Your Body Tells a Story

A wise person once said:

You Don’t Have a Body. You Are a Body.

If I AM a body and it is not something I have, then why or how could I possibly consider changing it?

I think too often we focus on the negatives of our bodies. “We hate our own bodiliness,” was also a statement I’ve been hearing these past few months.

I can’t help but agree.  I talk to people on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to what to do with “this body.”

Either:

We hate our body and we do everything possible to hide it, to lie about it, to use it, and abuse it in an effort to make it appear acceptable, perhaps even attractive according to outside influences or societal standards. This becomes an obsession to the point that we become envious of anyone who has the body that we desire so much. This also could lead to despair as we try over and over to attain this “perfect body” with little to show for it. We don’t value our bodies at all and think ourselves unworthy.

Or:

We love our body so much that we become vain to the point of over exposure. We boast and brag and show off and become completely obsessed with maintaining this “perfect” physique. A narcissistic attitude takes over. We believe our body is something to be worshiped by those who hate their own bodies. We don’t understand how some people just don’t “get with it” and aren’t in love with fitness and health like we are.

But perhaps the overwhelming majority are those in the middle:

These folks have a love/hate relationship with their body. They struggle just like everyone else with maintaining their weight but they don’t obsess over it. They “watch” their diet but they don’t write down what they eat and they most certainly don’t count calories. They like what they see in the mirror but they don’t love it. There’s always room for improvement but they probably only get to the gym once or twice a month.

 

If there’s one thing all of these people have in common, it’s that they see their bodies as Objects. Things. Possessions.

But what if you looked at your body as a way to tell a story. How?

Simple: How you live your life through your body tells your story.

You can either tell a good, honest story, or a story of lies and deception.

Some examples:

I’m a smoker and I go to my doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells me that I’m showing all the signs of lung cancer and that I had better cut back or quit on the smoking if I want to live longer. Meanwhile, let’s pretend this is the 50’s and he lights up a cigarette after telling me this. That would be lying with his body.

Or:

I go to a used car salesmen to try and find a good deal. He sells me this great looking car, I take it for a test drive, the price is right and I drive off the lot but not before he shakes my hand and tells me I made a great decision. Meanwhile, he goes back to his desk and laughs to himself because he knows he just sold me a lemon. By shaking my hand and sincerely telling me I made a great purchase, he lied with is body, as well as his words.

Or:

In the gym, let’s say I take some video demonstrating an exercise or I take a few pictures to put up on my website. When someone asks me how I manage to be so strong or in such great shape, I tell them “Hard work!” but in the meantime, I’m taking some performance enhancing drugs or steroids. I would be lying with my body.

So how do we use our body to tell the truth?

I think the most obvious example, for me personally, is posting my progress pictures. (I know I’m in need of posting updated ones). But you’ll always notice I never even add so much as a filter to the pictures. I let it all hang out, I don’t do any re-touching. I merely admit that I get a spray tan to cover up some minor “flaws” that I’m honest about.

Other ways we tell lies and how to tell the truth:

You see someone at the gym using a piece of equipment completely incorrectly to the point that they are probably going to injure themselves or someone else. Lying with our bodies would be to say nothing and walk away knowing full well we know how to help them. (I am guilty of this).  Telling the truth would obviously going over and explaining what to do to that person so they won’t hurt themselves again.

(I avoid confrontation because I’m intimidated by people sometimes. If I took my own advice, I would see that I don’t need to be afraid to let someone know they are using their bodies to HARM or cause an injury.)

Or:

We see some good looking person at the gym and we want to show off a little bit. So we grab a set of heavier dumbbells (Men do this ALL the time, I am convinced) and lift just a little heavier than we normally do. We know we cannot and shouldn’t be lifting this heavy but we really want to catch someone’s attention. That’s lying with your body. Even if you manage to get a few reps out, you’re deceiving others by making it appear that you are stronger than you are.  Don’t be a hero Johnny. Stick to your usual weights.

With diet and food this is much easier to slip up and lie. How?

