Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo Shoot: Inspiration in Unexpected Places

A couple weeks ago I met up with a very talented photographer and had some pictures taken. These were I guess weight loss pictures, despite the fact that I have not yet reached my goal.

I had been talking about it with the photographer for a little while but when she initially brought it up I wanted to wait until I reached my goal. That was during the summer. One day not long ago she comment on a FB picture of mine and I decided “why not!?”  Just because I am not yet at my goal doesn’t mean I can’t do something fun! I can always do (and will!) another shoot when I reach my goal. It’ll be nice to have something to compare to, even if I’m not that far away.

I love pictures; always have. I recently decided that I like having my picture taken to. When I was “morbidly obese” I avoided it. Or I gave specific instructions to cut me off at the waist, only certain angles should be used, and on and on… I wasn’t comfortable enough in my own skin to allow someone to take a random picture of me. If something showed up I didn’t like, I would go crop it or try to change it in another way. Or I would delete it or never show it to anyone.

I’m a different person now though. Even though there are things I’m still working on and things that I’d like to change, I can also see the progress that I’ve made. I’m wearing clothing I never would (or could) wear before. I’m taking pride in the work that I’ve done to get this far. Although my loss has slooooowed considerably (apparently it IS harder when you get closer to your goal), I continue to work toward my overall goal. I’ll reach it; it just seems to be taking a bit longer than I had planned.

The shoot…. Went well. I had a lot of fun doing it and when you work with someone you’re comfortable with and who makes you feel at ease, it’s just that much more enjoyable. The fact that she did an amazing job is the icing on the cake!

It’s possible that I may have developed a new addiction. I want to do more shoots! I sent her a message and said that if there’s anything she wants to try or do in order to expand her portfolio, I’m up for it! I love the artistic nature behind photos. There are so many different themes and ideas to work with. I love experimenting with hair, make-up, and different clothing styles. Taking part in a shoot can make you feel like someone else for a little while. It’s like acting, without the all the lines to remember.

I’m also totally loving new pictures of me - especially those of such high quality! Some might call it vanity. Some might think I’m a little odd because I like to look at myself. This is something that’s not new, but more evident. I’ve always been drawn to anything mirror-like. If there’s a reflective surface (or something even remotely reflective) I’ll probably look in it. It’s second nature to me and sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m doing it unless someone else points it out.

This may have resulted in a bit of a new addiction. I absolutely love being in front of the camera. I’m not saying I want to be a super model, and I certainly do not see myself prancing down the runway at the 2012 VS fashion show with giant angel wings strapped to my back. I do think I’d be interested in pursuing more shoots as a hobby I guess…. I like it. I’ve been told I’m photogenic. So why not? I don’t expect to make a million dollar career out of it. But! It’s a fun activity that I enjoy!

I honestly did not think I’d react in this way. I knew that I’d be happy with the pictures. I guess part of me didn’t know what to expect. I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with all of it! Of course not all the pictures are perfect and being so self-critical I’ll look at one and be like “ohhhh I don’t like my tummy in that shot” or whatever it is. However the majority of the photos are wonderful. I’m actually happy with the way that I look. I don’t know how long it’s been since I could honestly say that and mean it.

This experience has given me a new type of confidence. It’s a confidence that has made me realize that I should go after my dreams; whatever they may be. I, of course, know what they are, but I don’t need to get into all the details of everything I want to accomplish in this blog.

I honestly feel that having this shoot done made me see myself for who I really am. I can see my inner-self shining through in so many of them. The look in my eyes, the smile (even the half-smile smirks), the intensity of a look, and even my gorgeous hair! I feel like my happiness and confidence really show up in these pictures.

This has given me a new motivation. I have motivation to push through a workout, even on days I don’t want to. Thinking of them makes me make a good food choice over a bad one. I’m not even sure what this is all about except that I want to do more shoots. I want to continue to look “better” (by my standards). I can’t wait to be able to compare. I’m also sure that after having this first, very successful, shoot I’m going to be a little more free in front of the camera. I take direction well, and that’s basically what I did for this shoot… But maybe next time I’ll be inspired that I’ll come up few ideas of my own; whether it be a pose or an expression.

I’m so glad that I didn’t wait to do this shoot. When this was first mentioned to me, I don’t think I really felt like I had any business doing it. I didn’t have the confidence…I thought “oh no, I need to wait.” I didn’t think that I should be photographed now…Even if they were just for me. For some reason I just couldn’t see that I had actually made the progress that I have. I just wasn’t comfortable with me.

Somewhere within the few months between when it was first mentioned and I decided to do the shoot, something clicked inside of me. I’m not sure what it was (much like what started me on this journey). I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that my self-confidence, regarding my appearance, increased, but it did. I’m not sure what that one, defining moment was. I’m glad it happened though. I’m glad that my thinking was transformed.

This has given me a little extra drive to push toward my goals - weight loss and otherwise. I honestly didn’t realize that something like participating in a phoot shoot could be such a boost for me. I never expected to feel the way that I have since doing it.

