Thursday, August 29, 2013

A 2014 goal

Motivation is an interesting thing. Some day you have it in spades and some days no matter what you do you just can’t make yourself do…. Well… anything. And what is even more specific is that I can have all the motivation in the world to say workout or eat great and have absolutely zero motivation to work at all. I should work because that is what pays the bills. I should work because I stress about not working and if I just worked I would feel better the rest of the time and yet I don’t want to. Where the hell is my motivation to be a good employee? Completely lacking apparently.

You know what else is funny. The consistent reality that every so often some other random part of my body seems to be sore. Just when I think that I’ve exhausted every possible area of sore something new comes along. Today for some really peculiar reason my forearms are mush. Not sure exactly why, but they are. This is a new one. It’s always a new one these days.

I am tired. This probably has something to do with the reality that I have exercised for the last 5 days straight and tonight I am back at the gym for the 6th day in a row. Typically this breaks my cardinal error of over training but Friday night is my night off and that is the way it is. I will go Saturday morning for some turbo kick again, if it happens. This weekend I am going to the Oregon State Fair, which should be fun. I am also going with my momma to see Reo Speed wagon in concert. I like 80’s rock. I always have. I kind of grew up listening to it so Reo seemed like it might be fun. So yeah, that is happening.

I have also decided that this weekend I am going to purge and clean my clothing. This is a monstrous task. Seriously have clothes everywhere but it’s time to really evaluate and decided that items I really want. I have so many dresser drawers that I never open because they are literally full of clothes that I do not wear. It would be more effective to put the clothes I do wear in those drawers instead of tossed about. Not sure exactly how I’m tackling this whole process other than I am certain I will feel better once it’s accomplished. I have to take baby steps and I am certain a good clothes cleaning will help. Maybe I should just empty everything onto the bed in a giant massive mess of a pile and put back in only what I really want. I don’t know. It’s time though. I found a second hand store that will pay me like pennies on the dollar for my clothes but it’s better than nothing. I might try and take some clothes in there. We will see. I will feel beyond accomplished this weekend if I can just get thru my clothes. Maybe I’ll even tweet some of the clothes as I am going thru them, that should be fun. If you follow me on twitter you know that I am kind of a self-indulgent whore when it comes to taking pictures of cute clothes. Mostly I do my workout clothes but I’m not athletic apparel exclusive. I’ll cheat with a few cute dresses here and there!

It’s a long weekend which is totally awesome. I don’t want to work (see first paragraph above about having zero work motivation). I think if I can just push thru the rest of today and tomorrow then a 3 day weekend is exactly what the doctor ordered for me.

So I’ve obviously been doing a ton of thinking lately about things, and life, and happiness and what I really want and what really makes me happy and brings me contentment and peace. I know that I have never been happier in my whole life than when I am challenging myself. It may be hard and at points I may hate the pain of pushing myself but ultimately I am never more alive than when I am really pushing beyond what I thought I could do. That my true happiness has always lied in sharing my passion with others. That my fulfillment comes in the form of helping others succeed where they thought they couldn’t. I am eventually going somewhere in this/with this.

Like everything in my life, it is baby steps and takes a lot of time and reflection on my part to realize what I want/need out of life. I am starting to realize that part of what I love so much about blogging and why I always come back to it is this… I like the feeling of feeling like I somehow something I do affects anyone else. That my words, my actions, my strengths and my weaknesses can serve as any sort of inspiration to anyone else. I want to be the living proof that having struggled in this realm does not always mean it’s not possible. What I ultimately love is helping other people, in any way. I just want to share my complete love of this world with anyone who wants to listen. I may have stumbled a lot in my life with this but doesn’t it count for something that I always come back to it? I may disappear for periods of time but eventually I find my way back to this because this is where my heart truly lies.

If you’ve ever read my blog in the past, I think it’s safe to say that this time just feels so different. The light bulb of my life has gone off. About damned time right? Only took 10 years to realize where my true passion lies. I keep thinking about what is the best path for me. I am going to figure it out. With time, I will figure it out.

While thinking I keep coming back to a thought. Something that I want to do. A goal. A few weeks ago, hell, might have been a month now, on Extreme Weight Loss, Chris Powell made one of the girls hike the Grand Canyon and it really stuck with me. REALLY. I have decided that this next year, sometime in 2014, I am going to hike the Grand Canyon. It just seems like something that I would feel happy and proud to do. So I’m officially putting it out there now. Bucket List goal for 2014. Hike Grand Canyon. How’s that for goal setting. How’s that for believing in the impossible. This girl IS going to hike the Grand Canyon. I haven’t researched what or how just yet. I know there are tons of hikes and trails but I want a difficult challenging one. I want to be able to say that I did that.

I already feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I love where I am going. I really do. My course is being shaped every moment and if you love me, you are just going to have to come along for the ride because I’m not stopping. If you are not moving with me then you are standing in my way. That is how I feel about it. I really love the person I am becoming and I’m ready for her to explode out of her shell.

I have made a ton of mistakes in my life. Far too many to count really. Some pretty major ones even but I have survived them all. I am not a bad person despite some of the questionable decisions I may have made. Every single mistake me make in life is a lesson in disguise. I am learning to embrace every past mistake as it takes me forward toward my eventual destination. Although I don’t believe we ever arrive at a final destination. We are always moving, working, growing. I think positive self-talk is really important, and the first, most important and hardest lesson to ever learn in life is to truly love and accept yourself. Just as you are.

I may have had an off day here or there on this journey. (Hell, who doesn’t?) But for the most part I have loved myself completely and learned to be proud of everything my body allows me to do. This is why I whole heartedly believe this is finally working the way I’ve always wanted it to work. This is why I am 11 months in and feel more motivated than ever. Why I know I am never going to quit now. Because I love myself too much now to quit. And it’s all about what I feel about the inside of me. Nothing to do with the outside appearance. Amazing. What a freaking journey I have been on. To just be able to believe in myself is so amazing.

So yes, I am going to hike the Grand Canyon. And I am going to have fun coming up with all the other things that I have always been too afraid to do but suddenly love myself enough to attempt. I knew 2013 was going to be a momentous year and honestly I have not been wrong thus far. It has been full of challenges and growth and so much self-discovery, but I wouldn’t trade any of it. This Emily is the best version of me and I am proud to death of her.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Passion

It has been an interesting emotional week. For good or bad I have chosen to block out most of everything that is going, most likely because my brain cannot handle all the pressure at once. I can only do what I’m going to do at my own pace. That is the best thing I can say about that. Instead, I am enjoying giving myself over to my health. This is something that I have not done in a couple weeks and it feels good. I sound good because I feel good. I feel happy and confident and healthy and that is the best possible thing for me right now. Physically I feel amazing and that is the surest thing in my world to make everything else seem more manageable. With strength comes peace and clarity.

I downloaded Katy Perry’s new song, Roar yesterday and am presently listening to it on repeat. Does anyone else do that? Like I put a song on repeat and since it’s in the background while I am doing other stuff it can play like literally 30-40 times before I even realize it and get sick of it. The funny thing is the first time I heard this song was at the infamous VMA’s the other night. I say infamous because who really needs to talk about Miley Cyrus anymore, certainly I do not. She’s a hoe. Period. Actually it’s just sad more than anything else. She’s certainly not the first artist to whore herself out for money or attention and she certainly won’t be the last. Regardless, I like Katy Perry who also uses her body a lot to sell her image. But it’s cool. I actually saw Katy Perry live in concert a few years back and she was pretty talented in real life so I accept her. Plus she was the tiniest girl I had ever seen. Seriously TINY. Anyway. I heard the song at the VMA’s and realized how much this applied to me and health and being a fighter and I had to download it. Of course I forgot about it until yesterday. So yup, repeat away, and it’s making me happy.

I am a fighter. I am a champion and you’re going to hear me roar. Love it. That is how I feel right now today. I make no promises for tomorrow. I never do. I was late for work this morning, but it didn’t matter because no one was here. I had to stop and get some energy drinks because I was completely out and apparently I can’t make it thru a day without my dirty habit. It’s bad but I mean, it’s not worse than shoveling down chocolate so I’ll take it. Someday I should kick that habit but baby steps.

In all of my quick haste this morning I made a cardinal error. Usually I pack my gym bag the night before, but for whatever reason I totally spaced it last night. I remembered this morning and packed quickly. Driving to work I realized I totally forgot shoes. Kind of important. Oops. So I will have to rectify that at some point. As much as I love my TOMS shoes, they are not workout approved :)

I told my mom this weekend, and it’s so completely true, that at this point in my life, I am just as if not more comfortable in workout attire as I am in anything else. Sure I love to get dressed up and be girly but I am constantly in search of a good workout and good clothes facilitate that. I’m becoming one of those obnoxious fitness girls that used to drive me crazy. How insane is that? If you ever think that you can’t, the truth is, you REALLY can. I don’t even know how else to articulate that anything is possible in terms of health and fitness if you really want it. I am complete living proof of that.

Approximately 11 months ago I was sitting on the couch crying about weighing 220 pounds and being so out of breathe I couldn’t even walk my dog. Today I freaking weigh 135 pounds, can run a half marathon randomly because I decide to, and can lift weights that I never fathomed possible. 11 months and a shit load of determination I suppose. But it’s possible. If you want it, it’s possible. I am not saying it’s easy or instant. I think it clearly takes a crazy level of intensity and determination. But if you had ½ the desire that I do, you could accomplish it as well. You don’t have to be the crazy girl I am. I realize that I am an extreme kind of girl. That’s just me. And you know what, I love that about me. It’s one of my favorite qualities in myself. I accomplish whatever I put my mind to. I do not fail at the decisions I make. Granted, I have to want it really bad, but when I do…. I WILL succeed.

