Friday, April 30, 2010

My BF

If you think I'm talking about my Best Friend, you are sadly mistaken. You see today I did what I've needed to do for a long time, but have been avoiding.  I tested my Body Fat with one of those old school looking calipers; the kind I haven't seen since those dreaded PE days in elementary school.  Being the fat kid in school was not pleasant and so the mere thought of bringing that thing back into my life scares and intimidates me.  But in order to progress, I need to see some real numbers.

These things are tricky and getting just right measurement requires some practice, especially if you measure a number you don't want to see, you keep measuring and measuring and measuring until well...crap!  You can't cheat.  The numbers don't lie.  I have to say, though I'm on the borderline of lean to ideal, which SHOULD make me happy, when I see the raw percentage, I immediately am pissed!  Especially when a man who measures the same number is eight percent lower!!  And if that isn't enough, according to the chart, because of my ripe ol' age of 35, I automatically default to having a higher body fat percentage.  I'm starting to realize this caliper will NEVER be my BFF.  Thank goodness my birthday isn't until November because when I fall into a new category and I am rewarded with a .06 increase in body fat.  Happy Birthday to me!

I think this exercise in BF analysis has been extremely humbling for me and is exactly the lesson I need the night before I start Insanity!  I don't want to be complacent with my life.  I always want to progress and always want to keep settting goals and achieving them.  I've never been so scared to start any new workout.  I'm more intimidated than 105 degree yoga room I've entered hundreds of times and more afraid than hitting the wall at Mile 20 of a marathon.  I can't shake this and so I know the only thing I can do to overcome this fear is to face it, head on and kill it!  I'm ready.
 
You've already rattled me my dear BF.  But that's ok.  I still love you but I think it's time I see a little less of you.  I know you'll never leave me and I couldn't live without you.  I may not see as much of you these next couple months and that's just fine with me.   I know you can come back into my life at any time and therefore I'll check in from time to time, just to see we're still good.

INSANITY UPDATE:  Tomorrow is the day!!  My brother found this incredible video and I want to share.  If this doesn't inspire you, I'm not sure what will.  I can only hope to do the same!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roles

Ever have someone ask you, "tell me about yourself?"  Do you describe yourself with a title, the role you play, or with a series of adjectives?  Perhaps you answer with a overly exaggerated truth.  For instance, my title would be wife, a mother, etc.  I play the role of nurturer at home.  My husband plays disciplinarian.  I'm extremely sensitive, shy at times, outgoing at others.  I'm passionate, loving, moody, impatient, caring and genuine.  All of which could be assets to my personality, but often a hindrance.  I have a hard time holding back my true feelings, tend to be very opinionated and I am passionate about spreading the word of healthy lifestyles. 

When I look in the mirror, I often do not see the reflection that others see.  It has been a long...(a very long) process to see who is staring back at me.  I can often be critical of superficial flaws and am often blinded by the beauty others may see.  But this I know.  In order to tell others about who you are, you must dig deep into the surface of your soul.  What truly makes you happy?  What are you core values?  What is it that you want in life?  When you begin to see the truth in yourself, you will begin to see the true reflection in the mirror.

So tell me about yourself? Think about it? Write it down. If you find yourself with negative thoughts about who you are and where you are today, try describing who you aspire to me? A better mother, a more compassionate wife? Are you the listener, the talker, the loyal friend? Does the way you describe yourself reflect your true identity? If not, when will you start living the life you are intended to live?

INSANITY UPDATE:  Tomorrow is a day of rest and then the Insanity begins!  Dig Dig!  Shaun T, you might break me, but I won't fail you.  Quitting is not an option!  www.beachbody.com/Insanity

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buns of Steel

I don't think I've ever been this excited to embark on a new workout. This is crazy! What's really exciting is that Keelan, my son, is just as enthusiastic as I am about it. I'm used to the normal teenage response of "huh" for just about everything. "Look, we just won $1 million!" "Did you do your homework?" Same Napoleon Dynamite response of "huh" every time. But this is different. I know he's serious and I couldn't be more happy and proud.

Start date is May 1st - our first fit test. I decided to give Keelan a little sample of what's ahead and on my first switch kick, I swear I pulled a hammy. Well, not really, but I guess that's why a warm up is essential and what I get for being a little cocky. I know he's going to do great and I'm secretly scared he's going to kick my butt, but I know he'll be a great motivator and accountability partner.

Who would have thought I'd be so motivated by home DVDs? I still remember the days in my college dorm room faithfully doing my Buns of Steel VHS tapes.   Then I discovered the gym, then spin class, then running, and more running and Bikram yoga. I still love all of this, but it's time to go back to where I started and get buns of steel rather than watch some guy in ridiculous blue spandex telling me "...we're making beautiful legs today..."

