So before the holidays, I started a private fitness associated Facebook support group. There are 46 members, a few lurkers, but many of us are active participants. And we are ALL at various different fitness levels. And we are from all over the country.
It has been been one of the most truly rewarding and educational groups I’ve been apart of.
I’d like to introduce you to one of my writer friends whom I love dearly. She’s been doing 100 days…of fitness blogging. She has upped her calorie intake and has consistently lost 2 lbs a week by eating more food. Meet the extraordinary Shaunta Grimes. She’s using this site to determine exactly how many calories she should consume a day. And it’s really working for her.
I have heard this over and over. You’re eating too few calories. As a girl who has been dieting since she was 10 years old…as someone who has ALWAYS been told to restrict her caloric intake, eating more calories seems ridiculous.
But it’s obvious eating too few calories doesn’t work either. I’ve been at 1400 calories, eating more when I exercise…and I’m not losing weight consistently. Not like I should.
Scooby has told me to eat 2237 calories. And my mind just screamed: NO FUCKING WAY!
Sadly, I don’t think Pizza, Cheese Dip or Nachos is supposed to be included in those calories. Because THEN I could do it.
Ugh. It’s weird because I know what it’s telling me is scientifically true. But isn’t it funny how what you’ve been taught all your life hangs around like a dingleberry with a burr on a dog’s butt?
I just need to snip that old dingleberry off the dog’s ass and forge ahead.
To help me figure out exactly how many calories I’m truly burning during my workouts, I’ve gotten myself a Heart Rate Monitor. The problem with using My Fitness Pal’s numbers, is they are often wrong. They overestimate my elliptical calories burned and they underestimate my calories burned during yoga. And I have NO IDEA how to calculate my calories from my PT sessions.
Speaking of my PT session. My ass hurts. It’s all good though. Except for the part that I did 60 squats and then me made me ‘run’ the stairs 3 times. First of all, I don’t ‘run stairs’. Secondly, these stairs are see-through grated stairs and boy did that fuck with my depth perception. I cried. He cried. We bonded. Then he made me do lunges.
I’ve committed to 2 x a week for 12 weeks. Plus at least 2 cardio sessions on my own per week.
Stay tuned…it could be awesome…or it could be an awesome train wreck. Either way, welcome to the THUNDERDOME.
She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.~Anais Nin
I don’t really fight with being who I am anymore. It took me years to get there. To love me and my body for who we are–imperfect (but LOTS of fun). In the article I linked above they list 7 steps on how to Master Yourself. For me, it’s an ongoing process. I find myself doing all of these most of the time, but of course, I stumble and fall on occasion.
Nurture good thoughts and you will reap good behaviours. Use your mind and don’t let it use you.
Contemplate on how you would like your Ideal Self to look like, feel like, love like and live like.
4. Spend time in silence
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility. ~Khalil Gibran
Forgive yourself for holding on to resentment for so long and depriving yourself of inner peace, tranquility and happiness.
Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things. ~Leo F. Buscaglia
7. Love your Self
Learn to treasure yourself and your unique and authentic Self. Work on accepting yourself completely and make sure you are alway kind and gentle with your Self
All of this is connected to my health and fitness goals. I struggle with practicing self forgiveness. I beat myself up when I stumble. I regret choices I make and actions I take and it makes it very hard to do #1…Let Go. These things hold me back, sometimes.
So, let’s all practice mastering ourselves . (I do NOT recommend being the Master of Your Domain…that’s just cruel and unusual punishment) (also, if you didn’t get that reference, that makes me feel really old.)
If you fall off the fitness wagon. Get up! Brush yourself off and move on. Don’t dwell on it. When I beat myself up over the perceived failure, it takes days for me to get back at it. When I just shrug and say, “Oops. Oh well, that cheese dip and beer was good. But it’s time to get back to work.” I do myself a huge favor mentally and physically because it’s easier then to move forward.
Anyway, these are things I’ve been contemplating since my fall from grace last week with the ear infection and migraines. It happens. I’m human. And now, I’m back at it with a vengeance.
I’ve been wanting to try Yoga again but have been terrified of the reactions I’ll get because even though I’m fit…I’m fat. And yes, you can be both. But I love yoga and I have to get over my fear of judgment because really…it’s their problem and not mine. I don’t care about anyone’s opinion of me any other time, so why on earth do I let the thought of Yogi judgment paralyze me?
My plan this morning was to weigh-in and blog about the end of my first Dietbet. I’d planned to type while watching the end of the Boston Marathon via live feed. You see while Boston is geographically 3,000 miles from California, it felt a closer this morning.
Boston is an elite race, you either have to qualify by running an incredibly fast time (based on your age and gender) or you have to raise a significant amount of money for a charity partner. My family has roots in the city and my desire to run it one day is one of my life goals. I could certainly run it as a charity runner, it’s a lot of money but we’re talking once in a lifetime. As someone who knows first hand that Cancer SUCKS, I would happily bug/annoy/torment/harass all my friends and family out just once so I could hand Dana-Farber Cancer Institute a bunch of money. But deep inside me there is a flame of determination and a cold hard voice insists that I fight as hard as I can to qualify before I go charity. I need to lose weight and train my ass off for it. I haven’t done that yet. Boston is special because Boston is home but most importantly Boston is earned.
Coincidentally this morning was the end of my first Dietbet. I lost TEN pound in 28 days which was more then the bet required but I had an awesome month. I sat down to breakfast proud of myself for the first time in a long time knowing I am a step closer to Boston. I was so excited. And then I turned on my phone and the world changed.
