Today’s episode was initially aired on my friend, Andrea Allen’s Make It Simple podcast, where we talk all about consistency in the health and fitness industry. Andrea is a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Owner of Deliciously Fit ‘N Healthy. Tune in as I answer Andrea’s really great questions about the importance of consistency, defining what it truly means, and how to break free from perfectionism to embrace progress on your fitness journey. Let’s dive in!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/284
- Amber’s background and fitness experience (03:51, 5:11)
- Ways to be consistent (10:55, 11:29)
- Defining Consistency (12:34, 13:36, 17:40)
- Cultivating a Consistency Mindset (16:09, 32:40)
- Creating a Consistency Strategy (20:38, 22:07, 24:17)
- Common challenges and obstacles that can hinder consistency (22:49, 24:04, 30:46)
- Long-Term Consistency (25:09, 25:50, 27:52, 29:47)
- Celebrating Small Wins (37:10, 39:36)
Andrea Allen’s Instagram
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 284.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Hey, hey, hey! Welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today I have a really fun episode for you. This was actually, I was invited as a interviewee on to my friend Andrea Allen's podcast called Make It Simple and we had a really fantastic conversation around the idea of consistency. And if you've been around the health and fitness space for any period of time, I have to imagine that you've heard this idea of you have to be consistent. You know, if you want results you have to have consistency, but I think a lot of times we hear that word and that's all we hear about it, it’s just be consistent and we don't ever stop to think and define that word of what does that even mean. What does consistency mean? How do I know if I'm being consistent? I know a lot of people get really caught up in their head about, well, I think I need to be more consistent, but I don't know how to be more consistent or I don't even know where that line is when I'm consistent enough. Right, a lot of times you hear people being like, you don’t have to be perfect. You know, perfection is not required. Progress, not perfection. And yet we're told over and over that, we need consistency. So where is that line between perfection and consistency? And so the conversation that I had with Andrea was fantastic because we spoke to that question and we really addressed this idea of what is consistency, why is it important and how do we create a definition that's actually supportive of the goals that we want to reach. She has some really great questions and so as I was going through this interview and I was being interviewed by Andrea, I kept thinking, oh man, this is a conversation I want to make sure that we bring on to my podcast because I think my audience needs this just as much as her audience does. So that's why I'm doing a replay of this episode. Like I said, it was initially aired on Andrea's podcast Make It Simple, but I thought it would be important to bring to my audience as well, so I hope that you enjoy this episode all about consistency from the Make It Simple podcast.
Andrea Allen 02:45
Hey, Amber, I'm super excited that you're here today.
Amber B 02:48
Yes, me too. It's gonna be a fun topic.
Andrea Allen 02:50
So the fun thing about Amber is we've talked a little bit behind the scenes and I've been on her podcast before and we overlap in so many areas, but I feel like we joked before we started and we said, you know, sometimes it's good to hear a different perspective on the same topic or the words are said differently. Or that we're all on the same page of how we can make our fitness journeys more efficient, more effective and more consistent. Because I feel like those are topics that are tricky for people.
Amber B 03:16
Yes, I'm so excited, because like you said I don't think I'm going to say anything that Andrea you haven't preached, but sometimes hearing it from a different person, it just lands differently. It just hits different, that's why, that's why kids always say that's like the cool thing to say it. Just hits different.
Andrea Allen 03:32
So, it's like when I tell my kids to do something, and nobody listens. But then Paul says the same thing and they listen.
Amber B 03:36
And they hit different, you know, who knows why?
Andrea Allen 03:39
They hit the deck running and I'm like I said that seven times.
Amber B 03:44
Andrea Allen 03:45
Awesome. So, give us your background, a little bit about coaching and your fitness experience and just a little bit more about you.
Amber B 03:51
Yeah, yeah. So, I grew up with a mom who was a fitness instructor. So, like back in like the 90s, when step aerobics was a big thing, my mom was a fitness instructor and some of my earliest memories are going to the YMCA. Being in the childcare and looking through the window and watching my mom teach step aerobics. So from a very young age I had a really great example of physical fitness and health and you know, I got a leg up in the world because when I was 14, my mom took me into the weight room and really for me, normalized women lifting weights from a very, very young age, which I recognize most people listening to this podcast probably didn't have that same experience.
Andrea Allen 04:31
Amber B 04:31
But I always tell people if that's an experience that makes you oh, man, I wish I had that experience growing up and you didn't, that you can be that mom for your kids. You can be the one who's kind of changes your family tree and you can be the one who introduces your kids and especially you know, your girls to weightlifting or physical fitness and exercise and have that be really normalized from a young age.
Andrea Allen 04:55
I love that because you're right, and that's rare in the 90s, that was great.
Amber B 04:58
It's really super rare. Yes. Really rare, but I like, so for me, weightlifting as a female was never weird. It was just like, yeah, like women lift weights and, like, not just like small ones.
Andrea Allen 05:11
Amber B 05:11
It was very normalized, but you're right. Like I don't think most people in the 90s that was the experience that they had, but we can shift that. And that's what I want people to hear is like that, that's the empowering message is like, you can't really control your upbringing, but for a lot of your listeners, I have to assume that their moms and/or grandma's and you can still have a big impact on the next generation. And you know, my mom had a big impact on me and was a big reason that I went to the fitness industry. So, you know, fast forward through, you know, college and into getting married and starting to have kids, I got my degree in Nursing and worked as an RN in a Neurosurgical Unit and that was when my husband was in Medical School and once he went into residency and I had two kids, I, nursing just wasn't going to work anymore with my schedule and childcare and all those things. And so I, you know, kind of sat back and was like, OK, what am I going to do? I can't just sit at home. I’m not just like sit at home or so I'm like, what am I gonna do? And I grew up with my mom,
Andrea Allen 06:11
You're a busy body. You’re like..