I am channeling all of my energy into my workouts and it feels pretty good actually. Last night I took a 30 minute class and then I went and grabbed a kettle ball and did another 30 minutes or so of awesome stuff. Swings, arm lifts and then I did some bicep curls. I felt really strong. I feel like my upper body is getting so toned and I am just falling in love with it. I have a hard time admitting that whole self-love thing. I have a hard time with not wanting to come across as a gloaty self-involved bitch. That is not me. I have worked hard for my body so I am trying to embrace that it’s okay to like the results I am seeing. That does not make me self-involved or a bitch to say that I am proud of the work and can see the results.

It’s been about 2 ½ months now of training at the gym. I signed up for a year of personal training, which I do not regret for a second at this point. I know I was so super anxious and nervous when I signed the contract but I can honestly say I have regrets and love it to death. Anyway, we are about 2 ½ months in, meaning approximately 1/5 of the way. The results are so good already I can’t even phantom what I am going to be able to accomplish at the end of this year. It’s kind of exciting. I’m so interested in the picture of me next June, after a full year of doing this.

So now I am going to talk about one of those things that we women don’t discuss all that much but it’s a true reality for any overweight woman period, and especially for one who has lost weight and gained wait and stretched out their skin repeatedly. I have that horrible stomach skin issue. You’ve seen it online if you are lucky enough to not experience it firsthand. I have lost the weight and underneath the skin is a growingly tight core. The muscles are there, just buried under skin. It’s not as bad as a whole in person. Clothes do a lot. And honestly when I “tuck” the extra skin underneath underwear or a bathing suit bottom it really isn’t that bad. It’s just naked; I have an extra ring of skin. I hate it, duh. I mean, who loves that? I hate it because mostly it is the ultimate reminder of what trauma I have done to my body. If I could afford any part of it I would have a tummy tuck and have them cut it out. I don’t imagine it is ever going away on its own. For 2 months I have noticed no change or movement in the amount of excess skin, reaffirming that someday surgery is my only hope. While I still wholeheartedly believe it won’t go away on its own, there is just too much volume there, I have become shocked to realize that in the last two weeks or so I have started to feel an ever so slight difference. Things are feeling a little tighter down there and perhaps the skin is actually ever so slightly getting smaller. It has just happened quite recently.

This gives me so much hope. Not that I think the skin will ever go away, but after 2 ½ months of strength training I am finally starting to notice a slight difference. What would it look like after a year of doing this? This is what keeps me going and keeps me motivated on this journey. The scale is obviously not any part of a focus for me at all. It’s so ridiculously refreshing to not care about a number on a scale. My motivation and power comes from making myself healthy and strong and seeing what treating my body with complete love will do.

I can honestly say that in 10 years of being on this yo-yo journey of weight loss this is the first time ever that I have learned to love my body and treat it with the love and respect it deserves. This is the first time I have ever cared about the quality of the journey, not just the journey itself. This is the first time I have given it the things it needs to grow and change and holy shit, not too shocking to anyone but me, it’s working. I am actually getting the results that evaded me every other time.

So the question and the answer are as follows…

How long does it take for a bonified self-professed runner to become a ridiculous proponent of consistent strength training? Approximately 2 months my friends.

Do I love running any less today than I did 4 months ago? Not a chance. Do I love running any less than I have my entire life? Do I feel blessed and thankful every moment to be a runner? You betcha. I credit running with so much in my life. It is my savior really. It is the single most important thing I have ever done for myself. Not only did it allow me to lose weight, but it kept and continues to keep my mind in check. It gives me my freedom from myself. I will always, forever, be a runner first and foremost. The passion I feel for running is very real and forever.

But, today I stand before you a changed woman because of strength training. It’s like the epiphany of my life. It’s no epiphany that I love running. The epiphany and the complete game changer came the day I signed up for personal training and embarked down the strength training path. Sure the first session I had no idea it was really doing anything for me. But slowly by slowly, things just changed and one day I realized how different I really was because of it.

This has become the single biggest game changer of my life. It is the one thing that has made me realize that I CAN do this for the rest of my life. That treating my body with love and health is the best thing I have ever done. That I feel happy, and full and strong. No more starving. No more deprivation. No more self-inflicted scale hoping torture. No more fighting with an unimportant number for the rest of my life. The challenges I can set for myself in the overall world of health and fitness are limitless. Yes, limitless. And I can always improve and work toward something. Exactly what I needed. I spent so long focusing on a number on a scale, a goal. I am a goal oriented person after all. But with fitness, there is no end game. There is always something else I can set my mind too, to achieve.

I have such passion for it. I have such love for everything it has given me. I am one of those fanatical women who has finally found her true calling or church of some sort. It’s not even about how I look anymore, that is a nice byproduct of it, but its about how I feel. Its about how it makes me feel. There is not a better feeling in the whole world than to feel so strong and powerful and confident.

I feel so blessed to every single of you who are reading this right now. Mainly because what is crazy to me is that so many of you have stuck around with me on my crazy journey for years and years. Why you stuck around I have no idea, but it’s amazing to me that I feel so close and connected to this whole slew of amazing women from all over this country. It’s amazing to me that any part of me can impact any part of anyone. I really would love to be a fitness coach maybe. I am hesitant to say personal trainer because its about so much more than just standing with someone at a gym for 30-60 minutes telling them to lift or cooking up crazy workouts. I want to connect with people on a personal level. Share life experiences and their journeys and champion them on as they change their lives. I want to serve as proof that anything is possible. That just because you may fail at this once, twice, three times, it doesn’t matter. You get back up and do it all over again. You keep doing it as many times as it takes. I want to help people feel as amazing and alive as I feel when you finally figure it all out. Not to say I’ve got it all figured out, that’s the beauty of it, you will never have it all figured out.

I think this is why I love the online world so much, that for whatever reason I am able to fully open up and share a part of myself that doesn’t happen in real life. That I get to in some small way feel like I am putting good out into the world. I am a good person and I just want to leave the world a little better than I found it. This is the best way I know how to do that.

I can’t believe I spent so long thinking I was being healthy and doing the right things for myself. But I guess that is all part of the process. Making mistakes and learning and picking yourself back up again. I feel so incredibly blessed to be sitting here today realizing how much I have actually learned. How much I have truly changed to my core. I smile because I treat my body with the love and respect it has ALWAYS deserved. And when I started to do that, things started to finally click and finally change for me.

I am 34 years old. I am in the best shape of my life. I love myself today more than I ever have in my entire life. I have found my passion and now the ball is in my court to figure out where I go from here. I am not sure, but I am certain it is going to be good. I keep seeing that picture of myself in my head of Emily June 2014, after 1 year of personal training and strength training. I’ll be 35 years old and that girl is confident like I’ve never imagined and she is strong. She is so strong. I see her. I see who I want to be. I have that picture in my head of the best version of myself. I am so proud of that girl already. I’m going to be her. I promise you that. The picture I see in my head I AM going to make happen. I know it because I believe it that strongly.

I don’t really have June 2013 pictures. I have pictures from Maui which may work because those are pre gym, pre personal training. But I think today I am going to take some new pictures of me less clothed for some comparison shots. Hell, I may even take a photo of the infamous stomach skin for comparison purposes. I have no shame in sharing the truth of what this process has done to my body. I will share away. I promise that June 2014 I will have comparison pictures and I am going to be proud. I have unlocked my athlete and she is freaking amazing!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hunger and growth

Yesterday equaled epically hungry. Yup, monstrous out of control hunger for this girl. I was fighting against my hunger all day long and mostly decided to just give in because if I’m that hungry my body was probably trying to tell me something. Like I don’t know, Sunday you ran 13.1 miles and now your body is famished. Oh, and later in the evening last night I realized that I had in fact started or was going to start my period so I was like, that explains it. That coupled with at about 4 PM yesterday I started to get really bad stomach cramps. I whole-heartedly believed it was from the diet coke that I drank which I haven’t drank in forever and I blamed that all afternoon for my stomach cramps. Funny how later I realized that it was actually my period which started to put everything into perfect sense.

I ate lots and lots yesterday. Somewhere around 1 or so I caved and ate 2 pieces of almond Roca in the office. I mean it was only 2 pieces so I suppose it was not the end of the world. Since a giant tub full of almond Roca sits in my office all the time and I rarely ever think about it or am tempted to eat any of it, if I truly had a craving for it and ate 2 pieces then I figured it was probably fine for me to eat them. Then I ate more healthy foods, and more.

When I got to the gym last night I was tired and sore but decided I was going to work thru it all because I didn’t really have a choice in the matter anyway. Monday night is personal training and then I take a cardio sculpt class and then its turbo kick. Admitingly once I started sweating and getting a feel for it, everything was fine. I started to get my high and ignored any amount of stiffness my body was feeling. It was a solid effort. 1 ½ hours, 500 calories burned. It’s much harder for me to burn calories these days. Unless of course I’m blasting thru giant runs that is. Otherwise, during regular weight stuff with down time, 500 calories is a great night for me. My back is still kind of sore today, because wouldn’t you know that when I got to personnel training she told me that it was back day. I had to laugh at the irony because that is what I did Saturday and was the main part of my body that was already sore. I just smiled and said, sure. Cause that is what I do.

My trainer told me I looked like I was in a better mood yesterday and I was. That was nice and true. I was in a better mood yesterday. It makes a difference in my workouts. Obviously. The whole look good, feel good phenomenon. That translates to actual mood as well. I remember 2 weeks ago feeling sick and worn down and trying to have a personal training session and it not going all that well for obvious reasons. Yesterday was better. We did kettle bell swings. Trying to perfect the art form of not actually using your arms but letting the lift come from an explosion of your legs is actually quite difficult. It took a while to even get the proper form down. Now I feel like I need to practice and do them in order to retain any amount of progress I made yesterday in mastering the kettle bell.

