flat, toned abs of Pilates, a firm butt and strong arms like you’d get from yoga, and the weight-loss benefits of fat-burning cardio. The workouts take just 25–45 minutes each!

Um – yes please! PiYo is perfect for me right now since it will still help me strength and tone my muscles but also actively stretch and lengthen them. Tight, shortened muscles lead to major injuries for runners (and have been the cause of almost every injury I’ve had.) Plus, the best shape I was in came from doing Pilates/barre workouts regularly and I miss that!

In addition to getting the PiYo program I got a month of Shakeology. Kat gave me some to try in Savannah and I loved it. Loads of non-jittery energy, great tasting, and it kept me full for hours. I’m not trying to lose weight per say but I have been SO bad about my eating recently. Last week my stomach was in knots and I could hardly eat anything, this week all I’ve wanted was CARBS and I can’t even remember the last time I ate a vegetable (I know it’s so bad!) While Shakeology won’t fix all that I feel like it will be easy on my stomach and just knowing I’m adding one superfood-filled high protein meal or snack into my day will help keep me on track with the rest of my meals. So, what’s in it? Everything. Literally, everything.

  • Plant based protein: Chia, flax, Quinoa, Amaranth, Rice, Pea & Oat. Helps build lean muscles, improves skin and hair, supports mental clarity and reduces cravings*
  • Super-fruit/Antioxidants: Camu-camu, Acai, Acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Goji berry, Green Tea, Luo Han Guo, Pomegranate, Rose Hips. Provides antioxidant support and helps promote a healthy heart and optimal blood pressure*
  • Super-green/Phytonutrients: Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach, Kale. Helps alkalinize the body and promote detoxification for health and vitality*
  • Adaptogen Blend: Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Ginkgo, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra, Holy Basil. Helps protect the body from stress, support the immune system, and balance the endocrine system*
  • Pre and Probiotics/Digestive Blend: Yacon root, Agave, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase, Protease, Bromelian, Papain. Helps increase nutrient absorption, promotes regularity, and improves digestion* 

Shakeology
I can’t lie – it’s expensive. However, I decided to go ahead and purchase it because I literally ran out of my multivitamin and probiotics this week and just ate my last protein bar. This shake will replace all of that! Also, they are having a super sale on the combo PiYo + 30 days of Shakeology where you can get BOTH for $10 more than just the Shakeology alone. Win-Win.

I’m so pumped about doing this that I went ahead and took the plunge and signed up to be a coach. I’ve been talking with Kat about it a lot since Fitbloggin and I think it’s a perfect fit for me. I’ve had quite a few people email me asking if I do any sort of online or personal coaching. Now, I’m going to start doing regular challenge groups that will allow me to do just that!

I’m going to kick off my very first 21 Day Challenge focusing on the PiYo program on August 11th. If you are interested in joining just send me an email to Erica@EricaDHouse.com. I’ve already spent so much time putting together a plan on how to help encourage and motivate those who sign up I can’t wait to get it started! Today is the last day to get the super sale on the combo pack but it only goes up $20 after so if you want to wait a few days to sign up. You can also join the challenge with just buying the DVD’s so if Shakeology isn’t your thing that’s okay! The one thing you’ll get no matter what is ME here for YOU to help keep you on track and talk to you anytime you have any questions or just need some moral support.

That’s it. I hope some of you will decide to join me as I really need group support to help keep me accountable and I’m looking forward to helping others reach their health and fitness goals. Accountability + Support will help you accomplish any goal in life!

What’s the last new fitness program you tried?

What’s the hardest part of sticking to your health/fitness goals?

In April 2013 I broke up with my scale. It wasn’t a forever break-up, but we just needed some distance from one another. Here’s a peek at what I had to say about it then.

Thanks to the incredible Withings Body Fat Scale I received to review I’ve been able to keep a pretty awesome record of my weight (top row) and body fat (bottom) since October 2012.

Weight and Body Fat

As you can see my daily weigh-in’s fluctuates substantially! In early November it looks like I went from 113 to 109 in 2 days and you can see some strange spikes again in January and February. Overall though you can see my average (the white line) has stayed pretty steady for 5 months now. Daily weight fluctuations like that are normal and due to a variety of factors like overall hydration levels and what time of the month it is.

Since I can clearly see that my weight will stay them same if I continue to maintain the daily calories/exercise I have been I have decided to give up the scale. At least on a daily basis. I realized weighing in daily had become counter-productive. If I saw that I had gained half a pound since the day before I would feel a little bummed even though I know I didn’t actually eat an additional 1750 calories (one pound equals 3500) and that the artificial gain was temporary and likely due to other factors.

