Side Effects May Include: Being Awesome

Twenty pounds. That’s what I’ve gained over the last few months. That whole saying about it just happened “overnight”….that saying I used to scoff at in my slender little frame? Yeah, well, this shit just happened overnight.

Okay, I obviously didn’t just wake up one day twenty pounds heavier than when I went to bed. But it sure seemed that way. One day I’m running my kids around, fitting in all my workouts, eating in a way that supports my goals, getting all my household stuff done. The next day, I’m still doing everything, but maybe the laundry slips. Then the next everything is done, except maybe we do take out instead of cooking at home. Then the next, I skip a workout. You get the idea? It’s not easy to be living in a perfect little bubble. Things slip up. You don’t notice at first, but the next thing you know, you’re flying through a drive thru, late for some kid practice or another, rushing back home to do 47 loads of laundry because nobody has clean underwear. The only things getting done are the ones that absolutely MUST get done – the non-negotiables. But, your list of non-negotiables shifts the busier you get and suddenly working out doesn’t make the cut. Hell, clean underwear sometimes doesn’t make the cut. It’s just easier to stop off at Target and get NEW underwear instead of doing all that laundry.

You know what Target doesn’t sell? A nice ass. Trust me, I’ve looked. The funny thing is, I care a little less about how I look these days and a lot more about how I feel. I think that break from the gym may have been just what I needed in order to step back and reevaluate my priorities.

My husband and I went white water rafting this weekend. That was some intense shit! I can tell you, not one time was I concerned about what I looked like. I was just thankful that when it came time to paddle, I could do my part. And believe me when I tell you, there was some heavy duty paddling. There was a man in our group that was in his late 60s or early 70s. That dude was paddling like nobody’s business. He was definitely carrying his weight in that raft. I don’t know him personally, but those who do were telling me how active he is. He does all kinds of adventurous things. THAT is my goal. I want to be able to do anything I damn well please when I’m in my 70s and 80s and 90s. I don’t want to be all hunched over dependent on a cane or walker and lose my breath walking to the fridge.

I don’t want to be a body builder or bikini model. I admire those that have the dedication it takes to be those things. I am personally not willing to pay that price anymore. What I want is to dance like a rock star when my daughters get married. I want to be able to take my grandkids to an amusement park and do everything they do. I want to go white water rafting with my husband on our 50th wedding anniversary. I AM willing to pay the price for that. That means treating myself kindly now. It does mean being active, but it doesn’t mean punishing my body. It means eating things that are good for me but also things that taste good to me.

Look, I’m not rushing this whole aging thing. Oh NO! I’m just saying I want to feel kick ass now and 60 years from now. I want to know that even if my running shorts are a size larger than a year ago, I can still run as fast if not faster and farther. I want to be better a year from now than I am now. And a year from that, I want to be even better. If I look awesome as a side effect, then that’s just a bonus. But, I can’t imagine being active and having the mad confidence that comes along with that and not looking awesome.

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Back to Basics – Breaking Up With Fitness Mags

Dear Fitness Magazines, I’m sick of your shit. I’ve written before that it seems like the more I learn, the less I know and I feel like I’ve reached the bottom of my dumbing down. Although to say I’m “learning” from you is ridiculous. Oh, sure, back when I had no clue what I was doing, I certainly learned a few things. But now that I do know a few things, I know enough to know most of what you write is total bullshit. Your information is conflicting. You’re funded by advertising dollars from companies like diet pills. DIET PILLS! How can you try to convince me to get in shape when your pages are covered with ads for quick fixes? And I KNOW stuff! What about the poor women out there without the benefit of some basic fitness and nutrition knowledge? Those who feel they have tried everything and failed? Of course they failed! If they could get their shit together by applying what was in your pages, they wouldn’t need your magazines anymore, right?