When I got home from the gym I was hungry still. I had already eaten somewhere in the 1400-1500 calorie range for the day but I didn’t stop there. I was letting my body be my guide. I ate cashews. At least it was somewhat healthy. And then I remembered that I had white chocolate lindt truffles tucked away and somehow I ate 2 of them. Could have been worse. I don’t ordinarily crave chocolate at all. If I do, I prefer white chocolate but if I was having a craving at all, clearly my body chemistry was off in some way. I was still not satisfied and my body was growling at me for more. And then I just went for it, and by that I mean I picked up the jar of Jif Peanut Butter and a spoon. And I ate. Yup, peanut butter right out of the jar. No measuring, just eating. I have no idea how much I consumed. Enough to finally make me feel satisfied because I did not feel like I needed more after that. It wasn’t a jar or anything. But ultimately it doesn’t really matter either way.

In a day of complete hunger I am sure I ate too much but most all of it was at least in the realm of healthy aside from 2 pieces of almond Roca and 2 white chocolate truffles. Not too bad and not even worth anything in the grand scheme of things. Let’s not forget that I spent 1 ½ hours at the gym sweating my ass off last night so 4 pieces of candy are not really a big deal.

If you want to be healthy and normal about the whole weight loss shit you have to listen to your body. I was trying really hard to embrace the reality that if my body was telling me I was starving it probably was. I probably needed all the extra calories I put into it. I am growing. Normally saying I am growing would be a bad thing cause that would typically mean added weight, however, I think I am growing muscles and clearly they need food to grow. Oh, and I’m on my period.

My plan for today is to try and be as good as I possibly can be. I make no promises. I will once again listen to my body. If I am hungry, then I am going to feed myself. It sounds like such a simple concept and yet one that we all so often ignore and then that is when we make terrible decisions. So I am going to eat when I’m hungry. As long as I am making reasonable healthy decisions I am sure my body knows better anyway.

Speaking of food, I am an awful cook on my own. I am not a great cook period. Never have been. Actually I hate cooking. Some people love it and I understand how it could be cool if that is your thing, it’s just not my thing. I have no desire to spend time cooking. It’s shockingly not that important to me. I like good food but in the end would rather eat something less fancy than have to work for it. No secret my lack of culinary ambitions. So when this offer was presented to me at the gym, I jumped on it.

Let me explain the offer. One of the trainers at the gym has a grown daughter (she is an older woman, not my trainer or any of the trainers I work with, but I still know her and see her all the time). Anyway, she has a daughter who is a cook. She has a food card but does not have a licensed kitchen. She cooks healthy meals for her family and then her momma (who works at the gym). Anyway, last week she started selling those meals to a few close people who would overlook her lack of a licensed kitchen. Um, so don’t care here! So 3 days a week after work my mom and I are paying for a healthy home cooked delicious meal complete with nutritional information. Yup, I’m paying for my meals.

3 days this week, tonight, Wednesday and Friday night I will pick up healthy good meals for my body. I don’t imagine I will do it forever, but for now, especially since I rarely eat good home cooked type stuff, $30 for the meals sounds just fine to me. The servings are decent size so you can split them in half and turn 3 meals into 6. I’m sold. I had 2 last week and they were amazing. So yes, I am excited to eat a real home cooked meal tonight that I don’t have to cook. Good food. Yum.

Tonight I go to the gym again because that is what I do. That is kind of what I live for actually. If I had to make a list of the things that I truly love passionately and want to spend my time doing it is a short list but reads. 1. Gym (health and nutrition) 2. Interior Design (decorating, love beautiful things) 3.Fashion (clothes, shoes, etc.) Well, I am sure there are more but for right now those are the things that are keeping me going. Keeping me in a happy frame of mind. I am blocking out everything else to cope.

Tonight is gym, which there is a 5:30 PM class that I will take and then I am on my own. I might try some free weights. Not really sure what else is on the agenda, but I know 30 minutes is not enough time for me at the gym. I need at least another half hour of stuff. Got to build, sculpt and shape my body. That is my master plan. Has been for quite some time. The reality is that no matter what else happens in my life, ever, I am so pleased that I have found a true real love of my body. I love my body in a way I have ever in my life loved my body. It is not perfect. Not by any means, but with the strength training comes this insane love of feeling strong. And powerful and pretty. I feel pretty. And capable. And I am falling in love with my arms and back and biceps and triceps and all those muscles, oh my! This is who I am now and I love it!

Monday, August 26, 2013

An awakening of sorts

Today I want to talk about my amazing fitness weekend. I felt strong, confident, and alive. Things I haven’t felt in a while. I felt physically like I could tackle a mountain, even though I probably couldn’t actually. Nonetheless, I exercised Thursday night. I did a 30 minute class, then I did about 30 minutes of weights and then I ran for 30 minutes, a 5k. I felt great but I was done with exercise at that point.

Friday I took off from exercise. My body said it was time for a little break which was fine by me. I ended up going to Red Lobster for dinner with my mom. It was nice to get out and have some fresh seafood. I adore seafood. Like hands down my favorite food ever. Shrimp, lobster, scallops. Amazing! Oh and an alcoholic beverage too. Somewhere later Friday night I decided that I wanted a good workout Saturday morning.

I was going to go to the gym for 9 AM Turbokick but honestly it only actually happens about 50% of the time because they need like 4-6 people minimum to show up to take the class. On Saturday morning that rarely happens. I wasn’t holding my breath. If I just show up on my own and we don’t have class I never work as hard honestly. So in the back of my mind I was thinking I better prepare for the lack of class. I logged onto Facebook and send the class instructor a message. This was at about 9:30 PM Friday night and was like, hey, if we don’t have class tomorrow or if we do maybe afterwards do you want to kick my ass with a one on one personal training session? She pretty much instantly replied back to me yes. I love my gym and I love the friends I am making at the gym. Oh and I love that I can pretty much decide late on a Friday night that I want a personal training session the next morning and make it happen.

I got to the gym a few minutes late. Oops, but it all worked out okay and we ended up having 5 people and had an amazing class. So yeah, I got in about 45 minutes of turbo kick and I was feeling pretty awesome. After that I met up with Amanda, the instructor, to do an arm/upper body workout. Holy shit, that girl KILLED me. My back or lat muscles as she called them are throbbing even today. I knew it was going to be killer, I requested a torturous session and that is what I got. Hands down. Tricep work and back work and it hurt. I could barely do it all. That is what I love about personal training actually. They believe in you, more than you believe in yourself. That is the truth. There is no way in hell on my own I’d ever pick up the 50 pound barbell for anything. She looks at the bars and is like, get the 50. I’m thinking are you out of your fucking mind, but she’s like, you’re strong, you can do it. And I deadlifted 50 pounds, and then 40 pounds, 30 pounds, 20 pounds, etc.

She cooked up a whole series of torturous activities that I actually did completely love. I got my money’s worth for sure and that is all I can ask for. It makes me feel so strong. I can cardio it up on my own any day of the week, but actually pushing myself on a weight lifting routine is difficult. And yesterday I woke up sore reinforcing the reality that I worked muscle groups that don’t really get touched and clearly used them to the point of them breaking down to be rebuilt just a little stronger. I love it when I physically feel the transformation taking place. That is where I was at yesterday and today for that matter. I felt amazing Saturday morning like I could conquer anything the world threw at me. That is what a good round of exercise does for me. And I then have to ask the ultimate inevitable question, why am I not doing something in this realm for a living, for real? Also, how on earth do I ever stop being healthy and exercising when clearly it does so much for me?

Wait, I am not going to stop this time. I truly believe that. I have found a love that I have never had before. Yes, I am a runner and will always be a runner. But I have never been a true fitness all around girl until now. I am in complete love. It is a new kind of excitement totally different than the thrill of running and I know this is exactly what has been missing every single time I have ever gone down the fitness path. I am never ever going back. EVER.

So jump to Sunday morning. I was having a very difficult time getting out of bed. I was starting to feel like a loser because I have signed up for my first half marathon the end of September and I haven’t really trained at all. One would probably say all of my crazy gym time is training. And it is. But it makes me nervous to not partake in long runs. It’s like I get afraid that my brain won’t remember how to perform a long run. They are not easy. As much as I love and adore running, I wouldn’t say running is an easy task. It’s just as much mental as anything physical. I was feeling pretty crappy all around so I decided that with nothing else on the agenda and an entire day of freedom that a nice long run would be in order. I had every intention of running outside and testing the waters but wouldn’t you know when I went outside it started down pouring. I know I should embrace running in the rain, but somehow it just didn’t seem too smart yesterday. But I really wanted to run so I went ahead and went to the gym.

It’s funny because I do have a treadmill at home that I used religiously for forever but somehow I felt like running at the gym was the right thing to do. So off I went. I wasn’t sure when I started how long I was going to run completely. But I knew I wanted a nice long run and in the back of my mind I was shooting for that 13.1 mark but wasn’t completely sure if my body was going to allow it. The treadmill itself only allows for a 60 minute run before it shuts itself off. So I programed in 60 minutes, and then it lets you do 5 minutes of cool down so a grand total of 65 minutes. Anyhow, I started running at a 6.4 pace. It felt pretty comfortable and it didn’t take long for me to break into a sweat. I had a few problems or things going against me. The big one being water. I had one water bottle and quickly drank half of it. I knew that it was not going to hold up an entire run.

I ran straight thru for 62 minutes, 6.6 miles, at an average pace of 9:31 according to the machine. When the machine shut itself off. I paused for a moment, drank some water and rested for about 3 minutes before I started the machine back up and went to 6.4 speed again. I was tired at this point but I was not going to give up. My mind is more powerful than my body and I knew I was going to accomplish this because I simply decided it was going to happen.

I ran at a 6.4 pace for about 30 minutes and then my legs started cramping up on me. My water was done and I knew I had to stop. I hit pause on the machine. It gives you a 5 minute break so I instantly hopped off the machine, down the flight of stairs and to the water fountain. I filled my water bottle and instantly chugged 24 ounces. I refilled the water bottle and headed back to the machine. I was afraid my 5 minutes would expire but it had not yet. I turned the machine back on but given how tired my legs were I opted for a 6.2 speed. I ran another mile and hit pause. My right leg was really kinked and I needed to stretch it. 2.5 miles to go. I was NOT going to fail at this point. Just not an option. Back on. I ran for 1.5 miles at a 6.2 speed and then had to hit pause one more time. 1 mile left. I rested for a few second and then told myself I had one mile left I could do this. I was physically exhausted and pretty much mentally shot as well but come on, 1 more mile… quitting was not even an option at all. Even if I had to walk it I was going to finish.

