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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No One Gets to Make You Feel Bad.

I did some personal development courses over the last couple of years and it did make me feel more bulletproof.  My biggest take-away from that aspect was that no one can hurt your feelings.  Feelings aren’t something that is injured.  You can choose to not allow anything to make you feel bad.

I still struggle with feeling bad.  I haven’t reached bulletproof status yet.

bulletproof

One thing that I am really guilty of doing is hiding things that really upset me. That doesn’t really do any good but I find myself embarrassed by what happened and what my response was.

Earlier this month, I went on an outing by myself.  I was walking around a small downtown area enjoying the day, enjoying my own company, and enjoying my thoughts.  Even extroverts get some good stuff from a self-date.

I was minding my own business, walking, watching, thinking, when men in a car that passed me by decided to yell out their window at me.  How do I know it was me?  The street was deserted.  Their chant was negative and it regarded my weight, my appearance and how  I was porcine-like.

I responded by doing nothing. Oh, I heard it.  I’m sure my cheeks got red because I don’t have great control over my autonomic nervous system after all.  I just walked with the same peaceful look on my face and categorized the encounter as one of those ones I wish I could forget. I texted a friend as soon as I ducked in to a shop.  I just told my husband tonight.

This isn’t the first time a stranger or even an acquaintance decided to make a statement about me, at me, to get my attention in a malicious way.  The first time I can remember was 5th grade.  There were times in high school, college, being at the mall, and last year when I did a lot of street running when training for my half marathon. These were never “woo hoo, you go girl” genuine cheers.  These were always meant to be taken negatively and designed to make me feel bad about existing in this world and looking the way I do.

Street harassment isn’t a new thing and it certainly isn’t something that has stopped being discussed. In our culture, we are opening our eyes to how men and women experience different treatment. One viral video shows a woman confronting her harassers in sometimes very funny ways. When we think of street harassing women, we usually think of cat calls. Even for people like me, who try to be enlightened, can think of it as a very misplaced way to compliment someone in a knee jerk reaction, when it happens to someone else.

The truth is, there isn’t a lot of difference between someone cat calling someone on the street and yelling something derogatory at them. They are both unwanted. Neither one come from a well intentioned place. Both are only slung to elicit a response. Both make the issuer feel power over the target. And since we live in the United States, both are completely protected by the first amendment of our Constitution.

But just because speech is protected, doesn’t mean you can’t be viewed as a first class jerk for having said it.

I honestly don’t know if I can do anything about this. How could I have changed the outcome of that occurrence?  If I was a Marvel Superhero I could have stopped the car, jumped on the hood, and made a speech and made them poo their drawers.  But this is real life, I’m not a superhero. I was a pedestrian, they were in a car, and I could have been liable to any damage jumping on the car would have done. (I love how working in insurance has since colored so many of my revenge fantasies with reality.)

My mom always told me to ignore teasing. This isn’t really teasing. This is taking ownership of my body away from me. This is gross. And though it’s perfectly legal, it’s not okay.

The only thing I can think to do is not be silent.  So I’m writing this piece and I’ll see how I feel afterwards.

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.

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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.

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.

Being Relentless

“Relentless.”

A friend I’ve known for the last 18 years described me as relentless a while back.  I felt like it was an incredibly flattering compliment, but in the back of my mind I felt like it was false.  Because I’m a quitter.

It’s easy to get obsessed with all the wrong turns you’ve taken and all the projects you didn’t finish.  And that’s what I pretty much equated my definition of success to.  Many times I’ve done the wrong thing and I’ve abandoned things I really wanted to work.  I can find examples in my personal life, in my professional career, in my education.  But the worst of it is how many times I’ve let myself down.

We’ve all heard about S.M.A.R.T. goals.  I know, it’s not sexy. But when I have goals, they are usually not SMART in any sense.  They are vague and intangible and things I don’t have a lot of planning sunk in to.  Just little, “wouldn’t it be nice” thoughts.  Well, of course I’m not going to be able to finish that shit!  I have no idea what it even is.

