Posts Tagged ‘Women’s+Empowerment’
When I was a kid, mid-life meant something awful to all the adults around me. Boomers looked at it as a time of crisis- a time in review of what was left undone in one’s life. At that point (age 40), they were freaking out because they thought that this was the downhill slope of life. They seemed to assume the state of mind that whatever they had not built was going to be what they screamed in terror over while being shoved down that inevitable slope into the fast approaching end of life.
I feel like the people around me even looked really old when they were in the midlife stage. There were more smokers in my life at that time (as opposed to nowadays, I don’t really have too many people in my daily life that smoke), and they all had yellow fingernails and yellow teeth (only rich people had cosmetically whitened teeth back then, from what I recall). My grandpa and uncle both had yellow skin from daily alcohol intake which had caused jaundice. It was really a lifestyle, and it was normal, to smoke, drink, and just let life and age happen. In the previous generation, no one really questioned it, and they screamed and went through crisis as they “let it go” and watched time, youth, strength and beauty degenerate rapidly. Not Generation X. We are the generation that examines, questions, argues and strives to prove more.
Nowadays, even the smokers are hitting the gym. The drinkers get their weekend warrior workouts on before hitting the bars on Friday night, and a Saturday morning at the gym usually kicks off at about 11am, when all the hangover victims have rolled out of bed, only to “make up” for the previous night’s drinking rampage by lifting some weights or walking a few miles on the treadmill or stairmaster. People in Generation X seem to be trying to thwart the pains of bloat and fatigue that accompany the pleasures they gain in smoking and drinking. We have patches, pills, hypnosis, and electronic cigarettes that have helped millions to quit a now loathed habit. There are new modifications to alcohol that insights lower-fat, i.e., more fit and sexy images for drinkers who want to watch the pounds.
What does it mean for us when we observe the recent decade’s increase in stop-smoking alternatives along with light beers and “skinny” drink mixes? Do you think that smoking is something we don’t want to glamorize anymore? Does everyone want to slow down or cut back on drinking? Not so much. It simply seems to mean that these days, no one wants to just “let it go”. Gen X-er’s are getting more into juicing, wheatgrass, working out, and doing whatever it takes to fight age. At the same time, plastic surgeries are plentiful. The accessibility of many cosmetic procedures now accommodates any income level. All of this is due to our yearning for longevity and beauty, the ultimate showing of glamour.
We are fighting age, and in spite of our own devices, we are striving to undo the bad in our physical state that our old habits have resulted in. It has to do with lifestyle change. We are now seeing a paradigm shift. The shift is that we realize that what will truly give us what we want, glamour and power, can be accessed by anyone, anytime, through more tools than ever. People are not interested so much in giving up their bad habits as they are interested in being glamourous, and we now do that through fitness lifestyle habits (i.e., going to the gym, hiking, drinking or eating lighter, taking supplements, and so on). The X Generation believes in longevity, and in that we believe in long, powerful years of glamour and beauty, which is expressed, through fitness, while glamour itself exploits fitness.
Who cares about the cycle though? The fact is that we are now living more fit than ever! Thanks to Generation X’s dedication to discover of information through the age of technology, daytime talk shows about anti-aging techniques, and even baby-boomer-birthed fast-food corporations being diverted into a Gen X inspired competition for informative healthy approaches to consumers, the Fit-Life, is here to stay!
We see that Big Business is boasting of profits from this cycle of vanity through fitness. If Big Business sees profits from it, you can guarantee they will continue to market and push it like a corner crack dealer pushes the latest fix. Not to mention that what we do with our lifestyle breeds to the benefit of our children and grandchildren, as they are being raised with fitness as their habit, rather than obligation. So it shall be their lifestyle choice by default and Big Business will continue to profit from it, and will thus, continue to amplify it’s benefits, while they push for more profitability to come from that direction. In that, I thank Big Business for pushing something that I love and live by, and something that I can rest assured will be gauranteed to my children and grandchildren through the engineering of their lifestyle through, both my influence, and Big Business marketing.