This is the part where I say thank you, Rebekah. If you hadn’t asked me about the shoot I probably never would have done something like this. Your idea and my decision has given me a new source of strength. It’s made me even more motivated and determined. The experience of the shoot, as well as the outcome (beautiful pictures!) has given me inspiration. It’s inspired me to take chances; to put myself out there. No one else is going to work toward my goals or chase my dreams for me. It’s up to me.


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Piece of Advice. Or Some Encouragement...

A Piece of Advice. Or Some Encouragement...

I had a few days where I didn’t do my typical workouts last weekend. It was hard to get back into it on Tuesday. On top of that, I decided to add something to my workouts. That would 6 Week 6 Pack that I’ve been blogging about.

I’m going to be honest… It. Was. Pure. Hell. The workouts were SO hard. Honestly on Tuesday I wanted to cry. I felt muscles that I haven’t felt in a while. Wednesday I really didn’t want to do it. But I did…Both running and the DVD. Yesterday, due to a time factor, I only did the DVD. I was actually quite relieved to take a break from my pal the treadmill. Every workout got easier though.

Tuesday was awful.
Wednesday was bad.
Thursday felt a little easier.

And Friday? Today… Well, it wasn’t as hard (probably because I know the moves now; learning new moves is a huge part of what makes it difficult). I still felt my muscles ripping though. My arms shook from doing plank poses. My thighs burned from squats and other leg work. My abs were pretty sore since the workout focuses primarily on the core. Even today I was sweating like crazy.

After the DVD… I got on the treadmill. One day off was enough. It wasn’t as bad. I did a five minute jog, then did some run/walk intervals (run intervals being longer than the walks). I’d walk for about a minute; just enough to recover, then I went right back to running. More sweat. The pain in my legs wasn’t as bad as it was the first two days. I think the day off from running helped. And, eventually the pain lessened. My body adjusted and I felt awesome.

After my workout I felt pretty much like a bad ass. I felt SO strong; both physically and mentally. I knew I did my body nothing but GOOD. I’m pretty sure that even though I was at home I held my head a little higher after that workout.

I think it’s very easy (too easy) for people to give up. This seems to be especially true of people who are just starting. It gets too hard. They tire of it. They haven’t reached the point where they love it; they crave the feeling; they experience “runners’ high.” They’re still in the stage where it’s hard, and some days it just sucks.

Please know that it does get easier. Don’t give up! Push yourself to your limit; even past what you think is your limit if you can. Work hard. Don’t be afraid to sweat. If it hurts, that’s SO good…Unless of course it’s a strange pain or pain from an injury. You need to be smart too!

 But…Don’t try to find an injury as an excuse to quit. I’ve seen that a lot too. Colds that really aren’t that bad, headaches, lots of minor ailments. Guess what! I’ve pushed through colds and after I’ve had a good sweat, cleared out my poor nose, and showered, I have had many times when I felt better. I’ve also found working out to cure a headache or two. Maybe it’s just because I’m not focusing on it, or maybe the change in my body during activity gets rid of it. I don’t know, but sometimes it works.

Once you really get into it, you’ll feel the difference on days you don’t work out. If you take more than a couple days off, you might feel horrible when you start again. Just push. Just tell yourself you can do it.
If you start saying things like “I can’t” and “it’s just too hard” you will probably talk yourself right into quitting. It’s okay to quit if you really are not at a place where you’re ready to commit to it. Just keep trying. Eventually something will click and you will do it. You will change your life. It’ll be a “forever thing” instead of just a “diet thing.” You’ll start for the last time… Talk about an amazing feeling!!

There are days you’ll have to talk yourself through it. You have to make your inner positive voice louder than your inner negative voice. You need to change your thinking. Change “I can’t” to “I can.” Change your mentality. It’s a lot easier to push yourself if you do.

If you’re anything like me, you might cry. I’ve cried during more than one workout. Why? Because if felt so ridiculously hard. Because I wanted to give up. Because my negative voice was trying to overpower my positive voice. Honestly, sometimes you have to fight yourself. I didn’t cry because it hurt. I cried because mentally I was struggling to get through. The fight was hard. But I did it. I fought. I won.
You might also have to get angry. I like to use the nasty comments that people have said to me to help me push through. The “fat girl” comments, people looking at me as though I was the elephant in the middle of the room, guys laughing at me, people telling me “you have such a pretty face”…. That one really bothered me. WHY did they have to add the face part? They couldn’t just say that I was pretty? Because I was fat I couldn’t possibly just be pretty; my face had to be specified? Whatever the reasoning, I used that to my own advantage.

These people were not the reason I started this. I hope they’re not your reason either. You have to do this for YOU. No one else. And let’s face it, who can love you more than you can love you? Give yourself a gift, and keep giving it. You deserve it. Although they weren’t the reason, they became good motivation. I’ve found this to be especially true when I do workouts that involve my bunching bag. Sometimes I yell…Sometimes this yelling includes visualizing the person in front of me and telling them what I never did. Yes, this generally involves a curse word - or ten. I’m taking out the anger that has been inside while I work myself physically. It really helped me. I haven’t had to do that in a while. Now I just push because my inner-Jillian is constantly screaming at me.

