Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Long overdue

I keep thinking, man it's been so long since I've blogged...I have so much to say!  But when I actually make a moment to write, my mind goes blank.  So I apologize in advance if this blog isn't very succinct.  

The last couple of months have been pretty taxing, not just for me and my family, but for everyone.  The subzero temperatures have made this winter nearly impossible to enjoy, plus the frigid temps have wrecked havoc on vehicles and homes.  It's hard to stay positive and set goals when it's all "doom and gloom" everywhere.  However, I feel during difficult times is when setting goals is most important.

At the beginning of February, we changed to a new gym that is closer to home which includes far less equipment and people.  The atmosphere was completely different than what I had become accustom to, which I actually unexpectedly have grown to like.  I thought I would miss the social aspect from the gym I had been previously attending.  However, quite the opposite has happened.  Without this becoming any sort of pity party, I would like to share a moment of realization that I had.  Reflecting with a friend the other day on how I missed the old gym faces, I realized that no one from our previous gym has messaged me, called or this point, it's been three weeks.  I have reached out with a comment or two on Facebook posts but with barely an awknowledgement in return.  This has forced me to take a deep look inward.

I am working out to impress noone, except myself.  

I am working out to compete with noone, but myself.  

I do not need acceptance from anyone, except from myself.  

I never realized how heavily I still relied on others for motivation, acceptance and approval, particularly during my gym time!  I'm saddened to no longer see those faces, but I also realize they had become a crutch for me.  I know that in passing there would be (and have been) a limited, but friendly exchange of hellos. That'll do. 

This last week in particular has been freeing.  I have been forced to challenge myself.  I also have two accountabili-buddies, my  best friend Jodi and my husband.  They  push me to do my personal best and hold me accountable to my exercise and eating.  They've always been there all along, but were overshadowed by my desire to fit in with the "gym crowd."  

A week and a half ago I set up a mini goal to lose 2 pounds in a week.  See, from November through mid-February I lost zero pounds, still gymed the same number of days in a week yet lost not a pound.  After changing gyms, I admittedly struggled the first couple weeks.  I went and I was able to focus on running, but still felt a little deflated.  Jodi and I had a couple of deep conversations about our goals and frustrations which has in turn, helped to intensify our workouts.  Also helps that the stressors that were holding me back have subsided.  We are in a groove, and feeling accomplished.  I met (well, exceeded) my goal for the first week.   This week I want to lose another 2 pounds and Sunday I'll weigh in.  I've really honed in my eating, strictly weighing and measuring everything and counting calories. This won't be how I eat forever, but it's what is best for me right now.  I still drink my shakes due to convenience, but I count those calories just the same.  

So back to the importance of goals! During the easy times, it's just that....easy.  But during the hard times, I know that I need to set smaller goals.  Setting goals gives me something to look forward to and push towards.  Something to, in a sense, give me tunnel vision and force me to focus.  

So although I never stopped, although I have kept on going, somehow I can still say I'm back!

Top left - I have some arm muscles!  
Top right - my sweaty buddy and I 
Bottom left - great workout!
Bottom right - I cut my own shirt...first attempt, need more
Practice :)

(Please note that I understand larger gyms with lots of equipment, people and support is not necessarily a bad thing and it's what some people need - it's what I needed for quite a while!)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Time to get Uncomfortable

Remember when you first started working out and you could barely walk because your muscles were so sore?  Remember when your body was losing weight and inches quickly because exercising and eating right was all new and confused your body?  Remember when making yourself go to the gym took a lot of support from others?

I remember that too.  I remember when it was all new, exciting, and challenging.  Then sometime into my second 90-day challenge, I got comfortable.  I hit a plateau and my progress ceased.  I still went to the gym regularly, had my ViSalus shakes regularly and I didn't gain anything back (thankfully).  I was just doing it all out if habit and keeping myself consistent.  

My friend reached out to me and said something along the lines of being fearful of going back to old bad habits.  That's when it hit me (and her)....we need to get our asses in gear again.  We are too comfortable.  We need to push it.  Consistency and new habits are great, but we are not going to see results unless we push beyond our current abilities for more.  

So instead of "going to the gym" to create a habit (that's already done), we need to go to literally work our asses off. We have also started logging our daily diets on myfitnesspal again.  Drinking shakes does not make us invinsible from eating poorly (which includes not eating enough or eating too much).  We are taking it 30 days at a time.  My First goal is to lose 10 pounds by March 1.  So it's sort of like when we first started as far as needing support and accountability.  Except this time instead of creating new healthy habits, we are fine tuning those habits and pushing beyond our current limits. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Running in a Thong

When I hear someone say they don't have time to workout or eat healthy, I cringe.  I cringe because I used to operate on the same mentality - too busy, too tired, too this or too that.  Excuses fuel the CANNOT DO mindset and then in turn, confidence is lost.

Today, rushing from one thing to the next without breathing room is very typical.  It's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life.  I know that once my alarm goes off (and sometimes even before), my brain starts going through the list for the day.  Then, as we get ourselves dressed and ready for the day, we are also getting the kids going, packing the day bags, making breakfast, and of course, making coffee.  By the time we head for the door, we are feeling ready for the day and frantic all at the same time.  It's easy to take care of everyone else and put ourselves last, right moms?

