Start Again

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

The last couple of weeks I have been absolutely loving my workout routines.  I am fortunate enough to work with the owner of a local yoga studio, as well as with a few fellow yogis. So, some friends and I have been going several times per week during our lunch breaks (and some evenings) to the different classes.  I’m loving it so much!  There are a dozen or so different instructors so each class can be different.  Last week I went to a class every day and this week I was able to reach goals with my practice that I really didn’t think was possible.  They may have been small goals but they were milestones for me just the same.

I’ve also been going a little cray-cray with my boot campers but I think we’re all loving it.  Although, I still think I’m the only one who’s smiling through 5 minutes of squats.

And tonight, I shaved a few more minutes off of my run time (a 5k post-yoga, pre-Zumba run).  I’m feeling fantastic!

Last year I was struggling so much with the pain of my tarsal tunnel that I didn’t think I’d be running too much, nor did I imagine that I would get so much better.  But I stayed with it.  Like the caption above says: I took a deep breath and started again…and again and again.  Did I mention I feel fantastic??  I really, really do.

And you will too!  I know there are days you want to give up.  Days that you don’t think the struggle is worth it.  But it is because you’re worth it.  Your health and your self-love is worth it.  So stick with it.  Keep taking those deep breaths and keep starting again.

~Fit Bitch

Advertisements

Commitment

COMMITMENT

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I take my fitness regime seriously.  But, as I continue to work at getting beyond my workout addiction (yes, that’s a thing), and struggle with a few health issues, I’ve weened myself off of my every-single-day workout habit. There are days that I am still at the gym much longer than I need to be, and there are days when I still exercise because I feel like I “have to”, but for the most part, I am very happy with where I am today compared to where I was a year ago.

That being said, I have certain days that I commit myself to working out, and as I’ve mentioned in a recent post or two, I’ve committed myself to running at the gym) several times a week (once I’m running outside it won’t be a commitment, but a pleasure) so I’ve had to dedicate myself to this schedule and staying on track.

That means I’m at the gym whether I want to be or not. That means that Friday nights I’m at the gym.  That means that Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings I’m a the gym.  That means that aside from teaching boot camp and participating in other classes, I’m at the gym.  I’m running and I’m lifting and I’m sweating and I’m loving it.

InstallingMuscles.

I still feel that exhilaration when I’m working out.  I feel accomplished when I’m completed my fitness task for the day.  A long time ago I committed myself to a better life.  I made the commitment to get fit and be healthy and stay active.  Sometimes that means sacrifices.  There are still a good many days that I want to come home after work and schlump on the couch or Friday nights when I want to just get the freakin’ weekend started.  But, like I said, I committed myself to these goals and really, what’s another hour or two?  Friday night will still be there when my run is complete.  Sunday coffee dates will wait until I’ve finished in the weight room.  There is room in my life for sacrifice.

~Fit Bitch

MOM-spiration

When my mother was very young she was hit by a car.  A hit and run.  The driver never came forward and my mom spent a very long time in a children’s hospital in recovery.  Because of that accident she has two very bad knees.

My mother is a hair-stylist which means she spent most of her day on her feet for many years.  Because of this it has caused her knees to worsen and she’s often in a lot of pain.  She’s had minor surgeries which are likely, leading up to an inevitable bigger surgery.

A few summers ago my mom fell off the deck at our house (home will always be home) and landed flat on her face with her arms underneath her.  She broke her nose, both arms, a wrist, and broke her elbow completely off (*barf*).  She had several surgeries and now has a prosthetic elbow.  Unfortunately, her jackass surgeon “fixed” one of her arms wrong and now she has very limited mobility in that arms and has to hold her fork/scissors/toothbrush like a wingnut.

Aside from all that, she’s doing great.  She started walking every day in the fall and continued through most of the winter. Y’know, except on the days that Nova Scotia was completely-friggin’-buried under snow.

A few weeks ago I had a free class for people to come try out the boot camp before the new sessions started.  My mom came.

I really didn’t want her to come because I worry about her and I was worried about her limitations with her arms, and about her getting hurt.  I never want to see my mom in pain.  But she fought me on it and came (and I took great care of her).  “I want to come out and support you.” She said.  (Uh, so you come to the free class?  Thanks Mom!!)

Mom did great at the class.  We worked on modifications and she didn’t push herself past her limitations.  But she came and she worked her ass off!  I was very proud of her.  And she was extremely proud of herself.

The point of this little anecdote is that we need to stop making excuses*.  If my mom, after all she’s been through, can get through one of my kick-ass classes, then we should all be humbled and get out there and take advantage of gorgeous weather or fitness classes or gyms or sports teams and have ourselves a great workout and better our health.

Let my mom be your inspiration today.  She’s been mine.

(*Please note that an excuse is not the same as a legitimate reason.  If you have health issues or injury, etc. be sure to contact your physician before beginning a workout program.)

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

~Fit Bitch

Confessions

I don’t ever remember being comfortable in my body.  Not even as a little girl. I remember being 3 years old and having an uncle call me “fatty”, and my entire life my brother has tormented me about my weight. 