I know runners can be hard to understand. It wasn’t very long ago when I was thinking why the hell would anyone do that for fun? But we do. And somehow in the middle of all the racing and training runs and questions gear and fuel and hydration I’ve joined a family. And that feeling? It goes beyond nationality, ethnicity, gender or religion. I can’t begin to list the number of total strangers I’ve accepted food, drinks, hugs and cheers from on a race course. And I’ve given just as much as I’ve gotten. So this tragedy? It was a horrible thing that happened 3,000 miles away but I’m taking it personally because some psycho messed with my racing family.
This is an image of the finish line before the start of the race. The flags are for each country represented in the race. It always makes me so proud when I see things like this. To me it means even in messed up world there are some things that unite people and running is one of them.
Boston Marathon Finish Line Flags before bombing- photo credit R. Couto
Here it is a couple hours later.
Photo credit: Getty Images via Yahoo
What better proof could there be of this global running village then this official breakdown of participants from the Boston Marathon page:
2013 Boston Marathon Geographic Breakdown
96 countries and 56 states and territories represented. But those are just numbers. And numbers are just a small part of the whole. Running isn’t just about numbers, it’s about people. These are my people:
Here is a 78 year old man who felt the blast, was knocked down but still got up and finished. I wish I was half as awesome as that guy.
I also read some individual thoughts that echo my feelings exactly.
The BEST response, the most powerful statement I’ve read thus far has come from a comedian named Patton Oswalt:
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
Today I am 10 pounds lighter then I was a month ago and that much closer to Boston. If anything, today’s events have fueled me. One day I will run this race and in order to prepare for it I will run many others. I’ll show up to starting line and will proudly cross each finish line come hell or high water. As for today’s terrorist(s):
My favorite photo of the day. Origin unknown (unfortunately)
I’ve ‘started over’ a lot in my adult fitness battle. I don’t apologize for it, because I’m human. Things happen. We go through trials and tribulations that are real…or at least, real to us, and we sometimes pick the wrong way to deal with those issues. Sometimes, I’ve just stopped working out or stopped eating right because I stopped seeing progress…so Fuck It! Sometimes I stopped because we had 4 days of bad weather and it was a good excuse in my head.
But this is my mantra for starting over:
Every time I begin again, I’m smarter about it. And every step forward is a step toward success. And beating myself up or listening to assholes who would rather try to break me down for being the fat girl who always fails, I smile and remember this:
and most importantly. This:
If you need to dwell on ‘haters’ and others opinions then you’re missing out on a real opportunity to feel better from the inside out. This has taken me a while to learn, but it is amazing how healthy I feel. And eating clean and exercising daily is just adding to that.
So carry on, bitches. And remember, everyone has an asshole, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to be one. Failure is just another step toward success. Don’t listen to the assholes. Don’t listen to that little niggle of doubt in your mind. Just get up…and try again. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And your Brick House won’t be either.
When I first started running it REALLY sucked. I was conscious of every fat cell, every ounce of extra weight on my body and exercising in public was pretty miserable for me. So you can imagine how much my gut clenched when I saw the title of this blog written by an ultrarunner.
Ultrarunners are people who routinely run well beyond the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. They run 50 milers and 100 milers in under 30 hours in rain and extreme heat, they just keep going. To me they have always been inhuman (and crazy. LOL.).
There is nothing worse then feeling huge and awkward in front of fast skinny people right? This is what one skinny guy thinks:
I tend to like motivational photos (because I’m cheesy like that), I like the optimistic ones like:
Particuarly since I’m my own worst critic and it’s part of how I self-sabotage.
Then I saw this one and realized I needed to keep it in mind too. There are things that are more important to me then carbs. WAY more important.
So how am I doing?
I was down four pounds my first week with minimal exercise. I used to be one of those people who’d start a diet and immediately launch my kill-yourself-with-brutal-workouts-twice-a-day girl. This time I decided to give myself a break and let my body adjust to my new daily calorie intake before I do crazy stuff. I walked a little, I swam a little. Nothing much, nothing crazy, just enough to get moving a little bit. I think it has worked way better for me.
Today starts week two although I started my dietbet a little late so the numbers there are off slightly. I’m okay with that as long as I manage my 4%.
Did I realize these statements were true before I saw the photos? Of course. But there is something powerful about seeing them in writing. I appreciate that.
Depression can be very, very sneaky. It can grab a hold of you when you least expect it…and then what do you do?
Well, if you’re me, you try to eat, drink, and sleep it off.
And then you wake up fat and dumpy slightly more curvy than expected. (And winter is coming (hur hur)…I need to be able to fit into my pants!)
WTF happened to me? I was motivated. I did a damn Half Marathon, I lost 50lbs! I survived a divorce, fell in love again, got a job…I shouldn’t be depressed!
But, sometimes your circumstances don’t have anything to do with your emotional status. Sometimes, you just wanna be in a coma sleep.
The last time this happened to me, it was after I had separated from my husband. So what did I do when I realized I was eating, drinking, and sleeping my life away? I focused my energy on diet and exercise and therapy. And wow, what a world of good that did me! Like, in just a few months, I became myself again!
So I find myself circling that drain of depression again. Financial burdens are weighing on my shoulders, my stressful work situation is agitating me, and…well, I just seem to be treading water. I’m just surviving life. And I’m not good with just surviving. I have always been fond of choosing to live. Choosing happiness. Choosing my state of mind.
And with that admission comes this…I chose to join a Beginner’s Bootcamp starting Wednesday. 9 sessions in 5 weeks. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll be walking…working my way back up to a run. Because I’m signing up for the Little Rock Half Marathon again.
I’m all in. I gotta be more proactive in my life. I am not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself any longer. I am choosing to engage. It’s not going to be easy. And I’m sure you’re going to hear all about it. But, with hard work and a little luck, maybe I’ll get back on track to reclaiming my awesome.