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How the un-fit ‘fit’- one more good choice

If I decided I wanted to run a marathon today, it would not happen.  Well it could happen it would just not be pretty.  Too often I shy from doing something because I am not in shape, or not ready for that.  What I have focused on, is making one more good choice today, over choices I made yesterday.   So I might not be able to run a marathon.  But I can get up from my desk and spare 15min to take a walk.  Tomorrow I may just take 2 of those 15min walks.

Being healthy is a lot about making healthy choices.  This morning I went to my CrossFit gym to workout.  It wasn’t pretty.  But it was better than the choice I made the day prior to hit the snooze button and not show up at all.   Oh and that donut I ate yesterday,  replaced by an apple today.

There are a lot of things in life that can bring us down.  But knowing I made one more choice today to make me healthy is me winning the battle.

As far as choices are concerned, there are several.  Taking the stairs today over the elevator.  Eating an apple over the cookies someone brought to the office.  These choices are often simple, small, and can compile over time to help or take away from our ultimate goal of being fit.

Make some healthy choices today!  And make some more tomorrow.  Each and everyone of those will contribute to your overall goals,  no matter how small they may seem.  Don’t worry about running the marathon today… just start walking!  Before you know it you will be on your way!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: challenges

Challenges, road blocks, what stops you?  Sometime its life.  Sometimes its routine. Most of the time it is our mental state of being.  How we think and feel can be a primary stopper or starter to how we progress at anything in life.   This holds true for our fitness journey, in the workplace, in our relationships, and in all we pursue in life.

Tackling the mental and emotional side of life.  Like anything we have to remember habits die hard.  A mental or emotional state of being is no different.  If you have spent any amount of time, like me thinking “I am not good enough” or “I am not worth it”.  This road block is not going to be an easy one to overcome.   And even if you think you have beaten it,  it’s possible it can creep back again.  It happens to all of us.  How old are you? It has likely taken the better part of those years to develop the habit you are now fighting.   Time is your friend here.  Stay the course to change.

Another angle to this,  is thinking “it will never be the same or as good as it was before”.  Our life like a sport goes through seasons.  Some of us peak early and some of us peak later.  A few incredibly gifted are able to sustain the duration of their days.  No matter the root of your challenge,  it is a habit.  If you are looking to improve, this takes time, it takes practice.  Like seasons pre-season, season, post-season you have to plan out your approach in cycles.   Apply this to your mental and physical health.   These seasons of practice apply to everything we do.

On my journey I have had to tackle a few things.   1) showing up.  Scheduling myself to workout is a must in my world.  And it comes and goes as far as my ability to stick to it.   2) eating.  It has taken a special effort in this area,  a journey that forced me to engage some professional help for to understand my body and it’s tolerances better.   3) the mental fight.  convincing myself I belong and I should be there.  It has taken me time but in each of these areas I have focused on improvement.   If I was perfect, there would be nothing to change.  I’m seeking change and I have accepted that will take time.  Stay the course and things will get better.

 

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Needing Something New

In a rut?  Can’t seem to kick it in gear to hit that next pound of weight loss.  Can’t seem to unlock the triggers for healthy eating habits, that help reduce the bloating, or fatigue feeling.

Routine can be both good or bad.  It works for some.  Sometimes it works for a window of time, then  change is needed.   Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and you need constant variation.  This is true for exercise, diet, meditation, relaxation, and work.   If you find yourself in a rut, try something new.

When it comes to diet,  this could be as simple as making minor changes to your macro’s.   It could be adding in some additional cheat days or meals.   When it comes to exercise, it could be taking on a new type of workout.  Modifying the length and capacity at which you are working.   When it comes to meditation and relaxation,  it could be using some new techniques, or actually adding this in to your weekly calendar.  Changing it up is good!

Thinking about your year more like seasons.  Having on and off seasons is a good approach.  Think about any sport.  There are training windows, off-season, pre-season, and the season.   Baking seasons in to your training programs are a good approach to keeping it fresh.   Maybe focus on a strength cycle for a period of time,  then return to your triathlon training.    Maybe pick up a yoga class in addition to your crossfit routine.  Maybe move around some rocks in the backyard and help a friend build a patio,  instead of hitting the gym one week.   Maybe take to swimming two days a week to replace your gym workouts. These are all good practices to keep it fresh, and allow your body to recover from consistency and hopefully prevent overuse injuries.   Repetition of a movement to learn more is good for a time, until it becomes too much repetition and turns to injury.

Wherever you are today, and no matter what you are doing… keep moving!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: why

Why me?  Why this?  Why now? Why, why, why…

As we sit back and reflect on this journey to be better.   It’s very natural to question why and what and how. Sometimes I find this line of questioning leads me down a negative train of thought.   Any time I start negative thought,  it has become a goal to stop it.   This is a habit I have committed to changing.   It’s a small one,  but a very difficult one.

