Saturday, August 23, 2014


Sometimes I just need a little perspective.

I had some time today to reflect and ponder as I had my ass handed to me royally. As I burpee-fuckin-broad-jumped down a football field and back, a thought occurred to me -

"This is hard, but it's not as hard as dying of cancer at 40 with a family."

And then I cried as I drove home, because of course I did.

It's time to admit a secret fear of mine.  It's probably not a huge secret, or all that difficult to surmise.  I forget every once in a while. I get cocky and lazy.  But I'm seriously pondering the fact that health is a fragile state and I need to stop taking it for granted. 

Five years ago I was dealing with a gallbladder issue and facing surgery, which terrified me.  A 23-year-old shouldn't have to be considering these kinds of things.  No one should have to be considering these kinds of things, really.  A small fire was kindled under my ass, and it's been growing steadily ever since.

But I still have the thought in the back of my mind - what kind of damage did I do to my body while I spent all those years overweight?  What's lingering under the surface, ready to devastate me at a moment's notice?  

Okay, let's flip this around to something a little more productive and less goddamn depressing.  When I feel like crap while working out because I've been away for a while, or I'm pondering which tasty beverage to get at Starbucks, a better thought to channel is "What are you doing to keep yourself healthy?"

(Notice I did not say "skinny." Screw that.)
If you're waiting for a wake-up call, let this be it.  Too many people are getting sick or even dying from shit that is all too preventable.  You have a life, you shouldn't deny yourself the pleasures of a delicious 'Bucks (because you know I won't!), but if you are getting the feeling that you're doing more damage than good for your body it might be time to think about shit. only live once.

(I've already rolled my eyes at myself dramatically, don't worry.)

As cliched as it is, you're not going to get a chance to be you at this point in your life again.  Just something to ponder.

Here's a picture of a baby elephant.
Give yourself a hug and have a great day.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


There's something to be said for a little shake-up. 

I'm just returning from a 5-week hiatus from working out, and it is incredibly humbling (and frustrating).  Before jetting off to Africa, I was in a pretty stable routine - eating my decent meals, letting myself enjoy how my body felt, kicking ass at my workouts. Luckily, I don't really feel like the food is an issue. HA! I never really thought I'd get to a point where I'd be able to say such a thing.  (Okay fine, I'm still drinking too much coffee.  I'm working on reigning it in, I swear.)

My first workout back was challenging, but I pushed through. I felt so good I met a friend to work out again that evening.  There was mistake #1. 

I couldn't move the next day. I complained to anyone that would listen that "this is how the elderly must feel."  I might have been a little melodramatic.

I tried to work out again the day after.  Mistake #2.  Have you ever cried in the middle of a workout?  It's hella embarrassing.  "It's just sweat! Turn away from everyone else! Pretend you're too hot and just getting some air!"  And then your eagle-eyed coach spots you and approaches you like an injured puppy and you feel even sillier.  Needless to say, I needed a few days to recover. 

There is nothing more humbling than knowing what you were able to do, and not even coming close to matching it.  I wasn't gone for long, but it was long enough to feel like I've regressed back to junior high, with the bad hair and not being able to run a mile.  But really, I probably needed this.

What's the best way to challenge your abilities? Throw a curve ball.  I could have kept going through the summer, and I might have made some more gains in my lifts or been able to drop a band for my pull-ups.  Here is a real opportunity to test my growth and character.  

I have the privilege of being friends and working out with the nicest person on the planet, and she made a very good point: "This is the worst it's going to get. Tomorrow will be better. Just keep going."

So that's what I'm going to do. I'm just going to keep going.  I know where I was, I know where I can get to again, and I know that my body is doing the best it can.  Just keep going. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

dear body

Dear body,

I just wanted to say "thank you."  

Thank you for putting up with my shit and abuse for so many years.  I know I ate a lot of garbage and stressed you out with yo-yo dieting.  

Thank you for tolerating my new fitness interests over the last few years. After many sedentary years, you are still willing to try new stuff.  Let's be real - you're getting pretty jacked, so we're both benefiting here. 

