And She Moves (Up) Mountains

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day here in Central Arkansas. High in the low 70s and low humidity. Going for a hike seemed like the perfect cure for the stuck-in-the-office-all-day Blues. What’s lovely about living in the Natural State is that there is a mountain with a hiking trail just 10 minutes outside of town. The last time I hiked Pinnacle, I was just getting over a respiratory infection, and I had a tough go of it.  It was raining and foggy, and I got off trail and slid some of the way down.  It was kind of scary.  BUT! I wasn’t going to let that stop me from trying again.  So yesterday, after work, I headed out to the mountain to give it another go.  I even asked a boy who is in way better shape than I am to go with me.  You know my fear of holding people back and not being able to keep up, so I was slightly relieved when he couldn’t go.  It still counts as stepping out of my comfort zone though!

I take off up the side of the hill.  I kept having to remind myself that it was okay if I needed to rest, I wasn’t in a race with anyone.  But I was in a race with the sunset.  I was terrified of having to billy goat my way down the side of that damn mountain in the dark.  So I pushed myself hard.  I still had to stop and take breathers, and of course talk to strangers.  But I made it to the top, and it was beautiful.

 

 

I rested for just a short time at the top and soaked up a little nature (aka sucked gnats down my throat as I gasped for breath).  I quickly started my way back down because the sun was sitting a little lower in the sky, and I knew it wouldn’t be long until sunset.

 The way back down is so much more intimidating than the way up.  I am not a graceful or balanced person.  I stumble on the flattest of grounds, so peering down at the rocky trail before me is a wee bit scary.  I ended up crab walking my way down most of they way (like I usually do).

   I’m usually passed by sure-footed people who hop from rock to rock like a gazelle.  I fell once on the way up and once on the way down (hey, maybe I am balanced).  I can guarantee that I’ll fall once on the way down. Usually it is close to the base because I get a little sure of myself and start going faster and wham! I usually step on slippery rock and lose my footing.  However, no real injuries and only a slight limp to the car.  I’m not sore today at all.  Guess all those squats are working.  My heart rate monitor says I burned 1,203 calories.  I believe it.  My heart rate got pretty up there on the way up.  I’m really glad I did it though.  Oh, and for all those who are in suspense on whether I made it back down before sunset – I did! Personal goal achieved.

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Victory Outfits

I started posting victory outfits this month because I vowed to stay off the scale. I wanted to focus more on building muscle than losing weight this month. And the victory outfits help me see that I definitely am making progress even though I am not logging pounds lost.  This past month, I’ve gotten into outfits that I haven’t been able to wear for quite some time (three years for one pair of pants).

I’ll be stepping on the scale later this week for the first time in a month. I’m curious as to what I’ll find. However, despite what number that scale will read, I know I’ve made progress.

The mind is a powerful thing.  Although I relish the victory outfits and know that means my body has changed, some days I feel like I look exactly the same. When you look in the mirror everyday, it can be hard to see the small victories. I was in a bad mood most of the day yesterday and was pretty tired.  I really did not want to go to the gym.  I seriously thought about skipping and just crawling in bed at 6pm.  Yeah, I know.  But I sucked it up and went to the gym anyway.  I was really glad that I did.  It reminded me that I have come really far, whether I see it or not.  With every rep completed and set finished, I was reminded of that progress.  Then, I came home and stumbled across a picture of me from October 2014.  Looking at that picture, I was really glad that I decided to suck it up and go to the gym.  Even though I’m not going to get spectacular results every single day, I have to look at the big picture. 

 So here’s part of the big picture:  The picture I found from October 2014 next to my victory outfit from this morning. 

 

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We don’t stop for music

For any readers who go to Zumba, you know that the bumping music is half the fun.  It really gets you revved up and helps you go that extra mile in class.  Tonight, the stereo system was broken at the gym.  I was pretty upset because I had a bad day, and I was really looking forward to de-stressing in class.  The instructor was not told about the busted sound system beforehand so she had to improvise.  Someone had one of those tiny portable speakers (and I’m talking tiny).  You could barely hear the thing. Some people walked out of class.  However, I’d say forty or so people stayed and danced the entire hour, even with music you could barely hear.  I have to admire their dedication.  It would have been easy just to go home because there was no music, or the instructor could have easily canceled class.  But we all stayed and rocked it.  I’m proud of my workout group.  Plus, I somehow managed to burn 700 calories, even with minimal music! So this post is dedicated to my fellow Zumba goers on Tuesday night.  Y’all are awesome!