You try to convince me that I can be long and lean like Gwyneth Paltrow. Guess what? I’m five foot frigging four. There is nothing LONG about me. I can try the Tracy Anderson Method every day for the rest of my life and I will NOT be LONG! The beautiful Gwyneth is five foot nine. Yep, she’s long alright. Regardless of what workout she does, she’ll continue to be long. Regardless of what workout I do, I won’t look like I’m five foot nine.

You try to convince me that something is wrong and unsightly about cellulite and stretch marks by completely removing any evidence of them from your pages. I don’t know a single woman in real life – not a single one – that doesn’t have SOME kind of stretch marks, cellulite, or any other kind of mark proving their humanness.  Guess what? Even my kids had cellulite when they were babies. Gasp! Oh the world would probably revolt if you featured cellulite dimpled women on your pages. But that’s only because you have completely avoided putting them there since the beginning of time.

The “curvy” girls you feature – well, a size 6 instead of a 2 or 4 isn’t really curvy. Kim Kardashian is curvy. You’ve tried to tell me she’s a size 4. I call bullshit on that too. I’ve been a size 4 and she’s at LEAST a 10, if not a 12. (Have you EVER been jeans shopping?! There’s no way a size 4 would fit over her ass. I’ve got all kinds of ass, so I know of what I speak!) There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a 10 or 12. Nothing. However, you’ve spent so much time brainwashing me with your photo shopped images that a size 10 seems like something negative. I’d like to know how you convinced me that my current size (an 8 for those of you wondering) is something to be ashamed of. Yep, ashamed. I recently had to go up to a larger size and when I saw the number 8 in the dressing room, I was sick to my stomach. REALLY? Well, I blame you! But I am revoking that power you have over me. YOU don’t get to decide how I feel about my body. Not anymore.

Signed, Enlightened (Former) Reader

PS – If your methods worked so well, why do you have to photo shop all the models on your pages?

PPS – What’s that? You’re confused about what I mean? Well, luckily I have taken a few photos of some of your ridiculous and unobtainable headlines.

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Let me get this straight? I’m going to have a “Hot Summer Body” in 4 weeks? That’s a mighty hefty claim considering you have NO idea where I’m starting. What if I weighed 300 pounds? I promise you, 4 weeks will not be long enough to give me a “hot summer body”. Furthermore, a safe amount of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. At most, I should lose 8 pounds on your 4 week program, not 10. If you don’t think that’s a big difference, just ask those who live by the number on the scale as a result of brainwashing. By the way, “Fast” is a relative and confusing term causing many to give up their fight if they don’t see results in the first week or two.

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Really now? My dream body in just 2 weeks? TWO weeks? Oh please, do tell! Because thanks to your images, my dream body is about 30 pounds lighter with absolutely no cellulite whatsoever. I’m just going to guess that nothing about that dream will come true.

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NEVER fall short of a goal again? NEVER? Well, either my goals will suck, or this is another example of your total bullshit. People fail all the time. By making them think that “failing” is something bad is, in and of itself, a failure. Your cover fell short of its goal to motivate me.

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You. Cannot. Spot. Train.

The End.

Do You Have A Fitness Girlfriend?

Every time I feel like giving up on this blog and the facebook page, the universe seems to have something else in mind. I’ve had a pretty crappy couple of months as far as my overall fitness goes. I’ve gained weight. Of course that comes as no great surprise considering I’ve basically stopped working out and I’ve been eating like a homeless person at Thanksgiving dinner. So I thought, “who wants to hear fitness stuff from ME?”

I started this blog and the facebook page because I was so excited about everything I was learning about fitness, nutrition, and losing weight. It was all clicking for me and I couldn’t believe I had learned all this information that other people may not know. I was on a roll!

Then the last year or so I’ve struggled. My motivation has been so up and down it needs it’s own Prozac prescription. My eating…well, let’s just say I’ve rediscovered my bad habits of cereal and Pop Tarts in the evenings. I’ve joined new gyms, tried new classes, blah blah blah. Nothing seems to make a difference. I’m still struggling. I’ve gone from hitting spin class several times a week, strength training, and stellar nutrition to working long hours sitting on my ass and shoving anything in my face with more than 20 carbs.

