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.

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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.

 

Today I would like to discuss my butt…

Last weekend I got together with some friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.  A very long time.  Four years to be exact.

Being someone who is pretty much neurotic about my weight, I actually remember what I weighed and looked like last time I saw these ladies.  (I know, I’m psycho).  Adding to my crazy, I was super duper relieved that right now I weigh about the same as what they would remember and I can’t even tell you the relief I felt knowing that no one would be inwardly thinking how fat I’d gotten.

Even though I kinda did.  I just lost it again.

But I digress.

The one thing that has changed from then and now is what I’m actually doing for exercise.  Back then I was a cardio queen, regularly swimming biking and running and doing triathlons.  I maintained a healthy weight, but to be honest, I NEVER weight trained.

Now I predominantly weight train and do HIIT, with a few longer slower cardio sessions mixed in just because I love riding my bike.

Pretty much the first words out of one of my girlfriend’s mouths was, “wow, you look great.  Your butt looks SO different.”

I took it as a compliment.

Following the party, I had to know if she was right.  I dug out photos from four years ago, and even older ones.  I found pictures of when the hubs and I were first dating (eek 10 years ago!) and I was “skinny”.

Holy crap she was so SO right.  I have a totally different butt.  I mean, I always had a decent bum, but now it is round and filled out all the way around.  Now I have a GREAT butt.

It’s so great I kinda want to post a picture.  But unfortunately, as I mentioned, I cycle.  And my ass is as lily white as the fresh fallen snow, while from the shorts down I am questionably of hispanic origin.  So that is not going to grace the interwebz anytime soon.

So instead I give you my current fitness obsession, Michelle Lewin and her fantastic bum.  Mine isn’t quite as great as hers, but I’m telling ya kids, I’m going to get there.

michelle lewin

 

So how about you guys?  Anyone seeing great physical improvements lately?  Or how about improvements in performance?  You know I love celebrating accomplishments, so let’s hear em!

 

My two cents on Ray Rice

Unless you’re living in a shoe box, you’ve probably heard at least a tidbit about the whole Ray Rice knocking his woman into next week and losing his contract with the Baltimore Ravens.  I’ve gotta be honest, when the news broke, I kind of didn’t care.

I mean sure, that’s an uber douchey move, but what the NFL chose or didn’t choose to do about it didn’t really matter to me.  Crap like that happens, the league can support it or not.  I don’t really know if I feel like they chose the high road, or if they’re taking a personal family matter and making it public.  It’s not my business what people chose to do with their lives.

I was very “meh” about the whole thing until yesterday, when ESPN published this article about Janay Rice defending her husband for his actions.  It piqued my interest, if for no other reason that my wonderment at what possible reason she might have to say it was ok.

I read the article, and have only this to say to my readers.  If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please PLEASE seek help.  Domestic violence is no joke, and the psychological effects are sometimes far worse than the physical manifestations.  In the article it states that Rice was charged with Felony Aggravated Assault back in May and was accepted into a pretrial intervention program to help him avoid jail time.  This is not the first time he’s behaved this way, and the possibility exists that it won’t be the last.

I know that every single situation is different.  People can change, especially people seeking help.  The heart wants what the heart wants.  And when children are involved it becomes even more complicated.

All I can do is give my two cents.  If she, or you, or someone you know is in an abusive relationship because it’s true and it’s love and you are in therapy and an intervention program and working hard to change and save it; my best wishes to you.  But if you are in a relationship because you’re SCARED, or you don’t feel like you deserve or can find better, or you’re fearful of the changes that it might cause in your life; be STRONG and LEAVE.

It’s a horrifying reality that women (and men) can be in abusive situations and truly believe in their heart of hearts that where they are is the best they will ever find.  It’s up to every single one of us to help them realize that they are stronger than having to put up with that. Whether it’s the abuser seeking counseling and finding a way to change (and the ones abused doing the same to find a way not to allow themselves to tolerate this behavior), or it’s finding the strength and courage to leave, everyone can do something to help.

I don’t know the Rices’ situation, so all I can say to them is this; I wish you all the best in finding the peace and happiness you deserve.  Whether it’s together or apart, it matters not.  What matters is the physical, mental and emotional health of everyone involved.  Good luck.

