Welcome to the first installment of Saturday Snippets! I’ve had this idea bouncing for awhile and am finally getting it out.
Uh… what’s a snippet?
It’s a small piece or brief extract of information.
I decided this might be a fun forum to post a new recent recipe, a healthy tip that might not need a whole post, or just sharing a quote or thought I may have come across.
But overall, it will be a short and sweet post that will offer something positive, informative or maybe thought provoking and it won’t take but a moment of your time 😉
And on that note… today’s snippet…..
Time. It’s something we all get the same amount of. How we choose to use it is where we differ.
When it comes to health and fitness, specifically exercise, it seems that is the thing most often heard as to reasons why someone isn’t exercising.
It’s not that they/we/I/you don’t have the time, it’s just something that we may not choose to make a priority.
Move exercise into “priority status” like having a meal, brushing your teeth, being at work on time, watching tv or playing on the computer, meeting a friend for coffee or anything else you do in life that you may set aside as important.
Do this often enough and you’ll find you do indeed, have the time to exercise.
There are many words or slang in the English language that either annoy me, bother me or trouble me.
I thought if I had to see or read a post with “Bae” in it one more time, I’d vomit. If there was ever a contest for dumbest slang words, I’d nominate that one. There are of course others that could make the list.
Then there are clever words that were kinda amusing as I watched my daughter in law use the word “clutch”
She would use it in a situation and ask my son or myself, “did I use it right?” that alone was entertaining.
( for the record, it means exactly what you need, exactly when you need it)
Then there are normal words that trouble me when I go to write them ’cause I feel like a first grade kid again having to think them through….. “Am I spelling it right???”
Restaurant, Wednesday, February, Rhyme, Rhythm and a plethora of others make me slow down my typing skills. ( for the record, I just had to very carefully, methodically, type those out 😉 )
And they let me have a blog………
But there is one tiny little, easy to spell, almost innocuous word that can always trouble me.
It’s defined as …. “To make an effort or attempt to do something”
Now you’re probably sitting there tossing down your morning coffee rubbing sleep from your eyes wondering why I’m over here hating on such a tiny word.
Maybe because when I hear the word used it comes along with conditions.
I’ll try to be there…..
I’ll try to get the time off…..
I’ll try to call…..
I’ll try to make the meeting….
I’ll try to come by…..
I’m going to try and go to the gym….
I’m going to try and get up earlier to workout….
I’m going to try to eat better…..
Are you seeing it? when you use the word “try” you’re leaving yourself an out, a way to commit but still escape responsibility or follow through if you decide you’d rather not.
If someone tells me something and they use the word “try” in it, I’ve already dismissed them as not being serious about what’s being discussed.
They are giving themselves a way out.
They are going to “attempt” or “make an effort” to do something but there’s a strong probability it won’t happen.
Hey, I’m not pointing fingers. I’ve used it before too. Maybe that’s why I can say this, maybe I see it a bit more clearly.
Do or Don’t.
Do or don’t. Skip the “try”.
Yes, I understand it requires commitment to go in one direction or another but at least it’s decisive.
But let’s take it out to our commitment to ourselves. When we say we are going to “try” and eat better, start an exercise plan, go to the gym, get to the doctor etc. we are giving ourselves an out, a way to escape from the self inflicted torture we are setting ourselves up for.
Exercise can be work, hard work.
Losing weight involves making different choices and learning to eat better foods and perhaps leaving some behind.
Going to the doctor who is going to tell us that we are over weight and need to lose some for our health convicts us. Well, hopefully it does and you listen and take steps to change things.
The whole process promises to make us… uncomfortable.
No wonder we throw in the word try when it comes to lifestyle changes.
To try something is to accept the possibility of failure. If you set out to do something, the possibility of failure doesn’t enter your mind.
I remember after I had finished my ( I think, third, half marathon) the thought came to me that now was the time for a full.
At first, I dismissed it as craziness and endorphins from running my best half yet.
The idea persisted. But gosh, that’s a full 26.2 miles of hoofing it along on my own two feet!
That’s a pretty long way.
It didn’t take much for me to commit to it. I knew it was time. I knew I was ready.
I signed up and found the training plan I wanted to use.
It hit me one day not long into my eagerness to pursue this new adventure.
The dialog went something like this….
“What, and I mean WHAT are you thinking?? 26.2 miles!” ( this would be my logical brain speaking)
My free spirit , not sane part of my brain responded, “Yeah, I know. I get that. It’s pretty long. I can do this.”
Logical brain… “you’ve not really thought this through. You are trying something you’ve never done. It’s long. It’s hard. What if you fail? What if you can’t do it?”
That brought me up.
I was trying something I’d never, ever considered in my life. I must be insane. Who signs up for a 26.2 mile run???
What if I couldn’t do it? What if logical brain really WAS right?
You know what I did?
I stomped logical brain down, never let myself consider again that I couldn’t do it or would fail at it, trained my butt off, and ran my first marathon that year on one of the hottest November days Texas had seen.
It was brutal. But I finished with the goal to do one again the next year.
I had never been more physically wasted, tired, drained ( physically and emotionally) ever in my life.
It was exhilarating.
Taking on and training for a marathon, it gave me the confidence I could do anything, that I can try anything and that I can take on the world.
