Monday, January 31, 2011

aRe yOu aLiVe?

When most of us think of Frankenstein, we think of a big guy with a square head and pegs in his neck lumbering around with his arms in front of him. I bet most people have never read the book or even seen the 1930s original black and white movie in its entirety. Most of us just see Frankenstein as a character...a Halloween costume. Although, most everyone is familiar with the scene where the hand begins to move, and Dr. Frankenstein yells, "It's alive! It's alive!", I don't think most people remember how Frankenstein was brought to life. Dr. Frankenstein created a man made from bodies that he took from graves and he discovered and recreated a ray of light that he believed was "the great ray of light that first brought life into the world". One of the witnesses he brings to his lab is Dr. Waldman. He is skeptical, logical, and sane...unlike Dr. Frankenstein. As Dr Frankenstein is explaining how he will turn the ray onto the body and bring it to life, Dr. Waldman says, "...You really believe that you can bring life to the dead?" Dr. Frankenstein's responds, "That body is not dead. It has never lived. I created it. I made it with my own hands from the bodies I took from graves...from the gallows...anywhere."You may be wondering why on earth I am giving a short recap of how Frankenstein was brought to life. I'll tell you. I didn't have time to put my tennis shoes on before taking the kids to school, so I threw on flip flops. Instead of being able to drive straight to the gym afterwards, I had to come back by the house. I sat down on the chair at my desk in the bedroom to put on socks. It's been very sunny and warm over the past several days, but today it's overcast and it feels a little chilly to me. It's kind of dark in my room and I thought to myself, "I wish the sun were out. I'm cold and I don't feel very alive at this moment." This thought reminded me of the scene in Frankenstein that I described and it got me thinking about what it is that makes me feel alive.

There have been times in my life where I did not feel alive...times where no matter how many people surrounded me, I felt alone...and times where no matter how warm it was, I felt cold inside. Those times come and go for all of us I think, but it was especially that way for me when I was overweight and depressed. I feel like the old me died seven years ago when I started my journey and a new me was created. It wasn't just bringing a body back to life like Dr. Waldman suggested. It was more like Dr. Frankenstein. I had to rebuild a new me from many different parts...some that were mine only refurbished...and some from other people along the way.I think some people think that I am crazy at times. A lot do not understand. They stand back and wonder why I do the things I do...why I don't "act my age". What they don't realize is that even though I'm 41 years old, I've only been really living for a short time. Becoming strong has given me a sureness that I never had before. Changing my body has created a confidence that did not exist. Facing my fears has taught me courage and given me the ability to make lasting changes.
Even if you are not overweight...even if you have a great life...are you really living it to the fullest? Do you feel alive? Do you rely on other people to validate you? Do the clouds take away your happiness and warmth?

I realize now that I don't need the sun to feel alive. Everything I need is in me...all the time...every day. I'm going to go to the gym and I'm going to push myself to the limit. I'm going to struggle and sweat. In the end, I will most likely end up lying on the floor, out of breath, looking lifeless...but I will be anything but lifeless. My hand will start to move and then I'll be up off the floor...glad that I did what it takes to keep me feeling alive. If you don't feel alive...if you're not really living...don't waste another moment! Make the changes you need to and start


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"The training we do is the consequence of an attitude. The attitude is the meaningful fundamental; without it no benefits may be realized. You must want (or need) to be where you are, doing what you are doing. If you can't pay attention or if you don't want to work hard, don't bother showing up to go through the motions. Nothing is gained by doing one thing with your body and another with your mind." ~Mark Twight

As I walked out of the movies by myself yesterday, I had two thoughts. My first thought was that I needed to get to the gym and workout before dinner. My second thought...the thought that prevailed...was that I had never felt so alone in my whole life. I thought about what a crazy world it is that a girl can have over 500 Facebook friends...some "virtual friends" and many "real life friends"...and have to go to a movie all alone. It's funny, because when I decided to go to the movie even though my sister didn't want to, I really felt okay with it. But as the movie went on, I felt myself sinking into a sadder and sadder place, which was bizarre being that I was in a movie that made me laugh many times.

My plan was to leave the movies and go straight to the gym. I had been busy with kids and orthodontists office all morning followed by lunch with my sister, so I never made it to the gym early. I was still determined to get a good workout in...just later in the day. I didn't walk out with my normal fast paced, determined walk. I ambled out...feeling invisible and tired...not the best way to get pumped up for an intense workout.I wish I could say that I sucked it up...that I had an epiphany and got to the gym and worked hard and felt better...but I'd be lying if I did. I ended up drug of choice...and then decided to head home and cook...which is crazy...because I hate to cook and hardly ever do.

