Monday, December 20, 2010

...LiStEn uP!...

I'm not a middle of the road kinda gal. I take my time...worry...before I make a decision...but once I decide to do something...I grab the bull by the horns...all or nothing...full throttle. When I was fat...I ate to excess...I never worked out. Now...I tend to workout in excess. My addiction didn't go away...sometimes I think it morphed into something else.

I've learned to embrace pain. I know that pushing myself will making me more ways than just physically...and so I push myself...hard...every day. I never slow down. Many times, I don't take the time I need to recover from the stress I put my body through daily. The part of me that is scared of gaining weight and going back to where I was when I was overweight and unhealthy, convinces the smart part of me that rest is for wimps. I know that rest (in the right amount) is for smart people that don't want to injure and over train their bodies, but it's still hard for me.I was feeling strong...but then I felt worn out...weak...and broken. Finally last week, my body got tired of me not listening and it quit on me. I tried to workout, but my body just wouldn't allow it. I felt really upset...betrayed...but I then it was brought to my attention that maybe I was the one betraying my body. Even though I'm not a gifted, natural athlete...I want to train like an athlete...but then I deprive my body of the rest and good foods and sleep my body needs to perform like an athlete. I don't listen to my body.When my body got tired and MADE me listen last week, I was upset. I had a little meltdown, wrote about it, and then made a smart decision. I decided to rest. I got much more sleep than normal over the weekend and I did not workout...AT ALL...for 3 days. What a difference 3 days made! This morning I hit the gym early for work sets of back squats, bench presses, and power cleans and it was hard...and painful at times...but I felt great because I FINALLY gave my body the time to recover that it has been screaming for.I hate that I had to go through what I did last week, but I guess I needed a wake up call. I needed to be reminded to take the time and listen to my body before it shuts down and I needed to recommit to taking better care of my body not just in the gym but in other ways as well.


Thursday, December 16, 2010


Everyone has felt the sting of betrayal...that miserable gnawing pain that makes you feel regret...and makes you wish you had chosen a better path or different people to be in your life. Some of us have experienced this more than others and some to worse degrees, but every adult at some point suffers some way. I feel like I've had more than my fair share lately and honestly, I'd really like a break. I'd like a break from thinking about and reliving the hurt. I'd like a break from the pain I feel in my body and in my heart. I'd like an end to the frustration and the feeling of powerlessness.

It is not a person that inspired me to share these feelings. It's the feeling I had today as I cried in the bathroom at the gym. It's the anger that accompanies the pain and the fear that it will never be better. It's body...and my inability to make my body cooperate with my mind.

I'm not an athletically talented person. Nothing I've ever done in the gym comes easy...never has...probably never will...and that's okay. Some people are fast. Some people have great endurance. Some people are unusually strong or flexible or coordinated. I am none of those things, but I am stubborn and I work hard. I was taught to keep trying when I fail. My friend Wes taught me that...and I have missed him like crazy lately. I've missed his encouragement. I've missed his ability to help me change course when my day in the gym isn't going as planned. I miss how he would humble me when I was strong and cocky and how he would lift me up when I was broken or fragile. I miss him on days like today when I feel betrayed by my own body.

I learned years ago how powerful the mind is. I learned to make my body keep going when it was begging me to stop. I've learned to withstand pain and continue even when it seemed that reaching my goal was impossible. I am almost always able to conquer my body with my mind...but every now and body wins...and I am left feeling betrayed and cheated.

I've had health problems over the past few months and as a consequence of medication and the inability to always do what I want physically, I've gained almost 10 pounds. Everyone around me says I look the same and reassures me, but I can tell the difference and it has been tearing me up inside. I try to be positive and only those people closest to me, know just how really bad I have felt and how discouraged I have been. The intense fear of going back to where I once was...the paranoia that I will wake up 200 lbs again is torturous. So, I've resorted to doing what I do best...killing myself in the gym. It's been hard, but even on the toughest days...I seem to get through. I push and I push and even if it's not as much weight or as fast as I'd like...I'm able to physically get through whatever I plan for myself.

