Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why should I?

Why should I join some online challenge accountabilty group? How does that help me in the real world? I don't even know those people!

All good questions. I discovered last  December,  I NEED that accountabilty. My family loves me no matter what.  My husband is an adoring man. I don't do my workout because I let myself get distracted,  he loves and adores  me anyway. Saying it in front of total strangers and putting it on the Internet where it will live forever.  Now,  I felt obligated to follow through.

Even in private,  secret groups where only a limited number of people can see it,  if one person saw it.  That was enough,  you can delete the post,  but you can't make people unsee things. Deleting it doesn't make it go away.

I put myself out there. It makes me uncomfortable. Success always comes from discomfort and I know this. I lost 90  lbs because I put myself out there. The struggles and the victories! I put it out there that i reached my goal and then regained some of that weight back. It was only 15 lbs, but it still sent me in a tailspin!

I have been able to stop that madness because i belonged to accountability groups! It allowed me to get out of my own head and see the issue from an outside perspective. Make my own smart choices about what is best for me going forward!

Getting the feedback helped,  but you know what else I needed? To cheer others on! To remind someone that they matter!  Saying, "Stick to it because you matter!".  Caring about other people means something to me. Giving the moral support can be just as uplifting as getting it.

There are actual studies that show that kindness with no expectation of anything in return makes you happy AND healthy! Physically and mentally healthy! Who knew?

What does that have to do with YOU? I don't know. You can decide that for yourself,  but if you're still reading,  you know it is something. I run these challenge and accountability groups and I love it. I will admit that part of what made me want to be a beachbody coach is those groups! I was already running a group,  participating in a few others. My personal experience tells me what a huge role these groups play in so many success stories. The platform doesn't matter and really,  neither does the weight loss or fitness plan.  People are socially driven! We thrive when we surround ourselves with positive people who aren't going to judge us harshly! We feel connected, like we have discovered our tribe! At least that is always how I felt. Emotionally safe!

How about you?  Do you belong to groups like this? If you have,  how did you feel about it?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Big Girl Panties

I am fond of the phrase "Put on your big girl panties and SPARKLE". I just love the phrase,  love the idea behind it.  That sometimes we have to do things,  and it might not be the way we wanted,  but we can bring our sparkle to it anyway.

I found myself in that place today.  I am shopping for health insurance,  and of course,  my awesome Endocrinologist only takes these plans that I can't afford.

Rather than be upset.  I find myself putting on my big girl panties,  picking the one that is best for me in my price range, get to work in that coaching so I can afford the one I want. It is an attitude.  Knowing I can change the variables in that equation,  namely what I can and can't afford in the future.

I have had this overall mindset change.  I tend to take a longer view to everything.  Very few things in my life are set in stone.  Even those few things are set in stone because I want them to be.  This is what being in control of my life feels like.

I am wearing my big girl panties,  and i am sparkling! I am genuinely pleased to have resolved the insurance issue. No,  I don't have the original specialist I wanted,  but I do still have my primary care Dr who will keep me in good health until I get a new specialist and that is MORE than I started with!  #AttitudeOfGratitude

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Almost there

I am almost through a tough week.

We have bern stressed about my father-in-law. He got sick while on the Viking River cruise. It looked real bad at first and Mom got off the cruise to take him to the hospital in Germany. He was in the ICU at first, pnuemonnia they said. He has advanced COPD, so that is serious. He has gotten excellent care! They are expecting to release him tomorrow! Woohoo! This means he will make his originally scheduled flight home Monday!

I can't quite relax until they are home though. My brother-in-law made it over there Friday, that turns the stress levels down, but that isn't rnough. We need to see them with our own eyes before we can finally breath that final sigh of relief. I have already posted here about how grateful I am about his role in this whole thing.

I had a Girl Scout service unit team  conference meeting today.  An all day meeting of the service units and council staff for networking,  covering the program year,  volunteer services and management, sharing of information between the service units and also council.  It was a good event, learned about and got some great ideas and take aways!