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Small stuff

Life is messy and complicated and stressful, but today I’m celebrating the fact that I’m able to fit back into one of my favorite dresses.  You’ve probably heard the saying: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” That’s great advice. I’m saying also celebrate the small stuff.  For me, making progress, no matter how slow, makes all the messy, complicated stress fade to the background. So pause for a minute today and celebrate a mini-accomplishment of your own! Happy Monday guys.

 

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Running Like a Boss

Today I ran for the first time outside since being out of my boot.  Here’s how it went:

 

Was I super excited to get in an outdoor run?  YES

Was it a little hotter than I expected with the sun beating down? YES

Did my foot hurt throughout and is still sore? YES

Did every one of my intervals start uphill? YES

Was I disappointed that no firemen were hanging outside the fire station down the street? YES

Did I forget that it’s harder to run outdoors than on the treadmill? YES

Was my pace slower? YES

Did my pace pick up once Mystikal’s Shake Ya Ass came on? YES

Did I complete my goal of 2 miles? YES (2.6 miles)

Do I feel like a rockstar? YES

 

Happy Thursday y’all!

 

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Truffle Shuffle of Shame

I do not like the smell or taste of truffle oil, but my roommate (God love him) likes it a lot.  Even on a good day, it makes me kind of queasy. I’m home sick from work today because my allergies make me extremely nauseous, among other things. Thanks Pollen!  I finally get the energy to get up and take a shower and get around.  As I’m walking through the kitchen, freshly showered: BAM! SHATTER! as tiny shards of glass hit my leg.  Uh oh! Then the smell hits me.  It was the damn truffle oil that I somehow managed to knock off a high shelf.  Now the ENTIRE house smells like truffle oil, I smell like truffle oil, and the floor is covered in truffle oil and glass.  THIS!  IS! A! NIGHTMARE! I’m pretty sure, this is somehow pollen’s fault too.  I’ll just be out on my front porch, crying in a corner.

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Sometimes you just have to be a superhero

Sometimes you just have to be a super hero, damn it! I play in an adult kickball league and play in the lowest-tier-league, called Laid-back League (LBL). We don’t take ourselves too seriously and enjoy a little bit of the game and a lot of tomfoolery. Yesterday’s theme was superheroes. Yes, we wear costumes sometime. Because I procrastinate, I came up with my costume about two hours before I needed it. I couldn’t find a cape anywhere, so I settled for a 97 cent, pink tablecloth from Wal-Mart. My roommate helped me turn it into something a little more fun with polka-dot duct tape. Anyway, all of this is to explain that I got today’s blog-post idea from a picture I posted to Instagram of my super hero outfit from yesterday. I captioned it, “Sometimes you just need to be a superhero.” How true is that? Sometimes you just have to get over all your insecurities and put it all aside to spend the moment being a badass.

I am not the fittest, healthiest person at my gym by any means. I can’t lift the heaviest, and I am always paranoid that I am doing an exercise wrong. However, I try to put all that at the back of my mind when I’m at the gym. And I have to be honest, even though I’m nowhere near my goals, I feel kind of like a superhero after I lift weights. I have swagger and badass confidence when I’m in the weight room. I check myself out in the mirror (yes, I’m suffering from booty hubris right now because squats), and I have a feeling of pride after I accomplish all the sets and reps that I wrote out in my fitness log. So sometimes, we have to envision the most badass version of ourselves and channel it throughout what ever may be challenging us. Conjure up your inner superhero, and don’t be afraid to work it! I leave most weight-lifting sessions feeling like I can conquer the world.  It’s a pretty amazing feeling.

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No Scale For This Girl

I’m sticking to my self-promise that I won’t step on a scale for the rest of April. I haven’t.  The rest of April, I will focus on non-scale victories. My first celebration is about body confidence at the gym.  I’m not really much of a wall-flower at the gym.  I tend to accidentally make awkward eye contact with random people at the gym all the time.  I also have resting nice face so people come up and talk to me during my workout sometimes.  I also tend to not care how I look when I’m at the gym.  So sorry fellow gym-goers, if I have ever flashed you my crack or belly fat, or you could see through my yoga pants when I bent over.  I do, at least, wipe my crotch sweat off the weight bench after I’m done.

