Posts Tagged ‘before and after pics’

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It’s OK Val, we all fall into a rut sometimes. Even though you were once a hot, chiseled, latex-wearing tight little package of twisted steel and sex appeal, try not to let this current sad state of affairs get you down. You’ve gotten a little chubby! That’s OK! Just put down the sandwich and get right back on that hamster wheel. Am I right?

Well unfortunately, Val and I both know it ain’t always that easy. I remember what it was like to feel like a hot and sexy superhero too. It was awesome!!! Kickin some ass and takin’ names. 45 minute Insanity workout everyday, showered, dressed and ready to take on the world by 9 am? I think SO! I worked hard, I felt great, I looked good! I laughed in the face of Danger!!! I pinned a plethora of healthy meal ideas and fitness motivation pictures to my Pinterest Board. I was unstoppable!

So what went wrong, you ask?

Queue Swimsuit Season please.

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Now to be clear, I was feeling pretty darn good right around March/April. I’m always in the best shape of the year at the most pointless and inopportune time of the year. Exactly when everyone is wearing parkas and sweaters and hiding on their couches under a Snuggie, that’s when I look best in my bathing suit. Its like a law of nature. Why? Because January to April happens to be my “slow” season for cakes, and I have the time to make working out and eating healthier into a part-time job. Which, let’s be honest, it really needs to be in order to look even remotely close to one of those ‘motivational’ fitness models. The trouble with those girls, however, is that they start out looking MOTIVATIONAL but after a month or two of working out and trying to eat “clean”, the only thing all those motivational fitness pics on Pinterest motivate you to do is give your computer the finger, type “quick and easy desserts” into the search bar and forget you ever saw them.

So ANYWAY, as I was saying, I was rockin’ my bikini in April. Well I live in SASKATCHEWAN and we get approximately 2 DAYS of hot beach weather per year and they generally don’t arrive until late July. That’s a tough row to hoe, my friend. That’s basically a 3 month all-you-can-eat BOOOFAY of hotdogs, macaroni salad, ice cream and beer to barge through before arriving at DESTINATION:SMOKE SHOW in July. And if you’re willpower-challenged like me, it’s pretty much a lost cause. You see, friends, I fell into a rut.

My Rut started where most ruts do, in the kitchen, but not for the reason you think. I found myself at the end of my 2 month Insanity program at approximately the same time my busy season started gearing up. This was the perfect storm, a combination of excuses ranging from “I’m too busy” to “I’m too tired” to my personal favorite, “I can afford to take a little break and reset my metabolism.” Before you know it, my running shoes have collected a layer of dust, I’m covered in frosting, and I’m shoveling cupcakes down the hatch with reckless abandon in the interest of “quality control”.

So much for my swimsuit dreams. I take my cake breaks on the couch, drinking beer and eating sandwiches, trying not to make eye contact with the poster of Jillian Michaels taped to my treadmill. I begin wearing my yoga pants a lot. I start to try and rationalize the situation, attempting to spread a little silver lining around this unfortunate cloud of despair. Maybe all this cake will go straight to my boobs!
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Or not. My tank tops are tighter, but in all the wrong areas. I begin to lose hope. Every day that passes is another day closer to “Someday, when I feel like working out again,” and that day never comes. Welcome to my Rut. Its deep and dark and smells like fried chicken.

Yesterday, I threw caution to the wind. I caught a glimpse of my ass in the window of the ice-cream shop (where they know me by name) and went straight home to lace up the runners. Today, I groaned and creaked to life as my super stiff body tried to roll out of bed. And so, I’m back on the hamster wheel. Come on, Val! There’s room for two!

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Hi, Remember Me?

It’s been awhile. Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been soooo busy working out and focusing on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle that by the end of the day, I’m just exhausted and haven’t found the time to blog.

hahahah ya right. You wanna know what I’ve really been doing for the last 2 weeks? Eating chocolate bars. True story.

Not to mention, totally avoiding exercise at all costs. Siiiiggghhhh. It was a good run while it lasted.

