Posts Tagged ‘workout sessions’

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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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It’s official, I’m a loser. But hold on! Not THAT kind of a loser! I’m super cool! But I have begun noticing a certain trend going on in my life lately. I’m Losing Things. My mind? Maybe, but other things too! Here is a quick inventory of things I’ve lost:

My Boobs. This is a sad and unfair bi-product of losing weight, being in my 30’s, and breastfeeding 3 kids. I once had nice, perky, happy boobs. They joyfully greeted me every morning throughout my late highschool and college years, well into my early twenties, right where they belonged: high on my chest and pointed towards the sun like eager little trained puppies. Not too big, not too small. Just right. Then I got pregnant at 25 and it’s been a downhill slide down the slippery slope of Sag and Shrivel ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I sure enjoyed them while they were at porn-star status during my pregnancies, but I have to say it is a sick and cruel little joke God likes to play on pregnant women, giving us the boobs we’ve always wanted and at the same time, ramping up the readout on the Bitch-o-meter during one of the most unsexy times of our lives. And then, of course, the Milk Comes In, and your chest becomes some kind of freakish side-show, stretched beyond the parameters of what you ever thought was possible. And finally, after filling and emptying and feeding on demand for however long you decide you can handle it, they start to shrink. And shrink. And shrink. Until what you’re left with is most closely comparable to two tube socks with a small handful of rice in the bottom. Now throw in a little weight loss and what you’re dealing with can only be described as sad and unfortunate. I still have a sports bra that I wore when I was 15 years old. When I was 15, it was nicely filled out. Got a little snug in college when I put on the Freshman 15, but still fit. Honest to God, I still wear it today when I workout! Unfortunately, in addition to being almost totally threadbare and discolored, its also BAGGY, which is something a sports bra should never be. And I no longer wear it for the same reasons. I used to have to wear a sports bra to keep my boobs from bouncing around and getting in the way. Now I have to wear it to keep them from getting caught in the track of the treadmill when I run. Sad reality. I now spend my free time browsing breast augmentation sites on the internet.

Cravings In an effort to maximize my potential for positive results while following this Insanity workout program, I have put an effort into eating better. I’m not following any type of low carb this or cabbage soup that, just making a conscious effort to eat small, balanced meals often throughout the day. I eat leaner, cleaner, fresher. The result is not only have I noticed a difference in my energy level and my waistline, I’ve almost totally lost all of the cravings for sugar, salt and junk that used to strike often. I eat whatever I feel like eating for the most part, but I have noticed after making a few changes over the course of a few weeks, that what I feel like eating has definitely changed. I crave green crispy vegetables. I can’t get enough! I stand in front of the produce section at the grocery store and fantasize about how delicious those adorable little Brussel sprouts are going to taste for supper tonight. I used to binge on junk food, especially on the weekends. If I was left alone in the house with no kids or other adults to judge me, I would rifle through the kitchen like a greedy little toddler looking for the junkiest, most forbidden treats I could get my grubby little hands on! Now that I have removed the ban on any food and allowed myself to have whatever I want, suddenly, the desire to “cheat” on a diet is gone, because there is no “diet”. If I want it, I eat it. 9 times out of 10, when I really think about it, I don’t really want junk that bad anymore. It’s weird! But I’m totally enjoying it. And, enjoying unlimited access to peanut butter as well! Life is Good!

Excuses I have mentioned recently that I have actually started looking forward to my daily workouts, something that is a relatively new experience for me. Although I have never regretted a workout after it’s done and always feel glad that I made the effort in the end, I typically used to view exercise as a necessary evil and something to be tolerated rather than enjoyed. This attitude made it very easy to talk myself out of exercise on many occasions, and to come up with all kinds of excuses as to why I could or should skip my workouts. They ranged from fairly valid, (I’m exhausted, and they say a mother should sleep when the baby sleeps, right?) to completely irrational (If I squeeze in a workout right now, I won’t have time to shower, blow-dry, and do my makeup before I go outside to CUT THE GRASS.) Now that I have established a consistent routine, I find that there are no more excuses that hold any weight. I look forward to the “Me” time, and especially to the feeling of satisfaction that comes after I’ve just given 100%. My body feels good, my mind feels good, and it would take a lot to talk me out of that kind of reward now. Suddenly I can’t think of any good reasons to cheat myself out of feeling better. I’ve rounded up all of my excuses and traded them in for a nice tall glass of Shut The Hell Up, thank you very much. And I have to say, I don’t miss them!

Inhibitions Now as I write this I am laughing because those of you who know me best, know I never really had many inhibitions to begin with. But as many of you might be able to imagine, a few extra pounds can make even the most confident person feel a little more inhibited in their day to day life. For example, the simple act of exercise itself used to make me self-conscious. I have almost always worked out in the privacy of my own house because God Forbid anyone would see the red-faced heavy breathing sweat monster that I become when I exercise. (It always boggles my mind how anyone works out on their lunch break and then goes back to work without showering and totally getting redone again, because I become a greasy puddle whenever I physically exert myself.) Even though I used to live in total isolation on a farm, I would still close the blinds while I exercised for fear that someone driving by might catch a glimpse of me working my glutes in a deep squat. And you can forget working out while my man is in the house…totally out of the question. How embarrassing! But I am happy to say, that attitude is becoming a distant memory. I’m not sure if I am becoming more confident, or if I just don’t give a shit anymore, but the thought of someone “catching me” in a workout is much less atrocious. I know I look like a drowned weasel after I finish a run. Deal with it. The next step is to stop holding in my farts when I’m jogging! hahaha

