Sunday, December 1, 2013

embracing the breakdown

I remember the one and only time I cried at boot camp rather vividly.  I had missed a class the week before and was trying to make it up - four classes in five days for a relatively unfit girl.  I don't even really remember what I had been asked to do.  All I know is my body said "Yeah...about that.  I'm just going to make you cry instead. Cool?" It was humiliating, of course.  Michelle came over and said something pretty baffling: "This is a good thing."

Fast forward a few years, and I'm sitting on my couch, sobbing to my husband, "I don't want to get fat again."

Ah, the meltdown.  Your body's way of sending you a pretty strong message: Something has to change.  I've been switched from "losing weight" brain to "becoming strong" brain for a while now.  That's the funny thing about losing weight though - if you aren't thinking about it, it might stop happening.  Or the opposite might happen.  
I think I knew I was off-track.  The pants were a little tighter, I got sick (and I rarely get sick), and I just didn't feel that great about myself.  It was only a matter of time before the floodgates opened.  

Here's the thing about those breakdowns, though - they are exactly what we need.  It's that message you can't ignore, that signal that you have to stop whatever the hell you're doing (that you know you shouldn't be doing but you've been doing anyway), that brick wall that you smack into.  "Enough is enough, get your shit together."

I started this blog almost a year ago knowing that these days would come.  These days when I would lose sight of the end goal and get caught up in mini-cupcakes and "I'm not feeling good." Where is the girl full of piss 'n' vinegar? She's in there somewhere.
Clearly I'm not "fixed." I don't really know if I'll ever be, or if I need to be.  We all have our struggles and this happens to be one of mine.  I keep telling myself this is what "normal people" do - they see their weight change and they work out a little more and stop buying the ice cream and they're fine.  I guess it just feels like more to someone who's seen the snowball roll down the side of Everest.  

I was avoiding a post. I felt ashamed of my progress (or lack thereof) and I didn't want to admit it. But now I am.  And it's okay - I've had the meltdown, I've had the ugly crying fit, and it's time to put on my big girl panties and deal with it.  And no, I'm not waiting until January. Why the hell would I put off something this important to me? 

Not pictured: Big girl panties.
(From Greatist.)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

drinking the kool-aid

I bought the pants.  
You know. The pants. 

No, I didn't hit my weight goal by my birthday. I don't care.  I bought the pants, and I feel like a million-effin'-dollars in them.  They don't represent a number on a scale.  These magic pants represent the fact that I no longer beat myself up if I haven't hit a number on a scale.  Also, they represent that I can fit a size 6 at lulu lemon.  I'm pretty sure they were stitched by magical gnomes for my ass.  Love.

Last night was a bit of a sad night.  It was my last night of boot camp.  The fantastic Michelle has gone and gotten herself knocked up again.  I can't really blame her - if I had a choice to stay home and grow a little human in me vs. standing outside in the cold and yelling at people to do ten more squats while growing the same little human, I'd probably choose the "at home" version of that game show as well.  Three and a half-ish years of this woman kicking my ass has taught me a lot.  It has also given me a pretty good leg-up in my next venture.

Hell yeah.
Due to some scheduling conflicts, I have actually been doing CrossFit three times a week for the last three weeks.  Plus boot camp three times a week.  Plus dodgeball.  It's too much.  I would not recommend doing all that.  Especially if you're going to slack off in the stretching department like me.  (For the love of god, stretch after you work out.  Unless you like walking like a 94-year-old.  In that case, fill your boots.)

If you aren't familiar with CrossFit, here is the rundown:
  •  You do a warm-up - stuff like "double-unders" (skipping with the rope going under you twice when you jump)
  • Some dynamic stretching (warming up muscles while moving - walking lunges, bear crawling on the floor)
  • Practicing form (I'm in a "Foundations" class where we're learning all the basics of CrossFit and power-lifting)
  • A WOD (Workout of the Day) - 5-15 minutes of an intense workout incorporating power moves and cardio
It is AWESOME.  Even on the days I don't really feel like going, I feel like a total bad-ass whenever I walk out of the box. Plus, you get to say things like "I like the snatch." 

While I walked in with a pretty good level of fitness, you do not need to be in stellar shape to go.  There are people of all walks of life in there and they are not judging anyone.  I have found everyone to be really helpful and encouraging, and they do not make you feel like an ass because you can't get your arm positioning right when doing a thruster (Who needs their arms to thrust?! Heyooooooooooo!).  

No, you are not going to turn into a beefy body builder if you go (unless you want to).  I actually saw a woman who looked like she was about to give birth on the floor doing kipping pull-ups like they were her job.  Just like any exercise program, you get out what you put in.  

So this is what I've been jacked about lately.  If you're intrigued by it, you should go give it a try! They also make you drink this cup of something when you go and then ask you if you want to take the red pill or the blue pill.