Let’s say you’re on a diet. Let’s say you actually signed up for sessions with a personal trainer. And let’s say you know that since your trainer/friends can’t see you every minute of the day, you take it upon yourself to sneak a few “cheats” in here and there. After all, no one will know! But you made a commitment to be true to yourself. To be true to your body and try to stick to this diet or this workout plan. And you know full well that “cheating,” even once in a while, is going to make your trainer look bad, it’s going to make you feel worse and it’s and not going to help your health. This is one of the more common “lies” we tell with our bodies. When asked, “Did you indulge this weekend at all?” and we answer, “Of course not! I was “good!” we lie right to our own faces/trainer/people who care about us and want us to succeed.  When it comes time to step on the scale, you can’t act surprised when it’s not where it should be.

 

Start to think of your body as more than just this “thing” you have to deal with and work at and drag around. It’s who you are.

You are telling a story every minute of the day with your body.

What kind of story are you telling and what would you want people to remember about it?

 

 

What a Shame!

I see the internet is abuzz once again with the latest “No Excuses” photo making the rounds on Instagram.

Rewind: Fitness enthusiast Maria Kang posted this picture of herself on Facebook way back in the fall of 2013.

Maria Kang was accused of “Fit-Shaming” for posting this photo

The internet exploded with half praise for Kang for being “fitsporational” but many others accused her of bullying and “fit-shaming,” making people (specifically women) who have had kids thinking they are just sitting at home on the couch eating chips and bon bons when they have plenty of time to exercise and eat healthy.

So was she bragging or motivating? Kang said on her own website “I felt that if others can overcome incredible challenges to be in shape, why would my story be any different?”

So we’ve had a break with the fit-shaming since then…right? I guess the internet was overdue for another one.

Enter Abby Pell. Pell frequently posts pictures of herself on her Instagram page with motivational sayings, apparently. She posted this picture almost a year ago but it’s making headlines now because she recently won a fitness/bodybuilding competition.

Look familiar?

Her intent seems to be the same as Kang.

 “The message I want to portray is for all the women/mums/girl who aren’t happy or confident with themselves and the reason they don’t try to do anything about it is because they think it’ll be too hard or even impossible to get results.

Everyone could make excuses, too many people think it’s easier not to try than to risk failure. It’s not the case. I don’t want to make other women feel bad about themselves, I want them to look at me and think, if she can do it so can I. Because you can!”

Is this message being portrayed in the best way?

If we are trying to tell Mommies everywhere that having kids is no excuse for getting in shape, does baring your six pack stomach really inspire anyone? Or is it just making people angry enough to comment and post about how much they hate these women?

I definitely don’t have an answer. But I think the REACTION is interesting. Perhaps the picture brought out some…Jealousy? Envy? Sensitivity?

I honestly felt none of these. I immediately thought, “Good for them! Okay…so what else is going on in the news?” I didn’t give it more than a second or two of attention. It wasn’t until almost every fitness person I follow started Retweeting and sharing it that I noticed the “outrage.”

What’s Your Excuse Reason for Getting in Shape?

As for me, several things inspired me to get in shape for the competition.

I don’t have kids and I’ve mentioned on here in the past, I had been a personal trainer but just hadn’t pushed myself as much at the time. I had felt soft and lazy. I didn’t like the way I felt but had become so complacent that I kinda didn’t care all that much. I could have stayed soft, lazy, and kinda average looking but I KNEW I had it in me to look and feel better.

Taking a look around me, I was surrounded by fit people at the gym I worked at.  I saw how hard they worked and wondered, “Why don’t my workouts look like that? How come my muscles don’t look like hers?” Well, the answer was easy: I wasn’t pushing myself. At all. I was just coasting.

I had looked at pictures of some of my former co-workers from back in Chicago, one in particular was incredibly inspirational for me. She pushed and trained and dieted for a competition as well and I thought, WOW. I want to look like that! I want my workouts to kick ass and I want to look like these people when I’m done!

I don’t have kids so maybe training and dieting for the competition would have been challenging for me if I did. But there are plenty of mommies who compete. Maybe they aren’t all pros but they are out there.

So it wasn’t one picture or one person in particular who lit the fire in me to get off my butt and start taking fitness more seriously. It was several people and my current lazy flat butt* that got me going.

*It’s not flat anymore. Thank you deadlifts and split squats and lunges and more squats!

15 Minutes of Fame

Did these women just want to be in the spotlight for a period of time? Maybe. Attention seeking? Perhaps.

But I think what is interesting is these women are real people (i.e. not celebrities). Can you imagine the audacity if Madonna or Britney or Heidi Klum posted a photo with the same caption??? Can you imagine the outrage and the comments???