Amber B 06:12
I gotta do something. My mom taught fitness class and I was like, well, I could do that. I could teach fitness classes and so, I got into the realm of group fitness. And taught body pump and body combat and Zumba and all the things fitness, like all the group fitness, I love group classes. We, you know, you and I kind of overlap on that. Taught that for eight years and I got to the place where I was going to the gym very, very, very regularly and very consistently and had been for years, you know I'm teaching 6, 7, 8 classes a week and I just was like my body never changes it. I just always kind of look the same and I wanted to kind of take my fitness to the next level and I realized that the missing component for me was not exercise. I was doing a lot of exercise. It was the nutrition component.
Andrea Allen 06:55
Amber B 06:55
And I didn't really have that nutrition component. And that's when I kind of stumbled upon macro counting and it made a lot of sense to my Science, Nursing course.
Andrea Allen 07:03
Amber B 07:04
And I was like, this is like, scientifically sound advice. And so I started counting macros and boom my like, body responded in a way that I had never had it respond before. Just being able to get that last piece of the nutrition component aligned with my workouts. And you know that kind of changed everything. After doing group fitness for a long time, I kind of got into a place where I was like, you know what I really want to do is I want to build a lot of muscle and that kind of led me into I did a stint of like bodybuilding style training and then into quite a few years of powerlifting, even competing in powerlifting. And then I got bored with just doing 3 lifts because if you know anything about power lifting, it's like bench deadlift.
Andrea Allen 07:48
Yes. And then you're resting for like 7 minutes with me.
Amber B 07:52
Yeah. You know all the stats and stuff so I, you know, I did that for several years. It was really fun. And I got really strong. But I was like, I need some, I need a little bit more excitement. And so I've been doing CrossFit now for four or five years and just enjoying the variety. I always said, you know, I got really strong with powerlifting, but then I wanted to use my strength to like, do cool things. And that's been where CrossFit has been a fun place to like, you know, use my strength to do handstand push-ups. Use my strength to walk on my hands, use my strength to, you know, get better at limit lifting. And so that's kind of where we are today.
Andrea Allen 08:23
I love that you point that out because the thing I find fascinating about that is most of the time people will do one thing and they'll do one thing forever and then they get burned out of that one thing. And then instead of like, adapting and shifting, they just like stop doing in general, like they don't think about the fact that like. Hey, you know what, if this style is not maintainable, then maybe I should do something else, you know. Yeah, there's other ways. There's, like, people always think like, I've had people message and say, what is the one way to do this right? And I'm like there is no one way.
Amber B 08:52
Oh gosh, yeah.
Andrea Allen 08:53
You know you can eat a mango 17 different ways and it's what can you maintain? What can you do consistently? And what do you love?
Amber B 09:00
What do you love? Exactly. What do you enjoy?
Andrea Allen 09:01
Like, I lift because I like to feel strong and I, you know, enjoy that. I do a little bit of hypertrophy that way, but I openly admit like kickboxing is my soul mate workout, it's my thing that makes me feel in my brain, peace, you know, and that's different for everyone. I've had people say, oh, yeah, for me, that's CrossFit, for me that's running, for me that. And that's OK, you know, that is OK. People get stuck on you know, there's one. There's one way to do it, and I love that you said, like I've done it multiple ways and I learned and I enjoyed all of them. And they're all great. But I've done it different ways.
Amber B 09:38
Yeah. Well, I think to your point, I think what you're speaking on is this idea of effectiveness and enjoyability, and I think a lot of times people get so stuck on like, what's the most effective way?
Andrea Allen 09:49
Amber B 09:49
What's the best work, the best style of workout? and they just leave behind this idea of, like, what's enjoyable? And if it isn't something that you enjoy, I don't care if it's like the best structure, the best programming, the best, whatever. If it's not something you enjoy, you're never going to stick to it long term and I think that's the key to long term health and fitness, is finding something that you enjoy and if you hate what you're doing right now, my friend like, there are so many styles of working out. Please try something different like, don't just stick with something that you hate and I have people tell me that like, I hate weight training. I'm like, weight training is so broad like, if you hate hypertrophy, try powerlifting or try Olympic lifting or try. I mean like weighted kickboxing, like I mean, there's so many ways that you can incorporate weight training. So to just say I hate weight training like try a different style of weight training and see if that sits better with you.
Andrea Allen 10:38
OK, so let's get into that a little bit more because all of this kind of feeds into like, what you can be consistent with? What you can manage? So, as a coach and you know, dealing with other people and in your own experience, like what helps you be consistent or what have you seen helped other people be consistent?
Amber B 10:55
Well, I think this is like such a hot topic. And you know, if you're listening to this episode, I have to assume that at some point, in some area of your life, maybe it's not fitness, but maybe another, you've struggled with consistency.
