I Am An “Exerciser”… And I Am Perfectly Ok With That

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I have mentioned before that I am a part of a women’s group here in Pensacola called SBL. It is by far the most loving and supportive group of women I have ever encountered, and over the year and a half that I have been a member, I have made some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. While the group was originally started to be solely a weight loss support group, it has evolved in to a true sisterhood that supports each other the way all women should.

SBL

This week a topic came up for discussion that has been on my mind ever since. One of our members asked “When is it ok to start calling yourself an athlete?”

Thing is, many of us have begun training for upcoming triathlons, iron mans, marathons, and more. Our days are filled with swimming, biking, running, crossfit, zumba, ReFit, POUNDFit… you name it, the SBL girls create a LOT of sweat on a daily basis. And the question generated a pretty amazing conversation about what being an athlete “means” and where we all fall. Then someone commented with this post about “Are You An Athlete or an Exerciser?” It hit a nerve with a lot of people when they realized that … they might in fact not be an athlete and more of an exerciser. I commented on the thread that “I am an Exerciser… and I am PERFECTLY ok with that.”

Thing is – I am not going all of this to try to come in first or to eventually do an Iron Man or some extreme fitness challenge. I am doing it for fun. And because I enjoy it. And because I enjoy these ladies. And because ultimately I love the way I feel, and am even starting to love the way I look.

SBL collage

I care nothing about PR’ing – in fact even back when I did my 12 5ks in 12 months I wasn’t concerned with time. My best time that year was my run in September. Not the one in October… or November… or the two I did in December. Yep, my time got increasingly worse instead of better… and I could not have cared less. My goal was never to get sub-30 or to even beat my best time. I just enjoyed being there, getting the Tshirts (literally), and marking off the goal for the year. That’s it. I had a blast at every single one of those runs – laughed until my sides hurt every time (when you are laughing, shin splints are much more bearable) and enjoyed a well deserved cocktail at every finish line. *ahem*

12 5ks in 12 months

But what really stands out to make me an “exerciser” more than an “athlete” as the above writer points out so well is the schedule and priorities. See, when given the chance to work or work out… I choose work. Every time. When given the chance of hitting snooze or getting up to run… I hit snooze. And while I may get up and head to the beach on a Saturday morning to take the bike for a spin, I know that the reason I drive all the way out to the beach is not because it is a better ride – but because as soon as I am finished you will find me laying in my beach chair soaking up the sunshine right afterwards.

Do I exercise a lot? Yes. Do I do more than most people? Maybe if you compare me to the general population and not solely to the SBL girls (because let’s face it – they all absolutely rock!) Does that make me an athlete? No.

I do not know if I will ever be an “athlete” because at this time in my life, I do not care to be. It is not because I do not think I am capable – I am simply uninterested in putting training over my family, or my work, or my social life. Simple as that. I have no dream of completing an Iron Man or a marathon – although I DO plan to do a half marathon next year… but again just for fun. Well… and for a medal.

I am an exerciser… and I want to thank Greg for his post, and showing that being an exerciser is perfectly ok.

Putting Both Paddles In The Water

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Last week on my PartyPlanDivas training webinar I was discussing the importance of recruiting and personal sales in your direct sales business. Many direct sales consultants are really fantastic at one or the other – they either keep their calendar full of parties or they recruit a massive team and spend all of their time working with them. But to be truly successful in the business, you must do both. My training went a little something like this:

“It is like rowing a boat. Let’s say you only paddle on the right hand side – that is our sales side – your boat will move… in one big circle. And even though your circle will get a little bit bigger each time, you are still moving in a circle.  So let’s say you switch your paddle to just rowing on the left hand side – our recruiting side. Again – your boat will move – maybe even a little bit faster at first as it changes direction… but again you are going in one big circle. It isn’t until you begin to row on both sides – putting both “paddles” in the water that your boat truly begins to move forward.”

row boat
As I was talking my brain was going a million miles an hour – thinking “my God, that is what I am doing with my weight loss!” I have mastered both working out and eating right… but never at the same time! When I hired a personal trainer I was killing it on the lifting… while eating like garbage. Then I discovered whole30 and absolutely rocked that… but barely stepping foot in the gym or the zumba floor. And while I had some progress with either working out OR eating right, it makes me wonder what would happen if I “put both paddles in the water” with my health, the way I coach my Divas to do with their business.

