Finding Inspiration

I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.  And back then, we didn’t have cable at home.  And certainly, we didn’t have overwhelming channels that today’s folks have to choose from.  But, we had a few staple television shows that were watched – The Cosby Show, Who’s the Boss? (my favorite), Growing Pains, etc.  And I was obsessed with teeny-bopper magazines that showcased all my crushes (Kirk Cameron and Michael J. Fox), and potential best-friends (Alyssa Milano).  The famous were beautiful.

When Full House made its way to my television. I instantly was in awe of Candace Cameron.  Aside from the fact that she was Kirk Cameron’s little sister AND had had a small guest appearance on Who’s the Boss?, she was the first girl I’d seen on TV that looked like me: cute curls, a little chubby, and with the “Charlie Brown cheeks” that she referred to in a later episode*.  It was wonderful that I could finally identify with someone on TV and in magazines.  I was elated.

young-cc

How cute was she?

Although Candace said she never had an issue with her weight while filming early in the seasons, season 4 of Full House aired an episode called *”Shape Up”, in which DJ goes on a crash diet to slim down for a pool party.  This was an emotional episode for me for me to watch.  Although my eating disorders didn’t begin until a year or two later, I could completely relate to how DJ was feeling and could already see my own disordered eating and outlook.  (Note: While preparing this post, I re-watched the episode for the first time in likely 20 years and had the same emotional response I had the first time it aired.  To this day, it breaks my heart because I know the struggle and I know that most little girls have and will continue to have this struggle at some point in life.)

Later on, Ms. Cameron Bure declared she developed eating disorders a few years after the show had finished filming.  (Although, she states that it had less to do with her weight and more to do with where she was in her life, emotionally and physically.)

Since her days of self-destruction, Candace Cameron Bure has completely changed her body and her health.  She has an incredible workout regime, and one of the best (celebrity) trainers, Kira Stokes, as her own.  And I have found inspiration in them both.

These two have some of the best workouts I have seen.  As a trainer – and a trainee – I am often looking for ways to keep workouts fresh, innovative, and fun.  And these two ladies sometimes help me get there.

candace-and-kira

Candace Cameron Bure and trainer Kira Stokes (photo via Cameron Bure’s Instagram)

 Aside from gaining inspiration for my workouts, I have found inspiration in Candace  herself, from how she approaches fitness and clean eating and even spiritual health.  Three topics I already have in common with her.  Her approach to how she keeps her body lean and how she looks at her muscle and her strength is refreshing and it’s nice to actually see and hear a celebrity talk about it all and show how much dedication it takes her to keep her body in tip-top shape.  Especially when so many celebrities make the claim “I eat whatever I want and don’t work out.”  Pffftt!!

candace-cameron-3-times

Via US

Although Candace Cameron Bure is a celebrity and she has personal trainers and has appeared on Dancing with the Stars where she spent endless hours each day for endless months dancing non-stop, she is also a woman who has worked incredibly hard to get to get and keep a strong, toned, lean body.  Believe me – that takes work!  And, again, I find it inspiring that she has been so inclined to share her journeys with us, the public.  Through her books and her social media accounts and her television appearances, she has been delightful in showing us that if you set a  goal – and work for it – it can be reached.

And what’s even more delightful, and something I have found truly inspiring since I was a pre-teen, is that when she was a young actress and already a very public figure, she never had issue with her body – even, as it has been stated, when other people had. She was a great role model in childhood and continues to be a role model in adulthood.

I will continue to find inspiration from her.  Where do you find yours?

~FB

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

 

Positivity

Positivity

I saw this little quote today and instantly loved it.  And it’s very fitting tonight.

I taught my boot camp class tonight.  It was a small class, however, I had a newbie.  A first-timer.  She did great!  She kept the sarcasm coming (which I adored), she modified when she needed to, and she kicked butt!

At first, though, she made a few small comments about how she shouldn’t be standing by this person and shouldn’t be looking at that person because she felt she was way behind.  Maybe it was the self-consciousness talking, maybe it was fear of feeling inadequate, maybe she was just being an arse.  But I had to stop her.  I told her not to let herself take away from what she was accomplishing, she was there and she was doing a great job and she should own it.

From then on she accepted it.  She was positive and she we all had a great workout.  She hung onto that positivity and I expect to see her again at the next class.

When I got home and was getting ready to jump in the shower, I caught a glimpse of myself in the hall mirror, half clothed.  I don’t normally admire myself but tonight I was caught off-guard and what I saw was “Damn, I look pretty good!”  It felt good to own that moment and see the positive in my appearance instead of gagging over my arm skin or thighs or tummy.  I’m liking the positivity today.

