Making Fitness a Habit

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! One thing I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile is FITNESS! Last month, a friend of mine joined my gym and it’s definitely helped keep me on track as we pick a couple classes per week to go to. I have another friend who’s been going with me too, and I find the buddy system is amazing for hitting the gym – it’s so much easier to decide not to go when you don’t have someone there waiting for you! I was looking at my calendar and I realized I’ve been working out at least four times a week for the past four weeks, which is AWESOME!

Last week, I burned 515 calories in kickboxing… I just love my pink gloves. Fierce and fashionable!

photo 1

Then, I left it all on the floor after an hour of heart pumping bootcamp, complete with resistance bands, weights and ab work.

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Then this morning, I started my Sunday off with an hour of zumba, complete with a song that makes me feel like I’m starring in a rap video.

What’s great about the past few weeks is that despite what the scale says, I can feel and see results; like the tiniest ripple of a bicep muscle or  my stamina when I’m sprinting up the four staircases to my allergist’s office. After my last post about throwing out the scale, after my dietbet ends, I’m going to not weigh in for a whole month – and instead base my success on MEASUREMENTS, STRENGTH and STAMINA. I put too much focus on the number on the scale, when in reality, big changes are happening.

I also have something that should really kick it up a notch – Starting the 20th, I’ll be doing a bootcamp every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 7:15 – 8:15 AM. While I’m not looking forward to getting out of bed to do things like flip tires, I’m feeling better and better the more I make fitness a priority, and I have a friend who will be right by my side cheering me on. So, I’m actually looking forward to continuing my fitness journey.

I’ve made fitness a habit, and it’s a habit I don’t plan to break anytime soon.

How’s your fitness going?

Now Self versus Future Self

Do not disturb!

Do not disturb!

This morning, my alarm clock went off at its usual time, 8:10 AM (I know, I’m spoiled rotten. Thank you, work from home gods.) The sweet sounds of ukelele floated through the room as I pressed the blinking red “snooze” button on my iPhone, silencing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for a few more minutes (if you need a smile, listen to this song. I walked down the aisle to it!). As I snuggled into my pillow, I remembered I had the day off! As the joy of sleeping in filled my head with visions of pouncing through sleepy-cloud-land a bit longer, I remembered that Monday mornings I could go to a 9:30 Zumba class with one of my favorite instructors.

Suddenly, I was faced with a decision. I could stay in bed, curled up in my traveling gnome pajamas with a kitten wrapped around my head and a lazy tabby at my feet. I could enjoy my day off to the fullest by getting some extra Z’s, waking up later, around 10 AM, maybe even 11, with rays of sun peeking through the blinds. OR…. I could get out of bed, into the cold bedroom air, and put on my workout clothes. I could fill up my water bottle, grab my keys, and drive ten minutes to the gym, where I could jolt myself awake with loud latin music and screaming, sweaty women.

As I lay in bed negotiating with myself, I caught a glimpse of this book on my nightstand -The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It. This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I suddenly remembered one of the main points of this book – we all have a “now” self, and a “future” self. When we’re facing a willpower challenge, in my case, getting up and going to the gym, I tend to always think about my “now” self. My “now” self wants to stay in bed, to be lazy and warm, to not have to do any sort of ‘work’ on my day off. But what about my “future” self? My “future” self wants to fit into size 16 jeans, go on vacation to Thailand without fear of being ridiculed for my size, and to one day have healthy, happy pregnancies without being “high risk” because of my weight. My “future” self knows that I’ll feel great after a workout, and that’s the most important thing.

Seeing that book reminded me that I’d rather have what my “future” self was having – a healthier, happier future. So I got out of bed, into the cold bedroom air, put on my workout clothes, filled up my water bottle, drove to the gym, and jolted myself awake with loud latin music and screaming, sweaty women. My “future” self said “Thank You.”

When you’re faced with a decision, do you ever look at it as “now” self versus “future self”? You can also think about it like what would feel good now, versus what would feel good later. Most of the time, unless we’re really, really sick or emotionally not good, the “feel good later” will end up being the better deal. :) What do you think?

Wednesday Woohoos!

Hello everybody! So sorry I missed a Thailand Tuesday yesterday. Since the holiday break I have been getting back into the swing of things with work and getting ready for our trip! Woohoo! So – all day yesterday, it never occurred to me to step on the scale. My weight was just… not really on my mind. Other than sweating it out at Zumba, I didn’t want my mood to change based on three numbers. So I gave myself a pass. You know how in Weight Watchers you could pick a week to not weigh in? Yep, I’m using my “Thailand Tuesday Pass” pass. I don’t even necessarily think my weigh in would have been “bad” – but after last week’s frustration, I want to take away the focus on the NUMBER and instead focus on how my life is changing. Let’s begin! (PS I so want to write about Thanksgiving, but I refuse to do it without pictures and my new card reader comes tomorrow!).

