Burnout

burnout0A while back I wrote a piece on my over-training syndrome and addiction to exercise and how it attributed to weight gain and other health issues (including adrenal fatigue).  Once I realized had confirmation that my glutenous exercising was taking a toll on my health, I pulled back the reigns somewhat and began to let go of my addiction.  Although still maintaining a fairly strict exercise regime, I let go of the idea that I absolutely needed to work out every single day and became more lax.  And I think cardio was killing me.

This past year, as you may have read, I have changed up my fitness goals and have been concentrating on strength training and lifting, spending most of my gym time in the weight room and venturing into territory that, though I have always maintained some strength training, has been on the up-and-up with me.  Power lifting and such has become somewhat of a (new) passion and I’m really excited about it and look forward to the days I can get to the gym.  Which, of late, seems to be more and more frequently.  With classes at least three times per week, I have been making efforts to hit the gym the other 3 to 4 days each week.  The other day someone referred to me as a “gym Nazi”.

On top of classes and gym time, the last few months I’ve gotten more and more into hiking – mostly on weekends or sometimes on the off-days from working out.  And I have been walking every day on my lunch break for the full hour, and several days before work for anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes.

This week, I had some pretty insane workouts – including lifting the highest amount of weight I’d ever lifted (impressing even myself), and Thursday I totally overdid it.  Like, completely.  I did two major walks – 40 minutes before work and an hour at lunch and in the evening I did my regular Thursday night gym routine, spending nearly two and a half hours in the gym, and ending the evening with a Zumba class.  (Thursday is my favorite night of the week!)

Lift Exhaustion

Although during my exercised-fueled endorphin rush I felt awesome and energetic and like I could take on the world, by late Thursday evening I was zonked and actually nodded off on my couch.  I never fall asleep on my couch.

Friday morning I awoke with not a lick of energy.  I was literally physically exhausted and drained.  The entire day I felt like I got hit by a truck.  A big-ass truck!  I was barely functioning at work and felt like no amount of caffeine would be able to help me.  I was relieved when the work day ended.

Out of Order

This is how I felt Friday…keep knocking…there’s no one home.

However, I am a moron determined and decided that I still wanted to ensure I got another workout in, since it was cold and raining on Friday and I barely got a walk in (short one in the morning and shorter one in the afternoon – resulting in very wet pant-legs) and I headed to the gym once again.  It’s really all I could think about Friday and I really was happy to get there.  I spent way too long there Friday night working out (about an hour and 40 minutes), lifting and finishing with a little cardio.  I felt like I could conquer the world and could keep going but, sometimes I have to say “enough’s enough”.

Although I ventured back to the gym yesterday for what turned out to be a great workout with a buddy, I felt like I didn’t or couldn’t put all I had into my workout.  And although I slept wayyyy too long Friday night into Saturday, I was still very tired and needed to push myself.

I made the decision to definitely take today off.  Even though I was invited to participate in a fun-run for Apple Blossom festivities, I was happy when the invitee texted to say that she was declining as well.  Thank goodness.

I have spent most of today and last night recovering from last week and I am determined  to not let myself get to that point again.  The point of physical exhaustion and burnout.  I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced exercise burnout before.  It’s definitely different than the over-training syndrome and adrenal fatigue I experienced a few years ago.  I’ve also decided this week to opt out of any FitBit challenges that I’ve been invited to as I feel like I’ve been too competitive lately and that has been fueling me a little more than it should.  I am not Monica Geller.

And, let’s face it, I know better.  I wasn’t trying to get to this point on purpose.  Exhaustion is NOT a status symbol.  I know the effects of over-training and risks exhaustion can pose. Up until the end of this past week I wasn’t feeling the effects of my workouts.  And perhaps this is a one time occurrence, but I will be more careful as I go into a new week.  I will not attempt more than I can handle.  My body is my temple and as such, I shall treat it like one and show it more respect.

~FB

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Now! (Day 18)

NOW

All the time I hear people say they want to get fit or they want to start eating healthier.  I hear “I want to try Zumba” or “I’d like to give up fast food”, but then it’s often followed by “maybe next week” or “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll do it Monday”.

My question is:  Why wait?

Seriously, what are you waiting for?  Right now is the perfect time to make the decision to make a healthy choice.  Right now.  This very moment!