I knew in the back of my mind that walking it wasn’t really an option either. I had run every single one of the 12.1 miles and I wasn’t going to quit on the last mile. So I geared up for the last mile, only at a 6.0 speed this time but boy was I watching as the tenths of the mile were clicking down and my leg was throbbing. When it finally hit the 6.5 on the treadmill (combined with the previous 6.6 miles for a total of 13.1 miles) I wanted to lie down and cry but instead I turned the treadmill off and sat on it. I just sat on the edge of the treadmill in the gym, covered in sweat and rested for a moment to reflect upon what I had just done.

For the record, round two of the treadmill read 6.5 miles, 62:56 minutes, at a pace of 9:40. Now this pace is not actually accurate because I did pause a few times. So obviously in a real race my time is going to be slower and my pace slower because this treadmill did not take into account my pauses, but for today this was good enough. I ran 13.1 miles and I am not going to split hairs over a few pauses. I ran the first 6.6 miles complete non-stop, no breaks. So in the last 6.5 miles I had to have 3 little couple minute pauses. Not a big deal. It still equals 13.1 miles.

The mental game I played yesterday was all about pushing myself and deciding that today I was going to succeed no matter what. Even if I actually believed it or not. Basically I needed to know it wasn’t a fluke, that yes, I can run that much. Even if I’m tired and exhausted and mentally and physically fatigued I CAN run that much. That lesson is invaluable.

There is something else I realized yesterday in my over 2 hours running on that treadmill. The first is this, I am at almost 11 months of healthy living. And then it hit me, that when I run my ½ marathon for real on September 22, it will be pretty close to one year from when I started being healthy again. I restarted my journey this time on October 5, so pretty dang close enough, within 2 weeks. When I signed up for the ½ marathon I did not realize the significance of this. I did not realize that I was pretty much a year out from when I started. And that almost made me cry. That in a year’s time, I could not think of anything more fitting for me to do than run a ½ marathon, after the year I’ve had. So yes, that ½ marathon means the world to me at this point and I didn’t even know it.

I will not be racing, I will not be competitive. I am just going to finish the damned thing. Even if it takes me 3 hours I am going to finish it because it is THAT important and that significant. I mean October 5, 2012 I quietly took the steps to start this journey and had no idea how important every one of these steps would be. I had no idea how changed I would end up becoming because of all the little steps I took. I truly did not know what crazy journey was ahead of me over the next year. Or how much it would really take this time. I feel blessed to be standing where I am today in terms of my health and fitness. I am a completely 1000% changed woman. Thanks in large part to the gym. Thanks in large part to my obsessive compulsive personality.

I can’t believe it’s already been 11 months, and that soon I’ll be standing at the 1 year anniversary of recommitment to this lifestyle that has become so second nature to me. This lifestyle that makes me happy and excited and want to get out of bed every single day to improve upon. This fiercely real love of the gym that I have.

Today I am smiling from ear to ear because I killed an amazing upper body strength training workout this weekend and then I freaking ran 13.1 miles. I am an athlete. I am a God-Damned strong, fierce athletic woman. I get to decided what is right for me, what I want and what I am capable of. I caption my own fucking ship in the sea. The sky is the limit and I am so all aboard for the athletic journey I am on.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

PRIVACY

This is what I have decided is going to happen for today. It is one of many million things that I thought about last night while I was awake all night, give 2 hours of sleep I got, literally 2 hours total. What I have decided in reference to my blog is this. I want to still write. I have to still write. I do not however want the world to see what I write. I love and value all of my blog readers, the ones I know, and the ones who lurk and read. It’s totally fine, I understand.

Yesterday I mentioned that I would probably be taking this blog private. It has become a reality that I HAVE to take this blog private now. In order to get people time to contact me before it suddenly becomes private I have decided to do this. I will leave this page as it is right now “open”. I will most likely not post much here for the time being. I have temporarily created another page that is going to be private. This will be given access by invitation only. Unfortunately at this time, you have to email me at emilycanady@gmail.com to have me give you access to the page. When I say unfortunately its because I am asking you to tell me something about yourself in this email not because I am only letting certain people read it. Mainly I’m only trying to weed OUT someone. I do not want someone to send me an email under false pretenses to gain access. It has happened before. After an adequate amount of time for this blog to be up, this page will too become private. I just want to give people more than 1 day to respond to me. I might leave this up for a week and then take it private. In the mean time I am going to write at the second site. I sure hope that doesn’t sound too ridiculously confusing. I don’t want to take this particular page private this minute but I want to write so I have to create a separate page for right now.

I love you all and I think that I am going to need as much support as possible right now to get thru this and I am willing to share my life because it is the only way I know how to cope with things really.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The worst kind of feeling



I have pretty much had one of the worst weeks of my life. I can think of maybe like 2 others that might compare to it. I am not sure how this one ranks in order of misery but it’s up there. Right now, because I’m living it, I’d say I’d rather be reliving one of those 2 horrible weeks I can think of. But It’s so close up there I can’t even sort it all out. I really am not ready to talk about any of it yet. I just can’t. It’s all personal and it’s all awful.

For the time being I am going to say this. There is a strong possibility that at some point, maybe not this moment, I might have to take this blog private for a while. If you want to be invited or have access just shoot me a little e-mail to emilycanady@gmail.com and just give me your email address and I will make a little list of names. I am hoping I do not have to go private, but it’s always a possibility. While being this accessible online all over really is nice it also has its draw backs. It means there are people in your life who would have constant access to your life and that might just not be fair in some situations. I won’t be doing it right away if it happens at all. Just protecting myself a little here in the event of…

Anyway. I am not really in the mood to hash out the details of what’s going on. Partly because I don’t even fully know what’s going on and I cannot being to say anything about it because I don’t know what’s happening. I only know what’s happening right now this minute and it’s not pretty. Do I hope for pretty? Yes. Do I think pretty will happen? I’m losing faith by the day. I don’t like the version of me I become. I really don’t. I want my life back but I am sure that perhaps some things are meant to change. Haven’t I preached for months and months about walking a new path and changing and growing? And yet, I often handicap myself. I actually become quite pathetic. I really don’t want to say too much at this point. One way or another it will work itself out most likely with a crippling, debilitating amount of pain no matter what the outcome is.

Instead I want to talk about what I always talk about. I probably mostly always talk about health and nutrition because it is my one and only distraction. Even this past week it was not adequately doing its job. It really wasn’t. What usually makes me happy and alive was barely cracking a smile from me. At least I did smile. Last night my personal trainer was like, there, that one got a smile. Obviously, that must have meant the rest of the time my mood was written all over my face. In all fairness when I walked into the gym or my session, she was like, how are you doing? And I couldn’t help it; the look on my face must have said it all as I tried to fight back tears. I said in cracked voice, “Well, you know life.” I then told her the bare minimum because I really was fighting back tears. It was quite evident that I was not right. That all was not right in my world. She took me over to testosterone land of the men. And I lifted. I lifted heavy weights and she told me how strong I was getting. I am getting strong.

She told me that I am easily twice as strong as I was when I started and I do believe that is true. When you go from zero it’s not hard to double that :)

When one is as in as much emotional distress or turmoil as I am presently it’s very had to see anything clearly. Your brain gets all jacked up. It’s not just your perception or mood that is off, it’s everything. I have to say that I actually feel calmer writing now than I have in days. Maybe that’s because I haven’t written in days I’ve forgotten how therapeutic this is. I’ve been afraid to commit any words to paper because in a moment I have been known to say things I do not really mean and or want so I’m trying to avoid making the ultimate commitment and say too much. Maybe I can skirt around issues until they naturally work themselves out the way they will.

I know the way I want them to work out, or at least what my heart wants, but we don’t always get what we want and I am not in control of it. I really am not. All I can do is sit back and wait for an outcome. In the meantime I fake my way thru life. I fake it badly too. I have not been able to properly work for weeks really but it’s gotten pretty bad. You know that whole avoid phone calls. I’m doing that. Not doing what I should be doing. Yup, on that too. I literally don’t have the strength to work. It takes every ounce of energy and willpower I have to go to the gym. And I only do that a lot out of habit, but because I keep praying I will get back some of the high and self-worth that it gives me. I felt mildly better after I worked out last night. Until the text messages started and I fell apart, literally in the car driving home and I called my mom and just sobbed uncontrollably for half an hour into the phone. So much for that exercise high.

My trainer did a great job of trying to bring out the high. I felt strong. I worked out. I am comfortable at the gym now. I don’t run and hide from mirrors or from other people seeing me exercise. I am strong and can handle most things. I actually truly believe my trainer likes pushing me and seeing what I can do. Despite my complete lack of perky last night I did manage a good workout. I figure if I literally fight thru the pain even if it doesn’t immediately make me happy eventually someday I will be happy and thankful that I used the pain to continue to work on myself and not give up. Most of my body just wants to give up. Hide under the covers and wait for the storm to pass. I literally had to force myself to drive to the gym after work last night. But what really was my alternative? Go home to be completely alone and sad? So I could sit on my couch and ball my eyes out…. Not appealing. And rest assured that is pretty much what happened once I actually got home from the gym. At least it was 8 PM and not 5 PM. At least I still managed about 2 hours at the gym. I did not really work out for 2 hours. I did my 30 minute training session and 2 30 minute classes and then I did about 30 minutes of free weights. But it’s not as if any of it is continuous exercise. There are plenty of moments of rest in there.

I also cried in the locker room at the gym. I guess that’s what hurtful text messages will do. Complete sobbing in the gym locker room. Good times. I wish so many things were different. I wish I had done so many things different but I guess it’s all pointless now isn’t it. I am still holding out hope that things can be repaired but that very well could just me being na├»ve. I’m grieving. I’m completely grieving. And no one died!

