What it’s like to be an insecure athlete

Not an athlete, but a totally badass hilarious chick none the less.

Not an athlete, but a totally badass hilarious chick none the less.

Hey blog-o-sphere.  I’ve missed you.

So SO much has happened since I’ve last been around, probably the most important of which is that I started a new job with arguably the most incredible company out there.  I’m working as a camp enrollment guru for Triathlon Research.  If you’re in the Tri world and on Facebook like, at all, you’ve heard of us.  We’re the ones who do the camps with Crowie and Rinny and Gwen, and you totally want to come to one.  Just admit it.

This is what we do!

This is what we do!

As it turns out, I’m so amazing at talking with athletes all over the world about the sport I love so SO much that I earned my way into our upcoming camp in just three weeks in Kona, HI with Craig Freaking Alexander.

I’ve never been to Hawaii.  I’ve never had any formal triathlon coaching, short of a few amazing swim lessons with a coach when I was first starting.

Oh, and did I mention I’ve gained 30 pounds back since I started this job?

To say I’m nervous is a bit of an understatement.

In fact, I think it would be fair to say that I’m equal parts nervous and excited, and let me tell you, I’m REALLY excited.

It’s not so much that I’m concerned that I won’t be able to do anything we will be doing at the camp.  I am pretty much intimately familiar with what to expect, and I know that while I’m slow, I’m more than capable of swimming, biking and running the workouts we have planned.  Even more than that, I know that I truly NEED the coaching I’ll get over the course of the week, because my form, technique, workout design, nutrition and transitions are abysmal at best.

If I were to be totally honest, what I’m actually nervous about is the fact that I don’t “look” like a triathlete.

Heck, even 30 pounds skinnier I didn’t look like a triathlete.

A girl who loves wine?  Sure.  A girl who really really loves cake?  Abso-freaking-lutely.

But a girl who can haul her booty over the finish line of a triathlon?  Not so much.

Do I realize that’s a dumb thing to think?  Of course I do.  Body confidence is something I’ve spent the better part of my life working on.  You know, once I was old enough to realize I had a body and it didn’t look like everyone else’s.  Typical girl here.

But knowing it’s a stupid thing to be concerned about, and actually NOT being concerned about it are two different things.

I actually had a near panic attack when I stepped on the scale one day last week and realized I was up ANOTHER two pounds, and I walked out of the bathroom and told my husband I wasn’t going to go.  I actually had it all planned out.  I was going to email my boss and fake an injury, just so that I wouldn’t show up at camp and meet all these athletes who I helped register looking like a sausage who got stuffed into a casing that is too small.

After about 10 seconds of having those thoughts, I gave myself a mental bitch slap, and asked myself WHY?

This struggle is real kittens.  And I know I’m not alone.  Ya’ll know that most of my posts are just sharing little pieces of my life.  Whether they are hilarious, inappropriate, or just plain sad, it always helps to know that I’m not the only one out there.

And if you’ve ever questioned if you should or could do something because of an insecurity about your body, know that you’re not alone either.

Let’s keep giving ourselves mental throat punches and remind our inner voices that we are SO MUCH MORE than what we look like.

Downhills and tailwinds kittens…

Maybe not so boldly going where I haven’t before

Lately I’ve been having more “cheat” meals that I strictly should given what my goals are.  This morning I spent some time asking myself why?

The goals I have physically and aesthetically for 2015 are damn clear in my head.  I know what I want to accomplish, and thanks to amazing coaching by Colleen Gallagher I know EXACTLY how to get there.  Weight loss and performance is truly a science, and if I just stick with the plan I will see my abs by this summer.

So why am I randomly eating ramen noodles on a Friday night when I have loads of healthy food in the house?

Here’s the thing, as it stands right now I am pretty much the smallest and leanest I’ve ever been.  Even if we go as far back as high school, when I was on the dance team and extremely active, I was the size and a similar shape to what I am now.  In my glory days of college where I taught group exercise classes and honestly couldn’t afford to stuff my face regularly, I was this size.

I’m more muscular now, but this is about it for me in terms of what I know my body is capable of.

But I want MORE.  I’ve never seen my abs before.  Ever.  And no matter how tiny I was, I never had a perky butt.  Those are both on my goal list this year, as part of my mission to continue to cut body fat.

So maybe part of the reason I’m cheating so much lately is because my body is at a place where I’m moderately content?  I’ve never known anything “better” than this.  I’ve never known anything leaner than this.

Is it possible, absolutely!  But it’s a place I haven’t been before.  Maybe I’m a little afraid to push myself there.  Maybe part of me just wants to rest on what I know I can achieve and comfortably maintain?