“Easy for you to say, you’re a millionaire!!!”

“You have 3 nannies and probably a personal chef and a personal trainer!!”

“You get paid $ to look that way!!!”

“You’ve probably had liposuction!!! All your photos are photoshopped anyways!”

But the minute a real woman posts it, all of a sudden the reaction is “Fit shaming! Shame on you!!  Who are you to tell me what I should be doing?!”

Newsflash: These women never ordered or commanded any of us to listen to them. They are merely trying to help. And quite frankly, you don’t need to listen or click or comment if you don’t like the message.

Think of social media as a hobby, not your job.

Some of us respond well to yelling and barking in your face type of personal trainers, some respond well to calm and collected and others listen to no-nonsense types (I put myself in this category). I think the same is said for the type of people you follow on social media, real or…ummm not real (famous people).

Maybe you like the hardcore, in-your-face types who might curse once in awhile and post videos of themselves kicking their own butts in the gym. Maybe you like the fitness geeks who show you how to move better or always have a post about how to keep good form while working out. Or maybe you like just regular good old fashioned easy-to-follow instructions and black and white “I tell it like it is” types. As long as they get you off the couch and ignite a little fire in you, keep following them. But be careful, because sometimes the best sources of inspiration, are right under your nose.

I for one, like to follow and look up to REAL people. As I mentioned earlier, my friends, my co-workers who train hard, my clients who follow their plans. Those people are my “fit-sporation.” Sure I follow plenty of fitness people on social media, but I like following my actual friends who I see everyday even more.

Turn Around

So take a look around you.  Try actually looking up from the phone and the computer. Who around you has the best healthy habits that you would love to adapt? Who has a workout regiment that you think you’d like to try? Who seems to have their act together?

Talk to them. Ask them how did they get to the point where they are now with their physique and fitness level.

Guaranteed the conversation might go something like this:

“I make it a priority. But I wasn’t always like this! It took me a long time to prepare all my meals and get my workouts in.”

or

“My gym is right around the corner from my job so I go right after work. Otherwise I don’t think I would ever go.”

or

“I have the energy to deal with my job and the kids because I don’t eat crap like I used to. I don’t always work out. Sometimes I just can’t get it in, but at least my meals are pretty good 80% of the time. It also helps that I learned how to cook after I got married.”

or

“Oh it’s takes a lot of work to stay in shape but I’m addicted to it! I signed up for some endurance races to hold me accountable. At first it was hard, but I just made it a point to put it in my schedule. Like an appointment that I can’t miss.”

Do you see what the consistent message is here? “It’s not easy but I made it work for me.” “I’m not always 100% consistent but I try.”  “It took me a long time to get this way.”

I promise, this is the only secret that there is.

Some day, everyone will stop with the quick fixes and diet pills and crash diets. People will see the celebrities on magazine covers and condemn the latest Hollywood cleanse. Women won’t tear each other down. We’ll stop trying to one-up our transformation story as being better or “because I’m a Mom I had to work harder than you!”

Some day this will happen. They’ll understand there are no excuses. There’s just hard work and desire to succeed.

It’s a shame we still don’t get it.

 

 

The Struggle to Stay Fit

This week I have to share part of the homily my pastor spoke about just this past weekend as the INTRO to this post. I’m literally copying and pasting here as well as filling in the gaps so I sure hope this doesn’t constitute as plagiarism. 😉
From Struggle to Flight:
 
So there’s this family who have two cocoons which were about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed at the end of the cocoon.
It was a struggle to emerge.
 
After lying exhausted for about 10 minutes, following the struggle and agony, the butterfly flew out the open window on its beautiful new wings.
Since it was so painful to see the butterfly struggle, the family decided to help the second butterfly so that it wouldn’t have to go through such an ordeal.
 
As the second one began to emerge, they carefully sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a C-section.  The second butterfly, however, never sprouted wings and in 10 minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died.  The family asked a biologist friend to explain what happened and this is what he told them:
 
The difficult struggle to emerge from the small hole actually pushes liquids from deep inside the butterfly’s body cavity into tiny capillaries in the wings where they hardened to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly. By preventing the struggle, they inadvertently harmed the butterfly.

 

Moral of the story? Without the struggle, there are no wings to fly.

