Thursday, December 31, 2009

What are the things that motivate you?!?!

Hey there!

So I am quite the visual person. I need to SEE things to believe them. I need to LOOK at something to understand it. And I need a VISION of what I am working towards in order to get there. With that said today I spent most of my morning cleaning up my room and preparing for the New Year. One thing in particular I did was to start a new collage of motivational things (see picture to the right). I don’t know about you but when it comes down to either working out or sitting on the couch for a few more hours, seeing a picture of Jillian Michaels staring at you helps make it easier to make the right decision!  So this is what I remind me of all the reasons I am doing this!

I also decided that this year in order to track my weight loss progress I needed something tangible to look at. So I bought one of those desk calendars that you can write all over and hung it on my wall right next to my desk (see picture to left). That way every night I can write down what I did for a workout and each week I can track my weight. For me it has always helped to use the calendar method for workouts cause too many blank days in a row remind me to get back on track! Speaking of tangible items of motivation, I also pulled out a pair of size 10 jeans that were my FAVORITE jeans to wear last Christmas. These are my goal pants…I cannot wait to fit back into them)!

And finally the last thing I’ve done to prepare for the New Year is buy a new calorie tracking journal (see picture to right). Weight loss is the simple equation of calories in and calories out, so if I am not tracking my calories there is no way of knowing what I am taking in or how much I need to burn….thus the calorie journal!

Now that just leaves me sending my heart rate monitor in to get repaired (I meant to do that before now but Christmas drained me of any excess mullah I had) and creating my I want list for 2010 (don’t worry I’ll post it as soon as I am done).

It seems like I am off to a great start….so HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE…. I’ll write you again in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let the countdown begin!

Hey there!

Can you all believe it…we are only a few days away from 2010! I remember being a little girl in elementary school and writing a theme paper on what life would be like in 2010….let’s just say my imagination got the best of me back then (think robots and life on mars) but I can honestly say there is so much more to life these days than I could have ever imagined back then. And like with the ending of everyYear and the beginning of a New one, I have been spending lots of time reflecting and dreaming lately…and one thing I have decided is that 2010 will be the year I will run on all four cylinders. My goal is simply to focus on my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health so that I can be a healthy, happier person (hee hee…so maybe that’s not so simple).

It’s seems like throughout my life I have been really good at focusing at each one of these things…just a different times. When I was in school I truly believed that I was mentally preparing myself for whatever would come my way in this world….I got straight A’s and tried to absorb every last morsel of what I was being taught just in case it became valuable to me at some point in life (which in most cases it has). When I spent my first year in Oakland I met with my first lay counselor who tried to help me get my anger/rage issues under control (which thankfully I did). Also during my Oakland years my relationship with God because the most personal thing in the world to me…because honestly 3,000 miles away from everything I had ever known all I had was God (and He used those years to teach me that still today He is my everything). And then of course there is a few years ago when I started my weight loss journey and lost 130lbs…and really pushed my body in the most physical ways I could...that I learned that my body is a temple that needs to be taken care of as well.

This year I want to focus on not just prospering in one of these ways….I want it all (hee hee…when I was little I use to have this comic t-shirt that said that very same thing…I wish I had it now to post it on my wall)! Ultimately though, I think all of these things are wrapped up in one main goal for the year…and that is… “To be as committed to MYSELF as I am to others”!

If any of you actually know me…you know that I will do ANYTHING for the people in my life that I care about. I love deeply, care deeply, and give deeply….call it my over emotional girlie-ness (hee hee). Unfortunately because I am so willing to give myself to others….I am often left with almost nothing for myself. This is no way to live. If I want to continue to be there for the other people in my life I MUST take care of myself! This is what 2010 will be about for me!

And I Can’t wait to share the journey with all of you!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Find balance but start somewhere!

I am a zero to sixty kind of girl…I’m either all in or I’m all out… it’s either black or it’s white, it’s right or it’s wrong… there is no gray area with me! And so when it comes to my workouts I work hard…or I don’t work out at all. However this past summer I learned a very valuable lesson about balance.

