Beauty today

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The “Never agains”

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I just read this awesome blog over at Attune Foods titled “Eat less… Move more” which perfectly explains why it is so difficult for some to drop weight, and why so many people start gaining weight again even after they have said “Never again!” 3 times before and still gained it all back and then some.

I know I am one of those people. I remember the last time I was on my weight loss journey. I got confident about my journey. I remember looking at myself after dropping 40 pounds, and feeling good. And saying “I don’t know how I ever gained all this weight. Never. Never ever again.”

Then, I lost my apartment complex gym because we bought a house, and despite all my good intentions to keep walking the dog, I failed to do that as well. Then we got engaged and were planning a wedding. And even then, I went and bought a gym membership and got back into it again a few months before my wedding. I spent several months in a good place. But then the wedding was over, and I started doing photography on the weekends and making excuses why I just couldn’t get the gym. I used my gym membership for 4 months, and then just stopped. And once I stopped that good habit, I started back up with all the old bad habits. Slipping over to the grocery store during my lunch break and picking up a bag of peanut butter m&ms and a frapp from Starbucks and maybe a piece of coffee cake. Too much sugar, no exercise and very little good, healthy food. Coming home every single night and editing instead of taking the dog out for a walk. So almost immediately I gained all of that weight back, plus some.

And then I started blaming it on my health. Saying that there HAD to be something wrong with me because I gained ALL that weight SO QUICK. Well, there was something wrong. A few things wrong. I have an insulin issue. My body regulates based on the amount of exercise I do and what my sugar intake is. And if I stop what I am doing, my body isn’t regulated anymore. So I end up gaining weight back at a faster rate than most people do. And even though this could be a great way for me to be discouraged, this isn’t the reason I gain the weight back. Honestly, it is just something that I can easily blame.

But the biggest problem is not that my body does what it does naturally, it is that I get lazy. I start thinking “okay, I’ve put in all this work, I DESERVE a break.” Which would be fine, if my break was for 15 minutes during a run, or a day during a crazy busy week. But for me, if I give myself an inch, I take a mile. I look at my “break” the same way I look at my “moderated sugar intake”. Oh, it is okay if I have a bag of M&M’s this week!” When in reality, I know that if I buy a bag, I get addicted and I keep eating. Then I buy another bag. And another. If I have more than one latte a week, I make excuses to have one day every day. “Oh, I didn’t sleep well, so I really NEED coffee today.” Well, that would be fine if I was just getting a coffee, but even when I go for the tall skinny vanilla latte, my sugar intake is more than what it needs to be. I can’t justify the skinny every day the way I would justify it once a week.

So I MUST build boundaries for myself. I MUST give myself a gym schedule that I can’t exuse myself from. I MUST give myself boundaries on foods. And I have to remember that my gym time and my running time is my ME time, and to take great advantage of that. If I am not taking advantage of that time, I am taking advantage of myself.

One of my boundaries is that I won’t talk about my process in a negative way, nor will I demean myself, whether it be my past self, my present self, or my future self. Which includes the “Never again” phrase. I feel like I am setting myself up for failure with it. Why would I make a statement like that, when I know how difficult this process is already? And seriously… Never again WHAT? Never again will I sabbotage my process? False. But do I now have ways to help myself in moving past those sabbotaging thoughts and actions? Yes. Never again will I be fat? What is fat? What if I get down to 125 pounds and decide THAT is too fat? And my mind set is this NEVER AGAIN. Will it breed resentment if I get pregnant and gain 30 pounds? Will I start doing unhealthy things because I am upset about that weight gain because I gave myself this horrible statement?

No. I just won’t do it this time. I refuse to negate all of the hard work I am putting in just because I don’t want to relapse. Instead of saying NEVER AGAIN, goal setting seems to be a much better way to stay on track and motivated. NEVER is not a goal deadline. But today… today is. Tomorrow is. A week. A month. Something to work for, rather than to work against.

It goes against EVER SINGLE PART OF MY BEING to go with the flow instead of against the grain. But sometimes… You just have to fall in to the process and find out where it takes you.. but it sure it good to carry some survival rope along with you for good measure.

So my parting words today, since I seem to be rambling.. It is okay to be afraid of the process, but you still need to give in, not give up. Because as long as you educate yourself along the way through your experiences, you will find your way through. Your journey has every opportunity to be a thing of beauty.

 

 

 

Fear. Again.

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Yesterday my bestie S said “I feel like you’ve been pretty contemplative today. Are you just busy?”

I wrote back that I was busy and working and didn’t really know what else to say.

The truth is, I didn’t know what else to say. I have been busy. Work is picking back up again and we’ve had good walk ins etc. But I’ve been filled with anxiety all week that I wasn’t ready to admit was anxiety. Anxiety that I’m not pushing myself hard enough. That I’m pushing myself too hard. That I am going to fail. That I am kidding myself. Anxiety.

Let me kinda dive into some of this. First off. Let’s be honest. My weight issues are the physical manifestation of my mentality. My emotional stability. I have some health stuff that is going on behind it too, but the honest truth is that I am an emotional eater. Food is instant validation. I’ll get real here. It started very young. The most vivid memory of my grandpa on my dad’s side is of him looking at me while I was eating cheese and crackers and telling me that if I didn’t stop eating like this I would be fat. On top of that, there are memories of dessert items being used as rewards for good behavior or being punished by not getting what I desired because I had my elbows on the table or didn’t finish my peas etc. So, because of my personality, my only thought in the entire world was to get that cookie because I was being denied. I was being rejected so I wanted it more than anything else.  That cookie was my validation that I was a good kid. But instead of doing the things I needed to do to get the cookie in the first place, I would sneak down at night and steal cookies and eat as many as I could. Because I had been waiting the whole evening for validation. There is a lot more but this is the root. This is what I can go back to and remember as being the first part of this mentality. So because of all of this, you can imagine that I am having to completely re-train my brain on how to view validation. This whole journey is not just a body tranformation. It is a mind tranformation. It is an overall healing.

