Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday:The Next Big Thing

You know what’s interesting? Reading someones blog who is insightful, and open, and transparent about the things going on in their life... and apparently very modest (and by “someone”, I’m referring to the “royal” me, but I digress ;) and think, “Wow! She’s an over-sharer!”

Yeah, well... I am, and I looove to share way more than is appropriate at times, except for the times that I don’t.

Like right now.

I’ve been keeping something from you - my loyal blog readin’ peeps. And I feel (mostly) bad about it.

But it’s confession time...

*deep, cleansing breath*

I... I don’t know how to say it, but... here goes....

I signed up for an endurance type race.

::crickets chirp::

Yes... really... that’s it. That’s huge!

Don’t believe me? Go back to this time last year and look at the many (I’m too lazy to look ‘em all up) moanings and groanings of ‘training’ for the Race for the Cure 5K... I’m a lifter not a runner demmit!

And swore that it would (probably) be my last (that year) for. eber. (till later anyway)

Then I totally rocked the race... but burnt myself out (thank you thyroid and stressed adrenals!) and totally swore off doing events. They’re not for me thankyouverymuch.

Except for this one...

That was the first one in a long time that made me sit up and do a ::head tilt:: of interest.

I get to run, jump, swing, play, swim, climb AND drink beer then they give me a silly hat?! Serious?! It’s like a CrossFit playground for bada$$ wannabes to test their stuff!

So I hemmed. And I hawed. Then a friend said she’d do it with me... then another one said she’d do it... so I sent in my moolah and omg it’s. on. Saturday!

Here’s the amazing thing (aside from keeping it mostly to myself for 4+ months): I haven’t *trained* for it. Not in the sense that I felt like I /had/ to /train/. Instead, I modified my workout schedule - started with focusing on building more strength, then slowly incorporated more cardio type workouts in the form of intervals to slowly increase my running endurance - doing any where from 4-8 minutes running, and 2 minutes recovery. It did get to the point of feeling like I /had/ to do the run workouts, and it also felt like that was taking over, but if you’re “training” for a sport, you have to *do* that sport.

I’ll be durned if I didn’t do pretty darn well with it as a whole. I can run on average an 11 minute mile now! And can lift a decent amount (but still no full-on pull ups, yet... grrr...)

The only thing I didn’t build into the schedule: Periodization. Ooops... Had some rest days, but didn’t build in low volume time to offset the higher volume. As a result, I’m doing serious rest this week to make sure I *can* do the event on Saturday...This is me living, and learning...

And looking forward to the next thing on the agenda.

Which, right now, is NOT another endurance race (though the hubby planted an idea of a 1/2 M-word in my brain... and it’s for the Marines... dang it... at least it’d be over a year away to rationalize or worm out of. ;)

Again with the tangent, sorry. :)

Anywho, one thing that I’ve realized that is so very important as part of this journey to not only fit into a smaller jean size, but also to really achieve optimal health, is that “motivation” is tricky, and temporary. It’s great for getting you going, but doesn’t /keep/ you going... it’s those habits you build along the way that sustain the healthy life you’re creating that propel you forward.

It’s also looking at achieving a milestone/goal as a launch pad, not a stop sign. Cool, you just did X! Take some time to soak it in and bask in the beautiful glow of that moment... then figure out what to do next.

It took me a while to figure that out. For instance, I was _so_ focused on getting into my wedding dress that after the awesome day, I was stuck, unmotivated, and floundering, and dind’t know why. Ok, partly it was because I was so bloody tired from all the work that went into it, I was pooped! But beside that, I had nothing to look forward to accomplishing afterwards. So, after many naps, I found something else to work towards...

Then I found something else... then something else… and kept up that cycle.

Ya always have to have something to look forward to/fill the void with because if you don’t, someone else will.

At this point I’m really looking forward to: 1) a week off to recover from the Warrior Dash (and some other life stuff that’s happened along the way), 2) taking a vacation with my hubby that will involved hiking, hot springs, celebrating with family and spending time with friends for a couple of weeks, then 3) getting back to work to really start building some serious strength. I know that some of the obstacles on the Dash course will expose some areas that I really need to work on, namely upper body strength. And even though I did a pretty good job of balancing cardio with heavy lifting, the latter is what I miss the most when I feel a little too cardio heavy. Not to mention it’s starting to get flippin’ hot here in southern AZ... perfect excuse to stay in air conditioned comfort. ;) Oh, and there’s the matter of getting to work on my CEU’s for my Personal Trainer cert, and figure out what the heck I want to do with that in the first place...

So how about you? Any big, deep dark secrets you’re keeping from folks? How do you keep yourself moving forward? Any big event you’re working towards right now? Any words of wisdom for my event? Or do you just jealous I’m doing it and you’re not (cuz you know you want the hat. ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fly By: Universal Truths

Sometimes life goes along all nice and relatively easy... lessons may come my way but they barely make a blip on my general radar screen.

Other times it’s one. thing. after. another.

I mean, I was gonna do an April Fools post about deciding to ditch this eating right and exercising stuff in favor of the oh so awesome “CURE” for excess weight... the fabulous amazing HCG stuffs... Yeah, that was before the roof blew off our house. And my car died. And took the dishwasher with it.

Seriously - what’s up with that?!

So no April Fools jokes for me, thanks... Feeling like the Powers That Be are making /me/ their joke... since They have seem to have a really good sense of humor. But as much as the PTB enjoy having fun at my expense, (and apparently taking their sweet time on my request to be Queen of the Universe... ) I’ve learned a few things along the way - 1) I don’t get more than I can handle (though I question /their/ faith in /my/ ability to not have a complete meltdown at the drop of a hat), and 2) If I don’t get the lesson They’re trying to teach, I get to go through it all. over. again.