I am many things, but one thing I'm a quitter. Sometimes, I'm a "pauser". Sometimes I think about quitting...but in the end, I DON'T QUIT. Today I quit. My body refused to keep going when I told it to. With every painful repetition, I told myself I could finish...until finally my body just stopped. It quit listening and the pain became too much to bear. I found myself sitting on the floor of the bathroom, holding my belly, cramped up, and crying. I felt so disappointed. I felt cheated. I felt like I had been abandoned. I felt deceived. It felt like the betrayal of a friend that I have suffered lately. I hated it...but there is a difference. I can't make another person do right. I can't force an apology or go back in time. There's not a thing I can do to make that betrayal go away. What I can do, is wipe away my tears and pick my head up and know that even though I was not able to finish what I started today....even though my body betrayed me today...tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I will march my stubborn butt right back in that gym and do it again...and tomorrow, my body won't let me down.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...tiS tHe sEaSoN tO bE LaZy...

Oh the seems we spend all our time eating...buying...and partying. We make time for all these seemingly important things...but the things that REALLY matter...namely our health...gets put on the back burner. I use to never have a problem working out during the holidays. For years, I've had a personal trainer and I didn't have to think about it. I had an appointment...a set time and I showed up. Now..that I myself am a trainer and workout mostly alone, it's much more difficult. The past couple of weeks, I've gone through some serious friend drama, had some health issues, and I've struggled to get ready for Christmas but still take care of myself. I'm ashamed to say that today, Christmas is winning! The funny part is that I'm not even in the Christmas spirit. I've been a bit of a Scrooge all season. My formal tree is...has been up and fluffed for weeks but sits in the entry way...lightless...and ornamentless. It's the 14th and I'm not even 1/3 of my way through my shopping. Yet, I keep feeling like the holidays are keeping me from training and eating the way I want.

Today my entire day is full. I'm headed out to shop w my Mom ALL day in hopes of getting closer to being "done" and then I have my daughter's first band concert tonight. I shoulda already worked out...but I didn't schedule the time and now...once again...I'm regretful!

I am always getting appointments mixed up or showing up late or on the wrong's all part of my "blonde-NESS". I remember I once called my husband to lament this when I missed an appointment and hadn't worked out and his response was..."Hey....guess what?...There's this really cool thing called a calendar! You should get one!" Poo! No sympathy there. Sometimes, I'm left with open time...and I have a million things to do, yet I feel lost. It sounds like a snide comment that my husband made, but's true. He's very different than me. Together. On top of things. He brings things back down to earth when my head is floating in the clouds making excuses.

We all get upset at Christmas time and say we don't have time to work out. We behave as though it is out of our control and ACCEPT weight gain and losses in the gym. We rationalize and think up a million excuses when the solution is simple...a calendar. Get a calendar and make an appointment...everyday...with yourself in the gym. Keep the appointment just as you would a doctor's appointment or going to work. Make it a priority.Today was a fail in that department, so I guess I'll just "power walk" my way through Christmas shopping in heels and make the best choice I can when me and my Mom stop for lunch. I don't know quite how I'll do it, but I do know ONE THING...tomorrow...and every day after...I have to do better...and I will.


Friday, December 10, 2010

i wAnnA hAvE tHe hEaRt oF a LiOn...

I don't remember the man's name, but I still vividly remember the fight. My toes were hands balled into fists...oh, I was so tense! I use to tune in every week to watch what was one of my favorite shows at the time, "The Contender"...a boxing competition. I remember one specific episode, because one of the boxers that I really liked said something that spoke to me then and has stayed with me in the years that have passed. I remember watching on my bed...yelling...hoping...wishing...encouraging someone to win that doesn't know me...will never meet me...and can't hear me. "GET HIM! KNOCK HIM OUT!", I plead with my eyes glued to my TV screen. Then, the bell was over...the one I was cheering for lost. I knew it before the referee announced the decision. This man...this boxer...this warrior...lost the fight...but he was certainly not a "loser" in my eyes.

I love to watch boxing, but I hated that the fight didn't end in the way I wanted it to. I usually tend to cheer for the underdog...sometimes they pull through and surprise everyone with a win and other times they don't...either way...I express a lot of emotion. I'm either jumping up and down screaming, "YES!" or I'm ranting about how my fighter coulda won. This man I was cheering for, was in the worst physical shape of any of the boxers. It was obvious even just by first appearance. Amazingly, when he was called up to "tow the line"...he did so willingly...without any hesitation or fear. I wondered, "Is he brave...or stupid?". He was determined to give all he had and he did. He fought like a true if it were the last fight he would ever if his life depended on it. He was shorter and weaker, but he didn't just fight, he went to battle and gave it all he had. After the fight, one of his fellow "contenders" said to him, "Man, you have the heart of a lion! I'm proud of you. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of.".

