Tales of My Fitness Past – Part 5

When last we left the discussion of my fitness and body history, we were at a nice positive chapter. I was fit and happy. I reveled in my friends, my career and my life. I didn’t care so much about what I was missing. I was enough for myself. I was traveling to see friends who had moved away. I even joined the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club. I’m not much of an outdoor person, or adventuring in the outdoors. I joined it to meet new people and get some new experiences. It was kind of crazy, but I thought, oh well!

Bash

 

As it happens often in life, just when you get cozy and comfortable, you get the chance to change things.  I met a guy. And being in a new relationship caused my routine and my normal to drastically change.  I wasn’t cooking or myself anymore, I was cooking for 2.  But it was more like cooking for 3 or 4 because my boyfriend had an appetite.  I was going out to dinner much more. My boyfriend was a great cook and he made really, yummy food. He also introduced me to lots of different foods I hadn’t really had a lot of exposure to.  Thai, Chinese, Indian, BBQ, etc.  There wasn’t very much of the new cuisine that was healthy! And dessert, particularly ice cream, was the rule, not the exception.

A lot of my time in the evening had been spent going to the gym.  I did lots of late night workouts before.  Now, if we weren’t hanging out, we were probably playing computer games.  My workouts were not physical except my hands on the keyboard. and running across virtual worlds, doesn’t really count!  Because playing the game was a huge priority, meals were often delivered so that we didn’t have to waste time cooking.  Sadly, our Chinese food delivery guy ended up getting so comfortable delivering to us that he’d just come on it and sit down and chat.  (I do want to brag that I used to get steamed vegetables!)

I was also in  graduate school, which added another layer of stress, time suck, and being sedentary.  I did try and walk to my classes from my apartment, which allowed me SOME exercise.  It was a few blocks more than comfortable so it was a decent amount of steps.  I made a new friend my second year of graduate school who had a summer job working for 2 of the most addictive men I’ve ever met: Ben and Jerry.

She came to school with a freezer full of ice cream pints.  Some we had never had before, and some that weren’t sold in stores.  She filled our freezer.  She filled a freezer at school.  There was ice cream everywhere and it was all yummy.  In the downtime for school we turned to food. When we studied, there was food.  We discovered the wonderful taste of cookie dough in a tub.  Sure, it wasn’t meant to be eaten with a spoon, but it sure was great.

I don’t mean to throw my grad school friends and boyfriend under the bus.  We also tried to do more workout things. I used to do 3 mile walks with the boyfriend.  My grad school friends and I joined Curves and did water aerobics.  We tried to cook together.  Fajita nights!

Fitness and health were less of a priority than school, relationships and recreation.  Socializing was the norm.  I had no real goals.  At one point I did join Weight Watchers at my work and a good Weight Watchers meeting IS worth it’s weight in gold.  But when we didn’t have enough people to keep it up, and when my grant ended and I was in school full-time, I was back on my own.

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Revisiting the 21 Day Fix

I’ve done a few rounds of the 21 Day Fix.  I’ve always loved the length of the program because I can totally schedule 21 days of workouts in the life.  3 weeks is a really achievable time frame.  When you finish, you feel accomplished.  Some time last year I decided that I was beyond 21 Day Fix.  I could go Extreme.  So I did!  I finished a few rounds of 21 Day Fix Extreme and THEN Autumn’s program – The Master’s Hammer & Chisel (twice).  I felt like I was a pro or something.

Haha.

Isn’t that always what happens?  You get cocky.

 

21

I’m doing a new challenge with Autumn – Your Fit Journey.  It started earlier this month and in it you do ALL 4 of her programs, back to back.  I have done all the programs so I thought, no problem.  And we started with 21 Day Fix.  I definitely  thought I’d be golden.

Coming off another program, I was ready.  I even had to overlap the two for a couple days.  No problem.  This was just 21 Day Fix.  I was ALL. OVER. THIS.

And then, the first move on the first day.  Surrenders.  Ugh.  The worst exercise for someone with hip flexor weakness.  Let me tell you something true.  This is not an easy program.  Sure it is approachable for beginners and I usually recommend it for beginners, but it is as tough as you want to make it.  And even though I think I’m badass, I’m modifying.  I’m pausing for a drink because it is GO time for 30 min.

