Don’t Give Up

Tried Everything

Let’s be realistic for a minute.  Results take time.  You aren’t going to do one workout or one class or one day of a change in diet and expect to drop down a bunch of sizes.  Life doesn’t work that way.  And like I’ve always said, the weight didn’t come on in a day, it shouldn’t come off in a day.

You have to work for it.

And, something else I’ve said over the years:  If you’re not willing to work for it then you’re not ready to lose the weight.

Life is not easy and losing weight is not easy.  But get in there, dig deeper, work hard, sweat, LOVE YOURSELF, and your hard work will pay off.

Tomorrow is the first day of a new week.

It’s the first day of a new you.

Hang in there.  Don’t give up.  It will seem easier.  You will get stronger.

Don’t give up.

You Got This!

~FB

 

Be Happy


be-happy

It’s Sunday and I’m feeling really…overworked in fitness.  Maybe?

I’ve been going so hardcore lately – “upping” it in my classes, and going all out in my own personal workouts, in addition to picking up a few additional clients.  And this weekend I am paying the price.

I haven’t had a tarsal tunnel flare up in a few months but I totally overdid it this week (my own fault) and screwed myself and now my ankles have been buzzing since Thursday.  I can’t quite explain the pain to you – but it feels like ongoing electrical shocks in my ankles and at the bottom of my legs.  On top of that, my back is still going out every other day, and my hamstrings have been super tight the last few days (again, self inflicted and I should know better).

I could sit here and write about how horrible my life is and whine about “why is this happening to me?”.  But I won’t because I absolutely do not feel that way.  In fact, I feel the opposite.  I am blessed to have the ability to get up and work out each day.  I am thankful that I have a full belly each night – and that I even have the option of creating healthy meals.

Quite recently I saw a rerun of an old Judge Judy episode where one team mother was suing another team mother of their sons’ football jerseys.  The plaintiff really looked like a smug lunatic and she and her husband kept stating how “upset” they were that the uniforms weren’t what they expected.  Judge Judy then asked “Do you have healthy children?”  To which the plaintiffs responded “yes”.  Judge Judy then said if they were “upset over a uniform they were sickos” and that if they had to “deal with parents who were upset that the lettering was coming off the children’s uniforms when the children are able to run around a football field and healthy enough to do that then you’re all sickos.”

See the point?

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to better my fitness goals.  I am thankful that I have the ability to get up and lift weights and run and jump and teach classes.  I am blessed to live my life the way I do and have the option of making the choices I do.

I think positively.  I work hard.  I eat healthy.  I dance more.  I exercise daily.  I love often.  And I AM HAPPY.

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re Good Enough!

I had a conversation with another fitness professional recently and we were discussing how “haters gonna hate” (although we were more eloquent than that).

When you make the decision to change your life and to become a healthier person, there will always be someone – that one person – who will do whatever he or she can to keep you down.

I can attest to this.

After I’d made some changes and began eating better and exercising, I lost weight very quickly and my overall health changed.  Everyone was really supportive of me, my decisions, and my lifestyle.  Except one person.

This person, for whatever reason, wanted to make me feel bad for feeling good.  In fact, this individual even made a public comment that I looked sick and had “gone too far”.

Really?  I gave my life a makeover and worked my butt off to get healthy. Before that  was overweight, sedentary, and basically ate garbage.  But suddenly, now I’d gone too far?

good-enough

While you will always have tons of support while on your road to good health, you will also encounter a few people who jerks and will work to bring you down.  Either they’ll throw out a hurtful comment or a snide remark, or will just talk shit about you behind your back.  The truth is – and again, I’m calling a spade a spade – these few people are dissatisfied with their lives.  They’re jealous that you look and feel so damn good, and that you have accomplished (read: earned!) so much, and they, for whatever reason, don’t want to put in the effort to do the same for themselves.  So, in turn, they want to discourage you in hopes that they can bring you back down to their level.  DON’T LET THEM.

And if you need to, shake ’em off.

Remember, as always, You’re Worth It!

~FB

#youreworthit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instant Results

I saw this meme the other day on my Facebook feed and I thought how true it is and has been for many of us.

instant-results

We’re just entering our second week of 2017 and, as most people do, many of us have also made New Year’s Resolutions.  (Have you?  Tell me about them.)

I almost never make resolutions for the new year because I know I’m more than likely setting myself up for failure.  (Stop swearing.  Yeah right!)

