It takes three weeks to make habit. Did you know that?
Not really that long unless you’re in the middle of that three weeks…and then it can feel like an eternity. I’ve found the dread usually far outweighs the actual doing when it comes to making habits.
We’re starting the third week of January so now you are either well on your way to making a new habit into a lifestyle or you’ve already fallen off the wagon. Since we’ve been eating healthy and working out for years, I thought I would share some tips on how to turn your new goals into a lifestyle. But first, I’m going to tell you a teeny tiny bit about us…
Stew started his running career in high school. He ran track at the University of Tennessee followed by running professionally for Adidas during his twenties. He has continued to run at the elite level in his forties while working a full time job with call hours, being an active dad, and helping coach middle and high school track teams.
How does he do it?
Sometimes he runs very, very early in the morning since he has to leave for work by 6:00 a.m., and sometimes very, very late at night where he finishes his run at 9:00 p.m.
I’ve watched him do this for years in the freezing rain and in weather that’s hotter than hell even at 9:00 p.m.
He does it out of the desire to stay competitive against guys who are young enough to be his sons.
He does it because it makes him feel better mentally and physically.
And he does it out of habit.
I found my happy place with lifting weights and I’m not talking about the little pink dumbbells.
I lift heavy weights. As heavy as I can go while still maintaining good form during the lift. You can read more about my journey here.
Although I have a couple of chronic injuries I have to work around, I have found certain exercises that my body can tolerate and I focus on these. It was a trial and error process. I would try an exercise and a) would see if I had any pain or discomfort while doing it and more importantly, b) would see if I had pain the following day. How you feel the following is usually the true test on whether or not your body will tolerate a particular activity. By the way, I’m not talking about having soreness the following day. I’m talking about having an injury flare up.
I was devastated when I finally concluded barbell deadlifts were not my friend, but I also realized I had a choice:
I could quit exercising altogether or I could find a similar exercise that worked that same body part. An exercise that my body liked and responded well to without having any injury flare ups.
For me, the decision was quite simple. I like the challenge of working out and I like the mental well being I feel after the workout so I found exercises that I could do.
I now do kettlebell deadlifts with a 90 pound kettlebell because my back tolerates that much better than barbell deadlifts. This is the heaviest kettlebell my gym has, so as I get stronger I add more reps to my sets.
Tip: If you can’t add more weight to the bar, then add in more reps at the same weight to get stronger.
I started out doing 3 sets of 15 reps with the 90 pound kettle bell. I now do 3 sets of 30 reps. I have done 90 pound back extensions and 330 pound barbell hip thrusts. I weigh 104 pounds and I’m in my mid-40s.
Don’t let age deter you from your goals. It’s just a number and it doesn’t define what you can do.
Why am I telling you this?
You can always find a way to work around your limitations, if you’ll only take the time to figure it out.
You are your own worst enemy and often you are the only one who’s holding you back.
You have more free time than you think. Use it wisely and stop making excuses. You’ll be happy that you did!
Age and size should not come into play. Ever. I once weighed 150 pounds. That was a lot of weight on my little frame. I know how hard it is to get in shape, but I also know how worth it is when I hear my kids say, “My mom can do…”
To read Part 2 of the series click here.
Feel free to leave questions or comments and I’ll get back to you.