Can I talk about something else that has occurred? I have realized without a doubt that I have the most amazing friends in this online world. I have these wonderful amazing women that I may have not ever “met” in real life, but they are here for me. They are just here. I love them so much. It means so much.

What else… hmm… Despite the gym not feeling all that helpful I shudder to think where I could be without it. It perhaps didn’t make all of the despair go away. I guess that is simply not possible. But at least I have something, anything else to focus on. At least I have somewhere to go to distract me for a little while. At least it will eventually breed results. The results I have had in 2 months already are amazing and crazy. I have worked very hard and truly earned my muscles. I wonder how much stronger I can get in another 2 months. Seems I have nothing else to look forward to anyway.

I want to keep pushing myself physically because eventually it will have to make me smile again. Eventually I will be able to accomplish something I didn’t think I could and that will HAVE to put a smile on my face. Even temporarily I will have to smile again eventually.

My trainer does a great job of making me feel strong and powerful and pretty. She’s great like that. Every time I meet with her I like her more and more. I’m actually a pretty guarded person in real life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an open book and will share my life story with you if you ask, but I know I can come off as cold and guarded because of my insecurities. It takes me a while to warm up and feel genuinely comfortable. Online hell, I write it all out all over the place but in real life I am an insecure wreck most of the time. I work on that all the time and what has been going on in my life lately does not help at all. Talk about a confidence wrecker. Game over in one fail swoop. I said this yesterday but I feel like it’s entirely true. All of the progress I have made in the past 2 months since going the gym, all the strength I have built, all the confidence that was growing in myself, all the progress feels like it was completely wiped out in the matter of a couple days. I regressed ten-fold in the course of 5 days. Back to square one. I am a weak helpless child who has zero strength or ability to function on my own.

I become such a pathetic desperate person. It is so unattractive but I get caught up in the moments and can’t stop the desperation from oozing off of me. It’s disgusting really. I am disgusted with myself and my behaviors. Don’t ever chase anyone who doesn’t want you, right? So much easier said than done.

I’m trying to not let the real world know what’s going on yet. Not until I know what is happening or I am certain. But what the fuck is ever certain? Nothing. Clearly. Clearly nothing is forever or as promised. We are never promised a tomorrow are we. We must embrace today, this moment, because it truly might be all we have. Lesson learned.

I packed my gym back and will go back to the gym again tonight because it’s easier than going home. Inevitably being there makes me cry but somehow it’s more comforting than being somewhere else too. But I will go to the gym and I will let my body get stronger so that maybe someday my mind can catch up.

One last thing, my trainer said to me as I was bench pressing these weights and my arms were pumping up and down…. “You are getting so strong. I’d hate to be on the other side of a fight with you.” Now mind you, I am not really that strong at all and would undoubtedly get my ass kicked but I actually like to think she meant the metaphorical kind of fight. The fight of my life that is happening right now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Worth its weight in dumbbells

This morning I woke up feeling positive and happy. I think this has a lot to do with the amazing workout I got last night and maybe a little because of my personal trainer. I say that because without realizing it she compliments me and gives me strength and confidence that I didn’t know I had. It is a blessing in disguise and basically something that is worth every penny I pay for it.

Case in point, I walk into the gym last night and Julie, my trainer, is talking to my mom who was already there. I walk over to them and mom shakes her head at me and Julie says, warm up but take it easy because I’m going to kill you. She smiles and walks away. Mom looks at me and is like she was telling me about what she’s going to make you do and I’m not doing that and you are going to hurt. I was scared.

A little later, as I was easily riding a bike to kill time until my apparent torture Julie comes over to me and shows me a piece of paper with the exercises she has planned for me. My brain tries to quickly comprehend what I’m seeing on this paper. At the top of the list is 100 jumping jacks, then 90 mountain climbers, 80 lunges, 70 knee kick climbers… and then I see the words burpies, planks… and I know this is going to be HARD. Like ridiculously hard. I take a deep breath and go, “Okay, I will do my best.” And I do mean it. I will never tell anyone no I can’t or I won’t, but I am not 100% confident I can do it but I will always try my best.

Julie says to me, “I know you will. Which is why I love you.” As we walk to the little room to begin my torture she tells me that this workout is not one she would do with just anyone. This was a cardio intensive workout designed specifically for me because she knew I could do it. That you have to be in great shape to do it. As we walk into the room there is this really fit active little girl working out. She is one of Julie’s clients. Julie hands her the piece of paper with my workout on it and was like, what do you think, this is what we are doing today, do you want to do this?

I watch the girl as she reads the list of activities and her eyes widen and she’s like, wow. That is tough. I knew it was; but I will try. I will always try. Julie says to her, “Yeah it’s tough, but this girl (nodding over at me) has excellent cardio vascular endurance and she can do it.” You have no idea how much strength it gives me to have a professional who sees tons of clients basically tell me that I am at a different level than most of them. That, “I know you will do whatever I tell you to do because you are amazing. So many people complain and complain about it, but you never complain, you just do it.” I would never think to complain, ever. I am paying for this and I whole heartedly want someone to push me and push me.

This is what we did, quickly, in 15 minutes or less I had to do (and did with much effort and fatigue):

100 jumping jacks
90 mountain climbers
80 lunges
70 knee kick climbers
60 second wall hold
50 crunches
40 leg lifts
30 don’t know the official name, lye on the ground and using your stomach muscles lift up your legs high into the air
20 jumping squats
10 burpies
60 second plank

I don’t actually know if that sounds hard to anyone or not, but let me tell you, that is intense. My legs were on fire; my body was working so hard you have no idea. 15 minutes and I finished. I will not forget this workout. Oh, and Burpies are the devil for the record although she told me I had amazingly perfect form and my shoulders looked awesome. She has a way of complimenting me while I’m exercising that just keeps me going. I don’t know if the compliments are designed to just overall bolster my confidence or to trick me into working harder in the moment; either way it is exactly what I need to hear to push a little harder. I guess that’s why she’s the professional I pay to do this.

After the 15 minute insane circuit we picked up a 30 pound barbell and I had to do bicep curls and overhead lifts. Let me tell you, 30 pounds is a lot and after 10-20 reps my arms were on fire and I seriously did not think I could lift anymore. She kept telling me that 30 pounds is a lot and she was impressed. I am impressed with myself because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt 2 months ago I could NOT have lifted that much. Completely true. I had zero strength and now I am getting really strong as she said and the definition in my muscles is definitely coming thru.

Yesterday was one of those rare moments where I knew every single second of that workout was worth any amount of money I paid for it. They were all things I would not have done on my own, exercise wise, but more importantly; what I get from her is something that is priceless. Here is this woman who trains tons of people daily and sees all sorts of abilities and is basically complimenting me and telling me I am dedicated and committed to a level she hasn’t seen in a long while and that I am in great shape. I would never believe or even comprehend this on my own. Not that I 100% trust it, sometimes I think it’s their job to blow smoke up your ass and encourage you, but it’s still nice to hear. I know I’m dedicated. I know I am stronger than even I knew. I know my form and endurance and strength is getting better daily. I see the vast improvements from 2 months ago to today. I see it. It’s just amazing to have independent confirmation of this.

Needless to say, after my one on one, I felt great. I went into cardio sculpt pumped and primed and pretty much kept up with the instructor. I am getting better. Week by week I am able to do more and more and keep up with just about everything. When I started I mostly just did what I could and then watched. I am definitely in the upper half of the class in terms of being able to do the stuff. After cardio sculpt was turbo kick where I really shine. I have got the moves down pact at this point and it’s all good. Love that class!

A little over 1 hour 30 minutes, 700 calories burned. Then I went home and showered and sat down and watched TV while I let my body actually veg out for a while. It was nice. Tonight I am back at the gym but it will be an easy night tonight. Not looking for a long and killer workout. There is a new class tonight at 6:30 since it’s now a new month. I don’t really know exactly what it is but I’m taking it. It’s only half an hour and then I plan to do about 30 minutes or so weights and then call it good for the night. Tonight is definitely my easy night. Tomorrow it’s back to 3 thirty minute classes so tonight is easy night. Of course we will see how I feel this afternoon. Right now I feel amazing and kind of high from such a great experience last night but I know by the time the afternoon hits I will be dragging a little.

I’m also looking forward to a nice long run this weekend outside. It is my goal to run at least 7-8 miles this weekend outside. I am not shooting for more at this point because it will be my first real attempt at outside running so I think 7-8 miles will be plenty with the new conditions I will be dealing with. However, I’m looking forward to it immensely. I really like challenging myself and pushing myself towards new things that I just never thought I could do. This is one of them.

I am such an addict. I have such a ridiculous addictive personality it is actually kind of scary. I really do try and use my addictive trait for good instead of evil, ha. But take being addictive to being with and then throw in the natural high that people get from exercise and I’m in such serious trouble. Like my trainer said, I am completely committed to this. It’s evident how badly I want it. Funny thing is, I don’t have an exact goal in mind, other than I want to get better at everything. I want to get stronger and faster and be a full born kick ass athlete. I guess that’s what I want. My weight doesn’t change so I guess I’m not after that, but instead I’m after a shapely athletic body. Moreover, I just want someone to look at me and instantly know that that girl is fit and she is an athlete. That is what I want to be known as. The girl who is strong. :) I don’t want to be thin, I want to be fit and there is such a difference. There really is. Honest to God I have never been happier with my body than I am right now.

I remember once seeing like 128 on the scale. Mind you this was like 5 years ago after I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery and was in the hospital for 4 days and could not eat anything on their orders. I had been running, because I always run. I was thin. I was probably the thinnest I had ever been but I was not strong. I would not trade this 140-142 pound body for that 128 pound body. No way. You see I have come a long way in even realizing that statement. It used to be entirely about what the number on the scale said and I would do stupid awful things to get that number as low as possible. Seeing like 128 probably would have been the coolest thing ever for this girl. Not anymore. I really am about being healthy and giving my body the proper food and nutrition and being overall healthy. Being able to kick someone’s ass if I had to means a lot more to men than being 128 pounds. Not that I could kick someone’s ass. Metaphorically maybe not literally.