You see this summer I trained to run a marathon. In fact I started training for that race around this time last year by preparing myself to run a half marathon (the same half that I will be training to run again this year). Well after running the half I gave myself a few weeks off from the sport before jumping in and preparing again to be ready to run a full 26.2 miles. And when it came time to get back into training mode, I went all out….pushing myself beyond my limits and my body to extremes. Sadly what happened was that within a month or so I had completely burned myself out by running too much, too fast, too quickly. Well that in turn lead me to take a few more weeks off from training…and then I made my second bad decision and after not running anything for weeks on end jumped right back into my training from where I left off…only to end up with a stress fracture that lead to even more time away from running and ultimately forcing me to make the decision that a marathon just wasn’t in the cards for me this year. To Come to the place where I had to make that discussion completely disappointed me. I felt like a failure…like a fraud…like a quitter, and even though I did run another half on the day of the full marathon, watching the runners cross that finish line at mile 26.2 made me only regret my poor decision making skills.

You see running, much like weight loss, is all about endurance… and when you train for an event you are suppose to follow a training schedule that builds you up to the point where you are ready to take on a massive distant in the most prepared way possible. When you veer from that plan and push your body in ways it’s just not prepared to be pushed you set yourself up for failure. In the same way exercise is something that builds upon itself. You might have to start off doing “girly” pushups but the more you work at it the closer you get to doing full out military pushups and then maybe even someday one armed pushups. But you see, just like running…you have to be willing to work your way up to it…to take the baby steps… to crawl before you walk.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in pushing your limits and live in the belief that if you want to achieve results you’ve never had you have to be willing to do what you’ve never done. However it’s also important to be smart. If you’ve never worked out a day in your life… start out walking…. If you’ve never picked up a weight, start with something light. Push yourself…but use your head. We all have to start somewhere.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Value of knowing your worth...

So last night I borrowed the book “fat Chance” by Julie Hadden from work (gotta love the book borrowing plan that they have for employees at Barnes and Noble) and I gotta say that I couldn’t have decided to read it at a more perfect time. As anyone who has been reading my blog over the past few months can tell, I have been having a really hard time getting back on track with my weight loss journey. And I guess in part my struggle has been to somehow figure out all over again why I’m worth it. That whole concept use to come so easily to me. I would work out for hours on end and push my body to extremes in order to lose weight because I knew without shadow of a doubt that I was worth it and that I would/could do anything I put my mind/body to do! Then I got within 20lbs of my goal…20 measly pounds…and somehow I forgot…I forgot that I am worth it…that I deserve it… that I could do it. And 20 measly pounds from my goal I gave up and gave in. Before I knew it I had put on more weight than I wanted to admit and I no longer believed in myself or my worth. I’ve tried a million ways over this past year to figure it out all over again… to remind myself why it’s all worth it… and to believe that I could stick with it…. And yet each time after only a week or two I would fall back into this state of “what’s the point”. Now I understand the danger in putting this out there so early into my knew found hope (cause as you might have notice my track record hasn’t been all the great as of late), but tonight I feel like I can do anything again… Like I can do this…like I am worth it. And I think in part it came from reading Julie’s book and letting it remind me of a Jillian Michaels quote that I use to keep at the forefront of my mind during every workout and at every meal.

You see I am an avid Biggest Loser watcher. I’ve seen almost every season, including the seasons in Australia, and at times I use the experiences of those people in those seasons to push myself to do what I know needs to be done. In particular there are certain scenes that always stick out to me and I play back in my mind. One of those scenes is from the third season of the biggest loser Australia. In this particular scene Jillian has the entire black team running on the treadmills and one by one she asks them to tell her something about themselves. When she comes to this girl named Carrie-anne(?) she can’t think of anything good to say about herself and Jillian says to her “If you can’t say anything good about yourself how will anyone else ever”?!?!

In my mind I always extend the quote to say things like “If you don’t think your beautiful how will anyone else ever? If you don’t believe in yourself how will anyone else ever? If you don’t think you are worth it how will anyone else ever?, etc”. Tonight…after reading a few more chapters in Julie’s book I’ve extended the quote again. This time I think “If you don’t believe in yourself WHY should anyone else? If you don’t think you’re worth it WHY should anyone else? If you don’t want to take the time to invest in yourself WHY should anyone else waste their time doing so”!

You see if we don’t take the time to make ourselves a priority, we are telling the rest of the world that we don’t matter (in fact we are showing it by the fact that we don’t take care of ourselves). Now I believe in God and I believe in creation…therefore I also have a firm belief that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thus, if I am worth it to God to put in all the effort of creating me…and keeping me alive thus far…. Then I must have value. I am worth it!