Why am I the only un-fit person here… (although I am not, often it feels like that).  Is a negative thought one I need to stop.  One I need to replace with… “I am in a group of people who are ALL trying to get better.  We are all here for the same reason.  I am one of them.”  You see it doesn’t matter if you are super fit or just getting started or somewhere in the middle of your journey.   The purpose with which every one walks through the door is simply to ‘be better, stronger, skinnier, more  toned than they were  before’.  That’s it,  there is no more magic to it.   And by committing to showing up,  you are one of those people who are on a journey to be your better self.

Why now, why this?  Finding something that motivates you is key.  Working within your army to be surrounded and work towards common goals.  It’s very much trial and error when it comes to improvements.   There are about 100 ways to learn just about everything on this earth.  But there is only 1 of those 100 that is likely to resonate with you.  So it doesn’t matter if you’ve tried before and it didn’t work.  Now you have just 99 more ways to try 🙂    This is a lighthearted spin, and me telling you YOU ARE WORTH IT, KEEP TRYING!    I can say this now, because it has taken a very very long time for me to convince myself this was true.   Which is amazing, because I have a lot of very positive people around me telling me I was worth it,  it was simply something I never believed.    So why now for me?   Because I want it.   Why this? Because it’s all very real.   CrossFit is something real for me.  Something that has motivated me, and keeps me going.  Nutrition is something, I have now unlocked the secret to for me personally. And I have been able to witness the energy difference, the how it makes me feel.   I now know and believe it’s possible for me to live with energy and excitement, and strength.  And all of those things make me feel beautiful and happy.

We can consume ourselves with “why”.   So long as these lead to breakthroughs for you get on the positive train… answer them.   Or commit to changing the questioning and line of thinking.   Like any habit, it takes practice and time to change.   But you can do it!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: me & my army

Your journey through life, like mine, is bound to be filled with ups and downs.   Like previously mentioned fitness is a combination of physical, mental, emotional, and nutritional health.   All playing a vital role in measuring success, or making us capable of achieving success.

Today, I’m spending some time reflecting on my life and quickly realized there is an army of people out there who are supporting my journey.   And that without that army, my successes would not be possible.    The key here is surrounding yourself with the right army members at the right time.

How to qualify a good member of your team?  Knowing my goal is weight loss,  I need a friend who is willing to split dessert or provide assist in polishing off a pint of ice-cream,  then ask me to get in workouts three times that week.   I need a friend who is willing to have my daughter along for the ride during a workout,  even if it means our pace is a blazing 15min/mile due to her wanting to participate in the journey.   I need a friend who does not shame me, but makes me work for my cheats. Or sometimes just cheats with me, and thats it.   We move on to the next day. Find the people you may know or not know who are on a similar path,  or who are rooting you on and support what you are after.

When I’m down… someone in my army finds a way to make me laugh or smile.   Who lifts me ups, and pushes me to keep going.   They sit and talk.  They show concern and listen.   They help me through until I can find the energy to do it on my own.  Sometimes its a friendly text,  a reminder that the sun is shining, or that they missed me.

When I’m hurt, I see who I need to, including several health professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Chiropractic, massage, physicians, physical therapy… depending on the need.  Over time, I have found medical professionals I trust, who know me and what I am working to achieve.

I encourage you to be a member of someones army and also to allow others to be in yours.   This like everything else in our journey is a balance.   We must give and we must be willing to receive.

My army is full of people including medical professionals plus workout buddies, CFW community members (CrossFit Westerville), and complete strangers.  What I know is that being genuine in my relationships with others and allowing them to be genuine in return, has been core to all of it.   You don’t have to be best friends to have a genuine interaction with someone.

One of my most favorite things about being a part of a crossfit community,  has been to witness raw genuine humans being human.   This is not the TV version of CrossFit I’m talking about.    It’s when you are in a workout, and you turn around and see a group of people cheering on the person who is just about to hit their first muscle up, or handstand, or push-up, or pull-up, or double under, or box jump, or max out a lift they’ve been working now for months.   It evokes an emotional response that brings me to tears each and every time.   It’s the person who just hit a 25lb, 50lb, or 100lb weight loss goal and is now executing movements they never thought possible.   Much like watching a child hit one of their “first” in milestones.   Seeing someone succeed in doing something is a new “first” for them.   They could be 12yrs old,  or 60yrs old.   They could be the most un-fit or most fit person in the gym.   It’s amazing how we get behind each other, rally,  and cheer them over the finish line.   We are in their army,  when we know that person and when we do not.   And that army will be there for you,  when you need them.

Show up, do the work, be open about your journey, your goals, and find the places and people who are positive in supporting that journey.  Go there and be with those people!  Be one of those people for someone else!