I did not begin this journey for anyone else. This is MY path; my decision. I’m doing it for me…For my physical and emotional health, my general well-being, and yeah I’ll admit that there are superficial reasons…. So I can look like I want to. So I can shop where I want to (except the “fat girl stores” because I’m too little - finally!). I have many reasons, but in the end they’re all for me.

Whether you take this as advice and try some of what I’ve suggested or you just use it for your own motivation (“if she can do this, I KNOW I can too”), think about it. Think about what you deserve and what you can do for yourself. Think about how you’ll feel; it might be a way you have never felt.
There are moments when it’s hard. There are times I wanted to give up. I didn’t though. I wanted it too bad. When I wanted to give up, I usually tried even harder. This whole journey isn’t “easy” in general. At the same time, though, I don’t think it was as hard as I made it out to be when I tried previously.

What’s hard?

 The physical stuff. Man oh man; challenging a giant body is hard. Even just doing fitness walking was a difficult. It gets easier though. Then you have to make it harder. It’s a pretty cool feeling when you realize you’re doing something you couldn’t do when you started.

The emotional stuff. We all have our own baggage. We have our own struggles and battles. There’s a genetic component, but I honestly believe that there is an emotional component to being overweight too. It could be a food addiction. It could be boredom. It could be emotional eating. Whatever it is, it’s different for everyone. The elements that surround a person’s emotions are their own. There are people who go through similar situations and experience similar feelings… Rely on them. Whether it’s an online support group or meetings, be involved. You’ll be amazed at how much the support of strangers can help. Sometimes you may feel like no one else “gets it.” Turn to your support system, because chances are at least one of them “gets it.”

Confronting past events that lead to where you are will be hard. Healing emotionally or mentally might be even harder than the physical part of it. Who wants to admit to their weaknesses? We wear masks and much of the time we never expose our raw emotions; never let others see the real us.
You have to be strong — mentally. You have to be ready to make a change and stick to it. You CAN do it. You just have to realize that you can.

There really is something to be said for the power of positive thinking.

If you read this simply because you’re totally awesome and like to read my ramblings, thank you!!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are You a Friend or a Foe?

I use a website for tracking my nutrition and exercise information. The site is One of the features I really like about it is the “community” section. This section is contains “spark pages” where you can add friends, blog, post pics and goals, etc. Often I come across blog topics that are vey interesting and some I can relate to. Some really get me thinking about things; like this.

Not long ago I read a blog that someone posted about how some of her friends haven’t been such good friends since she started losing weight. Another posted about how some of her co-workers are no longer friendly to her, but they were before she lost weight. One wouldn’t even say “hello” to her. Both of these co-workers are overweight.

This made me think about how people can be so different in how they treat others. More specifically why do people who call themselves friends do this? This blog is for the amazing women that I know that deal with these friends….

Naturally you’re about to get my thoughts on this…

First, are people just so jealous of others that they can’t just be nice? If someone is a friend they should be kind. To me this means not having something negative to say alllll the time. They just cannot seem to give a compliment without adding something that’s negative.

“Congratulations, you look great but….let me point out out what I think is wrong. I really just cannot compliment you without adding at least a bit of negativity.”

Why even comment if you’re just going to add something negative? Why do you do this?
Are you so jealous that someone lost weight that you think it’s cool to be an ass now? No one wants to deal with that. If you can’t give a compliment that’s an actual compliment, just don’t open your mouth. You sound a bit insecure and come off as jealous that someone else has accomplished something.

Seriously, people notice when you act like that, and then they mention what a jerk you seem to be; and that you don’t sound like a very good friend.

Either you underestimate the intelligence of others and you’re not as smart as you think you are. Or you’re not as sneaky as you think you are. Either way, people notice and they get a bad impression of you.
Second, why do people sometimes have to “one up” one another? Everyone is different. If you accomplish something or something awesome happens in your life, good for you! Congratulations! I’m happy for you, and that’s genuine.

However too many passive-aggressive “compliments” and I might start being a jerk to you too. A person can only handle so much of a friend being a seemingly jealous a-hole.

I seriously need to stop watching that episode of SATC… I keep saying a-hole like it’s the 90s. And that word really makes me cringe.


Let’s try to figure out why you’re jealous.

Are you annoyed that you are no longer the “hot” friend? Is that so hard for you to accept that you have to look for something negative? Does that make you feel better about yourself? It shouldn’t. In fact you should feel worse about yourself because you’re not being a very nice friend. That’s kind of pathetic. I almost feel bad for you.

Are you angry that someone else has accomplished something you want to but don’t? Instead of taking control of of your own life it’s better to try to bring someone else down by pointing out something negative, right?

Stop being a jerk and take control of your life. If you can’t even compliment someone without being somewhat mean, you need to take the time to figure out why YOU are unhappy with yourself.

Your life choices lead you to where you are. Don’t try to bring others down because you’re not happy with yourself.

Are you upset that someone else is getting the attention that you so badly crave? You rely on others to make you feel good about yourself. If someone else is getting attention then you’re not getting the validation that you need.

You need to learn to love yourself. You need to stop relying on everyone else to make you feel good about yourself or like you’re “the best.”

No one is the best. No one is perfect. You are NOT perfect. If you think you are then perhaps you should seek some professional help regarding your delusions of grandeur.