I really feel that the biggest mistake moms in particular make is not putting themselves first.  Then, when we don't accomplish our goals, that's when excuses come in to play and we use those excuses to make it "okay" to not accomplish our goals.  Every time another goal falls through the cracks, a little piece of us goes with it.  In no time flat we are left deflated, defeated and lacking worth.  We can hide those feelings for a long time until one day we realize how unhappy we have actually become.  

The best thing I ever did for my family was to put my health first.  Three years ago was the first time I seriously embraced my fitness and health for more than just the vanity of it.  After losing 50 pounds and feeling the best I've ever felt, I knew I was on the path to changing my life.  Then, after a bout of laziness while pregnant with our now 1 year old, all of that has been put back into perspective for me again.  I found after gaining the weight back that I was blue, even during the happiest time of my life.  Starting back on our weightloss and fitness journey has helped me find my confidence and happiness again.

Just like everyone, I'm busy.  I rush from one thing to the next, but I no longer make excuses - I pack my healthy snacks, I pack my workout clothes, and we plan our workout times.  I get tired, I am sore, and I sometimes just "don't wanna", but I'm not letting excuses hold me back anymore.  I am important.  

And yes, I've forgotten "certain" workout clothes and had to run in a thong.  Not my brightest moment but also, not as uncomfortable as one would think.

Make your health a priority.  
No excuses in 2014.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Time to Change it up!

First, this is a tough week and I truly appreciate my friends reaching out to make sure I'm okay.  Thank you.  Your outpourings of love keep me smiling.  

As you know from my last blog, I have been stuck.  My good friend Jodi did some research and suggested that I change my routine.  So I'm bringing back the couch to 5K app and passing on the meltdowns (sorry to my meltdown buddies...we shall meltdown one day again).  Really, I just need a break from meltdowns - 6 months is awhile to do the same exact exercises.

Today I was back to day one of Couch to 5K.  It went great.  I'm sure I won't be saying that in a couple weeks, I have to say it was a great change of pace (ha) and my body feels energized yet worked.  It won't be easy the entire time.  It'll get more difficult.   But I'm up for a new challenge.  Last night as I was Watching Seamus waddling as he learns to perfect his walk, it was a great metaphor for me - I just have to keep trying...keep doing and never give up.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Peek Back

Coming up on the near end of our second 90-day Challenge, I'm finding myself looking back to 6 months ago to our first day.  For those who haven't heard the story, David (my brother) and I along with our spouses decided to start a 90-day challenge through Challenge Fitness with ViSalus.  I set up a time to meet with Dean and the four of us went to the gym.  I reassured my team that it was just for us to get weighed, measured and pictures.  Oh was I wrong.  Well, we did get weighed, measured and pictures....but we also endured our very first meltdown.  Let's just say it was a VERY quiet car ride home. That day changed us.

So here we are almost to the end of our second challenge.  I needed a comparison pic.  I needed to see my success - lately I've been feeling so frustrated over this plateau I've reached.  Over four weeks stuck at the same weight.  Busting my ass at the gym and making smart food choices yet still stuck.  I know it's not just about the scale, but when I've still got so far to go, seeing the same damn number on the scale week after week is a bit unmotivating.  Gah.  So I'm going to take my own advice and just keep on keeping on.  Changing up my workouts and helping others work towards their goals, keeps me interested and inspired. 

Two years ago around the six month mark of losing weight, we somehow stopped caring and starting gaining the weight back.  Then I got pregnant and complacent.  I allowed the plateau to take over and discourage me so much that I gave up.  Today, I recognize that.  I see we are at that point again and this time I am not going to stop caring.  I will continue to believe in myself.  I believe I will see the results I want.  At the beginning I told myself...give it a year, then check the results.  I'm only (almost) halfway.  I may be stuck but I'm not stopping.  Not this time.  

Thank you to so many people who inspire me, support me and encourage me.  I love you all!  Jodi...special recognition to you <3

If you are ready for a change...come meet with me and Dean on Dec. 17 at 7 pm at the new Challenge Fitness location.  Click this link for more info:

My comparison pics

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Breaking Cycles

Thunder thighs, pudgy and other fat names still echo in my ears from childhood.  Additionally, this family member would pretend the room was shaking as I walked in.  This, coupled with teasing at school, forever altered my self image.  This low self image was the breeding grounds for self hate, feelings of worthlessness and skewed ideals of beauty.  

My husband was picked on in school and was the kid who always got blamed for the altercations and therefore punished.  Between the relentless teasing and unhealthy role models, he found himself in the kitchen for comfort.  Causing a vicious cycle of emotional eating to form.  

First and foremost, this is not a blog to make anyone feel bad.  Patrick and I both know that hindsight is 20/20 and if our families had a redo, it would be different.  With that said, we also know that our family's unintentional messages forever loom in the back of our minds.  Therefore, we are doing our best to be intentional with our children.  Clearly, as humans, we make mistakes and we can only do the best of what we know.  So our best is cooking healthy meals together, working with them at the gym, discussing smart/healthy choices and also doing our best to listen.  As parents, we have to set boundaries with discipline; these are the years of shaping and developing, we can be friends later in life.  However, with discipline still comes loads of love and encouragement.  

We are breaking the cycles that were trained into our families.  We are stopping the cycles with us.  No more McDonalds or fast food for dinner because we're in a hurry, no more eating fatty food as a reward for good behavior or accomplishments, no more eating based on emotions.  We are starting new healthier habits.   We are helping our children make smart choices and we discuss with them when they make poor choices.  We have learned and now we are choosing different for our kids.  

In what ways are you breaking cycles?

This is me in high school: