{My Fit Life} 32 Minutes and 28 Seconds

When I started my training schedule for the 5K, my primary goal was to get used to the intensity of working out to what turned out to be nine times a week. I was moderately successful with an 88 percent completion rate on my workouts.

My secondary goal was to complete my 5K in less than 45 minutes. The title of the post is my actual time. I thought it was 32:26, but apparently it took me 2 seconds to cross the finish line after looking at the clock.

12 - Raceday Results 2

Here is the official record:

Race Results
Race Results

My goals for sharing my workouts with you guys is to give myself another layer of accountability while showing you all [I hope] that you can do just about anything you set your mind to with proper planning. I will be sharing my next training schedule with you guys next week, my new goal is to go upside down in a new way. Check back next week to see what I mean.

Meanwhile, here are two shots that are representative of my race. Thanks to the hubs for standing in drizzly weather to catch the shot of me approaching the finish line.

Trying to keep up
Trying to keep up with the pack [I’m the orange shirt by the second tree]
About to cross the finish line
My victorious path to the finish [Woo Hoo]

Did I crush my goal of 45 workouts in 35 days

Did I Crush My Goal of 45 Workouts in 35 Days? - Team by EJ

These past five weeks have been interesting and rewarding with my intense 5k training plan. The next step is doing a review to see what I’ve learned before I dive into getting my mind right for race day.

Before I get into what I have learned from my five-week exploration into an intense workout schedule, here’s a high level review:

  1. I skipped several workouts – I missed 5 out of 45. This means I worked out 88% of the time I planned to
  2. I moved things around to accommodate my schedule
  3. There were some days that I had to really push myself mentally to do it.

I wrote the schedule to have me working out 45 times in 35 days. And I’m happy that I was able to get 40 of 45!

That’s a lot of workouts packed into a tight space.

As for the review, here’s what I learned…

#1 Perfection is impossible

This was one that I knew and this is why I have my 80/20 rule i.e. I am allowed to slip up 20 percent of the time. Work was very busy this last 5 week trip, so moving workouts around to fit my work schedule was necessary.

And I felt the need to miss my first workout otherwise a burnout was imminent.

The last week is another issue entirely. It was a rough week!

I have a lifestyle problem that some of us deal with [hemorrhoids]. It’s one of the downsides to living in a hotel for five weeks and not having as much access to whole grains as I typically would. I was taking a fiber supplement and eating as fiber as I could.

But I still had a flare up this week so resistance training was out.

#2 Self-esteem is more about what I do

Some of us women struggle with self-esteem and we hope that one day we would feel confident and self-assured.

Well one thing I have learned over the last three years, more so this year, is that confidence and the self-esteem that comes with it comes from keeping your commitments.

I’m not talking about keeping commitments to others, I’m talking about the ones you make to yourself.

And this training plan showed me that in spades. Crossing as many workouts as I could off that list showed me that I was capable of keeping my word. That was huge, considering that integrity is one of my biggest values.

#3 I learned to schedule my workouts around my life

So I found out that working out after a travel day [about 16 hours in the air excluding layovers] is a bad idea.

It was a struggle to get the 30 minutes of yoga this past Monday, and the same went for my previous trip.

This means that I will be scheduling my workouts with my travel schedule in mind.

Here Are Some Ways My Lessons Can Help You

Schedule Your Workouts According to Your Life

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work out at all if you currently think you don’t have the time. As we have established, make the time and be selfish about that time.

If you have a personal trainer or coach, communicate what days will be best for you to workout and if you are doing an online program, be flexible with yourself.

This means that if you were to workout on Monday and you had to miss for one reason or the other, you can always do it on Tuesday.

Keep Your Commitments to Yourself

Before you are able to keep commitments to others, you have to learn how to do that to yourself and what better way to do that than to do the things that are required to create your definition of strong and sexy?

Keeping the commitments that you need to hit your goal can help you boost your self-esteem even before you get there. To fully tap into this make sure that you write down your workout plan and put it on a calendar and KEEP TO IT as much as you can.

You Gain Strength With Time and Practice

When I started this training schedule, my fastest mile [1.6 kM] was 12 minutes and 56 seconds and by the end of the plan, I was able to do the same distance in 10 minutes and 2 seconds.

I would never have made those gains if I didn’t start the program in the first place.

So if what is holding you back is where you are right now, remember you won’t move forward if you don’t start. So get out there and go for your goals.