Self Doubt. Now I realize that self-doubt is an inherent human condition, and we are all stuck with it to some extent. However, I have been noticing that successfully making positive changes in my life has quieted the annoying voice in my head that tends to second guess every decision I every make. Suddenly, I am much less confused about my personal opinions, my direction, my goals, my convictions. I feel as though my ability to take the wheel in my life has strengthened. I believe that I can do the things I set out to do. It is not just about sticking to a workout routine or an eating plan. It is about making a decision to change something, and setting a plan to be successful in changing it. Taking control. Reclaiming power over my own life! I highly recommend it. I walk around for the majority of the day with the old SNAP! remix “I’ve Got The Power” pulsing on a continuous loop in the background of my brain. My new Anthem! I’m so cool.

The moral of the story, kids, is that being a loser isn’t so bad! Gaining is sometimes overrated, watching an episode of Hoarders proves that. Losing is where it’s at! In an effort to spread a little Monday Morning Motivation, I would like to pose the question to my readers: What can you possibly do today to be a Bigger Loser?

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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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Are you like me? Do you find yourself comparing your own “wrapper” to the wrapper of all the other candy bars on the rack? It starts out innocently. Hmm, I sure like these red stripes on my wrapper, but OH…look at that wrapper over there….PURPLE stripes! And is it just me, or are they…yes they are definitely thinner stripes. Oh well at least I have caramel. AND PEANUTS! Don’t forget the nuts. I am definitely the nuttiest bar on the shelf. But that little number over there has less carbs. I’d kill for carbs like that. Damn my carbs!!! ugghhh.
Well let me tell you what is to blame for this type of behavior.
Kourtney Kardashian.
When you’re standing in line at the grocery store with a cart full of diapers, formula, baby food, diet pepsi, peanut butter and a prescription for Prozac this is the last thing you want to see:

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Oh, you lost 44 lb in 6 months? And your photo is not retouched? (Eyes rolling). How lucky you are to not have gotten stretch marks that glisten in the sun and look like white zebra stripes when you get a fabulous golden tan like that, Kourtney. You must take your newborn to the beach everyday! In between naps and workout sessions of course. And check out those fabulous jugs! I bet breastfeeding came very naturally to you, I can tell by the way your nipples aren’t bleeding through your bathing suit. How glorious and beautiful motherhood is. It really is glamorous, isn’t it? And is it just me, or did your “vajizzle dizzle” even get smaller??????

She’s not alone, really. Maybe she’s actually as big a victim in this as the rest of us. Let me enter into evidence, your Honor, Exhibit A:

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What the HELL? Seriously, as if women don’t have it bad enough, now we gotta try and squeeze into our skinny jeans before we can even take a normal poop without white knuckling through it!

I did not feel sexy while pregnant. I know there are those of you out there who swear that’s when you “feel the most like a woman” and “love your new curves” and all that bullshit and I’m happy for you freaks of nature, but for the most part, I felt pretty gross. I swear the only bonus was the overnight boobjob (and of course, the precious little human being growing inside my body!). I literally felt like I could FEEL my ass growing. The worst part of it all, though, was the fear of what would happen after I could no longer hide behind my babybump. And for all you ladies out there who have carried babies, you know that THIS is the reality you’re left with:

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Now I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy, but I suspect this is not all Kourtney Kardashian’s fault. Even parenting and pregnancy magazines are pushing all kinds of articles about “tips for bouncing back” and publishing glossy layouts of thin, fit “moms” doing “workouts” using “their own” (yeah, right) babies as weight resistance. See, it really is that easy!
You wanna know what really happens when you try and use your own baby as weight resistance in a relaxing, peaceful yet calorie burning workout? He freaks out if you try and put him in the Baby Bjorn, barfs on your forehead when you attempt a Lateral Raise, and once again, shits his pants before you can actually break a sweat. If you ask me, those magazines should print less of that garbage and more articles like, “How to Save your Sanity in One Easy Step”, and “Tips for Not Strangling Your Snoring Spouse When He Doesn’t Hear The Baby (AGAIN) at 3 am”.

I remember shortly after baby #3 was born, my 7 year old daughter asked me why we were taking so many darn walks lately. In an exhausted and, in hindsight, a rather condescending tone I explained that mommy needed to excercise so I could fit into my pants again. “But you’re wearing pants right now,” she stated. “Yes, but these are my stretchy pants. I have to wear these stretchy ones because that’s all that fits me right now.” She thought about it for a second and then replied, “Well then why don’t you just buy more stretchy pants?”

Out of the mouths of babes, hey? Seems logical. In fact, it IS logical. My 7 year old had just shone a blinding spotlight on the idiocy that is sweeping the nation. Unfortunately, we have all forgotten how to think like a child, without the filter of negativity and self criticism that is eroding our appearance obsessed culture. I can only hope that someday, I will be a positive role model for my daughter in self acceptance. In the meantime, I guess I just have to struggle along with all you other moms out there between keeping a healthy body image, and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But first, I think I better go back to aisle 4 and grab a pack of condoms. And a chocolate bar. Sigh.