Instead, this time I have have made the decision and commitment to work harder on my strength training this year.  For Christmas I had received a free-standing boxing bag, something I have wanted for a long time.  I was ecstatic Christmas morning.  And I have been utilizing it this past week like crazy.

In addition to the boxing, I am going to continue to my strength training in the gym (and at home) with lifting weights and, hopefully, continuously increasing the weight.  Of course, this part will depend on how my back fares.  I wretched it again just this morning while shoveling snow.  Sometimes I feel like it’s never going to heal.  But, that being said, I will work on my strength while doing my best not to injure myself any further.

work-for-it

My Whole 30 60 (I am aiming big this time) also starts tomorrow morning and I have been so excited to get going.  Don’t get me wrong, I am going to miss chocolate and those dreamy peppermint mochas, but I know how wonderful I feel when doing a Whole and committing myself to completely clean eating for 60 days has me on edge in all the good ways.

But see – this is the point of this post.  Instant results would be fabulous!  But it’s just not realistic.  Oprah said years ago on her show that if there were a pill out there to make her lose weight she would be on it!  But, unfortunately, there is no magic pill. You have to work for it.  You have to.  The only instant result you get is making the choice to change your life.

That’s right, in one instant you can change your life.  You can commit yourself to a better lifestyle – to eating cleaner, to sleeping more, to getting enough water to drink, and to exercising.

30-minutes

Even 20 minutes a day can change your life!

Many years ago, when I was overweight and at my heaviest, I made that commitment. And, as you know, I haven’t looked back.  I have changed my life.

At first, I had a hard time getting through my workouts.  I was panting and huffing and puffing.  I could barely get through three minutes.  But I kept at it and I worked my way up to 10, 20, 30, 60, 120 minutes.  I have often said that 20 minutes a day can change your life  and I stick by that.  You do not need to spend hours upon hours in the gym.  But you do have to do something.  Start off with a goal of even 5 minutes a day.  Work your way up to 10 or 20 minutes over the weeks.  See how different you feel, how easier it is to breathe, how harder you can go.  Feel the difference in your body and how your clothes fit.  Commit yourself to one month.  Give yourself 30 days of eating better and working out even 3 times a week.  I challenge you* to do that. Thirty days is not a long time.  But those thirty days can change your life.

You have to work for it.

~Fit Bitch

*Anyone accepting my challenge, please feel free to comment or email me and let me know you’ve accepted the challenge, or if you want fitness tips, instructions, workout ideas, or nutritional advice/healthy eating coaching.

Christmas Fitness

It’s December 1st!  Which means it’s Christmas and holiday month.  Which means it’s tons of food month!!

I was planning to write something today anyway, and then this little gem made its way across my desk and I thought “Hm, fitting”.  A fun little 25 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge.

christmas-fitness

This plan is fun and pretty darn simple.  So, you can do it alone just to ensure you get some exercise in, or you can add it in as a compliment to your regular workout regime.

For me, December is bonkers – there are dinners with friends, and family get-togethers, and parties (I have one tonight!), and shopping (which, often entails snacking), and Christmas movie-watching (again, which often entails snacking) – which all lead to overindulging – in everything from sugary sweets to delicious turkey to spiced wine.

During the holidays it’s definitely important to have a workout program you can stick to.  Christmas is a celebration!  We shouldn’t have to worry about “falling off the wagon” when it comes attending the parties and dinners and enjoying all the wonderful offerings of the holidays.

The 25 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge is a pretty basic plan.  You can get a great little workout done in just a few minutes and carry on with the rest of your holiday to-dos.

**You can also check out the 12 Exercises of Christmas from my post a few years ago, as well as my tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain.  So simple, so easy.

Also, If you have a game plan for the month (or the week) and prepare for what’s upcoming, you’ll survive the holidays without freaking out too much about weight gain and sugar consumption.  For many, planning ahead is key.

For instance: tonight is Thursday.  Normally, Thursday nights I would be at the gym for a few hours then I would finish the night with a Zumba class.  This has been my ritual for a few years and it is my favorite night of the week.  But, Zumba was cancelled for this evening AND I knew there was a party planned for tonight.  So, I made sure to get to the gym last night, and I went for a run as soon as I got home tonight.  I’m also going to eat dinner here shortly so that I won’t eat/overeat this evening.  I had a game plan and I utilized it.

In fact, I have a game plan for the remainder of the weekend because I’ll be out town, there is shopping, and there is another Christmas party on Sunday (where there will be tons.of.food!!)  A GAME PLAN CAN BE A GAME CHANGER!