If you need more insights or help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24/7, at 800-799-7233.

There’s a bag in this picture?

Yesterday Christmas Abbott, one of the most badass Crossfit chicks around, posted this pic on her Facebook page of her new Fitmark Bag.

Christmas Abbott

Now, I’m a straight girl but I’ve gotta tell ya, I didn’t even notice the bag.  I’ve got a serious lady boner for this woman, and I LOVE  that she is confident enough in her body to post a pic that has no airbrushing, no “corrections”, and nothing more than an Instagram filter on it.

Not only does she have arguably the greatest butt I’ve ever seen, her confidence that goes along with it makes me a huge fan.

Not that kinda threesome

I have a secret.

I added swimming into my training a few weeks back.  Ya’ll already know that I ride 3-4x per week.  And I might have tried running a few times over the past few week s (pain free!) as well.

So yeah.  If you’re not a total idiot you realize what that means.

I’m officially tri-training.

triathlon easy

It’s funny because, when I started Crossfit over a year ago, I did it because I didn’t want to do triathlons any longer.  I had done several, then let myself get incredibly out of shape and overweight for a year and a half.  When I finally snapped out of it and looked to add exercise back into my routine, doing any of the tri sports just felt wrong.  I was so slow, so fat, and so out of shape.  It was disheartening to know what I used to be able to accomplish was so far outside of my grasp.

So I started Crossfit.  I had never picked up a heavy weight in my life, had absolutely no previous experience with any of the moments, and therefore had nothing to compare myself to.

And I loved it.  Still do.

But lately, I’ve been having that itch to go the distance again with the SBR.  I hopped in the pool after over a year off and found that I hadn’t lost it.  It took a few tries to get my stroke back and to not eat giant facefulls of water every time I tried to breathe, but I loved it just like I used to.  Not only that, I haven’t lost much speed.

I am a stronger cyclist now than I ever was as a triathlete.  Amazing how actually riding with other cyclists (something that was unheard of during my previous tri training) has made me stronger, faster, and better at not falling over at stop signs.

And running.  Well, that’s running.  It likely will always be my biggest limiter, but what better reason to train than weakness than to register for an event in which I will have to do it?

I have a spring race in mind and my schedule laid out through the end of December.  I’ll be swimming 3x/week, biking 3-4x/week and running 2x/week (need to be nice to the foot at first), along with going to Crossfit on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I’m going to start posting all my training under my daily dated posts so that I can keep it all in one place, so be prepared for some changes over the next few months.

And hopefully, some hilarious stories to go along with this insane plan.

Guest Post: Accept Your Growth

Time after time I’ve attributed my success with and commitment to Crossfit to the amazing coaches that I have pushing me every single day.  Coach being one who inspires me the most.  He’s given me countless pep talks, and time and again finds new ways to help me succeed.  His knowledge is vast, his sarcasm endless.

I can’t sum up how awesome he and the other coaches are in a blog post, but I can share with you one of hundreds of examples of how he not only motivates me, but all of the athletes he coaches daily with the below guest blog post.

Yeah, he realizes that this means his pervy comments are no longer anonymous on this blog, but if even one thing he says below pushes YOU a little bit harder and a little bit farther today than you thought you could go, he believes it’s worth it.

Oh, and for the record, this is TOTALLY not me that he’s blogging about.  I swear.  No seriously, today was a planned rest day.  Damn it.

Aaron Weedo
Aaron Weedo

By:  Aaron Weedo
Owner, Athlete, Head Coach of Crossfit LWR
ACE CPT
CrossFit Level 1
USAW Level 1
Division I Football Player
Division I Baseball Player

Me: “Hey, why didn’t you come in today?”

Random CFLWR Member: “Because it’s snatch, and I’m really horrible at snatch and I’m no good.”

This is a scene that is far too often played out either in the gym, text message, facebook, etc. I will honestly tell you that this is one of the most disappointing conversations I have. I want you all to understand something about “leaving your ego at the door.”

Running from WODs because of a movement you see come up is not something I condone and want to help lay some groundwork that may help you overcome your fears. As you know, the word “can’t” doesn’t exist in this gym. If you can’t snatch the super scared of getting a bar over your head? Do you just not understand the re has to be a reason. Is it mobility? Is it that you are new? Is it the fact that you are movement? No matter the reason, you ARE allowed to feel that way, and it’s totally expected.