Today was also Helen's birthday. I stopped on my way home to pick up stuff for that. We had pizza for dinner,  per her request, then she had sugar free chocolate cake (yay! Publix!) and opened her presents.  She had a good birthday,  even though I missed most of it. She got to hog Daddy and Shara all to herself for the day.  Shara took her to the park for an hour,  they had fun.

I have lots to do this week. Need to make sure Mom walks into a pristine clean house,  make sure my own laundry is done, so she can do hers. I need to connect with a few people this week in person.  Follow up with a few others online and start putting together my training program outline for the next service unit meeting.  I am way behind on nursery stuff to.  Need to repair that one riser and replace a few valves.  We have made some decisions and now the talking phase is over. It is time to DO!

I am slowly but surely getting my time management on track with all the new things i have going on. I am no wonder woman,  but sometimes I come close.  On that note,  my tired babbling is done for the night!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Oh! I Could Never Do That

I hear this phrase way too often.  I take my strength training seriously.  I have to.  I take a medication where a possible side effect is broken bones from osteoporosis. More and more studies keep coming out proving the need for women to lift weight to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Why wouldn't I? I am getting the benefit of the medication,  fighting this side effect and it makes me look good?  I am all in.

I get this a lot when people ask me about my weight loss.  "Oh!  I Could never do that" followed by myths.  The most common one being "i just want to tone up,  not look like man".  What the heck?  We gals are not built like that and unless you are in that 1% of women who can get that way, it is never going to happen.  You can be stronger than a man,  but it is not likely your muscles will get bigger. That is a biological fact. You will already know is you are in the 1%.

Anyway,  that answer is always met with,  oh I am just not like you.  In these conversations,  it is implied that i am some kind of workout Ninja warrior badass. I am totally not.  I didn't go to the gym on crutches because of that.  I went to get out of the house and be around people.  People I am not related to! There was a whole lot of loneliness driving my decision to hit the while still on crutches. i get up every morning not entirely sure I am even going to do my workout.  I am not some exercise super hero who's super power is dedication! 

What is really at work here? Fear and unrealistic perceptions! Fear of failure and being misperceived. We are all familiar with the "what i really do" memes.  It is a not clear understanding of what an effective strength trading program should look like!  The perception of what everyone thinks it is can be hella intimidating!

Any good program, all you are doing is lifting weight that is heavy enough to make it challenging while maintaining perfect form.  5 lbs can be quite effective if that is where you are at!  The trick is to not get hung up on what others are doing.  I started Body Beast using NO weights on some exercises,  and for the lunges,  no weights AND holding a chair for balance!  I focused on the form and just doing the exercise correctly. I let my body do the work,  and progress has been made.  I have added light weights to those shoulder workouts.  I added weights to the squats, and I can keep my balance doing lunges!  Any one can do it!  You just have to want to.  Getting over not wanting to is a post for another day!

My point today is don't let pre-conceptions intimidate you! Check it out first! Success is only that first step away! That applies to anything,  not just fitness,  but LIFE!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

Today, I am grateful for my brother-in-law. Dad is sick in the hospital,  he has done what every eldest child does,  steps in to take charge and handle the situation.  I am glad that he is empowered to do that.   His "bossy" manner can be annoying at times but i need to be grateful for that same bossiness because life is full of moments like this. I am also glad that while our relationship is not sunshine and rainbows,  I also don't think it is as contentious as it once was. We clash because we are eldest children and bossy!  It is what we have in common! At the end of the day,  I appreciate him as he truly is!  Underneath all the priggish bravado, he is a nice guy the way my husband is,  just a quality human being who tries to do the right thing in any given situation.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


I had missed a few days of my thyroid meds.  I got everything sorted out and restarted today. Still feel like crap though.
Powered through my workout any way. Had to lower some of the weights.  That was fine. I did all the reps and finished it.

I feel less crappy for having done it. Not feeling great like I usually do but given how bad I felt before, I will happily take less crappy.  Soon as Tom gets paid again,  will be ordering myself some Shakeology. Seriously need at least one meal replacement a day and might add well pick the one designed to give me all the micro - nutrients I need to get the best results! I am in the second half of this workout program and this will carry me through the home stretch!