So having accomplished #1 - roof all fixed in time for the massive wind and rain storm that hits this time of year, car was an easy and relatively inexpensive fix, and got a ganga deal on a new dishwasher that the hubby made me do all the heavy lifting for, not to mention finding someone to repair our wall and install our gate as a bonus - I had some time to move on to #2... I had some ‘crockpot’ time to simmer and stew... and instead of risking the lather-rinse-repeat of missing the lessons, I’ll do what I do best: Share.

Cuz sometimes my life is an example of what /to/ do... Other time my purpose is to serve as an warning of what /not/ to do. LOL!!!

Anywho, as I’m always fond of saying, the process for change is always the same. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if you’re going to be making some changes, big or small, in any area of your life, it’s the same process, and there’s some Universal Truths that go along with it... And the last few weeks have been not so subtle reminders of those...

#1 - If you’re going to get stronger, you have to encounter resistance

I know this one is easy if you’ve ever done strength training: The heavier the resistance, the stronger the muscle. Well... works the same in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to making changes. Sooo many times we want the process of change to be easy, but when something comes easy, you come to take it for granted. When you really have to work for it, you treasure the results.

Lets look at it terms of losing weight. Say you’ve got a significant amount to lose, and you’ve got a pretty messed up diet. You make a few changes and *bam* 10 pounds is gone effortlessly. Whoo hoo! You found the “Easy Button”! This is no problem! I’m gonna do this and happy dance and ... hey, ::poke:: ummm scale... why you not move for a few weeks? And what the... _2_ birthday parties this week?! And a major foodie holiday?!

Resistance. Which leads to …

#2 - It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.

I know, I know, you’ve heard that one before. It’s all a mind set, think positive, blah blah blah...


No you don’t need to be the bluebird of happiness all the time, but you can make up your mind of how you’re going to react.

So many times when we make The Big Decision - you know the one. The Big Decision to STOP {insert less than healthy behavior/activity here} and START {insert replacement behavior/activity here}.

Then an amazing thing happens - we turn into a 5 year old with no impulse control and want everything. right. now.

What?! Don’t give me that look - I’m including myself in that “we”. Have ya not met Veruca and Stevie? When do you think they showed their bright and shiny, precious little bratty... er... princess faces to me?! After my Big Decision to stop feeling like poo and gaining weight and finally start eating better and exercising.

Whooo doggie was that an eye opener! Nothing like a Big Decision to reduce a seemingly grounded (heh, interesting choice of words) adult into a fit pitching, cranky, entitled 5 year old (and a super emo, distant 13 year old that showed up later on) to test the boundaries and stability of said Big Decision.

Eventually I learned to recognize their ploys, I mean work with them for our greater good... but it took a lot of work when encountering the resistance, learning from it, making better decisions, keeping calm, learning to react differently... and slowly, but surely, results of the changes on the inside started to show on the outside. It wasn’t overnight... it wasn’t in a month... in fact think it took a whole lot longer, but the point is: It took.

Trust me, the cycle of stress to meltdown to near shutdown to resolution to reaction to action that I go through is still there... it’s just shortened significantly, and I spend a lot less time in the first part, and more time in the last bits, by making choices and looking ahead - even the tiniest bit - instead of where I am right now.

Which makes me realize...

#3 - What you do (or don’t do) today will effect you tomorrow.

What you eat, what you spend, what you pick up and put away, what activity you do or don’t do today, will have an impact on my mood, my energy, my environment, my bank account tomorrow.

Don’t believe me? K... lets play a little game.

Think abut where you want to be weight/health/financially in 6 months from now.

Got that picture in your mind? Good.

Now think about your habits _right now_.

Do they match where you want to be?

Moving on...

#4 - Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good

Helloooo perfection! Yeah, this is where my Inner Princesses really shine. Wanna make a change? Ok, we have to do research! Look up all the different ways to do this or that, then pick the way that seems best, then look into how to do it perfectly because anything worth doing is worth doing right, and only right, right? And we aren’t going to do it unless we do it right, right?!

Know where all that got me?! About another couple of inches of spread on my posterior and firmly stuck in the overwhelmed/stressed/meltdown/shutdown part of the cycle. Who can move to action when you’re frozen by fear and indecision?!

Finally I’d had enough and made a deal with the princesses - we’d pick ONE thing... just one, and do /something/ every day towards it. It wasn’t a lot, but it got the mediocre, imperfect, slow but steady ball rolling. And you know what? The world didn’t end. Nothing blew up. The perfection police didn’t show up at my doorstep to ridicule me (though I’m sure I contributed some to the cause... it’s how I roll. Old habits die slow, painful deaths. ;)

Doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing. And doing something consistently is MUCH better than starting, then stopping for a looong time, then starting again for a day... then stopping.



Yeah... think that’s pretty self explanatory. ;)

But it’s a good reminder that …

#6 - There’s always time for teh cute

What?! That was some serious stuffs I just went through - light and fluffy makes me happy. So there. :)

Whatcha think? Do you have any Universal Truths to add to the list? Any life lessons that you’ve learned over and over and over again you want to share? Any life warnings that you want to be an example of? Seen any cute puppies or kittens lately? Play an April Fool’s Prank this year? Anyone else amused that my 'fly bys' are longer than regular blogs? Discuss...