Andrea Allen 11:07
Amber B 11:07
Whether it's doing homework, whether it's in, like your job, whether it's in the fitness realm, but like oftentimes we get to points where we struggle with consistent, with being consistent with something. And I think that's a normal natural human phenomenon to have that experience of, hey, I want to do this thing, but then you get into said thing and you struggle to keep, keep it up.
Andrea Allen 11:29
Amber B 11:29
Keep doing it long term. And so, you know I just wanna like normalize that a little bit and if you struggle with consistency, I hear people I struggle sticking to you know, whatever my nutrition plan is over the weekends. I struggle maintaining a gym habit, right? I struggle with counting macros and being consistent with that. It's a very common experience and common phenomenon and a lot of things that I help with client to do is small tweaks that we can do to improve your level of consistency to make you feel better about the process and to help you to keep going. Because we all know, we all know that the fastest way to not get your goals is to quit.
Andrea Allen 12:07
Amber B 12:07
That’s you, you want to not hit your goals, quit. And so if like, and that's where I find a lot of people get frustrated is they struggle with consistency and then they get so frustrated with it that they just throw in the towel and they just quit. And you're never going to hit your goals that way. So if we can master consistency, if we can figure out the secret to unlock consistency and what it is we're doing, our likelihood of reaching our goals just skyrocketed because we're not quitting. And I think that's an important thing too, to really consider.
Andrea Allen 12:34
I agree with you and the thing about consistency as we know, we're going to dive into this, in this entire episode, but it's also what we define consistency as because I as you will have clients who will do really well with their macros and then they're like, oh, I wasn't consistent. And then I will look at what they did and I'm like. Well, what do you consider consistent cause you actually did great?
Amber B 12:58
Andrea Allen 12:58
But you had one day where you were off and so it's also a mindset of like is your consistency, are you looking at as like all or nothing or are you actually giving yourself grace and looking at consistency. So how do you define it? Like, how would you give specifics of telling someone ideas of like, how do you look at consistency? What does that mean to you?
Amber B 13:19
Well, I think, I mean you're spot on on this.
Andrea Allen 13:22
Because it's all relative, you know I've had people write me and be like, I was smack on every day and I'm like, Ohh, except none of the days. And then I've had other people who they're perfect and they're beating themselves up saying they're not consistent.
Amber B 13:36
Yeah, well, so this is an interesting concept. So if we say something like a noun, like a car, we all have an idea of what a car is. Now there can be, you know, differences with a car. But like a car is a noun, it's a thing.
Andrea Allen 13:48
Amber B 13:48
Consistency is not a noun.
Andrea Allen 13:49
That's a really good point.
Amber B 13:49
And so a lot of times we take the word consistent and we make it into what we call it an like a noun, it's called nominalization. We're normalizing this word. We're creating it into a noun. It's not actually noun, so when we say like, I'm not consistent, we're creating it like it's a noun, but it's not really a noun. So we have to define that word because consistency does not have a, it's not a one thing, it's not a. This is consistency. This isn't consistency.
Andrea Allen 14:13
When I look up consistency, it doesn't have a definition of you are consistent if you do this, this many days.
Amber B 14:21
Andrea Allen 14:21
Dictionary. But that's not what it means, you know.
Amber B 14:23
So I think the first thing for people who feel like they're struggling with consistency, cause I get this all the time, it's like, what is your biggest struggle? People are like consistency, you're like, OK, but what does that? What does that mean? So, I think the first thing that's a really great question to ask yourself is, how are you defining consistency? What is your definition of consistency? And it doesn't really matter what my definition is. It doesn't matter what your definition is, it matters what the person's definition and is that the definition we want to continue to use?
Andrea Allen 14:49
Yeah. Is that realistic?
Amber B 14:50
Right. Like, do you like, do you, is that a good definition of consistency for you? That, is it a definition that you're using to beat yourself over the head with? Right. Are you using it as a weapon? Maybe we need to shift that definition or are you letting yourself off the hook? I see that on the other side as well,
Andrea Allen 15:06
Yeah, I suppose.
Amber B 15:06
We developed such like a low bar for what consistency is, is that it's a secretive way to like, let yourself off the hook. So, examining first of like, what am I using as my current definition of consistency and is that the definition that I want to keep using? Is that serving me? Is that helping me to reach my goals? Or do I need to shift that definition of consistency into something else?
Andrea Allen 15:27
And I think you could examine that by looking at how consistent you know, how many times you're doing that thing, that you want and also looking how it's affecting you mentally because people often they don't realize the consistency is so much easier if they're not consistent. If mentally, it's damaging them, then you're not going to get the physical outcomes you want. If you're mentally erect because you're always beating yourself up like you said, hitting yourself over the head. So, as you evaluate like, how do I find consistency? What do I consider consistency? And is it mentally healthy for me to look at it this way or am I limiting my abilities by looking at it this way? Like maybe need to bump it up, you know.
Amber B 16:09
Yeah, what you're saying is that a lot of times we think that the more consistent we are, the more successful we will be. That's a, that's an equivalent in a lot of people's minds. But what you're saying is that sometimes the more consistent you're like thinking that you have to be, actually the less successful you are because now it's causing you all of this, like mental stress. And it's like you're, like, not sticking with it and it's so, so this idea that like the more consistent I be, the more successful isn't actually a one-to-one comparison and is the distinguishing return on that one.