Pop-Tarts

Personally, I prefer strawberry.

So, really? Who wants to hear fitness stuff from me?

Fitness Model 1

This is NOT me.

Then it occurred to me that the people who would want to hear from me are the people who are just like me. Okay, well maybe you’re not quite as fabulously demented as I am, but I digress. Here’s the deal. I don’t work out every day. There are some months I don’t work out at all. I don’t eat CLEAN. I eat sugar and drink diet coke. I eat Pop Tarts and pizza. I struggle trying to find time to be both a kick- ass mom and having a kick-ass ass. Some days I have so much work to do the last thing on my mind is exercising. There are days I think I can actually feel my thighs expanding. I’ve picked the least dirty clothes out of the hamper to give my kids to wear to school because I just didn’t have enough time or energy to do another frigging load of laundry.

The short of it – I’m human. Although I know exactly what to eat and how to exercise to get that “perfect” body, I just don’t have the energy for that shit. I’m a 38 year old mom who would just like to jiggle a little less. I would like to be able to spend time with my kids without wanting to poke their eyes out because I’m so tired. I would like to go to bed knowing that I’ve put out all the fires my job requires so I don’t get fired from said job. (I don’t want to be an actual homeless person even though I may eat like one at times.) I want all the important people in my life to actually feel important. And if the laundry gets done, that’s a bonus.

I’m no fitness expert. I AM your fitness girlfriend. (Not THAT kind of girlfriend. I’m a girl who is your friend, as my 8 year old says.) I have a lot of knowledge but I’m not so smart that I think I know it all. If you read this blog, I hope you know I’m here to inspire the “every woman”. There may be days where the inspiration is “Damn! I worked out today and she didn’t. HA!”. Or it may be, “I haven’t worked out in a week, but hey, neither has that fitness blogger. I’m NORMAL!” OR maybe you just want to read my stuff because I’m ridiculously hilarious.

Norman Wisdom Laughing

This guy really gets me.

Either way, the universe tells me that my job here is NOT done. I don’t know what that’s all about, but I’m not one to question the universe.

Why We Quit

Give Up Graffiti #ds367

Give Up Graffiti #ds367 (Photo credit: brendan-c)

“You can’t fire me – I QUIT!”

I’ve never said those words, but I’ve been in a few situations where, had the opportunity come, I might very well have. Can you just imagine that scenario? You’re working a job, probably one that sucks pretty badly. You think about quitting, but, well you’re not really that into dumpster diving for dinner so you keep showing up to work. One day something blows up and you end up getting fired (wrongly, of course). You think, ‘WHAT? I hate this place. You can’t fire ME. I’m firing YOU!” You are appalled at the very idea that YOU were the one in the wrong when you actually show up to this crappy job every day. It’s not like you’re heart broken that you no longer have that job. Quite the contrary; it’s a relief. But YOU didn’t get to make the decision – your boss did.

You didn’t control how it ended.

I think we’re like that with a lot of things, not just some crappy job or our commitment to fitness. We are so afraid of failing that we would actually rather quit. That’s why the diet industry is a $20 billion a year business. How many times have you started a fitness routine or a new “diet” and it was hard? Anyone? Anyone? It was SO hard, in fact, that you just gave up on it. You thought, “Ya know what? This doesn’t work. I quit.” Except here’s the truth – that work out DVD you gave up on? It would have worked. The reason these companies can offer you a money back guarantee isn’t because their program is magical or the only way to get in shape. It’s because if you go from doing nothing to do something – anything – you will see result. But you don’t see results, because you quit.

Quitting is easy. It puts you in charge of how things end. You can walk proudly away from your “stupid” gym because you didn’t like it anyway. You can come up with a million reasons why you quit going and they can all be because of the gym. But the reality is, if you would have put the work in, you would have gotten results. Putting the work in can suck. Putting the work in might mean admitting that you aren’t as strong as you thought. Or you might get embarrassed because you aren’t sure what to do. Putting the work in is uncomfortable.