We have all heard that the key to success is “diet and exercise”… not diet OR exercise. The key to party plan is sales and recruiting… also not “or.”

A few days ago I was feeling particularly down and I vented to my girlfriends and heard exactly what I needed to hear. It was the “tough love” that I needed, from the ladies I love and respect most. Because I am in a round of whole30, the advice was basically “get moving.” Then I realized this SAME person just a few months ago when I was working out like a fiend gave me a hard time about eating out at restaurants 3-4 times a week. I’ve never done both diet and exercise at the same time.

Then yesterday a friend of mine put a call out for accountability and support in her fitness goals, and a dialogue began on whether it is better to “go all in” or to make “one small change” and let that build. It was interesting to me to realize how different people are, and to solidify how much I am an “all or nothing” kind of girl. The only time I have ever had actual success with my goals was when I have been totally extreme – like choosing to do twelve 5ks in twelve months having not run in more than 10 years. However even then I really only ran the 5ks… I didn’t train in between like I said I wanted to. I also ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted most of the time. Again I had only one “paddle” in the water towards my goal.

Today I am on Day Eight of a whole45. I have said this entire round that something “clicked” and I feel more dedicated to it than I did even my first time. I feel like I finally – finally – have my eating under control. This weekend I had numerous opportunities to cheat – even sitting with my family last night at a restaurant while they ate my favorite appetizers and I sat waiting on my compliant meal.

Yesterday I picked up my triathlon bicycle to begin training for the SRI Tri in October. I have been doing POUNDFit every day in my living room. I am hiring a new personal trainer. My head is in the game.

And for the first time – probably ever…. I am rowing with both paddles.

Whole30 – Plateaus, Old Habits, And Getting Back On the Wagon

I have a confession. I have fallen way off the whole30 wagon. I am not sure exactly how or where it happened. A little bit of milk in my coffee here… a bite of chocolate after dinner there… It was like I looked at my plate one day and thought “what am I doing?” Crazy thing is that I was compliant during the holidays, had no problem staying away from the treats, didn’t even go out drinking on New Years. None of those were my triggers. My “trigger”… was that I plateaued.

plateau

No matter what I have eaten since the end of my first whole30 round – compliant or not – I have not changed weight. No matter if I have exercised or not – I have not changed weight. Since August 7th of 2014 I have been within 1.5 pounds of the exact same weight up or down. No matter what.

And it seriously pisses me off.

I’ve started obsessing over the scale again – a habit I had broken with my whole30 round. I’ve begun thinking about food all the time again – eating stuff I know is not compliant, but what does it matter? I ‘m not gaining or losing – so why not eat it? I started the negative self talk and beating myself up for my choices all over again. I even got to the point of “just eat the cake” because I am just miserable in this process – almost like post-whole30 blues. But it doesn’t feel good.

I have “restarted” a couple whole30 rounds since August – however I have yet to complete one since my first. I always find a reason to fall off, a reason to quit, or I cave to the pressure of family and friends that have the “oh come on attitude. And all the while I keep thinking “what does it matter… the scale isn’t moving anyway.”

But… it does matter.

I felt better on whole30. I looked better on whole30. I was happier on whole30.