I did another marathon, and then a 50k. If you’ve followed me for awhile then you know I also have gone on to do a duathlon and am training for my second this year.
I would have accomplished none of that if I hadn’t been determined and just set out to do it.
I never allowed the idea of failure to come into my mind again. Training and then doing it made me victorious no matter what. It really comes down to our “state” of mind, what we believe, what we focus on.
I never approached it as I’m going to “try” because that would give me an out, a way to say, “hey, this is hard, I’m old, I don’t have what it takes, but at least, I tried!”
No. I know I would’ve hated myself for caving into such things.
I would challenge you to remove that word when you approach new or challenging goals or plans in your life.
Contemplating a new exercise or a new goal? Maybe you are going to find healthy recipes or join a class.
Think of how you use the word “try” in general, but specifically when it comes to new challenges. Don’t allow “try” to be your escape hatch.
With a different perspective you might find yourself removing obstacles and doing amazing things you never thought you’d accomplish.
Have you thought like that before? Have you thought you’d “try” something fully knowing you might not commit to the process?
I was updating my Instagram account recently and after I had finished was just randomly scrolling through different accounts. I follow so many people who are strong and active. They are amazing athletes and their physical bodies are carved from the work they invest to their sport. They do big things that encourage and remind me I can keep on shooting for the stars when it comes to pursuing bigger goals.
Then there are the accounts that are almost **yawn** same old, same old, women posed into a mirror, butts popped out ( the bigger the better now days, right?), tight shirts with artificial breasts spilling out, zero body fat, lean abs, plenty of makeup…. you may have seen pages like that. Many proclaim to be fitness trainers, personal trainers etc
I’m not like, being critical here, I’m just saying my goals and efforts are aimed in a different direction. What I choose to follow reflects my pursuits.
I want to be out working hard and looking like a hot mess with no make up, sweat flying every where as I crush another workout…or it crushes me… haha
As I glanced at one of these accounts one of the captions jumped out at me. I’ve seen it before in various places…
“Contact me to help get your dream body today!”
Listen, the amount of fitness “coaches” on IG is as plentiful as flies at a summer picnic on the potato salad.
Some are most likely legit, others, well the jury might still be out.
That being said, no one will help you get your dream body but you and few will achieve it.
Ok, so why won’t they?
When I got my Charger R/T Max 2 years ago, I was a happy camper. ( I still am) Aside from looking like it can eat your lunch, I can hit it on the highway in mere seconds to head spinning speeds ( hubby loves it when I tell him that…. haha… not.)
Not to mention it has tons of other super cool features too it but this isn’t a car and road post so I won’t bore you 😉
The car I would’ve LOVED to have scooped up if ya know, the money thing wasn’t an issue, would’ve been the Charger SRT Hellcat.
Hello 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds which makes my 0-60 in 8 seem…slow….
There are limited editions made each year and they also go to people who bust their butts and work for them. The people who own them have had to invest a lot to get that amazing car. They don’t have it without putting in the work for it.
You following me here?
People who have amazing bodies or maybe their “dream” body, have had to bust their butt and work for it. And they have to work hard.
Well what does that look like, the illusive dream body?
Well, that of course could vary person to person. So many women today seem to want what’s pushed on them through social media or what they see in magazines. I guess it would be a similar thing for guys too.
I mean really, when I started on my journey 8 years ago if you’d asked me I would’ve said my dream body would be strong, functional and most of all healthy. It’s still at the top of my list now, even more so.
I’m not overly hung up on having my body try and look certain ways.
Abs though… ok… well maybe those are up there… 😉
There’s just something about those lines and ripples that I kinda dig. And being that I’m getting closer and closer to my Senior citizen discount breakfast, I consider it a victory of sorts.
But that doesn’t come without work and effort. And sometimes I’m more cut depending on my training and how lean I’m getting. It’s a process I’ve learned to roll with
Really though, my goals are to keep my body strong and healthy so I can do life and do my athletic stuff for a long time. I don’t need to try and shape myself into the current “trend”. I have though, been shaped by the very activities I enjoy doing so it’s almost a side effect, my changing body composition, to what I do.
It’s ok though to have your own personal goals or perhaps “image” of what you want to strive for. In fact, it would be helpful pursuing it if you did know what you wanted.
Maybe your ultimate dream body would be losing weight and being 50 pounds less.
Perhaps you want to strive for a weight you were when you were younger ( not always the best sometimes) the weight you were when you were younger might not be as suited for you being older when 5 or 10 lbs would be more flattering
You may want to have a body with more visible muscle or maybe you want a body that can go run a 5k. Maybe you haven’t been able to run and it’s a dream of yours.
But for the illusive body of strong muscled proportions with low body fat and seemingly perfect appearance, like the Hellcat, most will not invest what’s required to make it happen to own it.
It’s that discipline thing
We aren’t given things in life, for most of us, we have to work for them. The same goes for our bodies.
When I see someone who’s really fit, and yeah they stand out, it’s hard for me to not admire them. And I don’t mean in a weird way, I admire them for what I know it took them to get there, I admire the discipline I know is a part of their life because that’s the major thing to starting towards any goal.
It takes discipline to get out the door, to the gym, to run, to cycle to intentionally go lift really heavy things. It takes discipline to go to Crossfit or those nightly classes for strength. It takes discipline to eat well and past on foods or drinks that don’t support those goals.