Just kidding, there were no pills.
Plus there's all these acronyms and jargon that make you
sound like you know what you're talking about.


Monday, September 16, 2013

success is a tricky bastard

I just realized I didn't update y'all on the 6-Week Challenge Part Deux.  I didn't really chronicle my progress all that well either.  It was kind of a bust.  Oh well.

As of last Saturday, I was 3.4lbs than when I started.  I juggled the same 4 or 5 lbs up and down, and landed pretty much where I began from.  I tried some things, played around with protein, stopped religiously tracking my caloric intake.  One week I gained almost 6lbs.  As I stood there on the scale, blinking in disbelief, I thought about what I was feeling.  Anger? (A little.) Disappointment? (Yes.) Confusion? (Who's talking?)  And then it passed.  Really quickly.  I shrugged, and didn't really give it much more thought.  

Why do you care what a scale says if you know
you've done better than it's letting on? It's
a fickle bitch.  Throw it away. 
I have had a bit of epiphany.  A scale no longer represents the best indicator of my progress.  And that, my friends, is why success is a tricky bastard.  Six weeks ago, I was floundering and unhappy.  Every pound was a battle and every gain was devastating.  I measure my success in new ways now.

Now I can heft 12lb dumbbells at boot camp.  Now I can fit into my little sister's "hand-me-ups." Now I can walk into a CrossFit gym and not only feel like I fit in, but feel like I can nail whatever they throw at me.  Now I can run a 5K in under 26 minutes.  Now I can see that I'm not just a number on a scale.
I'm pretty awesome.  That scale is a bitch anyways.  It was always jealous.

So I have a new challenge for myself.  It might be a tough one, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I'm going to put my scale away, and I'm not going to touch it for 6 weeks.  Every week, I am going to find a new way to measure my success. And I'm going to buy the pants, because I've earned them dammit.  

I think this might be my greatest success - my life is no longer devoted to "losing weight" but to "living healthy."  And "getting jacked."  And "finding the perfect pumpkin spice latte."  Shut up, I can stop any time. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

doin' it "the old fashioned way"

I recently saw a story on the morning news about a guy that lost weight "the old fashioned way."  Old fashioned being "exercising more and eating less crap."  Seriously? This is news now?

Maybe it's not the fact that he managed to lose weight while burning more calories than he ate ("Man Does Not Defy Science! More at 11!") but the fact that he didn't have to resort to a fancy fad or trendy cleanse in order to shed some poundage.  I find it kind of sad that this is what makes the news.

How many commercials have you seen that have "results not typical" at the bottom of the screen? How the hell are so many people being conned into these cash grabs if they are more likely to fail than succeed?  And further, why are seeing big weight losses not considered a "typical" result of these programs? Isn't that what they're trying to sell you?  (I know there's legal shit surrounding why they have to put this, but still.)  You are better than that.  You can do way better.

Here are some of my opinions that I'm going to state in a bulleted form so they look more factual:
  • Be wary of fads and cleanses that involve effing with your hormones or with super low calorie allowances - if it sounds fucked up, it probably is.
  • Cleanses and diet programs might seem easy, and they might actually give you some short term results, but examine how sustainable it is.  If you have to survive off a drink made from cinnamon and sriracha in order to keep the weight off, how realistic is it? (Also, don't try that. I just made it up. It's that easy to make this shit up.)
  • Any little (or big) changes you make in terms of food and exercise will likely cause some sort of change in your weight. If you suddenly switch to black coffee from your venti coffee-flavored-sugar-milk, chances are you're going to see some positive change on the scale (cutting calories = cutting pounds. It's math. Or something.)
I'm sorry, PSL. I didn't mean it. 
If you've been eyeing up a cleanse to try or a diet but you're having trouble committing to it, take some time to think about why that might be.  I don't think you consider a diet without wanting to lose weight, so this isn't really a desire issue.  Maybe you're just not ready to commit to a month of 500 calories a day and shots of horse urine in between your toes. (Also made that up. Maybe.)  Maybe you're not ready to give up your beloved flavored coffee creamers or ranchy ranch salad dressing. Maybe you're not ready for what losing weight will actually mean to you. If the thought of having to eat carrots and celery for every meal is putting you off, it's probably for a reason.  If you are having an emotional attachment to a food and you don't want to stop eating it, that's also probably for a reason.  Ultimately, you have to be okay with the changes you're making or they won't stick.  Period.

Okay, it's cheerleader pep talk time.  You can make little changes to make big differences.  You can do this as a process instead of cold turkey.  I don't know how many times I've said "Okay, I'm going back to coffee on weekends only, week. Maybe."  (I can stop anytime. Shut up.) Pick something you can commit to and do it.  Right now. Pick something.  

