Tag Archives: strategy

How to get fit (and stay that way) when you are super busy

I am always a little bit sad when Summer ends because I love the longer hours of daylight, the warmer temperatures, sleeping with all the windows wide open and finding excuses for spending time outdoors. Most importantly, I can upgrade my back garden to outdoors exercise area where I can enjoy a lot more space and plenty of fresh air. Clients are usually on holiday and so I get to slow down too for a short while.

When Autumn starts life gets busy on all fronts again. Not just for me but for my clients too. For many of them the end of the year coincides with the end of their financial year and suddenly work brings a whole new dimension of busy-ness to their already packed lives. When I worked in corporate many years ago, from September onward I knew I would start at my job around  9am but I never knew when I would come home. Not only I had my usual tasks to deal with but heading towards the “festive season” meant more business lunches, more networking events, more parties and so on. I know, it sounds like such a hard life (not!) but believe me, having to kiss arse and get drunk in order not to disappoint clients can take a significant toll on you and your waistline in the long run.

At the time I used to exercise in the evenings as I am a bit of a night owl but from September onwards it became virtually impossible to stick to a regular routine. Nowadays I witness the same issues with some of my clients who are often forced to cancel or reschedule their evening sessions at short notice.

The only way that you get visible and long lasting results when you follow a weight loss and fitness program is if you are consistent with your efforts. It’s not different from running a business or working for one. In fact I look at my fitness regime as one part of the “business of me”: it has to provide the results I want and be enjoyable, in fact make that exciting. This helps me re-frame fitness as something that is vitally important to my own success both as an entrepreneur and as an individual striving to maintain optimum physical and mental health.

How to manage your nutrition when everyone else isn’t

Eating healthy when everyone else isn'tThe first step is always to (re)define your goals and be realistic about them. For example, if you know that you are coming up to an extremely busy few months with plenty of social events that you can’t get out of it might not be the best time to start working on your beach body. Unless of course the people you have to hang out with are also following a fat burning program and won’t mind discussing business over a rocket salad and a glass of still mineral water. It can be really difficult to stick to your meal plans when you are under a bit of peer pressure to have a few drinks and a curry.

So if that’s the case why not allow yourself a bit of slack and revise your goals from going to the gym for weight loss to maintenance/damage limitation with perhaps a bit of slow progress as a bonus instead? You can still achieve a lot, you just have to make the most of the change in circumstances and go with the flow.

I successfully used two strategies for my clients (and myself) to sail through busy times without any damages to the waistline. The first strategy is to alternate binge meeting and eating with fasting, i.e. have as many meetings as you can to include both lunch and dinner in one day followed by a day of fasting. The second strategy consisted of spreading out the meetings as much as possible and use the extra dinners or lunches as part of an intermittent fasting program. The ultimate goal here is to try and break even with calories in vs calories out with a little bit of extra help in the form of more movement and exercise when necessary.

The thing is if you book a table at a restaurant that’s nowhere near a tube station or bus stop you will have to walk there and back. It’s always nice to do this after a large meal and it will help you sober up slightly if you have had one too many. I speak from experience. …hic!

It takes a lot of commitment to yourself and your goals to stick to either strategy but if your health and fitness are important to you you will always find a way. Otherwise you will find excuses masqueraded as reasons. Again no different than running a business.

How to exercise consistently in the face of busy-ness

Internet wisdom suggests that abs are made in the kitchen. I disagree. Abs are made in the gym and are revealed by wise use of your time and energy in the kitchen. If you can’t do the latter you must make sure you are at least focusing on the former for the time being.

The thing is in order to achieve the perfect beach body (I am already thinking about next Summer here…) you have to build the physique and that requires consistent effort with your exercise. When you are super busy there is no need to get all complicated, you can save that for later when you have an easier schedule and you need to put the finishing touches to the solid foundations you have built. But, again, it’s important to make the time for it.

the best workout for weight loss is the one you do, not the one you think about.The solution is super easy. You need to have strong boundaries with yourself first and your co-workers and bosses second, but you must make a point of not starting work earlier than your contract says unless extreme circumstances arise. This is an important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance: if you know your finishing time is a vanishing time you might as well start when you are supposed to and not a minute sooner.

This gives you room to get up 30 minutes earlier than normal in the morning and stick in a quick 20 min. metabolic workout that as well as keeping your physique in tip top condition will also give you a little bit of extra energy for the day. There are many good ways to exercise at home with or without equipment: it depends on your personal preferences and what you are trying to achieve.

I had a few clients in the past who used this strategy very successfully: they would see me at the crack of dawn to check in on their progress since my last visit and then put in a jolly good workout before going to the office. They got energised in the fresh air and started their day with a spring in their steps and their renewed confidence helped them make strides in their careers. Personally I hate getting up early in the morning but when I had to I soon learned to love the feeling that I got after a good workout and in fact I ended up getting up even earlier to do some extra work too.

You don’t have to do anything fancy (but you can if you want to), if you stick with a few basic exercises focusing on form rather than reps or personal bests you can reinforce your neuro-muscular connections. This will ensure that your body is ready for muscle growth and increased strength. If you do this right you will get that sweet feeling of your metabolism burning fat all day long, making you feel a bit warmer and almost buzzing with extra energy. Your mind will be sharper and you will feel and look stronger giving you the edge in the business environment where presenting your ideas with confidence can make or break a career.

If all you can do is work out for 20 min 3 times per week you will still get results and in fact you will be amazed at how remarkable these will be. Then when life allows it again you can go back to being more thorough with your fitness training program but that’s an article for another day.

In the meantime if you would like some help finding the best way to get fit and lose weight through your busiest times with ease and grace book a complimentary breakthrough call now and let’s define some goals. Without obligation but with a lot of enthusiasm.

P.S. If you are reading this article in the run up to Christmas you may want to check out my book “Burn fat, not the turkey” offering tips and tricks for navigating the holiday season in style whilst simultaneously avoiding crocodile tears on January 2nd.

 

My secret recipe for Fitness Makeover success

Girl on scale

When it comes to fitness and weight loss there is so much information available in the blogosphere that it’s truly hard to know where to start. I suppose it all boils down to what resonates best with you once you find a few reputable sources of information. You could choose between a bodyweight workout plan, exercises that you can do at home without the need for fitness equipment or you could choose a full on gym program to help you lose weight.

Whichever road you choose to follow it’s good to have a map to help you stay the course and ensure you will safely reach your destination in good time, with the minimum amount of detours. And why not enjoy the scenery in the meantime?

Here is my secret recipe that will allow you to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals regardless of whether you choose to work with me or not:

Preparation time

In order to prepare yourself for your transformational journey you need to take some time out and think deeply about the project that you wish to undertake. The way in which you frame this will be key to your chances of success. How long you will need to complete it is entirely up to you and must fit in with your needs and wants but I do urge you to stop and reflect before you take action. Getting clarity on the reasons why you want to do this will help you stay the course until the end.

Cooking time

This also depends entirely on you, where you are starting at and where you want to get to. You may be surprised to learn that it can take different people the same amount of time to shed 10 Kgs of body weight as to lose 2Kgs of body fat. It’s all down to your metabolism, health and determination. Having said this I recommend you give yourself a minimum of three months to see some major results and not be tempted by dubious programs that promise to help you lose weight fast. The human metabolism is an incredibly complicated and exquisitely sophisticated machine, it doesn’t work in a linear manner and when you think nothing’s happening there might be a lot going on in the background that you are not aware of. Consider this an exercise in faith as much as a game of strategy.

Serves: 1

This is for you and only you.

