Archive for the ‘Got Me Thinking’ Category

Not clicking

Things are NOT clicking right now.  I started Cycle 3 in a good place, but on Monday (TMI ALERT) starting having issues with my TOM.  Between the bloating, cramping, nausea, etc., I decided to try to hit a deficit, but to DEFINITELY not go into a surplus.  I’m ok with maintenance.  Once my hormones settle, I know I will be fine and can easily get back in the swing of things, so I’m trying not to sweat it. My schedule is kind of funky this week too – my facility is being inspected/audited for our license (this happens every 2 years) and I will be at a training conference on Thursday and Friday.


For training, I’ve done some light cardio but missed my lift last night because of a bad storm.  I was really torn about it, but the conditions were icy so I decided not to take the risk.  I’m wondering if that counts as losing my 100% compliance on training.  On one hand, I feel confident that it is an isolated incident and am not worried about getting back on track (it’s just one miss, right?).  On the other hand, choosing to not endanger myself on icy roads is actually a choice toward better health – even if I missed a lift.  Thoughts?


Yesterday was my niece’s 2nd birthday.  We had a great time celebrating with her!  During cake, she looked at me and said:
T:   Knock Knock!

Me:  Who’s there?


Me:  Frosty the Snowman who?


It was awesome! 🙂  Happy hump day!

2011 – The Best Year Yet | Alwyn Cosgrove

2011 – The Best Year Yet | Alwyn Cosgrove.


There are so many different blogs and articles floating around right now to inspire us all to achieve new heights in 2011.  Some have been generic, some have been overly wordy (or even preachy), but this guest post by Todd Durkin on Alwyn Cosgrove’s site hits the right note for me.  The majority of the post is a list of 83 action steps that you (or I) can choose to take to make 2011 your best year.


Since today is a super-low calorie day and I’m surrounded by temptations (cheesy bread?  Yes, please!…oh, wait – not today), I found this post particularly helpful as motivation since, as I mentioned yesterday, this cycle is definitely harder than the last one.

Some of my favorite action steps (Some of which are also prominently featured in the Impact Body Plan):

  • Be the most positive person you know.  This is always a work-in-progress for me.  It’s hard to strike a balance between processing some of the struggles of my professional and personal life and remaining positive.  I am generally able to stay positive (or at least neutral), but I have to work harder at it when I’m in a deficit.
  • Do something that scares you everyday.  I’m not sure how to do this one yet, but I want to learn.  Life’s all about adventure, right?
  • Remember – no one has ever regretted a great workout.  This one, I’ve mastered!  Whenever I’m not feeling particularly jazzed about going to the gym, I remind myself that I’m only one workout away from a good mood!
  • Be obsessed with learning.  Check!
  • Be careful with whom you surround yourself.  Just as much as the right people can pull you up, the wrong people can pull you down.
  • If you want more, GIVE more.
  • Do or do not, there is no try.  Isn’t this one from Star Wars or something?  Anyway, I think this is going to be one of my mantras this year.  I am tired of trying to lose weight.  Now, I’m just doing it. 🙂
  • Slow down in order to speed up.  This is HUGE.  When I learned to slow down and create boundaries between my personal and professional lives, my entire outlook improved!  Taking time to just “be” is so important in trying to find satisfaction and direction in life.
  • Do more of what you love to do!  So simple, so important.

There are some real gems in the list – some for personal growth, some for running a business, and some for adding some adventure into life.  There is even a recommendation for a dream vacation every year (sigh – I wish!).  I will probably revisit the list every once in awhile to see what I can add to my life.  It’s worth a look, even as food for thought!

Challenge Goals

As indicated in my previous post, I am participating in a transformation challenge on the membership site.  Here are my goals:

Full Challenge Goals:

  • Lose between 15 and 30 pounds.  I will be satisfied with 15, and thrilled with more.
  • Get a feel for true maintenance.  Know what my body feels like at maintenance and approximately how many calories are my maintenance (right now).
  • Improve my sleep, both in quantity and quality.  Incorporate effective strategies to help me wind down at the end of the night.
  • Become more aware of the emotional attachments I have to food (and eventually eliminate them).
  • Devote 30-45 minutes each night to self-care.