Many times, when the losing boxer would return to the locker room to be interviewed, he was sad or frustrated or regretful. Sometimes, they would even cry...these big strong men...they cried...and they expressed regret. This man did not. He fought in a way that allowed him to hold his head high and make no excuses. When his children came in to see him, he sat them down and taught them. He didn't cry or ask their forgiveness. He told them that he gave it all he had, and he told them that in life they should always fight for what they want...that they should go after what they want with all they have. They didn't lament his loss or hang their heads...they were so proud of their dad...and rightfully so.

There was one comment this boxer made at the end that made me reflect upon my own defeats in life. He said, "If I had had one more round, I coulda had him." I think about the times when I lose...when things don't go according to plan...when life "knocks me out". How do I react? Do I stop or do I go ONE MORE round? My first natural to give up...feel bad...change direction...think of myself as a loser. That's the easy thing to do...but holding your head high no matter the outcome...because you know you gave it everything you have...that takes inner strength. I'm not there quite yet, but I'm trying to learn to have the "heart of a lion". I want to live my life in such a way that even when I am defeated, I can hold my head high with no regrets...knowing I fought...knowing that I gave it all I had and feeling good whether I win or lose.

I sat down to watch my favorite show that night a few years be entertained...but I learned something and gained a new resolve instead. I made a decision. I want to live as a warrior...with a brave heart...and an open mind. I want to live in such a way that even when I am defeated, others will say of me..."She has the heart of a lion."


Monday, December 6, 2010

...a fEw oF mY fAvoRiTe tHiNgS...

I love cute workout clothes, and I love feeling strong and tough in the gym. I love the feeling of keeping up with or even passing "the boys", but I especially love doing this WITHOUT looking like one of the boys! My good friend Arik, once turned to me in the gym when we were in there working out together and said, "You'd be better off wearing no makeup, big basketball shorts, and a loose t-shirt in here!" My response..."Why?...because it would make it easier on you to workout with me?!?" He rolled his eyes and I'm sure had some snappy comeback that I've sense blocked out and we both laughed. I love him to death, but I have never...and don't plan to ever take his suggestion as to what I wear in the gym. I like looking pretty...even in the gym.
There are piles and piles and piles of workout clothes in my closet. I'll admit that at times, it's hard to even find a certain pair of pants or a tank. It's like finding 20$ in your pocket that you didn't know was there when I come across one of my workout outfits that I love, but has been buried under other things. Some of my MOST FAVORITE workout clothes are from Otomix.I love their clothes because they are different and fun and sexy and feminine! I wear most of their stuff to workout in, but some I wear on days like today...when I wanna be comfy...but still cute! They are not cheap, but they send 20-30% off coupons constantly once you place an order and they have held up and washed great for me! Here's just a few of my favorite pieces from Otomix.

The Racy Sport pant

I have these in white and turquoise w the matching "Butterfly Cami" and I LOVE them. I also have the shorts version.
Racy Sport Pant cost...$89
Butterfly Cami cost...$49
Racy Sport Short cost...&39.88 (on clearance)
Feelin hot while suffering in the gym...PRICELESS!!!

Lycra Tops (different styles)>>

Rose Cami cost...$39
Wearing something to the gym that doesn't look just like what EVERYBODY else is wearing...PRICELESS!!!

Comfort Shorts and Pants
I have these in both pants and shorts in every color they make and they really ARE comfortable. Only prob is that I get stopped all the time to ask why there's an "arrow" on the back pointing at my butt! ha ha!
Comfort Pant cost...59$
Comfort Short...$32
Being comfortable while suffering in the gym and still looking good...PRICELESS!!!

Cotton Tanks (different styles)^^
Heart Tie-Dye Tank cost...$32
Tribal V-Cut Tank cost...$14.88 (on clearance)
Tribal Heart Tank cost...$14.44 (on clearance)
Going from the gym to the grocery store lookin cute...PRICELESS!

Rainbow Lycra Pant

I have these in pink and white and LOVE the fit! They come in a mid rise and a low rise.
Rainbow Lycra Pant cost...$44.88 (on clearance...get em before they are gone!)

Having people stop me and ask me how I got the body to wear these at 41...PRICELESS!!!

There's so many other things they sell that I could go on and on. I'm wearing my grey dragon comfort pant and the pink dragon thermal (below) today and I'm comfortable, but I don't look frumpy and can still turn a head or two. ;)


Friday, December 3, 2010

...ruNNinG aWaY fRoM mY pRobLeMs...