Two more weeks of bulk and then I start my cut phase. Alot less food, way fewer carbs and relief from the work of stuffing so many carbs in! I also think the shakeology will help there too!

This week will be the last week of Shara summer school and Helens birthday. So a big week all around! Fun times ahead!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I miss it

I miss running and hard core cardio. That maxed out heart pumping all out go get it cardio workout.

One of my secondary deciding factors in deciding to do Body Beast as my workout program was my knee not being strong enough to take impact like running. I knew I would have to modify to avoid real impact, but I was okay with that since this gave me the best chance to pump up some lost muscle mass in that leg. I considered it a fair trade.

I didn't think I would miss that kind of cardio but I do. The modifiers are not enough. I can't work the legs hard so I am just not getting that.  I thought about going ahead and don't cardio as extra since I don't want to do it to burn extra calories but just for the love of doing it

After consulting with my coaches,  it is a no go.  To get the results I want,  I would have to eat even more food, and I am barely eating enough now.  Add on that it can increase the risk of injury,  then it is a hell to the no. I am so over the injury gig,  not risking it!

Instead,  I will do 21 day fix cardio on cardio day and beast abs like I am supposed to and wait until this program is over. I am positive it will take more than one round of Beast to get rid of the belly fat I gained from my under eating but in the end,  it will take me where I want to be with my fitness.

I keep having these moments where I freak out about my weight. In the end,  it keeps coming back to trusting the process.  I can see bigger muscles,  other people can see it and have pointed it out unsolicited. I just remind myself,  I am gaining weight because I am supposed to be gaining weight. Some of the weight I lost after my injury was from a muscle mass loss and not fat loss. I have to remind myself that the belly fat is my consequence for not eating enough! Because when you are lifting weights and then putting in hours doing labor you have to eat alot of food!

This is my struggle right now! Trusting the process,  because I already know this is how you change your body composition to be more muscular. I have done it before when I was younger.  Now I am older and that process is even more refined than it was 20 years ago! I am getting better results in less time!

At least I am getting that lifter high even if I an not getting the runner high! I will take it and the running can wait.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Sometimes a little rest is all you need to chase the blahs away.

Yesterday,  I was just so blah.  I never found my way to the gym,  never did abs or any beasty workouts.  I focused on resting my knee,  icing it frequently,  even a round on the tens unit while icing it.  Not that I say on my butt doing nothing.  I focused on some paper work that I NEEDED to get done, getting caught up on chores, taking care of ME.

Today is the complete opposite of yesterday! I decided to go ahead and double up on my workouts.  Hit the gym for some good cardio. Utilized my favorite  affirmation, "I am a badass!" to push myself through it, since any cardio workout that is really going to get your heart pumping close to your personal max had to include leg work.

Using positive affirmations to push myself through workouts seem to infect my whole day. Not just get me through the workout, I end up approaching the rest of the day with this gangbusters positive attitude!  A true take-away from my participation in the healthy living challenge! Any time I begin to doubt myself, get self critical,  or just all around being negative,  I just repeat the appropriate mantra!

The lesson of the day is even though I am a badass,  even badasses need a day off! I may try this again next week too. I am going to talk to *MY* coaches to talk that over. Leg day works that weak knee hard, I am the most sore two days later. My knee is handling it like it is back in rehab,  which is a good thing, because that means it is also getting stronger! However it needs the extra rest day to get some TLC from me and reduce the chance of re-injury!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Attitude of gratitude

Today I am grateful for my friend Rashawn! We were once romantically  involved but it was not the right time for either of us. I still cherish that friendship!  I appreciate his sense of humor, geeky and sarcastic and he can always make me laugh. I appreciate his sense of social justice,  that he shares this with the world! He had opened my eyes to injustices I had not noticed with my sometimes place of privelege. Although he knows it not,  he is always been a place of safe emotional harbor for all his friends.  A loving and caring dude to his core! I wish this friendship to lay to the end of our days!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pushing through

What good can belonging to an online group do? A whole lot. I belong to several I already comitted to doing bulk arms today. As tempting as it is to switch my rest day, it is too much work to back to every one and own that it didn't happen. Sure, no one would know, but *I* would know I skipped it. I am sucking down my pre-workout because I have talked myself into doing my workout. It is to much trouble to say I didn't,  I will never get the results I want if I don't get my workout in!  Gotta take care of muh guns!

