How to Stay Motivated Through Every Season [Podcast Episode #099]
In Vancouver, the city comes alive when it's sunny and warm. It's as if the nice weather doubles as a battery pack for everyone who lives here.
People are out walking, running, biking, playing at the beach. It's awesome. And, it's contagious. Nobody wants to be indoors when everyone else is having so much fun.
But then the rain comes...
Most people retreat inside. The grey skies don't exactly inspire the same level of motivation to get up and get active, which can leave many people inactive for long stretches of the year.
What about you? How much is your motivation for exercise influenced by the weather?
And, more importantly, how can you stay motivated and consistent with your exercise even when the bad weather does come? Let's discuss...
Make Your Body Work Podcast: Episode #099
How to Stay Motivated Through Every Season [Full Text]
Dave: Hey, thanks so much for joining me in this episode of the Make Your Body Work podcast. As you know, this show is all about helping you live a healthier and happier life.
As I'm recording right now it is, let's see, June 28th, and in my city, home city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, it's beautiful. I'm looking out my office window, and the sun is shining, and it's warm outside and things are great. It makes me just want to go outside and be active. Maybe, hopefully wherever you're at, whenever you're listening to this, you're experiencing something similar.
But what happens when that's not the case? What happens when you look outside, and it's raining? Or, you look outside and it's cold and snowing? Or when you look outside, and it's dark and the sun's behind clouds? Or when sunshine barely happens at all as in the case of in Vancouver in the wintertime? What happens when the weather really dictates your energy levels and dictates your motivation to stay exercising, to stay active, to stay fit, to be making those healthy decisions?
I bring this up because Victoria wrote into me a couple weeks ago, and here's what she said…
"I live in Dawson City, way up north in the Yukon," she says, "so our seasons are really pronounced. Right now it's great, because we get so much sunlight, and it's easy to be outside and to be active, but the opposite is true when it's dark and cold. My energy and desire for exercise is non-existent and I stay inside and eat a lot more than I should. My question is, what do you do to combat the seasonality of staying in shape? I get annoyed each year when I feel like I have to start over."
You know, I Google searched where Dawson City is, and you can check it out if you Google search it, it is way up north. Our territory is called the Yukon Territory, and it's up in the most northern parts of Canada, so as you get closer to the North Pole, obviously the days are longer in the summertime and they get really, really short in the wintertime to the point where it's almost no sun. I get the fact that most of you listening probably don't experience extreme seasonality like that, but we all experience some level of seasonality.
What have you noticed? I guess is my question to you, is do you notice that your energy or your happiness, or your motivation, or your fitness, or your healthy decisions, does that flow with the seasons? I think that most people would say, "Yes," I know certainly it does for me. Well, what can we do about it? Because like Victoria said, I get annoyed each year when I feel like I have to start over.
So right now, again as we're moving to the summer season, I'm excited because it's so easy to be healthy and fit, but come fall when that season changes, I don't want to lose that, what can we do about it?
I have some ideas that I'd like to share that I use personally and with some of the clients that I work with, but I have a great guest, and she's actually a repeat guest on the Make Your Body Work podcast, we had an awesome chat about a year ago, so I'm really excited to reintroduce to you Jennifer Powter.
Meet Jennifer Powter
Dave: Hey Jen, thanks so much for being back on the show today.
Jennifer: I'm so excited, thanks for having me.
Dave: Yeah, you know, this has been, you're probably on the show about a year and I remember we had an awesome conversation all about sugar. Sugar's like your thing.
Jennifer: It is and it comes from my own relationship with it that wasn't healthy. And then to watching kids. To watching what kids are eating. And feeling so worried about this next generation that we're raising. We need some help with it. So yeah, I'm passionate about it.
Dave: This sounds sort of creepy, but I watch what you post on Facebook and I try and like stuff and support stuff that you do, but you did a really awesome one. So we're coming into summer right now and you did one with your kids talking about treats and sugar content and some of the hidden stuff that parents might be feeding their kids. Can you tell us a little bit about, for summer what should parents be thinking about?
Jennifer: I just find summer is crazy. My kids are eight and 10 now and I just find that the warmer days and the longer nights, it just brings endless requests for slurpees, ice cream, popsicles, cakes and cookies and it just sort of seems like the whininess and level of asking amplifies.
