Archive | April, 2013

Stop doing what isn’t working

18 Apr

According to my last weigh-in, I am 7 pounds away from a total of 100 pounds lost. As I type that I’m inclined to gloss over that small little fact. Not anymore. Let’s think about that a minute…93 pounds down. Holy cannoli with a cherry on top! I can’t believe it as I write it.

This weekend I was trying to think of things to keep me motivated and focused the next few weeks. I drew a new little tracker on my kitchen white board.  While this may seem like no big deal (and it really isn’t) it has turned in to one. See, I have this funny habit of being really good with big goals but then freaking out when I am about to achieve them. For whatever reason, when I think about losing 50 pounds I am 100% okay and believe I can do it. When I think about losing 7 and being on the verge of an accomplishment it makes me nervous. And when I’m nervous the old habits come out. And the old habits are not worth it anymore.

The last 2 days have been full of unnecessary and non-nourishing snacking. Eating a bowl of popcorn is not fatal, I know, but it is not contributing anything either. If I had to eat, why not pick some greens or a shake or something?  Uh, duh. Anyone could tell you why… that’s not mentally satisfying.  Well guess what…neither is the popcorn anymore. Focusing on the weight goal and eating the popcorn no longer work for me. Why do I keep doing them?

I’m not going to sit and worry about not losing this week (another thing that doesn’t work). I’m not going to worry about when I can color in those bars or what it will mean if I hit the 100 total a few weeks late (gosh Anne, who set this arbitrary schedule anyway? And WHO CARES… it is 100 pounds down). What I will do is erase the white board and write myself a nice little inspirational quote. I will focus on the big picture and the overall journey so far. I will focus on my 11 minute mile and the new running shoes. Those things work for me.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Stop doing what isn’t working. Start doing what will work for you. You will need to pay attention so you will be able to recognize when things are not working for you. Does it make you feel bad? Does it stress you out? Do you dread it? Then stop doing it.

But you have to log your weight every week….  Really? Says who? I need to log weight when it works for me and if that is once a week, every other week or once a month so be it. I have to get on the scale every morning to know how I’m doing… Really? Even though it drives you mad and can throw off your entire day if you don’t “like” the number? How exactly is that working for you?   If I can’t have the best workout ever, I’m not going to go at all… Really? Because sitting on your butt is what got you where you are and it’s going to get you something different? Nope, suck it up and go anyway. Do what you can…but do something.

Let’s be clear: “stop doing what isn’t working” is not an excuse to get out of clean eating or workouts. Eating better and moving more works… Period. However, this does give you permission to change things up a bit. I don’t like kale, but I am willing to eat spinach, broccoli and one other green vegetable to say I have diversified my greens for the day. I don’t record my weight gains, but I make sure the overall slope of the tracking line is in the down direction. It may take you a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s not a race, there is no pressure. Try new things. Do what works for you, in your time, and you will find success.

Advertisements

My all time favorite dress

15 Apr

There are certain milestones we go through in life. This week I hit one that is 18 years in the making (holy cow 18 years…)

When I was a little girl my Aunt Virginia used to buy me dresses. I would get one for Easter, Christmas, sometimes a birthday. There are a few I can still remember…my top favorites being the blue one with the white flowers and the gray and white Easter dress/suit that I wore the following Halloween to be a “business woman”. It wasn’t just about the dress. It was the whole shopping experience with my mom and aunt. I was in the chubby girl section, but they still made me feel pretty when I tried on the dresses.

Fast forward to my senior year in high school. It was time for prom and I went shopping with my friend Chrissie. (turn by the Fannie May…lol)  and found a dress at Marshall Fields. It was stunning. For the first time in my awkward high school years I felt pretty.

Then it was time for college and on came the freshman 15. Then I had my first job and first apartment and on came another 20. Few years more, few pounds more. More life, more pounds again. Then you hit a certain point and who cares…how much bigger can I go…and I did.

Then one morning I woke up and wanted something different and I decided I would do what it took to get that new, better something. The damn broke and the good flooded in. Fast forward 10 months… and A LOT of hard work. And here I am:

033013 Prom dress fits

The dress fits! Even more important,  I feel beautiful… like I did when I was a little girl trying on dresses with my mom and Aunt Virgie..and not just when I put on the dress (note: I just put it on to take the picture, I do not wear it around the house). I went from shopping in the chubby girl section to the running gear section. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with this change in my life is like none I have experienced. To get something different, you have to do something different. This marks another “I wish/yeah right moment” accomplished. What is possible in the next year? Who knows…but I’m excited for the ride and the many dresses ahead.

Remember this day

10 Apr

This post is a letter to myself…you can read it anyway.

Me and Denver

Me and Denver

Remember this moment, kid. It has been a long time coming. You let go and opened yourself up to something more, something better and here you are. You, my dear, are amazing. Whenever you come back and read this blog, I hope it stirs up exactly what you are feeling as you write it.

Remember what you had imagined your life would be, and where it is now and know that the possibilities are endless. There’s no more “in a million years” from this point forward. Believe the unbelievable for yourself…you already proved it possible.