I try to have a positive outlook as often as possible.  Sometimes I can be a nagging Nelly or a freakish bitch, but honestly, these days I can see what matters and what doesn’t.  I’m finding the positive in each encounter.  I’m embracing it all.  I’m owing it.  You should too.

Stay light, stay positive.

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better than You Were (Day 27)

Better than you

Each day that you get up and choose to live a healthier life is a day when you are better than you were (when you were making less-than-healthy choices).

Each workout is a way to make your body better than it was when you were earning your butt groove on the couch.

Don’t hit the gym with the intention of being better than that other girl or guy.  Make your workout count; run a little harder, lift a little heavier, stretch a little longer.

You’re a new person every day.

~Fit Bitch

Healthy NOT Skinny (Day 14)

Healthy not Skinny

Scroll to the top of this page….see my tag line??

“Because Being Healthy Doesn’t Mean Being Thin.”

That is true.  There are plenty of thin people who aren’t healthy and plenty of healthy people who aren’t thin.

What’s more true is that if you make your choices bases upon the idea goal that you want to be healthier, happier, and more productive, then I believe you will surpass that goal  easily.

Getting “skinny” is, often, a result of your healthy living but it shouldn’t be your main goal.  There are so many other wonderful, beautiful outcomes of making healthy choices – better health (obviously), stronger muscles, more endurance, better heart health, increased circulation, lower cholesterol, etc. etc. etc.  The list goes on.

Don’t let the idea of thinness be your main priority – it’s a perfect way to set yourself up for failure.  Love yourself.  Embracing the body you have does not mean you have to stop continuing to better it – but be proud of who you are.  Loving yourself will give you the confidence to keep going (or get started!).

Love YOUR Body - not someone else's

I would love this caption more if we could get rid of “leaner” – so let’s just scratch that out, k?

~Fit Bitch

Do it for YOU! (Day 8)

DO IT FOR YOU

Oh my gosh, YESSSS!!

Let me just tell you that when you stop “dieting” and exercising for everyone else (boyfriend, wife, mother) and start making better choices for YOU you will see all the difference in the world.

When you’re ready to make the changes – that’s when you’re doing it for yourself (even if it’s so that you can play with your kids without getting winded, or keeping up with your spouse on a bike ride) – it’s when you decide that you really are worth the work – because you’re ready).

One of my favorite quotes is one that I heard years ago and it resonated with me and stuck with me.  I’ve quoted it often (even here) and truly believe in it:

If you’re not ready to do the work then you’re not ready to lose the weight.

I know it sounds kind of dickish but I do believe it.  I had struggled for many, many years with my weight.  I’d had every eating disorder and disordered eating for most of my life.  I’d always wanted to lose weight for good but was never able to really do so (up and down it would go from fad dieting, binge exercising, etc.).  Then one day I saw a photo and literally and honestly didn’t recognize the girl in it.  I was clueless as to how high my weight was and in that very moment I made the decision that it was time to change.  And this time would be different.

I went home that day, made a commitment to change my life – healthy, habits, and all – and have not looked back.  I decided to really put the work and and have been a work in progress ever since.  And I am so happy.

When you change your life for yourself – your life will change.  ♥

~Fit Bitch

 

No Definition

No DefinitionI love this little bit of fitspiration.

From the time I was in junior high I’ve been obsessed with the number on the scale instead of with where by body is.

I still fight with those demons.  In fact, I fight with those demons to the point that I have no idea what my actual weight is.  I guestimate.  I get weighed at the doctor’s office only and even then I choose not to know the number.

I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am – both physically and mentally – and I am proud of my accomplishments in the fitness and healthy living world.  I’ve overcome my eating disorders – and for the most part, my disordered eating – but there’s still that little piece about the number that resonates in me.  *sigh*  I hope to not be battling these demons forever.

I tell my clients too that they should not focus on the number of their weight.  That, instead, they should focus on their healthy choices and fitness regime.  Ignore the BMI (because it’s really not an accurate way to measure your health anyway) and be mindful of their lifestyles.

Be proud of how far you’ve come.  Even if you’ve only lost a pound of fat or gained a pound of muscle – that’s further than where you were last week or month.  That’s something.

I am proud of where I am today compared with where I was this time last year.  Sometimes I need to remind myself about the strength within.  Sometimes I need to quiet those demons.  I’m getting there.  Are you?

#Ownit  #loveyourself

~Fit Bitch

Monday Love

I have so much to say….I need more time.

Life is catching up with me these days and I’m super tired.  But hang tight…I WILL be back.  In the meantime I leave you with this:

You're Awesome!

Stay tuned….more to come from me.  🙂

~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

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