So much of what we teach you in here takes time to learn. Not time in today’s sense. For instance, I put something in the microwave, and “BAM”, it’s ready. Or, I want to look something up so I ask Siri. Time, good, old fashioned, TIME. I’ve read that it can take up to 10 years to fully learn and grasp the snatch (yup, I meant to do that!). This is just one movement though, and we have a multitude of movements and standards that must be achieved. This is hard enough for the young whipper snapper that comes to the gym 3 hours a day for the first 10 years of his life. Let alone, you, the mom, the dad, the boss, the busy ass person that you are!!

We are looking for you to gain a basic understanding of movements that we feel are going to offer the best variety and functionality in real life. Many of you, however, have never done any sort of athletic sport/adventure your entire life. For you to expect yourself to master these movements would be like me going into the operating room later to remove someone’s tonsils. I’m not trying to compare snatching to operating but hopefully the point is not lost. I’ve been lifting weights and more specifically “training” for some sort of sport since I was 14. I sure as hell hope that whatever movement I’m showing you looks like I’ve been doing it for a while.

The point here is to enjoy your growth. Accept your growth, as an athlete, as a CrossFitter, and as a person. I was able to throw over 90 mph on the baseball field after 18 years of practicing the sport! You don’t think that was frustrating. I was always around guys that threw harder than me. But I trusted in long-term growth. I wanted to get better, and I did. We have set up a program that requires your commitment. It truly does. If you’re not committed, you will not get better, and you are probably going to quit. I hate to see this but it does happen. I will tell you though, that if you come in, even on the days you’re scared, we will help you. We will show you what you CAN do in order to be able to do get better at the things you can’t do. Getting better will not happen though if you are not doing lifts, not finishing the required number of reps, or cheating on your diet every change you get. But, if you stay committed, put in the time, put in the work, and just be patient and trust that we will get you where you need to be, you will feel the best you have ever felt about yourself. Overcome your fears, trust in the program you pay for, and by all means, “leave your ego at the door and your sweat on the floor.”

How far I’ve come

Amidst all my goal setting here lately I’ve noticed I’ve been particularly hard on myself about the things I haven’t yet achieved.

Maybe I’m more aware of it than usual since my day started with me curled up in the fetal position on the floor crying because I had tried on every pair of jeans I owned and only half of them even made it over my bum and not one pair would zip.

Admittedly, I’m uh… more than a little bloated today.  And with that comes some er… extra emotions.   But really, that’s not an excuse.  None of my excuses are good excuses.

So after brushing myself off and putting on a dress, I drove to work beating myself up.

After sitting at my desk all day manically plotting how I’m going to get this darn weight off by my trip to Vegas in December I’m pooped.  Pooped and pissed off at myself.

That’s a lot of bodily functions right there.

But with all these thoughts swirling around in my head, I can still hear the strong woman inside here screaming “but look how far you’ve come!”

And that crazy bitch is right.

Last Friday we did “Grace,” one of Crossfits benchmark girls, 30 clean and jerks for time.  I won’t lie, I was SUPER excited to do this workout even though it’s not a strong movement for me, and I am really not strong in the super short fast sprint type workouts.

Why?

Because roughly a year ago was the first and only other time I’ve ever done Grace.  I had started Crossfit at the end of August, made it through my Elements class, went to run a 5k in late October, and promptly twisted my ankle and in the act fell and broke my hand.

Six weeks of no Crossfit later I was out of the cast on a Wednesday in early December.  That very night I went back to the box and started over.  That Saturday I did Grace at Crossfit.

My hand was still getting used to being out of the cast, and I couldn’t hold a barbell.  Not to mention I was horrifically out of shape, and wasn’t positive I could even get that much weight over my head that many times.  I ended up doing the workout with dumbbells.  10 lbs dumbbells.  I have no idea how long it took me to muscle through that workout, but I do know that about half way thru I thought that really, it shouldn’t be this hard to throw 20 lbs over head.

But there I was, panting, sweating and feeling like I might die.  What was likely 10 minutes later I finished, and made a decision right there that surprised me.  I decided that next year, I would do better.