When my weight loss journey first began, a lot of motivation came from wanting to prove to a certain someone in my life that I wasn’t a “Nobody”…funny thing is that looking back now I realize that even in my lowest low I always knew I was “somebody” because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have even tried to put up a fight to prove that I was! Tonight I am thankful that the fire has been sparked up again….the reminder has been placed in my heart. I am valuable, I am worth it, I know I am…and the best way to prove it is to live it out each moment of my life. It’s making decisions about food that say I know I’m powerful. It’s working out in ways that say I’m strong. It’s holding my head up high and knowing no matter where the road leads I will finish this journey because I am worth it!

Thanks Julie for reminding me of that tonight!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm every woman...

There seems to be a chronic condition…an ailment if you will... among women, where all we ever do is put everyone and everything else first instead of investing in ourselves. Call it nature’s nurturing gene or a mothering instinct… but whatever it is almost all women do it. This past month…alright let’s just be full out honest here and say this past year… I’ve been that woman.

Two years ago I took the time to really focus on myself… to get healthy…put myself first…and go after what I wanted. During that time I was the girl who wasn’t ashamed to say exactly what I wanted on my plate when I was out at a restaurant even if it meant my friends were a bit embarrassed. I was the girl who didn’t feel guilty when I made plans around my workouts instead of trying to fit my workouts around all the plans. And I was a person who was full of energy and happy for the first time in my entire life.

Then about this time last year, when my brother-in-law really began to get sick…and my focus shifted and life became about what worked out best for my sister and her kids. Then when my brother in law passed away and I moved into my sister’s house permentantly, my life became even more about pleasing her and the girls instead of about me.  In fact I ended up taking a year off of school and getting a full time job and now my days are filled with hours upon hours of doing for everyone else…hoping that at the end of the day I will have enough energy to do something for me.

This holiday season in particulary has been extra hard on me with my job needing me to work extra hours and my sister wanting me around more so she can go off and do what she needs, and the demands of gift giving. In fact it took a good friend of mine to pull me aside yesterday and basically tell me I do too much for everyone else and not nearly enough for me and therefore she was kidnapping me and forcing me to go out with friends to just to allow me some "me' time (and actually finding myself truly enjoying the opportunity and reveling in every moment of it) that I began to realize that something is a little off. And actually since we are talking in all honestly here….it wasn’t until tonight when I was running on the treadmill feeling completely guilty for working out and spending time on myself while my sister was upstairs just wanting some company…that I truly began to realize that things have gotten out of control.

I’ve somehow become the girl who focuses on what everyone else needs, wants, feels…without ever really checking in on those things within myself until I get to my breaking point. And then when that happens and I start to feel like my life sucks, and nobody cares about me….depression sets in and I feel lifeless and overwhelmed….so I find myself thinking back to the days when I was most happy and I remember that it was the year I put myself first that I found true joy.

So even has I sit here on the brink of an even busier week than the last two, I look forward with confidence knowing full well that to live the life I imagine I have to put myself first…and that’s okay....  I can do that.  I deserve to!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This is life...

Hey there,

So last week was a really hard week for me. However this week I decided it was time to just go for it…to once again stop making excuses and let life get in the way of all I want for myself. So yesterday morning I got up early and worked out for 30 minutes before my day even began. Then I came home and worked out for 30 more minutes before I went to bed. What is more is that I focused on eating healthy and even though I was starving when I left work and had to go grocery shopping before I could go home and eat, I still stayed on track.... and it felt great!

That was day one. Today was a bit different. I was supposed to get up early again to work out….but I didn’t… I let myself sleep in. I still stayed on track with my food even though I was tempted all day long. And then tonight I worked out for an hour straight… and I realized that this is life! Some days I am going to sleep in, some days I’m going to be tempted, some days I am going to make bad decisions….but that’s life….but that doesn’t mean that I should ever let life make me quit! I can always find time to get a workout in (whether in the morning or at night), I can always make the better choice when it comes to food, and I can always choose me first no matter what life throws at me! And I will!

Which brings me to another thought… Last Wednesday night they had one of those “where are they now” specials about past contestants from the biggest loser. At the end they showed bob talking to a former contestant who had gained back almost all of his weight. As I listened to bob talk to him I couldn’t help but feel like I related to him in so many ways. No I haven’t gained back 100’s of pounds….but when you gain any amount of significant weight after losing so much you can’t help but feel like a failure. Well one thing I specifically remember bob telling this contestant is “You know how to put the weight on… and you know how to take it off… now you have to figure out how to just live”. That’s the state I find myself at right now. Yes I still have weight to lose but now I’m doing it being a full time parent and working full time…and basically while creating a life. That excites me!