On that note, as I am turning 40 myself on May 30th, I want to say thank you to my fellow constituents of Generation X. You have made an extreme change in the face of mankind’s mindset when it comes to age 40. My Mid-Life is a Fit-Life, and therefore, even as a divorced mother of two teens and a tween, I feel younger, more beautiful and more powerful than ever. This is all due to having lived fit since the age of 23, when I started this track into the Fit-Life. Generation X, you are raising children with an awareness of self-empowerment vs. power over others, and regardless of which choice our children try to access, they will be trying to access it through the fitness lifestyle. All I can say to that is, Amen.
Remember to Be Well, Be You and BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
I will be 40 May 30 of this year. Ecstatic as I am (and I truly am excited, because all the women in my life tell me that the 40′s are the best years!), somehow, my body’s signs have been in disagreement. My moods have been swinging, patience has been shorter, sleep patterns have changed drastically (I can’t help but wake up at 3 or 4 am, like clockwork!), and energy has been doing a roller coaster number for the past year.
Maintaining my physique has actually been the least of my concerns. In fact, aside from having three awesome kids, nearing age 40, I have found that continuing to workout has been my main grounding factor, as well as the only thing that has given me more energy throughout the days. Eating better has definitely gotten easier with age, as I do believe that I am kind of “over it” with the “temptation” factor of food. These days, I eat to live and instead of living to eat. I experience and appreciate each day’s moments and accomplishments in order to “indulge.” Therefore, my indulgences are seldom beset in food, because I have children, a career, and I still continue to dream and do all that I can to build great things in my life, both for my family and for just myself.
As I said, nearing the age of 40, I have noticed a decrease in mood stability, and I am usually a vibrant and happy person. As well, my energy levels have begun to bounce extremely, making it less difficult to stay excited. I started doing some research and I found out from a counselor friend who is 48 years old and gorgeous, that she herself had experienced similar things at about age 42, so she started taking a supplement call Sam-E. I looked into it more, and yes, in fact as we near the aging of the 40′s, our bodies do slow down on the manufacturing of this amino acid derivative. Also, of course, I know that B-12, and all B-vitamins are a huge component in energy levels. I have my own multi-vitamin formula that includes a beneficial B-complex blend, but I also increased my dosage of the B’s, specifically of the B-12 and B-3 vitamins. I have a great liquid dropper of the B-12 made by NOW and I also got some additional capsules of Niacin (B-3), which help with circulation, energy, and seemingly for me, metabolism. Doses of niacin should be researched considerably prior to intake, so as to avoid some possible side affects.
With the three in combination with my usual daily intake of supplements like Fish or Krill Oils, multi-vitamins, glutamine, and Echinacea/Vitamin-C combination, I have enjoyed the benefits of taking Sam-E, and additional B-vitamins. I started by taking the Sam-E at the 200mg dosage daily and one B-12 dropperful with a Niacin capsule. I have already noticed a change in energy and moods. In addition, I should tell you that I cut out coffee about three days prior to doing this new supplementation combination regimen. It’s been helpful, tremendously! I have a lot more patience on the road (and in Los Angeles, that is difficult), I am less snappy with people, and I am getting a different, better type of rest now that I am back to maximizing the day’s hours. I did not add in any melatonine or sleep aids at any point because I wanted to see the change in my patterns simply by adding the Sam-E/B-Vitamin combo. It’s fabulous!
I recommend you do your own research, and start out with the lowest dosages (while removing caffeine pills or coffee for the first week, for the purposes of accurate energy measurement) of Sam-E and B-Vitamins 3 & 12. Increase as needed, and pay attention to your body. The age of beauty, inside and out, is definitely 40, and I am truly looking forward to it. If you’re not, then feel free to search out natural ways of maximizing what you have in you to offer not only to yourself and your family, but also what you are destined to bestow on the world with your wonderful energy! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
What inspired your track from fat to fit? What made you want to be a Fit Mom?
There are a lot of fitness recipes available online, but the problem I have with most of them is that they take too long! Fit Moms don’t have the time to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing meals. I certainly have never been one who could cook, who enjoyed cooking, much less was I someone who could make the time to prepare anything extravagant or luxurious in the kitchen. I personally have always been the type of mom who, fit mom or not, I have been on the go! Like a lot of fit moms, I get out of bed super early every morning because that’s my only real personal time, when I can read, eat alone, work out, or just meditate.