This will be hard, in the beginning.  Change isn't easy. But please don't think that doing a quick cleanse or joining a fad program is going to be any easier than making some legit changes in your routine.  I won't say the old "If I can do it, so can you!" but honestly, if you had met me in my prime of unhealthy living, you would never have believed I was capable of what I'm doing now. I know I wouldn't have.  Some days I still have trouble recognizing the girl in the mirror.  Who is that? Why is she wearing such small clothes and flexing her rippling biceps? (Well this got awkward. Sorry.)

You know the drill - I'm here for you. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

wired for struggle

Hello my dears.  

I know. WTF.  She primes everyone with this big challenge and all this talk of amusing posts, and then she disappears for a month.  What's that about?

It's been a weird month.  I started a few posts, but they weren't really floating my boat.  Today seemed like a day that needed a post, so here I am.

A strange thing happens when you declare a goal.  Sometimes it motivates you, and sometimes you start to crumble under the pressure.  I wanted to do it.  I wanted to be that girl that says "Just you watch, I'm going to amaze you" and exceeds all expectations.  I guess sometimes we're not ready for it though.  

I found this.

I've changed, but I'm still the same person.  Does that make sense?  I still shy away from attention, and balk at compliments, and feel like I have a lot of misgivings to make up for, and  I have the confidence of a penguin trying to put on a band-aid.  When does a "fat girl" stop being a fat girl? It sure as hell isn't when she has lost weight.  

So I'd made a little progress on my goal, but it's not going to happen.  It's okay.  Progress comes in different ways, sometimes.  One of my current hurdles is changing my brain from "losing weight" to "becoming an athlete." I no longer just want to be slim. I want to be jacked. 

Like this! Just kidding. Maybe.
(via Muscle & Fitness Hers)
Mission number 1 was to up my protein (more protein = more muscle = more fat burned, yay!).  It may have played with my weight a little this week, which stung when I stepped on the scale this morning.  It's okay.  We're moving towards bigger and better things.  

So I'll be posting more. I've been playing with new things and I'd like to share! Hope you're doing well, you fabulous bitches. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

some days, we're just doing it for the shoes

So I think there are maybe three of us that are going to do this challenge.  There might be more of you lurking out there. That's cool. Fill your boots.  Not going to lie, I was going to do it anyway even if no one did it with me.  I do what I want.

Let's talk about goals, and what is realistic.  Be realistic.  You aren't going to lose 30lbs in 7 weeks. If you do, we need to have a different chat, sweetie, because that's not good.  Personally, I'm going to try and get rid of my "last" 17.2lbs.  I think it's a little less, but whatever.  Close enough.  The best way to tackle whatever you goal is is to chunk it down into smaller pieces that are more manageable.  I've wanted to lose 17lbs for a while. Clearly wishing it would happen has not brought the Weight Loss Fairy around (she's a feisty one).  So I'm going to take the Jillian Michaels approach and make a goal pyramid.  Fine, I'll make it look pretty too. 

Anyways, that took way longer than I anticipated.  Yours does not have to be pretty. It just has to be meaningful to you.  If you want help, let me know!

And while we're talking about goals, let's talk about what happens when you achieve them.  Sure, you get the satisfaction of knowing you worked hard for something and you accomplished what you set out to do.  That can be fantastic.  But so can shoes.  

I would highly encourage you to think about how you are going to reward yourself for climbing this mountain for the next seven weeks.  It could be clothes (a fancypants new outfit? Possibly including fancy pants?), shoes, books, going to a movie, whatever is going to excite you.  Is there a giant teacup at Urban Barn that you can't live without?  Is there a pair of Toms that keeps coming to you in dreams and calling your name?  If I'm in the middle of breaking a big plateau, sometimes my rewards are extremely outlandish for the size of the goal.  One week, I said I'd buy a pair of black ballet flats if I lost anything.  And I did, so I did.  

A few weeks ago I posted about what keeps you going when the thrill of working out just isn't cutting it.  I'm not going to lie - sometimes, I was just doing it for the shoes.  If you need short term satisfaction, consider little things like nail polish, books, the last issue of Oxygen (tear).  You know you best.  Figure out what little things you can do for yourself and help you look forward to the scale (or whatever measurement of success you're using) instead of dreading it.

This is going in bold because it's very important.  Do not, please, for the love of coffee (YOU KNOW I'M SERIOUS HERE), use food as a reward for yourself.

I remember during one of my (several) tries with WW when I would look forward to weigh-in days because then I could go get fast food for dinner and eat all the ice cream I wanted afterwards. I'd worked hard all week, I earned it.  This is such a bad habit, and I've broken it (luckily).  You should not be rewarding yourself for making good habits by slipping back into the "old ways." What's the message here?  You haven't really changed if you're still bingeing on the crap that got you where you are. If I want a white chocolate mocha with raspberry from Starbucks, I make sure I've allotted 350 calories (I know!) for it and I enjoy it.  But it's because I want it, not because "I've earned it from all this working out I've been doing."  If you're going to go out for dinner, go out for dinner, decide what you want to eat and if you really want the pasta (you can make better at home, just sayin'), and enjoy yourself.  