As my pastor told this story in church this weekend, and went on to discuss why we must go through painful ordeals, I was thinking very hard about what to blog about this week. I immediately thought of the struggle of hunger while dieting and of course, the constant battle of dieting in general and all the messy stuff that it entails. Granted, there are worse problems and things we suffer through than just dieting, but that’s where my mind went first.

I’m currently struggling myself to diet but I’m maintaining my weight, which is a success in my book.

A few of my clients are having quite the difficult time lately and it’s my gut reaction to want to help them of course. When I can’t or when the right words of advice don’t come automatically, I feel like I’ve failed them. I start asking Why? Why can’t I just tell them one thing that they can use and be done with it? Why are they struggling so much and why doesn’t my advice do any good? What’s going on in their head that I can just turn off or turn on to make them follow their plan and get their act together??

And then I laugh and think, I might as well ask myself these same questions! Duh!

I don’t have an answer, really.  More of a theory I guess.

I remember that it’s a struggle for everyone. For every bodybuilding pro or fitness model out there who tweets and puts on Facebook how great they are doing, how many inches they are down, how they just had the best workout ever and here are the sweat stains to prove it…there are many more who AREN’T doing all that great, who DO struggle with their diet, and they actually DO share that information. And it’s awesome when they do because you realize it’s a constant battle for everyone.  Some have overcome after YEARS of binge eating or eating disorders or yo-yo dieting. Others STILL struggle to even maintain their weight. And some haven’t quite gotten back from rebounding after losing a large amount of weight due to bad coaching or losing it too fast.

What would be great is if there were more pro’s out there willing to share the “not so happy” experiences. There are a few I would recommend the next time you find yourself wallowing in self pity thinking “No one knows what this is like.” Because let me tell ya, there are many.

  • The first that comes to mind is Brooke Erickson. Simply put, she’s incredibly honest. She shares a lot. But not OFTEN. In other words, when she does post something, it’s well- thought out, it’s usually pretty short and to the point, and it’s relevant. She is competitor but she isn’t currently competing. She’s a coach, she’s a mom, and she’s a hard worker. I love everything she has to say because it’s from the heart and there’s no sugar coating.
  • Another is Jennifer Jewell Fitness.  She’s a big believer in the IIFYM diet which is fine (not my cup of tea anymore but if it works for you, awesome). But I like that she discusses body image and metabolism and keeps it real. She also shares alot of her clients stories which are always good to read for motivation.
  • I wouldn’t be a very good blogger if I didn’t mention my “boss” Roxie Beckles. This woman is pretty amazing in that she shares EVERYTHING about her journey to the stage. She has had a rough season to say the least and recently put it all out there, admitting that she did the #1 thing we tell all our clients: Listen to your body.  She didn’t listen and it mentally and physically drained her. She’s gotten back on her feet and she is persevering to the Olympia Stage (the grandaddy of all competitions) in just a few weeks.  I cannot wait to see how she does!

Closing thoughts? We all screw up. We all cheat on our diet. We all have the same conversation with ourselves: “I’ll do better this week. I’ll start my diet Monday. I’ll just do some extra cardio tomorrow.”

You’re gonna have to struggle temporarily in order to be successful. I think the key is the take that struggle, take those difficult moments, and learn from it. Suffer now in order to be great later. And later may be weeks, months or years from now, unfortunately.

But, what a moment you’ll have when you get to look back and see where you were…and what it took to get there.

What a story that will be!

Does this Selfie Make My Ego Look Big?

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Who says we have to suffer?  When did this stop becoming fun and lighthearted and turn into hardcore and punishment?

At this time last year I was spending a decent amount of time in the gym.  I was working out 6 days week for about 45 minutes at a time.  No cardio, just lifting.  Not overtraining.  Just working towards the goal of the competition. I also worked at two other gyms. And paid membership dues to 3 gyms.

My sister joked once at the time:  “Whenever I call you you’re either on your way to the gym, at the gym, or driving home from the gym.”  I thought it was hilarious…back then.

Now? A year later, I’m kind of irritated that I found it necessary to workout so much.  I think of all the time I could have spent doing other things.  I could have at least cut back to 4 days a week.  Granted, I made sure I didn’t miss out on any family gatherings as much as possible. But it bordered on obsession and addiction.