But we want the easy way sometimes, right?
Nothing makes me feel more sad than to see smart people commenting on weight loss posts clamoring at the latest “miracle” that will quickly help them lose weight and get their dream body. The sad fact is, all they will lose is their money and even if it did work, it certainly wouldn’t teach them the discipline and drive needed to be successful at it, and keep at it.
The bottom line is, people just don’t realize how hard it will be.
All the other factors
there are so many other things that will hinder someone from the pursuit of their “dream” body.
Procrastination. Stop putting it off till “Monday” or after a “holiday” or whatever, just start. Procrastination is the killer of dreams.
It’s hard! Understand changing your body won’t be easy and but when you get that, you’ll be in the right frame of mind.
No room for error is allowed. There will be a day you just want a cookie, or two. This is not a reason to throw in towel and go on an all out binge or think you’ve failed. . Those cookies won’t take down your hard work, but a food binge will make you feel bad physically and mentally. Eat it and move on.
You’re hungry. Eat adequate food, enough but not to much and make sure each meal has plenty of protein, that’s your friend to keep you from getting hungry.
You workout hard, but eat harder. Don’t use your workouts to justify eating more food.
You drink a lot of calories. Seriously, all those sugary drinks whether coffees or sodas, smoothies, shakes, all those calories add up and liquid calories also leave you hungry sooner. Watch your consumption of those things.
You over complicate things. Really, losing weight is a pretty straightforward process. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. If you want to gain some muscle, eat more and lift heavier weights. Don’t get caught up in all the trends… “don’t eat dairy or grains or whatever”, “don’t eat after 7″ ,”eat 6 meals a day” “eat all the fat!” etc etc. Don’t complicate the system.
Understand friends or family won’t always cheer you or support your efforts. Focus on you and don’t worry about the rest.
Calories matter. I’m not a calorie counter but I do understand my body has a specific amount it can operate on to support my life and activities, more than that I gain weight, less I’ll lose. Same for you. Know what you need and learn to operate in that zone.
You aren’t motivated enough. We all have our “thing” that can drive us. Find what motivates you to chase after your goals. Without motivation, you aren’t going anywhere.
You only think in short term limits. 30 days out, 60 days out. Most “plans” only make you think that far like you aren’t going to want to keep going or need direction past that. You need long term goals as well. Your body goals won’t be accomplished in a matter of weeks or a couple months. Where will you be in a year or two?
You are always comparing yourself to others or worse, Hollywood stars or your more fit friend. Stop it. You are you. You won’t look like them or be shaped like them. You have a different muscle structure and body size. Learn to appreciate every single inch of who you are. Looking at others and comparing will only make you feel bad about yourself.
Don’t let someone tell you that you look “okay”. Really. Why would anyone ever discourage someone from improving themselves by saying they look “okay”? That’s a key word for just stay as you are.
You don’t even have a solid idea of what your “dream” body is. Without some concrete ideas, you will be spinning your wheels. Have ideas of what you’d like to work towards or achieve, it will help move you to your goals and know how you need to plan.
You haven’t visualized how awesome it will feel to have your body the way you want it. Like anything that takes hard work and discipline, building your body or changing it will take a lot of work but it’s totally possible when you make a commitment to it and discipline yourself to do the things that will get you there.
That discipline word…
I enjoy helping and encouraging others on their health and fitness journeys. I’m certainly not an “expert” but I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. The biggest thing I had to remind a young woman of the other day is that right now, where she’s at, she is building the discipline of taking herself out each day for her exercise.
Discipline is crucial for her long term success.
It’s great to think you’ll always be motivated with the idea of pursuing your dream body, your goal weight or your muscled arms. The reality is you won’t, I won’t ,no one will always be motivated to get up and do the work required.
When you’ve been consistent and have built daily discipline through your fitness routines, you will fall into that when motivation is lagging.
There are days it is purely my discipline that gets me out on the road. I know that once I’m out there, I will then do what I’m there to do. Some days might be stronger or faster than others but the fact remains, I got out there. I didn’t make an excuse to not go get it done.
Our goals are often lost in our excuses of reasons why we “can’t” do something.
Know what you want and go for it.
Understand that having a different body will require work, effort, and a ton of self discipline to build it. No one will do it for you. No one will be pushing you ( unless you get a tough personal trainer) but at the end of the day it will come down to the effort you put into your eating and exercise.
Get real with your ideas and goals, determine what you need to do, don’t procrastinate and start taking steps to making it happen.
Do you have an ideal “dream” body? Do you have goals you want for yourself? How attainable do they feel to you?
It’s afternoon and I’ve landed in my favorite coffee cave to sit for awhile and hopefully churn out something fun, witty, educational, and worth your time reading.
Ok… well one or more of those could be potentially true.
It’s a busy afternoon and I’m listening to the low rumble of customer chatter and overhead elevator music. Weirdly, I can often work best in this type of clamor.
Even though the afternoon is still very warm out a hot coffee sounded appealing and it’s warmth is soothing. I wish I could apply the same warmth to my legs that are now reminding me of all their efforts from this mornings workout.
I really don’t mind the tired ache that comes from a hard workout. I’d always take that over the random “aches and pains” I hear people complain about from doing nothing.