When thinking about what else I gained from training for a 5k, I:

  • regained my love of running. I finally got to run outside last week and it was amazing!
  • figured out that there was room in my schedule for other fun workouts if I want to do it
  • BONUS: I’m down to my lowest weight since I can remember and very few clothes fit like they should at this point. Now it’s time to break out the wallet for a wardrobe change.

Tomorrow is race day, and I’m hoping to have fun while running my first official 5 KM race in a long time.

It’s time to take action

If you want to workout consistently to reach a specific strength or body goal, what are you waiting for? What’s holding you back?

Is it:

  • time? Start with 10 minutes
  • money? Hit the YouTube…there are lot of YouTube Channels dedicated to giving you access to free high quality workouts. Or you can check out other free options like Fitness Blender.
  • knowledge and tools? Hire a coach to get you started

Whatever the case, know that going for your goal will make a huge difference in your life and the lives of those around you. Remember, when you keep your commitments to yourself, you’re more likely to do the same for others.

So imagine the types of epic things you’ll create when you get consistent with your workouts?

Exercise is an important tool to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but there are more…

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

What Do You Do When You Overindulge?

What Do You Do When You Overindulge? - Team by EJ

Having a social life and overindulging seem to go hand in hand. So it’s no wonder that most of us who decide to start eating differently to lose weight or get healthier automatically shrink our social lives to do it.

I remember once when I got invited to a dinner party at a friend’s and I was prepared for it, or so I thought. I had loaded the front of my day with fruits and vegetables, and had saved my carbohydrates for dinner.

When party time rolled around, I was prudent. This meant I took my time before having appetizers, paced myself when I eventually did, and stayed away from the alcohol (I wanted to be on my best behavior and save the 7 calories per gram), It was going very well.

Then. The enchiladas (cheesy, gooey, delicious flat breads filled with meat, beans, and cheese) and rice came out and things started to get interesting. By the time entrees were served, I was full but I decided to have some. Then the sugar cookies and pudding came out, and it was game over.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, do you wonder what to do afterwards?

My answer is NOTHING.

Here’s why you should do NOTHING after a night or two of overindulging?

Trying to course correct after every indulgence is selling yourself a reality that doesn’t exist. You’re not going to eat perfectly all the time. You’ll have indulgences and when you do indulge it’s critical for you to continue as normal.

Yes there’s this idea that if you normalize it, you’ll lose control. But you won’t.

Here’s how I know…

In the past my usual reaction is to change my plan and promise myself that tomorrow onward would be perfect. No cakes, no sweets, no refined carbs, no [insert diet offender here]. But this was counter productive to reaching my fitness goals [and can be for you too].

Because you know what, life Happens. We can plan all we want, but life will throw us curve balls. If we keep resetting when things don’t go according to plan, we won’t reach the goals we set for ourselves.

There’ll be days when the healthiest food available to you all day is a cupcake with green icing. On those days a habit of resetting every time you indulge or overindulge won’t serve you. Instead:

  • It’ll just mean that you keep start over and over again
  • It also creates a mindset and habit of looking at food as good and bad rather than as nourishment
  • It makes you constantly run in circles i.e. you engage in yo yo dieting

Here’s what you should do instead

  • Live: Go about the rest of your day like everything is normal. This is because everything is normal. This means, if you planned to workout, workout. If you planned to rest, rest
  • Listen: Listen to your body and give yourself what you need. Your first instinct might be to restrict your meals, but you don’t need to do this. Your body will tell you when it needs fuel, by way of hunger. And if you listen, it’ll tell you when it’s full. So take some extra time to ask what you really want to eat and go for it; if you were eating to a plan, then carry on with the plan
  • Investigate: Find out why you felt the need to overindulge
  • Strategize: When you are far removed from the situation, come up with strategies that can help you deal and choose your preferred behavior if the situation presents itself in the future. The preferred behavior in this case is having just enough

So what did I do today after a day of indulging yesterday? I practiced yoga, spent some time with a friend, and I hung out poolside with some thin crust pizza and some lime-spiked water. Bottom line, exactly what I planned to do.

It’s time to take action

So, on to you. When was the last time you over-indulged, and what was your reaction i.e. what did you do?

Share in the comment’s section and let’s see about more creative ways to get and stay off the hamster wheel of yo yo dieting.