It was totally hubris to think I outgrew this program. I was familiar with the program and probably ready for a change and a challenge.  But it was never EASY.  I was never BEYOND it.  So to everyone I’ve recommended the program to: it’s really great isn’t it? I’m right there with you and I have so much respect for ALL of us that finish each round.

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Work Out at Home.

You can only get a good workout at a gym.

Home is supposed to be relaxing.

Unless you have a team of professionals monitoring you, you’ll never get fit.

Paying a club fee keeps you accountable.

No one ever got a good workout on their own.

You don’t have a DVD player anymore anyway.

There’s no way you can actually stop watching Netflix long enough to throw in a workout.

You have no equipment to do any of those fancy moves.

There’s no way you can sweat without someone yelling at you.

Your pet/spouse/child won’t leave you alone long enough to have time to yourself to work out.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should.  We are continually sabotaging ourselves from any of the healthy choices we need to make by the voices we listen to.  Sometimes they are in our head, from experiences we’ve had.  And sometimes they are from people in our lives.  They can even be from society and culture in general!  It can get pretty overwhelming and I have to admit that I’ve listened to them, too.

I have done lots of things in my fitness life.  I’ve been a member of gyms.  I’ve been gone regularly!  I’ve taken classes in a devotional fashion.  I’ve run on the streets, in traffic, where everyone can see me.  I’ve worked with personal trainers.  I’ve been in small group circuit training classes.  I’ve met up with friends to do fit stuff out in the world.  I’ve even run a fitness class outside of my house!

But I ALSO workout at home.

handc-face

Getting PUMPED up at home.

 

I used to think that the act of getting dressed and getting in the car was what I needed to make sure I didn’t drop out of my workout routine.  I admit, I’ve never turned around on my way to a gym. I also get dressed and head downstairs, fire up my Apple TV and drink my pre workout Energize.  That’s my NEW ritual to get going.  I’ve bagged gym workouts when I pushed too hard.  I’ve surrendered during home workouts when I haven’t had it in me.

The thing I had to change was my mindset.  I had to question the truth of all of those 10 statements.  The funny thing is, there’s a little truth in them, but there’s also a whole lot of excuses and fear.

The gym isn’t the answer, running isn’t the answer, and working out along to a program at home isn’t the answer.  You are the answer.  You have to find what’s going to work FOR YOU.  And what that is will change.  You will change.  Tomorrow’s solutions aren’t the same as yesterday’s – otherwise we would just be doing the same thing over and over again  until things were perfect.  Shit happens. Conditions will change.  Your metabolism will change.  What you like will change.  What challenges you, will change.  You may have a physical set back, which will change what you need.  You will get stronger, better, faster, more awesome.  You’ll have to seek out new mountains to conquer.  That’s the greatest part about being a human!

The at-home thing works for me now.  I get to pick from a bunch of programs.  I’m close to my own shower, which I know doesn’t have plantar warts growing in it.  I can even access them when I’m traveling. (Like the time I did the line dancing workout in a tiny hotel room.)  But I can ALSO go swim some laps, go for a run, go the the gym and lift some weights.

I can do anything I want, and that’s totally okay.  But I DO stuff.  It’s often easier to START at home.  The gym is scary.  People driving by you when you are trying to run on the street, that’s intimidating.  If I need the people portion, I can workout with a friend at home or find the friends on Facebook who are also doing the same thing as I am.  That way, I have a gym buddy, anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

So forget what you think about working out at home.  It’s as awesome as you want to make it.  And it’s pretty great when you let it.

It’s Just a Flesh Wound.

You don't really want to see it uncovered.

You don’t really want to see it uncovered.

Thursday I, once again, cut my thumb on the mandolin. Dumb move. This is the third time. It still hurts. No carrot slice is worth flesh.

The cut is on the side of my thumb and it’s very inconvenient. I feel happy that I don’t have contacts to take out anymore because that would be very difficult. I managed to still put my soup together slowly with the cut but it made it hard.

Once upon a time I also broke my right arm and got it cast in a very awkward position (think C3PO). I couldn’t drive, put my hair in a ponytail, take off my bra. And just like now with this thumb thing? It made wiping my ass annoying. 

I’m right handed. I do things with both hands together but I rely on that right hand for most everything. Things can be done with my left hand. It just takes longer and feels strange, for awhile anyway.