I also find that in summertime pretty much any day could be a good day to indulge. It's a barbecue or somebody's birthday or you're on holidays or it's your road trip or hey, it's a Wednesday. We really need to pay attention to how much and how frequently because don't get me wrong, both my kids just had birthdays and we had cake and we do lots of fun things but they also hear the word no a lot.
I think that it's a word that we've forgotten to say. That we forget to say. Because it's easier just to say yes. It's learning how to navigate those requests without being in a state of denial and depriving yourself or your kids of the fun stuff that is available.
Dave: Totally. It's interesting because in the summertime when the heat turns up, kids ask for more stuff and I know having worked with kids basically all my life, in camp and as a teacher in all sorts of capacities, that as the heats turns up, at least for me, my ability to resist that naggingness just goes down and down. I just want to say, "Yes just leave me alone."
The Hidden Sugar: Control Your Intake
Jennifer: Totally. That's like parents too. You start off strong and then I truly believe that children's persistence and tenacity outweighs our patience and especially if you're tired or busy, or multi-tasking. And so, it's just stuff like Gatorade and sports drinks and often we don't know.
The fruit yogurt, even the stuff that we think is a healthier choice… it's not so true. Hopefully we kind of reenacted a regular day in our life with my kids. They were good sports about it. You kind of got to know, if you think what the average North American's consuming half a cup to a cup of sugar a day, most people are going to be like, no, that's not me. Really it can add pretty quickly. You got to be aware.
Dave: The hidden sugar actually, this stemmed from our podcast that we recorded last year when we were talking about places that sugar is hidden, if you asked me how much sugar do I consume in a day? I would have said zero.
Actually I don't eat anything with sugar in it. And I started looking at, reading some labels and I'll give you an example of one was, salad dressing. I do have store bought salad dressing in my house. It all has sugar in it. I would never think, I would think, oil yeah, for sure but sugar? In salad dressing? And it does.
Jennifer: Yeah, it's in all sorts of things and we don't know. So we've got to make sure. Even reading a label. I say sometimes people get really crazy with barbecue sauce and ketchup and stuff like that, because if you look at the quantity you're putting on, it's not nearly as significant from the can of Coke you just drank or the bottle of Snapple or that iced tea you just had or the bag of candy you bought and ate in half an hour while in the car. You got to pick your battles.
Sugar hides in foods that you wouldn’t expect. Read labels and be an informed food consumer
Dave: Yeah, Jen, that's such a nice happy medium because honestly I am a bit of a sugar Nazi myself, I don't like to have any in the house because I know I'll eat it, but in reality I think that probably having a little bit and like you said, watching our quantities is probably the most important thing.
Jennifer: Quantity and frequency. I joke that there's a reason that there's a kid's cone and size small. It's because that what we should be choosing. No adult ever needs to have a double or triple scoop of ice cream and certainly no kid. Just those little tricks where you can still say yes, but you're doing it in a healthy way.
Dave: This is such a good lead in because today we're talking about seasonality and coming into the summer. How do you feel coming into the summer?
Jennifer: Oh my god, I'm craving summer. I am super excited for it, it feels like I'm ready for the days, I'm ready for the warmth, I'm ready for the fun, I'm ready for the mental break that summer brings. For sure, it's exciting.
Summer vs. Winter and the Effect on Your Physical Activity
Dave: In terms of exercise and physical activity, what do you notice? Do you notice that improved motivation or do you feel like summer's more of a relaxing time for you?
Jennifer: No, for me, summer is like, oh my gosh, the days are longer, they're brighter, I can get out and do more, we can be more active. It's an invitation. I know sometimes in winter, if it's dark at 6 o'clock like in Calgary, it feels like I should be going to bed at 7. Whereas in the summertime I can still want to go for a run at 7 o'clock at night or do something active 'cause it's still bright and warm out.
Dave: Which can be dangerous. I was thinking about this last week. As we were recording this, this is we're just about to roll over into July, and we just passed the longest day of the year just about a week ago and that week, I came out of a yoga class at 9:30 pm and it was still light out.
Dave: And it made me think, like I'd totally forgot that it was 9:30, which is great, don't get me wrong, I love that, but from a sleep perspective, I had no intentions of going to bed.