OK, let me redeem myself a little here, I’m not giving up!!!! But I do have to come clean and admit to myself and the general public that I have gotten somewhat complacent and dare I say lazy in the last couple of weeks. I could feel it slowly coming on, like you know when you’re starting to get the flu, and you feel that little yucky twinge in your gut? And you stop, raise one eyebrow, and think, “huh. that was strange.” And you carry on with your day. And then a couple of hours later you hear a gurgle down below and you have a seat and wonder if maybe you should go to the bathroom, just to be safe? Until later that night, when you’re doubled over the toilet while your 6 year old holds your hair back and you’re wearing the old black sweatpants “Just In Case” an accident happens and you think, “Yep. Definitely feelin’ pretty sick!” Well that’s what it’s like when your exercise regimen is beginning to lose steam. Maybe you are forced to skip a workout one day because of logistical impossibility. The next day, suddenly, it becomes a little easier to talk yourself into skipping again. Like, “Golly Gee I sure had a lot of extra time yesterday when I didn’t do my workout, I bet if I just let one more day go I could really get a lot done off my To-Do-List and then I will get right back at it tomorrow!” MMMMM-HHMMMMM. Then you get up the next morning feeling kind of guilty, until you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Hey, I haven’t worked out for 2 days, and I still look pretty damn good!” Then not only does it seem somewhat pointless to keep busting your ass in those crazy workouts, but the trip through the kitchen also starts to take a bit of a turn. Bread starts looking really tasty again. Just one piece of toast for breakfast won’t hurt. Geez, people eat this stuff all the time! Yogurt is getting boring! A little break won’t hurt anyone! Well, that’s where it starts. And then eventually you end up like me, eating chocolate bars every day and baking Sticky Buns at 10 pm on a Monday night. And like the pathetic mess doubled over the toilet with the flu, you eventually find yourself wondering how things went to hell so quickly.

Today was supposed to be the day that I took my “After Insanity” photos. It would have been the first day after the entire 9 week program, and the plan all along was to track my progress and report my measurements. And I have to say, I did do really well! I lost 4 jeans sizes, and definitely toned up. I have an ass I am proud of!!! I still am not really weighing myself because I don’t own a working scale, but last time I got on the Wii I has down a couple pounds. So whatever, I did well! I accomplished what I set out to… I feel good in a bathing suit! HOWEVER…..I am not posting my measurements/photos for 2 reasons: 1. I looked better 2 weeks ago before I fell off the wagon and 2. I really don’t think anybody gives a shit how many inches my waist is or how my bum looks in a bikini.
Am I right? That’s what I thought. The reason you all read my blog, I am guessing, is because it’s nice to know that somebody out there struggles with the same annoying bullshit that you do, and that you’re not alone. So that is what I’m here to report to you. The results of my exercise program and quest for a better body……here goes.

Exercise is hard goddamm work. I said it. If you want to lose weight, you gotta REALLY want it because ladies, it is ALWAYS going to be easier to sit on the couch and watch Dr. Phil. Nobody ever got a beach body or fit into their skinny jeans by taking leisurely strolls around the block and doing “5 minute abs” once a week. It takes sweat. It takes persistence. It takes a dash of vanity and a shitload of motivation; because let’s be honest here, nobody ever launches a major weight loss program “just to be healthier”. I think everyone in some way wants to look better, to some degree. And it takes momentum. You are not going to want to work out and eat clean and drink 8 glasses of water every day and all that bullshit right out of the gate. It takes time, getting used to a new routine. The results of my experience in this area, were that it does get easier. It becomes a welcome habit. Eventually you start looking forward to it, not because of the pain and agony you may feel while you are exerting yourself but because of the incredible feeling of exhaustion and elation and pride when you finish. That is the hook right there. The payoff is the power you feel when you’ve defeated your pessimism. And, of course, results, which brings me to my next point.