How the un-fit ‘fit’ : something to offer

The most powerful thing any individual can obtain,  is the realization “I HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER”.   And trust me YOU DO!

It’s something I understood when I was much younger, but then lost along the way.  Just recently I had the revelation that I do have something to offer.   Something good, something powerful, something meaningful.   When we are young,  we are told ‘you can be anything.’   When we are young,  the world is a blank canvas where we explore our passions, we learn those things we like and don’t like.   We allow emotion to be the driver in things we pursue in life.   Some kids enjoy reading books and exploring the world with words.   Others like movement, and explore by being active.  In all of this,  we inherently leave positive in the world.  Why?   Because we are happy,  because we are being our true selves.   Because we are contributing to life in a way that leaves the best of us in this world.

Along the way,  there are so many things that steer us away from this path. Some don’t get lost, others get partially lost,  and many (like me) get very lost.   Not that my life has not been of value,  but it certainly has not been my best possible self.   I am happy to report I am finding me again.   A me,  that is more true, more real, more purposeful in my intentions to leave good in all I do.

This does not mean we have to like everything.   But still we leave our best person in the aftermath of every moment possible during the day.

How did I get there?  And how will you get there, if you need/ want to?  Each person is going to have their own journey. Each individual will find their own path.  So here is my advice.  Try!   Find something, and try!   Allow it to work,  but more importantly allow it to not work and move on to a new solution.    And keep trying.   Ask friends, talk to family, read blogs, books, articles.   Look for things that inspire you!   And get real about your journey.   Short term fixes, remember are just short term fixes.  We are looking for life long habit changes that make us a better us.

The most powerful thing we can do, is realize we have something to offer,  and trust me YOU DO!   Being your best self leaves a positive imprint on life,  you will likely never be aware of.  Good spreads more good!   As things in your life become more positive, one day you will look up and realize all the good that surrounds you,  and you will take a deep breath and feel relieved that your journey is working.

Be your best you in 2016!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: The Mental Fight

This morning was the first time, I did not need to convince myself to go to the gym.   I woke up, and it was now a part of my routine.   As routine as me drinking my morning cup of coffee each day.  And it felt good!

This is a huge win for me personally.  I’m not sure if this will happen every day going forward.   One of my biggest fights,  has been all the self negative talk that goes on.   It’s like there is this whole other person inside my head that does not want me to succeed.   And that person, that talk, that whatever it is is nasty and mean.

On a regular basis when faced with life in general.  I fight this talk in my head that ultimately gives me a bad attitude, steers me towards a bad decision, or takes me off my path all together.   Maybe I am the only one with this in my head.  If thats the case,  please don’t confirm I am crazy.

It happens with everything, not just working out.  It happens at work.  I think that I’m not good enough to be in the room.  That I am not smart enough to speak up.   For working out,  I think well I don’t look like that, so I don’t belong here.  I should hide my workout over in the corner somewhere.

What it comes down to, is facing our fear.   I’m afraid I am not good enough, or that I don’t belong.  And for a long time this has kept me away from being my best self.   This has held me back from progress.  This has prevented me from trying at all.   I’ve given up time and time again, before I even reached the start line.   Is this something you struggle with too?

From my earlier post,  it’s in part habit.  Commit to changing just one habit.   And stop at nothing to get that habit to change.   This morning and today, I feel like a whole new person.  Not having to have that fight to get to the gym.   It’s amazing.   It’s amazing, because it’s something I want, it supports what I want to be.  Knowing it is fear that is talking to me,  is something I know I can face a little bit at a time.

What are my fears?   Well there are a lot.  Having competed at a fairly hight level is sports,  I fear I will never be the same level of athlete.   Well that’s true.   I am older, my bones are no longer soft to absorb the stress several movements place on a body.  So rather than strive to being the same,  I have committed to re-defining myself as an athlete.    I fear I am not enough, nor will I ever be.  This applies to so many things.  But I already am.  I have an awesome partner and beautiful daughter.  And if I changed nothing,  they would love me still.   But I want a better me, for me and for them.   Being enough is defined by you and only by you for you!   Strive to be your best you and the version of you you want to be.

Take a moment to relax and look around you, and the good that surrounds you.    Start making lists of those things that are good, that make you feel good.   Make lists of those things you are striving for.  Finally start making lists of those things you are willing to give up,  to make those things you are striving for actually happen!

You can do this!  We can do this!  2016 is the year of progress, and we are going to move forward!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: a new adventure

It’s new, its all new!  In actively choosing to improve my life, it means so many things in my life will be new.  There are so many new and awesome things we set our goals around.  Like buying a new wardrobe, or sporting our new body on a planned beach vacation.   For some its fitting in to a new pair of jeans, or scheduling a make-over with new hair style.   For some it’s sporting that new swimsuit.  For others its an adventure trip, or simply doing an activity that previously felt not possible.