I’m not entirely sure what the reason or the answer is here.  But taking a minute this morning to just realize and uncover these feelings has me refocused for the day.  And really, isn’t that what working towards our goals really is?  Taking it one day at a time and finding success in every good choice we make.

Uh dude, it’s not your body

Lately I’ve had some of the strangest comments made to me.  Now sure, I’ve heard of shit like this happening to other women before, but I guess I was never fit enough that I fell into the category… until now.

Obviously, I’ve lost some weight.  I’m at 36 pounds and counting, and my body looks different.  Like really crazy there’s an entire oompah lumpa gone different.  I’m not “skinny” kids, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m getting smaller.  And it’s pretty common knowledge that I’m not done yet.

I have no idea what my “goal weight” is, but I am aiming for a goal aesthetic.  More than that, I have some performance goals I’m working towards.  And imagine that, getting faster and stronger also equates to getting physically leaner, and in my case, smaller.

So I’m trucking along.

But lately people, especially men, have found it not only appropriate but necessary to say things like:

Don’t put on too much more muscle, you’re going to start looking manly.

Or perhaps even more ridiculous and offensive:

Well whatever you do don’t lose so much weight that you lose your boobs (or sometimes your ass).

Husband, thank God, hasn’t said anything so idiotic.  I think he knows that I would smother him in his sleep.

But somehow, that makes it even WORSE.  These are random dude friends who somehow think that they have a right to not only make these types of comments on my body, but that I actually give a shit about what they think or how they feel about the way I look.

*sigh*

Sure, there’s a part of me that wants to be attractive to others.  But kittens, I’m not doing this for anyone else but me.  If I were, there would be no way I would be this successful.

 

Fear of My Inner Fat Kid

ronda_rousey

You know what scares me?  The notion that a year from now I could end up right back where I was four months ago, overweight and miserable and hating myself for it.

If I’m being truthful, it freaking terrifies me.  Every day I’m working so hard to make lasting lifestyle changes that will stick with me for the long run.  Every day I’m battling demons who want me to eat a family sized box of Mac and Cheese for dinner or drink a bottle of wine just because it’s Tuesday.  More often than not, I’m winning.  Actually, if I’m being completely honest, I am winning 100% of the time outside of planned cheat meals.

But there’s this part of me that chides me.  That whispers in my ear that I can’t be perfect forever.  That some day I will go out to dinner and just order the burger and fries, and that will lead to a slippery slope of stuffing my pie hole until my size 14 jeans don’t fit me anymore… again.

Two days in a row of posting about confidence and self love and I still have these fears and doubts.  I still worry that this time won’t be any different than any other yo-yo I’ve done.

But then I think about all the times I HAVE made the right choice.  Just tonight I went to the grocery store after the gym starving and really craving some soup.  What I wanted was the Publix Chicken and Dumplings, loaded with creamy biscuity goodness.  What I bought was fresh carrots, celery, mushrooms, spinach, a can of diced tomatoes and a big box of veggie broth and came home and made my own concoction.  With scrambled eggs.  Because for some reason that sounded good.

I recognized the craving, but once I was in the store I was on autopiolot.  That, friends, is a lifestyle change.  And one I hope will stick with me for the long haul.

The title of this blog is “Not the Fat Kid in Gym Class Anymore,” but really I think I just need to realize that regardless of what I look like on the outside, mentally I need to not be that kid anymore.

So with all that, look for a bit of a blog redesign soon.  I’ve been thinking about doing it for some time and the urge has finally struck me.  We’ll have a new name, a new mantra, and a new layout, but the same great shit you’ve come to expect from me.

Now, tell me your demons.  I’ll reassure you that you’re not alone.  And heck, might crack a pewp joke or two for good measure.

Fat Isn’t a Feeling

buddah

Yesterday in a moment of needing a personal pep talk I wrote this post about body confidence.  I’ve got to tell you guys, some of the comments, emails and feedback I received have darn near moved me to tears.  But it’s reassuring as hell to know that I’m not alone.

One of my most brilliant and beautiful friends from all the way back in high school left this comment on Facebook:

I’ve spent years in and thousands of dollars on therapy to try to understand that fat is not actually a feeling.

How true that is.  And wow did that resonate with me.

We all have those days when we wake up feeling like we’re stuffed into a sausage casing that is too darn tight.  And I know that we’ve all looked into the mirror and been far too critical of lines, lumps, bumps and “fat” that we see.

I know we can’t just turn off the negative voices in our heads, but recognizing what we’re doing to ourselves is a step in the right direction.

confidence

My wish for all of you is to look in the mirror today and see what the person who loves you most sees when they look at you.  I would give anything to be able to see myself through hubs eyes… though it would probably lead to my walking around naked permanently.  But today I’m going to appreciate the things I know that he does, and ignore all the flaws that I’m so critical of that he doesn’t even see.

