10 down, 10 to go

26 Feb

It used to be that most people who looked at me wouldn’t say necessarily I needed to “lose weight” maybe “5lbs or so.”  Most of those people also stood about 6-10 inches taller than me.  At 5 feet and none to grow on I don’t have as much space to hide weight gain.  Stature is a poor measure of someone’s perceived “acceptable” weight.

A month ago I signed up for a program called Leanness Lifestyle University L180  (Lifestyle 180 at http://www.lluniversity.com) founded by Coach David Greenwalt.  There’s a point we all hit in our lives when we are dissatisfied…scratch that…down right perturbed by our current state of affairs regarding pretty much anything with weight loss being in that mix.  I’d hit that point and realized I just needed help, affirmation, hand holding, and a complete 180 in the choices I was making.

Within a month I have:
-modified my workout habits (from being active zero days to working out 4-6 days a week for at least 30min to an hour).
-uprooted my eating habits by eating 4-6 cups of fresh veggies and 1-2 cups of fresh/frozen fruits, logging every single meal with every single morsel (painstaking but telling) every single day, drinking at least 64 oz. of water per day, taking a daily vitamin and fish oil, eliminating starches and grains (at least for the time being – but I’ve never been big on those anyway).
-identified the emotions behind each decision to possibly go “off plan.”  (notice I didn’t say “diet” because diet is a bad word in LLU-niverse).
-for the first time ever, began to challenge myself in every step of this plan whether it was completing a 500m freestyle to completing 1000m freestyle, to improving my time, to prioritizing activity and planning it in to my schedule.
-weighing myself every morning

and ultimately . . . going from 144.4 lbs (high) to a half way point of 134.4

You can imagine my uttermost joy to have my clothes fit better (read: I’m wearing jeans I’ve not worn in two years), I have (way) more energy, I’m getting better sleep, and I get to engage a whole community of people who are changing their lives one step, bite, emotional habit at a time.

 

But like I said this is just the half way point.  I promise to post before and afters.  I’m sure you’ll see a difference once this is all said and done in June :D.

 

 

I Cashed My Reality Check

29 Jan

Today is the beginning of a “new me.”  Why?  Leanness Lifestyle University 180 (L180) begins today and I am stoked about it.  But lets back up to last Friday (January 25th) for a second before arriving into transformation station.

I went to the pool and not only swam 500 meters since the first time since high school (1996/97), but swam descending sets from 500 to 100 with 1 minute intervals and about 75 meters worth of sprints.  For those of you who are crazy ridiculous athletes, this is not a feat.  This is a warm up for you.  But that morning it was a VICTORY for me and if I wasn’t a mostly introverted person the internal whoops and shouts and ecstatic joy emanating from my soul would have blitzed out of my brain, past my vocal chords, and echoed off the walls of that aquatic center.  For the first time in a LONG time, I (athletically) challenged myself.

Now a 500 has become MY warm up.  Now I’m actually interested in clocking my time and seeing how fast I can do certain sets.  A stopwatch is in my future, I know it. 😉

So fast forward to Monday, January 27th.  I’m standing naked in front of the mirror in my home bathroom with the darkness of dread looming over my countenance like a thunder storm.  There was a  possibility I wasn’t going to be able to take this course a 5 months virtual training, coaching, encouragement, and delving into my psyche all whilst getting my body in to the best shape of my life.

I looked hard.  I stared, I took it all in.  I decided that 140.2 was not an okay weight for me.  Most people who know me know that I can’t wade past 5 feet in the pool, and sometimes I have to have petite sizes hemmed because my legs don’t hold me that far off the ground.  While I enjoy my low center of gravity, muscular legs, and I do admit that I love them from the knee down, I broke down crying as my denial shattered into crystalline shards of broken deceit.  I met my red rimmed, tear-drenched stare in the mirror and uttered a prayer that sounded something like this:

God, I acknowledge that I am fearfully, beautifully, wonderfully made by your hands as written in Psalm 139.  You gave me this body and I am not unhappy with it. In fact I actually like what you gave me.  However, I’ve been a poor steward of your vessel and I would like to rectify that.  I pray that you would help me, guide me, be a light through this process because I am not okay with where I am right now.  You know in my heart that I desire transformation, that this is my last option before all is hopeless.  I’ve kept this grief maintained and fed with excuses, accepting lies that I can do this by myself, and I pray that you would speak to my husband and assuage his hold-ups about me continuing this process.  He is protective by nature, he only wants to see the best in me, and he wants to make sure it’s the right choice.  I have to submit to that knowing that he is here to love and protect, not harm and withhold.  Thank you for your transformation of the heart and mind, help me with my body!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thankfully, my hubby said “yes” and I can proceed to purchase the best gift I could possibly give myself, my hubby, and my future family.  But it’s going to be a process… I know it.

For the record.  I started out at 144.4 a couple of weeks ago.  I am now down to 139.2 (pretty stoked about those results).  Just 5lbs and I am already feeling better.  15-20 more to go!

 

-E

Not Since High School!

24 Jan

Swimming has always been that “go-to” sport in my life.  I first started in high school as a Freshman (think 1996) and completed two swim seasons swimming competitively for my high school.  I was no good.  I couldn’t do a flip-turn to save my life.  I drank (not on purpose) my daily requirement of water from the pool and felt as uncoordinated as you can get.  But. I did it.  I competed.  And even though I wasn’t swimming in the coveted lanes of stardom where the coach actually WATCHED your progress, I still gained a HUGE appreciation for the sport and it’s aerobic benefits.

Fast forward to 2014.  I’m over-weight.  I want to see change in my life.  I cannot go on a run like I did before due to the current state of my back.  So really the only option I see is swimming.  Low impact. Hi cardio and even some resistance training in there.  I’m not looking to bench-press a Ford F-250 or anything.  I just want to get stronger, leaner, and let the waves of chlorinated water provide the perfect dumpster for insecurities and stress.

Well, today I hit a personal best.  Second week in and I was able to complete a 500 as well as a 400, 300, 200, and 100 consecutively.  For the swimmers out there that might not be THAT impressive.  But as a personal feat, I’ve not completed a 500 since I was 15…and I’ll be 32 next month.

I wanted to jump and scream after that.  My mindset is at the precipice of transformation.  Instead of looking to do something just to check it off the box, I’m looking at it in a competitive way.  Competition with myself.  Instead of thinking “when you get to 500 stop” I ask myself, “can you do one more lap?”  Today, it was more than one more lap, it was one more set.  “Can you do another 300?”  and “Okay.  8 laps left for a 200…how about you sprint this last lap?”

For the first time in my life I have started to ask myself “What if I could WIN this thing?”  And by win, I’m referring to the LLU (Leanness Lifestyle University) challenge which gives cash rewards to their participants who show progress but more importantly DO what is required of them on a consistent basis.

What if…?

Swimmingly

20 Jan

A quote my friend posted recently has proven to be the persuasive factor in my decision to get back in shape.  That, and I’ve seriously considered putting an elastic band around the loop hole of my jeans to hook around the button to leave some “breathing” room…but I think the quote is more motivating.

It reads:  If you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done.  There is, of course, a fit looking yet unkempt (female) runner who is out on what looks like a plowed, snowy road, engaging in a run on a gray and gloomy, winter day.  I assure you I will do no such thing but having an aquatic center nearby is definitely motivation to get some consistent cardio.  I’ve waited for perfect conditions my whole life.  As I’ve started this journey, yet again, I realized that conditions don’t merely pertain to the weather.  The only “weather” that could limit my swim workout is the presence of lightning.  If I was living in Tampa, Florida this would be a different post.  Alas, I do not live in Tampa but Atlanta, Georgia.  There is quite a shortage of lightning during the winter in Georgia in case you hadn’t figured that out already.  As a kid I would play outside and build snow forts (Upstate NY – shout out!) and in the summer would run around and play on the play gym in the back yard or swim and play in the lake.  But I was never accused of being competitive and I certainly wasn’t so self-aware as to do something like “train” for a sport.  In fact, when my parents urged me to join the soccer team with my neighbors, I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to look stupid in front of the kids that could already play the game well.  These kids were freaks of nature when it came to soccer!  They practically came out of the womb wearing cleats.  There was no way I was going to subject myself to that potential ridicule.  I wasn’t going to be  THAT kid.