Yeah, I decided I was going to do that shit AGAIN. 

Right?  But we’ve already established I’m crazy.

Last Friday I did Grace for the second time.  I used a barbell, loaded it up at 53 lbs, and did it in under 7 minutes.  Not only that, I did it with good form on my cleans, power on my jerks and with confidence in the movements.

Last Friday I did something that a year ago I couldn’t even fathom, and I’m not just talking about the weight or the workout.

Last Friday I celebrated the fact that I have started and stuck with a sport for an entire year.  I’ve gained strength and confidence.  I’ve realized that I enjoy exercise, and have made it a part of who I am.  In some small way, I think last Friday I realized that I might just be a bit of an athlete, and I like that about myself.

So whether my pants zip or not I can’t ignore that for as far as I have left to go on this journey of mine, I’ve already come a pretty freaking long way.

Spoiler: I didn’t cry or shit myself

This image has nothing to do with this post, but that's irrelevant.  Don't you agree?
This image has nothing to do with this post, but that’s irrelevant. Don’t you agree?

 

One year ago today I did not shit my pants.  Oh yes my friends, it was a distinct possibility, as it was the first time I walked into Crossfit.  Today is my one year anniversary of starting the sport that is slowly changing my life.

My best girlfriend and I got the idea in our heads that we had to try this Crossfit thing, and had signed up in advance to drop in for a trial class.  When I confirmed with the coach I asked him to promise he wouldn’t make me cry or shit myself.

His response?  He made no promises.

I knew then he was a cool dude, and am so lucky that in the past year he, his wife, and the other coaches have become a close enough friends that they’re like family.

We arrived at the box about a half hour early to sign away our lives and limbs, and got a chance to observe the end of the class before the one we would join.  I don’t remember much, except that I was TERRIFIED.  The only truly vivid memory I have is of two men, who we now know as lickable-abs and the-monster were upside down doing push ups off their heads.  Their HEADS people.  Best girl and I about bolted right then.

I will forever be grateful that we didn’t.

In some ways a year seems like a really long time, but it others it’s a drop in the bucket.  This past year has been a series of tiny baby steps towards overall health and wellness, and while there have been a fair amount of setbacks, I have absolutely emerged far beyond where I started.

Day 1 I could not do a single push up.  Not even on my knees.  My scaling was the thickest band available to me AND on my knees.  Today I can string together a solid 10 on my toes no problem, and at last test, did 27 in a minute.

My back squat has progressed from broomstick to over 100 lbs.  I deadlift 150.  I snatch and clean and jerk, and know how to load and unload that barbell like a boss.  Before Crossfit I had never EVER even once touched the “man bar” and could not tell you a thing about weight training.

Crossfit has given me so much more than great callouses.  It’s strange to realize, but a year ago I was in a very different place as a person.  I had a job that I loved, but the stress of it was killing me.  I had literally gained 50 pounds in a year, and didn’t take a single moment to step back and think about my health or sanity because of the pressure to excel.

I had an amazing marriage that was not in an amazing place.  I was fat and unhappy, and it is darn near impossible to be the spouse someone as incredible as my husband deserved when I couldn’t even take time for myself.

Finding my strength under that barbell empowered me physically, which brought back my emotional and mental strength to live the life I wanted, rather than just chugging along with where I ended up.

In Crossfit I found strength.  I found health.  I found hope.

A year later I can’t even try to quantify how much I’ve gained, or lost, because of this sport I love.

Kiss the bicep… kiiissss itttttt

It's a really REALLY good thing I'm not a boy.
It’s a really REALLY good thing I’m not a boy.

Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself out of the corner of your eye and somehow just end up staring mesmerized?

Yeah, me either.  Until last night.

While out to dinner with the hubs at our favorite sushi spot, I reached across the table for another bite of tataki.  As I did, I caught a glimpse of my bare bicep and shoulder out of the corner of my eye.

It was like a cat with a shiny object.  I was hypnotized.

I can’t believe my arms look this… good?

When have I ever thought my arms look good?

Hubs caught me oogling myself and laughed.  His response?  “Yeah, I wouldn’t want to arm wrestle you either.  I don’t like to lose.”

It took pretty much every ounce of self control I had not to tackle him to the table right then and there.  You know… to prove how strong I am.