Andrea Allen 16:40
Yes, I remember. I remember one time you did an episode on your podcast about like, more of a good thing isn't a better thing,
Amber B 16:45
Andrea Allen 16:45
And I thought about that a lot and I was like, it's so true. We think like, well, if I'm, Morgan said I'm more, more, more, more, more I'll be better. But it's not. Not always better if other things start creating problems like the mental connection so.
Amber B 16:58
There's, there's a tipping point with that and that tipping point is gonna be a little different for everybody. You know, some people can, you know, be and I think of like bikini competitors which I've never been one but like, their dedication to specifics and consistency and the minutiae of what they need to do is a lot.
Andrea Allen 17:18
And if that was me, I would fall off a cliff.
Amber B 17:21
I would die.
Andrea Allen 17:22
Like, ohh man, I mean more power to them that they can do that, but you also, like you said, you recognize like what can I actually do? Am I setting myself up?
Amber B 17:30
There's a cost.
Andrea Allen 17:31
Amber B 17:31
There's a cost associated with it. You just have to decide if I want to pay that cost. And for a lot of women, it's a mental cost, as you know, to what you were saying before and it's not worth that mental cost.
Andrea Allen 17:40
So let's redefine consistency. How could people like, recognize that? Because maybe someone saying, No, I really am hard at myself because I say I'm never consistent. What does that mean, you know, or someone realizes, maybe they do need to be more consistent. How can we redefine that? What do you think?
Amber B 17:56
Yeah, so I always. So one of the questions that I love to ask my clients is when we get caught in this idea of consistency and then a lot of times people get really overwhelmed to is like, they're putting all of these things on them. In order to be consistent, I need to drink, you know, 100 ounces of water and I need to get 8 hours of sleep. And I need to reduce my stress and I need to go to the gym and I need to like count my macros. Like it's like this whole laundry list of strict rules, right?
Andrea Allen 18:19
Amber B 18:19
Like if, like I have to check all of these things off and it gets super overwhelming. And no wonder you're not consistent because you got to 500 things that you are trying to do. And so one of the questions that I really love to phrase to people that helps to kind of zero in on one thing that they can do is, what is something that feels light and easy to accomplish that's going to be different from something you did yesterday, right? It's not something that's like easy for you. It's not like already a habit. It's something that's different, that you did yesterday. It's something that's going to drive you towards the goal that you want, but it feels light and easy. And this is like the low hanging fruit.
Andrea Allen 18:53
Everyone needs to reach for that fruit. I think we ignore that fruit and we're like, let's get a ladder and then step on a ladder, on a ladder.
Amber B 19:01
Because and it goes back to that idea of like, the harder it is, the better it will work. I think this is a belief that a lot of women are walking around with. It's like the more challenging it is, the harder it is to stick to the more like I have to really try the better it's going to work. And my friend, it's the same thing. There's like, a tipping point, it's like, no, the harder it is just the harder it is, doesn't mean it's going to work a lot better and so yes, low hanging fruit, what is the low hanging fruit? It's something that feels light and easy. Again, it's not a habit. It's not like, oh, I drink 100 ounces of water yesterday, so, I'm gonna do that again today. I'm not saying like if that's easy for you and you already do it like, that's not going to be a good goal.
Andrea Allen 19:35
It's something that you could do, that's easy, but you don't do right now. So, you're adding it, it's an add that's easy, that's a low hanging fruit, what something simple that I can add in.
Amber B 19:47
Yeah. And then starting there and if we can like the whole, this whole process like spoiler alert, your whole process of physical fitness, your whole process of physical fitness journey is about taking something that you don't do. Practicing doing it over and over again until it becomes habitual, and now you don't have to think about it and then you add another thing and you do it over and over and over again. And then it becomes habitual and you don't have to think about it. Like, that's literally the whole process of your fitness journey and so a lot of times people are trying to add 15 things and make them all habits at the same time, and that's not a very good process my friends. So, instead, if you can focus on one thing again, you want to put it into the subconscious. I don't think anymore, and I'm sure you're the same way, Andrea like we don't make a decision every day if we're going to go to the gym.
Andrea Allen 20:33
Amber B 20:33
It's not a decision.
Andrea Allen 20:35
It's like brushing my teeth. It's just natural. Like I brush my teeth and then I put on my exercise clothes.
Amber B 20:38
Right, you don't make a decision every day. Oh, should I brush my teeth or not? Like it's just a habit. You just do this is the same thing. I don't make a decision every day to go to the gym. Now, there was a point where that had to be more intentional, and I think about that. And I had to like actually make a conscious choice to go to the gym. And then it becomes a habit and I have to think about it. And the more things that we can get to become habitual, the easier the process is going to be. And so when people get into things like macro counting and they're like how the freakin’ am I supposed to eat 130 grams of protein?
Andrea Allen 21:10
Amber B 21:10
And you're like, yeah, I know it's really crazy right now, I promise you in like 6 months, it'll be a habit and it's not something you’ll have to think about quite as much anymore but initially, it requires some effort. It required some focus.
Andrea Allen 21:21
Right. I remember when I started years ago, feeling like, wow, it's a lot of protein. And then I remember even recently I was counting cause every once in a while I'll count off and on. And I was like, Oh my gosh, you gotta control your protein. You're going over every day. Because it was so normal for me that like I naturally reach for a protein item and I didn't have to like think about it anymore and that it, it's just an adjustment in any aspect, whether you're talking about finances or fitness or relationship, it's an issue of, like you said, taking something, working on it.
Amber B 21:42
Think about it, yeah.