But I digress…

What I realized was, the quote above could also read: If you wait for perfect circumstances you’ll never accomplish anything. Circumstances pertaining to my motivation have been: perceived lack of time, actual lack of energy, perceived lack of both, decreased desire, and an over all Jacob’s Ladder standard of perfection.  I’d have better chances engaging in an aerobic or fitness activity  if I were to wait for any given celestial bodies to align let alone the moments I mustered up the motivation.  I can already hear the fitness buffs repeating their mantra, “If you work out you’ll feel better, have more energy and more motivation because you’ll see results.”  Which is true.  Just not persuasive enough.

So here we go a swimming, kicking (but not screaming ) and stroke by stroke, training my body to enjoy the workout again.  I have to look at it as time invested and not time spent.  My perspective has to shift from doing something “I have to do”  to  engaging  in active alone-time, prayer time with God, and simply enjoying the water again.

Ready?

Break!

Revolutionizing . . . Not Resolutionizing

19 Jan

I think it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway:  I haven’t been here in a long time.  That’s a pathetic thing, really.  I remember posting about training for a half-marathon a few years ago and how amazing it felt to accomplish a personal endeavor I didn’t think I was capable of accomplishing.  What made it all worthwhile was my family’s involvement in the process…not only involvement, but committment– I persuaded my father and my sister to train with me!  Tears still visit my eyes about that because both of them went on to make better health decisions for their lifestyles.  My dad dropped 30 lbs and could probably fit into the clothes he wore in high school.  My sister was one of the most stunning brides you’d ever seen on her wedding day not that she ever really gained weight easily, but her stress level was certainly reduced.  I take full credit for lighting the fire beneath them!

So how come it has been so freaking hard for me?  I feel like while they continued to climb, I quickly sped downhill.  And I’m definitely not where I want to be.  I don’t want to turn 32 this year and not see myself reach the best version of me.  I know it’s possible.  I just need support, grace, and structure and ALL at the SAME time.

That’s why I’m finally biting the bullet to join LLU (leanness lifestyle university).  I have four friends who have all seen EXCEPTIONAL results from this program (20 week program).  I have to realize that  I can no longer do the minimum and expect maximum results.  However, I can consistently push myself to do more than minimum and modify all compartments of my lifestyle (nutrition, activity, emotional wellbeing) and find results.

Why this blog?  I don’t know.  I think there are times when I  have to get so unbelievably frustrated with a personal norm before I can make a sacrifice to change. Too frequently I get pissed at myself and then, because there was some sort of emotional release, it doesn’t translate to change.

The founder of LLU (David Greenwalt) quoted Jim Rohn saying, “don’t let your learning lead to knowledge.  Let your learning lead to action.”

And that I intend to do…

Monday, Monday…

29 Oct

Instead of something to do with fitness I will take a slight detour into humor with a touch of stupidity.  So here’s the disclaimer:  I pride myself on being aware of my surroundings, of being observant and in-tune with the moment.   But let’s just say I filled out a couple of ID10T forms this morning.

 

 

I’m in the middle of switching jobs.  Think extreme middle.  Which makes it difficult to know which parts of my schedule are changing and which are staying the same…especially when a visit from mom to help move, the move, Thanksgiving, and having to consider creative ways to buy groceries, gas, and other stuff without a solid income are factors in this extreme middle.  My brain feels like split pea soup and my conscience, which has a Scottish accent for some reason, keeps saying “Aye, Captain, I don’t think she can take it much longer.”