Jennifer: It makes it hard for kids too, 'cause they're up later and they don't, they're like, "Why, it's still daytime." It's like, yeah, no, it's not actually. It's evening. I think our rhythms do get screwed up a little bit which is why routines are helpful and it's sort of like, it can be challenging, it really can. It makes me think of when people live in places where it's daylight 24 hours a day in the summertime and then dark 24 hours in the winter. That's hard.
Dave: Which is exactly our case here. So Victoria wrote in from Dawson City, and I'll admit, I'm embarrassed, my Canadian geography, I had to Google search to see where that was exactly. But that's north, north, north, north, north and before we started recording this show you said you've actually worked with a client from Dawson City.
Jennifer: Yeah, I've had two clients. Just to hear about the lifestyle up there and just the challenges in terms of getting fresh produce or even going for a run and the wildlife you might face. Things that were in the city, we don't really think about it.
Dave: Interesting. Again we were talking about Dawson City or anyone who lives far up north like that, they do experience the extremes. Like extreme daylight and then extreme nighttime. But I think that even as you and I have already eluded to, most of us go through that seasonality and the ebbs and flows of energy and motivation that come with it.
Jennifer: Absolutely. I know for me, sometimes by the end of summer I'm craving routine again, I'm looking for September's always like university for me, it's like a new semester. A time to regroup and kickstart new habits or try new things and then winter comes and I'm a bit more, it's cold here, I don't want to get outside as much.
And how we, I think part of it is really being prepared for, first of all how you respond during the different seasons and then having some sure-fire ways to stick to the things that you know make you happy, healthy and feel good.
Bad weather can affect your motivation to exercise, but establishing fitness habits can help you overcome that
The Seasonal Weight-Loss Yo-Yo
Dave: I love that you said that because that's exactly what Victoria's looking to do, and she said something that was really interesting. Her last line in her question she said, "I get annoyed each year when I feel like I have to start over." What you just said is so powerful to create some strategies that personally work so that there isn't that feeling of starting over every new season or every summertime or every New Year or whatever season that is.
Jennifer: Well you know what I think so many people do? Is you kind of go through, you start September, you're going strong or you feel good and then winter comes and that coincides with often holiday season and Christmas and then January or January, February blahs.
You might stay inside a bit more and drink or eat a bit more. And then slowly that five to 10 pounds creep on and then spring comes and you start to wake up again and then lose that five to 10 pounds and then you gain it back.
There's an endless cycle sometimes of a five to ten-pound yo-yo for women. I think men too, but in a different way. I think it's great if you don't go through that because it's exhausting to be like, "Oh here I have to go again."
Dave: Even though you said, you gain that five to 10 pounds and then spring rolls around and we generally lose it, statistics show very clearly if you put on 10 pounds each year, you're not losing 10 pounds, you're losing 9.1 pounds or whatever it is.
Jennifer: Yes, exactly.
Dave: Over 10 years. I work with women, you work with women who are in this same boat. Over 10 years they look back and say, "Wow I just gained 10 to 15 pounds and it happened so subtly."
How to Create Your Own Energy
Jennifer: Yeah, it does. So that's why you've got to be on your game. It's sort of like, I think that people have this idea that health and fitness and eating well should just all be intuitive and come naturally and no effort really needs to be put into it. I want to challenge that assumption. Because where else in life does that exist?
You have to put energy and attention and focus on your money. You need to put that onto your relationship with your partner. You spend a lot of that energy on how you parent or think about kids or your relationship with children if you have them. You're job…
So yet, and yet we think, "Oh I should, my self-care should just be a effortless kind of thing." it's like, I think that thinking is part of the, what holds us back, it even makes us more tired when we approach this, this topic.
Dave: That's so true, to just be very real. It is going to be work. Well I'm hoping that our conversation leads to some tactics that maybe make that work feel like less work or make the results from the work have greater longevity so that we don't have to keep going back again, starting over each year. I think for everyone, myself included, we need to realize and own that it is going to take some effort on our end.