I read and respond to every comment, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Being able to indulge without guilt is important enough to be Tool #6…

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Featured Image Credit: picjumbo.com

An Exercise in Taking My Own Advice

An Exercise in Taking My Own Advice - Team by EJ

When I prescribe rest breaks in the workouts that I give to my clients, I always advise that they take rest when they need rather than wait till I say they should. The trick with this is knowing the difference between when you are mentally tired and you can push through the wall by keeping yourself going and when you are physically tired and you genuinely need a break…and today, I had to learn to take my own advice.

Today was a hill jog, which just means I picked one of the treadmill’s hill intervals and jogged to it. The workout was a:

  • 5-minute warm up,
  • 15-minute jog,
  • 5-minute rest,
  • 15-minute jog,
  • and 5-minute cooldown.

The first 15 minutes were challenging, but I made it through. 5 minutes into the second 15, I knew I needed to take a walking break. I have what I like to call a gimp left knee due to some anatomical blessings (wide hips apparently), and it and its friends (IT band) started to say hello rather insistently.

So instead of going for 15 minutes straight, I spent the last 10 jogging minutes alternating between jogging and walking. I got my workout in without hurting myself, and I should be fresh enough by morning to smooth things over in my yoga practice.

When we are pushing towards a goal, we are tempted to give it our all regardless of the feedback we get from our bodies. Do NOT do this.

Your body is like any other machine in this world (but more beautiful of course)…one that will break down with abuse overuse. And today, I invite you to challenge yourself but do so with compassion i.e. know when you can genuinely keep going and when you need to press pause.

P.S. Those of you who know my training schedule know that I was due for yoga and strength today. I couldn’t get my body out of bed early enough this morning, so I flipped it. Tomorrow will be yoga and strength and so on.

P.P.S. I ended up missing one workout last week to avoid burning out.

Self-compassion is one of the eight tools…

I share in the free ebook, You Don’t Need a Diet. In the ebook, I break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

The Right Support System Can Make a Big Difference

The Right Support System Can Make a Big Difference - Team by EJ

This week in training was fantastic. By the end of today (Saturday) I had completed three runs, three yoga practices, and two strength workouts. I will be completing the third strength workout tomorrow. At this pace, I think I will be working out every day for the next five weeks if I keep shifting workouts.

The goal though is to work hard to make sure I meet them all. At the end of the training period, I’ll be sharing what my training schedule actually looked like versus what I planned and openly discussing whether I feel it was a success or not.

In the meantime, I leave you an entry from my training diary:

We all have those moments when we can’t seem to get out of our own way, or in my case our own heads. This past Wednesday was one of those days. I had been away from home for a while at this point and I just wanted my husband and my kitchen. I also couldn’t seem to hit my stride with work. Nothing felt like it was going my way. By the time the day was over, I had bailed on a commitment to a friend and was about to bail on a commitment to myself.

My husband called and was surprised to find that I was in bed. His next question was “aren’t you supposed to be running or doing yoga or something?” Of course the answer was yes, and I told him how my day had gone. He then asked that I go workout and take a shower to help me feel better…because he knew me well enough to know that it’ll make feel better. I wallowed for another 30 minutes with the full intention of ignoring his suggestion, but I decided to go for it.

The long story above is meant to illustrate the point that every one of us needs a support system.

And not just anyone, you need the right support.

You need someone who will take the time to understand your goals so that they can give you a gentle kick in the rear on the days that you almost lose sight of your goal…the days you don’t want to take the action you know you need to get there. This can be as simple as knowing that you are trying to eat healthier or having a vague idea of what your training schedule looks like.

It could be your best friend, your significant other, or a close family member. Whoever you choose, make sure that it is someone you can trust and that it is someone who is almost as invested in your success as you are.

Take Action

 

Take stock of the important people in your life and determine who can fill the role of the “right support system,” then politely ask if they’ll be a part of your journey by giving you a firm, but gentle, kick in the rear when you need a boost.

Being accountable to your support people matters…but so does being accountable to you

In the free ebook, You Don’t Need a Diet, share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are. Accountability is one of them and in Tool #7 I share how to do it to work for you and your goals. Click the button below to get your copy.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Image Credit: Opeyemi Akande

What does a full on 5K training plan look like?

What Does a Full on 5K Training Plan Look Like? - Team by EJ

I remember when I first started trying to lose weight and I looked online for inspiration from those that had successfully done what I was trying to do. I did find a lot of inspiration, but it was one page long and it didn’t give me as much detail as I would have liked to see. I didn’t find details on:

  • The types of challenges these women faced
  • How they handled these challenges
  • The strategies that didn’t work and why

Bottom line, I didn’t see the “behind-the-scenes-suckiness” that sometimes comes with trying to lose weight.