Of course this morning was a bit more than a regular workout. If you follow me then you’ve seen some posts where I’ve talked about my upcoming duathlon in November.
Well it’s 6 weeks out to be precise. I try not to let the ever closing in date mentally play tricks on me. I’ve been training hard and I’ll take my best that day to the race. It’s all I can do.
Today was my second time to do it all, start to finish. Each leg of the run/bike/run course.
I’ve done different parts before. I’ve run some of it and biked a lot of it. Last week I put it all together. My plans are to do the entire course once a week till race day.
Even knowing what it all involves, I still take a big gulp before I head out because I have a healthy respect for the toughness of the course.
That old saying “it doesn’t get easier, you get stronger”? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s true. My body at this point is stronger for the tasks of the course but it still requires a fierce amount of energy and strength to which I have to remind myself, I have in me.
I have a serious amount of stubbornness that has driven me to get up early and head out to kick my own tail, to teach myself new things and learn from my mistakes. My Mom used to call me stubborn and hubby still can but I think he means it in a loving way, right?? haha
I’ve never viewed that as a bad thing, you know? It was, and is, simply a part of my passion.
Stubbornness hasn’t let me give up on things so many times. It hasn’t let me quit when I was tired or feeling like I wasn’t doing my best. It’s challenged me to push myself to see how far I can go and what I can accomplish. It’s helped me hold on in life when things weren’t easy.
Being a bit stubborn definitely has it’s good and bad points.
Then I came across this quote the other night that really resonated with me and made me think about it all in a different way.
I’ve never quite thought of perseverance and stubbornness being close siblings, but it made me think how perseverance to do something is, and can be, born out of stubbornness.
Perseverance ~ steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Where as stubbornness can be looked at as unyielding, or a refusal to give up or change a thought or position I’ve always considered it more in the sense of being passionate over whatever was at hand. Of course there is a line of stubbornness that is more unyielding and a non flexible attribute but that isn’t the way I’m considering it for the sake of this post.
It just made me consider that my pursuit of athletic endeavors has had a healthy amount of stubbornness that hasn’t let me give up or quit. Yet, somehow, in that stubbornness a real honest perseverance has been born from that. It’s interesting to note that perseverance is a synonym of stubbornness.
I love this particular definition on it ~ dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something.
Now that can definitely be a negative, however in the context of this, I see it as a positive.
Not changing my mind on fitness goals, when I was working to lose weight, or anything else related to my health. It’s a good thing to not change my position on my health.
You might be able to apply similar things to your own life. True, you might not be training for a duathlon or training for anything at all. But I’m pretty sure you are moving through this world living your life and I hope you have things you aspire to do or achieve.
You might never want to or have a desire to do a single athletic thing. What if you want to go back to school, pursue a new career, try a new hobby, take on a new “thing”.
Gosh, I hope you have something you’re chasing in this life.
I’ll tell you, it will take some stubbornness on your part, an unyielding to give up on it, and somehow that stubbornness will meld beautifully with perseverance and you will find yourself stronger and more focused in the pursuit of your goals and passions.
When I cross that finish line in a few weeks, no matter what, it will be worth it because I chased down my goals, set higher limits for myself, and have overcome things to get to that point.
I’m stubborn like that.
Tell me do you view perseverance or stubbornness as an asset to accomplish things in your life ?What have you accomplished that you feel like you persevered to get to ?
As I’ve meandered along these past years on what I refer to as my “journey” in fitness and nutrition, I’ve had opportunity to talk to a lot of people who are on the same path, or trying to stay on it.
Some are successful and have found the right “blend” that works for them, the thing that is sustainable allowing them to keep after it day after day and still live their life.
Others are still struggling, battling against various issues that push them back from staying on that road to success.
I’ve seen people excitedly get started and then I’ve watched the excuses start creeping in. Excuses for eating poorly or not getting exercise. Excuses for why there isn’t a loss on the scale. These reasons seem justifiable to them.
And I know as well as anyone how you have to battle back against excuses that creep in and try to side track you. Because in the beginning, they always do. And it’s easy to give into them because you haven’t been grinding it out long enough to make these things a habit.
You haven’t been doing enough purposeful exercise so it’s easy to tell yourself that missing today won’t matter… until it bleeds into the next day… and the next… and then you aren’t doing it at all.
You haven’t trained yourself to turn a blind eye to the box of donuts in the office break room or pass on eating seconds because you mentally know and understand these practices won’t support your current health goals.
So many things go into our success ( or lack thereof) when it comes to our health and fitness goals.
So many things must be done and built into new habits to contribute to our success. Without building these skills, we will keep sliding back to where we’ve always been.
It takes a measure of discipline, hard work, and the ability to have days we fall and get back at it.
It’s all those small things we do consistently that lead us to where we want to be.
If there’s one thing that stands out working with people ( and those who get discouraged and give up) it’s this….
No matter what you tell someone, those small things, done daily, add up.
Unfortunately, they have thoughts that all their weight will magically go away in a week or two, forgetting they’ve been adding it on for months or years.
They start exercising and get frustrated that their body is reminding them it hasn’t done work like this in a long time, if ever. And trust me, if you don’t think you’re “out of shape” before you start an exercise program, you do when you’re body is gasping for air or aches the day after you’ve done something.
It is enough to make you want to quit before you even get started.