Your fear of failing is so great you’d rather walk away.

Stop being a quitter. Easier said than done, right? Yes, especially if you’ve always been one to walk away when the going got tough. YOU are the decision maker. People don’t quit on you; you quit on them! But if you’re truly ready to meet your goals, you have to be prepared to keep going even when you want to quit. You have to prepare to fail. Failure isn’t permanent; quitting is.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”  ― Maya Angelou

You owe it to yourself to fail. There is no great success without failure. Pick a goal, any goal at all, and determine you are going to stick with it. If you struggle with discipline, read this. It was written by Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete (don’t worry carnivores, it has absolutely nothing to do with vegetarianism) and is by far my favorite thing I’ve ever read about creating habits.

You can start right now. Set goals that are worthwhile and be determined to see them through. If you are willing to quit on a goal when it gets rough, what’s the point in starting? Is it something you really wanted anyway? Make your mind up right now, in this moment, to only devote your time to things that are worthwhile. When that’s the case, quitting is not an option.

December Challenge – Keep the Mojo

Oaxaca Calendar 2012: December

Oaxaca Calendar 2012: December (Photo credit: planeta)

My mojo seems to have reappeared recently and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that. I find it takes just one missed workout or one bad week to fall off that proverbial wagon and much, much longer to claw my way back on it. I’m easily motivated, but lose it quickly. To keep myself going and to not fall off the friggin’ wagon, I’m challenging myself in December. It’s a pretty simple one since December can sometimes be pretty hectic.

Work out more days in December than I don’t.

There are 31 days in December. That means I have to work out at least 16 days to meet my challenge. See? I get 15 whole days of NOT working out if I choose. I really hope I don’t choose to take all 15 days off, but like I said, things get pretty hectic. Holiday parties not just for our family, but adult parties, kid parties, school parties, etc.

The thing about goals – they have to be achievable. If I say I’m working out 5 days a week in December I could miss a day the first week and get all pissy and throw my hands in the air (like I just don’t care). But, if I set an achievable goal, I’m encouraged to keep going. (There’s a difference between easy and achievable. Make sure you know it!)

So, who’s with me? Who can commit to working out just 16 days the month of December? Come on! You can do it!!!! You know you want to. 😉

Three Kinds of People

"3"

“3” (Photo credit: striatic)

When it comes to fitness and nutrition, there seem to be three kinds of people. There are those who think they are never doing enough, those who think they are doing enough (but aren’t), and those who get it just right. This little Goldilocks would like to be one of those who get it just right, but I’m not quite there. Yet.

Those Who Think They Are Never Doing Enough
These are the people who think they need to work out HARD seven days a week. A rest day makes these people crazy. Rest? They don’t need no stinkin rest! When they leave the gym, they aren’t totally satisfied. Sure, they lifted weights for an hour, but what about cardio? Or could they have gone harder? Maybe just one more leg exercise? These people push themselves to the point of exhaustion and just give up. Their eating goes from almost “perfect” to total crap. They are just going to get fat anyway, if they can’t go to the gym and kill it every single day. (I am unfortunately one of these people. One hour spin, followed by one hour of yoga? Yes, please. And when I get home, I’ll go ahead and throw in some lunges as a bonus. Then I’ll eat a lettuce leaf and wonder why I’m tired. Okay, I don’t really eat lettuce leaves. That’s just silly. But after a week or two, I give up. No one can possibly keep up this pace.)

Those Who Think They Are Doing Enough
These are the people who think a ten minute walk is enough. Not that there is anything at all for a ten minute walk. If you’re just starting out, seriously, any movement you can get is fantastic. I’m talking about the people who never push themselves. They over-estimate how much they work out and completely under-estimate what they are eating. These are the people who will tell me Diet Coke is going to kill me while they have pizza juice dripping off their chin. Even if the pizza has a whole grain crust, light cheese, etc, if you eat the whole pie, you’ve defeated the purpose. The same people will eat an entire box of low-fat cookies, because they are “healthier”. They will get on the treadmill at the gym and go at a crazy slow pace, never breaking a sweat, and not understand why they aren’t seeing a difference. I’m not slamming these people. Trust me, the other category (up above) is just as messed up.