Andrea Allen 21:53
And then all of a sudden, you don't even have to work on it. It becomes more natural for you, but that the process of working on it takes time.
Amber B 22:02
Yeah. And that's how you develop consistency. So, people are always like, how do you, how do you get consistent at something? You make it habitual.
Andrea Allen 22:07
Amber B 22:07
Like that is the epitome of developing consistency of something. It's like, I don't track how much water I drink every day because I just drink water. Like I've just practiced it enough that it's just habitual. I'm consistent with drinking water because it's just something I do on the regular. It's not something to think about. And the more that you can make more of your fitness habitual, the more consistent you're going to be. But that takes time and it takes, you know, individual attention to things one at a time, not trying to make 15 habits, all of it.
Andrea Allen 22:38
Yeah. And as you pointed out, it's that low hanging item a lot of times I think why people fail and they feel I can't be consistent my finished journey is because they're doing a drastic change.
Amber B 22:49
Andrea Allen 22:49
They're shifting to like, you know, 75 hard or whatever. They're like, I only work out two days a week and I'm going to switch and I'm going to work out two times in one day, which is what, you know, 75 hard is and it's like if you want to do that, that's great. But jumping from two days a week to that doesn't work. It would be better if you're like, oh, I only work out twice this week, let's switch to three times a week and my third one is adding walking. You know what I mean? Something simple that's a low hanging fruit that you're like, Ohh it's not, you know, overly stressful. I can probably make it happen. You get there and then you go to four or you bump up the intensity of the walk like, whatever it is. That's the journey I think we forget that we say fitness journey and people are like, it's a race. This is a race, we are running to the finish line and I'm like, I'm like a journey. A journey has times where we sit, where we stop, to drink water, where we climb over walks, where sometimes we're moving fast, where sometimes we're moving slow,
Amber B 23:49
Andrea Allen 23:49
But you're slowly whatever going forward, we're not racing forward. You got your whole life to figure it out. So, it's not a race. And I think what fitness people think it's a race. In four weeks, I got to look like a new person because it's a race, you know.
Amber B 24:04
And one of the thing is, one reason I think people feel like it has to be a race is because they don't like what they're doing. And if you don't like what you’re doing, you want to get it over as fast as possible, then of course.
Andrea Allen 24:15
That's very true.
Amber B 24:17
You're going to want to like race through it, but like that, like that is why enjoyability. And you know, we talked about this in the realm of exercise and it applies to literally every aspect of your fitness journey, is like enjoyability is such an important underutilized factor. One of my favorite questions to ask my clients is how can you make this more fun? Like, I don't care what it is, but how can you make it more fun? Because it's something that's enjoyable, you're going to do it, you're going to stick with it, and that's the key to not having to be a race. That's the key to keep going. That's the key to not quitting because it's something that you enjoy and you're going to keep doing that.
Andrea Allen 24:48
That is a great question to ask yourself. So if you're someone who's saying I struggle being consistent, I'm going to tell you to listen to Amber and say what can you do to make it more fun, which will make it easier for you to make it a habit. And no matter what it is like, you know, I get my kids to clean upstairs cause there's a magic toy up.
Amber B 25:09
Well, that's, I mean, such a good example. We do this with our kids all the time, right, we like, try to make it fun. We like, try to make work fun for them because we understand on some level that if we can make it fun, they're more likely to do it. How come we don't do that with ourselves? Like, yeah, we're like.
Andrea Allen 25:22
Instead, you're gonna only drink lemon water.
Amber B 25:25
Right. And if you love lemon water like, my mom loves lemon water, then great. But if you hate lemon water like, how could you make that something that you don't hate? I think that is an underutilized tool in our fitness journey is enjoyability.
Andrea Allen 25:38
Everyone think about that if you're struggling, I don't know why, that's never even crossed my mind of how can you make it more fun because you're right, that makes it a habit. Because we when something is fun, you will continue to do it.
Amber B 25:50
You don't have to force yourself to do it. It's like I tell people like you don't ever have to force yourself to go, like, hang out with your friends because you want to do it. And if aspects of your fitness journey are like that, then you don't force yourself to do it. You like it, enjoy it. You like the way it makes you feel, and you're much likely more likely to stick with it like the less that we can use willpower in this journey, the better and you don't use willpower for things that you like.
Andrea Allen 26:15
No, that's a really good point. So what about someone who like, I'm thinking about people who we know that obviously different styles of workouts have benefits and we know that strength training has benefits. Now someone may say, I don't really love strength training, I think it's great to weave in things that you love into that. If you love running like I often tell my clients do something on your, you know, two days a week that you just enjoy. But make sure getting strength training in. So what would you say to someone who they feel like, they're always rationalizing or saying why they can't do something or in the moment they shouldn't do something and they're just kind of making a way for them to not be consistent, but they don't realize it.
Amber B 26:55
Well, I think I mean, so to your point, there are plenty of things that we do as adults that we do, because they're just good for us like, I don't love brushing my teeth. I don't love paying my taxes, right? But I do it because there's a purpose behind it. And so yes, we can do things to, like, make it more enjoyable and like not hate the process.
Andrea Allen 27:14
I have to chuckle today I have to tell you this, I'm interrupting you. So just today before the interview, I showered and I was like, oh, I’m out of dry shampoo and I had washed my body and I was like, I asked my neighbor. I asked my other neighbor and my husband's like so, you could just wash your hair. And I was like, how dare you? we got to go to the store and buy dry shampoo. So it's like that where it made me chuckle when you said that. Like you don't always necessarily enjoy and we work our way around things. But I think, you said that it made me chuckle because we're doing that with fitness, sometimes all, we’ll go all the way around to not do something.