If hope and pride are what bring you to your workouts every day, Results are what keep you going. Results are the reason, whether your desired result is measured with a scale, a tape measure, a heart rate monitor, or a blood pressure cuff, when you finally start to achieve what you’ve been working towards, it’s kinda like crack. Very addicting! It somehow makes it much easier to keep sweating your ass off in spandex, when the spandex is getting noticeably looser. When you begin to realize that you are capable of accomplishing a goal, whether it be big or small, you definitely feel a bit more empowered. Suddenly, it’s like you’re 5 years old again and your dad is telling you that you can be anything you want to be. The world feels full of possibility. You begin to believe that you could actually achieve something, just because you decided to. Why? Cause you’re awesome! But don’t get too comfortable with those results. If you’re like me, they can turn on you.

At some point, positive results begin to work against you. You used to look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I gotta get back on the treadmill.” And now that you’re lookin good, you sometimes look in the mirror and think, “Damn I look good!” Which can go either way. It will either make you want to keep going, or if you get to the tipping point like I did 2 weeks ago, it makes you think maybe you don’t have to work so hard and you can relax a little! This is a slippery slope, my friends. What your mirror won’t tell you, is that the reason you look so damn good is because you work hard, but your eyes are focused on your tight bum and your flatter tummy and you’re all gaga in love with how your skinny jeans are fitting you and you decide to celebrate with a nice little Hershey’s with Almonds. And before you know it your treadmill collects a layer of dust and you’re bribing your kids to get in the car and take a late night run to 7-11 because mommy needs some chocolate. Nevermind that all they want is a slurpee and some gum…that lady at the checkout thinks the 4 family sized chocolate bars are actually for The Family and I’m not going to tell her otherwise. You see, life is like that. Up and down. Sometimes you’re winning the race, sometimes you trip on your laces and eat dust. But you just gotta get back up. Right?

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I went out on the weekend and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. It was great for my ego (ha ha). People were telling me all night how great I looked, asking me what I was doing differently, etc. I was proud of my results and hard work. But I also felt like a real douchebag! I had a big chocolate bar for supper that night, and washed it down with a Diet Pepsi. And, some fries a little later. And a couple few whiskey cokes at the bar. So as I was divulging the details of my intense workout program, there was a little chocolate bar with devil horns on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “Hee Hee Heee!!!! Don’t forget about MEEEE!!!” I felt like a fraud, actually. Like at any moment, all those chocolate bars and pastrami and cheese sandwiches would gang up on me and my ass would expand like a busted can of biscuits, Nutty Professor style.

I woke up Sunday morning, still not worried about what I was going to eat that day or if I would get a workout in. I blame the ladies at the bar and all their effin compliments. It was Sunday, after all, the glorious day of Rest otherwise known as My Diet Starts Again Tomorrow. So I did what any hungover girl would do, I grabbed an extra large milkshake on the way outta town and slept the rest of the afternoon. Later that night, my man asked me if my head had shrunken back down to size. I thought he was referring to my hangover headache but what he really meant was had I gotten over all the ego stroking that went on the night before. I had to giggle.

When I woke up Monday morning, I vowed to get this train back on track. And I did! I had a great run, and felt exhilarated, powerful and alive when I was done. I ate a really healthy lunch, and did not buy a chocolate bar for the first day in a week and a half.

And then, at 7 p.m., I started a batch of homemade sticky buns. Ironically, a recipe I found on Pinterest while browsing for Fitness Motivation. Such is life. 🙂

So the moral of the story here kids is that in many ways, perfection is an illusion. Even those fitness models who have rock hard abs and an ass to die for probably had one to many cupcakes once or twice in their lives. Jillian Michaels was a fat teenager! Everybody falls. Everybody quits. Everybody fails. Humans, we ain’t a perfect breed. But for the most part we’re stubborn, or stupid, or both, and we just keep trying. It’s pathological. It’s a curse. It’s a blessing. It’s the reason I have jeans in my closet in every size from 28 to 33. So if you’re feeling a little discouraged, no matter what your challenge may be right now, cut yourself some slack and start again.