Objectives to Meet Goals:

  • Focus on following cycling program accurately to ensure compliance.
  • Aim for 100% compliance on training.  This will give me an emotional boost to help me – I always feel better when I train.  Plus, I will gain more confidence knowing I am sticking to the program.
  • Identify and prepare at least one new healthy recipe each week and blog about it to avoid diet boredom.
  • Identify one fun activity to do with Jeb each weekend that is NOT food related.


Here we are again at the New Year!  I’m not normally one to come up with New Year’s Resolutions, but this year is different.  I’ve been doing this “weight loss thing” for a couple years now, and it is TIME to be done.  Starting today, I am participating in Leigh Peele’s Resolution Solution challenge.  I will be following a calorie cycling program with a new training program, but won’t get into the diet details during the course of the challenge (due to copyright rules).  A big portion of the challenge is a focus on the mental aspect of fat loss.  I am embracing the full challenge and, for the first time, making my goals concrete.  So far in this journey, I’ve simply wanted to lose weight.  I’ve never really bothered to set concrete goals or figure out my true motivations.


What do I want? I want my body to be healthier, and to convey the amount of work I have already put into living a healthier lifestyle.  I need to lose more fat (though I’m not sure how much – maybe 40-50 pounds), and I want to maintain the muscle that I have now.  I also want my body to be stronger and more able to handle any challenge that comes along. External rewards are also important to me – I want the people around me to assume I live a healthy lifestyle, rather than the opposite.


Why do I want these things? Aside from the obvious health benefits,  I want to feel completely confident for the first time in my life.  I want to be able to shop in more than one or two stores for clothes – and I want to ROCK whatever styles I choose.  I don’t want to feel like a hypocrite anymore – I have to encourage healthy lifestyle choices to the kids I work with, and it doesn’t feel right encouraging them to be mindful of their food choices when it is obvious that I have not done the same.  I really want to have more adventure in my life.  Sometimes, though less often than a few years ago, I shy away from things that I could really enjoy because I am embarrassed or worried that I am not capable.  This needs to stop.  Today.


What will it mean to finally have the body I want? It will mean that I have succeeded.  At that point, I will be 100% in control.  My past trauma and fear will be in the past forever, and I will have learned to separate the emotional issues I have from my physical needs.  It also means that I have persevered and kept the promise I made to myself – that I would live the lifestyle of a healthy person and not give in to momentary pleasures at the expense of my greater goals.


What does it mean to train on a regular basis? This is the easy part for me.  I love to train.  It helps with my general energy level, my self esteem, and my general happiness.  I love seeing progress in the gym and knowing I am getting stronger, fitter, and healthier.  Choosing to train is choosing to be happy.


What is the hardest part of losing fat? I struggle with the diet.  When life gets stressful, it is hard to remember that food is fuel, not a reward or comfort.  I’ve been working on eating more intuitively and stopping when I get full.  I’m not always successful, but I’m glad I recognize that I struggle in this area.  Removing the emotional attachments I have to food is one of my primary objectives during this challenge.  Additionally, I have PCOS, and struggle with losing weight anyway.  It’s hard for me to trust the process and know I am getting results even if the scale doesn’t always say so.


Who am I trying to please? Myself, of course, but probably not as much as I should be!  Right now, I’m more focused on pleasing others – my husband, my family, my coworkers, etc.  I want the people in my life to look at me and think of me as a fit and healthy person.  Once others see me that way, it will be easier for me to see it too.  I’ve never had a ton of encouragement in my physical appearance or body composition, so even when I see results, it’s hard to truly embrace them and be satisfied.  This self-esteem aspect will also be huge for me over the next 3 months.  I need to be satisfied without the external support.


How will attaining physical goals change my life? Moving toward my physical goals has already changed my life.  I’m amazed at the improvement in my energy levels and my confidence.  Attaining my goals will allow me to push my body in athletic ways – competing in local events, trying new sports, or just plain feeling normal when I’m out jogging or playing with my niece.  I look forward to hiking in the summer without worrying that I might not be able to handle the trek, and wearing a bathing suit without feeling embarrassed.