Amber B 27:50
Andrea Allen 27:50
Then we could just do, you know.
Amber B 27:52
Yeah. So I think to your point. Like I think women, like one of the best things that you can do for your long term health is to lift weights. There's lots of research that backs it up. There's, you know, as we get older, we lose muscle mass, your ability to be able to get up off the toilet, do activities of daily living is very equivalent to the amount of muscle mass that you have on your body. And so one of the best things that we can do for healthy aging is to be able to build muscle, so strength training I think should be a part of every woman’s fitness journey, however, I do go back to this idea that, like how can we make it as fun as possible? Maybe you don't love it, I get it. Maybe it’s not, maybe you don't like, maybe it's not your happy place. But can we find a style that you like or maybe hate the least. How would we go with that? The style that you hate the least and one that you can at least stick to and then maybe you don't love doing it, but you love the results. You love that you can get up off the floor with your grandchildren. You know you love that you can, like, go run outside with your kids like you love the results and so you do it. I don't love brushing my teeth, but I love not having cavities. Yeah, I do it and we can think about strength training the same way.
Andrea Allen 28:58
I love that. So if you have something that you feel like, cause there are things in our life that we're not going to love, that we feel like we do this for our health, you know, and if you can think about looking at instead of focusing on, you know, why you don't like it? Focusing on the benefits of it, even if you're making it fun by saying, OK, I don't love lifting weights, but I'm going to make a playlist that I love, that I will only listen to when I lift weights or I Iove.
Amber B 29:22
Yep, I'm gonna do with a friend.
Andrea Allen 29:23
Amber B 29:24
Or I will wear cute workout clothes or like whatever. There's the ancillary ways to make it as fun as possible
Andrea Allen 29:31
Yeah. And then to think about the outcome. I think we sometimes forget. We focus so much always on looks but like abilities. Abilities is huge. I read a study the other day that said women who go through menopause afterwards they lose 20% of their bone mass. And I was like, 20%
Amber B 29:46
It's a lot.
Andrea Allen 29:47
And then I read how it was talking about how adding muscle helps strengthen the bones and they basically get stronger together because the bones have to support the muscle and so, like you said, the more muscle you have before you get to menopause, the better off you're going to be and less likely to develop things like osteoporosis and other things that we've talked about. So, in those things that you do have, because I do think we do some things that aren't fun for our health, focusing on the benefits, focusing on the good sides of them are going to be better. I saw a quote the other day that said, like you can focus on what you know you can't do or you can focus on what you're gaining from whatever you're doing. You know, OK. So, if someone is, you know, we kind of talked about making it fun. We've talked about focusing on the benefits. What about someone who just feels like it doesn't matter? Even if I enjoy it, even if you know I'm focusing on that, I just can't get to the root of the problem of why I'm not consistent like, I just can't figure it out. What tips would you have for them?
Amber B 30:46
So, this is a really common experience, to some extent we all have some sorts of self sabotage where we say I want. I want this thing and then we actually get in our own way of getting that thing. And this is just a natural, normal human phenomenon to self sabotage on some level. So, if you see this in yourself, welcome to being human. But the problem that a lot of people have is they focus on the symptoms and not actually what's causing the self sabotage. So they see the problem as, I'm not sticking to my macros over the weekend. I'm not being consistent over the weekend and so they say that's the problem. I'm just not being consistent. And so then if you think that that's the problem, then how are you gonna solve it? Where you come up with? Well, I'm gonna come up with all these strategies and ways that I'm gonna, like, be more consistent this weekend or I'm just going to try harder. I'm just going to like grit my teeth a little bit more and just stick to my macros over the weekend. And I don't know if you've tried that before, but I'll just save you some trouble, it doesn't work. In the long run, it does like you and you find yourself in the same pattern, and then we get really hard on ourselves. And we're like, well, I'm just a loser. I just can't do this. I can't stick to this. Like, why am I? Why can't I be successful and we kind of get down on ourselves, but one of the problems is you're focusing on the symptoms. So the fact that you're not sticking to your macros on the weekend is the symptom, not the actual root problem, and we can get down to the actual root problem and solve it, then we don't have to get hard on ourselves and we can actually have something that works, and so what is the best way to be able to get down to that root cause of like, what's really causing your self sabotage? What's causing you to not be consistent with what you say, comes out of your mouth and you say that you want and then you don't do the thing that would get you the thing that you want.
Andrea Allen 32:19
Amber B 32:20
Why are you doing that? And I love to take clients to the moment of decision, because there is a moment of decision when we, you know, it's a fork in the road and let's take this example of counting macros and I see so many women who are like, I do so well, counting my macros Monday through Friday and then Saturday hits and it's like everything's out the window and I like, don't track anything.