To achieve anything in life, there is always work to be done. But, make it a habit and that works becomes second nature
Jennifer: Yeah, it does. And I think the effort can be fun. I don't think it needs to be like, "Oh this is such a drag." Debbie Downer kind of effort. I think we can make the effort fun. But it's sort of like to expect it, it's kind of to expect it, "Oh yeah, right, it's fall, or it's winter, yeah, I need to remember those strategies that are going to help me look my best, feel my best and have good energy."
Because ultimately, I believe the creation of our own energy is the best gift we can give ourselves and it just radiates outward and makes everybody else in our life feel good too.
Dave: It is so contagious. I know whenever you and I talk, for the audience, Jen and I have become friends and will chit chat on Skype every now and then. You have such positive energy. I can't help but be smiling when I talk to you. It's awesome.
Jennifer: Yay! I want that, I want that feeling because you know me, my life is definitely not smooth sailing or perfect by any stretch, but it's how you handle it. It's how you respond to it.
I learned really quickly that if I want to be resilient in my life then I cannot let my external circumstances bring me down. That I get to have control over how I choose to feel. And I want to feel good, I want to feel happy and I want to feel energetic.
I don't know when I learned that but it's always been this innate thing for me.
Dave: Your last line there, that you just shared that fits so well with Victoria's question, because we are by nature of where we live, well most people in the world are going to be exposed to seasons, that are well defined seasons and those may have some impact on our bodies, our health, our mindset, our happiness, whatever it is.
That's out of our control, we can't stop the seasons so let's figure out what can we do. And then how are we going to do that? And then hold onto that control that we have.
Creating Your Tactics and Setting Your Goals
Jennifer: Totally. And what I, let's dive into some of those tactics because I think that's helpful. I know for me, whenever I start to feel like I'm slipping into a rut, so there's a couple of things. One, you’ve got to remember that you're doing this for the long-term game.
You want to be able to be able to get off the toilet when you're 70. You want to keep your brain cell as healthy and functioning as you can to prevent dementia and we know exercise literally 15 minutes doses of exercise a day changes brain function.
But we can know the research and it might not be enough to impact what we do. So what else do we need to grab onto? The fun. You've got to grab onto things that bring you joy and make you feel good. For me, I don't go to classes at all in the spring and summer. I just don't. Spin classes, step, whatever, I don't go to classes.
In the winter, you better believe it because I want the accountability I want the companionship of other friends, they're not even friends, faces I see at the same class every Wednesday at 10 or whatever. Having that group cohesion or group of people that you might do something with is super important.
And then I think, changing it up and having a goal. What's a new goal that you want to try? Do you want to try salsa dancing, do you want to try a 10K, do you want to learn how to swim and improve your swimming in the winter? When you try something new, it keeps it fresh and that can be fun. You get bored if you stay stuck doing the same old thing, where you're not getting that same sense of, "Woo hoo," it's gotta be challenging but yet fun and exciting at the same time.
Dave: Those are all so good. When you're talking about picking a goal. For someone even like myself, who I love exercise, sometimes I lose sight of that power of having a specific goal. It's funny you brought this up, just yesterday I was chatting with a yoga instructor and she's in Vancouver and her and I have been trading services so I've been personally training her and then she's been my personal yoga instructor.
We were talking about all her goals through adding resistance training into her routine. And her goals were so well defined. And then she said to me, "And what are your goals for yoga?" I felt so stupid, because I talk, I teach about goal setting all the time, and I was just kind of like, "Ah, I don't know, be more flexible?" She said, "There's no tangibility in that. You need to have something tangible so that you know what you're working towards so that when you reach it, you can say, check. And now I'm going to accomplish X."
Jennifer: Yeah. I think goals are super, I mean I love goals, I'm somebody who writes them down on my birthday, at New Years, I often change the labeling of it because goals for people who don't feel like they're goal driven, I will often phrase it, terms of 50 things I want to celebrate that I've done.
It's like the experience of it or the satisfaction of having accomplished something and that can make it seem less scary. Because if you set a goal, it's sometimes like, "What if I fail?" And we have fear of failure so often that we don't even let ourselves start because we're so afraid of not reaching it.
Goals are critical. The thing is declaring that goal to somebody else totally heightens your chance of achieving it. I love that you and this yoga instructor are trading services because my guess is for both of you, it's kind of making you show up and do things that maybe you wouldn't normally be doing consistently if you didn't help each other. Fair guess?
