Training Log: Got Lazy For A Second!

Yeah, I got a little lazy last week with my workouts.  I think I got two structured ones (per my training log) plus some walking plus some random circuit work.

I forced myself to get back to my normal on Sunday.  Don’t read that to say I shouldn’t have trained.  I SHOULD HAVE!  And DID!  But by that point, it was my HABIT to not workout.  Truth be told, Sundays session was “Day 1″ in my rotation – the one that takes the longest and has ass tons of volume in swings.  And snatches.  So to already be lazy PLUS to have to come back to that…..made me lazier :)  Ah well.  It went well.   So I’m back to the grind.  In a good way!  After that Sunday workout, things moved upwards!

(I’m staring down the face of a snatch test TOMORROW.  Ask me how I am feeling 5 minutes before that) :)

Anyhoo – there really isn’t fabulousness to report in the training arena.  It is put up or shut up time….I meet with my coach next Friday.  Hopefully the wheels are still on the bus by then.

Things I’m noticing….

I am ACTIVELY TRYING TO BUILD MUSCLE.  And I’m getting leaner without trying, yo.  And I’m eating.  Like it’s my job.  You CAN eat and STILL get lean.

TMI, but shaving your armpits when you are building muscle is ridiculous.  Armpits get “sunk in” and trying to reach every crevice is a full-time job.

I have been enjoying “Poptart Wednesdays.”  Generally, on Wednesdays before I train, or during, I enjoy a package of Maple & Brown Sugar Poptarts.  In the future this might become Donut Wednesdays.  But for right now,  Poptarts are amazing.  And generally Wednesdays are deadlift days, so it’s like a double bonus.  In the past, I’d somehow turn this into Poptarts = every time I train.  Not so these days, just Wednesdays.  Wednesdays seem pretty special with a Poptart.

I LOVE “dinner” for breakfast.  I’m over eggs this week.  Give me a pork chop, a side of chicken enchilada bake, or something jazzy like that.  BUT DON’T FORGET THE COFFEE.

My sleep is VITAL right now.  I’m also not noticing not having (how many negatives can I put in this sentence???) diet coke every now and again.  Actually, I’ve sort of cut my diet coke habit in half…..which means every OTHER day now.  And cutting off all caffeine before noon.  And limiting my coffee intake to two glorious mugs in the morning.  Because SLEEP.  Muscles don’t get big if they don’t recover.  And they recover from sleep.

How is YOUR training going?

Peace out!

 

 

No Assumptions, Please

I don’t know how to start this post.  So I’ll start it the same way I always do.

“Hi, my name is Amanda.  And I used to workout and eat to get smaller.”

I feel like I say that on repeat on this blog alot, and I was trying to find something a little catchier…..but meh, it just wasn’t coming to me.

Maybe it is become I am hyper-sensitive about this topic, or maybe it is because I see it everywhere with women.  And maybe it is because it is always flashed in our face in women’s fitness magazines…..

It seems it is trendy to always do a workout to get smaller.  Or eat to get smaller.

For some reason, we are always under the assumption that eating and working out is a means to get us into a smaller size, a smaller weight, a smaller personality, just smaller.

It is trendy to “tone” our trouble spots.  It is trendy to spot reduce.  It is trendy to whittle our middle.  It is trendy to drop jeans sizes in three weeks.

This has been in my face alot, because I recently gave myself a reality check about how my old habits and my new focus weren’t jiving.  And I notice this in a lot of women around me.  And a lot of women online.  And just within the mindset of a lot of women, and how we approach things.

We don’t need to be small.  Or less.  Or little.  If we don’t want to.  And we also don’t need to make that assumption.  Or have that assumption made about us.

Think about why you exercise.  Or why you feed your body.  I’m thinking about why I do.  At this point in the game, at least for me……is that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the size of my body.

It does, however, have EVERYTHING to do with the mastery of the skillset I’m practicing.  And owning movements.  And building strength within those movements and skills.  And my eating has to match that goal of building.  And my quality of life should absolutely not go down the tubes because of how I eat or move.  In fact, moving and eating should only ENHANCE it.  You know, BIG.  Be big in personality, live big, get big skills.  And muscles.

