Mile 3 + baby steps

Posted by Jennifer Campoli on April 5th, 2010
Filed under Motivation, Positive psychology, Wellness | 1 Comment »


How are YOU today?!?! Enjoying some spring like weather wherever you are, I hope? We are literally spoiled here in Boston after a 70+ day with nothing but sun. I hear it's going to last through Wednesday but shhh…won't want to jinx that!

This weekend was a bit of an exciting one for me for a few reasons. But the biggest of all is something that I want to tell everyone in the world…

Some of you may know that over 2 years ago I started to experience back pain. I was in the middle of training for the Philly marathon and out of the blue my back started to hurt. Like, I felt like I was 30 years my senior kind of hurt. It wasn't normal and it wasn't going away after 2 weeks of rest. I ended up bowing out of the race but I spent the next year trying to get a diagnosis for pain that wouldn't go away. I found my miracle doctor through my brother. She is a chiropractor who specializes in active recovery therapy which focuses on soft tissue build up in the body at various points, caused by a million and one uses. Interesting stuff to read here. I was diagnosed with a torn disc in my lower back. This is something that does not heal. It is an injury that you simply manage by building core strength and seeing someone as fabulous as Dr. Steinley!

So, long story short I built my core and back strength back up over time but I haven't run more than a mile in over 2 years.

Well friends, this weekend not only did I run longer than a mile on Saturday but I ran 3 miles today and with NO PAIN!!!! MONUMENTAL for me! I'm not going to jump into marathon training by any means nor will I ever run long distances but the simple fact is, I can run with out pain. I can run a 5K if I wish or possibly do a sprint triathlon.

Needless to say, it was a mighty fine weekend!

Baby Steps towards healthy change

I was inspired yesterday by Angela's post over at Oh She Glows on Healthy Changes. So many of us are looking to make changes in our lifestyle, health, fitness, nutrition, stress level, sleep schedule, social life, career and beyond. It's endless, isn't it! In addition, there is SO much information out there on how to do what that we can simply become overloaded! I have spoken to this point many times.

I thought that today would be the perfect day to talk about change. How to start it, how to grow and move towards the person you are hoping to be!

And you know how that starts? You got it friends, the ever-used phrase of babysteps! But what babysteps Jenn? Where do I begin and how can I start?

Well, let's talk about a few ideas that I find work beautifully, regardless of what change you are trying to make.

Tips for change:

1. Start with one thing, one area, one change. I know how it goes. You create a plan, the fridge is stocked with fruits n veggies and no processed foods, the alarm is set for some ungodly hour to get up, you cancel all commitments this week, no more coffee for 1 month and no more cookies or ice cream for 3 months. Tomorrow is D-day! It's on and all of these changes are happening all at once. Sound vaguely familiar? Have you ever set yourself up for new change only to overwhelm your mind, body, and schedule so after day 5 you are either exhausted or so irritable that you don't know what to do?

We all have friends! That is because most of us are looking to make many changes in our life. And while so do very well with the hardcore bootcamp style, lasting change starts small and with what I call "quick wins." If you set yourself up for small changes that you can make immediately, you will start to experience success. When you experience success you will then start to feel more confident. Confidence leads to improvement and improvement leads to change!

So this go around, pick one area! Maybe it's food. What do you want to change about your diet? Looking to stop the diet coke addiction and cut out sugar? Start with ONE! Pick something that you can change right now, today. Make it specific and attainable. All of my coaching clients start with a nutrition plan that involves small changes, in focused areas. Week 1 might be focused on eating fruit with breakfast. Week 2 involves having protein with lunch and dinner. Week 3 may add one more component and so on. But I can guarantee you this: the behavior change will stick!

2. Replace the behavior! One of the greatest lessons I learned this year in a very unexpected place was this: when you are looking to remove something from your life, focus on replacing it with something that you desire or want more of! Let me explain. When we make change or sacrifice, we are often left with a feeling of restriction. I can no longer do this, eat this or have this. The focus is on what we have lost or what we removed. That plays a difficult game on the mind and it's a hard one to push through! Ever hear of someone giving up cookies for Lent only to find out that they dream and think about cookies all day? Prime example!

So, how do we remedy this? REPLACE the behavior or change with something that you want! Don't want to sleep in as late anymore but you enjoy the warm spring air? Well, wake up just 30 minutes earlier and go for a morning brisk walk! Waking up knowing that you will be joining the day with fresh air will do wonders for you when the alarm goes off. Hoping to save money this month and stop shopping after work? Well, what would you like to do during the time that you normally shop? Play with the kids? Workout? Yoga? Take a bath? Paint your nails?

This new behavior does not need to be extravagant. Make it simple! Make it easy! Make it enjoyable!

3. Picture success. One of our greatest sources of confidence is the belief that we can! Regardless of your past experiences or present situation, if you can focus you mindset towards the belief that you WILL succeed…well friends, THEN YOU WILL! Visualize the success you will have. Give it life and picture everything about the feeling of success. Even simple changes such as more sleep deserves picturing! Imagine it and allow your mind and body to experience what that success will feel and look like!

Then take this idea of picturing success one step further…

4. Create reminders. Looking to change your body? Find inspirational role models, sayings or supports and post them everywhere! And as with all of these other ideas, keep it simple sweetie. Are you looking to relax more? Post the word BREATHE everywhere! Hoping to eat more salads this spring? Print pictures of delicious looking salads and hang them in your kitchen. Sometimes our mind can trick our stomach into what we actually crave so give your mind something wonderful to look at if you want more salads.

And that's it friends! Start here with these simple ideas and you will be off and running!

I hope have enjoyed this. I'm off to make something delicious for dinner and stretch some more. These muscles are sore sore sore after my running. I forgot about my hip flexors- ouch! :)

Have a fabulous day!

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One Response to “Mile 3 + baby steps”

  1. Colleen says:

    Congrats to you on your three miles!! Way to go, Jenn! :)

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