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

 

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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

Push Through It

Reason 645

Sometimes we give up long before we need to.

I’ve realized that I can keep running well after the voice in my head tells me to stop for a breather.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a break is warranted – I often need to bring my heart rate down to a normal rate, or catch my breath (especially now that it’s colder weather outside) – but there are times when I’ve stopped to break, or altogether given up, when I could have – and should have – pushed through it and kept on going.

I hear Shaun T’s voice in my head yelling “Dig Deeper!”, and I do.  I dig a little deeper and push a little harder and I get a little (or a lot) further into my work out.  And the next time I get even further.

Let’s not be too eager to give in.

~Fit Bitch

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

30 Day Whole Food Challenge

Real Food

I’m finishing up Day 17 of a food elimination program (I will be posting about this when I have completed the program).  I have struggled with stomach issues since I was a small child and I’ve had doctors and allergists put me on elimination “diets” in the past that completely sucked the life out of me – not to mention the medications and invasive tests that I’ve undergone in my lifetime.

The program I’m participating in allows me to eat real, whole foods – fruits, vegetables, and meat – nothing processed.  Like I said above, I’ll be posting about this experience once I complete it but the let me just say the theory behind this program is that there are foods that cause systemic inflammation in the body which can have other effects on us (allergies, sleep disorders, skin problems, tummy troubles, etc.) and so the foundation is to eliminate all the processed stuff and whatnot and rely on fueling your body – your temple – with nutritious, delicious, whole foods.

So I have cut out sugar in all forms – except what I get from fruits and vegetables – all processed foods, dairy in all forms (which isn’t so bad for me since I’m allergic to dairy anyway and sometimes indulge in foods that make me feel like I got hit with a bat), etc.  And you know what?  I.Feel.Great!

I was trepidatious and doubtful going into this program but by day 3 I really started to notice a change in my digestion of the foods I was eating.  I’m not going to elaborate (at least not yet) but I will say that for that reason alone this elimination program has been worth it.  And for the most part, it’s a program that I can sustain.  AND the best part of it:  nothing I eat has to come from little silver packages.

So, all of that being said, what I’m about to challenge you to is a little different than what I’m doing.  Instead of eliminating everything, I CHALLENGE YOU to eliminate a processed food from your diet for one whole month.  It sounds easy enough, but believe me, letting go of something you “rely” on daily isn’t always that easy (I sorta miss my mayo – but am learning to love avocado).

For instance – try cutting the cream out of your coffee for a month.  Either go black or drink it blended with a little coconut oil or coconut milk.  (I do this all the time anyway and love it.)  Or, go without bread in all forms for the month.  That means no morning bagel, no cronut at the office, no weekend PB&J.  I swear you can do this.

Step outside you comfort zone and try something new.  If you like pasta try using zucchini or carrot “noodles” instead of actual pasta noodles.

Zucchini-Noodles-with-Pesto-8

Or try making your regular ice cream from frozen bananas and fruit.  Instead of going out for that sugary, calordie-dense frappuccino, make your own at home with fresh brewed coffee (cooled), sliced frozen banana, 100% real cocoa, and some coconut milk – this is just as delicious and refreshing and it’s pretty healthy.

Instead of topping it with all kinds of crap, instead add some unsweetened coconut (toasted is even better), cinnamon, or mint leaves.

Instead of topping it with all kinds of crap, instead add some unsweetened coconut (toasted is even better), cinnamon, or mint leaves.

Give this 30 day challenge a try.  It may seem hard – but it’s really not; and it’s only 30 days.  You can do anything for 30 days.  Try it.  See how you feel before, during, and after.  See if your body changes at all – inside or out.  See if any part of your health improves.  Try it.  You’re worth it.

And if you do it – hashtag it, baby!  Let the world know you’re participating.

#wholefoodchallenge  #realfoodchallenge  #30daywholefoodchallenge  #justeatrealfood  #nsfitbitch

~Fit Bitch

Note *Remember, this is not a calorie-restrictive, low carb, low protein, unhealthy plan.  The goal is to focus on clean eating – therefore eating an abundance of nutritious foods without the added sugar, chemicals, or unhealthy benefits

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

Get Comfortable

Unconfortable

I really should have posted this with along with last week’s Confessions post.  

Jillian Michaels said in one of her workout videos “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  And she’s right.  So many people complain when they start a new exercise – or start exercising at all – that they’re sore, they hurt, they’re uncomfortable.  Well duh!  That’s because your body is moving in ways it likely hasn’t moved in quite some time.  Of course it’s going to be sore.  Then it will get accustomed to the new movement and it will thank you.  

Like the photo suggests – I’d rather be uncomfortable for a short time then be unhappy for life.  I’ve been there.  I refuse to go back.

~Fit Bitch

Cravings

Craving

Exercise isn’t always something you want to do.  But once you start, it’s true, you DO crave it.  

Exercise should never be a chore.  It should become part of your lifestyle – your day-to-day living – and, eventually, you will enjoy it.  Start. And stick with it.

~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

Pleased

I was born premature.  I spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was young; too much time.  I was a very sick little girl.  I grew up with lung and breathing issues, which, in my older age, have not subsided.  I am prone to pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and other breathing difficulties that leave me panting and puffing like a 40 year smoker.

When I was 16 I developed eating disorders.  Lots of them.  My eating disorders lasted for several years and I put my body through Hell.  I disrespected it.

When I was in high school it was discovered that I  have a mild heart condition.  I was told that I’d have a pacemaker by the time I was 30.

I was afraid of everything and I hated my body.

Then years ago I discovered running.  And I fell in love.  I get that runners’ high and it’s incredible.  I used to run every day.  I could not wait to get outside and run like the wind.

But after surgery a year and a half ago I put running on hold.  I was back in the gym but I could not bring myself to run.  I just couldn’t get into it.  Sure I ran here and there as I prepared to match my friend’s 10k, but I was running for the wrong reasons.  And I resented it.

A month ago I decided to run again.  I realized just how much I’d missed it and now I’m running nearly every day.  I crave it.  AND, what I’m really impressed with is my stamina and my ability to not gasp and gag and pray for air.  My breathing is better and my heart rate is steady and I’ve been able to run for longer distances than I ever had before.  I feel incredible.

I have only been able to take advantage of an outside run once so far this year so I’ve been running on an increased incline on the treadmill each day.  That, along with my steady lung flow, makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.  When I’m in my zone, I feel like I’ve accomplished so much – even if just personally.

And I really have to thank Darius Rucker (aka Hootie) because his song Wagon Wheel has become my go-to running song (it’s great for keeping a pace, bolting when needed, and generally rockin’ out – don’t judge me).

I am tipping my hat to myself and am hoping that I can will keep up with my running pattern and increasing my abilities – and I thoroughly look forward to getting back outside for my run, should the Nova Scotia weather choose to cooperate.

~Fit Bitch

runners-high