A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

Image

Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo

Advertisements

“Something to Try on Tuesday”

It’s just, something to try on Tuesday, she says. She being the yoga instructor at my local gym. During her Tuesday evening practice she always adds in a bit of a challenging move and encourages us to give it a try. Try getting one toe off the ground in crow position or try an elbow supported arm stand in peacock pose; her words challenge us to reach within and conquer a fear no matter how small it may seem to be at the time. 

I try to carry this advice with me outside the studio and today I conquered a little fear I had been battling for a while now. I took a new class! I know it’s really silly to say out loud, but this class always looked really hard and I never had anyone to go in with me so I avoided it – until today! I’m so happy I finally went! The class was challenging, engaging, fun and I finished standing up! So take a new step towards your goal, don’t get stuck in a routine rutt and don’t be afraid of something new! 

I am so happy I tried something new on Tuesday and I hope you will too! 

New Year, New You! Tackle Gym Anxiety in 2014!

 

You thought the hard part was over after you signed your new gym membership contract. You eagerly packed your gym bag and made your way to the land of free weights and cardio after a long days’ work but just when you thought you were ready to tackle your fitness resolution for 2014, you walk into THIS!

 Image

You immediately feel like this… 

Image

 

How am I supposed to get a workout in? How long am I going to have to be here? What are all these people doing? All these questions come into your mind and you immediately want to run back into your car and go home where your couch and pjs are waiting for you.

Before you go home, destined to trash another New Year’s resolution, read these tips for managing the mayhem! 

1. Avoid peak times

While I know most of us cannot avoid working out after work, if you can avoid it you should. If you’re gym is nearby try working out during lunch. If you’re a morning person, try working out before your day starts. 

2. Avoid the most popular areas of the gym

I am talking to all you treadmill and elliptical lovers! Make this time at the gym more about improving yourself and less about committing to a number of minutes on any given machine. This is not 30 minutes of punishment for eating all those Christmas cookies. Check the class schedule at your gym and pick something challenging or have someone at the gym show you around the weight area. Gym employees are there to help you navigate the intimidating waters. 

3. Create your own space

I don’t know about you but for me gym anxiety always stemmed around the idea that people were looking at me. I got over this by building my confidence about my workout in my own little corner of the gym. Grab a few free weights and a stepper or yoga mat and you’ve got all you need for a great workout. 

Sites like POPSugar and Bodybuilding.com have TONS of workouts at your fingertips like this one, 
http://www.fitsugar.com/Full-Body-Circuit-Workout-Dumbbells-2825394#opening-slide

If you’re just getting into weight lifting don’t be afraid to start off lite, but don’t stick to those for too long! 

4. Take your watch off

Your workout isn’t done at 6 or 2 or 12, your workout is done when you’ve completed all the exercises you’ve set out to! If you’re going to beat gym anxiety you’re going to have to spend more time there! 

5.  Don’t get discouraged! 

Whether you’re worried about the crowds or your first day back has muscles aching you didn’t even know you had, keep at it! Let’s be honest, you didn’t gain all this weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it that way either. Be patient with yourself! 

Image

Namaste, people!

It’s a pretty well known fact that my weight loss and fitness journey has relied heavily on lifting weights and high intensity interval cardio training. I love to lift! That should be enough, right? Wrong!

Well, wrong for me at least. Reason number one being, I am a terrible stretcher. I don’t stretch very often and when I do I get distracted or I’m just too tired from my workout to give it my all. Knowing full well how important stretching is to my routine, because my hamstrings won’t let me hear the end of it, I decided to incorporate yoga.

What a life changer! No, seriously! Let’s go beyond the spiritual connection to yourself that yoga brings and go right to those endless minutes spent in positions that stretch your body to what feels like it’s outermost limits!

From the moment I hit my first downward facing dog, I knew this was for me.

downward_facing_dog_plank_3

 

Right there before my eyes I could see how tight my hamstrings, calves and quads were. I was looking at my feet and how they could not hit the ground in the above position.

Reason number 2 why I love yoga is the balance work involved! I’ve suffered through a couple of injuries while working out. I have never been graceful and learned that my workout injuries were related to my lack of balance. If you’ve taken a yoga class you know there are a lot of balance positions involved.