Anyhow, I am so happy days like today exist. I’ve had far too many shitty days as of late and having a great day like today is a reminder of what I’m fighting for anyway. It’s so nice to have a happy positive mental health kind of day to remind myself that I am beautiful, strong and capable. I am not perfect. But I am perfectly happy with myself. I’ll take it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Defining Moment (Happy Girls Run)

EEK… Holy Shit… What the fuck have I done?

Feeling so inspired by my own bravery and excitement about what I can do in life, I impromptu-ly just took one of the biggest steps of my entire life. I googled races and then low and behold found myself entering my information and credit card number and now officially have done what I have talked about for so long, I have made the ultimate commitment. On September 22 this girl will become a half-marathoner. I will run a half marathon, outdoors, around a lake in Forrest Grove, OR. This girl who has only ever ran 1 5-k in her life years and years ago (like 5), will now by-pass the 5k, by-pass the 10k line and jump straight to half marathon. Holy shit.

I have 7 weeks to apparently attempt to run outside. Oh yeah, I don’t run outside do I? Nope. I have no illusion that running a half marathon outside will be easy. I have no illusion that I shall be able to maintain my 6.4 miles per hour pace outside with all the elements. I have no illusions period. My goal is to finish. I don’t really care about my time. I just want to run a half-marathon to say I have done it. I want the pretty half marathon necklace they give you at the end of this particular race, but more important I want the official recorded on paper acknowledging that I, Emily Canady, ran a half-marathon. Even if I have to walk from time to time, I will still finish a half marathon. And now it might be time to google training schedules or something like that. However, I am not actually that worried. I am not worried because I have now ran 13.1 miles in a row once and that knowledge will propel me thru. Now its time to take it outside on occasion and see what this girl is really made of. Weather and all.

Practice what you preach. Holy shit, I am just in shock. This is one of the proudest moments in my life actually. Finally realizing that I can do this and hitting submit on the online form. I won’t back down now, I can’t. I did it. I can only imagine the pride and satisfaction I am going to feel when I finish. I will cry. I know this. I know this because I almost had tears in my eyes when I hit submit on the form. Tears because I realized today that I can make my dreams come true. Tears because after 10 years I finally know that I am capable of this. Tears because I am going to make a dream a reality and become a half-marathoner. Oh yes, there will be tears. Finally time to walk the walk. Yes, I am scared. Beyond scared. What if I fail? What if I can’t do it? What if its too hard? What if I disappoint myself? But you know what, I’ve had all those fears before and I’ve managed. I was afraid of everything I’ve ever done fitness wise until I actually did it. Do NOT let fear define your life. Do NOT let fear stop you from doing what you really want in your heart.

September 22 and I will realize a dream. That is amazing to me. And proof that this time I am a different girl. This time I am so much stronger than I ever knew possible. This time, yes, this time I am going to succeed for good.

This is my race:
http://www.happygirlsrun.com/forestgrove/

Happy Girls Run. Running has always made me happy and therefore I just decided this was the one. This is the race I’ve been waiting for. I am going to run. I am going to do this. I will cast aside all my fears and self-doubt and I am going to run a half-marathon. Can you believe it? I know its not a marathon, not yet anyway, but a half-marathon is still a pretty damned big deal to me.

I feel high right now. High because I just did what I for some reason always thought was impossible in the back of my mind. I guess something I thought I was not good enough to do for some reason and today, I broke thru a mental wall that told me I was not good enough and instead let me believe that no matter what, I AM good enough. I will not be the fastest, I won’t even be as fast as I am on the treadmill, but I will be able to finish. I know that. And that makes me good enough. I am good enough for myself.

Today, this moment, I am good enough and I am strong enough, and I took the first steps to becoming that girl that I see in my head. Anything is possible if you just believe... 

Hunger Pains

I’d say my life has been interesting as of late, but I am not exactly sure interesting is the correct word I should use to describe it. My life has been complex and challenging and therefore it should be considered a victory every time I make a healthy decision. I tend to find something that is comforting in my life, like healthy and nutrition and hold on for dear life when other things get challenging. Why is the human brain so complicated? I mean, why is it that we can only seem to really handle one major thing at a time? When x is failing in my life, then y gets my attention and devotion leaving very little for z.

When my personal life is a mess, health and nutrition get my attention and devotion and this leaves very little of anything else to focus on things that might matter more like my job or money or anything really. It’s that ultimate things are spinning out of control cycle. Oh well I guess. My focus this week really is going to be on trying to bring things back into a balance of some sort. I know I can do better than I have been. And honestly, as I am well aware of, it only takes one good day to put you back on the right track.

Let’s talk weekend for a moment shall we. Once again from Thursday night pretty much thru to last night I continued to eat too much. The trainers all warned me that with continued strength training would come more hunger. I believe they were once again right. I seem to be hungry, like seriously want to eat and eat and eat kind of hungry all the time. I do pretty good until after dinner or thereabouts when I can’t stop the urge to just eat more and end up consuming beyond what I should. Right now my daily intake is set to 1500 calories per day. I hit that 1500 mark and then for four straight days it seems that an overwhelming I don’t care urge has overcome me and I eat another 300 calories or so for good measure. Oops. I will say this though I can think of the past 4 nights and what I ate that was beyond my caloric intake and I have to say my “binge” foods were all pretty healthy, just beyond the daily caloric intake. One night it was peanuts. The next night it was a chicken wrap. Then last night it was peanut butter straight out of the jar. I mean, it’s hard to get too mad at myself if these were the items I was craving and indulged on. Maybe I just needed the extra calories.

Honestly, my actual food consumption this weekend was pretty healthy. Both Saturday and Sunday I hate good quality stuff so it’s not as if I was exactly being bad. I will really excuse the excess calories ate on peanuts and peanut butter. Notice a theme there? I honestly am not really mad about it at all. I am just really making note of the eating habits as a way to document the reality that I’ve been hungry. I actually think its okay because I really am hungry. I am not eating because I am binging or eating crap because it’s there. I am literally hungry and I know my body is telling me to eat something else and I want peanuts or chicken so you know, listen to your body sometimes.

In terms of exercise I had a great weekend and that makes me happy. When I last wrote it was Friday morning after my awful Thursday night. No fun. I was desperate to workout Friday night and you know what? It was awesome. I felt great to get back to the gym Friday night, I really did. I ended up running. I knew mentally I needed a run after Thursday night. So I hit the treadmill for a 60 minute, 6.2 mile nice run. Afterwards I felt much better and then did about 20-30 minutes of arm weights. Perfect workout. 850 calories torched. Saturday morning I got up and headed to the gym for 9 AM Turbo kick. I love it when there ends up only being 3 people in class. Me, my mom and one other person. Basically it felt like an almost one on one session of turbo kick. It was really nice and ass kicking. Then afterwards I ended up paying for an extra one on one personal training session with the turbo kick instructor, Amanda. She is not my regular personal trainer but it’s nice to mix things up now and then.

Amanda kicked my ass which is exactly what I wanted. I went to her asking for an arm workout with dumbbells/barbells because she is so good at them. That is exactly what I got. An upper body targeted workout that honestly left me really sore yesterday. Perfect! I did about 550 calories in 90 minutes there. More importantly afterwards I felt like a total rock star. My arms felt pumped and alive. I felt addicted, which I love.

Yesterday I really knew I wanted to work out. I do have to wake up every single day and make conscious decisions to be healthy and exercise. Actually I woke up late. I slept in til almost 10 AM which is crazy for me, I must have been tired. Then I went and sat on the couch and turned the TV on. I watched about 45 minutes of the game show network, which is the biggest time suck of your life really and then at one point I had to just pause the TV and go, no, no more. I am NOT going to sit here and waste this beautiful Sunday morning like this. Enough. I must be active because my body demands it. So I got up, put on workout clothes. This pretty much almost instantly makes me feel better and want to be active. I actually adore my workout clothes so I guess that is a good thing.

I was thinking about going to the gym but I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. My arms were sore from the arm workout and I wasn’t really wanting to run actually. Ultimately we decided that the beautiful weather called for a hike. So we loaded up a backpack and I put on trail shoes and we headed out. For some reason this year hiking has just clicked for me. I love everything about it. It’s beautiful out; you are isolated in gorgeous nature, but still close enough to civilization to see people and roads. You get fresh air. You get physical activity and work that is completely disguised as fun. It is amazing. We ended up hiking for about 3 ½ hours total. It was a pretty good pace for me. It was leisurely but still a workout. I don’t like to dilly dally. I like to move. We covered about 10.5 miles total and I burned about 900 calories. It was a beautiful perfect way to spend an afternoon. It was not a traditional workout, but it was still a workout. I was not sitting at home watching TV and that was the point.

Of course this meant that last night I had that uncontrollable hunger and peanut butter but that’s all right. I am not eating to lose weight these days, I am eating to maintain my healthy lifestyle, build my health and strength and satisfy my body. I think eating peanut butter is far better than eating processed crap that has no redeeming value for my body. I’ll take it as a win.

Today it’s back to the gym for me and I’m excited, as I always am. Tonight is personal training and then a 30 minute cardio sculpt class and then 30 minutes of turbo kick. That is the agenda for the evening. Of course I’m looking forward to it. I REALLY do love the way I feel about myself and my body when I exercise. It just gives me this confidence that is never there at any other time. It is truly amazing.

