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.