Exercise is mental

Working out takes physical strength.  We can’t wake up and magically do a pull-up if we have never done one before.  However, the act of training, of getting to the gym, of deciding not to stop pushing ourselves when we are there, is mental.  I cannot stress enough that if we believe we can do it, then we can.  If I go to the gym, and lolly-gag, check my teeth in the mirror, push out my stomach in the mirror, suck in my stomach in the mirror, and frown when I am about to do an actual exercise, why would I want to go back?  Why would I want to go for a run if every time I run, I am watching the clock or thinking, “I hate this.”?  I wouldn’t.

So exercise your brain a bit.  Try and remind yourself that your workout isn’t just physically challenging, but mentally challenging too.  On your way to the gym, put on some exciting music, like Pump Up the Jam from the Space Jam soundtrack, or whatever your favorite “let’s do this!” song might be.  Remind yourself WHY you are doing this.  “I am doing this to take care of myself.”  “I am doing this because it is important to me.”  “I am doing this to lose weight.”  “I am doing this so I can be proud of my body.”  “I am doing this to feel better doing everything else.”

And don’t let yourself lolly-gag!  If you don’t know what to do at the gym, take a class.  There are so many amazing classes offered at gyms.  The first 1-2 can be a little intimidating, but you’d be surprised by how much watching another person sweat and exercise can inspire you!

If nothing else works, try unleashing some anger.  I never run faster than I do when I’m mad.  And it could be about anything. Perhaps a person cut in line at the grocery store, or the dishes weren’t done, or maybe you’re just hangry… who cares what makes you mad.  USE IT.  Get angry, and go exercise.

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

Changing the way we preceive the word Diet

Unfortunately, the word diet has such a negative connotation in our society.  I remember as a child hearing my mother and grandmother lament over the subject.  One day, they even found this 1990’s meme of a person standing looking miserable and it said, “The first three letters in diet are DIE.”  It is no wonder that we get cold feet when we are about to try a new “diet.”

However, Merrian-Webster define diet in the simplest terms as “food and drink regularly provided or consumed,” (1).  Their second definition is “habitual nourishment.”  We love that word, nourishment.  Our diet isn’t there to torture us.  Our diet is the food we consume to nourish our bodies.  It is the food we eat that gives us the energy to get through our day.

So, let’s stop looking at diet negatively, and take a look at it for what it really is.  Before eating anything today, examine what you are about to consume and question yourself…”will this bring me nourishment?  Will this give me energy?”  If the answer is no, perhaps there is something else you can eat instead.

Have Fun & Be Active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diet

Fitness can be FUN!

Sometimes exercise gets a bad reputation because, in general, it’s 1) hard and 2) time-consuming.  However, it can be so much fun which will make it worth the time.  Take a few moments to think back to recess or P.E. in elementary school.  Remember how much fun it was to run around, jump on things, chase people, climb up high, play side-line soccer, etc?  What were some of the things you liked to do the most?

If you loved the sports in P.E., perhaps finding an adult league of soccer, softball, volleyball, or football would make fitness fun for you.

Enjoyed climbing?  You can still climb as an adult!  Rock climbing gyms are popping up all over the place.  There are some great ones in Ballard and Magnolia in Seattle, WA.

Liked being chased?  Or chasing?  Sounds like you must be a natural-born runner!  Find a running club, or a friend who wants to run.  They don’t have to know that the entire run you are trying to out run them, that can be your own little mind game to help keep you moving.

There is an adult way to do things you enjoyed doing as a child.  Just ask us, we’ll help you find yours.

Maybe you hated recess.  Have you ever been hiking, or tried water sports, like paddle-boarding, or canoeing?


There are tons of ways to work out.  A lot of us are busy-busy-busy.  Maybe yoga or Pilates is something that would help calm you down.  Exercise for you doesn’t have to be what Citizen A or Citizen B is doing.  Let’s figure out what your go-to activity can be.

Have Fun & Be Active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

5 Keys to Running


Haters are going to hate…and one of the things they love hating on is running.  But, screw the haters.  Running is so good for our bodies!  Running and other physical exercises can help reduce the risk for certain diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes (1).  It literally feels so good when you’re done too, if for nothing else but the fact that, “hey, I ran 4 miles today.”  Can any day really be that bad of a day if you got in a 3 mile run (or more!)?  It is a bragg-able feat.  So, how do we get over that hurdle of always hating on it? Try these 4 keys to running.

5 Keys to Running

  1.  Take it slow.  If you have never enjoyed running, or haven’t run since you were forced to in middle school, don’t get up and try to run 5 miles.  Let’s start with a 1/2 a mile, or maybe just one mile.  Stick with that amount until it starts to feel easier.  We recommend adding in an additional 1/2 mile per week.  For instance, run 1/2 mile on week one and 1 mile on week two. By week three you are at 1.5 miles….and so on, and so on.
  2. Be consistent.  Running one time a week is not going to change your mindset on the sport.  Try to get in at least 3 runs a week, but if you are starting with just 1/2 mile, running everyday would be key.
  3. Remember it’s just one foot in front of the other.
  4. Sometimes having a mantra to chant to yourself can really help get you through a difficult run.  We suggest counting to ten, or telling yourself “I can do this,” “this is important to me,” or really just anything that can inspire you to keep going.
  5. Remember how good it will feel afterwards.  It’s bragg-able, so go ahead and post it on Facebook.

Best of luck, and remember we are here to help!

Have fun & be active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

  1.  Bryant, C. (2010). Role and Scope of Practice for the Personal Trainer. In ACE Personal trainer manual: The ultimate resource for fitness professionals (4th ed., p. 4). San Diego, Calif.: American Council on Exercise.
  2. photo by Jesse Morrow

10 reasons why I exercise

1. To keep my sanity!  Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that help me get through the tough days.

2. For the same reason I vacuum the house or wash my clothes, to take CARE of something that’s important to me; to take care of ME.

3. So I can enjoy an ice cream from time to time

4. Because I would lose 5% muscle mass per decade if I didn’t

5. So I can still walk, stand on my own, chase my grandkids, and challenge people to push-up competitions when I’m 80.

6. Because I’m afraid of getting out of shape

7. Because hard work does pay off at the gym

8. It’s fun.  Perhaps not all the exercises start out that way, but challenging yourself and beating your goals feels good.

9. Because it keeps me focused on other areas in my life.  Having a daily exercise routine can help me stay more consistent about other healthy habits, like eating right and taking my vitamins.

10. Because I feel better on the days I exercise when compared with the ones where I don’t

Have fun & Be Active,


Be Your Biggest Cheerleader

We have all been there.  We beat ourselves up.  “Jeez, my stomach looks big in this top…” “I can’t wear that, I’m too fat.”  “If I were just a little thinner, I bet I would get that girl/guy…”

We are being bullies…TO OURSELVES.  We won’t get anywhere if we do that.  Even if we make it to our goal weight, we will still feel small and defeated, and not good enough if we are constantly bullying ourselves into those thoughts.

So, how do we stop?  Every single time you have a negative thought about your body image, fill it with a positive one.  One that you ACTUALLY believe.  Take a moment, right now, and write down five things you like about yourself.  “I have nice eyes”  “My fashion is always on fleek.”  “I can rock a good stiletto”  “My ass is bigger and better than anyone in this office.”  “I have a nice collar-bone.”  Post those self-compliments anywhere and everywhere you can….and when that negative thought rolls around, repetitively go over your compliment.

Why should we bully ourselves?  Let’s instead be our biggest cheerleaders.

Have fun & Be Active!

Your Friends at Build it for Life