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

When I was in high school I started skipping meals and eventually developed full-fledged eating disorders. I initially thought I had the control but in reality, the disorders were controlling me.  And so the struggle continued.  My weight has almost always fluctuated – up and down, up and down – until I discovered fitness those years ago.  I changed my lifestyle completely – exercising regularly and eating differently, and I saw the payoff quickly – losing close to 60 lbs in just about 3 months.  I’d gained around 30 lbs after college and the extra weight that came off was bonus.  I was quite thin for my frame and certain bones poked out here and there.  I loved it.  But I still wasn’t comfortable in my body.

Starting off my exercise routine was pretty basic – a few times a week.  Then, about 4 years ago I started doing Shaun T’s Insanity routine again.  It’s a 60 days program where you work out 6 days a week.  I did this program twice, back-to-back, rarely taking that scheduled day off, therefore working out nearly 120 days straight.  I did another 30 day program, twice, back-to-back, not taking a single day off.  Somewhere in and around these times is when I developed my exercise addiction.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

I didn’t realize at the time that I was actually doing a disservice to my body (and mind and soul).  I was proud of my commitment to physical activity.  I was excited that I had fallen so deeply in love with exercise and I craved it.  I planned my days, no, my life around my workouts as they were the most important thing.  I missed out on social events because they conflicted with my exercise time, If I had to travel I ensured the hotel had a fitness center and was certain to pack my gym clothes, and sometimes, many times, I’d double up on workouts the few days before just to ensure I had met my own personal quota.  For a little while, it got to the point where I was working out two and three times a day just for the hell of it.  I still didn’t see any issue with my exercise addiction.  

I worked through injuries – a torn rotator cuff, a sprained ankle, and a stress fracture in my foot – refusing to give up on my exercising.  Two years ago when my eye surgery was confirmed and the surgeon told me no exercise for 6-8 weeks my initial reaction was a full blown panic attack with sobbing and tears and partial hyperventilating because the mere thought of not exercising (especially for that amount of time) stressed me out, gave me guilt and, literally scared the crap out of me.  I considered not having the surgery so that I could continue my workouts. I still did not see a problem with my exercise addiction.  I often said that “it’s a healthy addiction.”

Then my weight started creeping back up. I didn’t understand it because I was exercising every day.  So I increased my workouts and my exercise time.  And my weight continued to climb, not a lot but enough to really piss me off – and confuse me.  How was it possible that I was working out every single day; sometimes spending 3-4 hours at the gym, taking tons of fitness classes, running, strength training, you name it, yet my weight was still climbing.  I was beyond frustrated.  Every time I went to my doctor about anything, the subject of my weight came up and I’d end up in tears.

One day this past winter I was having a conversation with a cousin and the subject of my fitness addiction came up and I got really emotional – choked up, teary eyed, cracking voice.  It was the first time I realized that my love of fitness had gone beyond that and once again, something I thought I controlled was, in fact, controlling me.  Unfortunately, I tried to ignore it.  For me, the guilt of not exercising was so overwhelming that I just couldn’t fathom the idea of taking days off. So I didn’t.  And I continued to struggle with my weight climb over the winter and spring.

Then at the very start of summer I went to see a nutritionist.  Although the offer for dietitians and nutritionists have always been there, it was the first time since my eating disorder days that I decided to speak to someone.  And to be honest, the only reason I sought to speak to someone this time around is because it was my fitness instructor who’d just completed her nutrition course and, although somewhat intimidated, I also felt (semi) comfortable with her.  She knew about my whacked out exercise habits – at least to some extent – and I told her that my weight was ever-increasing and I wanted to bring it down, especially since I was working toward my certification as a trainer.  I wanted to get back to looking the part.

She and I discussed my routines and I disclosed to her that, over the last four years I’d logged every single workout I’d done – I accounted for every exercise, every class, and the amount of time I’d put into the workout.  She said to me “So, you can tell me, for the last four years, how many days you’ve worked out and how many days you’ve taken off??”  Of course I can.  (And I’m certain the number of days I’ve taken off from working out can be counted on maybe 3 or 4 hands.)

After a little more discussion (and soul-baring) she determined that I have adrenal fatigue syndrome and over-training syndrome.  That, because my body has been under constant stress for the last 4 years – with little or no rest – my cortisol levels have been elevated for so long and it’s the reason for my weight gain.  She told me I had to start resting and with rest, eventually my weight should start to decrease.  Coincidentally I had an appointment with my doctor the next day, discussed this all with her and she concurred. 

So I started taking rest days.  And I felt no guilt.  I feel no guilt.  What’s really sad – really sad – is that, deep down I knew what the problem was.  Hell, I’d JUST taken the PTS course and read over and over that one only need exercise 3-5 times a week.  Yet, I did not allow myself off the hook that easy.  I think maybe I needed someone to actually tell me that my over-exercising was the root cause of my weight gain but until that happened I wasn’t ready to let go of my addiction.