I keep a collection of quotes on one of my bathroom mirrors by Mark workout hero. I thought about the quote above. I knew that I would not...could not...give what I needed to make a workout worthwhile for me, because in the simplest of attitude SUCKED. I was going to try and make my body do what my mind didn't want. I could've done "something"...but doing just "something"...isn't enough for me. I want to push my body and soul to their limits and I knew that wasn't happening and that I was not going to gain much by putting on a cute workout outfit and simply "going through the motions".Maybe I shouldn't admit these things. I've always felt like my "job" in life is to be perfect. I feel that my "job" purpose if you to encourage and inspire. I know that being an example...practicing what you the best way to do this. I try not to be negative and certainly NEVER want anyone to feel sorry for me, so when I felt the desire to write this morning...I had NO clue what I could possibly say. I had nothin funny or inspirational in me.

My house is getting cleaned and I can hear the vacuum going outside my bedroom. It made me think of something that my Mom has said before. My Mom is a housekeeper and one thing she has always said, is that no matter whose house she cleans, she's found that people are the same/different. She always says that even though people have different amounts of money or hobbies or decorating styles, there are things that all people feel/experience/do similarly. So...while many of you that read this are much more disciplined and perhaps a little more emotionally stable than me may not benefit from my words...I'm writing this for those of us that struggle from time to time...those of us that let our hearts mess with our heads.Sometimes, life gets you down...people disappoint you...hearts get broken...things don't workout the way we want. Sometimes, we have the best of intentions at the beginning of the day and by the end...things have fallen apart. What I want to say, is this: it's okay. It's okay that I didn't make it to the gym yesterday. It's okay to have an off day. It's okay for me not to be perfect. What's NOT okay, is for me to wallow in the way I felt and skip the gym today and tomorrow and the next day. If you wanna fall apart...fall apart...then pick yourself up, put yourself back together, stop whining, and do what you need to do to fix your attitude. Change it from bad to good.

A good attitude doesn't mean you skip through fields of flowers giggling. A good attitude doesn't mean you are always happy. A good attitude means learning to use whatever you are feeling as inspiration rather than an excuse. Mark Twight says,
"A "good" attitude allows and spurs the athlete to conceive and achieve a goal. Such a psychological state does not have to be positive or balanced; personal torment has inspired great efforts. Confusion and questioning, anger and doubt may be fountains of creativity and initiative. What an individula finds dissatisfactory about him or herself is often a bridge to something greater. When combined with the self-discipline required to maintain momentum...any motivating state of mind can produce an astounding work of art and action."I didn't miraculously wake up this morning feeling like I don't have a problem in the world. The same crap that bothered me yesterday still bothers me at this very moment. It's what I'm doing with those feelings that is different. I'm going to go to the gym and I'm going to use all the things that are bothering me to motivate me. I'm going to prove everyone wrong that ever thought I wasn't capable. I'm going to make anyone that ever called me ugly in junior high or fat after I had kids eat their words. But most of all, I am going to remind MYSELF that I am strong and that I can take on anything that life throws my way. bad attitude is good.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

...if yOu KeeP dOiN wHaT yOu'Ve aLwaYs dOnE..yOu'LL KeeP gEttiN wHaT yOu aLwaYs gOt...

I grew up in the south. I was born and raised in Texas. Now I know that TRUE southerners...people from Georgia lets just say for example's sake...will tell you that anything west of the Mississippi is NOT the is the west or southwest. That's okay with me, because in all reality, Texas is like it's own little country...different than anyplace else. One thing about native Texans is that we love to make comparisons when we speak so there are lots of sayings that I heard my whole life...some are funny and some are just gross...but they all bring a smile to my face. Growing up, my Mom would ALWAYS say, "I'm as full as a tick." after she would eat too much. If we got cut, it was not uncommon to hear, "She's bleedin like a stuck pig!". There's so many more I could recite, but you get the picture.

One thing my mama has ALWAYS said to us is, "If you keep doing what you've always'll keep gettin what you always got!" She always used this in reference to making the same bad choices over and over, but over the past week or so....this has been taking on a different meaning for me. I've thought to myself. "Maybe this is not always a bad thing..."

I was feeling frustrated with myself...lost...not as happy with my body as I have been in the past. At first, I felt sorry for myself and threw a pity party for one...but anyone who knows me, knows I don't like to be alone so that didn't last long. Next I tried to make the always favorite, "Maybe I have a thyroid problem."...but the end, I decided to take responsibility.I decided that rather than try and figure out what it is that I've been doing wrong...I would think about what it is that I did right when I was happier with my body and then GO BACK to doing that. It seemed more positive to me. Instead of obsessing about taking things away or beating myself up, I would focus on the good...knowing that if I did it before, I could do it again. This morning, the 9am class at the gym asked if I was going to be doing the workout of the day with them today. I sd "No. I'm doing a workout out of my old book of workouts. I'm going back to doing things the way I use to do them so I can look like I use to look." and it made me think of my mama's saying...only this time...with a different twist.