EVEN IF YOU’VE BEEN UP SINCE 4a.m., WHEN THE KIDS GO TO SCHOOL, YOU ARE JUST BEGINNING!
A lot of fit moms do this, and it’s been proven time and again for every mom, these quiet peaceful mornings give us a chance to rev up the engine for the day’s events. Once any mom finishes the morning mommie routine though, it’s on! The children get up and start getting ready for school, Fit Mom makes breakfast, packs lunches, preps for the work day, and takes the children to school! After the kids get to school, people think a mom may be able to rest. Nope. Every mother knows that when mom time goes down, work time goes up. It’s all about packing in as much work and daily tasks and responsibilities as possible in the 6-8 hours that the kids are gone. That means, work, mail, filling out papers and making appointments for family affairs (medical, dental, school, recreational activities, etc), attending appointments, working at the office, keeping meetings, work events, and then being done with everything in time to go pick up the children from school.
After school, there’s homework time, dinner time, chores, (and often times, arguing with the children to get them to do chores), more responsibilities & organization, and then bedtime for the little ones. Then you get started on prepping for the next day. It doesn’t end here either. A lot of times there are things we’ve forgone to do other things throughout the day, so when the kids are in bed, all moms know that it’s time to finish up daily tasks that didn’t get done, fill out the next day’s check list, and then finally, we can go to bed!
AFTER SCHOOL, THE DAY IS STILL IN HIGH GEAR! YOU CAN’T REST. A MOTHER’S WORK IS NEVER DONE. SO HOW DO YOU FIT COOKING IN?
It can be tempting to get fast food with this type of schedule. For even the fit mom is exhausted and doesn’t want to cook. So what can you do? In this busy life we lead these days, Fit Moms are not the only ones on the go. Everyone is looking for fast meal solutions that are also healthy.
There are answers to our wishes for convenient, fast and healthy eating! If you like lean fish, you’ll love these recipes. Two out of my three children love fish. My third usually just eats chicken off of the foreman grill when we have fish for dinner. I started doing these 3-minute or less prep time recipes to ensure that everyone in my home is satisfied and healthy. And since I don’t like cooking, and like a lot of parents, I don’t have the time, I have a motto for this: ”If it takes me more than 3 minutes to prepare it, I won’t make it.”
Here are the recipes via my youtube channel. I’ve done them in video format because, well, typing isn’t fun, and videos are easier to follow. So here ya go! Enjoy!
Pan Fried Tilapia (breaded but lean!)
All of these can be made with veggies or yams and taste delightful without adding junk into the mix… Enjoy & Empower all you Phenomenal Fit Moms!
And of course, always remind yourself to BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
Ever since I started having children, I was increasingly more intrigued by the idea of being a Fit Mom. I would run in the mornings around the man-made lake near our tiny apartment in Arizona. When my husband and I first had our oldest of three, I was not the most fit person you would see. You couldn’t actually tell that I worked out ever. I was on the other side of chubby, but not quite in shape yet. Being fit, especially after having children, has certainly come at a price. Many things were sacrificed along my way toward becoming the Nita Marquez that people see today. I am often asked if I was always athletic, or if I was always thin. No to both. I was athletic at eating when I was growing up, and I was made fun of for my weight, even by my own parents. Weight, food and diet were always either very foreign to me, or extremely unfriendly. I didn’t synergize well with this fitness lifestyle at first, so I learned to take baby steps, and for the amount of sacrifices, there are A LOT of baby steps involved. Likening this journey to that of a baby growing up, I will say this, you do have to learn to walk before you can start doing sprints, and that almost always starts out with a crawl.