Those Who Get It Just Right
These are the people who have found a balance that works for them. They have figured out a schedule for working out and have stuck to it. The “when” doesn’t matter. It’s the consistency that gets these people to their goal. Whether it’s a morning workout before the family wakes up, lunch time, or after work, they have found what works for them. They have also found their workout sweet spot. They have found something(s) that they love doing that keeps them coming back for more. They don’t fret if they miss a workout. They know they’ll be back in the gym on their next day. They don’t freak if their workout was less than stellar. They know that not all days can be 100%. They take rest days. They also eat guilt free. Yes, you read that right. Guilt.freaking.free! They eat what they love and understand all things in moderation. And if they happen to eat a whole box of strawberry pop tarts, they dust themselves off and carry on. Nobody’s perfect. But these people have embraced their imperfections and have made being healthy a part of life. (Man, I’m starting to really not like “these people”.)

I’ve told you which one I am, but boy am I working on being the “just right” version of myself. Which one are you? If you’ve balanced it out, I’d love to hear from you about how you got to that place.

I Wish The Universe Was More Like Kohl's

photo credit: theskinnyveg.tumblr.com

Ever get a gift from the Universe? One you thought you really wanted but once you received it you wish you could return it? Too bad life isn’t like Kohl’s. Hell, they’ll take back anything. The Universe’s gifts, on the other hand, are like your Great Aunt Ida’s knitted sweaters. There is no returning that shit.

See, I’ve been kind of complaining about something. Mostly just to my husband because he has to listen. Plus, I don’t care if he judges me. The judge who married us said “til death do we part” and I fully intend to make him live up to his end of the bargain. But, I’ve been complaining about maintenance. Weight maintenance. I don’t do this often OR publicly because I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. Losing weight was hard. It was a mental game for me, but once I conquered the mental part of it the rest came easy. Those numbers dropped on the scale pretty quickly for me and each pound lost was motivation to keep pushing forward. Once I reached my goal weight, it was AWESOME!

Of course, every once in a while bad habits would start to creep back in and I would have to reign myself back in. I would have to remember there is a reason powdered donuts are not allowed in my house. I kept it in check for a long time. After a while though, I got frustrated. I felt like I had nothing I was working toward. I no longer needed to lose weight. I wasn’t training for any “event” nor did I care to. I basically had to eat healthfully and work out just to look exactly the same way I always do. (Yes, health benefits, live longer, blah blah. I know. Those things don’t drive me. They aren’t tangible things to me. I’m talking about working toward something that drives me.)

So I kept complaining that I needed something to work toward. I felt like I was just floating along on auto-pilot. Going through my workouts, breaking a sweat, and going home. I wasn’t excited about anything. Buying single digit clothing sizes for the first time in years was exciting for me. Crossing the finish line at a 5k with a faster time than I had set as my goal was exciting for me. Having nothing new to look forward to – not so exciting. So here I am, whining and moaning and groaning like a little sissy that I don’t have anything to work toward. Guess what? The Universe gives me a “gift”.

I went to buy some new shorts (at Kohl’s, would ya believe?) and took my usual size into the dressing room. Except that size didn’t fit anymore. Uh oh. So I grabbed the next size up. It fit (thank GOD!). “Congratulations,” said the Universe in her snarky little voice. “Looks like you have something to work toward.” “NO!” I shouted inside my head. “I don’t want this. I want to return it. I didn’t know what I was saying. THIS is not what I had in mind.” But, you can’t return the Universe’s gifts. She’s a little bitch like that.

So now here I am, five weeks before Memorial Day and the start of bikini season. And I’m up a size from last year. Careful what you wish for. The Universe is kind of sneaky.

I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Photo by Gl...