Setting a clearly defined goal is the only way to ensure you achieve it. To hit a target, you must see it first
Dave: Of course. And that's the value of any type of coaching. If I was struggling with my diet, I would come to you because that little bit of accountability, me just admitting to you, I need help. Wow, that in itself just goes so far in creating that motivation to actually to follow through.
Even Personal Trainers Need a Personal Trainer: We All Need Help
Jennifer: It does. You know I'm getting married in a few weeks and I was hitting this real tough point a few months ago where I just wasn't keeping my dates at the gym with myself. I just wasn't. You'd better believe the first thing I did to get myself back into the groove was hire a trainer for 20 sessions. 100%. I'm so grateful that I know, I know where I need support and I'm no longer afraid to give it to myself.
It's about asking for it and then being willing to pay for it and get it. I know my weaknesses and before I would have let myself slip for maybe six months or a year or two years and then be down this rabbit hole where it felt even further that I had to dig myself out of. Then that becomes mentally exhausting. Instead I catch myself much sooner now if I start to slip.
Dave: That's cool, that's inspiring for me to hear and hopefully Victoria or anyone else who's listening to this podcast that you, someone who personal training and does nutrition and does Ironman competitions and is so fit need a personal trainer.
Jennifer: Yeah, I think everybody should know that. I often think that sometimes, I think if you're in the health space as a professional, like you and I there can be this assumption made by even perhaps listeners of your podcast or mine.
It's so easy for them, they must be eternally motivated. It's so not true, for me at least. You might be different. But there are days where I am literally battling with myself all the way to the gym or the first 10 minutes of my run, getting myself out the door is the hardest part.
The thing is without that… her name is Liana she was amazing, without her at the gym, knowing that she was there waiting for me to be there at one o'clock, I would let other things that felt like a priority creep in and take over that time. When I knew that she was there expecting me, I went and I did it enough that now that routine is back in my life and I can say it's an established habit again.
When the habit slips, we all know that we've been eating well, or eating more green or cleaner and you do it for a few weeks or months and then you slip for a couples of weeks, if you don't correct it quickly, you can stay off the wagon for quite some time and that's what's hard.
If She Can Do It, So Can I!
Dave: Some listeners might say, "Okay that's great but financially I just can't afford a personal trainer or a coach and in some cases, that is true, it's does cost money to have someone working with you personally. But there's so many ways that you can generate those same sorts of feelings for free.
You mentioned going to a fitness class, you can grab a workout buddy, you could form a Facebook group. I know I have some Facebook groups with women who I'm training virtually, so online training, and they all interact with each other and talk about their workouts and they talk about what's next and so on.
And there's one woman in one of my groups, hopefully you're not embarrassed for me talking about you Lisa, she's so committed to her workouts and every single morning posts which workout she did, how it went, how she's feeling.
I think she was just doing this for her own motivation, to be able to check that box off but I've had a number of the other women in the group say, "If it wasn't for Lisa posting every morning, I know I wouldn't be doing my workouts." That's something to the listeners, you can create that, you don't need someone to do it for you. Find a couple friends who agree to be in a Facebook group with you.
Jennifer: Totally. It has to be a solid commitment. There's something about if she can do it, I can do it.
Jennifer: Another tip is, if there's someone in your life you admire, she's so committed or she's so dedicated, she always keeps that fitness goal or health goal for herself. In times when you feel weak with your own commitment, ask yourself, what would so and so do? And you're immediately going to know the answer. And when you take that action as opposed to what maybe you felt like doing, that can help.
There's many people of mine who are friends and colleagues who I'm like, oh my gosh, they're so amazing. What would so and so do right now if they were me? And I know they answer. They'd get off their butt and they'd get out the door.
So I get off my butt and I get out the door because that's the behavior that's going to take me to my goal and ultimately make me feel better while I'm sort of being seductive with my feelings and letting a feeling I have in the moment trick me into actually not doing what I really want.
Dave: Totally. With the women that you're working with, do you ever get instances where they will express that they're feeling burnt out or they're not feeling motivated before they actually sort of turn that corner and make the quote, unquote right decision?
Jennifer: Yeah. And my tough love answer right back is, if you wait to feel motivated you're going to wait forever. Motivation is created, you create your own motivation by taking action whether you feel like it or not.