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So lately, I have been staring in the mirror a lot, and wondering, “What the Hell?”. I mean, I feel stronger! I feel leaner! I feel sexier! And then I open the blinds and the natural sunlight hits me, that evil beam of truth, and it’s like, “WHOOOAAAA, wait…what…the…hell….is THAT?!” I looked pretty good in the dim dark corner, but now, as I bask in God’s spotlight 12 inches away from my mirror, I can see all of my flaws. Stretch marks. Cellulite. Saggy boobs. Bruises. Wrinkles. Moles. Grey Hair. Hairy Legs!!! Moustache!!!! hee hee. Zits. Jiggle. Oh, and the newest member of the team, half-in, half-out belly button, thanks to baby #3. I’m a freakshow in white Hanes Her Way’s. I begin to question why exactly I am busting my ass every day working out and eating right and all that other health bullshit. If this is as good as it gets, I’m screwed.

But why? What is wrong with this package? Well, nothing. Nothing is wrong with my package. I am beginning to realize that. Maybe its age, maybe it’s exhaustion, but for one reason or another, I am really starting to not give two shits about how Women’s Magazines tell me I should look. Why?

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Photoshop. That’s Why. Take this picture of Faith Hill (and shove it!!! haha just kidding). No really. Faith Hill is a stunning woman. Beautiful. And yet, strangely enough, Redbook Magazine feels that she is not quite beautiful enough to sell this “WOMEN’S” magazine to other women!!! So, like every other magazine, they perform a few minor tweaks. Soften the chin. Soften the eyes. Rub out the wrinkles around said eyes. Make her skinnier! Skim the back fat. Look, even her arm is half the size! Airbrush out all that shiny skin….we want soft, smooth baby skin on our 40 something Country singers. Oh, and might as well make her neck a little longer, just for shits and giggles. DONE! perfection.

Bet you don’t feel as bad about yourself now that you’ve seen that, right? Faith Hill has wrinkles, too! And Back Fat! She’s NORMAL. Well, not so fast. Still kind of leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, doesn’t it? After all, commoners like you and I don’t have the luxury of walking around with an entourage of lighting, hair and makeup professionals with the benefits of Photoshop. The world gets to see our ugly. Especially in sweatpants at 7-11 on a 10 pm run for chips & dip. Faith Hill has ‘people’ for that kind of stuff. And she’s over 40! Of course she has wrinkles! The young buck spring chicken celebrities obviously don’t need that much digital “detox”, right? Those ladies are the ones who really have one over on us.

Well….maybe not.
Feast your eyes on Britney Spears in all her posterior glory.

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Now don’t misunderstand me, here. I am definitely not trying to be a “mean girl” and make fun of Britney Spears’ bum!!! She has a spectacular bum!!! But more importantly, girls, she has a NORMAL bum. It is not a flawless, honey-golden perfectly plump ass like the music videos would lead you to believe. She has a bit of cellulite, too! She has been smoothed, slimmed and lifted to perfection. Whose idea of perfection? Your guess is as good as mine. But I have a rotten, sneaky suspicion that we can’t pin all the blame on the MEDIA all the time. The beauty and entertainment industry is, after all, a consumer-driven business. And who are the majority of those consumers? Women.

You may have noticed, I happen to be kind of an “ass” girl. I appreciate a nice round bum, and I have become slightly obsessed with achieving one. But when I look in the mirror, I can’t help but feel defeated and hopeless. That is, of course, until I saw this pic:

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See those slight “saddlebags”, that mild cellulite, and almost-touching inner thighs? I HAVE THAT!!! Do you know what this means? I, too, can look like the cover of MAXIM magazine. And I don’t need to work out for one more day! All I need is Photoshop! Thank GAWD….somebody get me a spoon, I’m gonna celebrate… all the way down to the bottom of the peanut butter jar!

It’s not all about the body shape either, girls. You may not have realized this, because it is a HUGE secret, but PSSSTTT……celebrities get zits too! Check it out….