The broken up asphalt from a country road was under my feet and the sun was shining on my face. It was a warm November warm in fact that my tank top was wet and I had to keep pushing my big sunglasses up on my nose because the sweat was making them slide down. Music was playing in my ears, but not my usual selection of rap or pop or loud angry rock music. That day the music was different. They call certain foods "comfort foods". If I had to describe what I was listening to, I'd say that this music was like "comfort food" for my that I've loved for a long, long that is that calms me and reminds me of good things.

My legs were sore and my right knee was aching from a tough workout earlier. I knew I had no business running...that I had done enough and needed to rest...but I couldn't stop. I NEEDED to run and I was not going to stop until it was time...until I felt better. I didn't know how long it would take and so I dug in and got into a quick but relaxed pace...trying to ignore the tears that fell from underneath my big black sunglasses. The tears were not because I was tired...or because of the dull ache in my knee. The tears were for other reasons...hurt feelings...disappointment...frustration.

This scenario is not uncommon. The background or the reason varies, but the way I tend to get through it does not. I run. I run away from my problems when they begin to overwhelm me. The music sort of fades into the background and I have conversations in my head. Sounds crazy...I know. Sometimes it's me talking myself through something...a regret...or a bad choice...or a heart ache. Sometimes it's me telling another person what I desperately need to tell them in my head, because I can't find the courage to do it to their face. Sometimes I try to think of possible solutions to my problem. Sometimes I just plain feel sorry for myself. The "conversation", weather, location, music, and subject matter may vary, but one thing never changes. No matter how tired I am or how much it hurts or how dark it gets, I run and I don't stop until I feel better...because I ALWAYS feel better at some point.
Some people say that you can't "run away from your problems", but I disagree. Running and crying and thinking helps me sort things out. It gives me a chance to fall apart without anyone else around. It's a chance to step back and look at things in a different way. It's a release. And sometimes it's a way to let go of things I can't change. It's like I get so tired that I decide I can't carry those things with me any more and I have to drop them on the side of the road in order to continue running and make it back home.

It may seem crazy, but it works for me. And it may seem weak, but I know how hard it really is. Sometimes running away from my problems is just what I need in order to face them head on when I get back home. So, as long as I have problems, I guess I'll have to keep running way from them.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...iT's HaRd tO mAkE iT LooK sO eAsY...

It's not easy to go into the gym day after day and give it your all. Working out hard hurts. No one likes to hurt, but some of us are willing to withstand some pain or discomfort in order to push ourselves to excel at whatever it is that we do in the gym. I see the contorted faces and I hear the grunts and groans of the people I train and workout alongside as they suffer through a particularly difficult workout.

This morning I came into the gym to train the 9AM group. Only two guys showed up. Sometimes when there are few people there, they will ask me to workout with them...because it creates a little competition. Because they are both experienced and there were no movements that they were unfamiliar with, I decided to join them. They were both facing me, so I could watch and stop to help if I needed to. After the warmup, the workout was:
25 Kettlebell Swings
25 Pushups
25 Squats
AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) in 20 minutes

So I counted us down..."3...2...1...GO!", hit the stopwatch, cranked up the stereo, and grabbed a 44 lb KB. We struggled through and afterwards as we were sittin on the floor talking, Brad said, "That was good! Man, you did good! You kept me going. There were times I wanted to stop so bad...times I wanted to put my KB bad...but I'd glance over and see you just swinging yours like it was nothin...and I knew I HAD to keep going!" I laughed and said, "Well, honestly...I was thinkin the same thing about YOU!" Then I told him how I love to look like it doesn't hurt a bit when I'm trying to beat someone in the gym...just to psych em out and make em think it's "easy" for me...but's anything but easy!I was real pain. My grip was shot from swingin that 44 lb KB. I hate pushups, but insist (internally) that I always do as perfect of reps as possible...down til my chest and thighs are touching the ground and all the way up to locked out arms. I was out of breath and when I was tearing through those squats like it was a breeze, my quads were ON FIRE! I may have made it look easy, but it was anything BUT easy.So how is it that I kept going when it hurt so bad? Why didn't I just stop and take a break? I did it, because I knew that I could. I knew the pain would eventually subside and a feeling of accomplishment and pride would take it's place. It's hard to make something so painful look so easy, but if it pushes me and the people I train with to do a little more, or go a little further or's worth it. I feel certain that BOTH Brad and I did more than we would have if I had been weak and stopped. Don't stop when it's hard. Don't quit when it hurts. Fight your way through and make it look easy, because whether you do it fast or slow...or whether you whine or hang tough...the pain won't stop until you finish!