Of course we have to change things up to keep progressing, but maybe what we need sometimes is to go back to the tried and stop trying to complicate things and just get back to the basics. That's what I've done..and it's killin me...and I'm happier. For now...I'm going back to doin what I've always done, so I can get what I use to have! (Thanks Mom!)

Today's workout:

(followed by 30 min on the elliptical doing hills)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

...tHiS oNe'S fOr tHe GiRLs...

I posted this on the "Strong Is The New Skinny" Facebook page, but I wanted to share it here too! We may not all be part of a team...or set world records...or have natural talent...or even have a trainer, but EVERYONE has an athlete hidden somewhere inside. Find what you love and be the best YOU can be at it. Find your inner athlete. Be strong.

"I am a female athlete. I have dreams. I have been told I was not good enough. I have faced discrimination...but I have overcome the odds. I am STRONG. I am focused. I never give up...and I will do anything to win. I am proud of who I am. So next time someone says "You play like a girl!"...consider it a compliment!"


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

...tiMe tO mAkE LiKe a tAmaGoTcHi aNd pUsH tHe "rEsEt" bUttOn...

My kids are all getting older. The days of diaper changes and Fisher Price toys are LONG gone. The days of going to story time at the local library EVERY Wednesday and wiping snotty noses are a distant memory. I have a huge walk in toy closet in my game room with so many toys that need to be donated...HUNDREDS of stuffed animals and lots of Barbies and Matchbox that have not been touched in years. However, there is one little electric "toy" that still gets played with around here. In fact, I refereed a fight between an almost 15 year old and a 9 yr old this past Sunday over this toy...this ANNOYING, time consuming, beeping toy...the Tamagotchi.

My kids found some old Tamagotchis and replaced the batteries over Christmas break. I listen to endless jabber over how old they are and how much they weigh. I listen to Sydney give advice to Jake about what to feed his so it won't be obese. But mostly...what I hear...are BEEPS! When they need to eat, they beep. When they are sad, they beep. When they poop, they beep. When they are sick, they beep. Even when they die...THEY BEEP. I'm learning to tune it out, because unfortunately they are not getting bored with them. In fact, they are learning ways to keep them alive longer. They "pause" them because they use to die while they were at school. I use to wish they would die, but the problem is...when they die...all you have to do is push the "reset" button and out pops an egg...and a brand new chance to create a better Tamagotchi. No matter how many times you screw up...whether yours is fat or mean or eventually always have another chance as long as you have a battery.After I took kids to school this morning, I was walking through my living room in Pjs, an Under Armour jacket, and Uggs (I know...not a sexy visual). I was thinking about the things I want to change...things that I'm not happy with. I've been on autopilot for quite a while. I lost weight...I had a system...and I didn't really THINK much about what I did...I just did it. I've felt a bit lost which sounds dumb because this is what I do...but when it comes to yourself, it's different. As I got closer to my bedroom, I heard one of those stinkin Tamagotchis beep...not the hungry beep...the death beep...and I figured out EXACTLY what I need to do.

We all get stuck from time to time. We go through the motions and end up in a rut. We make mistakes and get off track. Sometimes we veer so far off track that we end up on a path we didn't intend to go down. It's natural to give up or make excuses. It's easy to sit around and wish we had done differently...or blame other people...or wish for an imaginary "reset" button for our lives. But here's the's NOT imaginary. We all have a reset button and just like that Tamagotchi...we can start over too. The Tamagotchi does not start over as a perfect "grown up". It goes back to the start as an egg and if you want a different outcome, you have to make different choices and press different buttons. You have to pay closer attention...even when it's inconvenient. It is the same with us.

I'm pushing the "reset" button. I need to start fresh. I don't need to tweak or try and find ways around what I know I need to do and I need to do it I dug through the mess of Victoria's Secret catalogs and pictures and magazines on my desk until I found "pink book". It's the book that my friend Wes made for me as a gift when he moved away. It has 5 full months of workouts...6 days a week. It's been read and carried around and had drinks spilled on it and has notes written on it. I followed it religiously for a long time and then slowly I started doing things differently. I became a trainer myself and became more confident in my own ability to program for myself. I did really well for a long time, but I started to slip somewhere in the past year. I skipped workouts and made excuses. I was cocky and thought that I had it made. I remembered when I was training with Wes and I would get silly or lazy or "too big for my britches". He would always eventually "humble me". All it took was ONE HELLACIOUS HOUR and I would straighten out. He use to tell me that we needed to get back to the basics...back to old school, hard work...back to what works...nothing fancy. I could almost hear his voice saying that as I picked up that book, and so that is what I'm doing.Today, I'm starting over. I'm drinking more water and less Diet Root Beer. I'm eating less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff. I'm holding myself accountable like I use to and I am going to do the workouts in that order....whether I like them or not. There will be NO question as to what I will do each cherry picking workouts. I will treat my training like I use a job that I can't call in and take a day off of. The "reset" button is pushed and I can't wait to see what happens!