Remember that December is just one month.  And then it’s over.  Allow yourself to have fun and indulge a little.  Don’t stress out on whether or not you should have a little extra gravy on your turkey, or what will happen if you have another chocolate truffle.  Go ahead!  Just….maybe don’t eat all the truffles!  But if you do, know that it’s just as easy to get back on track as it is to go off.

Enjoy!

~Fit Bitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discipline

disclipline

Truth right here, folks.

None of us ever want to work out every single day.  But, in order to get and stay motivated is to become disciplined in your routine.

I know not everyone is going to fall in love with fitness the way that I have, and you don’t have to.  Once that discipline sinks in the workout routine will become like clockwork…and you just do it.

~Fit Bitch

Getting Strong

Getting Strong

I saw this meme the other day and instantly thought “YES!”

I can attest to its truth.

You see, for years, I wanted to get fit, healthy, strong.  But I wasn’t ready.  Yes, I wanted it, but, I was embarrassed and ashamed of who I was – on the outside.  I had struggled with my weight my entire life and my insecurities prevented me from really going for the gold with my weight loss.

Instead, I succumbed to eating disorders of many variations, to extreme diets, to weight loss supplements of all forms.  When I exercised it was in secret and privacy and for vanity, not for my health.

For several years now I have carried the mantra “If you’re not willing to do the work, you’re not ready to lose the weight“, and I cling to that.

When I finally joined a gym more than 10 years ago I would get up at the butt-crack of dawn, before the sun was up, and would sneak off for my workout while the rest of the world was still sleeping.  Even then, I was exercising for the wrong reasons.  It was still about vanity.  And I didn’t lose any weight.

It wasn’t until at least a year later when I decided to change my life.  That’s when the changes came.  That’s when I decided to put the work in.  Wrapping my head around that in this moment is so easy, but way back then, I just didn’t get it.

When I started to exercise and changed my eating habits, it was for my health.  And I was putting the work in.  And you know what?  The changes came so quickly.  My health improved and my insecurities subsided (to a point) and I finally felt good.  I fell in love with my life.  And with exercise.  I got over my fears of what people would think of me if they saw me on the treadmill or lifting weights or on the rowing machine.  I got over myself, essentially.  I didn’t look to anyone else for inspiration; I looked at myself.  I inspired me.  My life was worth more than how I had treated it before hand.

Sometimes it can be scary venturing into new or unknown territory.  But your health is more important than being afraid to ask someone for guidance.  Or fearing what others might think of you.  In all honesty, when I’m at the gym I’m not worried about what others are doing there (unless they’re hogging equipment).  I’m there to improve myself.  I’m not there to judge anyone.  And more than likely, the people at your gym aren’t concerned with what you’re doing.

I know, from personal experience, that when I feel like I look better, I actually feel better about myself (back to that vanity thing).  If that means swiping on some lipstick or revving up in cute (although durable) new workout gear, like Adore me, then so be it.  Do what you’ve gotta do to motivate yourself; to encourage yourself; to love yourself.

Don’t be afraid to go for that jog or kick the soccer ball around or try a Zumba class.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Get out of your head.  Give yourself a break.  And just do it already.  Your life is worth it.

Fit Bitch

 

What Yoga Looks Like (Guest post)

Today I am welcoming my aunt, Donna, as a guest-poster for the blog.

She is only a handful of years older than me, being my mom’s baby sister, and has often been more like a big sister than an aunt.

Many years ago, Donna was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  And just a few years ago she was hospitalized and was honestly near death.  Since her hospital visit she has had spinal surgery and is now awaiting another spinal surgery.  She’s had a long, hard road, but she has committed herself to her yoga practice and it has helped her through her struggles.  A few weeks ago one of her practice photos was so beautiful and inspiring that I asked her if she’d like to share her story.  She agreed.  I’ll let Donna tell you the rest.

What Yoga Looks Like

Donna Yoga 2

Donna is truly a #yogainspirer.  Follow her on Instagram @curvymomma_doingyoga

Greetings and Salutations!  I’d like to thank my niece – and best friend – Fit Bitch, for inviting me to share my Yoga Journey with her – and subsequently, with all of you.  o, Fit Bitch, thank you for always supporting me and believing in me; for being my “as-often-as-possible” yoga buddy; and in the spirit of full disclosure, for forcing me to pick up a (pink, of course!) pen, and (fresh, clean, untouched) paper (word of the day: papyrophilia = a lover of paper).