No matter how much I know and understand rationally – it just feels like shit to get on the scale and see it go up. I didn’t want to start my days off feeling like that anymore so I’ve taken the scale out of the bathroom and put it up in my closet. It was a little weird the first few days to not get on the scale like I always do. After a few days though I actually began to feel better not worrying about what the scale would say. I walk into the bathroom now and, I know it sounds cheesy, but I smile where I see the empty corner where the scale used to be! I’m happy with where I’m at now weight wise so I may just use my pants as a guide. If they ever start to get to tight/loose I’ll adjust my eating/exercising. I may still weight in once a week on Sundays just to see where I’m at but I can see myself forgetting to even do that now that I’m not in the habit of it.

Besides, there are so many better indicators of overall health:

  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Inches lost
  • Clothing sizes dropped
  • Increased strength as indicated by using heavier weights in your workout
  • Faster run times
  • How do you feel? This is much more important than a number!

I’m not advocating that anyone should stop trying to reach health or weight loss goals. I just think if your engaging in an activity that has developed a negative connotation to it (like weight in daily has for me) then it may be time to explore new ways to track your progress. Your weight is just one stupid little number that doesn’t take into consideration many other, more reliable and important, indicators of health.

My July 2014 Update:

Well, while I still try to make healthy eating choices 80% of the time I really let go of the majority of my food/weight guilt. I don’t even know if guilt is the right word, but it was kind of always on my mind. I still think about my weight on occasion, but I don’t care so much about it anymore. It’s a passing thought, not something I will sit and dwell on.

I used to count calories and write down everything I ate. I wasn’t aiming for a certain number but I wanted to keep track of everything. I stopped doing that, and now eat about 2000 a day and pretty much whatever I want (again, within reason!) TCBY with the boyfriend? Half a frozen pizza for dinner? 800 calories for breakfast? Okay. Whatever. I’m happy. Yes, my weight has gone up bit from an all time (adult) low of 112 to now just under 120 usually but I’m 100% okay with that.

Weight Body Fat

After losing over 50 pounds it took me about 2 years before I felt ‘safe’. There was a little voice in the back of my head telling me that if I didn’t stay on top of eating right and exercising that it’s a fast slide back into being morbidly obese. Now that the weight has been off for 5 years I know it’s staying off. I LOVE MY LIFE NOW. I love how exercising makes me feel. I love how healthy food gives me energy and tastes great. I still love sweet treats and can kill a bag of chips in a day. I’ve finally found the balance I was searching for.

Scale

Does a fear of gaining weight ever cross your mind?

How strict are you with how much you eat or exercise a day?

Since I started running two years ago I’d say I’ve failed at reaching 50% of my race goals.

I like to set goals that are pretty aggressive as I feel like that makes me train harder and helps keep me motivated to get out of bed at 5 a.m. For my first 5k I wanted to come in under 30 minutes and I finished in 31:07.Dad and I post race at Great Pumpkin Run PensacolaA year later I trained for my first marathon with a pace group from Running Wild for a 4:30 finish and came in at 4:44. (Despite not hitting my goal for 2 marathons now I still did this video on my #1 secret to having the best marathon ever and it’s 100% foolproof.)

pensacola marathon

Two months later, in January 2014, I ran my 2nd half marathon with a 2:15 goal and came in just over 2:14!RaceIn May I ran the Gate-to-Gate 4.4 mile run with a goal of a 9 minute pace and came in right on target!race1Take a look at all of the photos above. Notice anything different in any of them? I sure don’t. I look just as happy in every one of them regardless of what my finish time was or if I met my goal or not. Looking back I think I learned more, and became a better runner, after not meeting my goals.

Three Advantage of Failing to Meet Race Goals 

  • I train harder for the next race. Yes, I could be riding a PR high and put the same amount of energy into training for the next race, but there’s something specific about the energy that you get when aiming for a ‘comeback’ that’s missing when you just set a PR last time.
  • It forces me to remember why I love to run. When I fail to meet my goal I can find myself slipping into some negative self-talk. I’m never going to be fast enough. I spent all the time training and now I have to do it all over again for a shot of making my PR. I need cupcakes.  To get myself out of that trap I start focusing on why I run in the first place. It keeps me healthy and acts as my anti-anxiety medication. These benefits don’t go away just  because I fail to meet some arbitrary race goal.
  • I’ve become a better runner through trail and error. When I fail to meet a goal I look back and see ways I can improve my training plan for next time. Sure, if I PR with a plan I could just use the same plan again and adjust the paces but I feel strongly that I usually alternate between PR races and non-PR races because I’m constantly tweaking my training and finding out what works best for my body and my specific race goals.

All the medals I have hanging in my living room don’t tell whether or not I PR’ed. They all look the same no matter what my finish time was. They tell a story of how hard I had to bust my ass and whether I finish a marathon in 3:30 or 5:30 they were well earned and worn with pride!

How do you feel failing to meet a goal?
What motivates you more – the fear of failure or the desire to succeed?