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Have you ever been driving along on a nice sunny day, minding your own business, thinking about rainbows and butterflies, when you glance into the rear-view mirror and *SMACK*! A huge and angry looking red zit reaches down and bitch slaps you into reality? You could swear it wasn’t there when you left the comfortable soft lighting of your cave, but out here in the harsh light of day, your skin seems like it suddenly contracted some kind of foreign parasite and you find yourself wishing it was socially acceptable to wear a balaclava in the middle of July. Well, you’re not alone!!! Contrary to popular belief, zits don’t disappear when you turn 18, either. They’re in it for the long haul, just like Herpes! Zits are like your annoying third cousins…they’re irritating, they’re ugly, and you may not see them often but when you do, you remember why you hate them. Oh, and they like to pop in at the most inconvenient times. With friends. Just like zits. Only you can’t Photoshop your cousins out of your life…..See? Zits are better!

What I’m getting at here is that we as women have this idea in our heads about what we “should” look like….We could blame it on Hollywood, we could blame it on Magazines, we could blame it on men! But the truth is, we are doing this to ourselves. Women’s magazines Photoshop their ads because women will easily believe the lie that we are not quite good enough, but if we buy their stuff, or follow their advice, or wear their clothes, maybe we could be. And to be a nerd and quote Carrie from Sex and the City…”Why are we ‘Shoulding’ all over ourselves?”. Not to mention, we judge each other. Don’t pretend we don’t. Maybe it’s jealousy, or insecurity, or maybe we’re just plain mean sometimes, but women are guilty of the highest level of betrayal…turning on our own kind. The result of that is Photoshop! We are afraid, for fear of judgement, to present our natural selves to the world, and it’s a sad, sad shame.

I flipped on the tube last night, and while perusing the guide I found: “Dana: The 8 year old anorexic“. I have a soon to be 8 year old daughter. My pulse quickens with anxiety at the thought of her ever feeling like her perfect little body somehow doesn’t measure up, and yet I know that at some point, she will. How can I prevent this from happening? I wish I knew. I can only hope that I can instill in her enough self-confidence to know that she is not perfect, as nobody is, but she is Just Right. I would want her to become an adult who knows that her flaws do not define her, and that worrying about all the ways she isn’t perfect is just a huge waste of time that would be better spent enjoying life. Any mother would want that for her daughter.

I am somebody’s daughter. Maybe it’s time I took my own advice? I think so.

Strong Women

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I’m coming off of a looong weekend of doing absolutely nothing and eating absolutely everything. This was a nice welcomed break from what could be described as a “strict” but enjoyed workout regimen. I welcomed the lapse, thinking that it was the perfect time to shake things up a little….I had just finished the first month of my 2 month Insanity workout program, I had a fun weekend planned, and let’s face it I was getting a little bit bored with what I was (or Wasn’t) eating. I really have learned to love working out and eating clean, but I was starting to hear that little nagging nagger in my brain, suggesting that maybe I should just take a little break? What could it hurt? I’ve been doing so well! I can afford a little down-time!

This is exactly where the wheels typically fall off of the Motivation Train. Despite my best intentions, a day or two break ends up turning into the better part of a week, and pretty soon I end up back where I started, using my treadmill as a drying rack for wet bath towels and digging my fat jeans out of the bottom of the closet. (You know damn well no sane woman ever gets rid of her fat jeans…just in case! That shit is expensive!!) I live in fear of that sinking feeling of disappointment you get the first time you realize it’s time for the fat jeans again. It doesn’t happen overnight, so there’s always a little bit of denial involved, but the end result is devastation every time. Another failed attempt. I guess this wasn’t the time “I really meant it” after all. Most of us have been there, and it sucks. New Years Resolutions, you can go to hell!