For a few weeks now I have been talking about restarting another whole30, after my Girlfriends Getaway this week in Orlando. In fact, I have already begun eating mostly compliant, but I will not go 100% until I return on Monday. Part of me wanted to go ahead and start - why put off feeling/looking better – but I know that is a set up, and I am unwilling to give up on myself and fail another round again. I will eat mostly compliant while I am there – thankfully my bestie and fellow Whole30’er Joy is going with me – but I am not going to stress about it. I will begin the day I get home. And I will finish on April 30th. Yes. A Whole45. And… I will decide then if I will quit or not.

whole 30 1

I am actually looking forward to this round more than I have the others. I have some great people on board with me, Angie from RunsWithCoffee will be joining in, and my friend Liz who I will be doing the POUNDFit Instructor Training with is jumping in as well, plus I have my amazing We Are Whole30 group on Facebook that I can turn to any time. My plan is to keep it simple – the way I did my very first round – and not over stress or over analyze, and just trust the process. I am also excited about some warmer temperatures and a chance to get outside. Call it an excuse if you want, but I hate being cold to the point of turning into a raging beast… trust me when I say it is better for everyone if I just hibernate.

And… watermelon will be back in season soon.

Unlike the times before, my goal is simply to finish a full 30 (well…45) days. No weight goal this time – its all about completion. Anything I gain or lose will simply be bonus. This is a test in finishing what I started after several times of stopping. Yes, I am going to document it. Yes, I am going to share it. Yes, I am going to be “that girl” with no apologies. Yes, I would like your support anyway. In fact, if you want to join me, I would love to do it together.

Hopefully I will break through this plateau. Hopefully I will again break the old, bad, self deprecating habits. Hopefully I will find that same happiness I had the day I completed my first whole30. No question, I will celebrate that I completed what I set out to do, regardless of the results.

This is me… getting back on the whole30 wagon.

Going To Get My POUND On!

If you haven’t heard of it yet, a new workout is sweeping the nation. POUND: Rockout. Workout. is absolutely the most fun you will ever have all while killing hundreds of calories. I took a POUND class a couple months ago, and was hooked immediately. Even after just one 30 minute class I was sore for three days. The kind of sore I have only experienced after hours of “leg day” at the gym. Two more live classes later, I couldn’t get enough and ordered the full kit and have been doing it almost daily ever since. I am totally, completely, 100% in love.

poundfit

POUND is a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses into a 45-minute series. Burn between 400 and 900+ calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique – all while rocking out to your favorite music! Through continual upper body motion using our lightly weighted drumsticks, called Ripstix™, you’ll turn into a calorie-torching drummer, POUNDing off pounds as each song flies by. Rock, rap, dubstep, pop and old school music fuse to create the POUNDtrack series, which is hand-selected by music enthusiasts, drummers and POUND founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom.

I have honestly never had so much fun working out. Zumba has been my love for the last two years, but POUND brings in a whole ‘nother element and brings out my inner rocker chick. I get those RipStix in my hand and suddenly I am the lead drummer in my own rock band. Check it out:

I love POUND so much that I signed up to become an instructor in April. I am also a certified Zumba Instructor (ZIN) but I never had any intentions of actually teaching a Zumba class – I just loved it and wanted to learn more. However with POUND I have already begun talking to my local gym about starting classes. I am doing POUND every day anyway at home – why not do it every day at the gym too!?

pound certification

If there is a POUND class near you, I highly recommend you going and checking it out. The atmosphere is amazing – everyone is so nice and supportive – true rockstars. If there isn’t, check out the at home kit which will give you that same incredible workout right in your living room. The Jam Session is my favorite – it is just exactly what it sounds like – a total jam session. I sweat, I laugh, and I have an absolute blast. And if it turns out that you love it as much as I do, consider being an instructor at one of their certification trainings around the country.

pound.rockout.workout

I am so super excited about this I can’t even put it in to words. Finally I think I have found the workout just for me. POUND paired with Whole30 is my recipe for success in getting the banging, healthy body I deserve – all while enjoying every rockin minute of it. Check it all out at www.PoundFit.com

Just Eat The Cake

In the last couple of years I have obsessed about my weight. I am pretty sure I have done it since high school – but I do not remember it as vividly as I have in the last few years. I have “tried everything” from hiring an incredibly expensive personal trainer, drank “meal replacement” shakes, taken dozens of pills, started several gym memberships, did crossfit until I literally popped a rib out of socket and had to stop for risk of further injury, owned every FitBit product they have put out, done whole30 ad nauseum… you name it, I have done it.