So, maybe the way you eat and the way you workout DOES have something to do with changing your physique.  That is TOTALLY COOL!  Maybe you like to eat well and workout because those two tools are key to having you perform well at your job.  Maybe you do these things to help you manage stress.  Maybe you do these things because you are prioritizing yourself and this concept it new and you are learning as you go.

The point is…..we don’t need to make assumptions of WHY we do things.  Or have assumptions made about us.  Or make assumptions about others.  You know what that means…..ASSUME is just making an A$$-out-of-U-and-ME.

If we constantly assume that we must workout to get smaller, or assume that’s why our neighbor is working out or assume our neighbor SHOULD workout to get smaller, well….that’s just sort of A$$-y don’t you think?

No assumptions.

If you want to build your skills, work on BUILDING YOUR SKILLS.

If you want to trim down a bit, work at that.

If you want to get crazy strong, get to working.

If you want 30-60 minutes a few times a week as “you” time, take it and do it up.

Don’t assume.  Don’t focus on “small” if that isn’t what you are truly after.

It is easy to pigeon-hole yourself in the food or fitness game.  Try not to put limits on your journey.  Allow yourself room to grow – everything from your muscles, to your skills, to your confidence, to your self-esteem, to your character.  I know plenty of people who started out as runners and became powerhouses in the weight lifting game.  On the flip side, I know some powerhouse weight lifters who now really enjoy running.  And, I know a few peeps who love to workout at home with a DVD and randomly mix in a group class here and there.  NO PIGEON-HOLING!  No limits!  You don’t JUST have to be a runner.  Or JUST have to be a lifter.  Or JUST workout with kettlebells.  You know?

No assumptions.

PS – At the time I was finishing up this post, I noticed that one of my favorite chefs – Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) had just posted about motivation and adding walking into her daily routine for a year.  THIS IS SUPER COOL because this woman  added something, from a starting point of changing her physical appearance a bit, and moved on to realize this routine helped get her “senses in order.”  I think that is SO COOL.  She made ONE CHANGE and worked at it consistently for a year, and realized it maybe wasn’t about changing her body as much as it was changing her life.

PPS – If you don’t follow her recipes, you maybe should.  Many of them are very awesome and protein rich….you know, perfect hungry weightlifter food.  I check out her recipes from time to time and sort of change them a hair if necessary to fit my own energy needs.  Her drip beef recipe is amazing as a sandwich (of course), or……shredded up over carrots and potatoes and onion.  Or over a salad.  Or eaten with eggs in the morning for breakfast.

 

 

 

Training Log: Kickin’ It

Hey all!

So, let’s talk training, shall we?

It was a very “average” good working week this past week.

Most weeks go by, and I don’t know about you…..I don’t remember five minutes ago, so going through the past weeks workouts tends to throw me for a loop.  Except, I keep a handy dandy little training notebook that tells me how I did.  So I flip through it each week to remind myself what I’m doing (or not doing).  It’s fun to go back to a month or two or three ago and look what I was doing then, and how far I’ve come.

Here's my chicken scratch training journal!
Here’s my chicken scratch training journal!

Seriously, here’s my  big thing.  The snatch test.  I do it….almost weekly.  About three days before I have to do it, I start to freak out about it (even though I’ve done about 6 of them now).  I have no clue why……it just gets in my head.  Really, the concept is simple.  Bang out 100 snatches in five minutes.  For me, I do 10 per arm on the minute.  BUT…..it’s the constant NON-REST that I go through.  It gives me that panicky feeling because I “HAVE” to do it.  Oh well.  I’m just going to keep doing it, maybe that icky feeling will go away.  Maybe not.  I really am looking forward to training AFTER the RKC, when I no longer have to practice this snatch test for awhile :)

Aside from that, everything is getting easier.  Weights are feeling lighter.  Well, most days anyway.  I do like to crab about them, though.  I am eating food like a boss (and, surprisingly, my body is changing).

And, also, I feel like I should share the “real life” application of my training week with you (or rather, just the last few days).  I’ve taken a few days off from “my normal” and “the plan.”  I’ve been hitting it hard.  On Tuesday night, I went to bed…thinking I was coming down with something and sorta felt icky on Wednesday.  Not bad, just not good.  We have had colds and such at our house so I’m sure I had the start of that.  I had two choices.  I could either A) continue on with my training plan no matter what, and probably do damage in the sickness recovery department or B) listen to my body and back the eff off.  I chose B.  Also, in those days – life happened.  I had a super busy Wednesday.  My daughter turned 2 on Thursday and we had an awesome family day.  Friday was sorta busy but sorta “rest.”  Saturday was fun out to lunch with family.  Don’t worry.  I’m now getting itchy to move again, and kill the bells.