Final thoughts:

I’m doing this challenge through the membership site.  I’m taking a completely different approach than I have in the past and am hoping to see some big and lasting results.  My husband is also trying to lose fat, and I am helping him.  I hope that helping him will also help me stay on track.  Our lives can only get better by us both doing the work now and being successful!  For me, though, self-identity is playing a big part in this.  I am training myself to stop thinking of myself as the “fat friend” or the “lazy one” and instead start thinking of myself as an athlete or at least a fit woman.  This will be an even bigger part of the picture for my husband, but I’m not sure he knows this yet.  I’m going to help him, but I also need to not let helping him reach his goals affect me reaching mine (he would never want this, but I have tendency to get into a “caretaker” role that sacrifices my own needs).  This is the year that we lose our excess weight and embrace our real identities!

Is this taking too long?

I want to lose a solid 100 pounds (AT LEAST).  I’m down 55-60ish now (depending on the day), and I look AND feel about a million times better than I did.  However, I’ve been at this for TWO years.  Of course I know that I can’t look at the Biggest Loser for a guide, so I’m not expecting to lose 10 pounds a week, but I do hear lots of stories about lots of people losing 100+ pounds in a year – and NEVER more than 2 years.

I feel like I could buckle down and drop a bunch of weight.  That’s what I did in the beginning.  However, I really enjoy my workouts.  If I want to REALLY drop weight, I need to eat in a BIG deficit, and sometimes that means cutting down my training so it only protects me from muscle wasting.  I’m already eating in a deficit, but not so severe of one that I can’t support intense training.  Compliance is one of the most important parts of fat loss, so if training intensely improves my compliance, is it worth it to have less of a deficit in my food??

Or is that a version of self-sabotage?  I don’t think so, but I wonder sometimes.  I try not to get too focused on those sorts of things, but I don’t think people get as big as I was without some element of self-sabotage in their personalities or behaviors.  Am I harming myself, or at least holding myself back, by not finishing this and getting on with my life?  Is this fierce hold I have on intense training based in fear?  If so, what am I afraid of??

I’m working on some new goals and a new plan to get me looking my best for my birthday.  It’s an arbitrary date, really, but it IS a big birthday.  I have 4 months and 1 day, so I have to get cracking.  I’ve been listening to a member’s only audio series on bridging the technical/emotional aspects of fat loss that Leigh Peele released.  For the first time, I’m not going to gloss over the mental aspects of this and I’m not going to rush.  Even though I did lose fat in 2010, my progress just wasn’t what I wanted it to be.  I don’t want to look back a year from now and say the same thing.


Plugging along…

I will NOT be needing these pants tomorrow…

…Or today, I suppose, since it’s technically Thanksgiving already.


Behold, the “Gluttony Pants!”


Chef Chris Cosentino designed pants with buttons (designated “Piglet,” “Sow,” and “Boar) that allow you to expand the waistband of your pants.  While I am sure there are people out there who will gladly pay $100 for these pants, I just don’t think most of us need them (or should want them) – especially since we could all go down to Target and pick up a pair of comfy sweats for $15 if we felt the need.  I remember Cosentino from both “Iron Chef America” and “The Next Iron Chef” (Season 1 – when Mike Simon won).  He wasn’t my favorite competitor, so maybe that’s part of the reason for my irritation over the existence (and cost!) of these pants!

I plan to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal with my family tomorrow.  I will sample some of everything (though maybe not all ten pies at my mom’s house!), but I’ll be wearing my jeans as a reminder not to overdo things.  A food baby will only make me feel sluggish and guilty the next day.  I will NOT be counting calories, though – I’ll just try to remember my new-ish identity as a healthy person, and see how things go!

What are your plans to keep holiday intake reasonable?

Rest Days are Hard

I hate them.  I love getting up for my morning workouts, and when I have to take a day off, I don’t feel myself for the whole day.  I try to work out extra hard on the days leading up to the rest day so I really feel like I need to recover, but that doesn’t always do the trick.  I do take rest days, though, for the following reasons:

  • They help keep me from getting injured.
  • It’s probably good for me mentally to keep my perspective on exercise healthy and not obsessive – even though I don’t enjoy it.
  • My joints get achy if I don’t rest enough, especially while doing 5/3/1 and in the weeks immediately following that strength cycle.
  • My workouts over the next couple days following a rest tend to be more productive and it’s easier to keep my intensity level high.
  • I’m not a great sleeper, so I’m not getting as much recovery overnight as I could be.  By taking a couple rest days each week, I give my body a little extra cushion of time to do whatever it needs to do.
  • When I take rest days, I don’t lose strength or fitness – I just worry about it, and I shouldn’t since that doesn’t even make sense!
  • I’m not an elite athlete, and even if I was, I would still rest.