In other news, I was bad and had pizza for dinner last night because I was just too tired to cook dinner. So, mental note, cook early! Include the cooking during my scheduled daily housework slot. So what if I have to reheat dinner! I have to cut myself a break because I am not a machine, I am a person who gets tired and it is OK to get tired that late in the day! Just accommodate that! Work with it! 

I need to take a few minutes today to grab some things for our meeting tonight. I want us to do some fun stuff! Service unit meeting this Thursday too. That at least is pretty simple and straightforward.

Hubby took that tire that keeps going flat on me off and put the donut on it. No highway driving for me but I am super okay with that! Think we are going to have to get a new tire anyway! At least I can not worry about coming out of anyplace to a flat tire!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Getting it together

Starting as a Beachbody coach can be kind of overwhelming at first! Luckily,  I don't have to re-invent the wheel! There is so much great info out there on best practices to get going! One of them from my up line coaches was to set up an office or set workspace. Where you can just sit down and work when it is time to work.

I should have done this long ago! Between trying to help with some of the nursery administration, my responsibilities as a Girl Scout leader, this is already long overdue! Now I have taken on more with Girl Scouts and coaching, can't put that off and I need to jump all over that specific "best practice"!

I did just that as soon as I dropped Shara off at summer school this morning. My original thought didn't pan out but I found what I needed to set up a quiet workspace in the trailer. I am gonna do my workout and then run off to the dollar store and goodwill to pick up a few odds and ends to complete my little setup.

My plan to get back to scheduling every minute of my day is in full swing today and moving along fairly well! It may seem extreme,  but even if it doesn't go exactly as planned,  it still makes it easier for me to track everything.

Whelp, I  have finished my pre-workout and it is now time to BEAST UP!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude: July 5th, 2015

Today, I'm thankful for my daughters! All five of them! They inspire me to keep moving forward in my quest to always be better! For Ray, for never giving up - no matter how off the rails things have gotten, she's never given up! For Nadja, for always trying to stay true to herself, even though she is still discovering who that is, she embraces her own self discovery! For Jaedah, for her quiet strength, reminding me that strength is not always sound and fury, but sometimes quiet acceptance and just going forward with it. For Lashara, for being the best of both her parents! For Helen and her never ending energy and zest for EVERYTHING! They are more than just those five sentences, but I could be here all night if I didn't draw the line somewhere.   

July 5, 2015

Today begins week six of Body Beast! I can't believe I have stuck with this for an entire six weeks! I honestly don't view myself as someone who is this consistent! Yet, looking back, overall I have been very consistent with my workouts for the past three years now. Sure I've had an off day or even an off week - but I always come back to it.

Some part of my mind is in a complete panic. I keep having to soothe that Inner Negative Nelly. That voice that says ZOMG!! WE'RE ALMOST 200 LBS AGAIN!! The voice of reason reminds that part of me that duh, I gained 20 lbs BEFORE I started Body Beast. I've only gained 8 lbs since I started - most of which is muscle weight. How do I know that?   Because I can SEE it! I can see it in my shoulders, I can see the atrophied muscle in my right knee growing so it matches my left again! While those biceps are no cannons - they are some guns to be reckoned with! I can feel it in my back because I have to find heavier weights for bulk back day! Friday was bulk back and I felt like I muffed the whole workout because I needed heavier weights.  There is another part of me that always takes over that inner conversation and it can get downright gleeful over my body! Sure I still got that fat belly roll but look what else is going on! We'll get to that fat belly roll in due time! 