Raise your hand if you’ve been there. Yeah, I have too.
But when you decide you’re in it for the long haul, and you settle in to just living life, and then you just do those things that need to be done as a part of your life, changes will happen.
It’s the small things.
Yeah, I know in the world we live in today it’s all about instant gratification, quick results, no discomfort, and easy results.
Sorry. It just doesn’t play out like that in regards to health and fitness.
Small choices we make, small moves we make, small daily consistencies, add up.
I was thinking the other day, plowing up hill after hill doing a 5k run for the duathlon how doing it was hard work, but work my body has adapted to and learned to respond to. My heart and breathing are strong but not in that horrible way when I was out of shape. I also have a fast recovery heart rate now as well so when I finish, it doesn’t take long at all to be breathing normal again or have my heart rate back in a much lower zone.
Of course it wasn’t always like that. When I first started taking on hills, depending on size, I’d maybe do part way up, and then reverse my route. As I got stronger I walked strongly all the way up. As my cardio system got stronger too, I could walk them and not have my heart pounding so fiercely or be breathing as hard like a fish out of water.
Eventually, I was just all out running them. It’s such a cool feeling when my body just kicks in and does what it’s been trained to do.
The steep grade of the hill and how my legs feel pushing up it. How my body position shifts. How my breathing changes to a deep even rhythm to push on.
Small choices and activities led me to that point. Small choices also led to weight loss, getting stronger and doing more athletically.
I cant stress enough to you… if you’re on a mission to get fit, to get healthier, to lose weight. to train for an Ironman, whatever your goals are… those small choices you make each day will get you to where you’re going.
You might feel like what you do today doesn’t matter or it’s not “changing” anything. You might feel like that longer morning walk wont result in anything or skipping on that extra treat won’t matter, but it does. Do that in a week, you’ve made progress.
And don’t forget, there is SO much going on inside you that you don’t see. Changes, growth, energy being built from what you’re doing, fat leaving, muscles growing. Your body beautifully adapting to the new changes you are putting it through.
All from those small, daily, consistent things you do.
Ordinary ~ noun~ what is common place or standard.
It had been one of those whirlwind days for me when I realized it was already midafternoon. My morning was behind me and I was full speed into the rest of my day. I received a message from my husband that at first seemed, odd.
“I rarely say anything about your blog other than to discuss the content of what you wrote on that day, nor do I ever really disagree with you on something you wrote. But I’m going to disagree with you on this…”
Well obviously, he had my attention. He is pretty much the only one who’s opinion I want or care about and of course I was wondering what he had issue with in regards to my writing that day.
I waited for the rest of his message to come in…..
“You wrote that you’re an “ordinary” athlete. I disagree. You are far from “ordinary” as an athlete.”
Obviously, I wasn’t expecting that. Obviously, he couldn’t have said anything cooler to me.
Of course, he was picking it out of the entire context of my post that day. I was simply using myself as an example of someone who wasn’t like… you know… an elite athlete or even one who had been an athlete through school or something like that.
I got what he meant. I know that I do a lot more athletically than the majority of people my age, heck, even those a lot younger. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to doing what I do, I forget that normal people think it’s weird 😛
Here’s where I’m going.
I used ordinary for a reason.
I wanted ( and still want) people to relate to a woman who had no athletic back round, and who had no interest in any kind of serious athletic events. A woman who was literally smack in the land of “middle aged” who had taken care of everyone around her but herself for the longest time. Middle aged, carrying more weight than she needed, out of shape, with a family history of (potential) health problems in the future if she didn’t change up her ways.
It’s a standard thing to tell people I really started off as a “reluctant walker”. I knew I needed to do something so I dutifully logged my 2 mile walk every day. No matter what, I did it. I did it till it got into the pattern of a new habit.
I grumbled. I complained. I whined.
An over weight, middle aged, ordinary wife, mom, sister, daughter, jack of all trades, woman just kept at it each day.
I had no lofty athletic goals dancing anywhere in my mind… at all… in any direction. If anyone told me I could be a strong athlete, I would’ve laughed. The idea seemed preposterous.
Funny thing about making new habits….
New habits turn into new desires. New goals. New plans.
What I didn’t know as an ordinary woman, out on the road, building that new habit, not only was it changing my body, it was changing my mind.
I was learning more about myself than I previously understood.
~ my body could go farther!
~ it could walk faster!
~ that walk could be turned into short runs!
~ those short runs could be turned into longer runs!
When I’d come back tired, I’d think about what I had been able to do. I developed a new appreciation for what my body was capable of, that I hadn’t given it credit for. I saw how it over time, began to adapt and change from the activities I put it through.
My weight dropped off. I got stronger. Muscles showed up that hadn’t been there. I developed a great endurance capacity. My mind was getting stronger. ( that, is where the real playing field is boys and girls) you get your mind strong, you can own the world.
Somehow, I managed to sign up for my first race which was a half marathon ( #overachiever) I found out later that most people start with a 5K.
I just kept moving forward. It’s safe to say at this point I was getting hooked. I actually liked what I was doing. I looked forward to exercise.
Year, after steady year. New goals, new plans, new dreams.
They didn’t come all together, those goals.
Safe to say I would’ve felt enough fear? uncertainty? to cause me to run the other way if those things all were presented to me at once.