I think I’m going to keep this list accessible to remind myself that it’s ok to take a little time off, and is likely even good for me in the long term.  Plus, pushing myself too hard is not good for me mentally or physically and can derail me on my pursuit of my goals.  It’s ok for me to miss my workouts, but I need to be cautious about letting myself become anxious about missing them.  Back to the grind tomorrow, though, and then kettlebell class on Friday! 🙂

How a little podcast helped me change my life…

I’m a long-time listener of The Fitcast, a weekly podcast about Fitness, Nutrition, and a little bit of pop culture.  It features 3 hosts (usually):  Strength Coach Kevin Larrabee (who created the show), Physical Therapist Jon Fass, and Trainer/Nutrition Expert Leigh Peele who discuss a variety of topics inspired by current trends in fitness and nutrition, and answer questions submitted by listeners.

The podcast has been incredibly helpful to me on my weight loss journey.  At my starting weight, I was embarrassed and ashamed, and I didn’t really know where to start.  I also didn’t really have anyone to talk to about my experiences and fears, and I started to struggle to keep my head in the game.  Since there were about two years’ worth of old episodes on the books when I started listening, I was able to listen to 1-2 episodes a day while commuting.  Since I spent so much time thinking about health and fitness from the perspective of these experts, my own perspective started to shift.  It helped me change my identity – from the fat girl who ruined her body to a girl who made some mistakes but was making permanent changes.  This was so key for me in the early stages of my weight loss.  So many times, I would become frustrated – when you’re as overweight as I was, it takes awhile to notice the changes – so I didn’t have the external motivation of compliments and could not really see physical differences in myself.  I was scared of my relationship with food, and I was scared about my training – what if I missed a workout or miscalculated my macros and spiraled out of control again?  Listening to the FitCast helped me stay sane.  I also learned how to maximize my efforts and, while I still have a lot of weight to lose, I am stronger and have better mobility than ever.  I train with a purpose.  Plus, aside from a few weird experiences, this overweight female gets some respect in the weight room!! 🙂

The FitCast has helped me to see my health and physical abilities in new ways.  I’m motivated to push myself beyond my limits and am not spinning my wheels or following the advice of some idiotic guru in a celebrity magazine.  I’m sure volunteering for a weekly podcast can seem thankless – especially for people as busy as the three hosts are – but I also hope they know that their time and their advice has helped one girl jump some big hurdles.

Winning the Day

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently working on Todd Durkin’s Impact Body Plan. The workouts are fun (but TOUGH – see previous posts), and I’m already feeling changes in my body.  However, the part of the book that is helping me the most is the chapters devoted to the psychological aspects of dieting/body composition.  Or, as Durkin says, “Getting your mind right.”  This video, aside from the silly halloween costume, has some great tips for making change –


He says to “Win the Day.”  This is something I need to keep in mind.  I need to avoid impulse and be mindful with my eating (there’s that word again!).  As I mentioned yesterday, I’m having trouble keeping my eating habits particularly effective.  I don’t want to have to count calories all the time again, but it may come to that.  In the meantime, however, I need to focus on whether I WANT something or if I actually NEED it (as Durkin says).  There’s no need to work so hard at the gym and then waste some of the benefits by eating junk.  I’ve definitely slipped up some today, but I’m going to switch gears and try to Win the REST of the day! 🙂

My plan for this –

  • Cook a healthy dinner.  I’m thinking pistachio-crusted chicken with butternut squash.
  • Drink a LOT of water – and make sure I’m not thirsty when I think I’m hungry.
  • Only eat the food I brought with me to work – not allow myself to be tempted by the baked goods and halloween treats around at work.

Wish me luck!

This Post is Brilliant

I don’t think a lot of commentary is needed, but Leigh Peele could not have said it better than she did in this post.  How many times have I made excuses, thought something wasn’t realistic or (worse) thought my goals weren’t worth the sacrifice?  Take a moment and check it out…

I Can’t (Updated) by Leigh Peele