Imagine this: You've worked out four times this week, you ate fantastically, and your pants are a little looser.  You stepped on the scale and you lost 2lbs.  You are feeling awesome.  Now you go downstairs to your freezer, get out the pint of ice cream that you've been saving for a special time when you deserve a treat, and you polish it off.  That could easily be 1000 calories, probably more.  And it's loaded with sugar and processed crap.  How do you feel now?  Better yet, was it worth it?  For me, never was.  I've moved on to better things.

Are you curious what my 7-week, "happy birthday to me," "I've finally hit my effing goal!" present to myself will be?  
I'm thinkin' these bad boys.  With Missy Peregrym's abs, I'll be unstoppable.  Or just really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

So if you're doing the challenge with me, awesome.  Let's do it.  If you're not, it's all good.  Sometimes we're just not ready for this shit.  If you want to send me goals, or bounce thoughts off me, or whatever, you know the drill.
Also, it starts tomorrow. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

defeated by wednesday

Do you ever just start the week off on the wrong foot, and feel like there's no way you're going to turn it around? As I laid in bed last night, I thought of how fantastically disappointing my clothes shopping experience at Target was and how aware of my midsection I am right now.  Compounded with feeling like I had done so good last week and having a major disappointment on the scale, and the weather matching my mood, and I'm in a funk.  
Plus these things have been mocking me from my dressing room.
Husband and I were chatting last night about groceries (so romantic) and he noted that I eat pretty effing healthy and don't drink booze. I told him I'd rather eat fruit than granola bars. I almost said chocolate, but I think we all know I'd choose chocolate over granola bars. (Who wouldn't? Let's not discuss fruit vs. chocolate because it will end with me staring down a "chocolate fondue for four" in some serious trouble.)  Yes, I do all this good shit for myself. I go to boot camp, I started doing yoga, I eat fruit and egg whites like they hurt my mother and kicked my puppy, and yet here I am.  Stagnating. 

I've heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  (Shut up, Einstein.)  But shouldn't that be the key to losing weight and getting healthy? Pick a habit, keep doing it, see results, buy bikini.  This seems like a no-brainer.  I eat healthy, I work out. I would buy a bikini but no one wants to see that shit (YET).  Wow, way to follow my own advice about self-deprication.  Next I'll be telling myself I should "practice positive self-talk!" Blegh.

Okay, this is losing focus.  Back to the deal - what happens when you feel like you're doing everything right and you're not getting what you want?

Change it the fuck up.

I have 49 days left until my birthday. Seven weeks.  I thought to myself "Self, it seems highly unlikely you can lose 15-ish lbs in that much time." And then I remembered I'd done it before.  Well there goes that excuse.  And as I re-read that post, I realize that I can do that again.  I'm going to do that again.  Let's start a 7-week challenge together.

Who's with me?  If you aren't - why not?

The way I see it, when I'm in a funk, there are two paths - continue to wallow and whine about it, or do something about it.  I'm more of a do-er.  Here's what I'm suggesting:

  • Everyone chooses a goal they'd like to obtain over the next 7 weeks. It can be pound-age, it can be a habit, it can be inches, whatever.  
  • Pick your goal, send it to me. I've heard rumblings there are lurkers out there that are contemplating contacting me - I want you to! I won't yell at you, I promise. If you want to send me your goal, I can help you set up a goal pyramid. 
  • We'll talk about rewards - maybe I'll kick in a little something-something for the "winner." Could we do a poll? I'm still fleshing this out.  (Flesh is such a weird word.)
 I'm going to test out a poll thing.  Vote and let me know it works (or if it doesn't, so I can go shake my fist at someone).

 (Update: Poll is on the side. I tried to embed one and it made all the colors go super-fugly.)

Or better.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

self-deprecation doesn't look good on anyone, sweets

I have an exceptionally hard time accepting compliments.  If you know me, you probably know this from the way I give weird looks or say "I do what I can..." before looking away awkwardly whenever someone sends a warm fuzzy my way.

I used to be worse.  I used to say "No..." or laugh it off like whoever was complimenting me was crazy.  Or say "Ugh, no way. I'm huge/my hair is awful/I hate these clothes." This is part of that overweight mentality.  I felt that my weight was a shameful thing, and it overtook any accomplishments or other parts of my body that were worth admiring.  No one could possibly be praising me for my abilities or my hair - I was fat.  That was the end of the story.