Seriously. That’s not a good thing.

A little vanity is one thing. I’m sure we’re all a little vain sometimes. However when it blurs reality with fantasy that’s a problem. It’s also a problem when it turns you into a total jerk.

Get over yourself. My guess is that you’re no where near as great as you believe.

Why must people always compete? I know we all do to an extent but when you are in constant competition with your friends, you may not know how to be a good friend.

You shouldn’t constantly try to outdo your friends! I’m pretty sure that your friend doesn’t feel that he or she must be in constant competition with you. This could be that your friend has confidence and you do not. Or at least not as much!

If your friend has good news, don’t try to broadcast something that you think is bigger, better news. Just be happy for them. The things you use to get attention might not be things that anyone really even cares to hear about.

Please when you encounter these people ask yourself if they’re being a good friend to you. Look at show they treat you and talk to you.

Are they a friend? Or are they really a foe?

That was just something to think about. Be mindful of your actions. If you continue to behave in the manner that you do, you might notice your pool of friends getting shallower and shallower. Hopefully it doesn’t completely dry up.


Recipe I Plan To Try - Perfect for Fall (Pumpkin!!)

Since I try to not eat grain my best comfort food is based on quinoa. I found a Pumpkin quinoa parfait recipe that I adapted to make it 100% grain free and 100% tasty !
It’s the perfect breakfast !
- 1 cup of plain 0% greek yogurt
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin
- 1 tbs of pumpkin spices
- 1 tsp of sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1/2 small banana
Mix the yogurt, the pumpkin and the spices together. In a tall glass, pour half of the almonds at the bottom, a few slices of the banana, then a layer of the yogurt mixture, then a layer of quinoa, more slices of banana, another layer of yogurt, another one of quinoa, some more yogurt, the rest of the almonds, and a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy !

6 Week 6 Pack - Day 3

Once again I did not get up early to workout. Once again I went to bed later than anticipated. I’m seriously TRYING to make tonight an early to bed night and tomorrow morning an early to rise morning. Here’s to hoping… But please, don’t hold your breath. I don’t want to be held responsible for any passing out, or you know, death.

Today seemed a little easier. This seems to be the trend with JM’s DVDs. It’s hard for a while and just when the most difficult exercises in the level you’re on get easy, you’re moving to the next level up. I anticipate three weeks of progressively getting easier then I’ll be hit with Level Two and will begin to feel the pain once again.

I burned fewer calories today than yesterday, and fewer yesterday than the day before. This tells me that my body is starting to adjust to it. I wore my HRM and worked at the fat burning level. JM mentions burring fat during the course of the workout, so I’m trying to be more focused on burning fat than burning calories. I’m also okay with it because of the pain that I feel. Pain means that muscles are building.

I think that’s where the “no pain, no gain” quote came from. It’s true. The pain you feel when you’re using your muscles is because the muscles are tearing. After they tear (just little tears) they start to rebuild, which makes stronger muscles.

As for now, I still feel the pain. My abs burn, my shoulders really burn, and I can feel it in my legs — and that’s just while I’m working out. After I’ve noticed that I feel it mostly in my thighs, lower back, and sides. This seems to be the case tonight. However, I’m also feeling it in my stomach region (yay!). I’m definitely working my muscles….LOVE IT.

Due to eating earlier and working out later, I only did the DVD today. I was bummed to not run, but at the same time it was a bit of a relief. I try not to workout within a couple hours of bedtime, so I decided to stop after my time with Jillian. It’s also good to have a day off now and then. My current plan is to stagger my days off, so that I’m never off from both on the same day. This will make things difficult if I have plans or go out of town, but I’ll figure out a way to at least do some kind of walking or something. those will be my non-Jillian days.

I guess I don’t have much new to report after the workout today… It felt good to feel the burn and to sweat. I love both. Yes, even the sweat. It makes me feel a great sense of accomplishment. Gross or not, I’ll take it!

I'm thinking that I won't be blogging on here after every workout for the next 6 weeks. Maybe only when I feel some kind of a change or see some results. I think it could become very repetitive....


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

6 Week 6 Pack - Day 2

I was going to get up early today to get one of my workouts done. Totally didn't happen.

I went to bed late instead of early last night. when the alarm went off this morning I just was not ready. It wasn't laziness. It was a need for sleep. Getting enough sleep is soooo important to living healthy. Too often it's overlooked.

Both workouts, while shorter, occurred after work. It was like a two part workout.

Today I did the JM DVD first. As I anticipated, I had more energy and my endurance was better. I did not feel like I was going to drop today.

My run was a little more difficult today than yesterday. I think this was because my body was so sore, and maybe tired, from the JM workout.

I really need to keep these two workouts separate. I think my body will respond better, and like me better, Igbo do. I will continue to try to get to send earlier so I can get up early and workout.

I'm sure that part of it was because it was day two. The first day of something new is usually fairly difficult. I wasn't familiar with some of the moves so I had to figure out what I was doing. Luckily that was only for a couple of the exercises.

JM brings uses some moves that are the same as, or similar to, moves from her other workouts. Bless her for once again using exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, and plank jacks.

She knows JUST how to make me hurt.