 
So, I’m doing the responsible thing and cleaning out my desk and getting ready to train the person taking my job.  I pull out my top desk drawer and see the bottom of an aerosol looking canister staring back at me.  So my split-pea-soup (we’ll say SPS for short) brain says “oh, look, it must be air-in-a-can.”  Because nothing says messy than a keyboard with a bunch of dust and specks, right?

 
Rule #1 of cleaning out desk drawers:

If it wasn’t put there by you, best you leave it alone.  These things have a way of back firing.

Well, I flip the red latch to “ON”  . . .

and again, I should have stopped right here…which is where we come to Rule #2:

If it has an on/off latch, chances are it is not supposed to be sprayed on electronics.

But that SPS brain was not to be diverted from the task, no.

I press the lever, aiming it at the keyboard, and a funny thing happened.  Instead of air, a pungent liquid came out and doused the  Q  W  E R  A  S and D keys.

Now, at this point it’s an “oh, crap” moment.  It’s kind of like when you take a swig of someone’s drink and instead of Coke Zero you get Unsweetend Iced Tea.

But then it was even MORE of an oh crap moment when my eyes started to burn a little and I started choking…

as one might choke on, oh, say, pepper?

So, my SPS brain looks at the canister. LO and BEHOLD… I’d sprayed PEPPER spray on the keyboard.

I think that ranks, don’t you?
And so it goes…

Of all the things I’ve lost I miss my mind the most.

:()

E

Gotta love Groupon (and LivingSocial)

25 Oct

If you don’t know what these websites are . . . then you might want to take this opportunity to stay away because you will spend money on some of their crazy-awesome deals.

When I began this fitness journey it was because of a P90X Groupon (8 classes for $29).

A very motivated and zealous friend of mine introduced me to the videos a couple of years ago.  Although she received commitments from at least 5 other people, it was only the two of us showing up at Piedmont Park at dark-thirty in the morning to attempt the 30min, 45min, and 1 hour long work outs hosted by Tony Horton.  There is something fascinating about waking up that early to work out…outside.  I’m sure the people of the pre-electric era (I try to use technical terms as much as possible), would be shaking their heads at us…”rookies” they’d be saying.

Seriously, though.
You drive to work after you’ve willingly kicked your own butt and you have this odd awareness of the fact that you were awake with nature and knew what the world looked like an hour or two before anyone else.  And although you’re still digging for that sleep stuck in your eyes as you drive down the highway, half-comatose, hypnotized by the white dotted lines, you feel accomplished.  If you were any younger, you’d be sticking your tongue out at the other drivers saying “nanny-nanny boo boo, I was up earlier than you.”
Coming back to P90X a couple of years later I had an appreciation for the kind of workout the classes inflicted.  I had arrived at a point where I was ready to receive that punishment again.

Since then, I’ve also found out a little more about what motivates me and what doesn’t:

1.  I don’t like someone breathing down my neck yelling at me like a drill sergeant…sign ups for the Marines are that way———————————>  ::points away from self::

2.  I do like the accountability of a small group: not big enough to get lost, but not so individually based where you see the above occur.

3.  I like it when the instructor at least appears like they care.  For instance, at hot-yoga this morning the instructor gave us peppermint essential oil to rub on our wrists and breathe in before the class started.  Afterwards, as we were cooling down she placed washcloths soaked in ice-cold water and a little more essential oil on our sweat drenched foreheads and gave a five second foot and toe massage with a little lotion.  Who does that!?  I’m not expecting that with every class but sometimes, when you’re the newbie, the most important thing they can give you is their recollection of your name and face.
4.  If I know I’m expected to be there, I’ll be there.  My new workout friend, Beth, has held me accountable and now we’re going to participate in some kick-boxing classes for this next month!  $20 for one month of unlimited classes and no obligation to sign up!  In this transition between jobs and no idea where the consistent income is going to come from, I’m happy to “buy” time.

I’m not ashamed to “gym hop” for the time being 🙂  But I am looking forward to trying out something new in the way of fitness.  The 8Week Challenge! should hold me accountable as well.
But more on all of that later. 🙂

Happy Thursday!

And my prayers go out to you on all of your fitness/wellness/life endeavors

E