Yummy Erewhon Strawberry Cereal!

Before I started my weight-loss journey, I never ate breakfast. I would roll out of bed, shower and basically starve myself until lunch time, when I would pig out. Once I stated meeting with a dietitian, I realized how important it is to fuel your body in the morning. Lately I’ve been loving cereal with ice cold milk – like this super delicious Erewhon Strawberry Crisp cereal. I’m in love with Special K Red Berries but when I found out Erewhon makes a gluten-free, organic, non-GMO option, I had to convert. The lovely folks at Erewhon/Attune sent me a box to try and I’m in looove. My favorite way to have it is with a sliced banana. Woohoo for a healthy, delicious breakfast!

Feeling great after a six mile hike!

Like I wrote last week, I feel like I’m making new progress with fitness. I’m learning to make the gym less of a “Should I” and more of an “I Will”. Yesterday after my allergy shots I felt kind of blah and was pretty much going to blow off my zumba class. My friend texted me that she’d be there, and I threw on my clothes and rushed out the door. Afterwards, I felt so good – and we even stayed after class to do 30 sit ups each. My attitude is starting to change from fitness as an option when it’s convenient to more of a “prescription” for my good health and mood. This makes me happy! Woohoo for fitness!

Last week when my sister and friend Melody and I did our 10k Turkey Trot, I had some of those feelings of “I’m the only fat person out here, I shouldn’t be here.”. And then as I climbed that mountain, and huffed, and puffed, and almost felt like I was having a heart attack, I broke through. I stomped those thoughts out and powered on, until the only thing left behind me was my self doubt. Fitness is one size fits all. You do not need to be thin, muscular or gorgeous to be fit. I saw this picture on George Takei’s Facebook post and I loved it. Woohoo for healthy habits at ANY size!

So that’s all I got for today! I promise I’ll be back soon with posts all about my Thanksgiving and Turkey Trot and a super special hard apple cider recipe. :) Have a great week! Woohoo!

Embracing my awkwardness: shaking my booty in Zumba

Fraggle Rock!!!!!

When I was a teenager, it took me awhile to realize that I wouldn’t ever be cool in a conventional way. I would never be the girl who had a sheath of straight, blonde hair that fell in a perfect waterfall down my back, nor would I collect phone numbers en masse. My first two years of high school I remember trying desperately to fit in, to have the same L.E.I. jeans as everyone else, even though mine were a juniors size 14. With my brace face, cowlick curls and curvy hips, I never quite fit the mold. I muddled along feeling awkward until something magical happened in my junior year. With the help of my best friend Katelyn, I learned to let my awkward out. I embraced the dorky music lover inside of me, and started to realize that I didn’t CARE if playing the flute was nerdy or if liking Lenore comic books wasn’t cool.

Rockin’ out with My Ruin at the merch table (I was SO SKINNY!!! Why on Earth did I think I was fat?!)

My parents let me go to heavy metal shows in the city, and I became a little band-aid to a bunch of girl rock metal bands. It was the best thing ever. I bought a BC Rich Warlock Guitar and I had pink streaks in my hair. I drew creepy little monsters in my text books, started to make my own lunches and dated a boy in a band. (I married him. Aww.) My life got much, much cooler but only because I learned to let myself be awkward. The day I embraced myself was the day I realized how liberating it was to just be yourself — to say, I don’t give a crap if you don’t like my cow-print socks or my fondness of Phantom of the Opera – because I do, and I am awesome. Embracing your awkwardness is incredible – and I’ve recently had a mini-renaissance of this feeling from Zumba.

You see, I’m not a dancer. I would never call myself graceful. I bruise easier than a ripe peach on a hot summer day, and I’m constantly tripping over my own shadow. I took my first Zumba class several years ago and was horrified by the shimmying, the shaking, the legs crossing over each other and the sheer amount of dance patterns you had to perform. I went once and never again – because I felt too awkward. Nobody wants to see a fat white girl gyrating to latin music, right? At FitBloggin’, I participated in a group Zumba class. The old familiar feeling crept in – the embarrassment, the awkwardness. The negative thoughts started coming. “I look fat. Everybody’s looking at me. I can’t dance. I’ll never get these steps right. I’m so offbeat… I should just give up.” But, by the grace of Buddha, I shushed those thoughts and kept going. And I had fun. Eventually the little voice waned into a quiet whisper, and I shook and shimmied and tried to dance — and it was fun, and I burned calories.

Awkward and Awesome!