Today, I can’t help but see others succumbing to the #NoDaysOff mantra.  Take a look at ANY social media forum and it’s right there. Instagram is probably the worst culprit.  I don’t recall all this Selfie obsession a year or two ago.  It has definitely escalated.  I’m sure it started out as motivating and perhaps it continues to motivate others. (I just like the pictures of the food to be honest).  But it borders on Bragging and Boasting.  Now everyone and their mother thinks they have to tweet and post and snap a pic of every rep and set and flex.  #Beastmode? #NoDaysOff? I say #Annoying.

And these are not people training for a competition or a marathon.  These are not Olympians or professional athletes. These are just average people thinking they have to kill themselves in the gym almost everyday.  And they ARE doing cardio and possibly overtraining.  But let’s just say they are being careful and have become addicted to the gym.  I think that’s a great thing except for one small problem:  Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

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I think you might need to find a LIFE if the gym is the only good part of your day. I love working out but it is indeed not the best part of my day.

Injuries and overtraining aside, spending 75% of your time in a gym working out is not the point of working out.  The point of being fit is to be healthy so you WON’T have to spend 75% of your time in a gym.  Even if you think of your average overweight or even obese person in this example, they can accomplish most of their fat loss by diet alone and little exercise.  But therein lies the problem – Most of the people who NEED to lose fat, probably have an addiction to food, which is how they got to where they are presently.

So instead of working on a food plan and getting a diet in order, people are under the impression that in order to lose fat, they can just workout and still eat like garbage.  That might work for a week or two, but crappy eating always wins in the end.  You can run a marathon and still gain weight.

Programs like P90X and T25 and CrossFit give the false impression, I think, that you have to sweat until you bleed in the gym everyday or else you’re not doing it right.

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Sorry to my CF friends but this is #lame.

Selfies and Flex Friday and Motivation Monday and #FitFamily can be a great thing, don’t get me wrong.  At this point, it’s just motivating the already-motivated groups though.

Let’s just get the word out there that beating  yourself up in the gym everyday isn’t worth it in the end.  And it’s not necessary or even recommended to anyone.

No one ever said on their deathbed, “If only I had just squatted a few more times!”  And no matter what you believe about the afterlife, I don’t think you can take your dumbbells with you.

Unfortunately the people who really need to read this, won’t see it.

They’re still at the gym.

Fitness Idols

Where does the line between obsession with perfection and finally REACHING that level of perfection (at least in your own eyes) end?

When does achievement go from inspirational to boastful and bragging?

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Someone finally finds the formula for their success – and since I’m speaking about physical goals let’s keep the conversation to weight loss.  This person reaches their goal weight.  It took them a long time and lots of trial and error and now they are finally there.  SUCCESS!

They LOVE what they see in the mirror.  They LOVE that they can eat foods that are good for them while still finding the balance to allow themselves some “cheats.”  They purchase a new top, a new pair of jeans, heck a new WARDROBE and they might even snap some selfies and post them on Instagram or tweet out to their friends “Just fit into a size 4 jeans! Wow! YAY ME!”

Friends and family keep complimenting them “You LOOK amazing!  What’s your secret?”  So they tell them what they do and how they eat and what their workouts are like.  Maybe they start a blog or a FB page because everyone wants to know “How did you do it?  “I want to do what YOU did!  Tell me how!!”

This is all wonderful isn’t it?  What’s their next step?  They want to SHARE this knowledge.  They want you to follow them.  They want you to eat and drink what they eat and drink.   They tell you what they do everyday because after all, you asked for it.

Maybe you don’t know someone personally like this.  Maybe you know the more popular names.  Jillian Michaels, for example.  Or Bob Harper.  Or (insert famous celebrity spokesperson here). 😉

What does their website look like?  It has lots of buttons and icons on it right?

Subscribe to my newsletter!

Email me!

Follow me!

Pin me!

Tweet me!

Facebook me!

Instagram me!

Tag me!

So you do!  We all do.

So then the success stories get spread…and it’s fantastic!  What’s wrong with sharing the knowledge, right?

My problem, better yet, my opinion, is that this pursuit of “I want to look/be/act/ just like THAT person!” can become obsession to the point of idolatry.

Where is this in the fitness world?  Well, take a look at what we do these days.  And I am 100% guilty of this so I will use myself as the example:  I FOLLOW people and pages on social media.  I read every word they type in their status updates and tweets.

