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.

Maybe I Don’t Hate Bicycles

The whole triathlon thing?  Yeah, it’s still my BIG goal.  I can swim very well.  I haven’t mastered open water swimming in the surf, but I’m a strong swimmer and I know it’s very much something I’ll be able to do.  I’m not the best runner, but I can do it.  I can do the distance.  Well, I can do 6 miles.  Let’s work on the rest.

I can ride a bike.  I mastered that at age 5.  Biking as an adult, knowing the danger, I don’t know, I think I’m a little afraid.  So I haven’t been doing much biking.  I make excuses.  I do other stuff.  I really hate shifting.  It feels weird, it sounds weird.  Cars are scary.

I did some indoor biking this year with my trainer.  I just mashed the pedals.  I put the resistance on, I suffered through the butt pain and I pushed.  I went for time, I went for cadence, I went for calorie burn.  I stood up when I couldn’t stand the butt pain anymore.  I hated every single moment of it.

So I wasn’t too excited about Spin class when my friend wanted to go.  But, I’m a good friend and I went.  When the instructor helped me adjust the bike settings, I knew it was going to be better than I thought.  All my joints lined up.  As soon as class started I knew things would be different.

The music was inspiring and the giant tour of San Francisco kept my eyes satisfied.  The class really got my senses excited and also satiated.  The whole class didn’t fly by.  It was hard.  It was work, but I enjoyed it anyway.  And afterward I got the endorphin high.  THE ENDORPHIN HIGH!  I never get it!  It’s fabulous.

My kick ass instructor, Sharon!

My kick ass instructor, Sharon!

I’ve been able to go two other times and it was equally as great.  And so was the endorphins.  I’m planning to go on my last week in Portland. And then I’m planning to go at my gym in San Diego.  It’s a completely different kind of workout.  And I think the switch up is just want I need right now.

Things have been tough in the last couple weeks.  The spin classes have been just what I needed.  Along with yoga and long walks.  I’m in a good place.

So maybe I’m not a biking goddess, but maybe I can do this after all.

Tiny triathlon

This week is going to be super hot, again, here in Southern California.  I don’t know what to say.  Yes, we are whining about something the rest of the world deals with quite well.  But personally, I am not acclimated for this amount of unending heat and humidity.  It’s getting to the point it doesn’t really cool down at night anymore.  Ridiculous.

Oh yeah, and we never fixed our heat and A/C when we bought our place.  So, we have none of those options.

Tomorrow we are going down to the beach for some fun time in the surf!  It’s aqua jogging time!  Practicing transitions!  Dolphin dives.  I don’t think it will really count as “open water” as we are unlikely to get past the breakers, but it’s another step, yeah?

Truly, the only thing I don’t love about this workout is the sand. It really does get everywhere.  And I feel it on my feet and it bugs the crap out of me.

Today we did another tiny triathlon in the comforts of the training facility of the clubhouse.  All air conditioned.  We ran against bungie cords in a harness, “swam” by kicking while on a stability ball, and biked on the Spin Bike.  3 rounds of THAT was fun enough.  I like the tiny triathlon days because it makes me remember my goal.  The goal is kind of ephemeral right now, but I think with every day it’s going to get clearer from here on out.

Laurie Bolt

Umm, Have You Forgotten About Triathlon?

No, actually I HAVEN’T forgotten about my triathlon goals.  I know it seems it, with all this talk to 5K and Beachbody, and Shakeology, and eating Paleo, and all the other seeingly random health-related things I bring up here.  Finishing a triathlon is definitely still my goal.  Maybe my why has changed?  I view triathlon as something REALLY badass.  I think of myself as pretty badass.  Therefore, completing a triathlon would further prove that train of thought.  You really need a great level of fitness and endurance to finish one.  You can’t really just get away with being good at one event and phoning the others in.

I'm still regularly doing TRX and getting fantastic strength and flexibility gains.

I’m still regularly doing TRX and getting fantastic strength and flexibility gains.

I have started running.  Like, actually running, not just walking really fast.  I’m working with a trainer who is really helping me get my form down.  My fitness level and muscle development is good enough that I can venture in to this world and not have to worry about killing my joints now.  Sometimes my lungs keep me back, sometimes it’s my legs.  Strength and cardio endurance.  I’m going to piggy back with these, but I’ll get better at both.

Biking is still eluding me.  I have a bike, but I’m not super comfortable on it.  We’re going to get a trailer hitch on one of our cars so we can use a bike rack to transport our bikes.  As it is now, my bike is big and heavy and getting 2 bikes in our small SUV is kind of difficult.  My husband thinks that cycling will be the best way to improve my cardio output without hurting my body.