If you wait to be motivated, you will wait forever. You create your own motivation by taking action
You have to sometimes ignore your own feelings. And I don't mean stuff down emotions, I mean it's natural to sometimes be tired at the end of the day or to not quite not feel like getting up.
But I can guarantee that when you do the thing that you know deep down you should do or want to do you always feel better afterwards. It's the overcoming the mental inertia to doing it, that's the biggest work. Do you find that?
The Power of Community
Dave: 100% yeah. Another thing that I see quite often is when my clients will voice that lack of motivation or they're just not feeling into it. Even if in that moment they don't make the choice to go and exercise or go do it whatever it is what they want to do, the other women who hear that will always rally around them and say, "I felt like that last Wednesday," or, "I've felt like that for the last month, and here's what I'm doing."
Once we make ourselves a little vulnerable and say, "I'm struggling," and that conversation begins, it's just so powerful to hear we're not alone, we're not feeling feelings that no one else feels and other people have worked through this, therefore so can I.
Jennifer: Sometimes we just, everybody needs a little encouragement and support sometimes. Everybody. I think it's so awesome to have that place to share or if it's a girlfriend or a trainer, or a community or a Facebook group where you're, "Oh guys, help me out, I don't feel like doing this." And people are like, "Yeah, come on, you can do it."
Sometimes when people believe in you more than you believe in yourself in the moment, that can be enough to make you take action. That's the power of not being isolated. I think so many women are isolated when they are in actual pursuit of something that they want and you hit that rough patch or that tough place in life or that day and if you feel alone and if you've got no support, it's easy to back down. To not overcome it.
Dave: Yeah, totally. This conversation has been so fascinating because we never really talked about the direction this was going to go. But almost everything that we've spoken on has really led back avoiding isolation.
Jennifer: Yeah, isn't that funny? Well maybe because that's my experience right now. I believe that, I don't know, somehow, we, we're humans, we are social creatures and whether you're an extrovert or an introvert, at the end of the day we know that humans need humans and we need each other.
I think the biggest lie women tell themselves, especially if they're driven, high capacity, high achieving, often they've gotten that way by just being so purpose driven for the pursuit of a goal external to themselves.
When it comes to health, which is a very personal thing, whether it's weight loss or trying to have more energy, or do you get off meds, whatever it might be, there can be this, "Well if I've done everything else in my life so well, how come I can't do this?" And a sense of internal failure. Well probably like everything, we [inaudible 00:27:28] support, mentorship, guidance, community it's just true.
Why Planning in Advance is Crucial
Dave: Again, I could not agree more. I did want to talk about one thing that is slightly moving away from that and that's scheduling. What do you recommend? Because when I read Victoria's question, right away, that's what I thought about. Community and thought about I wonder what she has in terms of established routine. What do you do with your clients?
Jennifer: I 100%, if it's not written down in your calendar, it's not real. If it is not scheduled with yourself, if it's an abstract thought in your mind, like, "Yeah, I need to work out sometime or a few times this week." It will not happen because that is undeclared, it's undeclared.
And so I make my clients in real time whether I'm leading a group program or private clients, they pull out their calendar and they put it in. And that doesn't negate all the other things about being active in your day to day life. This is for structured formal things. Well I don't know if I can make the classes. Okay, well let pull up, let's pull it up, let's look at the schedule, let's work this out.
Because often women are unwilling to make themselves a priority and they'll let all these other life priorities crowd out the times where perhaps they need to take that for themselves.
Dave: Truth, it's got to be scheduled. This is going to be super nerdy and I don't know if this is going to appeal to you Jen or to the other listeners, but I love Google calendar. So the way that I do it is, all my work related items in my calendar are blue, all my fitness and movement ones are yellow and all my social or volunteer stuff is all in green.
And I love that because at the end of the week, I'm such a checklist guy, and so I love being able to look at my calendar and it's like, look at all the work I got done. Look at the exercise I got done and look at the social stuff I did. And that was a good week. Or I might look back and say, "Oh there's only three yellow boxes there what happened this week? What do I need to change for next week?