However, I wasn’t always like that.  I was once really shy at the gym and really self-conscious about how I must look to others when I was working out.  I wouldn’t wear tank tops or shorts no matter how hot it was in there.  I would avoid certain exercises because I thought people would think I was being silly trying to do those at my size.  I guess overtime, something transitioned, and I started focusing more on my overall health  than on what others may or may not be thinking at the gym.  I still have my moments though.  Like today, I was headed to do some boxing to warm up for weights.  As I approached the group fitness room where the bags were, there was this really energetic young guy boxing vigorously.  He looked seriously, and I suddenly felt foolish in my pink boxing gloves.  I walked back to my friend who was warming up on the bike.  “Guess I’ll do the bike since someone is in there boxing like Evander Holyfield.” I said.  I started setting up the bike and then thought about how I really had my heart set on boxing.  I turned to my friend, said screw, and strolled into the group fitness room and picked out a bag.  I almost let my old ways win tonight, but I just couldn’t do it.  So I got in my boxing and then did some weight lifting upstairs.  I love working out on Friday nights because the gym is pretty much dead. No fighting for weights (I still don’t know who hoards them) and no waiting in line for the squat rack.  Plus fewer people for me to make awkward eye contact with! So tonight, I am relaxing and celebrating my non-scale victory of not letting the gym intimidate me.  Have a great weekend!

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Frustration Abounds

I know that I should be happy that I’m healing and am out of the boot. Last night, I ran for the first time since being diagnosed with the stress fracture. I made it one mile. I’m proud of that. However, my foot was pretty sore. I know the doctor said there would be soreness for another month, but it’s still frustrating. I’m taking things slow and modified plenty of my movements in Zumba tonight. It’s just so much less fun when I’m doing things halfway. I want to jump and kick and do all the moves as if my foot was back to normal. I’m trying not to pout, I promise. I’m just ready to run and dance 100% free. Part of it is fear that I’m going to re-injure myself. I really hope that fear goes away with time.  Two months ago, I never would have thought I’d be talking about my feet so much! Thanks for hanging in there with me!    I’m hanging in there, but there is still that haunting shadow of the boot. 
 

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Hey! Must Be the Muscle!

This time last year, I had also embarked upon a weight-loss journey.  I know that I shouldn’t, but I keep comparing my progress this year from last year.  It is totally different process.  This time I am actually transitioning to a healthy lifestyle instead of dieting.  Last year, I was taking diet pills. Big difference! Last year between February and April, I lost 25 pounds.  It is no surprised that I gained all that back after I quit taking the diet pills. You’ve read previous posts about my mental process, and how now I am working on the whole process – mind and body.  You’ve read about my newfound love of weight lifting.  You’ve read about me exploring my demons and working hard on self-love.  I’m getting there.  This is brand new territory for me.  I have to say that I am loving the process.  It’s not always easy, but I do think that it is worth it.  Scratch that.  I do think that I’m worth it.

I am human though.  So sometimes I do compare my progress.  I was getting kind of frustrated with myself lately because I am 10 pounds heavier than where I was this time last year.  Yes, I’ve been injured the past two months, but I don’t think that is a valid excuse. I took my measurements last night for the end of the month.  I was blown away by what I discovered.  One of my troublesome spots is my lower tummy area (it’s also been called the Kangaroo pouch, second stomach, or FUPA – I’m not explaining that one because my Mema reads this blog).  I learned last night that I have lost two inches this past month across my hips and lower tummy area.  This is huge news by itself.  I was so pumped that I even struck a celebratory pose in the gym locker room.

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But here’s the even more exciting news: I took a look at my measurements from last year (you know, where I was 10 lbs lighter), and I am two inches smaller NOW across my chest, waist, and hips. Y’all, I can’t even describe how mind-blowing this is!   So note to self: trust the process and keep doing what you are doing.  My new April goal is to stay off the scale and continue to make healthy choices.  I will also keep kicking ass in the weight room.

 

My clothes are fitting better too.  Added bonus.

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