I recall getting better at eating with my left hand (except chopsticks), having legible penmanship left handed after awhile, even figuring out contacts during my 8 weeks in a cast. I know that all the little movements my thumb helps with are going to get compensated for and in a couple weeks this will be scarred over and filled in.

This is a good lesson for me that shit happens to make things inconvenient. And getting a cut on the thumb may seem like a big annoyance but in the grand scheme of things? This is a drop in the bucket. Since I’ve done this 3 times now maybe I’ll hold on to what I can learn.

⚙There’s always other ways to do stuff.
⚙It might take longer but it will get done.
⚙Muscle memory is constantly created.
⚙Porcelain is sharp.
⚙Keep it clean, keep it covered is a decent mantra.
⚙Be grateful for every part of your body and how it works together.
⚙If it doesn’t work together so well, you’ll figure it out.
⚙You can’t rush healing.
⚙Normal is always changing, you are always adjusting to your current state.

Mistakes, I’ve Made a Few…

Do you ever find that your strengths can also be your weakness?

I’m still playing with the concept in my brain but I’ve made a realization. I’ve always been a little too obsessed with mistakes. My mistakes – figuring out where I went wrong and course correcting. Other people’s mistakes. Wow, am I good at pointing out mistakes other people make. (Sorry!)

I’m a great editor. You want any written piece checked for grammar, fonts, spacing, spelling, relative color of ink? I‘m your girl. Those “find the differences” puzzles – they are toast around me. I’ll tell you all the goofs in the movie. I could recognize when my Walkman battery was low and my cassette tapes were playing a little slow.

This is a skill that has served me SO well, but it’s also been a huge energy drain. Honestly, unless it’s your resume, or something really important – who freaking cares? It’s not as important as CREATING. And that’s really what I love to do. So why tear down when I can be building?

Maybe I’m always looking for mistakes because I always feel like I am wrong. If I can find a mistake in something else – maybe it isn’t me.

Okay, that’s a pretty big thought for a Monday night! Well, don’t worry, it actually was the result of spending from Friday night at 6 PM until last night at 8 PM in an intense personal development course. Being a Beachbody Coach pushes me out of my comfort zone. Well, I followed in the footsteps of a lot of the coaches on my team by doing this work and I’m turning a corner.

The Universe is always creating and destroying. Catabolism and Anabolism go together. Pointing out and searching for mistakes – it can be super important in the right situation, but it’s a form of destruction. It’s necessary sometimes but it’s also the easy way out of a lot of problems.

I’m choosing to be on the other end of the balance for awhile. I’m going to CONSTRUCT.

Let's build something awesome.

Let’s build something awesome.

Progress Photos are Scary!

**This post actually came from my Facebook page.  I can’t freaking believe I put this photo on there, on here, heck, I even sent it to an ex-boyfriend.  Why?  Because I’m not hiding.  I’m DOING this.  I’m a normal person and I’ve got normal person feelings.  So someone else who is a normal person with normal person feelings needs to know he is not alone.**

The first time I joined a challenge group here on Facebook, my coach Jamie wanted me to send her before photos. I immediately got a lump in my throat. I didn’t want to take photos and I certainly didn’t want to share them with someone I’ve never met.

I mean, let’s get real, we only post the best of the best photos of ourselves when it means other people can see it. We know the angles, we know the lighting, we know the filters. And when you’re struggling with your weight and you finally decide to take a risk and try something new, there’s just so much “new” you can take.

But I took my before photos and I sent them to her. And I’ve sent her photos since then. And I’ve taken some for myself and kept them on folders in my computer I never visit.

I revisited them today at her suggestion. She provided me with a 2014 photo – not even the start of my Beachbody story. The other photo is last week. I still have a long way to go but I’m so grateful for the road it has taken to get here so far.

January 2014 - September 2015

January 2014 – September 2015

So take your before photos. Get your significant other or best friend to take photos of you in workout clothes. You don’t have to obsess over them, tuck them away in a folder, send them to your coach. (I’d love to be your coach!) And when you’re ready to see how far you’ve come, bring them back out into the light.

Oh yeah – and if you turn in your before and after photos, along with a Beachbody program completion, you get a t-shirt and can win $1000.