This afternoon I mentioned to a co-worker that my BFF and I were trying out a new Zumba class tonight.  She said she’d never done Zumba and always wanted to.  So I suggested she come with us.  She wasn’t sure if she could make it (family obligations – completely understandable) – but – she showed up.  I was so excited!!

The three of us were brand new to this class and we rocked our butts off.  (I admit it wasn’t as fun or as high impact as I’m used to, but we tried something new and we had fun.)  We’ll probably go together again another night.

See how easy it was for us to make the choice to try something new?  Don’t be afraid of the unknown (or even the know, for that matter).  Go for it.  Feet first.  There’s no better time than the present.

~Fit Bitch

Clear Your Mind

CANTBecause you can.

You can squat.  You can jump.  You can walk (or wheel).  You can.

Stop limiting yourself.

Remember last week when I posted that gross photo of my cankle after spraining it in a race?  Well, the big race is this coming Sunday and I’ve been really worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the distance.  I’ve been really stressed and anxious about it.

But tonight – I did it.  I ran the distance of the upcoming race.  In fact, I ran further than the distance of the upcoming race. (I also went to a Zumba class right after and  thought I could use a nap halfway thru before it even started!)

I feel fantastic!  Tired, but accomplished.

So there!  If I can, you can.  We can all do something.

~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

A Workout Recap

I’m gonna brag here for a minute….I have honestly had a great week of workouts!

Monday night I taught my boot camp class.  It was the first class of the new sessions and a few new peeps were present so I wanted to keep it interesting for the regulars and just the right intensity for the newbies.  It was fan-friggin’-tastic!!  We all worked up a great sweat and felt exhilarated when the class was over.

That right there is important to me…I always want to feel exhilarated when my workouts are completed.  I want to feel good and accomplished; not like I’ve just finished a very menial task.

In fact, I had several notes after the class and the following day from a few of the boot camp participants thanking me for a great workout and that they felt great and were happy to be back.

The rest of the week’s workouts were spectacular – Wednesday night I worked out at home and I changed it up a bit – trying a combo of new workouts, Thursday night I hit the gym for a much-needed run, followed by a superb strength workout (by myself and then with my client), then I followed that up with a Zumba class.  I finished the night off with a yoga class and it.felt.so.good!

Last night it was a bit stormy here in Nova Scotia so I came home again and worked out here.  I did one round of one of my boot camp sessions and kicked it in the ass!!  It feels so good to do that kind of craziness!

I’m taking today off because my calf muscles are a little stiff and sore (likely from my run the other night) and I’m heading out for a massage shortly.  I really think I deserve that today.

Thank goodness for rest day!

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

~Fit Bitch

Post-Exam Therapy

My.Exam.Is.OVER!!!!!!

Thank goodness! I wrote last Thursday and it was a process. I studied my butt off for that darn test and, in all honesty, I wasn’t completely ready. I’m still not ready. It’s a lot to know and take in. I am refusing to look at my books until I get the results of the exam – I really don’t want to psyche myself out until the time comes. Right now I’m just trying to relax and stay calm and collected as much as possible until I get my grade. (Passing mark, by the way, is 80% so *FINGERS CROSSED PLEASE*.)

I’ve been in the gym and my classes as regular and made sure that I finished writing the exam as much on time as possible so I could boot it home in time to hit the gym, Zumba and then yoga because, after the stress and anxiety of studying, preparing and writing I definitely needed a good workout or two. And I made sure I got them that night!

Motivation

This certification has been a process. Thank you all for sticking with me and supporting me.

Stay tuned – there’s more in store and Batman is still coming! He writes this weekend and then he’s promised to fulfil his duties as an interviewee. 🙂

xo
~Fit Bitch

Closing In and Resolutions

Part 1

The end of 2013 is upon us and I have to say that I am proud of my year in fitness.  Although, I’m not completely overwhelmed with my weight at the moment but hopefully, now that I’m off the medication I’ve been on for a few years, the weight issues will cease.  Regardless, I’m going to continue with my fitness and see where it takes me in 2014.

I am happy to report that I have either made it to the gym or completed a workout every day on my Christmas vacation – with the exception of Christmas day (unless trudging thru the snow counts.  Does that count?  Because it’s been snowing here every day for about 2 weeks straight!) and I haven’t indulged horribly in holiday goodies – although I have definitely had more sweets the last week than I normally would have.  But today I’m drinking lots of water and indulging in grapes and other fresh fruit.

