Outwit, Outplay, Outlast Yourself

survive |sərˈvīv|verb [ no obj. ]

manage to keep going in difficult circumstances:she had to work day and night and survive on two hours sleep

I believe one of the most difficult parts of any workout routine is the first step: the first lunge, the first lift, the first stride.  It takes more mental energy for me to crawl off the couch and slink into a workout outfit than it did when I ran 13.1 miles on a treadmill, staring into the stucco wall in front of me.  Even when I am jazzed up about training for my two half marathons this summer, I still find the more appealing choice to be continuing to watch, for a 4th or 5th time, a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy.  Why?  Because it’s more comfortable, less exhausting, and frankly more appealing than smelling like an elephant’s pen at the zoo.

But I do it anyways  What is it that gets me out of my funk and both mentally and physically into my workout of the day?  A little thing I like to call Survivor: SchlumpaDinka Island

I’m a huge Survivor fan, and shamelessly have watched the majority of the past twenty-ish seasons in the past three years – thank you iTunes.  What I love about this game show is that you need to not only be physically capable, but mentally your game must be at its peak performance level.  And that’s where Survivor: SchlumpaDinka Island comes into play.  In order to conquer that little voice in my head that says, “You deserve to have a day off.  Who cares if you’re supposed to run 4 miles today?  You can run them tomorrow.  Skipping one workout won’t kill you.  You’ve been working hard; go ahead and have a second after-dinner snack,” I have to:


  • Psych yourself up with a motivational talk: I am going to kick these 4 miles’ a$$!  Man, you ain’t never seen someone crush four miles like you’re gonna see me!  People will talk of the fabulosity of these next 4 miles for ages to come.  I’m gonna have my own line of run gear.  F.O.R. M.E. – Fancy Oatmeal Running Master Equipment Inc.!
  • Set a goal and make it public – I use my blog to keep myself accountable for my exercise.  I haven’t always been the greatest at keeping tabs on myself when I’m the only one who knows about my goals.  I also have slammed down some serious (to me) scratch on running gear and race fees this summer.  Half Marathons, HERE I COME!


  • Switch it up!  Changing up your routine by adding different moves or using heavier weights might just be the difference that makes your workout routine a little spicier.  Or try something completely new.  I was getting bored out my gourd with my workout DVDs, so I hopped onto Pinterest and found some new routines.

  • If you’re able to run outside, the obvious solution to breaking boredom is to change your route.  But if you’re like me and unable to change your surroundings, change your route anyways!  Try an interval or hill run.  Many treadmills have different routines built into them, and if not you can always manually change the speed and incline.  Try one of these programs:

I’m not a personal trainer, and the only authority I have is as someone who is willing to give a workout a try.  So please make sure you use caution of you attempt any of the above mentioned workouts.


There are a lot of little mental tricks that can help you stay focused on your goals.  Here are some of the schemes that I use and have found success with:

  • Write down my workouts and mileage distances for the week in my planner.
  • Plan out my daily menu in the morning, after I’ve eaten my breakfast (it’s the same everyday, so it’s ok to do it then) and I’m not totally hungry.
  • My shopping is different than the majority of those who are reading this; fresh produce and reduced fat versions of foods are extremely limited, making me have to become more creative with limited options.  Therefore, there are perhaps only ten to fifteen different meal options that I enjoy.  It makes cooking more fun by trying different flavor and combinations of foods to see what I can add to my St. Paul Island Cookbook.
  • Lay out my workout outfit the night before – ON THE TREADMILL.
  • It may sound silly, but I put my sports bra and running shoes on RIGHT after I make coffee and use the restroom once I’ve crawled out of bed.
  • Totally competitive side of me forces Dear Hubby into doing a workout routine with me while we are watching TV after work.  The majority of the time, he doesn’t see me working out because I do it while he’s sleeping in the mornings.  This way, not only can I get in another workout that might not be scheduled, but I can show off to my husband. #FatFreeBrowniePoints

What are some things that you do, tricks that you may have to play on yourself, to keep your mind right about working out? 

Are you a Survivor fan?


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