I was just, you know, an ordinary woman, turning into an athlete. That’s not said with any vain thought…. it’s just an acknowledgment of where I am now.
I am strong. I am capable of doing more physically than I ever would’ve imagined. I am an athlete.
If I look at where I am today, and where I’ve come from, and what I can do now, then yeah, I guess I’d agree with hubby that I’m not “ordinary”.
Becoming a good athlete has been born from hours and hours of work, sacrifice, dedication, tears, tired muscles, frustrations, down right stubbornness, and an unwillingness to give up.
This is your reminder…..
This is what I want you, others, anyone I interact with, to remember. If an “ordinary” woman like myself can accomplish goals and events she never would have imagined, you my dear reader, can do anything you set your mind to.
If you’ve entertained ideas on doing something specific, write down the steps you need to move that direction. If you just think you’re only goal at this point is to get off the sofa, well, go you! Do it. You never know where the path from the sofa may lead to.
Don’t let your thinking be crowded with thoughts that only certain people can do certain things.
Extraordinary things can happen when “ordinary” people get to work.
Tell me something cool you’ve accomplished that seemed impossible or that you never thought you’d see yourself doing. Did you ever feel to “ordinary” in the sense you thought you didn’t have what it would take to do it ?
It’s no secret I’m a little passionate about health and fitness.
Ok, well maybe a lot.
I’m passionate about it ’cause I know how it can change lives.
I’m by no means what I consider an “expert” but through observation of the world around me and interacting with people I’ve learned that I know a lot.
I’ve learned from others who are knowledgeable ( and sane) I read and learn from reliable intelligent sources, and most of all, I’ve learned to put it all to practice on myself. I keep what works, toss what doesn’t.
I’ve learned to implement a lifestyle that’s sane, sensible, and sustainable in regards to food and exercise. ( I know.. some of you are reading this believing I am insane with some of my athletic shenanigans, but that’s ok 😉
If anyone asks, it’s what I preach to them. Why? because it’s what will stick as a lifestyle.
We are not made alike, nor are our activities alike, therefore our needs each day are going to be different. Finding the right balance is key to success for all of us to live energetic and healthy lives.
Of course if you follow me you know one of biggest pet peeves is the overwhelming amount of “health” companies vying for peoples money with grandiose promises when the buyer uses their product.
One that has shown up more frequently that I’m not familiar with promised an astounding 10lb weight loss in one week ( I want to know, the long term of that, did the weight stay gone? I seriously doubt it)
Anyway, it was sad to me to see so many people jumping at the product like a frog after flies.
“More info please!”, ” Interested!”, “Please send me info!” “How do I get it?”
On and on it went.
I was torn between feeling sorry for them that they were desperate enough to believe it and were willing to part with their money over the “two pills” a day that were supposed to work wonders, (no diet or exercise!) or feeling like they deserved what they got for buying into such utter nonsense.
A quick bit of homework on my end revealed this company had received a warning letter from the FDA regarding an ingredient in their product.
Yet people were blindly begging for it.
This always bothers me so much. People begging for help from crazy things yet unwilling to do what really needs to be done.
So I’ll keep promoting sanity. Balance. Moderation. Building new habits.
All these in turn lead to a lifestyle of health and wellness.
So I will continue to use my voice…..
I’ll keep posting about food and good nutrition and sharing reasons why you don’t need to participate in the new modern day snake oil.
I’ll share tips and sane ideas for the normal person plugging along in a consistent manner to make permanent changes. I’ll keep posting about my crazy athletic shenanigans and exercise ideas.
Because for every “Oh brother” and rolled eye behind the computer screen, there’s someone else getting motivated, getting up off the sofa, and heading out the door.
There’s someone making better food choices and learning how to eat better for good health.
Someone else is making a choice to change their life. They’re getting fit and gaining energy and that is giving them a better quality of life. Their health is improving and they are seeing results in a multitude of ways.
If one person is motivated by what I share, it’s totally worth it. If only one person decides that athletic stuff looks fun or they want a challenge and then the bug bites them, it’s worth it.
Motivation tends to breed motivation.
I still feed off of it from others. I am highly motivated but seeing how others are doing and what they are doing reminds me to keep pressing on, to stay the course, and focus on my goals.
Remember in your own life, you can be a source of motivation and encouragement to others with what you do. Your determination to get your workouts done. Your choices to eat better food. Your positive and energetic attitude. Verbally encouraging and supporting the efforts of others around you.
The scale. I’ve written about this little tool before. I talk about it ’cause it makes me sad and crazy to see people under some burden of feeling their worth and value is somehow connected to what those numbers say.
Those numbers don’t make you a better or worse person… say that to yourself if you fall in that grouping.
I’ve come a long way in my relationship with it. From a love/hate to… ” I don’t need you anymore scale… I can ignore you and life is splendid without you”
Our relationship went to another level this week as I again reminded myself, in the overall context of my health, lean muscle mass, how I look, how I feel, and my athletic abilities, it’s irrelevant.
I don’t use it often… sometimes it’s a few times a year…
then there are just those times that I’m thinking I feel leaner and look it and there’s better definition to my muscles and so I hop on to just check it out…
that’s where I was this week… and that’s when it told me… nope… you’re still rocking along right where you’ve been almost forever….