When it comes right down to it, addiction is addiction.  If I were hooked on heroin or an alcoholic I wouldn’t be able to just quit in the instant because I knew it was bad for me.  And even though exercise is wonderful and so good for your health, I couldn’t – no, I wouldn’t – allow myself to grasp that my over-training was detrimental to my health.  I was so proud of my lifestyle change over the years and my successes that I was determined to keep going, to keep striving for this stupid idea of perfection, to finally feel comfortable in my body.  I still haven’t reached that point yet.  I have a feeling that this will be a lifelong journey and struggle, and although fitness and healthy living has become such a huge and important part of my life, that one little meeting back at the start of summer helped me realize that it doesn’t have to be my whole life.

~Fit Bitch

Rain or Shine

I have news:  I started teaching outdoors boot camp this summer. Yay me!  There’s more to it (my news, I mean) but very quickly I’m going to leave you with this:

This summer has been crazy hot.  I mean, sizzling hot. And sticky. And gross. But my boot camp troops have hung in there and worked out with me in 32 degree heat. (Water people, drink lots and lots and lots of water!!)

AND

We’re worked out in the piss-pouring rain, too.  Nothing has stopped us.  We’ve found shelter when we needed it and we’ve trudged through.  And we’ve had a B.L.A.S.T.!!!  

Bad Weather

 

Lose the excuses.  When you’re willing to put in the time and effort (without making excuses), you’ll be ready to change your life.

🙂

~Fit Bitch

 

No Excuses

Someone recently asked me why I work out so much. My response? “Why not?”

Excuses

If you want to feel great, have more energy, improve your physical AND mental health, be happier, have better sleep, increase your self-esteem, feel accomplished, (there are a million more reasons!) – then you should try exercise.

Once again I say – Twenty minutes a day can save your life.

~Fit Bitch

Active, Healthy Kids

active-kids
When I was a kid and growing up (not that long ago) I was a little chubby. Not fat, but certainly not rail-thin like my brother. But, we were active. We ran and jumped and played. Our summer vacations would involve running around (driving my mom nuts), riding our bikes thru the yard or family rides on the street, endless swimming, playing tag, roller skating (yes, I said roller skating), climbing trees, playing hide and seek or kicking the soccer ball or having a game of catch. There was none of this “sitting on our butts playing on an iPod all day” crapola that’s going on now. We were active. We were busy. We were healthy. And as I’ve said, being healthy doesn’t mean being thin.

When I was 4 or 5 I tagged along a few mornings to my mom’s exercise classes – I loved wearing my leotards and legwarmers and feeling like I just stepped out of Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical” video. I also did ballet and gymnastics and once in school I was in the dance club. We played sports like soccer and softball and badminton and we went swimming and skating. We never got tired or bored of our activities.

Kids today are very limited. It’s become an unfortunate epidemic and it doesn’t need to be the way it is. It’s understandable that times are tough and many parents can’t afford to put kids in a bunch of different activities but there is no reason that children can’t be active and healthy.

Here are some great ideas for keeping kids active:

First of all – most of the activities I listed above were free – it costs nothing to run and jump and play…and sometimes that’s all a kid needs.

– Get a group of kids together (neighborhood kids, classmates, cousins, etc.) and let them play Red Rover or tag or give them the proper ball and let them have a gave of pick up of soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, etc. You can also pick up badminton rackets at the Dollar Store and let kids work up a sweat chasing after the birdie and swinging the racket.

– Check out community (it doesn’t have to be your community) camps, classes or groups. Many of them are free or very low cost. And it’s a great way for children to meet other children and socialize outside of the house and school.

– Shaun T (Insanity, Hip Hop Abs) has a great program for kids – Shaun T’s Fit Kids Club (http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/fit_kids_club.do?code=SEMB_MSN_FKC). I’ve seen the videos and they’re great and inexpensive (tho you may be able to find them online – YouTube perhaps?). You could also check Amazon or Ebay for reduced versions.
Shaun T

– The Internet offers a plethora of means for finding exercises and tips for active and healthy kids. Take advantage of all the free literature and videos online.

– Get other parents involved. Brainstorm together or come up with a plan to host your friends’ kids and take turns providing fun physical activities. Or have parent-kid playdates and you and your friends take your kids hiking or on a bike tour, or to the beach to run or get involved in one of the at-home activities from above (playing tag, soccer, etc.). Kids love to see their parents having fun and they learn by example so get out the skipping ropes and join in some Double Dutch or break out the sidewalk chalk for some Hop Scotch (OMG my childhood is flashing before my eyes!).
Bike Ride

– This blog Activity Hero is also a great means for information and ideas.

There a bazillion ways to keep your kids active and entertained and healthy. Lazy kids are usually a result of lazy parents so be good role models and have fun with your babies.

~Fit Bitch

There’s Always Time for a Quickie!

In a pinch for time and using it as an excuse to not work out? Puh-leeese! There is always time for a quickie:

A quickie workout to satisfy

A quickie workout to satisfy

This may not seem like a big deal of a workout but believe me, your heart will race, you’ll sweat and your body will get strong.

Enjoy.

~Fit Bitch