I have this mental image in my head of what I want to look like. I have the “after” picture rolling on repeat in my head. The after picture is me in a year, or rather next May, after a year of going to the gym, after a year of personal training, after a year of strength training, after a year of maintaining my healthy weight. It’s not that I’m going to quit after a year. I am never going to quit ever again. My confidence and resolve in this statement is growing each and every day. I actually believe it to my core that this time is the very LAST time. I say that because this time I have gotten myself off that repetitive loop I had been on for the last 10 years of my life. I actually was brave enough for the first time in my life to walk a different path and do something I was afraid of. I joined a gym. I am going to the gym. I love the gym. I have a personal trainer. I love personal training. I am taking classes. I love classes. Each of these things are things I was terrified to do. Seriously beyond terrified and now I am completely satisfied and in love. It really has opened my eyes to the possibilities in life. What else was I terrified to do that it could turn out to be one of the greatest loves of my life?

It’s an interesting concept really. I spend so much time in fear. I was afraid of a gym. We all know that I was terrified of personal training. And they my now my greatest joy and strength. What else is out there waiting for me that I can tackle? Is it a half marathon? Is it a full marathon some day? Or is it something else, greater that I can’t even see yet? I see the girl that I am going to become in my head and I am so in love with her. I can say that without reservation. I think it’s amazing to be able to say that you really love yourself. I am working on that concept. I don’t totally love her now, but I see her, I see her in my head and every single day I am working towards her. Pushing myself into new directions that I didn’t think I could go.

Today I am feeling inspired and blessed. Today I feel amazing actually. I can do this. Whatever life throws at me, I can do.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Word Therapy

Therapy was hard. It was actually really hard. I think it was hard because it makes you ask and answer some tough questions that you otherwise apparently are avoiding on your own. Instead of actually helping, which I guess I thought it might, it left me feeling disgusting and raw and emotional. I guess that means it is working right. I kind of didn’t like that feeling at all. I guess I didn’t really like what was said. The hard truths my friends. The hard truths; which is never fun to hear. I guess I thought I knew what was going to be said to some degree and on some level I was not surprised by what was said. Ugh. The point in this is that I left therapy all fucked up and angry. I was upset and sad. A giant emotional mess. Confusion ball. That is the best way to describe it.

I have entirely learned over the past couple years that I am not one of those people who instantly can process information and make snap decisions. I have to REALLY think about things and work on them in my brain for a period of time before I can rationalize and come to any real understanding. I guess what that means is that I have to probably have a few days distance from the session to actually determine what the take-away is from it. To see if it was helpful. Oh, I’m sure hearing the stuff was helpful but in order to actually really relate it to my life I think I need some time to process. I am just not an instant processor. I HATE with a passion, beyond a passion actually, move into I will fucking snap your head off territory being hounded about what I think about something instantly after it occurs. I hate someone poking me and saying, what happened? What did you talk about? What are you going to do? There is nothing that pisses me off more than someone I guess demanding or expecting an answer from me. Probably because I don’t even have the answer yet so how on earth can I begin to share my feelings on it when I haven’t come to terms with my feelings.

Communication is a huge issue in life in every single relationship we have. Understanding communication styles and how to effectively deal with the people around us is one of life’s greatest challenges. If you know me, if you want to love me, you have to understand that no good will ever come of immediately expecting me to behave rationally if you are poking at me expecting answers I am not prepared to give. I am a processor. I instantly react badly and then need a few days to sort it out before I can embrace whatever it is.

After therapy, probably in part because I had not exercised and was clearly suffering from a double whammy of lack of positive emotions, I decided to hit the mall for a while to walk around. So much going on in my head, sometimes we just need to escape. I guess for some reason I thought shopping would help clear my head. Not that this is ever a viable reality but sometimes it does temporarily make you feel better I guess. So I went into the mall, still not fully embracing the craptastic mood my brain was in, and hit up Victoria Secret. This is my favorite store, like ever. This undoubtedly stems back to my teenage years where I would lust after I guess the image of what I thought the Victoria Secret models projected. It wasn’t so much that I was lusting after their bodies or even entirely the clothing, although I did desperately one day want to be able to wear the clothes in the catalog. I think I was mostly lusting after the image of beauty that so closely aligned with my own personnel assessment of beauty. You can say what you want about skewed body images, etc., but I actually think Victoria Secret does a pretty good job of it.

Sure, are some of the models stupidly thin? Of course. But as a general rule they embrace a curvy girl. They really do. At 220 pounds I still wore Victoria Secret clothes and undergarments. They make size XL clothes which fit my 220 pound frame. I wore their bras even at my heaviest. Aside from that even their smallest clothes now are generous in their sizing. I pretty much wear an XS in everything at VS and let’s face it, while I might be in shape I am generally not an extra small. A small at most stores for sure, but not an extra small as Victoria Secret would have me believe. Nonetheless, when I was a teenager looking at that catalog I used to fantasize about being that healthy looking and beautiful and thin I guess but mostly put together. Those girls were so put together and I imagined the lives they must have. And I wanted it. I was so hooked from an early age that it is not shocking that the first time I ever lost weight one of my first desires was to order from the Victoria Secret catalog, the clothes. The real pretty dresses and shirts, etc.

Consequently it is not shocking that today I am an avid VS shopper and most of my wardrobe comes from there. Clearly, as an adult, I know better now that simply being able to fit into the clothes does not come with the fabulous life I imagined. But the essence of my youth remains. That forever appeal that I am somehow worthy. I have discussed this with both my husband and my mom on occasion. My mom made one very good point which was, “well, it’s not like you didn’t earn your body or work hard for it.” It was a nice compliment and has resonated with me. You can say what you want about having the influence of VS fuck up my idea of what beauty is, but it’s not like it was ever handed to me. I had to work over and over again to be able to wear VS the way that I perceived it should be worn. I did earn it. Or rather work my ass off for it.

Anyway, I went into VS and found my favorite bra style, the bombshell. As I have lost weight and more weight I have discovered that as the girls have given way to gravity and emptiness the most extreme bra that Victoria Secret has is the only one that really makes me look like I have boobs. I have come a long way. Turns out I am now a 32B. I had a hard time embracing that B cup thing. I have always been a C plus. But turns out that is weight. I am a B. The moment I actually embraced it enough to put on the correct size bra I knew instantly it was right. The difference the correct size bra makes is incredible. So I am bombshell 32B wearer. At least until the day I get a boob job. Until then I will allow Victoria to make the world believe I have boobs where there are none.

After Victoria Secret, where I did get a new bra and undies that I entirely did not need but was hoping to retail myself happy, I headed to Sports Authority to just check it out. I had a disturbing moment in Sports Authority that put my shitty mood into perspective.

I was looking at workout clothes. My workout wardrobe is like 99% Victoria Secret, but I still like to look at other stuff. Anyway, I was walking around looking at stuff and happened to glance at my reflection in the mirror. I was horrified. Like beyond horrified. I walked back and took a better look. This mirror, at Sports Authority, inside the mall on a Thursday evening at approximately 7:45 PM, made me feel the most conscious I have been of myself in ages. I suddenly, for the life of me, could not get the fat girl out of my brain. I looked in the mirror and saw a FAT girl. An awful, frumpy, disgusting fat girl. I almost cried. Seriously. I could not shake the fat girl I saw in the mirror.

Clearly something in therapy was fucking with the brain in the most awful way. Clearly things were all muddled up there and I unlocked some part of the insecure girl that clearly lives within me. Exposing raw emotions on that level left me completely vulnerable to my deepest insecurities. And suddenly there it was staring back at me in the mirror. The 220 pound version of myself. I saw a disgusting stomach fat roll. I saw gigantic thighs that would not stop. I saw extra skin and fat everywhere. I had a real moment of complete crazy. I say crazy because I understand that 140-142 pounds is not a crazy fat person, but honestly, in that mirror, all I saw was how much more I needed to improve. Improve on everything. It was so awful and I knew in that moment that I was too emotionally drained to be partaking in any such thing so I left the store and the mall.

Here’s the deal; I know I am not a gigantic mess. I know I am not perfect either. I have areas that will always bother me. I have come a long way, but I am not now nor will I ever be perfect. It’s just not going to happen. It really was the combination of opening up gigantic gaping wounds at therapy mixed with the lack of exercise high that I thrive off of. My emotions were just so all over the place.

It made me realize that as much as I have this most days, I am still a scared little girl from time to time. I still need someone to hug me and tell me that everything is going to be okay. As we grow older, and become stronger and braver in life, it’s easy to get caught up in our own maturity or identity and forget that at our core we are all vulnerable from time to time. Last night was a good reminder of that.

Of course when I got home, I had to fight all night long to not console myself with food. Old habits die hard. I did end up eating way too many pop chips, but they were pre portioned 100 calorie bags. Yes, I ate too many of them, but it wasn’t awful. In fact, I pretty much ended my day exactly where I was supposed to be calorie wise. These days it’s about a 1500 calorie day for me most days. I was right around that. It might not have been the best quality food, but it wasn’t over the top and I’m thankful for that. On days like yesterday, that really is the best I can hope for.

So today is a new day. Today I woke up and was so excited to get to go to the gym tonight. Yes, I am crazy like that. I want to get rid of some of the negativity in my brain and exercise thru some of the issues that were brought up yesterday. As I ponder what was discussed, on a treadmill really is where I do my best thinking. I have my gym bag packed and seriously am chomping at the bit to get to the gym. So crazy!

My Friday night will be spent exactly where I want to be, at the gym, sweating thru as much of all of this emotional baggage as I possibly can. My body does not feel sore today, in fact, it feels ready, primed and pumped to go. I need my exercise free therapy.

No one ever said life was easy or health and fitness was a straight line. Success in anything is a long and windey road. I will also say that this morning when I popped out of bed and felt an overwhelming desire to go to the gym it occurred to me for the first time as a real possibility that perhaps I should eventually consider a career change. If I am that excited about the prospect of waking up and going to the gym that maybe I am doing the wrong thing with my life. I could see it, eventually. This morning was the first time that it really hit me like that, so obvious. Today I just want to get to the gym. I want to spend my Friday night at the gym and my Saturday morning at the gym. Yup, it’s entirely about me and my health, not about my weight.