You know what it took to get you here…let that carry you through every new challenge that lies ahead. You have come so far and there is so much more in store for you. Step up, decide, no fear, and enjoy the ride.

 

Anchor to the positive

9 Apr

There’s something I’ve wanted to blog about for a while, but have never quite felt sure I wanted to put my reaction to it out in the world in such a permanent way. I could write a whole post about each “hater” occasion… the friend who told me they liked the fat me better …the comments from the life long athletes who have NO IDEA of the courage it takes to face your biggest fear/weakness in front of someone who is perfect at it …the put downs on my excitement about working out… I expected it to some extent, and a part of me understands it, but most of the time when it hits it is surprising.

I started writing this post in my head this afternoon, detailing everything I have wanted to say over the last 9 months but didn’t. So you are going to start working out because “you don’t want to be fatter than Anne”?  Would love to hear how that is working out for you, especially now that I’m guessing we wear the same size clothes and it looks like I’m the only one on the way down.  (sorry I had to get at least one of my grumpy thoughts out there)

Then tonight I went to yoga and had a moment. Monday night class is all about stretching and relaxation. I am 2 weeks in to it and still have a long way to go, but I can already tell my posture is improving, my balance is better, and the meditation part keeps me centered. At the end of the class I was talking to the teacher and she was saying how crabby she was earlier and how much yoga helps her feel better. It hit me as I was walking out the door. The old me would anchor to the negativity that has been brewing in my head. I would take on everyone else’s junk and carry it around with me. I would worry about, punish myself for it, do what I can to make it better for the other person even if that meant putting myself down.

I don’t do that anymore. Now I choose to anchor to the positive.  It takes a conscious decision (and maybe some time to realize I need to flip the switch) but I do it. I focus on the people that fill me up. I’m not worried about how I compare to others. I am not going to apologize for making a positive life change and loving every minute of it.  And I’m certainly not going to pick up your baggage…got enough junk of my own to work through.

When you act out of positive intention, you are inviting goodness in to your life and are almost guaranteeing success. This has been a big shift in my thinking. I used to focus on what I was missing, what I was afraid of, what I couldn’t do, who didn’t like me….and quite frankly I was unhappy.  Now I anchor to the positive and have found peace. I can go to yoga and look at these women not with jealously of the stuff they can do, but with admiration and the knowledge that one day I can hold some of those crazy poses. I go to kick boxing class led by a seriously bad ass instructor and I don’t resent her but instead love the way she pushes the class to do better. I step up to the weight rack and remind myself “no fear”. All of the changes in my life have come because I opened myself up to the possibilities and quit listening to my insecurities.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Flip the switch and anchor to the positive.

anchor

 

Decide

3 Apr

Thursday night was my first run outside for the season and let me tell you it was brilliant. The air was crisp, the sun was still out and it felt SO GOOD to not be on a treadmill. I decided to take my usual route through the neighborhood. At the end of fall/early winter it would take me about an hour to finish the loop. It’s around 3 miles depending on which way I go.

I got to the park, ready to turn the corner….where way in the beginning my timer used to beep 1 minute and I thought about slowing to a walk.  That’s what I used to do… I decided to keep running.

I got to the end of the street where my timer used to beep at 3 minutes and I thought about walking. Do I really want to run a half marathon…I mean, am I really worth it? I decided to keep running.

Continued down the street, up a small hill and headed towards the little running path. There is a bridge coming over the creek…it always makes me nervous running down a sharp hill…maybe I should slow down. I decided to keep running.

Kept on charging past the two small ponds and then cutting through behind some houses. There was mud on the path so I did tip toe through that and went right back to a decent pace. Up another slow hill and then out on to Plum Grove Road. Okay, I’ve run most of this route and this princess deserves a break. I decided to keep running.

Got to the foot of the subtle but killer hill at Plum Grove and Wise. My heart rate was high and I couldn’t get a good breath. Okay, now was the time to walk. I gave myself until I rounded the corner and was back on flat ground. Plenty of recovery time and I decided to get back to running.

Continued up Wise Road and its progression of small hills… holy heart rate batman.  Time for another small break. Then back to running. Checked my watch and my pace had definitely slowed since I started the run…maybe I should just give up and walk home from here. I decided to keep running.

Ran past the stop sign, a few more streets and I knew I was close to 3 miles. Checked my watch… 3.1 miles in 38 minutes. HOLY CRAP PEOPLE!!! This route used to take me an hour. My first official 5K was 45-50 minutes. Do you have any idea how amazing this feels????

While I’m excited to share my new and improved running stats, there’s a bigger take home lesson here. At each step of the way I had to decide to keep going. When I got to where I was comfortable, I had to decide to keep going. When the course got tough, I had to decide to keep going. When I wanted to quit, I had to decide to keep going. This lesson has been a central theme over the last 10 months. I can do anything for 10 weeks… What do you want more… I can do anything for 5 minutes… Hold for just 5 breaths…  Growth happens in the last 10 percent… Fight for it…Choose the rewards.

However you want to say it, success is your decision. To get something different, you need to do something different. I hope you decide to keep going.