Fitness Model posing with dumbell. Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you remember that one time where I totally freaked out like a little girl because my body fat % was too high? Gosh, I was such a baby back then.

True to my word, I have maintained my commitment to strength training. I have done full body strength training at least two days every week; three when I can fit it in. I’ve been working with a personal trainer. We’ve been doing something different each session so I don’t have anything specific to share with you as far as workouts go. Really, it isn’t even about what we’re doing. It’s more about creating the habit of strength training. For me, it’s so easy to go to the gym and head into a class. This is “mindless” for me. I’m a great follower and I damn sure am not going to quit in the middle of the class. So when I say it’s “mindless”, I mean that I’m following someone else’s lead. I’m not putting thought into my workout, I’m just doing it. With strength training, there had to be some amount of thought put into it. I had to determine if I was going to do full body workouts or split my workouts into body parts. I had to determine what exercises I would do. I had to push myself to keep going even when I didn’t feel like it.

I got so lost in all the planning of the routine that I lost the joy of the actual strength training. Going to a trainer has made it “mindless” again for me because he tells me what to do. By not over thinking it, I’m able to enjoy it. After three weeks of training with him, I’ve been reminded of how much I love the feeling of being strong. Sometimes I laugh and think, “oh crap, I can’t do that”. But I do it.  I love the feeling of trying something I’m not 100% sure I can do and rocking it out. Or maybe not rocking it out, but knowing that now I have something to work on. I’ve pushed myself. There have also been some things I just can’t do. Yet. I’ve fallen and looked like an idiot and laughed hysterically at myself. It’s fun again.

Yesterday I ended up strength training by myself because of some scheduling conflicts. Don’t get me wrong. I checked the group fitness schedule and saw there was a spin class going on and of course I was tempted. But that was the easy way out. I cannot build lean muscle mass by doing cardio. I went to the gym without a plan. I started with some weighted lunges. Then some squats with hammer curls. Then some scissor kicks. Then my mind started racing. I was like a kid in a candy store and so many exercises popped in my head I couldn’t wait to finish one so I could get to the next one. I also enjoyed experimenting with the weights and seeing just how much I could (safely) lift.

Planning is important and I wouldn’t advise going in without a plan every time. However, sometimes, we need to step back and stop over thinking it. I was obsessed with everything about strength training except actually doing it. I wanted to know the best methods, the best exercises, the machines to avoid, blah blah blah. By the time I actually got to the gym I had myself so freaking confused it just wasn’t fun. I wasn’t even confident that what I was doing was what I was supposed to be doing.

But yesterday, I just did it. I did my own thing. I made sure to hit all the major muscle groups and paid special attention to the areas I wanted to (legs). Next time, I’ll hit the big ones and then focus on another part (arms, probably). I didn’t leave the gym thinking, “man, I should have done this, or this, or that”. I left the gym proud I had gotten in some strength training. I was satisfied that what I had done was enough. I am enough.

My Year as a Personal Trainer

Personal Training at a Gym - Pushups Category:...Last March I became certified as a personal trainer. I was lucky enough to train a few people. The trouble was, I ended up giving up on the training because it just didn’t fit in my schedule. Our family is crazy busy. With two kids in extra curriculars six days a week, there isn’t a lot of free time. The time that is “free” I’d like to utilize for sleep working out.

So here I am with this cert and I’m not using it in the traditional sense. And my renewal paperwork shows up in the mail. In order to maintain a personal training certification, you are required to do continuing education. So I have a decision to make. To renew or not to renew? Does having a certification make me more legit? And legit for what exactly? I started this blog initially as a way to show people what I’ve learned and continue to learn as I research my nerdy little brains out. As many blogs do, this one has evolved and went from constant “rah rah you can do it”, to “Hey, I’m having a suck ass time at this working out stuff this week”. I don’t need a certification for that, right? I mean, I realize I appear certifiable sometimes, but that’s something altogether different.

