Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another burning question...Shoes!

Since I've actually been sticking to a routine of cardio and strength training workouts for a couple weeks now, and have every intention of continuing that routine, I have decided that I desperately need new shoes. The shoes I have now are probably a good 8 or 10 years old. Not that they've been used much on those years, but they have seen better days and my feet are sore after running in them. They don't provide much support for my fairly high arch and the last time I ran I felt the beginnings of blisters on my big toes. Not so much fun!

Plus, I'm always looking for excuses to buy new shoes. :-)

The thing is...I have absolutely no clue where to start. I want something comfy and am willing to spend some dough for a real quality shoe. But what shoes are quality? My current shoes are Asics, which did treat me pretty good for a while. I know Nikes and Adidas can get expensive, but are they still quality? Is there some other brand that you love and would highly recommend? A certain style or feature I should look for? Something you hate and think I should avoid like the plague?

While I am mostly concerned with the comfort and functionality of the shoe, I can't hate the color or style either. Since I'm pretty darn picky I have a hard time finding the right style/color/comfort/durability/functionality combo.

I got some pretty good input on the last "burning question" about mascara, so I thought I'd pick your brains some more and see what we come up with.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What gets you going?

Another burning question...What motivates you to get going (and keep going) on your fitness goals?

I've tried here and there to get in better shape in the past few years, but have just never found the proper motivation/reward system. I'm not in bad shape, which is probably part of my lack of dedication to the issue, but I know I could be in better shape. I'm not over weight, but my strength and stamina are severely lacking. As is brought to my attention at every lesson I take with my horse. My trainer makes fun of me, big time. And I don't blame her one little bit. I'd make fun of me too, probably have made fun of people doing similar pathetic kicks in the past. I know I'm pathetic, I just don't have the strength in my legs to do much about it! And usually run out of breath trying.

Despite my weaknesses, Midori was still coming along in leaps and bounds. Her spins were getting more correct, we had a decently reliable flying lead change, her stops were getting better, we had switched to a bridle and were doing really well one handed. I was very pleased!

I was still considering getting a new horse though because Midori just wasn't where she needed to be so I could go play with the big kids this year. After some considering the situation and talking to my trainer about my options and Midori's potential, I decided that putting her in training for a month was my best option. She has potential and the trainer was confident that she could at least get her to a point that I could be competitive at the entry level, which is what I planned to do anyways. So off to training Midori went.

But that still left the issue of my being a weanie. I certainly didn't want to waste that money on training because I couldn't kick and I could definitely see Midori flipping me the hoof after her experiences with the trainer, who has about 10 inches and probably 60 pounds on me. Not to mention riding horses all day 6 days a week. So I decided to put myself "in training" as well. But I knew I needed to figure out some sort of reward/motivation and way of tracking my workouts so I could see what I was accomplishing.

This is what I came up with...

Gold stars. And ya know what? It's working! My goal is a minimum of 3 gold stars a week, totaling 12 for the month of February. So far I'm doing pretty darn good.

It is so satisfying and fun (in a totally pathetic, easily amused kinda way) to get done with my workout and go stick a star on the calendar. The calendar is in the kitchen so I see it often and it's a really good feeling to walk by and see lots of gold stars...

Yes, that is a Twilight calendar. Surprised? I didn't think so.

Anywho, at the end of the month if I stick to it and reach my goal I plan to reward myself with...something. I haven't quite decided what yet, but I'm leaning towards a mini shopping spree. I do love me some new clothes!

Besides the gold stars and looming shopping spree, the best reward that is surprising me at just two weeks in, is a visible improvement in the muscle tone of my legs. Definitely helps the motivation factor! And my stamina at my lessons. My trainer didn't even tease me at my last lesson! I even got my horse to grunt a time or two when I kicked her after she was naughty. Wohoo!

I think I'm liking this gold star thing! Hopefully I can stick with it for a while!

What gets you motivated? Do you post SI swimsuit models on the fridge and treadmill? Hang the bikini that you WILL get into this year where you see it all the time? Do you just have super duper self control and can stay motivated without little tricks?