We often look forward to a hitting a weight loss goal, and set our eyes on the prize of getting a new wardrobe to match.   What we rarely talk about is the first closet that needs cleaned out, and thats the pantry.  Before we can clean out our clothes closet and replace it with new gear… we commit to workouts and have to take a serious look at our food consumption.  Why, because our current lifestyle is not getting us to where we want to be.  So the NEW we want,  comes with a NEW we must do to get there.  It’s habits, its how we eat, how we think, what we do, how we act.

No one is perfect.  Just this week,  i had a donut!   It was yummy!  And I enjoyed it!  There is no need to torture yourself,  but certainly start making weekly changes that will get you there.  The smallest things, whatever that is for you!   Sometimes its food, sometimes its fun, sometimes its work.  But it will all come together if you just keep chipping away at it.

My first blog release spoke about how this has been a multi-year journey.  I’ve spent the past 7 years sticking with the mindset of “trying to make it work”.  That is a long time.  And I am only a portion of the way to where I want to be.  Everyone will be different.  And many of you,  will likely be less stubborn than I in realizing what it takes to make it happen.   I was a little difficult to deal with when it came to changing what I do.

Recently, I realized I need to modify just about everything I know in life. My friends remain the same, but how I operate on a daily basis has not, and can not remain the same.   Fitness is a lifestyle change.  It’s not a short term diet, its not a short stint with a personal trainer.   These things may help you along the way,  but if you don’t come out with new habits that change your day to day and you plan on returning to your old self.  Save your money.

Be mad, be really mad, and thats ok. Change is a must, and it’s starts with purging our current closets.  Emotional closet, food closet, mental closet, but most importantly our habit closet.  To change, my habits must change.

How the un-fit ‘fit’: the Super Villain

You know in comics how there is always a super hero and a super villain? Isn’t it strange how in the battle to become your better self, you play both roles?
I’m practicing being a ‘fit’ person. I’ve convinced myself that to actually be more fit, i have to first act more fit, because lets face it, if I was acting as a fit person already I would not be who (an middle aged lady that has difficulty with some basic everyday movements) and what (50lbs overweight) I am right now.
What does it mean to act fit? This means habits or behaviors that mimic that of a fit person. So I’ve committed to making it to the gym 3 or more times / week (my super hero self). Last week, this meant I had to put in two workouts on Saturday. And also start eating healthier. Now, don’t let me fool you. Habits and behaviors won’t change without a fight. For example, when I started going to the gym and hitting my goal each week, my reward was a donut! Yes a donut (my super villain self)! I am a food lover. And I know I am not going to be fit all at once. So that is what it took to convince myself to show up at first. No longer do I need that donut to show up.
Everyone’s journey is going to be different. YOU need to do what works for YOU! If you need a donut to start showing up, then eat that donut! But first show up… and then keep showing up!
Chose your habits wisely, and give yourself allowance and forgive yourself the small indiscretions it may take to achieve it. Those should be short lived in the grand scheme of things.
Find the things it takes for your super hero self to control more of your time than your super villain self does.

How the un-fit ‘fit’: breaking through

I’ve had countless starts and stops.  I’m talking weight loss.  My journey has been a multi-year, fists to cuffs, drag you down knock you out kind of fight.  Ok let’s be honest, it’s been a war.  Some battles lost and some won, but in the end I now seem to be on the right path.

I’m a good 50lbs overweight, and I’m a CrossFit gym owner.  For the past year, I’ve almost been embarrassed to admit this.  I’ve been ashamed that I don’t look fit enough to claim part ownership in such a fitness rich community.  But what that ver y same community has helped me realize… It’s that we all have a starting point.  We all have our battle bruises when it comes to life.  Many of those battles guide us down a less fit path.  The community I am now a part of has provided the needed support for me to get back on my feet.  Everyone asks where I have been,  how I have been doing, and cheers me on no matter how painful the movement.  Why?  Because they want me to succeed.  They want me to hit my goals, and for that I am grateful.

This journey is painful.  It’s emotionally and mentally painful.  Every day I still fight all the negative talk that wants to keep me from the gym or eating healthy.  It’s physically painful to get back in shape.  A former D1 athlete, I am astonished at how much I can no longer do.  That’s a tough pill to swallow.  But each day I show up, I improve.  I make motion towards my goals, and my image of me has started to change.  I’m proud of my box jump now 24″.  That I can hit a few double under, that I can do a push up not on my knees.  These are small wins, but all wins that will help me get back to being the fit me and the ‘fit’ mom I want to be as an example to my daughter.

Join me in 2016!  I’m here to listen, to share, to encourage you to also reach your tipping point on your fitness goals!