If I let my certification lapse, will I suddenly have less knowledge? I’ve had that piece of paper for a whole year now and have yet to see any of its magical powers. In fact, there are times it’s brought me stress because I thought there were certain societal expectations that would come along with it. You know, like the personal trainer police would bust me eating a Krispy Kreme. I won’t be leaving my day job to pursue a career in fitness. That is a fact. I’ve also proven that as much as I would love, love, love to help people I just honestly can’t squeeze it in my current schedule. So, what’s the point in keeping it? I don’t really think there is one.

So, I’m letting it go. I’m letting the certification go. I’m letting the stupid expectations that I set upon myself go. I’m letting the feeling of thinking I’ll finally know it all go. I’ll never know it all (hubby, this does not apply to you or the children. As far as ya’ll are concerned I do, in fact, know it all). But, not “knowing”everything can be a gift if you let it. That’s what I learned during my year as a personal trainer.

Getting Fit – Part 1 – Embracing My *AHA* Moment

photo credit recipes.howstuffworks.com

I’ve read that some don’t believe in *aha* moments. I totally get that. I had made up my mind to get in shape many, many times before and had only the crumpled up gym contracts and way less cash in my bank account to show for it. So, after settling into suburban life, marriage, motherhood, a career and being the same weight for years and accepting it what would make this time different? All I can tell you is something clicked. Something was set on fire inside of me and burned so hot I couldn’t think of anything else.

When we got back from that vacation I was telling you about, I could not read weight loss information fast enough. It was like I had been crawling in the desert for weeks and had just found a fresh stream of water. My appetite for information was insatiable. I was going to do it this time and that was going to be that.

I told anyone who would listen I was going to lose 30 pounds. Some people were like, “oh gosh, you don’t have 30 pounds to lose, are you serious?” (I learned to dress my body very well.) My husband and I were also very “social” and we were known for the amount of beer we could drink and the recipes I could find that included bacon (extra bonus if it included cream cheese and bacon). I got a couple of chuckles from some of our friends. It was one of those, “yeah right, we’ll see how long this lasts” kind of things.

I joined Weight Watchers. I went to one meeting and realized the meeting setting wasn’t for me but I loved tracking my food online. I was holding myself accountable for what I was putting in my body. It was then that I realized I had a major case of portion distortion. I was putting lumber jack portions in my 5’4 frame. (My wedding ring is a size 4 1/2. I seriously have a small frame regardless of how “curvy” I am.) I also realized that I was thinking about seconds before I had even finished my first helping. When something tasted good, I would rush through the first portion just to get to the next one. I didn’t eat to fill some kind of void or to hide from my feelings. I ate because food tasted good!

I began measuring out my food, learned what a real portion looked like, and ate only that. It was very strange at first. I was leaving the dinner table without feeling completely stuffed. It had been a long time since that had happened. I’ll admit I felt a little uncomfortable measuring food in front of my daughters. Having been around eating disorders in my childhood, I didn’t want them seeing anything that might make them associate anything “bad” with food. So, we never said the word *diet* in our house. We didn’t say fat or skinny. We talked about being healthy. We talked about what different foods could do for your body (or to it for that matter). I had to properly educate myself, so I could educate them.

I also willingly (ish) gave up my 2pm vending machine habit. Every single weekday, I had an incredibly crazy strong craving for peanut m&m’s and a diet coke. I succumbed to that craving every day for…well, a really long time. I gave it up cold turkey. Come 2pm, I would just walk around my office thinking about how badly I wanted those damn m&m’s. But how I wanted to meet my goals even more. I made sure I had no access to cash until I was sure this self-sabotaging habit was broken.

I also started walking. I would walk almost every single night. I started walking faster and faster until I thought, “hey, maybe I could try running.” I didn’t play sports in high school (or any other time for that matter). I was never “active”. Honestly, I didn’t even like to sweat. It felt icky. I had tried “running” a few times and I thought my lungs would explode in first 30 seconds. My bra strap would always fall down too and annoy the crap out of me. I didn’t even own a sports bra. But maybe, just maybe I could do this without dying. So I started reading up on running…