As a mother who was married at one time, I had the luxury of a second adult in the household to ease the stress at moments of overwhelm. I had someone there at night telling me they love me, just like I do my children. The affections and praises of another adult make all the difference in the world when it comes to replenishing our energy stores. There is something to be said about being a mother in a two-parent household, even if it’s not picture-perfect, which mine wasn’t, it’s still an ease on the daily tasks of motherhood when someone else can take the kids to the amusement park or do something outside the house with the children so a mother can have peace, quiet and solitude, and of course, have another grown up say, “You’re doing great,” to make you feel appreciated and valued. It also gave me time to start focusing more on myself and my fitness goals for myself and my family.
After I became a single mom, I went through the jolting reality of how much that other adult’s presence in my life meant. Being a fit mom by then, yes, I certainly had an advantage in being already settled into some of my fitness habits, and it certainly helped my self-esteem to be getting into better shape even though I was a single mother of three. Most people expect that a woman falls apart physically in such scenarios. Still, I was by myself with these three, one of whom, is diabetic, my little infant son (now 9). It was harder than before to keep moving along so energetically on a daily basis, even though I had already built a lot of those fitness habits.
There was a point though, where I was finally able to make the correct adjustments that have come to be my hallmark as a fit mom today, the adjustments of efficiently living fit as a mother. There are many efficiency points in living the life of a fit mom, but all moms, especially fit moms, understand the value of making choices that help us capitalize on our most precious asset (aside from our kids, of course): TIME.
Integrating my family time with my fitness time was a great option for me, and evaluation of my life choices, helped me see how I could make more time available for both. Taking inventory of our personal choices is key. If you want to have the life of a fit mom, it’s about choices. Not that we won’t make mistakes, but taking inventory on ourselves helps us realize the places where perhaps our choices aren’t paying off. Being a fit mom isn’t as hard as it seems. Choices can make life efficient, and there are plenty of choices that help in streamlining our efforts for living the fit life and being a mom. I made the following adjustments in my life, and adapted to not only being a single mom, but also a mom who was more fit than ever!
1) Avoid nights out at the bars and happy hours. Why? Because for one, alcohol makes you fat, whether people want to admit it to themselves or not, and two, that time spent would cost me more time in the gym and it was already taking time away, so it’s a double-whammy.
2) Take the kids to the track or the park instead of to the movies and McFastFood. Being active at these places helps make life the fit mom more fit, the kids get more fit, and when they see you doing sprints or even racing with them, they are not only with witnessing that their mom totally rocks, but they are gaining a totally different type of bond with us if they grow up with that image instead of the images of sitting around a TV eating junk food. How do we fit moms really want our kids to remember their childhood? Let them go to the gym with you, if you have that ability, or go for walks or bike rides. Fit mom time made family time creates a completely different bond with us to our children.
3) Cook foods and meals that are fast and easy AND fit! It’s possible. I started coming up with these quirky little quickie recipes because I never liked cooking in the first place. I was more of a salad and sandwich mom when I was married. However, I did have a Foreman Grill. With that thing, I can cook meats from the frozen state , and have a meal in less than ten minutes, with only a couple of minutes of prep time. I have begun posting some of those recipes that my children like and I benefit from the healthiness of because everything I make in my 3-minute-or-less prep time recipes is low-sodium, low-fat, low-carb, and high-protein. This is great because all of these recipes are already tasty and the taste can be even more enhanced with your favorite spices, sauces, yet still stimulate your metabolism (your body’s ability to burn fat).
You can find some of my 3-minute-or-less prep time recipes on my YouTube channel, fitnita.
One sacrifice you do NOT have to make in living the fitness lifestyle is family. There are a lot of Fit Moms out there who have learned to maintain their fitness lifestyles while still managing to keep the family first. Learn more about family-first fitness here at www.NitasWorld.com and we now have a group of moms who have come together to support each other. Find out about joining the group at the America’s Hottest Fit Moms site page.
Here are some links to my yummie (but slightly cheesy) Fit Mom 3-Minutes-or-Less prep time recipes:
Tilapia Tacos Part 1 (you could use chicken in this process as well!)
Lentils (My son Quinn is in this video too! Funny!)
There you have it America’s Hottest Fit Moms and friends, fitness lifestyle made easy. Don’t forget to comment on this blog so I know how helpful it is for you! I will always adhere to the readers interests, so keep me updated on what YOU want!