Andrea Allen 32:40
Amber B 32:40
And do, there's a moment of decision, right. There's a pivot point where at some point, you made the decision to eat something and not track it. And so I help clients to go to that moment like let's go to that moment where you made that decision. What specifically prevented you from tracking it? What was going on in your brain and how were you rationalizing it to yourself? It's super valuable to understand that we never make a decision without a reason. And you can even look at, like serial killers. People don't make decisions without a reason. So even if you talk to a serial killer, they have a reason like they've justified it. They've rationalized it in their mind in some way of like, why this was an OK thing to do. Now we would look at that and be like that's still an OK thing, but in their mind, they have rationalized it. We all do this. And so when we can go to that moment of that decision and we can ask ourselves, how was I rationalizing this to myself? What was I saying to myself in that moment that made me feel like this was an OK thing to do? To eat and not track it, even though I told myself I was going to do that, there's some rationalization that's going on right there and when we can get to that moment and be really clear on how we're speaking to ourselves and how we're rationalizing it, we can. That starts to be a like a flashing red light of like, hey, here's one of the root causes we need to work on. So a lot of times this will sound like oh, I don't know how much I ate something that I didn't know how much it was. It was, you know, a friend brought it over. And so then I justified to myself, since I can't track it exactly. I'm not gonna track it. So we can go to that moment and say, well, that's how you're rationalize yourself. What, like what is under that like, what belief is causing you to feel like that was an OK decision to make and it's something around the belief that like if I can't track it perfectly, then it doesn't count. Or if I can't track it perfectly, it's not going to be able to get me results and so this idea of like, it has to be perfect is something that we need to address. And so now we can address the root cause. We can address that like you said before, that all or nothing thinking, that like perfectionism and that's the root cause. And when we can figure that out and we can fix that, then the weekends get better because now we've addressed the root cause instead of just adjusting the symptoms.
Andrea Allen 34:44
I love that and you can even think about if they can get to the root cause, they might even see different adjustments, like maybe someone to get to the root cause and say I always lose it on the weekend because I feel so limited during the week and then you're like oh, maybe I need to increase what I'm eating during the week, that's a really common one. I know you see that one, too.
Amber B 35:04
Very common one, yeah.
Andrea Allen 35:04
People are losing their minds on the weekend and they look at it, it's like oh, it's because it's the weekend. I just can't keep it together on the weekend. And if we get to the root cause, well, actually it's probably possibility that you're under eating during the week and then you're losing it on the weekend because you're just it's like, so restrictive during the week. But if you never recognize that root cause, you're just going to keep beating yourself up over the weekend, over thinking, oh, it's because I have no self-control.
Amber B 35:33
I have no self-control, no power, yeah.
Andrea Allen 35:34
And so the route really is important for many reasons like, am I trying to be perfect? Do I think this is not possible for me? Am I over restrictive during the week but really getting quiet and thinking about that, I love that. That makes complete sense and I think that's a really common one for people in the justification.
Amber B 35:57
Yeah. And you highlighted some of the most common ones. So you know all or nothing thinking, over restricting is a huge one that I see a lot of the results aren't possible for me.
Andrea Allen 36:07
Amber B 36:07
Those are big ones.
Andrea Allen 06:08
That self-sabotage is real, it is so real.
Amber B 36:13
Or if you’re a failure, your fear of success like, these are all things that a lot of people struggle with and we spend a lot of time, a lot of us focusing on the symptoms, instead of addressing this feeling of like, well, you, you're afraid, you're gonna be successful. Like there's a fear there, we have, we address that fear before we, you know, everything else is gonna shift.
Andrea Allen 06:34
And I've met people who they're, they fear being successful, cause then they're worried. Well, if I'm successful, I won't be able to keep it up.
Amber B 36:41
Andrea Allen 36:41
And then I'm a failure. So then they fear success because they actually fear failure. And they're like, well, I can't. I can't maintain success. So, then I'll be a failure. So, I'll just stay failing now instead of trying. And this is in so many aspects, not even just, you know, health and fitness or goals or working out or nutrition or whatever it is like getting to that root problem like you said. And I think you have to get quiet with yourself. And that's hard sometimes.
Amber B 37:10
Andrea Allen 37:10
Just this week, I kept just this week, I kept saying or last week I should say like I don't have enough time. I don't have enough time. I don't have enough time. And I kept saying it over and over again and complaining about it for like a couple of a while, let's be honest and all of a sudden I was thinking one morning. And I thought like, you've thought multiple times you'd need to get up a little bit earlier and that would help, but then I'm like, I don't want to do that and then I continue to complain. I don't have enough time. I don't have enough time, so I had to kind of suck it up and be like I'm going to adjust. I'm going to get up an hour earlier, now the first day that was terrible, but it made a huge difference and I had to really recognize what I was doing and how I was hindering myself because I didn't want to get up earlier. So, then I kept complaining about something I didn't like. It was something that I could do different in my current situation, everyone’s situation is different obviously, but I don't have a baby. I'm sleeping through the night like it's a little bit different than you know. A lot of people, but I adjusted that and I was like, OK, sometimes things are hard at first. You have to recognize and you almost have to humble yourself to realize oh, I need to adjust this. This is, this really is something that I can do and I need to look inward at that root issue and then adapt.
Amber B 38:32
Yeah. And I think the key that people can kind of take away is listen to the areas that you complain about.
Andrea Allen 38:39
Amber B 38:39
Listen to the areas that you complain about and look a little closer at it because oftentimes the reason that we complain is cause we feel like we're a victim, we can't change anything. Yeah, but in reality, what you realize is you could, you could get up earlier.