I am glad my yesterday is in the past and I can move forward today not beating myself up too much. I am glad I did not give in and eat the entire bag of Chex mix like I felt so tempted to do last night. I can tackle today guilt free and ready to go. It’s probably aversion therapy. Avert my reality from what was actually discussed in therapy and what really is bothering me, to something that my brain can handle and comprehend. Exercise. But I really do mean it that I work out my mind the best thru exercise. I sort thru my problems best when I am running on that damned treadmill. There is no moment of time where I feel happier, more at peace and more free to make the best possible, truest to me decisions. So if I have to avert my attention to address the issue than I will simply run thru it. Running has always been there for me. For 10 years of my life, running has been their. That is the true love story of my life.

I watched this week’s Extreme Make Over last night in the wee hours of the night as I battled insomnia brought on by therapy as well. Ha. Anyway, the girl wanted to run a marathon. So Chris Powell made her run 26.2 miles by herself in Paris actually. It occurred to me, probably being fueled by my own 13.1 mile run the other day, that I actually think I *can* run a marathon. I am just about crazy enough to decide to do it and just do one. I do think I’d start with a half marathon, but I am getting pretty close to just doing it. What the hell am I so afraid of? Why am I holding myself back so much? That really is the story of my life anyway. As I said, running is the love of my life, really. Why don’t I embrace it more? It has been there for me when all other things in my life have fallen apart. It has been there for me when things were good too. Running comes and goes in my life but she is always there waiting, accepting, willing to take me back and embrace me. She doesn’t judge me either. She never makes me feel like crap about myself. In fact, she is the one thing that ALWAYS builds me up and makes me feel better about me. She is quite simply perfect. I owe her so much. I owe her my health really. I owe her a lot of any sanity I have in my brain.

Oh Running. You are my forever. You have my heart. Do you see with how much love I discuss running? Creepy and amazing at the same time.

Thank goodness it’s Friday and that means weekend time. Tomorrow morning its gym time with some turbokick and a little one on one personal training with a different trainer, who is going to give me a kick-ass arm workout. Thrilled for that. I can only seem to find true happiness these days at the gym. I guess I need to just be happy that something brings me happiness these days. Until the rest of my life gets sorted out, I am embracing the gym full force. I need it. I need that happiness to temper the rest of the times that are not so happy. I need to look forward to feeling happy again in those moments where life doesn’t seem bearable.

I am certain that there is a happier healthier version of my life out there on the horizon for me. I am just trying to figure out how to get to it. I see it, it’s starting to come into focus, but I’m just trying to find the path to it. And for once it’s not about my health and weight. Funny that when I finally get my health and fitness in check it makes me start addressing all the other issues in my life that don’t fulfill me or complete me. It’s like suddenly I realize I deserve to be happy and am worth more than I am allowing myself. Then why not me? Why the fuck not me? Why can’t I actually be happy? I have these moments of utter happiness and pride at the gym, why can’t I actually truly be happy? I am so damned tired of living an un-authentic life. I am not any less worthy than anyone else, so I need to go and fucking plow down the path to my happiness if I can’t plainly see it.

I know no matter what happens in the months ahead, or along the road I end up traveling, I AM going to be okay. I have a fabulous support system in my life and I have my running. I am slowly giving my heart away to myself for the first time in my life and that is the best gift anyone has EVER given me. To love oneself is really the best gift in life.

And for the record, somehow, I feel like writing all this crap out is more therapeutic than 50 minutes on a couch with a stranger. I said my peace and in some weird way I feel like I know some of you guys and I’m talking to friends ;)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Confidence & Strength

Well hello August, where the hell did you come from? I mean, seriously… August already. I am actually in utter shock and disbelief that the summer is literally flying by. It makes me want to scream out, STOP… wait, but I am in no way shape or form ready for the summer to be done yet and for the miserable weather to return. I feel like I still need months of sun. Alas, I am not in control, much like I am not in control of so much of my life period. Sad to admit huh. I try my best to control that is within my control and the rest I just have to let go of. At points I wish other people around me could accept this reality with as much blind faith as I do, but again, I have zero control over anyone else.

Both Tuesday night and last night I went to the gym and burned about 400-450 calories each night. Good solid workouts. Lots of arm work this week. I have been quite focused on my arms as of late. It’s that whole obsessive compulsive vibe I have going on. When I set my mind to something there is nothing, and I mean nothing that will stop me. My focus is laser sharp. And for some reason I have become blindly focused on my arms and shoulders and back. Like the whole upper body package suddenly is the most important thing in the world. I do believe it is really good to focus on something in life. That havening a goal or a focus of any sort not only keeps you motivated but its good for so many reasons. Right now I’m failing to think of the other reasons but I am certain they exist.

Anyhow, consequently my laser sharp arm focus has produced some really great arm workouts in the past 5 days and now my arms are tired. Understandable and completely acceptable. Basically I have kicked major ass at the gym Saturday thru Wednesday so yeah 5 days in a row could only mean one logical conclusion. Rest Day. Yup. Today is my official rest day; no gym for this girl. Actually I kind of don’t have a real choice since tonight I have a real life therapy appointment. I am nervous. I am always nervous, right? It’s the scardy cat in me that does that. Regardless, tonight I go and talk about what the hell is happening in my life which brought me to make the appointment to begin with. Like so many people dealing with issues that lead them to counseling, I am conflicted. I am always conflicted. I am not even sure what I want. I have brilliant moments of clarity and strength and then moments where my resolve fails to bits.

All I have said for the past month or so is thank God I have health and the gym in my life. It really is coming at the perfect moment to help keep my sanity in check. It gives me that focus that I need to block out all the other stuff that one might otherwise have a hard time dealing with. Plus, it gives me confidence that surely is otherwise lacking in my life. As a general rule I am not a confident girl. I have to say, is anyone who is overweight really super confident? I know they project confidence here and there and they are not any less worthy than anyone. I think it’s entirely possible for an overweight person to be happy and have self-esteem and confidence; but I just think it’s a rarity. At least it never existed for me. Funny thing is, even though I am now at a reasonable size my confidence didn’t suddenly return. I have to work on that every bit as much as I work on the health and fitness. Confidence for me comes when I have an awesome workout or I accomplish something that I have not previously done. Or when I suddenly realize that I am so much better off than I ever previously thought. I am earning my confidence every single day that I push myself. Without this right now in my life I shudder to imagine where I’d be. Not very happy for sure.

I think my therapy appointment tonight is a stepping stone to figure out how to make myself happy. I have a great life but like everyone, there are things that are missing and holding me back. There are constant drains on my health and well-being that need to be addressed. Again, I am not certain of what outcome I even am looking for but perhaps I’m approaching it all wrong. Perhaps I don’t need to know an outcome. Maybe I need to gain understanding. I think that is what I’m hoping to get from therapy. Confirmation that I am not crazy.

That’s really more than I wanted to talk about therapy anyway. What I really wanted to talk about what the scale or rather how incredibly stupid and useless I actually realized it was today. I’ve been pretty good about only weighing myself once a week this entire time. Even the past four weeks or so I’ve really only done it once a week on these Thursday mornings. Today was no different. Haven’t gotten on there in a week. Pretty much the same. The good news is I am maintaining in the 140-142 pound range for weeks and weeks. That’s pretty great news all around I suppose. However, I really realized today that it is utterly useless for me.

If I were not exercising or trying to build the muscle like I am, and simply just eating and trying to maintain weight then the scale would be a perfect tool of measurement and I would be very proud of my fairly consistent maintenance. But after getting on the scale this morning and seeing really no change as a general rule I was mad. Then I stopped for a moment and was like, what a fucking useless tool this is for me? Seriously. Cause if I judged by this scale alone the last month was completely a waste of my time and basically utterly useless. Then I looked in a mirror. I looked in the bathroom mirror and was like; um… yeah… that scale is fucked up. I am certain it is doing its job as it’s supposed to. All it can do is tell me this exact moment the density of the object on it. I am without a doubt fairly consistent with that week to week.

Guess what the scale can’t measure at this point… how much muscle I have gained in the past month. How much fat I have lost. How many new muscles are showing up on my body. How I feel about myself. Yup, all things that a scale is completely useless at determining. My July was insane on the health and exercise front. Probably much more than anyone really needs to do. But all that effort HAS to produce some sort of results other than a simple maintain on a scale. It’s a good thing that I am not living my life by a scale these days. With that said I think I might not weigh myself for like 2 weeks. I am pretty certain that I don’t need the scale weekly to tell me I’m maintaining. My actions can pretty much speak for themselves. I lead a very healthy lifestyle and there is no way that I gain weight. The only thing I really am gaining these days is muscle. In fact my body, mainly my upper body is pretty sore after these 5 days of exercise that I would suspect I am retaining tons of water as the muscle are ripped down and torn apart.

I just checked my calendar and in July I exercised 27 out of 31 days. Yup, I took off a whole whopping 4 days in the month of July. Can you tell I am a focused, determined girl? Not to mention these days the gym is seriously where I feel the most at peace. I feel completely in my zone and rocking that confidence while there so it’s no wonder I want to spend so much time there. The gym is where I feel the most like me and the most at peace. Funny change from months ago where I couldn’t even phantom going to the gym at all. I am so grateful I found a place I can feel that comfortable and at peace at. It is exactly what I need at this point in my life. Funny how sometimes the universe brings exactly the thing we need at the exact moment we need it in our lives. That is how I feel about my newfound love of the gym. Once again, the universe knew better than me. I need to learn to trust it more.

I can’t even imagine that 10 months ago right now I was 220 pounds and miserable. What a ridiculous difference 10 months can make. I can say with 100% certainty and without hesitation. Right now, as I stand today, I am in the best shape I have ever been in in my entire life. And it is only going to get better from here. While I may have technically weighed less at various points in my life, there is no way my health was ever this good. I was never this strong. The girl I am today would kick that 130 pound version of me’s ass. This girl is so much stronger and more toned. This girl is tough. And right now, more than anything, I need to believe in myself and believe that I am worth it. I am worth more than I ever gave myself credit for.