Be well. Be You. Be PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Aaron is a friend on our group America’s Hottest Fit Moms on Facebook. He has graciously supported our group with healthy, tasty raw food recipes that have made his life stronger, easier and better. He has an amazing attitude and you can find out more about him and his Raw Experiences by going to his YouTube channel and watching his shows titled “Ghetto Rawness.” Aaron has used Raw Eating to live a more powerful life, to go from fat to fit, and to live with energy beyond aesthetic fitness which he also gained through the raw lifestyle. Thank you for sharing your story Aaron, and to the readers, thank you for your Energy. Be Fit, Be You, Be PHENOMENAL. You are worth the work!
This is how my journey started. I always exercised, but when I started truck driving I was 24-years-old and weighing 180 pounds. I quickly fell into the customs of other drivers. And ultimately gained weight at a rapid pace. By age 26 I put on 50 pounds I felt terrible.
I had a physical, and the doctor said I was gaining weight too fast and I had to lose some weight. So I made my mind up, I was going to get more fit and that was that.
I was a big YouTube head (still am). I wanted to see ways to lose weight without exercise because of my schedule at the time. I stumbled across a video documentary called “simply raw”. In the show, about 5 type 2 and 1 type 1 diabetics that were sent to Arizona to eat an all raw diet to reverse their disease.
At that time I didn’t know anything about eating raw. As I watched the show, I saw how it was working for people. And they were losing weight! That struck my curiosity that people can let their bodies heal and go back to its natural state just through eating.
After that I learned more about raw food through books, web, Tv, and word of mouth. I stopped making excuses, got my butt out my truck when I stopped, and worked out in the parking lot at truck stops and rest areas.
Now at 28 I’m down to the weight I started with, but I have more energy and wisdom than I ever had before. I’m now a advocate for not only raw food but just good eating and strong fitness.
Here are some foods I enjoy regularly to stay fit:
Life is a series of goals when I reach one I set another one. So never look at me as a finished product but a work in progress. – Aaron “Rawfood” Raglin
Hey there Family-First Fitness Folks! Fit Moms and Dads are joining America’s Hottest Fit Moms on Facebook and here at NitasWorld.com to celebrate some of the most inspiring Fit Moms around. This week we are especially excited to introduce a mom who lost weight and inspired a life-change for her son. Meet Fit Mom Donna I. Nehrich! I was blessed to learn about her inspiring journey through her posts in our group on facebook
My highest body weight was 320, I don’t know what my body fat percentage was then because I didn’t care enough to measure it. My current weight is 145 and 13.9 percent body fat, I’m 5’6. Because I had such a tremendous weight loss and also because of my age I do have some skin issues.
I’ve been at my goal weight for over 2 years so I did, 6 months ago, have a tummy tuck-to remove the panniculus and also a breast lift and augmentation. I have great definition in my arms but I have flappers which I am currently scheduled to have removed on February 2nd. I have worked out hard for 2 years and the skin wasn’t bouncing back. Surgery was the only answer because the skin movement can be quite painful. Of course it wasn’t as bad as say someone who lost that amount and didn’t exercise but because I am an exercise fanatic the skin is more troublesome.
My ah-ha moment was when I started having heart palpitations and was sent for an echocardiogram which came back normal. Went back to my primary physician who, as I was leaving her office, poked at my arm and said I think your having palpitations because your retaining fluid let me put you on a diuretic.
All I heard was blood pressure pill and said, “Oh no, I’m retaining fluid because I’m a fat ass!” I walked out her door and said that was it for me I wanted to shed the weigh. I didn’t stop there I decided I wanted to get into the best shape of my life. All thru my life I have been overweight, there are so many down stories to tell. I think the biggest down was having such low self esteem that my choice in men sucked. I always chose men that were abusive and cheaters and always thought that I couldn’t do better.
I think the proudest moment I can remember was when I dropped below the 200 pound mark. it was life changing. I also remember the smaller I got the easier and more fun the exercise became. Another moment was when my son came to my house and I was in bed, and he felt around in the bed and said where are you, where is the rest of you. Made me feel really good!