Jennifer: That's amazing. I think it's a very visual thing for you and you can see it and there's benefit from that. Whatever, I've got a book, what is it called? Designed by Fitlosophy and I love it. It's this cute little book and I carry it everywhere. I love writing in it, I love writing in my goals, I like mapping out my calendar.
If somebody is struggling with fitting this in, it's not that you don't have commitment or willpower or dedication to yourself it's often just maybe that you're not planned. You're just not well planned.
There's a book, War of Art. Do you know that one Dave? Have we talked about?
Jennifer: So there's a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I think I've got the name right, pretty sure. And I love it because basically he talks about, it's a quick read, highly recommend it and he talks about humans and that if we, if artists, it's about art obviously, musicians and sculptors and painters, and he's like if they waited, writers if they waited till they felt inspired or motivated, the world would have no art. And he talks about the difference between being a professional or an amateur. And the pro shows up whether they feel like it or not.
The writer writes 10,000 words a day whether they feel like it or not. The painter paints. You need to show up. The amateur might only do it when they quote unquote, feel like it and they constantly never get the momentum that they need because they don't have the consistently of doing the thing that they want to do in their life.
Anyways, it's fascinating and the whole point of that is, you've got to look at your life sometimes and just chunk it out. Your actions, where you spend your time, reflects your priorities. If you're not spending it on you or this aspect of your life that you want to change, well then, you've got to take a look at what's in the way.
Dave: That's so cool. And for Victoria if you are listening to this, I'm really encouraged by your original question because it's obvious that you do prioritize health and fitness, even asking the question and taking the time to recognize this pattern or this fluctuation year over year suggests that you are self-aware and you want to make change.
I think Jen, you've given some awesome very tangible steps to do that. Can you just go back to the first book you mentioned that you love carrying around, Design by ...
Jennifer: Oh yeah, Fitlosophy. I will send you link to it. It's awesome. It's like a little fitness journal and it's four months and it has weekly goals and then it has a weekly wrap up and it has a sheet for every day and you can write down what you do, your sleep, your water and I don't know, research has shown that apps are okay, but still paper tracking is better.
I don't know why, but it's been one of my favorite. I have, I'm sure a dozen of them that I've filled out now. And it's great, cause sometimes I'm like, oh what was that real great workout I did? And I'll go back and I'll check it and yeah, it's a really fun little tool.
Dave: Jen I'm glad that not a lot of millennials listen to this podcast because they're rolling your eyes right now. Are you kidding me? Carry around a paper journal?
Jennifer: I know, it's totally true. And I'm 42 so maybe that speaks, but there's something about just, I'm very techy, I love my phone, I use it for all sorts of stuff, but it's another avenue to try.
Make Your Body Work Takeaway
Dave: That's super helpful. And for the listeners, if you go to makeyourbodywork.com/99, so ninety-nine, this is the 99th episode of the podcast, I'll have links to Design by Fitlosophy, War of Art as well as our previous podcast that Jen and I recorded over a year ago and some links to stuff that's happening on Jen's website which we'll talk about in a second. But before we do, I always wrap up the show with a make your body work takeaway.
Jen for someone that notices that their motivation, their exercise, their fitness, fluctuates with the seasons, what's the number one thing they need to do?
Jennifer: Whoa, okay I'm thinking about that question and really trying to think the best answer I can give you. Can it be like a three part answer?
Dave: Oh man, people like you, you drive me nuts. It's got to be one word.
Jennifer: Set goals.
Dave: How about this?
Jennifer: You've got to set goals.
Dave: Sorry, set goals. That's what we're looking for. What's at least something that they can start with. And maybe the number one most important thing, that's putting a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Important to set goals, tell me more, what can they do to make that happen?
Jennifer: I think actually what I was going to say is twofold. You need to know yourself and work to your strengths and also to expect it. We have to get out of the denial that every year it's going to be different. We have to expect that the seasons are coming and plan accordingly.
It's kind of like the saying that there's no such thing as bad weather it's just poor clothing. It's winter in Calgary, if I keep going out in shorts and flip flops I'm never going to enjoy winter cause winter comes, I'm not matching what I'm doing to the right seasons.
You've got to set goals that are appropriate for each season that you're in. Expect the need to do so. Change your thinking around the seasons as opposed to resisting the fact that the seasons comes. It's a mindset shift.