So, I am very aware this time, and vigilant. I have learned my lesson. I do not want to give up. I am seeing results! I am on a roll! Alicia Keys is the soundtrack in my head every morning as I open my eyes… “THIS…GIRL IS ON FIIIIYAAAAARRRRRR!” Yep, Feelin’ good. And still, because I am human, my motivation is waning. I feel like I am white knuckling, hanging off the side of the “workout” cliff with one finger, clinging to my last little chunk of motivation for dear life. It’s hot. Fear of failure is beating on my head like a giant laser beam, and the salty sweat of defeat drips down my face. My kids start circling overhead like vultures, just waiting to get a taste of mommy when she finally gives up and tumbles to her demise in the deep, dark chasm of hotdogs and grilled cheese. There is a mirage in the distance.

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Yes. Now, I have been eating Peanut Butter all along. I had finally decided I had enough with the ridiculous attempts at trying to give it up, and decided to allow myself as much as I wanted, as long as I was working out and watching everything else in my diet. Presto Change-o! Suddenly I didn’t have an obsession! I still loved Peanut Butter, I just didn’t “love it” 10 times a day. My evil plan worked! What a genius! Reverse Psychology is alive and well! But wait, what is this happening now? I miss a couple of workouts, and suddenly, the Peanut Butter is calling my name? Bastard. I can’t pass through the kitchen without being pulled toward the pantry by Peanut Butter’s evil peanuty force.
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Damn you, Peanut Butter.

I better get on the treadmill and work some of it off. I like to run! This shouldn’t be hard! Ugh. Was it always this annoying to move all the furniture and roll out the treadmill? What a pain in the ass! Who does this? Oh well, ok there. It’s out. I’m ready. Now where the hell are my shoes. There is a knot tied in the laces! WTF! The shit I gotta deal with, I tell ya. I am starting to smell the funk of a bad attitude, and I think it’s coming from me. oK So I finally get on and turn it up…got the baby in the swing, the music is loud, just like I like it. This feels good! I knew it would be ok if I could just make myself get on this…OWW! What in GoodGagnam’sGonads was that?! My foot feels like it has been crushed! When did this happen?

oH, YEAH. Probably on the weekend, when I was wearing those really hot 9 inch stiletto heels out dancing all night. And my feet were so swollen, I couldn’t get the shoes on the next day. Remember that? Uh-huh, it’s all coming back to me…..I’ve heard that beauty is painful but this is ridiculous! OK I’m just gonna have to push past it. Pain is gain! It’s not that bad! I….can…..

Screw it. this hurts. game over.

I shut off the machine and limped to safety. Sitting on the floor, I slowly peeled off my running shoes and wondered if this was the end. Did I hit the wall? Would this be like every other time I finally gave up?

I didn’t get back on the treadmill. I also didn’t let it beat me. I had vowed at the beginning of my “mission” that in order for something to change, I would have to change something. And that is what I did. I changed my attitude. I didn’t let my mind drift to thoughts of peanut butter, fat pants and defeat. I was kind to myself, and forgiving. I put away all my gear for the day, knowing I would try again tomorrow. I made myself a healthy lunch. I stretched. I didn’t give up.

Sometimes, motivation just ain’t there. Sometimes it is, but the body isn’t willing. Sometimes, you just want to sit on your ass and eat cheesecake. Life is unpredictable, and success shouldn’t be measured by checkmarks on your calendar. Success is a state of mind. If it didn’t come today, there’s hope for tomorrow. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Find your inner Alicia Keys.

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“THIS….GIRL IS ON FIIIIYYYYAAAAAAAAR!”

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Why, hello Shaun T. We meet again. As much as I hold you in deep disdain and find your penchant for screaming “PUUUSH!!!” alarming, I must admit I’ve begun to look forward to our daily rendezvous. It seems you’ve had an interesting effect on me, one I never anticipated. At first, I feared you. (So much, I actually peed myself, haha.) Then, I hated you. And now, my heart is all aflutter with anticipation while I’m lacing up my crosstrainers. You’ve got the body of Adonis and the voice of Will Smith, and you make me do things, crazy things, I never thought I’d do! How do you work that voodoo magic that you do?