Exhibit A. Eagle Poseeagle

Just picture me fumbling all over myself trying to make this pose happen. Now that you’ve had a good laugh know that week by week I am improving! This will hopefully help me avoid injuries in the future.

Now, if you want some research to back up the benefits of yoga for all types of athletes it exists!

Check out some of these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/392864-yoga-benefits-for-athletes/

http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-does-yoga-help-athletes

http://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/why-every-athlete-should-do-yoga

So next time your muscles are feeling tight and your usual stretches are not doing it, why not try some yoga?

Here are some links to poses that help relieve achy muscles!

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/top-5-yoga-poses-athletes/slide/6

http://www.fitsugar.com/Yoga-Poses-Runners-3081127

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/yoga-journals-21-day-yoga_n_1198627.html

Namaste!

Love for the Canoe Project

I catch a lot of flack from friends and family for my love of Twitter. I take it all with a grain of salt because I really do feel there is something to love about Twitter. What that something is has been hard to illustrate, until today.

If you’re a member of the Twitterverse than you may have noticed the WLRN Canoe Project going on this week. If not, here’s a break down of what the canoe project is all about. WLRN contributor Terence Cantarella is making his way through Miami via the canals and waterways of the city. You may be asking yourself why someone would take on such a project? He’s  doing it for the sake of the adventure which I think is pretty effin’ cool!

Terence is reminding us to look around and see the adventure that awaits us right in our own back yard. He’s seeing parts of the city most of us only pass over on the highways while we curse the traffic. He’s also reminding us that Twitter really is about having conversations and connecting with people. How do we connect on Twitter? You can go meet Terence as his adventure comes to an end at Scotty’s Landing on Thursday afternoon.

You see, on Twitter there are no privacy settings – you’re tweets are either public or they’re not. The great thing about not having that grey area of “privacy” on Twitter is that it puts you out there for people to approach, most of the time it works out great! You talk to people, you compare views, and you can even make friends in the process.

Terence has awakened a bit more adventure in me and he has solidified the love affair I have with Twitter. The friends I’ve made, the conversations I’ve engaged in and the cool stories like this one have been too good to pass up

An image captured by Terence while canoeing through Miami

.

I will keep on taking flack for tweeting to my heart’s content and will find a new adventure of my own. Thanks Terence, you’ve inspired me just a little bit more this morning.

Is this how Romance Novels come to life?

Moving to a new place is always a bit difficult. You don’t have friends, you pretty much move from work to home and back and when you do venture people smell that you’re not from around there and aren’t really ready to just go up to you. Needless to say sex, unless you go the irresponsible route is almost totally out of the question. This left me to wonder, is this how Romance Novels get written?

Do the people that write these novels move to a new town and spend several months without talking to anyone? Do they isolate themselves with only with pen, paper and fantasies to keep them warm? I’m thinking this is a real possibility considering my present situation.

Let’s compare me, if only for a moment to Blanche Devereaux. We all know her as the more promiscuous of Golden Girls, a fun flirtatious being who did not even let age get in her way of having a good time with a worthy gentleman caller. The comparison comes into play with my need for lively and fun social interaction and it’s only a coincidence that the majority of this fun and interaction happens for me with men. Growing up kind of a tomboy boys always felt comfortable with me, when I blossomed into a well endowed teenager I didn’t let this stop my friendships with them and of course became the arched nemesis to many a girl classmate, but I digress.

My “Blanchesque” attitude has left me at a loss since my cross country move to New Jersey. Reason being, I have no men around me. Say what you will, I’ve heard all the dirty names before but I have no problem admitting I enjoy the company of a man on a regular basis and the lack of man time has left me, well, sexually inspired and of course being creatively inclined my mind began to wonder if this is how the romance novel authors get their start.

I’ve always thought romance novels were cheesy and void of any real substance or talent but now that I find myself among the sexually challenged (it hasn’t really been that long) I find my creative juices (no pun intended) are flowing more towards that subject matter. It’s an incredible observation of how sexually charged non sexual things can become when there is a lack of sex.

I must find a way to channel all this pent up energy for something good, maybe I can buy a bicycle; that might take care of two problems at once depending on the path. Or maybe I’ll put pen to paper and write my own sultry version of Fabios’ last movie, I think I’ll title it, Seduction on the Shore.