Let’s do this together ya’ll.  Let’s change the way we see ourselves because really, we’re all pretty damn beautiful.

 

I wish I was as skinny as I was the last time I thought I was fat

braille

My sister and I are in pretty much the same boat; our weight has yo-yoed up and down since puberty.  Different diet and exercise fads along the way have propelled us in one direction or another, and while over the past two and a half years I’ve really worked to find some balance, the psychological food demons still exist.

Sis is going in for gastric bypass next week, and as you all know I’ve been on a now 13 week lifestyle overhaul that has resulted in over 30 lbs of weight loss so far.

cranky

She and I were talking the other day and she said something so brilliant, I have to share it here.

I wish I was as skinny as I was the last time I thought I was fat.

That seriously got me thinking.  Just a week ago I was nearly brought to tears when I tried on a pair of jeans I used to wear in college (COLLEGE guys), and they fit.  Granted, I would never actually wear them for real now because apparently in college having your inseam so tiny that your vayjayjay almost falls out was totally a thing.  What the hell good is a two inch zipper anyway?  But I digress.  My college jeans fit.

And yet, when I look at my body in the mirror I still note that I can’t see my abs yet and there’s still some inner thigh jiggle that I want gone.

I’m the smallest I’ve been in years, and because I’ve done it through awesome lifestyle changes that include weight training and a super healthy but not restrictive diet, I’ve got a great physique.  But in my head, it’s still not enough.

The last time I was this weight I was training and racing a Half Ironman.  I also remember thinking that I wanted to be smaller then.

But I’ll tell ya what gang, if four months ago I could have just woken up one day and looked like I do now I probably would have burst into tears from joy.  I have come SO FAR and I actually really love how I look if I give myself 10 seconds to think about it.

So really, the moral of this story is simply this… appreciate the body that you’re in.  Recognize that if you’re psycho like me you may never be happy with how you look, but give yourself permission to take a step back and celebrate your progress.

That’s what I’m doing today.  And every day.

Now that's what I call confidence.

Now that’s what I call confidence.

I’m begging you, EAT

While out shopping with my mom and her best friend the other day we were discussing how it seems as if we have been on diets our entire lives.

This realization made me sad.  For literally as far back as I can remember (middle school on up), I’ve been trying to fit a different body ideal.  And I’m not alone.

When I have time to peruse the blogs here on wordpress, I search the topic of “weight loss.” Thousands of new posts pop up from women every where aspiring to lose weight and look and feel better.

Some are doing it the right way, through whatever their preferred method of healthy eating and exercise is.

Some scare the crap out of me.

I’m the first to admit, I don’t have all the answers.  I’ve struggled.  I’ve failed.  I’ve gained and lost weight more times than I can count, but there are a few things that I flat out know aren’t healthy.

No matter how you’re tempted, don’t do this:

Please don’t do a juice cleanse and drink nothing but juice for a week.

And to piggy back on that, please don’t put yourself on some sort of 500 calorie a day or less diet for a week either.

Your body needs calories and nutrients.  500 is not enough.  Under pretty much any circumstances.  I’m not a medical professional, but I would bed they IV people in comas more than that.

Don’t exercise for hours at a time, unless you’re training for something that requires it.  There is absolutely no need to go to the gym for 2-3 hours if you are an average woman looking to lose weight.  Ironman?  Fitness competitor?  Training to swim the English Channel?  Then yeah, it requires more, but losing that last 10 lbs does not require a 2 hour cardio session.

Don’t starve yourself and then binge.  And then purge.  It makes me so sad to see your week of posts about your 500 calories a day, and then your self-deprecating post about eating three large pizzas and a midget (because they just looked so tasty and tender!), and then spending 6 hours at the gym the next day (that’s purging kids).  Don’t do it.  Find balance. Yours may not be the same as mine, but that is not balance.

Finally, and this one is the most important, stop hating yourself.  I’m coming from a place where I don’t always love what I see when I look in the mirror, but by God I love myself.  I am not a bad person because I have love handles.  I don’t go around stoning kittens because I have cellulite.  Simply because I don’t wear a size 4 or weigh 130 lbs or whatever your goal might be, does not mean that me, Ted Bundy, and the Unibomber are homeboys.

If you’re a homicidal serial killer you might be a bad person.  Heck, if you’re fat you might also be a bad person.  But you are not a freaking bad person because you’re fat.

Get a grip.  Find some balance.  I’m still searching for mine.  There are so so many of us out there, so let’s support eachother in finding a way to find health, without all these scary extremes.