It's not a light switch.  I see all these articles about "the power of positive self-talk!" and "loving yourself first!" Okay, whatever.  Tell the person who feels like shit about their weight from every media source out there, then say "Don't feel bad, fat girl.  You can be pretty too! You just have to believe in yourself!" Ugh.  Does anyone ever believe that?  You can't just say "Okay, I feel good about myself now. Thanks for the platitudes!" and be on your merry way.  Unless you're taking some sort of drug, in which case, you need to sharesies right meow.  

I don't know when I started "accepting" compliments.  But here's what I know - people don't blow smoke up your ass for no reason.  My mom says that I'm the kind of person that if I don't like you, you'll know it. (Awesome.  So if I'm bitchy to you and you don't know why, try placating me with chocolate.)  I'm also the kind of person that isn't going to needlessly compliment you to puff up your ego.  I'm sure those people exist, and you know who they are.  They say things like "Isn't your shirt...interesting!" or "The color of your cuticles is DIVINE."  But I like to let people know when I notice something positive. And I also know I feel like shit when they say "Oh, no. That couldn't possibly be!" Give me some credit. If I'm taking the time to say something nice to you, it's because I mean it (and you should be damn thankful for the honor!).  When I really started thinking about how I felt when someone brushed off a positive comment from me, I began to notice my reaction to comments from others.  Even if I don't necessarily believe that person in that moment, I have trained myself to say "Thank you." 

It can be a challenge - you think you're having a bad hair day or you are wearing your fat jeans because they feel the best.  Then someone says "Wow, you look really good today!" and your immediate reaction is "Are you messing with me?" Retract the claws, say thank you, and think about it.  Is this person trying to get a favor out of me?  Is this person the kind of person to blow smoke up my ass? Do I care? Really - it doesn't matter.  You get shit on enough in your life, take the compliments as they come.  

We don't see ourselves the way others see us.  Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror at another person's house and thought "Whoa! Who the hell is that? She looks awesome!"? When you stop framing yourself in the way you always have, you'll be shocked at who you see.  Just because you can't see something positive, it doesn't mean others aren't seeing something.  You don't have to be all gushy and say "I love my thighs! I love my thighs, dammit!" because you can't fool yourself.  If you have doubts, you have doubts.  That's okay.  We're all a little broken. We only see the chips and cracks in ourselves that others usually overlook.  
And I didn't even have to fish for these! I love you guys!

So here is my challenge to you - stop blowing off the good compliments from other people.  Say "thank you" and smile.  No one wants to hear you bash yourself, and no one wants to feel like their compliment doesn't matter.  Be happy.  Everyone has something going for them, even if you can't see what it is yourself.

FYI - your eyes are amazing. Just sayin'.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

change is a good thing

Good afternoon, muffins! I've been thinking of you, don't worry. I don't even want to tell you where I am in terms of my goal.  Let's just say there have been some ups and downs (and I'm a lb farther from my goal than when I last blogged).  I went on vacation in the middle of all that.  And the exact opposite of what I expected to happen ended up happening.

Have you ever heard that old saying "A change is as good as a rest"?  You know, the thing people say when they don't know how to make you feel better about shitty things happening to you?  Kind of like "Everything happens for a reason!" and "Why are you in my house? I'm calling the police." Anyways, I was kind of thinking about that saying in a different way.  I had been motoring along hitting the end of the school year, but things were just not moving like I wanted them to.  Before I left on vacation, I stepped on the scale and I was actually up 3lbs.  I said "Fuck you, scale" and went on vacation.  
Have you ever been to the Okanagan? There is a little blip on the side of the road called Winfield. (Okay, it's called Lake Country, but I refuse to call it that. It's Winfield to me.)  And in Winfield is a bakery that has been there for a long time.  My mom remembers it as a kid.  That's old. (Love you, Maj!)  They make these donut pretzel things that my husband lovingly dubbed prez-nuts.  (Shouldn't it be pretz-nuts? Just sayin'.)  They are ridiculously delicious and way too many of them made their way into my mouth this past week.  I was sure that I'd be up another 20lbs when I got home because my body was spiting me for missing a week of boot camp AND eating pretz-nuts.  But what is this? A loss? Of two lbs?! Sweet baby jebus on a stick, what a pleasant surprise!
The Okanagan. Home of Pretz-Nuts and rattlesnakes. 


I don't really want to know what happened there, but I'll take it and run with it.  In my head, I'm thinking that I just needed a bit of a shake-up from the regular routine.  Your body gets used to shit, you have to surprise it every once in a while.  In keeping with that, I'm guinea-pigging an unlimited yoga pass that I will tell you more about later.  I'm also becoming increasingly enamored with CrossFit.  Stay tuned, muffins.
So moral of the story - are you in a slump? Feel like you're doing everything right and don't have the results you want?  It's time to shake shit up.  Not literally. Well, okay maybe literally if you want to try Zumba.  Fill your boots.  But in the figurative sense, pick something you've been wanting to try and go do it.  Now. Why not? 

Monday, June 24, 2013

get your head in the game (warning: this post gets weird. sorry.)