We each have our own ability to reach our goals.  We don’t have to rely on these idols.  I am torn because I find that some people I look up to (bordering on idolize) promote products that promise reaching this goal quicker.  And I don’t necessarily agree with that.  I feel like it’s manipulative.  And yes I’m speaking about the companies I mention in this post here.  But I’m not trying to pick a fight.  I also would put products like pre workout powders and post workout shakes in that category as well.  Of course weight loss pills, fat burners and any “quick fix” fad would also be lumped in there too.

Every product is a business out to make money and I get that.  Who wouldn’t want to run successful company where they get to spread the word and spread their products out to the masses?  There’s nothing inherently wrong with that is there?  It’s the American dream.

But it still bothers me.  It rubs me the wrong way.  It seems…dirty.

I guess in my pursuit to become a better person this past year specifically, I recognize how easy it is to become obsessed with perfection.  I’m 100% guilty of this and I suppose this post is my confession.  I have idolized those figures on stage.  Looking at those pictures of a competitor or even just a fitness model and thinking “I want those arms.”  “I want my abs to look like that.” “I am going to work incredibly hard to get those delts.”

It’s really important (to ME at least) that I remember that although those are REAL people with REAL emotions and thoughts and feelings, I am unique.  I am not like them.  I shouldn’t strive to be like them.  I might make a comment under their photo but I have to take a step back and think:

“Wait….I can admire them.  I can admire their work ethic.  But in no way should I idolize them.”

I have stopped following quite of a few fitness pages and people who I find don’t have the same values I have.  The ones with the selfies everyday that say “Look at me.”  They can easily they can be misconstrued to say “WORSHIP ME and WHAT I STAND FOR.”

Your body is your temple.  But too might time spent worshiping that body in the gym, in the mirror, can cross over into idol territory.

Being a role model is one thing; being worshiped is dark territory that I don’t want to cross over into.

Sidenote:  I’m well aware of the irony of this post as I use Social Media to post my own progress pics.  But that’s exactly what they are: progress pics.  Not perfection – far from it.  I still hope to use this blog as inspiration for others to become fit.  Not fitness obsessed.

Peak Week Jitters

This week began what’s called Peak Week for me, the week of the competition.

My plan from Coach Ben was not such a big difference when I first looked at it.  The one big thing was that I got to do cardio!  I even sent him a message saying how I was kind of excited at the thought of doing HIIT training the next morning in addition to my usual weight training.

Hey guess what I realized very quickly the next day???  I don’t miss cardio.

Considering that I had done my weight training and then an hour of cardio afterwards for a grand total of almost two hours at the gym, I was TOAST.  It was great to work up a huge sweat like that but I cannot believe people voluntarily go to the gym and workout for that long on a regular basis.  Hell, I can’t believe I used to RUN (okay JOG) for that long and even longer when I trained for my half and full marathons.  No Thanks!

I only have one more cardio session on Thursday morning and that will be it.

The other big change for me is staying at my low-carb amount for longer than I’m used to.  I used to switch off (kind of like carb cycling) with high carb and low carb days.  Well, today marks day number 4 of low carb.  Let me tell ya, I’m not used to this.  I was very foggy on Monday morning after my workout and I was kind of out of it again this morning with my client.  But, it went away after awhile and although I like telling people “Oh yeah, it’s my lack of carbs, that’s why I forgot (insert ditzy mistake here).”  It makes for a really good excuse but I can’t help but wonder that it’s just because I’m having more than my usual blonde moments. 🙂

Tomorrow I can only drink water…no more crystal light crap or my energy drinks (yes, I became addicted to some of them i’m ashamed to say).  But I can do this…I survived most of my adult life without them, I can certainly handle a few more days of not having them.

Then Friday…..The FUN begins.  I get to carbo load.  And omg I’m SOOOO looking forward to that.

Prepare for a slew of Instagram pics of all my carbo loaded meals.  Nom Nom Nom!!

Possibly one more update before the show.

In the meantime, here are some shots from the posing seminar I attended two weeks ago with some fantastic ladies who I may be competing with.

Top is a little low...oops.
Top is a little low…oops.

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I say “with” and not “against.”  I feel a sense of camaraderie with my fellow figure gals.  Especially the ones who are like me, having never done this before.  Cannot wait to hang backstage and get to know them better.

Off to bed…One more update coming your way Thursday…maybe a quick one on Friday.

-Michelle

 

 

 

This is a piece of cake…said no one ever.