Swimming.  I could be swimming in the ocean *right now* but I’m using the excuse that it’s too cold.  Which, really, it is.  But I also have access to a couple of pools.  I need to get my butt back in the water.  It’s always awesome and I always think “Why haven’t I been doing this” when I’m swimming regularly.  I did practice water transitions with my trainer.  Unfortunately it resulted in the loss of my iPhone because, well, I have no excuse other than I didn’t think far enough ahead.

I’m going to find an event within a week and either sign up or set up an alert for it.

Friend Makin’ Monday (on a Tuesday night): 2013

Maybe I missed the Monday release, but it’s never too late. I wanted to do an end of the year/start of the year post anyway, and this really sums up what I want to say.

Thank you for reading my blog this year. It really means a lot to me that people read what I write here. This has become a great avenue for me to keep track of myself, get my feelings out, work things out in writing, and be more transparent about my health and fitness reality.

It’s been a big year for me. I’ve done a great job in my training in 2012. And as a result of seeking help through a therapist in 2011, 2012 was been a mentally healthy year. I see my value now. I see that everyone has the same body image issues, the same feelings of low self worth. You are never alone. My situation is unique to me, but it’s okay. We all are in the same boat, just trying to find ways to be happy. I’ve stopped with the negative self talk, I’m taking time to be kind to myself. It’s making an incredible difference.

So this is Friend Makin’ Monday. These are my answers. Take a look and then answer them on your own blog. Head on over to All The Weigh to share with everyone else.

Happy 2013 everyone!

Happy 2013 everyone!

1. Share one thing that you plan to do for yourself in 2013. I’m going to cut out negative influences and emotional vampires out from my life. There are a few that I care about, but I care about myself more.

2. Share a good habit that you will continue doing into the new year. I’ve really got myself in a good head space this year. I’ve stopped beating myself up mentally. My self esteem is great, my insecurity is low, and I want to make sure I keep that up.

3. Do you make new year’s make resolutions? If so, do you typically stick to them? I am not a big resolution person, but I do believe in goal setting. New Years Resolution is a lot of pressure. I’m looking at it more of a reboot period. The only one I’ve ever stuck with is in 1999 my resolution was to balance my checkbook. I did this for one year. And then not again!

4. Do you have any health goals for the new year? 2012 was the year I got in to healthy gym habits. It was also the year I got strong. My strength training has been phenomenal, and I’ve lost around 20 lb. But, I’m ready to kick it up. 2013 is going to be about building on all I’ve done and really kick the fat burning into high gear.

5. Share one thing that you plan to do in January. I’m doing a 5K next weekend and I intend to set a PR.

6. Do you have any travel plans for the coming year? If so, where are you most excited to go? I’m planning on going back to Maine in April for my birthday, a dear friend’s birthday, and the 50th anniversary party for my sorority chapter at my college. I’m looking forward to catching up with family and my incredible friends and sorority sisters.

7. What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Since I’m writing after the fact – we threw a small party at our home for some friends. We dress up in formal wear and play fairly raunchy party games. This year was Cards Against Humanity.

8. What are your resolutions for 2013? Keep up at the gym. Lose some fat. Eat cleaner. Give myself the tools I need to be happy.

9. What are you looking forward to most over the next 12 months? I’m looking forward to starting my business. And I’m also excited to be the President of my sorority’s alumnae chapter here in SD.

10. Share something unique that you hope to do in 2013. I’m going to do a sprint triathlon.

Stop. Yoga Time!

Life has been weird lately. I’ve not been on my bike, or spending any QT with the treadmill. I’ve done pool laps a few nights. My regular training has been going great, I’ve even taken to catching medicine balls with my throat. I’m getting a lot stronger. I can handle a lot more punishment.

Mixing it up, I changed today from a “rest day” to YOGA DAY. I met a friend last week who wanted to check out the Chopra Center at the La Costa Resort, which is literally, right around the corner from my house. Another friend wanted to go, and had never been to a yoga class ever. We jumped in.

The class was amazing. The instructor did a lot of talking through the poses and reminding us about our form so we could correct ourselves. It reminded me a great deal of the Yoga Center in Portland, Maine, where I started practicing a long time ago. The poses were tough, were not held ridiculous long, and had very sane flow. Lots of mind/body connecting going on. It was just fabulous. I left feeling refreshed and strong.

I always forget that yoga makes me feel like a billion bucks. I struggle with my relationship with my body on a daily basis. Yoga gives me a conduit to talk to my body unlike any other medium. It’s not about what I can do, it’s more about who I am. I need that. I need to keep yoga in my life. It may not get me through my marathon directly, but it is the missing piece in my life. I never know I have missed it until I find it again.