Hello my lovelies.  I apologize for the lack of updates.  Sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches, and I was getting hammered.  We are back in our house, flood-damage free, and I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove. Punchy punch punch BAM.

I was thinking this morning at boot camp that I have 72 days until my birthday, which is when I'd like to be at my goal.  As of yesterday morning, that is 16.8lbs away.  That's about 1.5lbs/week.  I'm really just saying this for my benefit and hoping someone will keep me accountable (please nag my lazy ass!).  I like to break down my goals like this - helps me get a little perspective on things.  Even now that I've done the math, I'm a little more fired up about it.  Let's do this shit.

Anyways, I'm not sure if you've ever had the pleasure of watching High School Musical (or the honor of watching it with Julie and I.  Us - one, humanity - zero), but it has some pretty good advice.  One of those pieces of advice is that men need to carefully consider wearing capris before doing so.  Another is that you need to getcha head in the game.  I was having a conversation with someone who is currently putting her game face on in terms of fitness (so proud of you, P!) and she was telling me about her plans and goals.  First off, having the drive to make plans and goals in the first place is a giant accomplishment.  That's what sets the inspired apart from the motivated!  But is that enough? What happens when you stop "feeling like" working out and tracking your food (downward shame spiral with mojitos, party of one)?

Once in a while, I like to be creepy. I know, this may shock some of you.  When the mood strikes, I start Googling Missy Peregrym (or Missy Peregrym's abs if I'm feeling extra-creepy. Okay fine, I Google that every time.  I can stop any time!) and start thinking how utterly doable that could be.  Some days, just saying "I can lose weight!" or "I should go for a jog!" just don't cut it for me.  But somehow, the thought of having Missy Peregrym's abs totally does (most days. The other days I need an ass-kicking from a more external source, haha!).  Now that you know one of my darkest secrets, you may ask "What the hell was the purpose of this? I was aware you are creepy, I have seen your gnome collection." Well here it is, muffins: You need to find something other than working out and eating better to motivate you to work out and eat better.  When it's raining or you are tired or the couch is in danger of floating away and needs to be held down, you are going to need something to get your ass going.  

Some things I have found motivating in the past include
I'm sure there are other ideas. I just have to jet off to my second boot camp of the day pretty quickly here.  Yes - my second boot camp of the day.  How do I find the energy?

Mark my words, I will have those abs.
(Picture from here.)


Sunday, June 9, 2013

a shark full of piss and vinegar

Hello muffins! I hope you all are having a fantastic weekend!

You may be wondering what the hell the title of this post is referring to.  This is what has been running through my head all week.  I love having a challenge to work on, and I'm relishing everything that has been happening.

I can't remember what movie or show or whatever it was that I saw it in, but I'm having a pretty vivid memory (okay, not vivid at all. I'm Helen Keller-ing this) about sharks, and how their lungs work on the basis of water being pushed through to allow for oxygen exchange.  I have a biology degree; this twigged in my brain.  Sharks always have to keep moving.  If they stop, they die.  I can totally identify with this.  Not literally (I enjoy sleeping WAY too much for that), but in the sense that I feel happiest when I am moving forward.

And I beat her.  I'm that good.
When was the last time you tried something new? Or felt something you've never felt before? Challenge time: I want you to try something new every day this week.  It doesn't have to be elaborate or life-changing (although, can you imagine how effing awesome it would be if it did?!).  I aim to try as much new stuff as possible - I love pushing my boundaries and seeing what I'm capable of.  It just reaffirms how far I've come and shows me how much more I could do.  I try new food (Indian? Who knew?), I talk to people I may not have thought to reach out to, I explore new opportunities that I would have blown off before.  Because, at the end of the day, why not? (Ooooooh, she said the name of the blog! Mystery solved, friends).

I find this way of living completely thrilling.  It invigorates me to wake up and think "Today, I'm going to encounter something and do the complete opposite of what I'd normally do." It actually put a little pep in my step for the week - as if I was full of piss 'n' vinegar. 

So go forth, lovelies, and fall in love with the idea of becoming a better version of you by expanding what you're capable of.  Can you imagine what you could do? You have no excuse.

Why not?


Sunday, June 2, 2013

falling off the damn wagon (and hauling yourself back on)

Oh, it was a rough couple of weeks.  You know the kind - when everything needs to be in your mouth right now and it all tastes amazing and dammit, now I've gained 5lbs. Hello, delicious shame spiral.  We meet again.

I was feeling all sorts of things - some anger, some guilt.  Mostly, I was feeling kind of apathetic towards things, which made me even angrier (and I get punchy when I'm mad).  I had just put so much work into myself, and I was letting it go for no damn reason.  Sometimes I would randomly ask myself out loud "What the hell is the matter with you? What's going on?" (Don't worry, I didn't answer out loud.  The crazy comes and goes.)