Insanity Update: 3 days and counting until my first fit test. Get a partner, make a plan. Let's do this together!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mind games

Each morning I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m.  I rarely get up then, but waking up that early for me is a process.  Morning workouts are what work for me and therefore, I use whatever I can muster in my head to make the process of head to pillow to feet on the floor as easy of a transition as possible.  I've been through this enough to know that if I decide to skip, the guilt I'll put myself through the rest of the day is undoubtedly much worse than the joy of an extra hour of sleep I'll get.  I also find that whenever I give myself  'the option' of getting up to work out in the morning before I go to bed, that I will always choose the 'screw it' option in the morning.  Instead I always lay out my workout clothes before I go to bed and always plan to get up early. I can allow myself to make that decision in the morning.  If it's a planned day off, I usually reward myself with a night of senseless TMZ or I get a little crazy and sometimes stay up until 11:00! Scandalous!

The radio sounds and mind games begin.  It's inevitable, even after many years of doing this, I still HATE to get up early.  After several snoozes and bribing myself with a bowl of Soy Delicious ice cream later if I get up, I somehow manage to get up.  It's truly amazing that the hardest part is over.  Getting up is by far the hardest!  Once that happens, I'm ready and before I know it, my workout is complete and day can begin. 

Perhaps the morning isn't for you, but it's the safest choice.  Happy hours aren't usually planned at 5:00 a.m. and deadlines are rarely set for the morning.  What will be your motivation to get out of bed?  Your husband's annoying clicking noise (sorry Ced), running to the light of the full moon (did that this morning) a treat at Starbucks for your efforts, not having to dodge 250-lb meat heads at the gym?  Whatever it is, find it and take advantage of it!

INSANITY Update:  Saturday is the day!  May 1st!  A new month, a new program, a new beginning.  Can't wait to see where I can go in 9 weeks!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Candid Camera

Have you ever lived a day and  looked over your shoulder to think that somebody must be secretly filming this scene for a practical joke show?  Do you ever feel that one day someone will come rushing towards you with a camera and microphone and tell you that the joke is on you?  I sometimes wish that were the case. 

I'm learning that life is what we make of it.   When you allow people to steal your peace, you give them permission to control your feelings, your thoughts, your goals.  I call them 'haters'.  You may call them your boss, jealous people, the crazy PTA moms in the school parking lot.  Whatever name you choose to call them, make them be a daily reminder that we are in sole and complete control of our own responsibilities when it comes to living your best life.  You can succumb to others' laziness or lack of passion, but you're not giving on them, you are only giving up on yourself.  The universe eventually catches up to those who talk much and show little.

Whatever you do, give it your best effort.  You'll be proud in the end.  If today is the start of a new workout plan, do what you can and honor yourself for that rather placing judgement on what you could not do.  It takes honest effort and a practical plan.   With a little positive determination, only you will be responsible for making the changes you've been wanting.  No more excuses, no more 'hating'.  Let's get moving!

INSANITY UPDATE:  One more week until I start Insanity.  I simply cannot wait.  Won't you join me in my journey?  Get a plan...you have one week!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hidden Treasures

My office / creative space is about 80% complete!  What a huge difference the zen nature of the room does for my motivation and creativity.  I decided a few weeks ago to transform our loft into an achievements room / office.  For eight years, I had a loft with four white walls, a crappy workstation, cords running haphazardly around the room and enough dust to add 10 lbs of unnecessary clutter to my creativity.

So many of us do things that create captive memories yet we tuck away these moments in boxes in the back of our closets only to be reminded of them when we move or take the time to clean.  Recently, I wrote down a list of the numerous races I've been in and much to my surprise, my list was well over 20 races including three marathons and seven half marathons.  Yet, other than a framed gift from my husband from my first three major races I had run, nothing in our home represented who I am or what my passion is.

So last weekend we spent the weekend at Ikea and setting up my office space and today, I painted the room an orangey yellow to complement the black office furniture to create a very zen feel.  I love it. 


I surrounded my desk with things that make me happy...my favorite picture of my husband and I...







my favorites books, an award Ced had made for me when I did a 60-day Bikram yoga challenge.... 



and of course..a pretty orchid.
  
My first task was to find all the race bibs I'd earned over the years because I not only want this room to motivate me, but to reflect who I am. I knew I didn't throw any away and sure enough, after much digging, I found every single one of them and displayed them on the wall. The mostly blue bottom left corner is all the Turkey trots I've run - 2002 - 2009, including the year I was pregnant with Jackson!