I wasn’t looking for women who were successful at weight loss to dwell in the suck; I just wanted to see that I wasn’t the only one who was going through it.

That’s my goal with the “My Fit Life” Column is to share my training plans and of course the good, the bad, and the suck. The idea behind it is to help you normalize the hard bits of losing weight so that you don’t get stuck in the suck and you get to your goal.

Now on to my first column… and it’s about how I decided to train for a 5k

Why a 5k?

Running has always been my go-to workout when I want to feel accomplished. There are no shortage of races to train for to give you that sense of accomplishment that comes with training for and completing something that’s important to you.

And being that I spend over half the year away from home at this point, training for a 5K will help inject the routine I need to keep my mind off being away from my husband for so long.

So here’s my training schedule. It looks more intense than it actually is. The primary reason being that I have been slowly increasing the intensity of my workouts since January to get to this point.

That’s over 9 months to get here!!!

So here’s what my training plan looks like

My training plan is a mix of running, yoga, and strength because I love all three and I don’t want to miss any workouts

Week/Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday Saturday
Week 1 – 10/13 Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Test Run

How far you can go in 45 minutes; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit; Evening: 30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

3 Mile Interval

3 X 1 (1.6 km) mile interval with 2 minute walk break in between. Time the intervals; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Long Run

45 minutes

Week 2 – 10/20 Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Hill Workout

30 minutes

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

3 Mile Interval

3 X 1 (1.6 km) mile interval with 2 minute walk break in between. Time the intervals; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Long Run; 45 minutes
Week 3 – 10/27

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Hill Workout

40 minutes

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

3 Mile Interval

3 X 1 (1.6 km) mile interval with 2 minute walk break in between. Time the intervals; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Long Run

45 minutes

Week 4 – 10/03

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Hill Workout

40 minutes

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

3 Mile Interval

3 X 1 (1.6 km) mile interval with 2 minute walk break in between. Time the intervals; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Long Run

50 minutes

Week 5 – 11/10 Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Test Run

How far you can go in 45 minutes; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

3 Mile Interval

3 X 1 (1.6 km) mile interval with 2 minute walk break in between. Time the intervals; 5 minute warm up and cooldown followed by stretch

Morning

30 Minute Strength Circuit;

Evening

30 – 45 minute Yoga Session

Long Run

50 minutes

So far I have “missed” one workout, the Thursday run, because I got home late from work. But instead of counting it out all together, I shifted the workouts. This means that I will have (theoretically) no rest day for 9 days.

If I feel the need to, I will take rest and shift again.

My ultimate goal is to get the training done i.e. not miss a workout, while making sure I take care of myself.

To make sure I’m taking care of myself during this period, I have been:

  • diligent about getting seven hours of sleep,
  • eating healthy (I still have my daily piece of chocolate or cup of bournvita),
  • and giving myself a foot massage before bed.

The last self-care tactic was an idea my Mom gave me along with a small jar of a mixture of ori (raw shea butter), olive oil, and some fragrance. Shout out to all the mothers out there for life and great ideas.

How about you, do you have a training plan?

What have you been doing to meet the commitments you have made yourself? Remember it is never too late to make a plan.

Exercise is an important tool to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but there are more…

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Image Credit: Death to the Stock Photo

How do you find time for yourself?

How do you find time for yourself - Team by EJ

Short Answer: You don’t find time, you need to make the time.

One thing that’s a given, no matter how busy you get with building your dream business or engaging in the business of living in general, is the fact that you need to set aside time for yourself to achieve your personal goals.

If you don’t put yourself on your schedule, something will always come up to take the little time you might’ve had for yourself.

Here are some ideas of how to carve out time for yourself:

Wake up a bit earlier

I know the whole “wake up a bit earlier” thing is so common that it’s a cliché. But clichés become that way because there’s some truth to them.

From my experience, I have come to find that the best time to make time for yourself is first thing in the morning.

This is a time when the world hasn’t started making demands of you, so it is good to get a jump on the day.

Ask for support from your significant other

If you already wake up as early as is humanly possible, get support woman!

If you and boo don’t live together, then let him know that you might need some of your after work time for yourself.

It’s kind of counter intuitive, but I’ve found from hanging with my guy friends that men like a woman who has something going on outside of them.