My point here is this – a few days off never hurt anyone.  And, if you find yourself constantly feeling like you are coming down with something, or just not recovering, or if you have lost your exercise mojo when you normally freaking love it…..step away for a bit or just do something completely different.  Maybe just walk for a few days, or do yoga if that isn’t your norm.  Maybe clock in some handstands if you want and call it good.  Or, maybe….hole up and read books for a few days and sit on your ass alot.  You don’t owe anyone an excuse as to why you decided it was best for you to take a few rest days if you need them, you know?  There isn’t any issues with taking a few days as rest and recovery after killing it for awhile.  Now, if I take this rest and recovery every other week……..wellllllllll, then I expect you all to apply tough love to me, you know? :)

Favorites this past week-ish:

-Adding rice to salads to bulk them up

-Epsom salt baths (I don’t think this will ever NOT be a favorite)

-Bananas.  I am OBSESSED with bananas, or “bo-bo’s” as Emma calls them

-My three year old Target C9 premium leggings.  They are so soft!

 

 

Bodies Are NOT Seasonal

I’ve been reading the following phrase EVERYWHERE lately:

“Summer bodies are made in the winter.”

Seriously, if I see it/hear it/read it again, I might just lose it.

The slogan is always a reminder from the Big Fitness & Diet Industry that summer is coming, and “hey you….you’ve been comfortable in your home and without your workouts for far too long over winter, you lazy slug.”  To me, it implies that my winter body sucks.  And that I need to work extra hard for my summer body.  Because my winter body isn’t good enough.

Seriously, no way.  No way is there a reason for me, or ANYONE, to think that right now, right this second, regardless of where we stand in our fitness journey or non-fitness journey, to feel like our body RIGHT NOW is not good enough for summer.  Or winter.  Or friggin’ spring or fall.

Bodies aren’t seasonal.

photo 17

They aren’t.

You have your body year round.  You wake up with it every morning.  It carries you through your work day.  It helps you make dinner each night for your family.  It goes to bed with you every night.  And yet….we have this underlying message out there that this body isn’t good enough.

You guys, this is a problem.  A really big one.

All around me, and I’m sure you can see this too, there are women (and men!  and little kids!) who are absolutely frantic to change something about their body.  They can stare in disgust in a mirror and pinch and poke and compare to Suzy Sixpack who has 2.5 wonderful children and a husband in Suburbia Somewhere with a fabulous life.  There has GOT to be something wrong with this body because it doesn’t look like HERS.

We have this message IN OUR FACE every day, whether it be through photoshopped pictures in a magazine/social media, in glossy magazines where bright red text reads “21 Days To A Thinner You” or when we critique or gossip about someones appearance, or our own.  

You guys.  Bodies AREN’T seasonal.  But life IS.

Life is seasonal.  At this very second, I can think of at least a handful of people in my life who are busy caring for a sick loved one.  They are busy.  And right now, even though they WANT to focus on themselves, their fitness journey, and even their eating habits, they just have a slightly different focus right now.  A different priority, and that’s absolutely okay.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, I know at least another handful of people in my life that DON’T have much in the stress department these days, and they are nailing their workouts and working on their nutrition habits and enjoying life a bit more.  Neither of these examples is better or worse than the other.  They are just what is, different seasons in life.  This is NORMAL. And in both examples, their winter bodies are absolutely just awesome the way they are.  And their spring bodies will be great too, whatever life season they are in then.  So will their summer bodies.  And fall bodies.

Body love and body acceptance doesn’t mean that everything is rosy all the time, and that not working out is the right answer, or that working out seven days a week is the right answer, or that meals of Cheetos and cupcakes should be enjoyed everyday, or chicken and broccoli for six evenly spaced meals everyday is perfection.

Body love and body acceptance means that right now, you acknowledge where you are.  And you ACCEPT that.  And you love yourself, and your body – whether it has lumps, bumps, six packs, scars, stretch marks or WHATEVER, right now.

