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?

 

 

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

 

 

 

Step Away from the Dessert Table

This weekend was the infamous Dessert Party thrown by my former client Lina and her hubby Jeff.  Lina spent the better part of her December and probably November baking all kinds of delicious treats for this annual festive event.  I attended 2 years ago and although I remember indulging in a few treats I honestly can’t remember what I had.  I’m guessing I just didn’t care because I wasn’t really watching my weight too closely back then.

This year is obviously a different story.  Declining the invitation was not an option because once again, I want to prove that losing weight is possible during the holidays.  Plus, I don’t see the need to be anti-social when you’re watching what you eat.

Here is what was presented to myself and their guests upon walking in the door:

Can you say, YUM?
Can you say, YUM?

I don’t think this picture does it justice…so here are just a few close ups:

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So what do you do when you’re trying to lose weight but you’re invited to a dessert party?  You have plan.  My plan was to eat enough to be satisfied but not too much that I felt guilt and gluttony.

You also need reinforcements.

I brought a friend with me, Brian, who I assigned the task of “Spotter” to.  I told him to spot me and make sure I didn’t go overboard.  Unfortunately Brian doesn’t know me well enough to know what is considered overboard in my mind. BUT, he did a great job regardless. 🙂

Lina and Jeff also did a great job supporting me by showing me things that I could have without the added guilt.  So awesome of them to think of little old me!

I was going to take a picture of what I ate but I didn’t want the guests there to think I’m an Instagram freak or strange even though it’s becoming quite normal to take pics of your food.  So I’ll just tell you the damage:

  • About 4oz of a white wine spritzer (About 2 sips in I thought “I want to EAT my calories, not DRINK them!”) and switched to water
  • 1 cup of a mix of berries that Lina and Jeff said they provided specifically for moi.  Thanks guys! Fruit is always good.
  • 1 tablespoon and a half maybe ( I didn’t bring out measuring spoons but the thought of breaking those things out in the middle of a party makes me laugh)  of Angel Food cake with that pudding and strawberry combination.  Is it just called Angel Food cake or strawberry shortcake?? Whatever it was it was also very good and although I tried not to spoon too much pudding on the plate I did get a good chunk of it.
  • 1 of the cookies in the middle of that picture there…The one with the green icing in the middle. I WAIT for these cookies when my Mom makes them and Lina’s did not disappoint.  A little thicker than how my Mom makes them but oh so good!!!

I stopped for a while and chatted up some people….Taking a break from the madness.

After about a half hour of drinking water and talking I thought I could handle just a little bit more.  Brian mentioned the pumpkin pie would be worth it as well as this 7 layer chocolate chip  graham cracker ecstasy Lina made (Picture above on the silver plate).  So I opted for one little bite of pie and one small piece of the layered goodness.

End result?  Worth it. 🙂  I didn’t feel sick. I didn’t feel bloated. I didn’t feel gross.  I had FUN!  And best of all, I didn’t feel deprived.

HAD I NOT been trying to lose weight I honestly think I would have gone bonkers and probably would have had no self control.  The end result would have been ugly.

At the end of the night I still fit in my size 7 pants.  I haven’t worn size 7 pants since I moved back to Cleveland from Chicago.  And I got them around Christmas time so it’s been 3 years.  And they JUST fit.   So a bit of advice if you’re attending a holiday party of the same magnitude and find yourself with the same doubts:

Wear a pair of pants that JUST fit…that if you went nuts with food you MIGHT embarrass yourself and pop/rip them.

Okay maybe that’s not the best advice but it worked.

Thanks again to Lina and Jeff for putting on a great party!  And thanks for reading my blog!

Interesting Sidenote:  On the way out the door I met a woman whose daughter does Figure Competitions right here in Northeast Ohio!  How random is that??  Feels so good to meet other women who are doing the same things since honestly, I don’t know anyone locally doing/training for a competition.

Weight this morning: 127lbs.  The meal plan Coach Davies has me on is clearly working very well.  I still feel energized, still in a great mood, still making progress!

I did a much better job planning my meals for the week and even had time to help out my family making pierogies yesterday!  YUM! (Potato of course…sorry can’t do the sauerkraut).

HAPPY MONDAY!!

-Michelle