I’ve been following the Insanity program for over a week now. I mentioned previously that I had been working out via runs on the treadmill for about a month prior, in “training” for Insanity. Now that’s Insanity, right? But I honestly think I would not be pulling off this workout now if I hadn’t! Let me give you a little visual on what the floor looks like when I finish a 40 minute workout with Shaun T.:

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That’s SWEAT on the floor. Not Pee! I swear! 🙂 But seriously, this is an intense workout! I’ve never been one to shy away from physical activity but just watching the promo’s for this program made me want to grab a jar of peanut butter and lay on the couch watching Biggest Loser. But I didn’t. I pushed myself, and I’m so glad I did. Here’s why….

I’ve been like millions of other women out in the world who have a vision or a goal in their heads about what kind of life they want to live or what kind of body they want to have or whatever, and just wait for some miracle to happen to make it come true. And then I cry in my peanut butter when, “Surprise!” nothing changes. Why did nothing change? Because I changed nothing. I realized this. A lightning bolt struck me one day and I finally got it, that if I want different results, I have to try a different approach. I’ve gone on workout kicks before too, but after about 2 or 3 weeks, they fizzled out as I got more and more comfortable with believing that what I had achieved so far was “good enough”. This time around, something in me keeps telling me to Push Harder. Every day I try and give it a little bit more. Go a little faster. Go a little longer. Try a little Harder. The result is that I feel strong. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I feel like I am in control! Which, as any fellow Control Freak might agree, is a pretty fabulously powerful feeling.

Crazy things are happening. I wake up in the morning after being up 3 times with the baby, but I am not tired. I am not grouchy. I can’t wait to put my feet on the floor and breathe today’s air. I don’t snap at the kids. Butterflies trail behind me as I make breakfast, even BEFORE my morning coffee! Oh, you spilled your milk and cereal all over the table and floor? No problem! What’s that? You forgot to tell me you need 2 dozen cupcakes for the bake sale this morning? Let me just whip some up for ya there SweetCheeks. I did a week of Insanity, I can handle anything you little turds are gonna throw at me! I’m Bad Ass!! Holy Patience, Batman! Suddenly, I don’t feel like I’m going to lose it on the 99 year old driving 2mph down mainstreet in front of me. But even that is not the most miraculous thing happening.

I feel good about myself. I look in the mirror and I like what I see, because I am finally realizing that my body is a vehicle and a tool, not an identity. My body is capable of anything I ask it to do, if not today then maybe tomorrow, which is pretty amazing. I am starting to understand the cliché that “beauty begins on the inside”. Power, Strength, Endurance, are all qualities that must begin as inner virtues in order to manifest physically. And they do. My muscles, my cardio capacity, my posture are all improving slowly but steadily. I am beginning to walk differently, with purpose. And ya, maybe a little swagger! Can you blame me, my ass looks good in my jeans again!

There is so much value in feeling pride in your achievements. This doesn’t just apply to working out! I really want to extend the challenge to any of you out there who may be feeling defeated, or just feeling like you need a change, to try something different. Change your inner dialogue. Push yourself to break out of the box that you have put yourself in, labeled, and packed away on the shelf. Talk yourself out of your excuses!

One of the ways I decided to break out of the old routine was to start this blog. Not only was writing something I had always enjoyed and missed doing, but was also a great way to become more accountable for my goals. I mean, if I SAY I’m gonna do something and everyone out there reading this knows I said it, I’m much less likely to go back on it! Now that I’ve gone and said my ass looks good in my jeans again, you can bet yours that I’m gonna be workin’ out again tomorrow!

Peace Out!
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How I think I look while eating peanut butter.

How I think I look while eating peanut butter.

How I actually look while eating peanut butter.

How I actually look while eating peanut butter.