Body love and body acceptance means that each day, you can put your efforts and your energy towards doing YOUR best, whichever life season you are in right now.  Body love and body acceptance means that you can look in the mirror without fear and without poking and prodding in disgust.  Body love and body acceptance means that you can choose to give compliments to people freely, without feeling envious, and without making a snarky remark behind the back or engage in gossip.

Because right now, right here, you choose to stop the madness and love and accept YOU.  YOUR body.  YOUR life. YOUR story.

We have a lot of life left to live.  We have many different life seasons ahead of us as well.  Some of them might be building strength seasons.  Some might be resting seasons.  Some might be new baby seasons.  Some might be spent caring for loved ones.  Some might be spent remembering.  All of those seasons are important for us to go through.  And none of them have anything to do with what our body SHOULD or SHOULDN’T look like.

Love and respect your body.  Love and respect yourself.  Imagine what might happen if we all did?

 

 

 

Training Log: Deadlifts Are In!

Oh, you know.  I’m just kickin’ it in the training department.

Seriously, there was nothing special about my last week of training.  It was very much just “keep plugging along and such.”

Truth be told, I’ve been missing my deadlifts.  I do deadlifts sometimes.  About twice a week.  As a way to teach my body tension for other lifts.  So not, DEADLIFTS, like pulling heavy things, mostly just one or two 28kg bells, for a few reps, focusing on isometric tension before swings and strength days.  I was really kind of salivating for some deadlifts.

And so, I’ve ADDED them back in.  Not to DEADLIFT all the DEADLIFTS.  Mostly just to keep them in because I love them.  I mean, I do enough posterior chain work, believe you me.  Swings upon swings and other ballistics, and other lifts, and I’ve got plenty.  And while I like those things, I feel that my soul needs a bit more iron in her life.  And so, I’m adding them back in once or twice per week.  The DEADLIFT kind.  Not the warm-up kind.  And they shall stay for as long as they meet two requirements 1) they remain FUN and make me feel good and 2) they still allow me to recover properly and train my RKC program the way I mean to train it and not become the focus of my training.

This morning, I wanted to see “where I stood” with deadlifts.  I mean, everything else in my program is there already.  So why not?  I wanted to see my “sort of” max.  The max I was comfortable with maxing, and not an ALL TIME pull.  Because I got no business doing ALL TIME pulls right now – it isn’t the focus of my training, and that shit won’t let me recover.  So I “sorta maxed.”  I dig Jefferson’s right now so I warmed up with 115 for a few, and then moved right to 135 for one per side, 175 for one per side, and finished up at 205 per side.  For the record…..I left 205 on the bar for the rest of my training session today.  Because it went up very easy even though it was heavier than what I’ve lifted for awhile.  I was going to come back and throw another 10 on if the rest of my workout went swimmingly and I had the energy.  I went through my workout and had the energy…..but I also need the energy TOMORROW to train again.  So I opted out of more weight.  You see, the thing about training……the BIG KEY…..is that it must be repeatable or game over, you know?

Here is my 205 lift.  Apparently today, after a huge azz mug of coffee and a poptart as my pre-workout…..I needed to yell during my pull to get the weight up.  I’m not a yeller.  I mostly don’t even grunt when lifting.  Sometimes I do cuss, though.  So today was odd.  Maybe I will make yelling a thing.

Other biggies in my training……

– Push-ups are good.  I mean, I’ve met the threshold of three chest to floor that I need.  I will continue to practice these, of course and work for more reps because push-ups are cool.  But testing wise, I’m good.

– Snatch test is good.  I mean, it still sucks the big one.  And I do 10 reps per side on the minute and rest the remainder of the minute.  Maybe I will try to go all the way through sometime without putting the bell down.  But I don’t get extra credit or a different certification for doing that….and I hate the snatch test already.  So why do more?

– My “meh” weeks?  Are gone now.  I upped my protein.  And I actually upped my food intake on training days a little more too.  I think I get in a rut of not eating enough sometimes even if I don’t mean to.  Life gets busy and it just happens.  But I can tell that those two things (combined with SLEEP) have helped.  I have fire in the belly to train again.  This one I will monitor. (side note – if there was a requirement for eating for this RKC cert…..I would be nailing it right now.  Must consider this in the future – make a certification for people to eat the food!)