I definitely felt the soreness today. I felt it primarily on the inner thigh area and my sides. During the workout I felt it almost everywhere.... Thighs? Check. Shoulders? Check. Sides? Yup. Lower back? Uh-hih. Abs? Sure did. Booty? Oh yes.

Post workout.... Sides, thighs, and booty.

It certainly feels like I'm giving my body a good workout. I hope to see some results soon. Six weeks is quite a bit to commit to, especially for someone like me who can get bored easily. I don't expect a six pack but do hope to see some difference. I plan to monitor my progress weekly (measurements and pics) and see what happens.

As I wait for results to show up, I will continue to feel it. That has to mean progress is happening, right?


Should We Apologize For Our Fears?

I’ve been a big freaking chicken at different times in my life. I’ve lived in fear quite a bit actually. This is not the type of fear where some threat was posed upon me. Although, I did go down that road for a while. The fear I’m talking about is the fear of doing things because….

…Fill in the blank.

Have you ever skipped doing something because you were afraid that you’d totally suck at it? That someone would laugh at you? That rejection would stare you in the face? That you’d hurt or offend someone?

There are MANY more ways in which one might be afraid to do something; those are really only a few. I’ve done things related to…Ohhhh ALL of those (and more, I’m sure).

I love sports. I used to play sports. I’d still love to play some of them (just for fun, EVEN IF I’M AWFUL). When I was younger I got scared and quit. I was afraid I wouldn’t be "good enough." I was afraid of not making a team because I was "bad" at the given sport. I was afraid of being the one who sat the bench. If I was going to be on a team, I was going to play (and not just when the team was ahead by like 50 points and the "bad" players could play). So, I did what was logical (ha!). Instead of trying and getting better through try-outs (and maybe even practice if I made a team as a bench warmer), I just quit.

Stupid teenage brain. Seriously!

In High School lots of my friends were trying out for cheerleader. I’d have loved to have done that. It was another sport that I was too afraid to try. This time it wasn’t because I thought I couldn’t do it. I thought I was too fat. So I didn’t even consider it. I’ve seen girls in recent years who are probably the size i was, if not a little bigger, when I was a timid little Freshman girl.

Stupid teenage brain. SERIOUSLY!!

I stuck to what I knew I’d excel at, or at least do well in. Music, writing, etc…Artsy stuff. But not art in terms of drawing or something (hahaha…I can create, design, and be crafty but drawing, no way).

I also feared rejection so greatly that I was horribly quiet and shy. This made some people thing I was a bit of a snob (or so I’ve heard later). It wasn’t that. It was that I was just trying to be like everyone else and find where I fit in. I’ll admit I wasn’t going to be around certain groups of people because they weren’t "cool" enough. I’m not sure who came up with the standards of coolness, but I was following the rules. I also did not hang out with people who partied. Not me. I was too straight-laced…Too afraid of losing the freedom that my parents gave me. Too afraid of being caught and getting into trouble.

So, I clung to my little circle of friends. They were like me; they were safe. They were a heck of a lot of good, clean fun! As it turns out they have been wonderful friends, many of whom I’m still in contact with. I may not see them as often as I’d like, but I think of them often. We may not be as close as we once were but I keep them in my heart, right where they belong. I’ll never forgot the memories - good and bad that I made with them.

As I got older I became even more afraid of guys. Unless they approached me NO WAY was I going to go after them. I mean, they might not "like" me. It’s safer to sit on the sidelines than to take chances. However, safer is not always the better option.

So, every guy I dated was one that came after me. During my relationship lulls (aka singledom) I did not pursue anyone. Well, not until college, when I’d drink with my friends and make a drunken ass of myself. Then I’m sure they went screaming in the other direction (not to mention I had really started to put on pounds by then). Either way; good impressions were not left on the opposite sex. My doubt that they could ever want someone like me was through the roof and my confidence was through the floor. Not a good combo.

I also did not know how to stand up for myself. I’ve been taken advantage of, walked all over, whatever you want to call it… I was a wimp. This caused me to be in some bad situations. This caused me to stay in relationships that were unhealthy (and in a case or two, even dangerous). I was too afraid to leave; too afraid to be alone; too afraid to make someone mad. I was horrible at saying "no" which often resulted in my over-extending myself in some way. I still have times when I burn the candle at both ends, but now it’s by choice….And I’m doing things that I enjoy!
In recent years I’ve become a stronger person. MUCH stronger than ever before. However, I’ve noticed myself avoiding situations because of that fear.

I stopped going out with friends because… I was afraid of the calories, sodium, and whatever other bad things were lurking in alcohol. I wasn’t quite sure how to go out and just be there. Historically when I went out, it was to drink with my friends and have fun. It took me a while to learn how to have fun with very little (or without any) alcohol. I avoided invites for a while. Or I’d be super excited to go, and then start to freak out at the last minute. I’d let a little bit of snow or some high winds talk me right out of my plans. I’d feel sad that my friends were out having fun, but I knew it was my choice not to go. I’ve regretted it at times. I’ve thought back that the snow and wind weren’t really that bad. Then there’s feeling tired… I used to go out when I was tired and "perk up" later on. Not lately. Now if I’m tired or have the slightest trace of a headache or something I don’t go. I think that clinging to whatever smallish thing was my way of staying safe. It was my way of avoiding the pressure of social situations.