Another really important element I wanted to bring into this space was a collection of all the race medals I've earned so I bought a pretty vase and displayed them in a bookcase.

I dedicated a wall to Ced's military achievements and though it's not complete, on the wall is huge shadow box he received when he retired from the Air National Guard in 2007.  He's so humble and doesn't think it's necessary to display his achievements, but I feel it's essential, especially the picture he took with Oprah while serving during Hurricane Katrina.
Only a couple more shelves to hang and pictures to display and the room will be complete.


We all have those hidden treasure that we must find tucked away.  They represent who we are and what we believe and are undoubtedly strong motivators for success. Take the time to look through boxes.  What do you see?  What do the things you find reveal about who you are?  Perhaps it's an old picture or a painting you did long ago.  Your hidden treasure could be the start of something really powerful for you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

200 meters

This morning marked another Saturday full of nerves and anxious excitement.  My running group was running 200s at the track.  The mental challenge I face knowing what lies ahead for me is daunting.  With a little refocus within the past three weeks, I would have thought today would have been easier on my nerves.  But, just like the week's past, I couldn't escape the thoughts of dread I experienced on my drive to the track.

My group was the last to start our warm up and drills and if it were up to me, I would prefer to be running in the first group.  Watching the first three groups start running their 200s and seeing the agony on their faces worsen as each lap went by, caused the doubt to slowly creep back into my psyche.  I wanted to run really fast....to my car and never come back, but there was no backing out now and I somehow managed to convince myself to be ready.

I am extremely fortunate to have really great friends that I surround myself with in the running world. We not only encourage one another, but we all share one common goal - to give the best effort for which we are capable.  Along with encouraging energy, we all supported by a group of really tremendous motivators in the coaches we have. 

We toed the line and were off for our first of (20) 200 meters.  The first one is always undoubtedly too fast, and after a quick 100 meter recovery, I settled into a pace I felt I could endure 19 more times.  When I started to fade and my mind started to fill with doubt, my coach, who is lightening fast, slowed his pace to motivate and carry my through the pain.  Having someone who believed in me and encouraged me was exactly the fuel I needed.  By number 13, I was exhausted, but he didn't give up on me, shouting words of encouragement and tips on my technique.  It's no surprise that I finished number 19 and 20 at the same pace as my first 200m.  Thank you Peter!  I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.

We all need motivation and encouragement.  When you have someone who believes in you, it starts to make sense to believe in yourself.  For me, it's not about being the fastest, because I will never be, but it's about pushing through the adversity and overcoming doubt to become the person I am intended to be.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Setbacks

The Fox 4 consumer reporter has not returned my call after our initial conversation on Monday.  Though I'm a bit disappointed, I would only consider this a minor disappointment.  It's not going to stop be from charting my progress through Insanity, nor will it prevent me from motivating others.  I will just have to do it myself.

Setting goals for yourself and working towards achieving them will always be filled with setbacks.  If it means anything to you, there will always be obstacles.  A stressful week at work may cause you to reorganize your personal schedule, but do not allow it to set you back from the progress you've already made.  Instead of giving up and inhaling really bad Mexico food and chugging 500 calorie margaritas, try sweating out the stress.  And...ok...maybe a glass of wine afterwards...or two depending on how bad the week was.  Why not channel your negative energy into doing something positive for yourself instead of bad-talking your co-workers or the lady in the express lane with 18 items in front of you.  Use it as motivation for you to stay on task and to work towards your goals.

Perhaps the news station is not coming to my house to profile my progress so I bought a tri-pod for my camera.  I can and will do this myself.  My week at work was filled with a lot of stress and anxiety, but I had very significant progress on my runs at the track.  I didn't let the challenges stop me from progress.  The best part?  I made it through the week, albeit stressful, with small personal successes.  And for that, this glass of wine I'm drinking is simply delightful!

INSANITY UPDATE:   I'm so eager to start this program.  I watched the first DVD which is the fit test.  I got a little nervous watching it.  It's intense.  Goal for this upcoming week is to get my menus and meals planned.  Just a little over a week until Keelan and I start.  Anxious, eager..and scurrrred!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Caricatures

We all know 'that guy'!  If you are him, STOP reading now!  But you know, 'that guy' that does a whole lot of nothing, talks a huge game, plays the role he wants people to see, yet is as transparent as my pasty skin in January.  Have you ever stopped to think the effort that goes into being 'that guy' and the lack of effort that goes into being who he really is?  Why waste energy trying to be something you aren't and start living the life you are intended to live.