Things I am in love with this week:

– Chili Cheese Fries – my chili recipe over baked potato fries and cheese sprinkled over the top

– Epsom salt baths

– Rolling tennis balls under my feet (OMG….feels so good)

Peace out, homies!

 

Training Log: Whatevs + Whatevs

I’m writing a training log about last week, only because I do every week :)

I was a little down with the sickness last week, so I’m not gonna lie.  It wasn’t an awesome week.  And I’m also not gonna lie, after a few days off, my zest for training isn’t exactly screaming right now.  It will come back, it always does.  But I don’t have tons of jazz hands about it at the moment :)

So, here is one fun circuit I did in the last week.  Jefferson deadlifts, a “get a heavy beast (24kg) off the floor and hold it over head” drill, and pull-ups.  I did a few rounds of this, I can’t remember how many.  I will do this again though, I liked it (even if I AM a little unmotivated at the moment).

Followed it up by this little single bell complex – 5 swings, 5 cleans, 5 presses, 5 front squats.  Rest a minute between hands (because you will be WIPED).  I think I did six total rounds (3 per hand).  Fun?  Fun, if you like to get gassed.

Other things I found cool last week:

photo 4

 

Loaded oatmeal – oats, banana, peanut butter, and a few chocolate chips.  YUM!  I think I ate this with something protein-y, but I can’t remember what.

photo 1 (1)

 

Scrambled eggs and fried rice – basically peas, onions, mushrooms and rice, scrambled up with three eggs, and drizzled with a little soy sauce.  YUMMO!

Things I learned in the last week:

– it is absolutely possible to emotionally eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies

– getting sick isn’t the end of the world

– I like to feel great, and when I don’t, it pisses me off

– sleeping, sleeping, sleeping is the shiz

– kickboxing is a nice “play day” away from regular training and keeps me fresh

– yoga needs to come back STAT

– getting rid of other people’s drama is the fastest way to get myself more energy

Have a good week!

When Is Enough…….Enough?

“Enough” is a funny thing.

Do we ever have enough money?

Are we ever thin enough or fit enough?

Is the job we are in enough?

Is the home we are living in enough?

Who decides when “enough” is enough?

WE do.  And the problem with that is…..”enough” doesn’t have a specific threshold attached to it.  There isn’t a chart somewhere that tells us when we have “enough.”

And often times, we are so trained on looking ahead at the next clothing size down, or the next milestone financial savings goal, or the next promotion…..that we forget to STOP and smell the roses around who we ALREADY are and what we ALREADY have.

Why isn’t it enough for us to workout and move because we friggin’ want to and because we feel like a boss doing it, and not to get us closer to that next size smaller jeans?

Why isn’t it enough for us to eat protein and veggies and foods we like AND that make us feel good because they friggin’ make us feel good, and not because eating them will maybe make our scale go down?

Why isn’t it enough for us to love the home we live in and the family and memories that are there…..instead of looking for the next big thing in whatever community is up and coming?

Why isn’t it enough for us to do a job we enjoy and that lets us live our life…..instead of killing ourselves putting in hours at a job we LOATHE, all for a bigger paycheck?

Those things ARE enough.  You can decide that YOU are enough.  That you already HAVE enough.  That you are FIT enough.  That you are focused on NOURISHMENT enough and you don’t have to diet.

YOU must decide your “enough” threshold.  No one can do that or define that threshold for you.  Hopefully you can decide your threshold is pretty much where you are at, right now.

That doesn’t mean that you stop trying harder or getting better at things.  It simply means you have decided to be content with who you are and what you have.   And you appreciate everything you are given.  You know, self-acceptance.  You are already enough.

When you decide you are enough, you stop caring or comparing yourself to “Suzy Wonderwoman” on Facebook – you know, where everyone posts how wonderful things are, and you can’t see their icky bits because those don’t get posted….even though they are the  same ones you have.

The harsh reality is, “enough” won’t happen in a smaller clothing size.  Or a bigger bank account.  Or magically when you get that new husband or new promotion.  It will only happen when you decide you are already enough and choose to live as you are already enough and act as you are already enough.  Not saying when you have or are “enough” that things are all rosy either.  Everyone has an off day or week or month.  Such is life.