Thank you for doing pretty much whatever I ask of you - and then some. I know you didn't really want to do 75 wall balls at the time, but I'm glad you played along. You constantly amaze me, pushing me to do things I didn't really ever think I'd be capable of doing.  

Thank you for keeping me humble.  I'm not really expecting to have a six pack or be a size 2, and it seems like we're both cool with that. 

I know we've got many more adventures in store for us. We both know I can't resist dragging you into new challenges. So I got you a little something.  Just a token of my appreciation.

Love you. Seriously.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"thinspiration" is bullshit, and you're better than that.

It's intervention time, muffins. 

We're all guilty of it.  You've pinned that picture on Pinterest, you see that "skinny bitch" in the mall or on the sidewalk, you follow "How to Get the Thigh Gap" on Facebook.  You say "I want to look like her." And you tell your body it's not good enough.  Maybe you even say you hate it. "Fuck you, body. Why can't you have less of a muffin top?"

It starts innocently.  You tell yourself it's "motivation" - that picture of a hippo on the fridge reminds you that you don't want to be the size of one.  A bikini on display will make you think twice about that cookie, right? 

You need to stop.

 This isn't one of those posts that spouts off platitudes.  "You would be mad if someone said all these mean things to you, or told you you had to look a certain way! Why do you do it to yourself?" You should know by now, I'm a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl.  I get it. We're all human, we all want what's over there. Greener grass. Blah blah blah.  I'm even guilty of coveting Missy Peregrym's abs.  Guess what? Still don't have those abs. Don't really want to feel like crap because of it. Should I?  

If I have learned anything during the last four years, it's that your barometer of success has to start and end with you.  It is not fair to stack yourself against someone else and then tell yourself you're a failure when you don't measure up.  You want some real words to live by?

You are enough. 

Plain and simple.  I'll even make you a blurry landscape picture to set as your wallpaper.  

This is really the crux of our problem.  We're always being told "You need this product in order to be beautiful" and "the only way you'll be happy is if you look this way. Look how happy these actors are!" You're never good enough to them. They want you to buy their shit, remember? If you were enough, you wouldn't need it.

You don't need it.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and been completely satisfied?  Not "It'll do" or "I wish I could get rid of _____" or "Where did THAT come from?".  I haven't.  Even now, in the midst of just be I look in the mirror and criticize myself.  I've spent too long focusing on trying to change, I'm wired for the struggle.  What does "accepting your body" really mean anyway?  

For me, I think it means acknowledging that I have come a hell of a long way, and allowing myself to celebrate that.  It means feeling satisfied with my body and it's shape.  It means telling myself I'm enough. 

P.S. Pining over a picture of a jacked up lady is just as bad as obsessing over a bikini photo. Don't try and justify the muscles as "healthy inspiration." Be your own damn inspiration.

P.P.S. I'm feeling extra-generous today. You get three choices for your wallpaper.  Choose wisely.

Pick the pigeon. You know you want to.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

just be.

This has been a long time coming.

I had visions of writing a joyous post once I had finally reached my goal weight. I would write about how I can finally move on from the mentality of being a fat girl trying to lose weight.  There would be some picture of me standing in one of the legs of my biggest pair of jeans. I might end up as one of those before-and-after motivational pictures on Pinterest, with some inspirational quote underneath. And I would say "Self, now you can be happy. You finally reached your goal."

What if I never reach that number I picked out of the air? What if I continue to be a slave to the scale, even though I long ago admitted it wasn't the best way to judge my progress?

I've been in the process of trying to lose weight for nearly half of my life. That is a hell of a long time to be hurdling towards something and feeling the constant self-induced pressure of it not being enough. That is a long time to be in a state of deprivation and sacrifice. It's a long time to focus on a narrow-minded goal that I might never attain.

I can't live my life like this anymore.