I did Zumba tonight and some of the old familiar thoughts came back as I caught sight of my pasty white arms in the mirror. My tummy clung to my hot pink tank top and I thought “Ugh, I look gross.” But I kept going – and I reminded myself that I’m never thinking about what other people look like when I’m working out – I’m thinking about how tired I am or how I’m going to sneak a handful of chocolate chips out of the cupboard when I get home. And BAM – the negative voices stopped. I danced, I shimmied, and I shook — and I burned calories —  smiling and laughing while doing it. On the way out, the teacher even told me how she loved my smile. That’s right. You don’t smile at the gym if you’re not having fun! Tonight I realized I may never feel 100% confident in my skin, but as long as I can embrace my awkward rather than fight it, I remember that it’s not so bad being me. I can’t dance but it’s not about whether or not I can dance. It’s about working up a sweat, churning up some endorphins, and burning fat. It’s about saying, “I don’t need to be the Zumba Queen. It doesn’t matter if I do the Salsa! Eff the standards of perfection – I’m gonna shake my booty!” So thank you, Zumba — for reminding me how to embrace my awkwardness.

 

Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 2 Weigh In

Hi everybody! Well – it had to happen, and while I was hoping it would have happened LATER, my second Thailand 20 Tuesday is a loss of 0 pounds. I’m exactly, to the .2, the same weight I was last week. This isn’t ideal BUT it’s better than yesterday’s weigh in, which was UP 2.2 pounds! After I got over my hissyfit, I did some reflection and here’s what I came up with:

Sweaty!

1) I exercised, but not as much as week one. To keep consistently losing, I’ve noticed with the help of this blog I need to be doing at LEAST 30 minutes of cardio, four to five times a week plus other activity. Gotta do more! A workout I plan to do again this week is an hour of crazy high-impact Zumba (I sweat so much. It’s kind of gross, but hey, sweat is just your fat crying.) This is me after Sunday’s zumba class.

2) I did okay with food this week, but not as good as week one. I still tracked everything on MyFitnessPal, but I had a couple moments of weakness like when Matt’s parents were in town and the delicious basket of hot, fried tortilla chips was placed in front of me. Everything in my willpower just goes “POOF” and I’m like…

3) I should know better not to eat a salt bomb a couple days before weigh in. On Sunday, I made this yummy but CRAZY salty Dirty Rice Soup that I adapted from Everyday Food Mag. It called for 4 teaspoons of cajun seasoning and five cans of chicken broth. Even after I diluted with 4 cups of water, it was still sodium-centric. It was yummy though, but I can only imagine how much salt is swirling around my body, still! Is anyone interested in the recipe? If I post it up I’ll make it lighter on the sodium!

Dirty Rice Soup

So – a couple of key learnings this week. There is no room for small error… It’s gotta be, unfortunately, 99% on all the time. So – next week hopefully I can report some better news, but I won’t let this break me for week three. If anything, maybe next week will be a GIANT loss! I can be hopeful, right? How did your week go?

Fitbloggin’ Day One: New Friends, Pop Chips and Stickers!

Hi everybody! I safely made it to Baltimore for FitBloggin’, and while I feel a little bit like a zombie after a brutal red eye flight and the three hour time difference, I had a great first day! I started out by decorating my badge. Notice the gray cat, watermelon slice, bumble bee, strawberry, seahorse and sugar snap pea. I was very impressed with the sticker selection!

Then, I attend some awesome sessions, where I got to meet weight loss blogger role models like the hilarious Jack Shit Gettin’ Fit (who later put mentos inside a bottle of coke as part of his speech on creativity – this guy is rad. Anyone who enjoys creating harmless artificial explosions is A-OK with me.)

Alyssa from DoubleChinDiary.com with Jack Shit Gettin' Fit

I also watched a great social media tutorial by Skinny Emmie. She’s super cute and funny, so it was neat to hear her present as a real person and not just through a computer! She has this adorable southern belle accent, too.

SkinnyEmmie.com at FitBloggin'

I definitely had to have a snack, so I was thrilled to try out PopChips new tortilla chips! The ranch flavor is super yummy, albeit a little stinky breath-ish (in a good way)! Can’t wait to try out more flavors tomorrow.

Thanks for sponsoring FitBloggin, PopChips!

I’ve also met all kinds of wonderful people – tomorrow I’ll snap some photos and share! I was a little camera shy today given that I’m running on one hour of sleep, but tomorrow after my morning Zumba workout with Mrs. FatAss, I’m sure I’ll be glowing.

Have you ever gone to an industry related or personal hobby convention? What was your favorite thing? (Not gonna lie – free stuff (schwag!) is awesome!)