I wake up every morning KNOWING I’m a fit mom because I will NEVER go back to the old me! My two sons, 23 and 21 love the new me.
My weight loss caused my younger son to lose 100 pounds himself and my older son is extremely fit now because of my urging! I am so proud it is a family affair. We all have our different loves as far as exercise is concerned and we don’t exercise together but we all exercise!
My favorite exercise is group exercise.
- I love the Les Mills programs.
- Body Attack-sports inspired cardio
- Body Pump, high repetition class using weights
- Body Vive, an all over work out including cardio, stretching, toning with bands
- Body Combat, a martial arts cardio class
- CXWorks, a core training class
- but my all time favorite is Body Step, step aerobics at its finest!
- I also enjoy an occasional 5-8 mile run.
I have gone from 300 plus pounds to actually being a Body Step instructor. My diet is mostly calorie counting and filling those calories with good food. I keep sugar at a minimum, eat high protein and good carbs. I don’t really follow any specific ratio. I just eat good! With all the cardio, I need fuel.
I work out pretty much everyday but I do try to take one day off a week. I log about 12-15 hours of exercise a week. Seems like a lot but I will never go back to where I came from and I enjoy it! Its a family at the gym!
My favorite Fit Mom snack is peanut butter. I get it just ground peanuts, eat it on whole wheat bread with no sugar added preserves.
Most of my inspiration came from within. The determination, the sweat, just the general wanting to be fit was me. I owe a lot though to the instructors at the Brooks Y where I work out. Their hard work and love of exercise and being fit definitely kept me motivated! Also, wanting to live longer and better was a big factor.
I’ll be honest, at first, I thought losing the weight would make my marriage better but I lost 145 pounds in 13 months and 250 overnight! (divorce)
I always tell people I don’t want to be their hero, the determination comes from within and everybody’s health and weight loss is a personal journey for themselves. What works for me may not for another. I am there for support and to motivate but I don’t want to be considered as super human. I ground myself all the time by saying it was a great thing losing all the weight but I shouldn’t have been there in the first place!
I just don’t have the will power is a commonly heard phrase in fitness. Whether it’s a client, a fitness newbie, or someone who just explains why they refuse to even try getting fit.
Long ago, when we finished writing our book, FIT FOR COMBAT, my fitness co-author JD and I started cataloging what makes fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors different from everyone else. Will power was at the top of the list. Will Power leads to self-discipline. When you want something badly enough, you will for it. In fitness, it’s no different. When you have the will for something, you CREATE the discipline to get what you want. If you want to be leaner, if you want to get into better shape, if you want to compete, or if you just want to be more active and feel more fit, will power is the doorway that leads you into manifestation of that goal.
It makes sense that self-discipline and will power would play a role in being able to stick to the diet and training program required to get into competition shape. We initially thought it would be the real difference between those who succeed in mastering their bodies and everyone else. As we studied what self-discipline really is, we realized that we had fallen into a common trap that social scientists call fundamental attribution error.
Every person has a reservoir of will power to draw on, like a will power battery, but the amount in that reservoir is not fixed at a set level. Research, by Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University, shows that our will power battery can be depleted by repeated acts of self control and decision making. Newer research by professors at the University of Chicago shows that our reservoir of will power is affected by whether we think there is a set amount of it or that it is unlimited.
The classic experiment by Baumeister, which has been replicated in hundreds of variations, asked student test subjects to eat radishes while being tempted with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Baumeister then asked the students to solve an impossible puzzle. The students did not know the puzzle was impossible to solve.
The real purpose of the experiment was to see how long the students who had to overcome the temptation of the cookies would work at solving the puzzle when compared to students who sat down, ate some cookies and then worked on the puzzle and a control group who just worked on the puzzle with no cookies or radishes involved. The results show that the students who had to overcome the cookie temptation gave up on the puzzle quickly. Their battery of will power and resolve was depleted by fighting the temptation to eat the cookies. The students who had to overcome the cookie temptation, used up their reservoir of will power, their reservoir of resolve, and gave up on the puzzle in less than half the time of the other two groups and made far fewer attempts to solve the puzzle. Baumister calls this effect ego depletion. The experiment shows that when we use will power for one thing, overcoming the temptation of a cookie, it drains a little of that energy from the battery making it harder to exercise the will in totally unrelated things like trying to solve a puzzle.