And tonight I am attending a special 1.5 hour end of year Zumba celebration class.  My plan is to hit the gym for a bit before hand (as usual) – or at least get some yoga in (or both!) and then hit the class.  I’m actually really exited about this class – just because we haven’t had a class in about a week and a half and I really enjoy the workout I get from Zumba.

I’m also excited to say that my dad was kind enough to gift me a new pair of boxing gloves for my boot camp class (a gift I really wanted but hadn’t mentioned to anyone). I’ve been using spare gloves at the facility but let me just say this:  THAT is disgusting!  Those gloves are full of {I don’t even know how many other) people’s sweat and they stink beyond belief and for some reason my face or head or neck always itches during that class (probably from sweat) and I do my best to not touch my face after having those gloves on and I’m kind of a germaphobe and a compulsive hand washer….so my own gloves are definitely appreciated.

Thanks Dad!

Thanks Dad!

Part 2

Y’know, I really hate the phrase “New Years Resolution(s)” because every year people make their Resolutions for the new year and NEVER stick with them.  It’s like they set themselves up for failure.  And so often so many state that their Resolution is to diet or to lose weight or to get to the gym – which is all great but WHY wait for the new year??  There is no better time to start living a healthier life right now.  Instead of gorging yourself on leftover pie or cookies or having another turkey sandwich – just because it’s there – why not have a big glass of water and an orange?  Or have half that sandwich and a side salad.  Your body and mind will thank you.  And honestly, all that leftover food can be frozen.  Save it for another time or for guests or take the leftover sweets into your workplace, etc.  You don’t need to eat the food just because it’s there.  And make today the day when you’re going to take the extra stroll around the block or park at the bottom of the parking lot or the day you’re going to get to the gym or a new class.  Don’t wait for January 1st or 2nd….do it today.

And be sure to set realistic goals for yourself.  I look forward to getting into more classes in 2014 and broaden my horizons even more but I have to be realistic about how many days are in the week.  I can certainly add one or two (or maybe even three) more classes into my schedule but I think 8 classes is enough.  Eight classes will tap me out because on top of my career, classes, gym time, I still need time for my family and friends and cat and ME.  I’ve been relaxing over the holidays and sort of loving in but getting anxious to get back to the regular routine.  I like a little chaos.

I look forward to 2014 and hopefully hearing about your goals for a healthy you (aka please post below in the comments).

~Fit Bitch

 

A Little Break

Hello!  I’m sorry I’ve been absent the last little while.  I’ve been dealing with a bit of a medical emergency of sorts the last 2+ weeks and Fit Bitch Blogging hasn’t been in the stars for me.  But here I am.  No fear.   This post is more or less a little update and reminder that I have not forgotten about you.

I’m sad to say that in the last two weeks I’ve missed 4 fitness classes because of this medical issue but in all honesty, there was no way I could have made it.  This past Monday I was in the hospital so I literally was not able to make it to class.  And although I am feeling better today, the possibility that there is a long road ahead of me scares me a bit.

Last night I was able to make it to Zumba and Yoga and I felt so good.  So good, in fact, that I felt like the classes were too short.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the gym before hand as I was celebrating my nephew’s 6th birthday – which included cake!  🙂  And I’m not even sorry.

I’m looking forward to a good run after work today and maybe some yoga.  Here in Canada it’s Thanksgiving this weekend so I’ve definitely got to work out really hard.

There’s a little café a few Towns away that makes these delicious powerballs.  They are so good and healthy.  They have oats, cranberries, chocolate bits, honey, flax, peanut butter.  So, a few weeks ago I came up with as close a recipe as I could without their secret recipe.  My balls are yummy (insert dirty joke here).  They aren’t exactly like the ones I’m paying big money for but they’re pretty close.

My balls are never this round

My balls are never this round

I’ve been playing with my recipe a bit.  The other night I omitted some of the honey and added in a little coconut oil.  I don’t know how the café gets them so round and firm…mine stick to my hands so bad that I have to use a spoon to get all the batter off.  But, I roll them as best as I can and then toss them into the freezer.

Here’s a recipe that I found online…play with as you like:

PowerBalls

1.5 cups oatmeal

.5 cup peanut butter or other nut  butter

2/3 cup honey

2 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup flaxseed

.25 cup mini chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all ingredients* together. Roll into balls.  Freeze.

*I’ve also added protein powder into a batch for after-the-gym treats.

ENJOY

~Fit Bitch