Saturday, February 15, 2014

Always a Work in Progress...

A work in progress ~ that's what I call myself.  After being on this "fit" journey for three years, it's sometimes hard to see everyday progress.  In the beginning, you drop weight fast and can really see some changes.  The more progress you make, the slower it gets because there is less to lose.  The scale is a funny thing too.  I used to be totally obsessed and weighed myself several times a day.  I would weigh before I went to bed and calculate what I should weigh in the morning.  It was easy to get discouraged because weight can fluctuate for a variety of reasons.  So I started depending on my clothes to tell me what was going on. Sometimes I would lose only a pound or two but still drop a jean size.  Then when I started lifting weights, I even gained a few pounds.  

I was going through some old pictures recently and have decided that the best way to see progress is through pictures.  It was difficult for me to find some at my heaviest because quite frankly I didn't want any pictures taken.  I was able to find a couple and thought I would post them here since this is after all a journal of sorts of me getting healthy.  The first one has the years written below.  The second one is a two year progress (the first picture being March of 2011 and the second one in my TDFA shirt from yesterday).

I look at these pictures and am very surprised.  It makes a huge difference seeing yourself like that.  It's not a mirror where you're critical about everything but almost a WOW! that's really me feeling.  After putting these together, I've decided I will continue doing this every so often so I can see the progress I'm making.  It still blows my mind the changes that have occurred in my body, not only physically but mentally too.  I am so much more confident than really I ever have been and not only do I look better, but I feel better too.

I don't necessarily have a "goal weight" or a "goal size" to be.  As far as I'm concerned, there's always room for improvement in some form or fashion, whether it's to gain more muscle, run faster or longer or be able to lift more weight.  That's not to say I'm not happy where I am.  When I look at that picture of me from yesterday, I am very pleased with where I am.  I almost have to pinch myself because it's hard for me to believe that's really me.  BUT no matter what, I always want to strive to improve myself.  And that is why I will always be a work in progress.  =)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What motivates you????

It's good to always have a goal ~ something to motivate you and push you to keep going and be your best.  For me, that's my trip to Costa Rica in May.  I want to look my best, be in fabulous shape and yes rock that string bikini.  And just a little secret ~ I've already bought that string bikini.  To be honest, I actually felt pretty good about how it looked.  Of course, there is room for improvement (always is) and I mainly got it to try on periodically to be able to see my progress.  I might even get crazy and buy another one.

I am a visual person so I need more than that goal set before me.  I have this dry erase board in my kitchen with my countdown.  Why do I keep it in my kitchen?  Well, that's where nutrition choices are made and as they always say, abs are made in the kitchen.  This keeps me focused on what lies ahead and makes me think twice before making a poor food choice.  So as of today, I have 78 days or roughly 2 1/2 months.  It's right around the corner ~ and so is summer and I'm gonna rock that bikini like nobody's business.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On Wednesdays, we wear PINK!

As a Train Dirty Fitness Ambassador, one of the things I participate in is Pink Wednesday.  What is a TDFA you ask?  A Train Dirty Fitness ambassador is someone who helps spread the vision of TDF which means that we should all have a safe place, free of judgement where we can go for support and that we should empower each other instead of breaking each other down.  It's a place where everyone fits in! 

Pink Wednesday was created by Crystal and what it is all about!  She said, “What started as something fun with my TDFBombshell team and myself because 1. we are girls and 2. I love pink..has actually become something much more than I imagined. On Wednesday’s We Wear Pink is a chance for every woman no matter her age, race, weight, jeans size, hair color, financial status –NO MATTER WHAT– to participate. Unfortunately, there are so many women who spend their time bringing others down that it’s easy for us to never feel “good enough”….well let me be the first to welcome you to #PinkWednesday where everyone is welcome and everyone can participate because on Wednesday’s WE wear pink ♥ xoxo, Crystal”

I am very much a pink lover myself and look forward to each Wednesday when I can support the TDF vision by wearing pink!  =)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Challenge yourself!

I admit it.  I CANNOT do a pull-up.  It is physically impossible.  And hey - I'm not gonna lie...even assisted ones are no fun.  Now, I don't hate them as much as I do burpees, but they are definitely a close second.  At the same time, I think of how wonderful it will be when I can actually do one.  I remember that feeling I had when I went from girl push-ups to "real" ones.  I bet doing my first pull-up will be right up there with excitement.

In talking to some friends about pull-ups, I did get some sound advice I thought I would share.  First of all, it's better to do a pull-up unassisted, the reason being is that it is measurable.  Even if you just hang there or go up a little bit, you know next time if you're doing better.  Whereas with assisted pull-ups, you are never really doing a "real" pull-up.  Therefore, you never really know how much you are improving.  Makes sense that you would want a true measure of your improvement.

Another thing I learned that can help strengthen those upper body muscles is something called negatives.  I had never heard of this before, but it's when you use a chair to help you get up to the top and as slowly as you can lower yourself down.  You are getting that upper body workout and strengthening those muscles for the true pull-up.

So what did I do to challenge myself?  I went out and bought a pull-up bar.  The only way to keep getting better is to keep trying and this way I don't have to embarrass myself at the gym, right?  We'll see how it goes, and you better believe I'll be reporting back when I do that first one!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Things I've Learned Along the Way

Throughout my journey, I have talked to a ton of people and learned a great deal of information.  If I could narrow it down to the three most important things, this is what they would be:

  1. The scale is not an accurate measure of progress.   I admit, I have a dip of OCD in me (my close friends might say that's an understatement).  So when it comes to the scale, well I have been known to be a bit obsessive.  There were times that I would weigh myself numerous times a day.  My friends, this is not a healthy way to be and can be very damaging to one's confidence.  Just to give you an idea of how inaccurate the scale is ~ in the past year I have only lost about ten pounds and have recently put back on a few when I started weight training.  However, I have gone down two (almost three) jeans sizes.  The way your clothes fit is the best measurement of all.
  2. Everyone is different ~ what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.  Over the last few years, I have talked to so many people who told me what they thought was the "best" way to lose weight and/or be healthy.  (Weight Watchers, South Beach, Paleo, No Carbs, Low Carbs, Clean Eating and really I could go on and on).  What I have found is that some of these things worked for me and some didn't.  It all depends on the person and the activity they are doing.  For example, if I'm training for a half marathon, clearly I need carbs or I'll never make it to the finish line.  My advice (and hey - you had to know I was going to give some right?) is to listen to what everyone says and then do what's right for you.  I am constantly tweaking my diet and exercise and finding out how different things affect me.  There is no "one best way" for everyone.
  3. You've got to love the exercise you're doing or you won't stick with it.   Let's face it, when it comes to things we don't like, we try and avoid them like the plague.  If you don't like it, then you'll find any excuse not to do it.  But if you find something you truly enjoy, then you'll make every effort to do it.  For me, I LOVE weight training ~ I HATE burpees.  Therefore, you will see me lift weights several times a week.  You will not however see me doing any burpees.