You can keep chasing “enough” if you want.  Or you can spend some time on self-reflection and choose that you already are.

Enough is when YOU choose.

Make your choice.

 

Training Log: Another Check In!

After a weird “meh” week last week, I had a good one!  Or, rather, it ended on a good note I guess :)  So that was nice.  I had a check-in with my coach on Friday.  Which always makes me  a little nervous.  I mean, am I working hard enough?  Is my form on?

I had a good check-in :)  I’m doing just fine.  A lot of weird little instability things are clearing up with practice, an ass ton of snatches, a day of core work, etc.  It is alllllllllll coming together.  Here is what I’ve learned after training about four weeks on my own at home after my last session with Andrea:

1)  Right side is my less strong side.  I need to incorporate a day or two of heavy carries with a 24kg or something around that size to get this shoulder more “stable.”  Guess what?  I’m an oddball.  I’m a right hander, so I am very surprised that my left side is MUCH more stable, but eh, life is short.  Might as well be an oddball, you know?

2) I have a weird knee thing happening on my right side.  ONLY when I load that side.  I call it a case of “elvis knee” where my knee moves in and out quickly when I clean on that side.  So what we did during my check-in was have me drop down into heavy squats and have Andrea “push in” on my knee on the way down so I was forced to push out and stay stable.  So, I now have a job for my training buddy sometimes….she will need to beat me up during my squats :) Want to see my “elvis knee?”  Here is my heavy clean practice from this past week.  Check out my right side compared to my left.  Just a little in and out move of the knee.  Truth be told, this issue used to be MUCH worse, so it is clearing up.  I just want it cleared up NOW.

3)  Pressing 16kg bells is not really hard for me (even though that’s all I really need to test with at the RKC).  So once or twice a week, I am to take about 3-5 single heavy kettlebell presses with the 20kg.  This is FUNNNNNNNN for me.  Because I don’t have to do it for reps and reps and reps.  And because doing it for a few times makes me feel balls strong.  This makes me want to take a few cracks at the 24kg….but baby steps.  Video below:

4)  So I tend to feel “tight” in my calf/ankle area.  And because my elvis knee is happening, and because I don’t have a ton of single leg work in my program these days, I now get to do Shrimp Squats.  OMFG.  Seriously, these are no joke.  I put a competition 16kg down as a target to lightly tap my knee to here, just as a guide.  I will try to get lower than this with time.  But right now, I feel severely uncoordinated doing this little gem.

5) I am tight on the insides of my thighs….straddle sits will help, along with stretching sides and lats because I am great at holding compression there – but not relaxing.  DUH.  I got a massage a few weeks ago and the lady told me that too!  Getting a little loose here might help a few things.  So I’m working on it.  I’m also contemplating adding a little yoga back to my life somehow.

So, we added more volume to my current plan and added in a few things.  And lightened up on the push-ups since I’m “there” but they aren’t pretty.  So, I am now working on making them pretty and still practicing them.  We will continue on with more volume for about 8-ish more weeks before backin the eff off for RKC.  WHOOOOOP!

I have to say, it is fun being at a point where I am really, REALLY confident in my skills.  I am watching heavy weight feel lighter, and I’m chasing some big bells, which motivates the heck out of me.  Also, I feel well rested for the most part as well.  I have some recovery things I need to dial in here (like working on NOT working out a few days each week, but just hitting movement- walking, stretching and mobility, etc).  I am also watching some physical change happen without effort because my consistency in my eating and training is there.  And I’m not chasing physical change – it isn’t a priority.  Heck, I don’t even care about it.  But because I am consistently training, consistently eating well (and enjoying some cupcakes too!), and consistently focusing on self-care and ENJOYMENT, this little physical change stuff is just a sneaky little benefit.  I really ENJOY feeling great and moving great.  This includes feeling great MENTALLY too, you know?  When all of those things start to intersect, it feels like I have hit the sweet spot.  Without effort.  Well, without MUCH effort anyway :)

Today is a good day to have a good day.

Help! I Fall Apart On The Weekends!

Do you find yourself struggling to eat well and exercise on the weekends?  Are you “on” all week nutritionally and fitness-wise only to fall “off” on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (and maybe even look forward to Monday so you can be “on” again)?