Now that’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. What I constantly drill through my head is the fact if I’m putting on muscle the scale might not change at all, even though my body does. ( note…you really have to workout for a while before you start claiming muscle weight. This won’t happen in 6-8 weeks) Compared to fat, muscle is much more compact and dense and contrary to things I hear people say, muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound is a pound.
But geeez…. you’d think with all I put myself through it would offer up something different.
Like hey here’s a consolation prize for busting your butt all the time!
I joke… but I don’t care anymore…
well.. I do…. but I don’t…
I’m smart enough to know and understand a healthy perameter I need to stay in. Beyond that… yeah.. I don’t care.
And I’ll speak this disclaimer here as well: we ALL have a healthy weight zone we need to be in for good health and an energetic lifestyle. You know if you have extra fat. You know it needs to go. In your journey to lose it, the scale is a tool, to show progress of less fat. Record your numbers and move on. Use it wisely then leave it alone.
I guess I can say that now 8 years into my health and fitness journey. I’ve learned a lot in these past few years about weight, the scale, my body, and the fact it’s an ongoing science experiment.
I’ve gone from having weight to lose, which I did in a slow, steady manner, almost 50 pounds to be exact. At that time, the scale definitely helped keep me moving towards my goals.
Fat had to go. I weighed in once a week. I accepted the results and didn’t let it define me or make me feel like a loser who needed to give up and quit. I didn’t expect instant results.
The fat did go. The goal had been to get “thin” (whatever that means )
I started running.. it was easy to keep pretty lean logging miles. Add to that training for marathons and logging 50-60 miles a week… I had the lowest body fat percentage I’d ever had in my life.
The scale tipped to a low point that was easy to maintain based on all those miles.
I just accepted those numbers for where I was at athletically.
I guess the thing I learned being new to athletic life is that when you train hard all the time, and come off it, your body adapts and settles back to a weight I believe, everyone has “pre-programmed” in them. It’s the place you can stay and not have to obsessively diet or watch every crumb that goes in your mouth.
You can easily maintain where you are.
I’ve learned that when I’m not in heavy training, I’ll carry about 5- 10 more pounds on me.
It’s been a revelation that I’m ok with…. mostly. I understand athletically there are seasons and my body will change based on what I’m doing.
Not burning up the road with so many miles has allowed my muscles to grow more and so there are parts of me that are more developed now and take up space…my body has responded to weight training by building muscle.
Other reasons why I’ve given up on the scale:
it doesn’t tell me I’m getting stronger.
it doesn’t reflect the creativity or thought processes that come from miles on the road.
it doesn’t reflect my overall health and well being.
It doesn’t define me as a person by whatever numbers roll up for that day.
it doesn’t take into account I’m a woman or where I’m at in my cycle.
it won’t reflect how well I perform on the bike or running.
it’s not going to applaud my good lab reports
it doesn’t define my worth or value.
The total number certainly doesn’t reflect I’m more lean muscle now than fat.
And finally, it definitely won’t tell me my jeans look good or offer me coffee 😉
What can you do or focus on besides the scale? Try some of these things:
How do you look in mirror?
Are your clothes fitting better?
How do you feel? Strong, confident, healthy? Do you have more energy? Can you move through your day strong and able to do daily tasks with ease?
Focus on action. Are you eating well? Do you have a consistent exercise or training program?
Do you have more self confidence and an overall better body image?
These are all good things to focus on other than the fickle and always changing numbers of a scale. Learning to do these things will give you a new mindset on viewing yourself and your relationship with the scale.
Ok, well this probably won’t be my last rant on the scale. If this made you laugh or smile a bit, good.
If you want to read more, check out my post, The Scale Experiment, where I literally charted my weight at various times through an entire 12 hours to show how much it fluctuates and changes in the day.
On your own journey of health and wellness I want you to embrace and love who you are…all along the journey. Yes, you might be on a course to lose some weight or you might be at your goal weight now and working on getting stronger and more fit. No matter where you are..love and embrace yourself on the journey… because that is where we really get to know ourselves… and don’t forget to celebrate all your victories along the way that have nothing to do with the scale.
It was a clip off of a commercial that was on. The tag line jumped out at me.
I let the words breathe over me for a few moments.
“Do what you can’t”
It left no room for considering something as impossible… unattainable… or out of reach .
Like.. just do it.
I considered those words a bit longer. I remembered an acrostic I had seen on “I can’t” years ago.
I thought of the times in my life those words had crossed my lips. I’ve entertained those less and less as I get older. I’ve done enough crazy things to realize that really, I can. I just need to train my mind to get out of my way and do it.
I thought of the times I’ve heard people say that. Sometimes in regards to things that they want to do or sometimes it’s in regards to what I’ve done ( oh I cant run…can’t lift weights… can’t….)
Listen, I couldn’t either a few years ago. Once my mind got out of the way and I let my body do things it’s naturally made to do, It was crazy how it turned into…
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes the things I’m considering scare me. They scare me ’cause I start thinking those thoughts…can I do this? Am I able?
Those thoughts of self doubt scare me a bit more than the thing I’m considering taking on, if I’m being honest.
Why? Because I let doubts creep in about my abilities… but I’ve learned .. I can really train myself into anything.
How I think. How I approach life. My attitude towards things. How I take on new physical activities .