Andrea Allen 38:51
Yeah. And I didn't want to. But I was like, and I literally said to myself, you can keep complaining that you don't have enough time in the morning and or you can change it, you know, and I did. And it's honestly, I honestly made me be like, why didn't I do this sooner, you know? And that's I think what we do with our health, even sometimes I love that you said pay attention to what you complain about. Look for that root problem and go from there. So, if you could give anyone any final tips on how they could be consistent, anything that you wish you have someone who's brand new into fitness, what do you want them to know? What do you want them to take away because fitness is a bumpy road. It is a bumpy road with all sorts of things going on. What would you want them to take away?
Amber B 39:36
Well, I'm gonna go back to something that you said, cause I just thought it was brilliant and that was that fitness is a journey, not a race. I mean, I think, boom, we could just, like, leave it at that. If someone coming into a fitness journey and they really grasp that, that it's like this is a marathon, my friend, this is like it's not over in three months or six months or whatever. If you can really come into fitness understanding that and grasping that it just changes the whole dynamic, it changes how you approach things. It changes how like when we expand that time frame that one day, that one experience, that one binge that one you know day that you missed the gym like it it doesn't matter if you're Looking at 80 years, but the problem is a lot of people are looking at 8 weeks and like you know, one day out of eight is a lot more than one day out of five thousand seven hundred.
Andrea Allen 40:25
Amber B 40:26
Right. And so I think I just love that that if you can really grasp that this is a journey, that it is going to be full of ups and it's going to be full of downs and that's there's nothing wrong when there's a a down, there’s nothing wrong like that's it's part of the journey. It's like you said, going hiking and like climbing over a rock and being like, this is a problem. You're like, no, that's just part of the trail like, yeah, part of the trail, just goes over a rock.
Andrea Allen 40:51
It stinks in that moment, but then it gets better and there are flowers on the other side.
Amber B 40:55
Right. And it's like there's nothing wrong like, you didn't go any the wrong way because you like, went over this rock like that was literally part of the trail like, this trail just goes over the rock. And the more that you can start to grasp that, that there are ups, there are downs, that is all part of the journey. There's nothing wrong when that happens, but the key is and I said this before, the key is the only way to make sure that you don't get the results you want is to quit. So are you going to quit? And that's really the question to come back to yourself is like, yeah, maybe you need to pivot, maybe you need to do something else. Maybe you need to try a new workout plan, right? Like you said, you don't like your workout, change it, but don't quit because quitting is the way to get, you will guarantee, no results.
Andrea Allen 41:30
Yeah, and I love that you point that out about it's if you're looking at it at a life because a lot of times people will make mistakes as you know and then they're like I'm going to start over. I'm going to start over. And I always tell people, if you tripped in a marathon, would you say send me back to the start line, I got to start. You would get up, you dust, your knees off and you would keep going.
Amber B 41:50
Andrea Allen 41:50
And we have this habit of being like the amount of people. And I know you get this with clients where they say, well, I want to start over, I want to go back to Week 1 and I'm like, why? Why? You already learned that, you guys keep going. Just dust your knees off, make sure there's no blood and keep going. You can't start over.
Amber B 42:06
Yeah, build on the foundation you've already built. Like, why would you want to like screw the foundation and like, start at the bottom like you have a foundation?
Andrea Allen 42:12
Amber B 42:13
Yeah, maybe it's like, not perfect and it doesn't look like amazing, but like it's a foundation and you can continue to build them and you can take bricks out and you can put bricks in. But like, keep going.
Andrea Allen 42:23
Yeah. Keep going, you don't need to start over and you don't need to beat yourself up. And you don't need to look at it as a quick race where you have to be perfect. Yeah, I love that. Thank you so much for being on Amber. Tell us where we can find you, your podcast, your Instagram handle.
Amber B 42:37
Yes. So my podcast is Biceps After Babies Radio and.
Andrea Allen 42:40
Which I highly recommend. It's really great.
Amber B 42:42
Oh, thanks and I do have an episode with Andrea. She came in and talked about pelvic floor, Diastasis recti and pelvic floor stuff. So I mean your Instagram account has all of that stuff, so it's awesome, great resource. I always am sending people your way when people like ask me about that, I'm like, I'm not for that's not me. Go to my friend Andrea. She’s fantastic about that.
Andrea Allen 43:02
Ah, thanks Amber.
Amber B 43:03
Yeah. Biceps After Babies Radio. And then I'm @biceps.after.babies on Instagram as well.
Andrea Allen 43:06
She's a great, follow and her podcast like I said, I listen the episodes and I'm like, yeah. Yeah, I feel like I'm doing my workouts, I’m clapping a lot, I love it, so I love it. Well, thank you for being on today, Amber.
Amber B 43:18
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
I hope that listening to that episode made you think a little bit about this topic of consistency, maybe gave you a better definition that you can start to use with yourself in your own journey so that you can continue to see progress and without beating yourself up. I think that's the key. Again, perfection is not required, consistency is required, and figuring out the difference between those and figuring out the definition of consistency that's going to be supportive of you and your goals is really the key for everyone to figure out. So, I hope that our conversation was stimulating in a way that made you think a little bit and hopefully reflect and apply it to your own journey, because that's my friend, where the magic happens. Listening to a podcast is fantastic, but it is in the application of what you are learning where things really start to change. If you like this podcast episode, take a few moments and leave a rating and review on iTunes or Spotify or wherever you're listening to this. It really does help the podcast to grow, and I'm really grateful for those who have taken the 3 to 5 minutes to do that favor for me. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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