I used to motivate myself but thinking about all the fantastic things I would be doing when I lost weight. Wearing a bathing suit with confidence. Going out with friends and eating like a "normal" person, not having to worry about how many calories my meal was costing me. Turning heads and making construction workers whistle. These were my indicators of success.

I saw a friend I haven't seen in a while the other day, and he paid me the highest compliment: "You look so fit." The first thing that ran through my mind was "Yeah, but I still have that pair of size 8 jeans I can't fit into yet."  When I really sit down and reflect on the last five years of my life, this is what it boils down to. It's never good enough. I'm not a quitter, I'm in this for the long haul. I want the life I deserve, and I can't have it until I am happy with how I look in the mirror.

Why can't I be happy with how I look in the mirror now?

I've had a lot of external sources telling me it's time for a paradigm shift. I don't want to keep being the person who is miserable of a number on a scale or she can't fit into the jeans she wants to.  What kind of life am I living? 

My very wise cousin made a rather poignant observation - "Maybe you just need to be."

So that's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to make a commitment to myself to do something that makes me happy everyday.  I'm going to start appreciating my accomplishments and enjoying my body for what it is, instead of berating it for not being what I think it should. And I'm putting the fucking scale away. 

A new leaf. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

new year's resolutions are stupid (not another "how to keep your resolutions" article)

I meant to write this post earlier. I don't like blogging when I'm in a crappy mood, though the case could be made that that is exactly the time I should be blogging. I don't want to come off sounding like a giant wanker though. So here it is: a New Year's resolution post in the middle of February.  Probably a good thing I didn't make a resolution to blog more.

I didn't make any resolutions.

Resolutions are a waste of time.

Why do gyms have all these New Year's sales? Do you know why SportChek suddenly starts sending out flyers for "all your workout needs"?  They are preying on the Resolutioners - the people who say "That's it! This year, I'm going to get in shape and lose X lbs!"

It can be alluring, the promise of a "new year, new you!"  Visions of eating everything that came into sight during the holiday seasons are still haunting you.  I'm not judging you - I walked into a WW meeting the first week of January myself, hungry for a change and feeling like shit about myself.  I just think there's a better way.

Stats are sketchy, but let's be real - how many times have you "resolved" something on New Year's and given up with a month or two? How has this resolution thing worked out for most people?  And really - how do people feel about themselves when they realize they have failed miserably? "This year is ruined!" 
"Screw you guys, I'm going home."

Aren't resolutions just glorified wishes?  "This year, it would be super cool if I could wear a bikini at the beach this summer!" What if you could actually set a goal and achieve it? Wouldn't that feel better than becoming a statistic? (Why is this post filled with so many questions? Did I just ask another one? And another one?!)

Here's the thing about goals: you don't have to wait until next January to make one. Or a bunch. You can make one for just today.  ("From now until midnight, I will eat less than 5 handfuls of chocolate chips.") And another one for just tomorrow.  ("My goal for tomorrow is to drink a cup of green tea whenever I am mad at something.") Bam. Done. I make goals for a living. (Pretty much. I'm serious) Don't worry if you're goal-making skills are a little rusty. Here are some tips for making some goals for yourself:
  •  Start small. Set a bar you can actually reach so you can get a little momentum.  If you normally eat an entire jar of Nutella every day, aim for 3/4 of the jar tomorrow?
  • Slowly raise the bar.  You'll know when it's time to up the ante.
  • Celebrate your success. You made it a week without putting sugar in your coffee, and it was hard, dammit! You deserve a prezzie. 
  • Don't beat yourself up if it doesn't happen. It's just a chance to tweak your expectations and focus your efforts. Maybe this isn't the best week to give up ice cream and chocolate.
So now's your chance, muffin! Whatever happened in the last forty-two days, fuggedaboudit. Right now, you have the opportunity to start something pretty radical.  When I started plugging away five years ago, I didn't know I'd be here.  Success is the sum of a bunch of small efforts. Stop rolling your eyes. You know I'm right.  Go make some damn goals. This is your sign.

Side note: I started another challenge through my gym.  Be scared. 

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.)