If you hate to exercise, don't be 'that guy' and buy a gym membership with the intention of getting up at 5 a.m. every morning when the earliest you've been up in the past decade is 8:30.  It will NEVER happen.  Don't even try to fool yourself thinking it will.  I actually knew someone that bought a gym membership and planned to do 3-a-days!  Yes.  His 'plan' was to workout 3 TIMES A DAY!  Needless to say, he was chugging cokes by 3 p.m. the first day of his 'new me' life.

If you're complaining about how you feel or how you look and are ready to make an honest effort at change, start by being practical.  Don't be some silly caricature of yourself.  Start by making a change in your diet.  Don't be 'that guy' and say you're eating healthier by adding dairy to your diet and then tying your belt like a tight tourniquet around your waste displaying your results and acting like it's really working. 

Write down your goals and take it one day at a time.  Accomplishing small goals not only leads to larger goals, but it builds your confidence to make the bigger change you've wanted.  What is practical and what do you desire to become?  Small changes in how we treat ourselves and how we literally feed ourselves, leads to a better you while 'that guy' will continue to hope to be something he will become but will only find himself being 'the guy' he never wanted to be.

INSANITY UPDATE:  So thrilled to know my son is as excited as I am to start with me.  He even wants to get up early with me.  I have a lot of confidence in him and know he can do it.   Now he must prove himself.  Shaun T - are you ready for us?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Penny for your Thoughts

 Most of us take the time to make our regularly scheduled six-month dentist check up or we head to the doctor whenever we get a little sick.  Yet, when it comes to improving our overall health, many of us don't think twice about it.  Instead of taking steps to get healthier, we complain about what we aren't or what we'll never be. 

It is what it is...must be nice....whatever.  Ever find yourself saying the most overly used phrases of the 21st century?  What you're really telling yourself is, I can't improve, I'm old, I'm horribly jealous of that person.  When you fill yourself with these thoughts, you are indirectly convincing yourself that you are not worthy. 

So instead of throwing yourself under the bus for not being the size your desire to be, you need to face the music and bite the bullet!  It's time to bring your 'A' game.  Seriously!!  I'm not kidding.  Let's get moving!  I realize it's easier said than done, but with some honest effort and practical planning, I have a sneaking suspicion this will work for you!

I'm ready to start Insanity tomorrow, but finishing up my current program.  Looks like Day 1 will be May 1st or 3rd.  Will you join me in your own journey?  I'll keep you motivated!  And by all means, Don't Wait!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Accountability

No matter how much I feel surrounded sometimes by negative attitudes, I find it really crazy that many people would rather blame others for short-comings and make excuses rather than holding themselves accountable.  There is nothing wrong with asking for help and there is certainly nothing more humbling that owning up to mistakes.

When it comes to fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle, blame and excuses will never get us anywhere.  The fact is, to see progress, we have to do the work ourselves.  We cannot delegate here.  It's as simple as making one small goal for yourself each day.  Small achievable goals that leads to a better you.  Put one foot in front of the other and progress is imminent.  Perhaps today you'll make a better choice at lunch instead of that dreaded Double Down sandwich from KFC or maybe you'll take your kids out for a walk instead of watching TV.  Glee is good, but DVRs are better.  Simple things.  Don't wait for when things get a little slower at work or when you'll have more time.  Guess what?  It won't slow down and there are never going to be more than 24 hours in day.   Listen to your own words.  If you are saying, "I'll be happy when...."  The time is now.  Excuses are not flattering to your figure!

Treat taking care of yourself like you would treat your responsiblities to your job or to your kids.  Make that commitment to yourself.  What is more important?  We are held accountable for everything we do, yet when it comes to our own accountability, we surrender to the gods of excuses.  If you're organized, schedule in time for you.  If you are scattered, make a commitment to take order of your life.  One small step each day.  Think of the possibilities of progress in one month.

Sign up for a class, walk one mile, drink green tea.  Make a choice to do something that benefits your overall health and well being and take action and most importantly... become accountable for your choices.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Making it Happen

I received my Insanity DVDs in the mail today!  I'm so excited to start.  Making things happen one day at a time.  It's very exciting!

I pitched an idea to Fox 4 News consumer reporter Steve Noviello to follow me during my 60-day challenge. I want to show others, that with hard work, you can reach your goals.  Much to my surprise, he CALLED me back this morning!  He really likes the idea but logistically it may be difficult to do a consumer report as I'd would have to follow the complete program according to the package, including the very stringent diet plan.  He told me to really look it over tonight and give him a call back to discuss it!  As far as I'm concerned, the call back is success for me.  Whether or not he decides to chart my progress is in his hands.  Regardless, I can't wait to start Insanity and to blog about my progress!