Ok so aside from raising my kids and keeping the house clean and organized and getting the laundry done and the meals cooked and building custom cakes, I also like to watch me a little Dr. Phil in the afternoon. I really think he’s a smart guy! Sometimes a little annoying and self-serving (ok Phil, how many times do you have to mention that your NEW BOOK which you wrote with your SON, JAY and is published by your SON, JAY’S publishing company is only on sale at your SON, JAY’s website? Every show? Really? ok.) But he does have some legitimate life philosophies. Here are some of my favorites:

1.”You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”
2.”It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else.”
3.”Awareness without action is worthless.”
4. “Failure is no accident.”
5. “Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right.”
And don’t forget this little gem:
6. “If someone out there doesn’t agree with me, then somewhere a village is missing their idiot.”

Oh Phil, you crack me up!

The one I’m going to tackle today happens to pertain to my distorted body image and new journey towards physical fitness enlightenment. Dr. Phil has said many times and in many contexts, “Perception is Reality”. I find this to be soooo true and applies to so many areas of life! Think about it; your child is deathly afraid of the 3 eyed monster in the closet as soon as you turn out the light. You know it’s not there, I know it’s not there, but that child is convinced that it is and it scares him shitless. No matter what you say to rationalize it,Little Johnny’s perception wins out because that is what is real to him. He knows its only a matter of time before that bastard eats him alive in his sleep. This is what my body is to me most of the time…that 3 eyed bastard monster!!!!

Case in point: I was sitting on the floor playing with my 7 month old son the other day. Happily tossing blocks around, singing songs, livin’ the dream. Suddenly, as if in a horror movie, a creature slinks across the corner of my peripheral vision. I do a double take. Surely I didn’t just see what I really think I saw. The creepy violin horror movie soundtrack builds, the volume slowly increasing as I gradually turn my head and look down to face this monstrosity, and there it is….REEK!REEK!REEK!REEK! (Insert psycho shower scene music here.) LOVE HANDLE FROM HELL!!!

OK I know I ate a little too much over Christmas break. A perogy here, a cabbage roll there. What’s an entire box of Turtles when shared between friends? Maybe I had one or two extra spoonfuls…errr…jars of peanut butter. Maybe I enjoyed the odd additional adult beverage. I knew my jeans were tight. But nothing had prepared me for the reality staring me in the face at this very moment.
“Oh Hello there,” my stretch mark chided, “Peek-a-BOO!!!!!” I poked at it like it was a weird science experiment. It jiggled. I poked it again and I swear it giggled at me! Effin love handle!!!! And you KNOW these buggers mate for life. I didn’t even have to look for the other one, I could hear it snickering around the corner. “Look at her face!” it laughed, “You were right! She really thought we weren’t here!!! HAAAAAAAAAAAAhahahaha”.

I needed a second opinion. Up I went, in front of my old friend The Mirror. I thought it would be as shocked as I was. Just as I was feeling confident that it was all a terrible figment of my imagination, Mirror chimes, “Hey boys! Nice to see you again! Glad you’re back!”.

Ok so this is where Dr. Phil comes in. My perception is that I always need to improve. No matter how many times my mother tells me I look slim, or my boyfriend says I’m beautiful, or my sister says I’m crazy for thinking I’m fat, I look in the mirror and desire to be in better shape. Period. I don’t think I’m huge or gross or out of control, but like most women I see areas I’d like to improve. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, right Phil? And since Awareness without Action is worthless, I take action.

I got out the swimsuit, folks. Yep. I did it. I put that bad boy on and set my trusty little Cannon camera on 10 second timer and I took pictures. Face on, click. Side profile, click. Rear view, click. Delete. Click. Delete. That can’t be right. Is the camera sitting at a weird angle? Do I have the Fisheye Photo feature on? Click. Oh Goodness me, that’s really what my ass looks like from behind. In a bathing suit. Well Ok then. Would you like a side of “HOLY SHIT!” with that Reality, Ma’am?

As Dr. Phil would say, “This could be a changing day in your life!!” And so, my “Before” pictures were born and I started working out again. That day.

And If I get 50 comments on this blog, I’ll post them!!!!