But, as much as I’d lover to tell you about my stationery obsessions, that’s not what I was asked to do.

My Yoga Obsession:  The Early Years

My whole life I avoided things that were meant for “skinny girls” – gymnastics, figure skating, ballet…yoga.

it seemed everywhere I looked I was being put down and left out.  The one and only yoga class I went to in those decades was a prenatal class.  That didn’t go so well; and I decided “Yoga is for skinny girls!”  Yoga would be added to the “Reward List” for when I finally got skinny.

The Intern

Over the years I’ve tried to get my Fibromyalgia body into shape.  My favorite activities were Aquacize, running, and hiking – the latter being the only one I am still able to do.

I “Got Sick”

A couple of years ago I became very, very sick.  In an attempt to treat my aforementioned Fibromyalgia, my family physician essentially poisoned me with too many dangerous medications, prescribed all at the same time.

My official diagnosis was Medication Induced Encephalopathy due to Polypharmacy.  I also had Serotonin Syndrome and Cymbalta Poisoning – followed swiftly by Cymbalta Withdrawal Syndrome 

I nearly died.

My husband was not able to get me to wake up and stay awake.  I couldn’t pronounce words properly.  My heart even stopped at one point!  I saw a vision of my late father walking down the hall toward me.  i was very, very sick.

After a couple of weeks of being hospitalized I was finally released from the Close Observation Unit of the Neuroscience ward, but with permanent damage to my thyroid, liver, kidneys, and the memory, balance, and speech pathways of my brain.  (I now have brain damage.)

While I was in the hospital, I had many tests done, as they tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  They did a CT scan and made the discovery we were not prepared for – I needed Cervical Spinal Surgery, and as soon as possible.  I was having significant spinal cord compression, which could, very suddenly and unexpectedly, cause paralysis.  I finally had the surgery in December 2014.

The Wait

After I got out of the hospital, I knew the fight for my life was beginning.  I knew I had to work hard if I was ever going to be that strong, independent woman I’ve always been.  It was not going to happen on its own.

My Wellness Plan was made up of 3 parts:  1) Get me a therapy kitten, as I would have to get up and care for her, and to give me something else to focus my energies on; 2) Walking – every day we took our little kitty for a walk, which got me out in the fresh air, and exercise my heart and lungs; and 3) Yoga: for improved balance, stability, and strength.  I was ready to hit the road to wellness running (well, hobbling) until I met with the Neurosurgeon:  NO YOGA until after  the Spinal Fusion surgery, due to the high risk of paralysis.  I was absolutely crushed!  It would be another whole year before I was finally given the green light to go ahead and finally begin my yoga practice.

Coco

Coco Chanel – the therapy cat.  It is my belief that this little girly helped save Donna’s life.  ❤

My Yoga Practice: #whosaysfatchickscantdoyoga

It was the end of May, 2015.  We were packing up the car for our trip to the Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia) for the annual Apple Blossom Festival.  My husband asked me “what’s with the yoga mat?”

I very excitedly answered “If I do yoga tonight, I’ll be able to say ‘I’ve done yoga every day for a week’!”  I kept up that daily practice (I even participated in Yoga Fest with Fit Bitch) until November, when the FFF (Fall Fibro Flare) too me out of commission. Then my practice got demoted to every other day, focusing solely on Restorative and Yin practices (oh how I love my bolster!)

I love my home yoga practice!  I very rarely get to an actual live class, for various reasons.  The main reason being my actual reason for doing yoga in the first place…

My Intention:  Yoga is Making Me Feel Better

If  you look at a group of yogis in a studio class, heavy on Vinyasa, most of the people there will tell you the reason they are there is for a work out, for exercise, for weight loss.  And that’s great!  For them, and for most people, really.  But not for me.  The reason I show up on my mat is for healing.  My yoga practice is wholly therapeutic.  I am in it to get my body into the pose correctly, and painlessly, and I need to rest in that pose for a little longer than a flow class allows.  That’s why I love Yin classes!  Especially at night.  Letting gravity help clean every last drop of goodness out of each pose.

Donna Yoga

This beautiful photo is what inspired me to ask Donna to share her story.  

As previously mentioned, I have a home yoga practice.  I rarely go to a live class, but I follow some fabulous teachers on YouTube.  I have learned most of what I know about yoga from practicing along with videos.

Being in a body that hurts on levels of 7, 8, 9 out of 10 on the pain scale on a daily basis, being able to choose exactly what kind of class my body needs is extremely important.  There’s nothing worse than finally getting yourself to an actual class only to find out that you are not physically capable of doing that particular class.