Baumeister showed the energy depletion of decision making in an experiment where students, prior to working on the impossible puzzle, were either forced to make a decision about a task or were assigned a task. The students who had to make the decision gave up on the puzzle faster and made fewer attempts to solve than the students who just carried out an assignment.
So, in fitness, we note that a general 9-5 lifestyle tends to lead to the attitude that “I just don’t have time” or “By the time I get home at night, I don’t want to eat a chicken breast and salad. I just want a quick snack, a TV and a bed.”
In our fitness data research, JD and I found that most people have a lot of power. However, most people’s will power is just all used up with the demands of their jobs, running a household and raising two young girls. Every act of will power, every decision, drains the battery a little bit more, but the battery is not fixed, it is rechargeable and we can have more will power if we want it, just by thinking we have it.
The point being that, Yes, You Do have the Will Power! You are just in need of a budget of your will power! It’s about management of your energy resources, and not about your lack of energy. For fitness, you do have the energy, yet, you have been lacking knowledge. Gaining more fitness knowledge, working out to gain awareness of your body, and learning to listen to your body’s language in terms of what to feed it to stimulate energy is the only real way to go. You can stop blaming your will power for your fitness disasters or your state of health and wellness. The key I have found as a mother, is that fit moms have just learned how to start managing the will power better.
When JD and I first thought will power was the difference between the physique competitors and everyone else, we were making a fundamental attribution error, an error that is endemic among humans. Fundamental attribution error is when we use a psychological or personality based explanation for a behavior instead of the situational explanation. We were too focused on the personality trait of will power and thought that the competitors must have larger reservoirs of mental energy—a bigger battery. When we went back and studied Baumeister in depth, we found a better, situational, explanation for the seemingly large reservoirs of will power of the competitors.
Fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors are cooler toters, especially when preparing for a contest. Their meals are planned and timed and they carry them around with them. They know what they are going to eat and when they are going to eat it. It is all scheduled and becomes a routine. When something becomes a routine it no longer involves a decision. When it is no longer a decision, it does not require any mental energy.
The physique competitors did not have a larger battery of will power than everyone else, they just used less will power by making many decisions about eating a routine. It was easier for them to stick to the diet because the decisions that take mental energy were removed. The situation, the eating plan to get into contest shape, makes them just appear to have more will power.
When we started looking at the lives of successful physique competitors they nearly all had a structured daily or weekly routine. The diet and training demands precision, the only way to be that precise is with a pre-determined structure. Once the structure and routine is set, there were fewer decisions to be made leaving more in battery to handle temptations as the cropped up.
Most fit moms have figured out the secret. Women tend to be better planners, but that’s not limited to women only, just happens to be a general statistic. What I see in fitness and in the general population of fitness enthusiasts is that fitness minded individuals plan what they’ll eat and make it a routine. With those decisions removed, people are then expending less will power and found that they had more energy. Most of these fitness people and fit moms have ready-made forms of protein around their house, in their car and at their office. JD and I found that common possessions among the successful fitness enthusiasts included powdered whey protein, shaker bottles, water gallons, tuna packs, and pre-cooked skinless/boneless chicken, among the most common possessions. Even if routine is disrupted, there is always an automatic back-up that did not require a decision, like an apple and a can of tuna or a ready to drink protein shake. And of course, every one of them owns some kind of fat-loss grill for their chicken and fish
Removing will-power draining decisions is one way women figure competitors maintain their diet, another is the actual nutritional content of the diet.
A lot of people never even try to get into their best shape because they think they don’t have the will power to do it. They make the fundamental attribution error and think the competitors have more will power than they do. As the research shows, if you don’t think you have very much will power, then you will not have much will power.
The only true act of will power was taking the time up front to set the schedule and routine. After repeating the routine it becomes automatic. Women figure competitors don’t have a larger reservoir of will power than everyone else, they just expend less of it by having a structured routine and fuel their brain with ketones from fat.