Also – I’m scared to death of letting myself down.  That’s ironic considering how much I’ve actually done it.  So scratch that – I think I’m actually scared of getting success.  Why? Because I probably feel like I don’t deserve it.

At this point, I need to take my own advice and become my own best friend, my own coach, my own cheerleader.  Of course I deserve it.  I deserve to chase every goal and grab it with both hands.  My top 3 pursuits in the past year have been:

1. Be happy.

2. Lose weight.

3. Make an income.

Admirable, vague, and really shallow (looking at you #2).  How about we try this again:

1. Continue to live mindfully and cultivate a positive attitude every day.

2. Make the nutrition and exercise changes necessary to lose 50 lb.  Have fun.  Don’t stop when things get hard.  Mix things up when they aren’t working or get boring.  Keep the big picture in mind at all times.

3. Build on my own transformation to get others on the same path, and serve at the same time as I earn income from this. And in the meantime, do everything I need to to get myself the tools and space I need to make this happen.

So, yeah.  I’m going to be relentless.  I’m not going to quit.  And I’m not going to give up if I stumble.

Stairs

When You Don’t Reach a Goal.

I’ve always been a bit afraid of setting goals.  As a perfectionist child, I never wanted to let anyone down. If I made a promise, I kept it.  If I didn’t, I felt terrible.  Goals were always promises I made.  Promises to myself, promises to those around me… it didn’t really matter.  I’ve been encouraged to set goals, and so I’ve tried.  Honestly, most of the time I have no idea where to start.

One year ago I found myself at Beachbody Summit in Las Vegas, staring down a giant wall that said “Never Give Up.”  We could write our goals down.  Since I was overcome by the high of being in a convention center of pure blissful awesomeness, I wrote my goal.  I’ll share it with you now.

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Well, here it is a year later and I have to tell you where I’m at with those goals.  I haven’t lost 50 lb.  That’s probably the biggest one for me.  My health is my #1 priority.  I wanted to make that goal happen tremendously badly.

I am not a Diamond Coach.  I’m a solid Emerald.  If you aren’t in the Beachbody world that doesn’t mean a lot to you.  Basically, I haven’t moved my business forward much at all since this time last year.  Overall, I have fewer coaches in my little team, and they are less involved overall.  I haven’t been a leader to get them on their way and I haven’t inspired new people to join my team.

Not giving up anytime, ever.  This one, I feel like I kept.  Initially I felt like I must have given up because my forward momentum stalled.  But here’s the thing.  I’m still here.  I’m going to Summit again.  I’m still a coach.  I’m still working the Beachbody programs for myself and for others.  I’m still passionate about this company.  I still feel like it’s the place where I can do the most good.

I joined a DietBet over a month ago.  I present to you the results on this Transformation Tuesday.

weighinedited

Well, as you can tell by my hands – it wasn’t a moment of victory.  I had 1 month to lose 4% of my body weight.  I thought it would be easy.  I put $30 on the line.  I think I ended up a few tenths of a pound away from my initial weight in.  I even ran 6 freaking miles a couple days before!

You can’t be shocked when you don’t make your goals.  Writing them down doesn’t magically infuse them into existence.  I wish it worked like that.  They are also not promises I didn’t keep.  They were goals that didn’t get reached because honestly, I didn’t have a plan.  I had a half assed plan that I half assed executed.  So that was a total quarter assed plan.  Of course I’m not going to reach goals if I quarter ass them!

So I’m going to write some new goals tonight.  They aren’t just going to be whispers into the silence of the night.  I am going to write them down and immediately start coming up with a plan.  I’m going to include ways to stay accountable.  I’m not going to freak out if I get off track.  I’m going to adjust accordingly.  I’m not going to make the goals easy so that they will be no sweat to make.  I’m not going to make them too difficult.  I’m going to make realistic goals that genuinely resonate with me and get me further down the path I want to be at in my life.

Watch out for a future blog post titled: “What to Do When You Absolutely Crush Your Goals.