The best reason to bring your practice into the solitude of your own home would have to be “pajama yoga”!  Or, maybe the pause button?

How I’ve Benefited from Yoga

One of the first things I noticed, as far as benefits go, was my sleep.  For the first time in my life, I fell right to sleep!  Truly amazing.  Another huge benefit I’ve noticed is that I now know how to use my entire body!  I am reaching with my whole side body, not just with my arm.  I can get down and back up from the floor now.  My balance has improved a great deal.  My ability to relax and calm myself; everything has come from my yoga.

I am learning how to use my body in the way in which it was intended and that has taken a lot of stress off the areas that usually “made up the difference”.  I am much more relaxed, overall, and that translates into lower pain levels.  All because of yoga.

The Wait 2.0

Sometime last Fall, I learned I have some significant lower back problems, causing referred pain down my left leg.  I was told to take it easy with the yoga until I got in to see the surgeon.  After a year of tests, switching doctors, and waiting, I finally got to see the back surgeon’s Triage Physiotherapist.  I was overjoyed when she reassured me my back problems had nothing to do with yoga, as I’d secretly thought to be the case.  Yoga and I, once again, got the green light.  I would be able to get ready for Yoga Fest again.  I was elated!  Until….

I passed the triage and was granted an audience with the good doctor himself.  Hoping to hear good things, like “We will fix you right up!”, only to be told, instead, “Be very careful”, left me, once again, in a pit of despair.

It turns out I have Spinal Cord Compression, which could very easily, and very suddenly, cause paralysis.  Sound familiar?  Here we go again.

So now I have the possibility of not one, but two spinal surgeries in my near future.  one in my lumbar spine, which is not being put on the back-burner, and one on my cervical spine (another one, that is), which takes presidence.  And once again, my yoga practice will have to be re-evaluated and checked for neck safety.  But mostly, we just wait.

At least I know that yoga will always be there for me, when I finally get the go-ahead from the doctors again.

Namaste.

Donna

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I really want to add that Donna’s journey has been tumultuous.  And it has been hard on all of her family.  We have seen her down and out and suffering.

Last year, Donna and I were out shopping for a bit and I said something about living forever when she replied with “I don’t want to live forever.  I don’t want to live in this body for much longer.”  That was heart-wrenching for me to hear.  And it has made me sad ever since.  But, through all of this, she has maintained she is a yoga warrior.

I hope and pray that, if permitted, she is able to continue with her practice.  And that she will heal a little more each day and that the pain she endures daily will subside so that she will want to stick around with us a little longer.

Fit Bitch

Be A Warrior

Today is Monday.  Today is a new day.  It’s the start of a new week.  It could be a start to a new beginning.

Warrior

Put aside any fears you may have when it comes to yourself and starting a workout program.  Forget about any idealistic crap that may have been perpetuated by others about what you should do/be/look like.  Stop worrying about what others may think of you or if you’ll look silly.  Become your own Fit Warrior.

Become the inspiration to yourself and others.

Warrior2

He/She/We/Us/ALL!

You may struggle. You may full.  You may hurt.  (God knows you will hurt!)  You will earn it.

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Today is Monday.  Today can be the first day of your new life.

BE A WARRIOR.

~Fit Bitch

Be The Fire

On Fire

Just kidding!  It’s really not that bad.

I think, for many, there is a preconceived notion that exercise and good nutrition is hard.  And it’s not worth the struggle.  The truth:  YES, it can be hard.  There are some days when you will feel like your legs are on fire from the squats and lunges, or your abs will be burning from the planks, crunches, or cuts, or your triceps will be screeching hot from the push-ups and dips.  But think about it.  Aren’t you worth it??  With everything in the entire world to focus on, shouldn’t you make yourself the primary focus?

You don’t have to commit to working out every minute of every day, or eat clean entirely.  But make the commitment that you deserve more.  Remind yourself that your body is your temple and treat it with love and respect.  Nurture it inside and out (aka nutrition and exercise), and, certainly, indulge it here and there.

For many of us, losing the weight isn’t the struggle.  That’s not where the fire is.  No, the struggle is loving yourself and accepting yourself, and acknowledging your worth.  It takes time – and believe me, I know it is often still a constant battle – but we are all worth it.

So, dive in, head first, and start that fire burning.  And eventually, hopefully, that hell will become your haven.

~Fit Bitch