Monday R told me that she wanted me to do a 5k. My first reaction was “no way!” but I gulped it back because I immediately recognized this reaction as fear and said yes. (Looking back, I should have taken a day to say yes so I could wrap my head around the idea and not get so crazed) We talked about when. End of June. Okay. Scary! Running kills me. I feel like my lungs are going to collapse. I’ve been having this hip soreness that I know I need to figure out. My shoes aren’t right. But R is smart and she knows that I need something to reach for, even though I am terrible at making goals. She gave me something to motivate me. Keep me from getting bored. I decided right away that I was going to start training. The sooner the better. So I decided that Wednesday would be the day. I had gone online and picked out a training schedule and figured out what I would do. I was set. I was confident.

Then I got to work Wednesday morning and realized I had a webinar that I had to be present for that evening. I felt wrecked. I was freaking out that I was going to miss my Wednesday gym. I was going to start sliding and end up giving myself excuses for the rest of the week, month, year. I was going to fail. Fail fail fail. All because of one evening of missing out on a work out at the gym. I thought that if I could just wake my ass up in the morning and do morning work outs this wouldn’t be a problem. I went into victim mode. Victim of the webinar!  grawwwr! Victim of myself more like.

Half way through the day I came up with a brilliant idea that I should have had immediately. If I can get out of the office right at 5 I can get home by 5:30 and take the dog for a walk. Do the webinar at 6, do ab work and some free weights after. Not my ideal but better than nothing. I decided it WAS possible for me to start my training. I warmed up for 5 minutes. Ran for 60 seconds. walked 90. ran 60. walked 90 etc. Knowing how to breathe and being present in that breathing helped SO MUCH. I didn’t feel like I was going to choke. I didn’t feel like my lungs might explode. I didn’t feel like I was going to collapse. Came home, hopped on to the webinar. Did my abs. Did my weights. Did some stretches. Did some yoga. Had dinner. (Stuffed chicken breast made in the roaster pan with steamed broccoli. Awesome!) Watched TV with my hunny. Hit bed early. Woke up this morning and took the dog out for another training for 20 minutes. I don’t usually work out at all on Thursdays aside from a bit of yoga. I realized that I could do this and I didn’t have to be afraid of failing because that fear is what would cause the failure to begin with.

ps- Jillian Michael’s podcast is freakin awesome for nutrition info, motivation, and inspiration. Download it. She talks a lot about how the best way to motivate yourself is to use your competitive nature. Find people who are in similar positions as you that are doing the same thing or have already done what your goal is. Use that as your fire. Educate yourself. And use fear as your motivation. Beat your fear.

So, I am feeling better today. More confident. Still have anxiety but I realize that my anxiety comes from me actually doing something. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone so I can use that as motivation to push through. I am such an “instant validation” kind of person so this process is intense and difficult for me. It opens me up and leaves me there raw and vulnerable which in turn makes me want to fight like a beaten animal. Filled with anxiety and tension. All I can do is throw that energy into my work out and make it positive energy instead of negative.

A dude at my gym that works there asked me the other night if I had started to see some changes since I started. I told him that I have lost an inch in my thighs, my bust. I’ve lost some in my waist and bicep. I’ve lost ten pounds. He was excited for me and gave me a high figh and said that I was doing great. Then he said “Where is your excitement? This is a big achievement!”. It just hadn’t occurred to me that I should be excited. My biggest challenge right now is making sure that the pounds on the scale dont become the cookie of my childhood. I cannot rely on the scale to validate me. I have to validate myself for doing a good job.

Get it done.

goal setting

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A coworker and I were chatting about goal setting today. I have never been one to set goals. I just don’t like how constricting they are (and that I have to have self control and also be accountable if I don’t reach those goals?). Silly I suppose. As I grow older I realize how important it is to set a goal, and then find creative ways to reach those goals. I also find myself making long term goals rather than short term goals and then not being able to stick to them. So, I have decided I probably need to start making short term goals. But I’m not horribly sure where to start.

I also realized that I HAVE to goals set in place to ensure that I am really going down this path for ME, not for anything or anyone else. Because otherwise I will be greeted with mental blocks that will continue to stomp me into the ground and I wont move forward. I have to be prepared so i can scream back at that inner voice.

Okay. I’ll start here. My overall goal is to be healthy. Health. Which means overall transformation, mind, body, soul.

R gave me a body goal to start working towards as well (oh and mind..and soul.. because i’ll need those to make it through!).

We are going to do a 5k in June. This sounds horrible. Absolutely horrible. But also awesome. And scary. And again… horrible. So I found a training program that I’m going to start with. Again with the horrible. But awesome.

My food goal is to cut the calories (which hasn’t been horribly hard with cutting sugars but it is hard to get enough protein so I have to work on that)

Yoga has been great for mind, body and soul. I had a great class on Monday and I find myself able to do things that I never thought I could when I first started.

 

So right now my immediate goals are: 5k training. Calorie goals. Cutting sugar. Taking time to prepare my body for mind relaxation and repair.

 

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22 minutes) with no walking.
7 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).