I sometimes wonder if my friends think I was just "over" them, and hanging out with them. I haven’t seen some of them in a while and that makes me sad. I needed to learn how to exist in social settings as the "new" me. Not an easy task. I’ve done it a time or two and have felt awkward. Those feelings of rejection have crept up on me and it’s been hard to deal with them. But? I have.

Another time that I really do regret feeling fearful was with a guy. A very nice guy; funny, and cute too. In fact I had a crush on this guy when I was in 10th grade. He was in my geometry class. I didn’t know him, and of course I was shy and fearful of guys, but he just seemed like a cool, good guy. I remember someone saying something mean to him once in class. I remember feeling annoyed that the girl who said it could be so mean. I kinda wanted to kick her in the shin for being so bitchy. I was feeling defensive about something she said about someone I didn’t really even know. I’m not even sure if HE remembers it, but I do. It’s just one of those things that has stuck with me.

Okay, off of memory lane and back to more recent times. So this guy and I have similar friends and have been in social situations together. I may or may not have re-developed a crush on him when we were hanging out. Naturally I didn’t say anything. It would have been both awkward around friends and I’d have felt really embarrassed if I had said something and he rejected me. So, I did (again) what I thought was logical and avoided it.

Not long after he started wanting to hang out. I’m a complete moron and really have difficulty differentiating between hanging out as friends or if he was asking me on a date. I still have no idea. Part of me thought maybe it was a date, but then thought I was being silly or thinking too highly of myself and that he probably just wanted to hang out as friends.
I really wanted to spend some time with him, but between being busy and winter sickness and such, it didn’t happen. I’m sure I seemed as though I was not interested, which really was not the case.

I was afraid. I was afraid of rejection and causing weirdness between myself and him, and our friends. I was also afraid of something bad happening and losing my friends. Ironically, I haven’t seen them much since then anyway. I dated a guy who I met through friends once before. It didn’t work out. I never knew quite how to handle that. I didn’t want anyone to feel like I couldn’t be around him. I didn’t want them to have trouble making plans. Yet, the whole situation was strange and I have drifted from those friends too. I’m sure it’s not all (if even at all) that situation, but I can’t help but think it may have contributed.

Now in addition to the fear of rejection I feared that it wouldn’t work out and friendships would be lost and more difficult situations would arise. Shame on me for being so pessimistic and thinking the worst before even giving it a chance.
Sometimes I feel like I should apologize and explain myself. But then I think that’s kind of silly. I mean by now it’s probably water under the bridge or whatever. I just hate knowing that someone thought that maybe I wasn’t interested because I was such a damn chicken. In this case, it really wasn’t him at all… It was me and my fears. Yup… I ran. I ran because I was afraid.

Fear of the unknown; you’re a jerk.

Lately I’m not sure what my fears have been. I honestly have this new sense of confidence and am not as fearful as I once was. I do find it interesting that I want to write and I want to speak (about this journey; as a motivational speaker) but yet I haven’t taken large steps toward either. New fear?

I have ideas, I’ve purchased materials, and I entered a writing contest…But that’s it. I’ve stuck to what I know I’m good at. The funny thing is that I know I’m a talented writer. I’ve known that for years. A teacher in Jr. High told my parents that I could be a writer someday. So if I know I am good and really could excel why haven’t I? What am I so afraid of? Probably rejection; finding out that maybe I’m NOT as good as I believe.

I keep taking small steps in the right direction and I feel it inside… I feel the force waiting to come out. I’m going to take those steps. I feel that I’m going to do it sooner than later (finally)!


Jillian Michaels Tried to Kill Me - AGAIN.

Yes, that’s right… That beastly trainer nearly killed me. Again. I am pretty sure that I have all of her DVDs. I love them. They can be SO freaking hard sometimes but I feel such a great sense of accomplishment when I finish.
I bought JM’s 6 Week 6 Pack DVD over the weekend. No, I do not expect to have a 6 pack in 6 weeks. However, I do expect to see (I hope!) some results. More importantly, I expect to FEEL some results.

Day one? Results felt.

Oh my!! I think I forgot I had some of the muscles that I worked today. It wasn’t just abs… Some arm, thigh, booty, and lower back work was included, but the main emphasis was on the abs.

It’s no secret that I’m horrible when it comes to Strength Training. I’ll do really good some weeks, getting in at least three sessions. Other weeks I might do a couple days of various crunches and push-ups, but that’s it. Then there are the bad weeks where absolutely no ST is in my routine. That’s not good. Our bodies need at least a few days of ST a week.

I’m a Cardio Queen. I can do cardio everyday and not tire of it. I (usually) don’t look at it as a chore (but I have my days, who doesn’t!). ST though…Ohhh that’s another story. I’m not sure why. I guess maybe I don’t like to feel the burn while working. But then I LOVE feeling it after. Strange.

Anyway, I try to get my ST in, at least a few times a week, so that my muscles love me. Last week was a bad week… I think I did two days of ST which was body-weight ST (using my own body weight for resistance; I did crunches and push-ups). Weights are good. Weights are my friend. However, I have trouble continuing an ongoing relationship with them.