Ingredients

To succeed at a fitness makeover project you will need a few fundamental ingredients:

  • Knowing what you want to achieve. AKA a goal.
  • A good reason for wanting to achieve that goal (your WHY).
  • Letting go of all the stories that have kept you stuck where you are currently at.
  • An open mind.
  • Willingness to do whatever it takes.
  • A hefty does of commitment to yourself.
  • A large serving of integrity with a sprinkling of honesty.
  • A bucket load of self love.
  • Compassion and forgiveness for when you mess up.
  • A pinch of enthusiasm.
  • Nice shoes. You can never get tired of wearing nice trainers.  😉

Always be kind to yourself

You will also need

    • A place to exercise. This could be your front room, your garden, your bedroom, your home gym, your shed, a proper gym… but you will need some place where you can exercise safely and confidently.
    • Suitable clothing. There is nothing worse than having to work out in clothes that aren’t good for the job. Anything that’s tight and unyielding can’t be used for this purpose. Choose garments that will cover up all the bits you don’t like about yourself (yet) so you don’t have to worry about seeing them. Of course if you exercise at home I wholeheartedly recommend doing so in the buff at least once when nobody is watching. It’s just… awesome!

Home gym equipment

  • Fitness equipment. If you choose to exercise in your home all you need are 3 items: a yoga mat (your gym floor), a swiss ball (your bench) and a pair of dumbbells with adjustable weights.
  • Lots of water.
  • A great nutritional plan.
  • An even better supplements plan.
  • A solid exercise plan.
  • A lifestyle overhaul to make sure you change the bits that work against you and enrich those that already work for you.
  • A few good friends to provide moral support and document your progress. Enemies are also good for this purpose: the greener they get when they see you, the better you are doing. Trust me on this.

Directions

On a large piece of paper (A3 at least) draw a map of your current lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be too detailed but you want to include the typical amount of time that you spend asleep at night, the time you spend commuting to and from work, any activities that you do after work, socialising, how much time you spend cooking, eating out, walking the dog, pulling a length of string to entertain your cats, riding your horse, etc. You can do this in the form of a timeline or an agenda. Whatever works for you.

Next grab some index cards or post-it notes and write down the most important elements of your chosen program. For example: say you have green tickets for exercise and your program requires you to do a 30 minutes workout 3 times per week. On three green tickets write down “workout, 30 min”. Look at your lifestyle map and see where you can fit your exercise tickets. Ideally these will go in at the same time Mon-Wed-Fri but of course this has to work for you so put them where you are willing to fit them in.

Do the same for your meals and for any daily activities that are part of your program, like walking for example. Add a few blue tickets to remind you to drink more water throughout the day. When you have finished you can either hang the new and upgraded lifestyle map on the wall OR take a picture and refer to it whenever you need/want to.

Go and execute the plan. And… voila’!

Woman on swiss ball smiling

If you really struggle to find spaces for your tickets you need to make a choice: either find a less demanding program or let go of some activities that don’t suit you at this time. Or maybe, if you find yourself resisting making any such changes, you may want to consider that you are not ready to do this and it would be a good idea to postpone the project to a later time when you will be excited and looking forward to re-organise your schedule.

Sometimes what the head thinks it wants isn’t necessarily what the heart is willing to do. Just let it be and wait for a better moment. It will come.

Summary

Whatever fat loss and exercise program you choose to follow these are the steps you need to take to make sure it fits in with your lifestyle. If you succeed at making a workable plan I can promise you that sticking to it is going to feel like a sweet Summer breeze. The truth is that weight loss and fitness makeovers aren’t that dissimilar from any other project you may undertake in your every day life: whether it’s work, house renovations, a wedding, cooking, a trip, etc. The more thorough your planning is, the easier the execution will be and the greater the chances of success. In fact, make the last one almost a given that you will succeed.

BUT you still have to do the work to make it work. Don’t forget that.

If you need help making an awesome Fitness Makeover plan all you have to do is book a complimentary 30 min breakthrough call and I will gladly give you some pointers to get you started. Don’t hesitate, book your call now!

Image top right by stockimages on FreeDigitalPhotos.net