Doing that 10 day Challenge should hopefully make it easier for me going forward  as my focus was working on my tendency to not eat as much as I should. My food choices were rarely the problem, it has mostly been my choice to not choose food at all that is the problem. Soon as my husband collects on his next invoice, I'm buying me some Shakeology - I need at last one meal replacement a day and I just don't trust anything out of GNC and the rest of the diet aisle is just as untrustworthy. I still need to work on making time for meal prep - and hopefully today I will get to some of that! I bought all this fresh fruit Friday, and now I need to make it ready to go! Same goes for the veggies! I've got a few other ideas in my head about what I'd like to do as far as my promise to myself to start using my cool kitchen gadgets, and I have many. 

All in all, I'm feeling like I'm on track and feeling very hopeful at the beginning of week six!! I see myself hitting my macros more often than not this week!! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th, 2015

Wow! I didn't realize how neglected this blog has been. I kind of can't feel sad about that though. Literally the day after my last post, I was making arrangements to head to Boston to pick up my second youngest to move her down here with me. Took a few weeks to get her settled in, had her and my nephew working in the nursery helping me out for a few months.  My weight loss was, well, not a loss! 

I was struggling mightily with under-eating again. Unhappy with my workouts. Once I finally realized that the problem was under-eating and I kind of floundered around a bit. How much is too much? Nutrisystem was a great way for me to lose all that weight, but it was not working for me after I lost it and was able to be more active. It just couldn't keep up! It's not designed for that. 

Ultimately, I ended up ordering Body Beast. It's a Beachbody exercise program, includes a meal plan for people like me who do physical work for a living! The actual workouts are a more intense version of what I was doing, so it satisfied those glaring needs I had! Of course, I didn't figure this out until after I'd gained 20 lbs back! Oh well! 

It's definitely been a struggle! I took part in a 10 day challenge and that's wrapping up now and I've walked away with some insights to exactly why it is that I tend to under-eat. Somewhere I have picked up the notion that I am fat and lazy. That's not entirely true. Being overweight does not mean I'm not entitled to eat! Just realizing where and when I picked up that mindset has been so freeing! I've already discovered that I tend to run away from my feelings by filling my life with too many activities. Trying to be the perfect housekeeper, the perfect GS leader, the perfect this and the perfect that. Of course, that always bites me in the ass because I get totally overwhelmed. 

You'd think that after realizing that last bit that I would not make the decision to take on more stuff but the decision to be a Beachbody Coach was a simple one because I am already doing all those things just because I can. I tell my story and share my struggle and imperfections with other people just as much for myself as it is for everyone else! Running challenge groups and the like is not as time consuming as it seems on the surface! I will admit that the initial stuff is a lot of info -but there are some amazing tools available to me now that make this more efficient and helps me better manage my time! I definitely need all the help I can get with time management! 

So here's to taking a bold step in a new direction! Which reminds me, time to go fix my pre/post-workout because today is Beasty Bulk Shoulders! Seeing the results already and I haven't even gotten to the cut phase!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude July 3, 2015

Today I am grateful for my friend Candace! For always being the first to remind me of those things that should be obvious to me but are not! For turning me onto Body Beast at a time when I was floundering and grasping at straws! Totally had my back because it really was exactly what I needed! For including me in some amazing beasty fitness groups which has in turn led me down one path to an inevitable result of the life altering transformation I have embarked on. Because is the kind of gal who served a turkey she killed for thanksgiving,  I admire that and am a little jealous that she is a hunter!  Finally,  for always being genuine and authentic!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude July 1, 2015

I am grateful to be part of the online group, "kicking the booty to the curb". First and foremost because of the gals involved! A great bunch of ladies who are all kick ass in so many different ways! I am glad I can access that support anywhere because it is on Facebook! I remind others and get my own reminders to cut some slack or give ourselves due credit. Having the accountability makes a huge difference. If I am struggling with getting that workout in on a crazy day,  I can post my intentions and know I will follow through just because I dint want to disappoint! Finally it is fun,  it is loving and non judgemental but we all have a sense of humor and our joking makes it more fun!