Today I did a quick cardio session (35 min) on the treadmill, then I did the JM DVD. I decided to do a shorter cardio workout than normal because….

I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this DVD. JM’s DVDs are follow a circuit-training format. This means that while strengthening, cardio is included. I knew I’d have another 30 min of that combo, so I didn’t want to push tooooo hard before starting. Based on other DVDs that I’ve done, JM’s workouts are intense. I’m no fool… I wanted to be able to finish without crying like a baby.

I’m glad that I did what I did. The first time doing any new routine can be difficult, but WOW! this one lived up to the JM reputation. It was HARD.

It is my experience that despite how much more fit I am when I begin a new JM DVD (or do one of the others over again), I feel it. She works muscles that I don’t work as much. She pushes. Yes, she’s on a DVD. This would make it easy for some people to give-up.

Not I.

Noooo I’m crazy. I, apparently, enjoy feeling like I totally suck at working out. I enjoy thinking that no matter how much progress I make, I’m still not a bad ass. I enjoy feeling my muscles shake (okay, that I really do enjoy). I enjoy worrying that I may fall down due to my body feels like it’s going to just give out on me. It doesn’t. And I know it won’t. I’m working my muscles to the point of failure (at least I think I HAVE to be with how they feel)…And that’s awesome. So good for my body! I love how I feel after. I love knowing that I did myself some good and worked hard.

DVD Review…

This, like JM’s other DVDs, is one that I like. Time seems to go by fast (thanks to the constant motion) for most of it. The difficult poses, even when held for a few seconds, sometimes feel like an eternity but that’s a good thing. I’d recommend it. I haven’t found a JM DVD that I wouldn’t recommend. She has her reputation for a reason, and she lives up to it!!
I’ve done JM’s other DVDs after cardio before… I thought I’d TRY this and see what happens. I’m certain that doing cardio before a JM DVD is (still) not the best idea ever. When you’ve already worked your body (even if only for a mere 35 minutes), it’s harder to maintain strength through something more intense. At least, it is for me. I’m not a trainer or in tip-top shape. I’m a normal person. This is a lot for my little muscles.

I need to come up with a plan of attack for adding this into my routine. While I love the fact that I burned hundreds and hundreds of cals with this combo, it’s just not good for me to combine them.

So…I’m thinking about alternating longer cardio days with this DVD. However, for me, the DVD alone isn’t enough to feel like I’ve accomplished much; so maybe I’ll just WALK before it and after it, instead of running.

I’m also thinking about (and this is nearly laughable) actually maintaining a decent sleep schedule (SO hard for me to do!) and getting up earlier in the morning to do one or the other. I’m not sure yet if starting the day with the torture of JM or running for 30-45 min seems better. Honestly, at this point I’m thinking JM might be the better option. I’ll get up knowing that I’m gonna work (HARD) but the time does pass quickly. And, accomplishing this first thing in the morning might just set the tone for an awesome day. I’m sure I won’t do this EVERY day. JM recommends 5 days/week (at least) for the DVD… This would likely be in order to see results. So. I’m thinking most weeks two of my days will be Saturday and Sunday. It’s easier for me that way. Of course, I have my travels to consider, so some weeks will be M-F. I’m fairly certain that there will be weeks that I’ll be happy to get 3 days in!!

Why is that laughable? The thought of me getting up early is enough of a laugh on its own…But to do a workout DVD is pretty funny. I have this intention often but never seem to drag myself out of bed with enough time to work out. I did this in the past. I had a buddy though, so maybe that’s why it was easier. And I had less insomnia and didn’t stay up as late. I really think sleep patterns/habits have a lot to do with this.

My plan for day two? To get up early and do something, probably the JM DVD. As hard as it is, that seems to be the "easier" option for morning. For me.

Stay tuned for updates on this little plan of mine…. Might work. Might be a giant flop. We shall see.



Today I was thinking about how, despite how far I’ve come, I still have some insecurities. I have noticed that these result from uncertainties.

I love all things fashion… Looking at clothes and outfits, putting outfits together (oh how I love styling others), and drawing out what I see in my mind… And more.

On an average work day I wear average clothes. Sometimes I throw in a little sparkle or something fun but not typically. My job is not one that embraces my love of fashion. The things that I wear to work are very different from what I wear on my own time; the things I love to wear.

This weekend I stopped by one of my favorite shopping centers. This meant I needed to wear something cute and stylish.
Outfit: Denim shorties from AE, black studded and rhinestone belt from Express, floral tank with black lace trim from Delia’s, drapey/flowy shirt from a boutique, and black caged type wedges from Nine West. Cute. Stylish.
I’m about 5’7". Not super tall but I (think) I have longish legs. Add another 3 inches of height from the shoes plus the short shorts….Hello legs. That combo alone was enough to draw attention.

I felt fabulous going into BCBG; fit right in with the style. However… I had a moment when I felt like I was being stared at, in that yucky, being judged way. I thought the lady at the store was annoyed at having to help me. I immediately felt insecure and thought "oh no…Is this another one of those ‘why is she in here’ attitudes?" Thinking back, this was my insecurity, about really being able to shop in all of these stores I never could, taking over.

