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Try saying this to yourself once in a while.

Two weeks ago I mentioned that Mike and I are doing a super-intense workout and nutrition program to get in tip-top shape for our wedding. It’s taking up a lot of time and requires quite a bit of energy and pre-planning.

As one of my girlfriends from childhood said, though, “You’re never going to regret looking amazing on your wedding day.”

I’ve been pretty darn motivated by the goal of getting my dress to zip up without having to suck in my stomach.

(I tried it on in February and even a really serious inhale would not make the zipper budge. My mom, adorably and lovingly, said, “It’s okay honey. We can just get them to put an elastic panel in the back.” But that is SO not happening.)

Thankfully, the other day I tried it on and it zipped up no problemo. No sucking in required. YES!

So, in these last few days of workouts when my legs have felt like jelly and I’ve had sweat dripping off the tip of my nose, I’ve started to dive a little deeper for inspiration.

Motivation = needing to fit into my wedding dress.

Inspiration = something a little more sustainable and soulful.

I’ve heard a lot about positive self-talk. Likely, so have you.

But I’ve found that I often forget to turn my thoughts to the positive in moments when it counts the most.

During my high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio sessions I’ve been finding that simply looking at my timer, counting down the seconds until I give my heart a break from beating like crazy, is not that inspiring.

Sure, of course we can all do pretty much anything for 20-30 seconds. But pedaling like my life depends on it or sprinting like nobody’s business just to get through the time feels, well, kind of blah.

twitter_standingLife is not meant to be lived counting down the time.

So the other day I was riding a stationary bike that was positioned in front of a mirror. If I looked up I could see my eyes peering over the top of the little workout diagnostics screen.

On my next high-intensity interval I revved the level up to 16, looked myself in the eye, and gave it my all.

As I got to about halfway through the interval I could feel my energy waning. Instead of looking down to see how many seconds I needed to push through, I stared into my own eyes and silently said to myself:

“You’ve got this, girl! You’re amazing! Go for it! You’re doing great!”

In that moment, I tapped right back into my inner 12-year-old, cheering for my teammates and girlfriends on the soccer and softball fields. That enthusiastic little bugger knew exactly what to say! And you know what? She gave me access to a well of energy and fun that I didn’t even know was waiting there for me.

Now, I love affirmations and mantras and all sorts of incantations to keep the monkey mind between the ditches. But, what I’ve noticed is that they can often be long and complicated. And in a moment when my buns are burning and my legs look like Roadrunner, I can’t remember something long and complicated.

Instead, what’s been working really well for me during my workouts are short, encouraging phrases of love, spoken exclusively to myself inside my own head. To be honest, I’m shocked at how well it works and how amazing it makes me feel.

Next time you’re climbing a big hill (literal or metaphoric), you don’t have to recite an affirmative phrase about what a wonderful mountain climber you are, how strong your legs (or scruples, or whatever you’re working on) are, and how you climb mountains with ease and grace.

twitter_standingKeep it simple and just remind yourself that you’ve got this.

Over to you:

What do you find inspires you the most when you’re in a challenging situation? Do you have any favorite phrases of self-encouragement? What’s been your experience with affirmations?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you and continue the conversation!

If you found this post helpful, forward it to a friend who you think could use a little love and encouragement.


Just get on the train (or the freedom of commitment.)

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.”…

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