Mmmmmm cake….I could go for some of that right about now.

Oh wait, I did.   A few days ago I DID have a piece of cake!  

It looked something like this: Irish-Cheese-and-Bacon-Cheesecake-With-Walnut-Crust-3461

My first dessert since Memorial Day and my last for the next 14 weeks.  The occasion?  A wedding.  Worth every bite?  You betcha. 🙂

Would I do it again? No.  Although the damage was minimal (although it’s hard to say ANY damage occurred since it’s only been 48 hours since that lovely piece of cheesecake went into my belly) I would not indulge again while training for this competition.

So how do I do it?  How do I say no to “cheats” and “extras” for 14 weeks?

I have no idea to be honest.

I suppose, as my coach put it today, “it’s building momentum.”  I have to harness this momentum I’ve created to keep going.  I hate using the phrase “stay the course” because it sounds so lame and all I can think of is former Prez George Bush (or was it his dad?) that kept saying that in his speeches…but that’s pretty much what it is. 

How do I stay on track when all I really want to do is head to the drive thru and order the juiciest burger and the largest order of fries and stuff my face and turn into this person?  

That looks delicious, by the way.
That looks delicious, by the way.

How does anyone stick to any goal?

Well, I will tell you what doesn’t work for me:

  • Fitspiration or Fitspo or Fitness Inspiration or whatever you want to call it.  It’s this:

3 and this tumblr_mgg9p4feIM1s2vdxlo1_500 and this c2b4f03567874cb48becd0de49d2e5f6_2 and all of these photo

I can read and post and share all of those pics all damn day (and trust me, I HAVE) and you know what?  I still want that cheeseburger.

  • Selfies of  Figure Pro’s.

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<Sigh>

I admit in the beginning I would follow and FB stalk and ReTweet and comment on many of my favorite ladies in the biz.  And I continue to follow some of them but the frequency of selfies of my ladies from their car on the way to the grocery store is just a little too much for me some days.  Still luv ’em but….yeah, I need a little break.

You know who I do follow lately?  REAL WOMEN.  Like Jenn and Cori and Jonie.

These are real women, some with figure aspirations, some just wanting to get healthy.  These ladies are not professionals, yet their posts and pics motivate me to do better.  And sometimes I get a message back about how I inspire others, and that’s when I walk away from the fridge.  I know it’s not worth the disappointment I would feel afterwards.

  • Anti-Social Activity

I was definitely under the impression I had to stay indoors and hibernate in order to avoid cravings/cheats.   Several months later I realize that is entirely unnecessary.  You can’t stop living, you can’t avoid birthday parties, celebrations, cookouts, holidays.  They will always be there.  I avoided them like the plague in the beginning or did my best to attend for just a short period of time and escape unscathed.  But the more you actually put yourself in those situations, the more likely you are to learn how to use them to your advantage. 

Example:  Attending a party by bringing something most guests will enjoy but you also can have without going over the limit.  Mothers Day is my best example:  Talk about a holiday I wished didn’t exist this year for obvious reasons – this was something I was dreading.  The plan was to have brunch at my sister’s house.  Normally I would just head over there and eat whatever she was making.  In this case, my aunt decided to make chocolate chip pancakes from scratch.  Oy! 

Knowing this had “Carb Overload” written all over it, I purposely searched for a low-carb pancake to make for myself.   I brought all the ingredients, made it, and it was a huge success!

Did I want those sweet delicious looking chocolate chip pancakes?  HELL YES!

What kept me from reaching over and eating “just one?” 

Honestly, I was genuinely full.  I planned and counted and weighed and measured those ingredients to a T.  And the feeling of empowerment afterwards when you know you’ve avoided eating something off plan is probably the best feeling of accomplishment and WELL worth it. 

The cravings will never go away.   They linger.   They just aren’t staring me in the face anymore.   As long as I don’t feed them, they stay silent.

I posted pic below on FB yesterday and thought it worth sharing again to conclude today’s post. 

Thanks for reading!

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GOALS:
 I look at this every morning now as a reminder of how far I have to go and the hard work that I must put forth everyday to get there. No time for slip ups unless I want to take a few steps backwards.

There’s no better feeling than crossing something off the list when it’s ACCOMPLISHED, but there’s no WORSE feeling than erasing it completely because you failed to even try.

-Michelle