I couldn't wait to read through everything as soon as I got home from work today.  He's right.  The diet plan is very stringent, but with planning, it's very doable.  It's not a drastic change for me.  I'd treat it like a part time job.  I want this so badly.  How cool would that be to have a local news station chart my progress. Hello accountability!  The workouts?  Well, they're insane!  But I love a challenge.  I love what's happening to my life now that I've taken control.

Step One:  Find a date that works to start
Step Two:  Plan out my weekly menus
Step Three: Let's Do This!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mind Over Matter

When it comes to running drills at the track, I have a huge mental block.  Something about sprinting around that soft surface scares and intimidates me.  The last phase of my current running program with Luke's Locker is speed drills at the track, i.e. pain and agony.

Three weeks ago, I ran in a 10K race and for the first time ever, placed 3rd in my division.  A HUGE acccomplishment for me.  The following Saturday, my running group met up at a high school track in North Dallas for speed drills.  Instead of carrying that confidence forward to the track, I was nearly shaking with anxiety and I could not wrap my brain around running 12x300s.  The intimidation and self doubt got the best of me.  I fell behind my group quickly and gave up on myself even faster.  I cried almost the whole way whole drive home and was really focused on how badly I ran that day.  With a half marathon coming up the following week, I was completely down on  myself and my spirits.

After a little food and some mental refocus, I began to tell myself that it's all about the thoughts I fill my mind with.  I realized that before I even got to the track, I had already given up.  I was intimidated by all the fast people around me and I convinced myself that I was not good enough.  With that understanding, I immediately shifted my focus to how well I would run in the upcoming half marathon and set a fast goal for myself.  The rest of the week, I told myself how well I was going to run.  I doubted myself little and believed in myself more.

I ran that half marathon in my fastest time yet.   A PR of 1:47:30.  I didn't gain an amazing amount of speed over the course of a week, but I did gain an incredible amount of confidence.  I believed in myself!  Making the simple transition of shifting the way I thought about myself produced incredible results.

This past week was another tough week of running track.  But instead of letting the track get into my head, I knocked out my 200s with energy and effort and most importantly, mental determination.  Yesterday, I was back with my group for dreaded 800s.  Not to my surprise, I not only kept up with my group, I beat many of them.  My focus and belief in myself is as strong as ever.  Good things are in my future.  This I know!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Suddenly I See

SUDDENLY I See ...why the hell it means so much to me.  A song by KT Tunstall whose lyrics speak volumes.  I'd heard and listened to song several times before I was awakened to the lyrics by a dear friend.  The things we do in life can be so difficult, but when we truly love and are passionate about something, SUDDDENLY it just makes sense.  We can get in ruts, things aren't always easy and therefore we tend to stay within our comfort zone, not ever taking the chance.  Days go by, then weeks and years.  People come and go from our lives, and before we know it, we've become so secure in where we are that we tend to never believe stepping outside of that comfort zone is possible.  But when we open our eyes and truly listen to our hearts, SUDDENLY we see what is possible.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Freedom

It's amazing the freedom you get from setting concrete goals.  Allowing yourself the right to do what you want.  It's an empowering feeling!  And when you feel empowered, that's when things happen.  We often hear how things happen for a reason and if we're fortunate, we can learn and understand why things happen, as good or bad as they may be at the time.

As silly as this sounds, about a month ago, a chipped front tooth was a devastating feeling.  Teeth are important to me so getting it fixed was essential.  I'd contemplated veneers for years, but other things, more important things, always took precendence over a pretty smile I'd always wanted.  Sometimes, in order for things to happen, something has to happen to us.  Within a day, I was lying in the dentist's chair and made the decision I'd contemplated for years in a matter of minutes.  I'm happy to say, my smile is back, literally and figuratively.

Just like a chipped tooth, our intentions and everything we long to be are waiting for us to take action. Will you wait for years, stuck doing the things you don't enjoy when you could have spent that time watching your kids grow older, taking a vacation you've always dreamed of taking or earning a living by following your dreams?  I'm taking action now.  I'm not waiting to chip another tooth.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My aspirations...

Nothing really is more motivating that having a really successful day doing something you absolutely love and then having a really horrible day the next, doing something you don't enjoy at all. Today I am so inspired and so motivated to follow my dreams.  Running is my passion, staying fit is essential.  It's really all a part of the whole package of becoming what we are all meant to be and deserve to be - our best self.  I am so very blessed to have a wonderful family, supportive friends and a drive that I know will take me places. 

I ordered the Insanity DVDs and can't wait to start a new challenge.  Where will it take me?  Who can I inspire?  Will I be humbled and rejuvinated?  It's so exciting to think what can happen.  Work hard and results are effortless!
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