After a while I realized that she wasn’t. In fact I think she may have been a little intimidated by me. She was a little older than I and her outfit was nice but not "young" or all that fun (didn’t care but noticed this when realizing the above). I breezed through the door looking all tall (at least a good four inches taller than she) and confident.
In thinking about it, I was probably a bit like a force of nature blowing through the door.

After I started talking to this woman, she opened up. I think she was intimidated by me…Intimidated by ME? For real? Yes, Yes, I think so. For real. She was very chatty and nice, and was also very helpful. When she gave me a fitting room she motioned to it almost Vanna White style. She made this "here you are" type pose with her hands. Geez. I felt like I was being served or something lol. Weird. She checked up with me, and asked if everything was okay when I was finished. She (finally!) smiled. Yes, honey, you are getting a commission from this sale.

It’s "funny" how sometimes I let my insecurities get the best of me and feel like people might be judging me. There are times when it is obvious that they are. Other times when it’s obvious that they are not. There are times when I think they might be in slight awe - like this one girl who was staring at me (mostly my shoes; I think she wanted to tear them off my feet). I’m still not sure how to handle it when I’m just WRONG.

I don’t generally think of myself as an intimidating person. I have confidence and carry myself well, yes. If you get on my bad side there’s a bit of a soap opera villainess waiting inside, ready to be unleashed, and you may feel her wrath
but she doesn’t just pop out on her own. Buttons must be strongly pushed in order for her to come out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Push Push Baby...

Today was one of those days that made working out rough. I honestly did not want to do it. I did though.
My head hurt. In fact my head has hurt since this afternoon… It still hurts. I refuse to let minor things, like said headache, hold me back. It takes more than that to keep me from working out.

I will push as hard as I can.

I was tired. I wasn’t just tired in that “I wanna close my eyes and sleep right now” kind of way. My body felt tired. Even after two days off from my typical workouts (something different Saturday, day off on Sunday), I felt tired.

My legs ached. They felt heavy. I think I had a couple moments when I almost fell. My shoe seemed to stick to the treadmill. Yes, my legs felt so heavy that I almost couldn’t lift them - but only a time or two…or maybe three.

My allergies must have been raging today because my breathing was difficult.. I felt a cool burn in my chest and kept coughing. Yuck; gunk in the throat.

I. Did. Not. Want. To. Do. It.

But… I did.

I didn’t want to but, I ran. I ran more than I walked…. I like to break it up with short (one minute) walk intervals. I did the first one after the first 15 minutes, then did them every five minutes. It helps time pass… This is why I’m a fan of HIIT; makes the time pass quickly.

Hmmm….I haven’t done HIIT in a while, I need to do that soon.

Despite not feeling the best or wanting to do it, I did it. I burned almost 600 calories in less than an hour.
Each time I wanted to quit I reached deep inside and found my drive. I pushed harder. I ran faster.
After? I felt awesome. The sweat soaked me. The shortness of breath, the pain in my head, and the ache in my legs didn’t seem as bad.

None of that mattered. Those little things that made me not want to do it were no match for my will. My desire to be healthy and fit won.

In the past I would have given up. After all, that’s easy to do. Had I done that today I would have felt bad about myself. I would have felt guilt. I would have been angry with myself.

Instead I felt strong and unstoppable. I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was pleased with myself for pushing through when I didn’t want to.

Oh and after my run… I did some ab work as well as a little arm work.

Instead of giving in to the part of me that didn’t even want to start, I worked hard. Do you know how good that feels? Don’t give up no matter what. Your goals are worth the work it takes to achieve them… No matter what they are.

Kat DeLuna, thanks for the song “Push Push.” It helps me push through when it’s hard.

“Push push baby don’t stop for a minute…”

Oh...And as an extra boost today, a co-worker (with whom I can talk about pretty much anything) told me that I look 10-20 pounds lighter than I am. That's right, she thought I'm about 145-155...Not stuck in the 160s. I love that I can carry my weight so "well" that someone thinks I'm lighter than I am. That's my goal (the bottom number)...For now. Who knows, I might get smaller. I'll just have to see what I look like. I don't know how I look at 145 and 5'7". Maybe I'll be content; maybe I won't. I guess I'll see when I get there. I just want to add that I honestly believe that I probably have a good 10 or more (okay, probably more) pounds of skin hanging on me. If I had it removed, I'd really be how I looked to that person. Interesting. I guess I'm good at hiding the floppy skin lol.  And, it just goes to show you that there can be huge differences in what you are compared to how you look.  Also, there are differences in each pesron. I know a girl who, at 160, wore a size 4. Um...I'm only a few poounds and several sizes from that. Must've all been in her feet lol, or she was exaggerating.... Or was all muscle, no fat. Or.... Something.

I also heard that my shots from my recent shoot were "amazing" and that the head shots were "killer." This was before they were edited. As soon as the photographer is finished with them and shows them to me (hopefully this week; she's currently working on the shoot before mine), I'll be blogging... Probably with pictures too!! I want to blog on my first photo shoot experience, but definitely want to see the finished product before I do.

Should be this week...Stay tuned... :)