I made a few decisions for myself, because I saw where it was going and knew I couldn't go there again.  I had just gone six weeks without coffee during the week (except for that one day)Why did I suddenly feel like it was a good idea to go back to having it? And why was I eating everything in sight and pretending it had no calories?  I didn't really have a good answer. 

 "Bitch, I could stop drinking coffee any time I want to. Don't judge me."
(Picture from this brilliant woman.)
How do you pull yourself out of the hole you're digging? How do you say "Okay, now it's enough.  Time to move on."?

My super-cheesy reasoning is going to sound hollow and kind of useless, but hear me out.
Your past is your past for a reason - and I really think your experiences are just lessons (like that time I thought it would be a good idea to chase tequila with $4 red wine. Lesson learned.) Clearly I was not "getting" what was going on.  

I decided to have a re-commitment week this week. I was extremely vigilant with the food tracking, I didn't touch that crack granola I've been making, and I resolved to get more exercise in in the morning.  And I felt a whole hell of a lot better for it.  I like the feeling of being able to control what's happening with my body.  Losing 3.8lbs doesn't hurt either.

At the end of the day, I think I just needed that little wake-up call to show me how quickly I could gain it back if I don't make my goals a priority.   I'm going to need your help, muffins.

I'm now 18.2lbs away from my unofficial "goal weight."  Help keep me honest.  I'm going to post my new weight every Saturday morning - up or down.   

Do you have a goal you want to reach?  Can we do this together? Let's make each other accountable.  Get in touch with me and we'll do this shit up all proper-like.

This week I'm going to:
  • Get in at least 2 extra workouts
  • Track my food
  • Smile more
  • Reward myself if I've lost at least 2lbs on Saturday
 Side question: Are you guys interested in more food-focused posts? Like examples of meal plans and things I like to eat that are healthy and mouthgasmic? Email me and let me know!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

why people are overweight

This one could get ugly, muffins.  I'm warning you right now.  I've included some nice little pictures with inspirational quotes to break it up and make you feel warm and fuzzy along the way. 

Let's talk about something we all wish we knew but hate to acknowledge: 

Why are people overweight?

Being "fat" has gotten a lot of negative attention over the years.  For some reason, it has become perfectly acceptable for a person's value to be tied to the number on the scale and the size on the tag.  Entire industries have been built on telling people they are not thin enough to be considered attractive or worthy of attention, and what happens?  People become depressed.  What do depressed people tend to do? Eat their feelings.  Vicious (delicious?) downward shame spiral ensues, and we are left with a situation where way too many people are facing serious health concerns and crippling unhappiness with their current situation.  I may sound a little nonchalant about all this - been there, done that, bought the XXL t-shirt and ate the cookies.

I found myself having this conversation with someone a couple years ago, talking about how people end up on shows like The Biggest Loser and "why can't they just do it at home?" Fat people are well aware they are fat - don't even worry about that.  They get snickered at and mocked and judged on a regular basis, and there is plenty of negative motivation to go around.  Is weight loss a difficult concept? Not really.  Clearly there is other stuff getting in the way.  

I really see weight issues as a symptom of low self-esteem and low self-worth.  We come by it honestly, with all the shit that gets shoveled on us through the media.  Unfortunately, this means that we tend to see our goals as worthless and unattainable (leading to the shame spiral again.  Hello, tequila, we meet again!)  

Let's look at this another way:  If you have 29 things to accomplish in a day, and you are pretty sure you're only going to have the time and energy to get to 14 of them, and you're already suffering from "I'm a fat piece of crap"-itis, chances are you're not going to feel motivated to go work out or think up a delicious salad idea.  This is usually where companies like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig come in: "We'll make losing weight effortless! All you have to do is eat our frozen pre-packaged crap or count points and you'll lose weight! It's simple!" Let's be realistic: if you're not making a healthy lifestyle a focus in your life, chances are you're not working on what got you into your position in the first place, and WW/JC are not going to cut it.  

That's why you need to do a little soul-searching.  What the hell is keeping you from losing the weight? What are the benefits you are getting from keeping it on?  
I find I have a hard time losing weight if I don't have a goal I'm working towards.  It's something I'm struggling with right now, post-6 week challenge.  For me, it's not good enough to say "I want to lose weight." I work best under pressure.  Maybe you do too.  More on this another time.

If you've identified that are you fed up with things the way they are, and you are needing a giant boot in the ass, here ya go.  (It's pom-pom time, bitches!)

You are the only one that can decide you're worth it, and you're going to have to be your biggest cheerleader.  You can't rely on other people noticing the changes you're making (some of them will even try to sabotage you, those bastards).  You have to be satisfied that you have done all you can at the end of the day to make yourself proud and happy, and you can't beat yourself up when you slip up.  