So if you’re worried that taking time to hit your workouts or meal prep over the weekend will make him feel like he’s taking second fiddle to your fit life, have a conversation about it.

Help him understand that you need to make time to be fitter and healthier, and that’ll benefit your relationship because it means that you’ll be happier. And let’s face it, everybody is happy when you’re happy 😉

And if you live with your significant other , ask him to take over some of the duties that you have on your plate.

As a couple, you have a partnership and that means sharing everything – even chores.

Sunday (my husband) and I lived together for 2 years before we got married, and having him help out in certain areas was the only way I could get things done. And this has paid dividends even today.

Having him help out is the only way that I can find time to do half the things I do, because I have learned to let my partner take some of the load.

Take a lunch break, even if it’s a short one

Building your own business might sometimes mean that you’re so in love with what you do that you forget to take a lunch break, but it’s worth it to step away from the work even if it’s just for a beat.

Even if this is only 10 minutes, you need to show yourself that you are a priority. If you don’t do this, no one will

Women carry a lot of responsibilities. We hustle, we take care of the home, we bear and take care of children, and we pull it off making sure we put our best face to the world.

Looking beautiful & capable to the outside world isn’t enough though, we have to feel it. And if letting something else slide to take 10 minutes to make time for ourselves, then by all means lets do it.

Because we are only able to give the best of ourselves only when we are at our best ourselves. 

It’s time to take action…

Take some time today with your schedule and identify where you can make a few minutes for yourself.

Make sure you put yourself in that time slot and not another commitment, remember you need to make yourself a priority so that you’re taken care of enough to handle the other things life and business throw your way.

P.S. If you need to figure out how to make the most out of the time you do make…

In the free eBook, You Don’t Need a DietI break down the core tools to help you get healthy and lose weight without dieting. You can spend some of the time you create making sure you have your tools up and running to get you the results you want. Click the button below to get your copy.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ

Photo by Rachael Crowe on Unsplash

I Got Results and Didn’t Have to Battle Lagos Traffic

I Got Results and Didn’t Have to Battle Lagos Traffic...Client Testimonial - Team by EJ

One of the pleasures of doing the work I do is getting to work with amazing women to reach their body health and beauty goals. I derive even more pleasure from sharing their success stories, here is our first Celebrating Success feature.

Meet Oyebola

After: Beautiful Oyebola Today
After: Beautiful Oyebola Today

All my life I have been conscious of the fact that I was not made to be skinny. As a curvy girl it means I need to have some weight to carry the curves.

These are curves that I developed early. So I have always been watching what I eat. Three years ago I decided to add weight to see what I will look like being a bit heavy.

So I added weight thereby increasing my hip size from my comfort zone of a size 40 to a size 44 (in inches). On getting to the size I didn’t like the way I looked. Last year with diet I was able to bring it down to 42.

Getting it back to 40 became mission impossible till I met Ejiro. Before I met her, I thought using gym equipment (treadmill, elliptical machine cardiovascular machine etc) were the only equipment you can use to exercise.

The idea of hitting the gym after work sounded suicidal because of the stress of work and driving in Lagos traffic, thereby making me believe that I could only do exercise on Saturday, which isn’t what I wanted to lose the 2 inches round my hips.

Before: Oyebola in December 2012
Before: Oyebola in December 2012

Ejiro & I met on one of my jobs and she became my  Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer. Ejiro is one of the most tenacious, supportive and entertaining personal trainers I have had the pleasure of working out with.

She changed my perspective of thinking that I need to go to the gym before I can exercise and taught me how to exercise in my bedroom and with little home appliances, and each time an exercise is too hard for me she is always ready to find a modified move for me so I don’t hurt myself and I still reach the same goal.

She also helped me changed my diet into healthy eating habits. We were able to do all this over the phone and the internet, so battling Lagos traffic was a non-issue.

She always said that all I need is 30 minutes of my time in a day in order to stay beautiful, so far she has been right because after 3 months of working with Ejiro, I have not only  lost the 2 inches round my hips, I have experienced a massive transformation in my whole body. I am at my best.

Above all I feel and look better physically than I have in my life.

~ Oyebola Koyejo

Ready to start getting results like these for yourself? Then you’ll want to download You Don’t Need a Diet.

In You Don’t Need a DietI break down why diets don’t work to help you get healthy and lose weight, but I also share the eight tools you need to get results without dieting + how to get started no matter how busy you are.

You Don't Need a Diet Team by EJ