So as I considered that little phrase it just made me think of the times I’ve taken on the things “I can’t”.
Fear has no place there. Insecurities have no place there. Self doubt has no place there.
You know what happens when you push through and take on the idea that you can do anything?
It’s empowering. It builds confidence .You feel you can take on the world.
What big thing do you want to do ?
Go back to school? Lose weight? Take on a new project? Pursue a new fitness goal?
What do you need to remove from your thinking to accomplish something you think you can’t do?
You are only limited by your mind and the self imposed limits you put on yourself.
It’s afternoon and I’m perched at the bar in my fav coffee cave with the hopeful expectation if I just start typing words, thoughts will form, and then magically my blog post will be born.
Actually, I have tons of thoughts that clamor to get out. Sometimes, they are all over each other and won’t let me separate them. I came in with a topic on my mind and realized awhile back I had written something almost exact on it ( I guess I feel kinda passionate about the topic. If you’re curious it’s about.. fat… and the post is called “The Ugly Truth About Fat” you can read it too when you’re done here 😉 )
Anyway, I scraped that idea and was pulling down another long drink of my steaming coffee when hubby started messaging me. Now as much as I love hearing from the guy, sometimes, he can break my artistic and creative thinking.
However, today he actually stirred up some thoughts in my head with his teasing.
He threw out at me “didn’t I have a pill or shake or something to just magically make him lose weight and to help him get in shape?” he says things like that cause he knows those over hyped products make me crazy… totally crazy.
I laughed and told him he was out of luck. He had to do it the old fashioned, not fancy, but get the job done way: exercise and eat sensible healthy foods.
I jokingly said…” but if I gave you a pill or shake you’d miss out on all the fun of achy muscles and sweating”.
And then it hit me… it’s what I want to talk about…
Weight loss. Exercise. Committing to living a healthier lifestyle.
It takes work.
Actually, it takes a lot of crazy hard work and discipline. Oh yeah, and an unwillingness to give up or quit. It takes a tenacity to get up each day and to keep going after it. You buckle into it as a life long commitment and not just a brief dating experience.
It takes a new mental focus to pass by the local fast food dollar menu that you wanna load up on and stuff in your face driving down the road, to pass on the chocolate bars checking out at the grocery store, or to scale down the big bowl of ice cream etc.
It takes intentional determination to choose healthier foods over junk foods.
To eat less when your mouth and eyes just want to eat more but your tummy has said… “HEY! we’ve got enough down here!”
It takes a serious amount of mental work in the beginning to get in your workout gear and get after it. I never wear exercise clothes to just wear exercise clothes. Those for me, mean work. They aren’t play clothes. My mind knows exactly what’s coming when I’m in my work gear… it’s time to get serious.
Then of course there’s the physical out put you invest into your chosen activity. You already know what comes from it. If you do it right you’re breathing hard, sweating, and your heart is beating strongly in your chest.
How much I love those feelings now! How much I anticipate it!
So when I fired back at hubby he’d miss out on sweating and aching muscles I realized how much I’ve learned in the course of training and disciplining myself on this journey I call a healthy lifestyle.
How much we would miss out on if there were …really.. some secret magic pill or potion to help us get rid of the weight we had put on from a lazy lifestyle and never have to exert any energy or invest anything of ourselves into the process!
Over the course of the past few years I’ve been at it I’ve learned to embrace some things…to look forward to them.. to see the fruits of my labor present themselves in my life.
I love a body that is tired from hard work of my physical labor! I don’t mind my muscles being tight when I know its from running or cycling or lifting heavy weights. I don’t mind days I’ve done a 20 mile run and I’m ready for bed at 9 pm like some old person ( forget that I was on the road at 5:30 that morning getting after it)
I DID A 20 MILE RUN THAT DAY!
Did I ever think, years, or the year or even months before I could do that?
You don’t do things like that without investing a lot to get there. I didn’t pop a pill or drink a magic potion. I busted my butt to get to that point…involving hours and hours of training and sacrifice…
I think if I had a short cut I would’ve missed out on all the discipline it’s taught me. I would not have the incredible fierce mental toughness I have that only miles and miles out on a road will teach you. I wouldn’t have learned about sacrifice to make things happen or the work needed to accomplish huge goals. I wouldn’t have experienced the joys and pains of pursuing goals bigger than I am.
I think back to my beginning days when a 2 mile walk was enough.
I realize how much I’ve grown and learned. How much stronger and more powerful my body is now. How much energy I have. How I’ve learned to eat better and how to eat to fuel not just my day but my athletic activities.
It’s been a birthing process. A journey. An adventure that can only be limited by my mind.
Taking short cuts would not grow us. It wouldn’t teach us. We wouldn’t value what we were given if we didn’t have to invest and work hard for it. We wouldn’t have the satisfaction of reaching goals that have challenged us.
I know now that the process is ongoing. It will require consistent effort, discipline and hard work.
I know its worth it. The labors I go through make the end results all that much sweeter.
I for one, am grateful, there wasn’t a pill or magic potion to do it for me.
I would’ve missed out on so much on my journey. I would’ve certainly missed out on learning exactly what I’m made of and what I’m capable of doing.
Wherever you are learn to enjoy the journey. Embrace the process. Learn from your experiences and celebrate how fierce and strong you are.