Start being selfish.  Or rather, start giving yourself what you deserve.  You are allowed to be happy. You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to eat chocolate if you want.  You are allowed to let someone else figure out dinner while you go for a run.  Start making the time and doing this shit for you, because no one is going to offer it up.  

If not now, then when? Life is too fucking short to spend it unhappy.

You are overweight for a reason, but that doesn't mean it can't be changed and you're damaged goods.  Get your shit togetherYou can do this.


Monday, May 13, 2013

drop me a line

I just realized that I offer up my advice, but I maybe haven't made myself totally accessible.  Sorry about that, muffins! 

I also wanted to let you know I have a big post in the works.  I want to hear your thoughts and start a conversation about it all.  Here's how you can reach me:

One of my two Instagram photos.
It's vintage, in case you couldn't tell from the filter.
A whole 57 weeks old.

I'd put my cell number up on here, but I feel like that's just asking for trouble.  And syphilis. If you want to text me, email me and I'll give you my number, as long as you promise not to write it on bathroom walls of disreputable places.  Reputable places would be acceptable. (I really don't want syphilis.)

Watch for a big, gritty post coming soon.  I'm feeling feisty. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

a collection of small things

I've got lots of things on the go right now, and none of them really seem worthy of a big post so I'll put them altogether for your perusing pleasure.

  • I made cherry chocolate granola today.  I know - what have you done with your life up until this moment?  Probably nothing as awesome as that.  Costco has dried cherries, and you can use chocolate almond milk as your wet stuff. Doooo it.
  • I went shopping yesterday with my challenge winnings and ended up buying shorts.  I have no idea what I was thinking because my legs are still the bane of my existence, but who knows. I might surprise myself and wear them this week.
  • I'm attempting Indian food tonight.  I might (butter) chicken out and buy pre-made sauce to get my feet wet. Har har har. 
  • Thinking of new goals, a tattoo, and guinea-pigging myself for my embarrassment and your entertainment with some new exercise stuff - stay tuned. 
In the meantime, here is a picture that summed up my mood for the better part of my week.  Enjoy.
Go to Hyperbole and a Half. Go down the rabbit hole.

Monday, May 6, 2013

six weeks

A lot can change in six weeks.  
Body by Parks Boot Camp
Holy shit.  

I would highly recommend taking some pictures if you're trying to lose weight.  It makes you feel awesome when you look at them.  Yeah, I still have things I'm not happy with and those thighs are going to be getting a second round of the squat challenge, but damn it feels good to be a gangster.  

Over 6 weeks, I lost 15.8lbs and 11.5 inches. It is not impossible.  You can make huge changes in a short amount of time, but you are going to have to work for it.  Some of the things I think were key to my success were:

  • Extra workouts - any chance to get in extra calorie burn, I damn well took it.  On one day, I got up and did a 1 hr workout with sprints, arms, legs, core and cardio (burning over 800 calories), then I went and ran around a baseball diamond for 2 hours (another 500 calories), and later that night I went for a 90 minute walk (another 300-ish, didn't wear the strap).  And I still felt like I could have done more.  When you start to enjoy exercising and it isn't something you dread, you know you've hit a major milestone.  
  • Cleaned up the eating - I was already eating pretty clean before the competition, but I really focused on it during the challenge (and after).  I cut out my weekday coffee (with the crappy creamer),  salad dressing (try salsa!), and granola bars (so sugary now, blegh).  I upped my protein (hard boiled eggs and canned tuna for the win) and I started chugging 5-7 liters of water every day (sometimes with mint leaves and lime - "health mojito" haha!).  It was not really much of a hardship, and I felt way better for it.
  • Tracking the sh** out of those calories - Weight Loss 101 - calories in < calories out.  My Fitness Pal saved my ass on several occasions.  Do I look like I know how many calories are in an unsweetend green tea lemonade from Starbucks? MFP does.  Love it. 
  • Having fun in non-embarrassing ways - I pretty much stopped drinking alcohol a long while ago (last summer, maybe?), and when your drinking team has a dodgeball problem they like to tend to with beers, it can be a bit of a struggle to stay on track.  I actually spent a weekend out in Kananaskis with them in a hotel, with booze a-flowing.  At one point I did feel a little sheepish with a giant bag of carrots and a bottle of water in my hand, but there are better ways of enjoying myself than ending up puking in a bush. Just sayin'. (It may also make you a better leg wrestler.)
  • Not focusing on the finish line - If I told myself I was only going to clean up my act for six weeks to try and win a prize, I wasn't going to win the prize.  This competition was more about forcing my hand on some last lingering bad habits that I needed to drop, and pushing myself just to prove how far I could be pushed.  
Would I recommend it? In a heartbeat.  That moment when you find out that you effing won is fantastic.  Almost as good as the "getting under 200lbs" moment.  Okay, maybe better.  

What could you have started six weeks ago?  Start now.