Dave: That's huge. I love that. I love that quote about weather. No bad weather. I've never heard that before but that makes a lot of sense.
Jennifer: Right, Vancouver the rain, if you're like, oh the rain. No there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Go get some Gore Tex. You've got to expect what you're in and then it's how you deal with it. The people who are best resilient to life are the ones who are not arguing with what is. But they're dealing with it and finding solutions so that they can still have that joy and happiness no matter what the external situation or circumstance is.
The most resilient people are those who don't argue with what is, but instead, look for ways to make change
Dave: That's fantastic. And that was very succinct and one takeaway.
Check Out Jennifer’s Energy To Thrive Podcast
Dave: Jen, before we go, I'm really excited because you've recently started your own podcast. And it's awesome. I was wondering if you could tell the listeners, what's your podcast about, what would they learn when they come and listen to it?
Jennifer: Oh thank you. It was after doing my first interview with you and you're encouragement to start my podcast that it came to fruition. So thank you Dave.
Dave: Oh, cool.
Jennifer: My podcast is called Energy to Thrive and what it's about, my full belief is that every woman should be able to live with energy to thrive and to not just feel like she's surviving. And to me that goes far beyond just being fit or feeling good in your skin. It's about being emotionally healthy, it's about having healthy relationships, it's about being spiritually at peace with who you are and what's going on in your life.
And from there, from those places, I invite guest experts on to talk about those things, to share the truth, I really love having science based experts come on to debunk so much of the crap that out there in the weight loss health and fitness space. To help my listeners really learn what it takes to live their best life and feel good from the inside out.
Dave: It's just inspirational and fun.
Jennifer: Yeah, it is, I love, it's so fun, isn't it? We're all doing our best and I think podcasts are such a great way to get that 20 minute or 30 minute dose of good info and a good reminder, yes I can do this. Yes I can handle this, yes that person's story, oh my god, I'm just like them, they did it, so can I. Or holy shit, I thought I was the only person who ever experienced this and here's this person saying that they went through the same thing. I love that.
I'm a big fan of, a lot of times we don't want to share the hard. It's embarrassing, it's humiliating, we don't want to admit that there's some horrible things that we've gone through or going through and pain is part of life and it's learning how to move through it emotionally, physically and overcoming it.
Dave: And if the listeners want to check that out, I know they can go to jenniferpowter.com/podcast, that's with a T. P O W T E R.com/podcast and I'll put a link in the show notes, again if you go to makeyourbodywork.com/99 you'll see all the links, everything that we talked about from today's episode right there.
Jen thanks again, always a pleasure. Like I said, our whole chat I had a smile on my face so thank you for your positive energy, it's just awesome having you here.
Jennifer: Thanks so much, I can't believe I'm episode 99, that's so cool.
Dave: It's exciting I know. It's been almost three years in the making to get here.
Dave: Thank you for being part of it.
Jennifer: Yeah, you're amazing Dave and I love what you do. And you've got so much, you do so much good, all my listeners love you. Thank you.
Dave: Jen thanks so much for joining us again today, just for your optimism, your positivity, your wisdom, your practicality, everything that you brought to us and specifically for Victoria.
Victoria, I hope that you got a chance to listen to this podcast and will take even one of those action steps, one of those items and apply it to your life so that when summer up in Dawson City ends, you're going to be a little more prepared than you were last year to continue with the healthy active lifestyle that you developed over some of those easier months when you're feeling very motivated.
Thanks to everyone who tuned into this episode and before I go, I do want to recommend that you check out Jennifer's podcast because it really is awesome. Admittedly I'm a little biased. I think episode number seven is especially awesome because yours truly is the expert guest. Check it out again, you can go to jenniferpowter.com/podcast and check that out.
Check out also the show notes, makeyourbodywork.com/99 for all the links that we talked about. There's a couple books, there's some links to some former podcasts. Lots of stuff that will be very helpful for you in your health journey. And most of all I just want to say, please keep on sending me emails.
Again, I love hearing your questions, I love hearing your success stories, I love hearing what you're struggling with. And not because I like hearing that you struggle but I do want to help and point you in the right direction.
So reach me any time, firstname.lastname@example.org. That's it for this episode but I can't wait to see you here again next week.