About two weeks ago I just got SO sick of it ALL. I took off my FitBit, I ignored my scale, I stopped reading labels, skipped out on zumba – just took a mental break from everything weight loss related. I indulged in some treats – and over indulged in some cocktails – all while laughing with my friends to the point of tears.

It. Has.Been. Fantastic.

This week I have had a few very eye-opening moments, and it has made me stop and think about what my life has become and what I actually have been putting value and time and focus on. When I think of all of the time and energy I have put in to my weight over the last few years – it is depressingly sad. And with the exception of the 30 days of Whole30 – the weight has stayed the exact same. (I am proud to say I have not gained any pre-w30 weight back, but I have been within 1.5 pounds of the same weight since I completed it back in August) So all of that time in reality… has been wasted.

I spent a good part of this morning in a group text with two of my absolute closest friends that have known me since high school. The conversation somehow became weight and body image and society and how even though we are all very different in our weight / exercise routines / eating habits, we are all struggling with the exact same issues with our bodies – and our minds. It went in perfectly with how I have been feeling the last few weeks – these two best friends became my sounding board for everything that I have been feeling and surprisingly they have been feeling the same things too.

We said things like “why do we obsess over this crap?” and “why do we care what anyone else thinks?”

We all agreed that in general we are pretty happy with our own bodies – and our husbands are certainly happy with them – so why are we obsessing and letting society make use feel like we are anything less than exceptional? None of us are that overweight, nor does our weight affect our health or quality of life. So WHY can we not just shut up and quit stressing over it all the time? Why have we let this consume our thoughts and rob our joy? And why have we been made to feel bad about our choices? “Sometimes I just want an effing donut.”

One friend mentioned how her mother in law has been on a diet ever since she met her. Every event – every holiday, every birthday party, every lunch, every everything – all has been centered around what she can or can not eat with the particular fad diet she was on. It made me think of just the other day when I asked Mike where he wanted to go to dinner, and he said “well, where can you go?” Now, I know this mother in law and I have always thought she looked fantastic, but I completely get what she has been doing the last 20+ years. She’s been doing the exact same thing I have been doing. She has become addicted to dieting. I do not want to be that person. And I wonder if she even knows she is that person, or if it has become such a huge part of her identity that it is second nature.

Yesterday as I was strolling through Publix I saw the table of King Cakes. I passed them… and then turned around. I stood there for a minute – thinking how every Mardi Gras we always have a King Cake. Then I thought back over all of my whole30 training and how I didn’t reach my weight loss goal last year and how I have a big event I am training for this year. I thought about how huge it was and wished they were smaller so I could have just a bit and not be tempted by the rest. I thought about how many people I have inspired to do Whole30 – which is fantastic – and wondered if I would be letting them down if they knew I ate a King Cake.

And then… I got the cake anyway. 

In that moment I made the conscious decision to just eat the cake. To stop worrying and obsessing over the scale. To stop telling myself what I “can’t” have and focus on what I can – and what I want. To stop beating myself up over my choices and to just embrace life and focus on being HAPPY – whatever that means. I am not going off the rails and eat everything in sight and never break a sweat again – but I AM going to quit this awful self deprecating cycle that I have been doing for as many years as I can remember.

Some day I am going to look back on my 30’s and I do not want every memory to be riddled with a weight issue and body struggles. I do not want my girls to look back on their childhood and remember every diet their Mom was on. And I do not want to even think about the time I have already wasted thinking about this crap already. I had this goal to “weigh 135 by 35″ – and you know what… I really just do not care. I am going to turn 35 this year whether I weigh 135 or not. So why not just enjoy it – especially since I will be eating cake then too.

Today in text my friend said “I am going to be 40 in a few years, and while I do not have the desire to wear a bikini, I do have the desire to sit on the beach with my husband and sip pina coladas and not worry how many calories are in them.” 

Me too, honey. Me too.

Photo credit: http://www.ambrosiabakery.com/mardi-gras-king-cakes