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately, because I hear it all the time.

“I was so bad this weekend.  I need to hit the gym really hard to make up for it. ”

or……….

“I can’t wait for Monday so my eating can go back to normal.”

This WAS me.  I was this way for a super long time.  I know other people who used to think like this too.  I know people who still do think like this.  I think…..anyone who has ever dieted or watched what they ate probably has, right?

I think I’m super sensitive to it now because I’m NOT that way anymore.  And I know how I feel now.  And how icky I used to feel when I was “on” or “off,” depending on which day of the week it was.  How not in control I felt on the weekends.  Because one french fry would lead to the whole plate of fries, which would lead to a sweet treat after dinner, which probably was on Friday or Saturday, which made the next day, and possibly the day after…..a day where I just “gave up” because I was powerless and would just wait until Monday to start “on” again.

For me, there are a few things that went into this “on” and “off” business.  For starters, my weekdays were tight.  I mean, probably pretty strict.  No wiggle room.  Probably not even a whole lot of flavor going on.  Or, basically I was eating solely to lose something.  So, by the time the weekend rolled around, or a social event, all bets were off, man.  I felt so “deprived” all week, that once I got a taste of something, I would just go balls to the walls on it, and feel very, VERY out of control.  If alcohol happened to be in the mix, then this just was all very amplified.  I mean, who DOESN’T want a Totino’s pizza after the bar?

The second big thing that went into all this was that I deemed some foods “good” and some foods “bad.”  I labeled things, and only ate “good” things.  Or tried to only eat “good” things.  And then when a “bad” thing slipped in, I felt like a failure.  I failed.  I ate the “bad” stuff.  Why couldn’t I just eat “good” things?  Why did I suck so bad?

……which only leads to…….

The third biggie.  FOOD GUILT.  When I ate “bad” things, I felt guilty, and like a failure.  I attached my food choices to how I felt about myself.  I kept score on how good at life I was by how I ate.

Do either of these things – strict, strict eating, labeling foods as “good” and “bad” and then feeling guilt – do any of them sound like things you have dealt with?  And then one more question…..do any of them sound like they really WORK?  You know, shooting for perfection, with an approved list of foods, and then feeling guilty for failing?  Recipe for disaster, isn’t it?  Because immediately upon failing and feeling guilty…..don’t you just start the whole cycle again?  It is the worst constant loop you can find yourself in.

I’ll share with you how I ended up finding myself out of this icky loop.  I will also put a big fat note here…….THIS TOOK ME A LONG TIME, AND A LOT OF MISTAKES AND LEARNING ALONG THE WAY.  So, what I’m trying to say here is that I had to learn to keep trying, and not worry about making mistakes.  So in YOUR journey, whatever steps you decide to take…..always give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and always, ALWAYS give yourself compassion freely.

So, here they are:

Remember super strict during the week me?  And then binge out of control on the weekends me?  I was not eating nearly enough during the week.  So, by the weekends, I wanted food because my body was like “Hey YOU….YOU need to FEED ME” and then gave me cravings and such because it was trying to get more food.  Duh, my body wasn’t an idiot.  It wanted AND NEEDED more food!  I just wasn’t paying attention.  Der.  So, the me right now has learned how to eat enough ALL THE TIME.  Which doesn’t make me feel like I need to go crazy on the weekends, you know?

Alright, let’s move on to food labeler me.  The me who deemed foods “good” and “bad?”  Yup, I had to learn how to throw away the labels.  I decided to not label things anymore.  I decided that every food was a possibility for me, and that I could eat it if I wanted.  This might sound TERRIFYING to you.  But guess what?  I didn’t balloon up a bajillion kazillion pounds.  Because this allowed me to TRUST myself.  I learned to trust myself and my food decisions.  Which was empowering.

……….which of course, you can imagine, led to…….

DITCHING FOOD GUILT.  I decided to remove judgement about how I ate.  I no longer spend energy feeling guilty about my food choices.  I CHOOSE my foods.  I TRUST my choices.  Within those two things, there really isn’t room left for guilt, is there?

So, for all of those peeps out there “on” during the week and “off” on the weekends – I feel you.  I do.  I know that cycle.  I’ve lived that cycle.  It is NOT a fun cycle.

However, you need to start paying attention to how much you are eating.  For chronic dieters, we don’t eat enough normally.  Not intentionally, but because we’ve jacked up our ability to feel real hunger or eat according to what our body tells us and what a normal size meal looks, tastes, and feels like.  This takes some time to sort out, it doesn’t happen overnight.  I can tell you that if your workouts are in the tank, and you have no drive to do them, even though they are usually something you love, making sure you are getting ENOUGH food or enough protein or ENOUGH of something is very much worth looking in to.  This isn’t going to come in the form of an online calorie calculator or My Fitness Pal if you are leaving it up to a website to calculate your calories.  You actually need to spend a few weeks/months getting in some food and decent meals, and getting your energy back up where it needs to be.  This will be a MIND GAME if you are a chronic dieter, so I’d recommend you’d find yourself  a coach to help you wade through it.  The last thing you need is another 21 day fatloss program, you NEED food.  MORE not LESS.  Constant cravings, at least for me…..are a sign that I’m not eating enough (or over-tired, but that’s a story for another day).

Learn to trust your decisions and learn to eat at a level of feeling good.  Like satisfied, and good.  Not satisfied for an hour and then looking for another meal.  Satisfied for a good couple hours so you don’t have to spend your days thinking about food.  Play around with different food groups and get them to a level that makes YOU feel good, not mimic what your best friend is doing because that’s what makes HER feel good.

You can eat 2000 calories of just orange and still not be nourished because you ate JUST oranges.  The same is true if all you do is eat Twinkies.  A GREAT diet (and by diet I don’t mean restrict, I mean what you eat on the regular) is balanced with many choices from all the food groups.  There aren’t “good” foods or “clean” foods or “bad” foods or “dirty” foods.  There are JUST different types of food.

Throw away the useless guilt trip.  It will not serve you.  Guilt is like that crazy ex-boyfriend that you got rid of years ago – the one that is good for no one.  Guilt is the same way.  Ditch it.

Practice these things for awhile.  Add steps that YOU need to add.  Subtract steps that YOU need to subtract.  Take your time.  Give yourself compassion.  If you have been on the diet roller coaster for far too long….it’s time to get off.

 

 

Clean It Up!

Do you ever feel crowded?

And surrounded by junk or ick?

Clean that ish up, yo!

See something on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter that just annoys the crap out of you each day?  Unlike, unfollow, unfriend.  It’s easy!

Feel overwhelmed by all the crap that hits your inbox each day?  Do you even read it, or are you just deleting by habit at this point?  Take the time to unsubscribe.  Seriously.  Over the next few days/weeks that you do this, you might be surprised at how NOT overwhelming your inbox feels.

Got some old numbers of people in your phone?  Like….the people that you haven’t talked to in ages – like from your old job, or a crazy ex, or whoever?  Are you ever gonna call them again?  Delete, delete, delete.

Got a bunch of clothes in your closet that you never wear because A) it doesn’t fit right B) was expensive but you never wore it so you feel guilty throwing it C) can only wear it when the stars align and you feel confident enough or D) you tried to put together a jazzy outfit and it didn’t work?  Donate, donate, donate.

While we are at it…..

Attack your appliance cabinet.  I bet there are some old crock pots, or useless appliances that take up space that don’t need to be around either.  You might have cabinet space again!

What about your sock drawer?  Throw the misfits away.  You won’t ever find the missing one in the dryer.  If you do, who cares.  Socks are cheap.

Whatever you do, though…..don’t EVER clean out your t-shirt drawer.  Everyone knows that t-shirts, no matter how old, are vital to have around.  Even if there are holes in the armpits.  That ish is still legit.

But seriously, like Erin Brown says……edit your experience.

Take control of what gets in front of you each day.  Choose what you see and don’t react to things that annoy you – just clean them up!  Your mental space and energy is YOURS and doesn’t need to get chewed up and spit out by “those” people, things, or ideas that drain you dry.

Clean it up!  Use all your extra mental space on YOU and those that YOU choose to include, and ideas that YOU need and choose to allow in.

Even if it is still winter here….a good pre-spring cleaning might do wonders for your soul right now.

Originally this was my journey to Tough Mudder…now it's my record of all things fitness and health!

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