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How the un-fit ‘fit’: GOOD

It’s going to be difficult.  My response, GOOD.

The first section of this blog post will both sound and feel harsh, but stick with me until the end and you will see why.

Entering the gym for the first time is going to challenge your courage.  My response, GOOD.  It’s going to be difficult to drop the weight. My response, GOOD.  You are going to struggle and not want to come back sometimes.  To that I say, GOOD.  It is going to hurt.  You are going to experience physical soreness like never before. My response, GOOD. You are going to be mentally and emotionally challenged.  You will have to face things about yourself for a long time you have ignored.  You will not like it.  My response, GOOD.  You are going to have fear consume you. You will at times think “I can’t”.  You will whisper to yourself “I am not worth it”. Self talk will fill your head with “That won’t work for me”.  To all of this I say, GOOD. There will be workouts you believe you can not conquer.  There will be days you feel like not showing up.  My response, GOOD.  You will say to yourself “I don’t like the way I look”.  You will say “I don’t like the way I feel”.  To this I say, GOOD.  There will be times when it feels like all of this is too much to manage.  My response, GOOD.

** Success goes to those who respond to change**

We have mentioned that change is hard.  And on your fitness journey the behaviors and habits of how we eat and workout all must change.  At the root of this is how we think, feel, and respond. This drives how we act.  Do we put in the effort, or do we throw in the towel.  It sounds harsh to hear the response of “good”.  So why is it good?   All of our experiences positive or negative teach us something.  It is what we take from the experience and how we apply it that matters.   Tried losing weight 20 times before, and failed?  Good.  You know more than the person who is trying it for the first time.  You know what hasn’t worked.  You know you are RESILIENT!  Keep trying.  You have a proven track record of COURAGE, STRENGTH, and the RESILIENCE to find the way that works for you.

It’s hard to walk in the gym.  For the first time.  When you have had a bad day.  When you having been staring at the scale and not a pound has moved for several weeks.  When you have a planned PR attempt in your workout.  Why? FEAR.  We fear that what is facing us at that moment is going to result in failure.  Fear keeps you from being your best in the moment.  My response, GOOD. Once I know my fear, I can face my fear. Once I know my challenge I work to meet that challenge. By doing what it is that is facing me I become the best version of me in every moment I am faced with something.

It’s training.  You are training you to be your best you!   When something happens, you need only one word to move forward.  Tell yourself GOOD.  Seconds will become minutes, minutes will become hours,  hours will become days, and days will become years.  As challenging as those first seconds are, looking back you will realize it made all the difference and that you moved mountains by seeing every moment and saying to yourself, GOOD.

GOOD, you found a new way and a new reason to try.

GOOD, you became a better version of yourself, by accomplish what before you thought not possible.

GOOD, you rallied your inner courage and strength to beat it! To beat that one thing that stands in your way.

GOOD, you are on a path to become a new better you.  A better friend.  A better partner.  A better parent.  A better self.

GOOD, you found strength through adversity.

GOOD, you found courage through fear.

GOOD, you found you by doing!

Get out there and face this day.  Find the seconds that matter, and make the decision to dive in and make a change.  You are worth it!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Defining you

So often, we beat ourselves up over an ideal that others or society puts on us.  We should be skinnier, we should be a perfect, we should be something else.  Anything else other than what we currently are?  Feel this way often? I do.   As a matter of fact most of the time I feel this way.

It’s a challenge to break it down and start to understand what is it I want for me.   Without allowing these ideas to pop in to my head of what others believe should be for me.   I want to be fit, but what does this mean to me?  Clothes to be comfortable, eat what I want when I want, have a more muscular tone?  You see there is no magic bullet to what is perfect or what is good.   Knowing what it is that you want and knowing what you are striving for is key.  Maybe it’s more important to you that you can lift 300lbs over your head,  no matter how toned your muscles are.

Our bodies and their response to nutrition, fitness, rest, are very different and individual.  That means no one solution works for everyone. As a matter of fact one solution only works for one person, and that is the person who is seeing success.   Others may take components of what works, but you will also need to modify and make adjustments that fit you as a person.   Bottom line, if it’s not working for you find something new else.

It will need to fit your lifestyle, your body type, your systems response, to put it simple it has to fit you.  Be bold this week, be daring.  Find your inner strength to focus on what success means to you and only you!  Take action to make that happen.


How the un-fit ‘fit’: challenges/scaling

How is your journey going?  Are you hitting your goals?  Are your goals fighting against you, without giving in?   One of my workout buddies this week tossed out a challenge.   After making the comment,  I fail to finish things,  the challenge was tossed out there to become a ‘finisher’.

This, not being a finisher thing, is something new for me.  It use to be, I didn’t know when to stop.  Have I lost all my competitiveness?  Have I not found something to inspire me?  What is going on, that makes me stop just when I get started?

Really there are more questions than answers. But for this session, I’m going to discuss the application of scaling.  You see each athlete is very different.  And what your body allows you to make it through, will differ from day to day, week to week, movement to movement.  You’ve got to listen to your body while finding that delicate balance of pushing yourself to hit goals you could not previously reach.  When getting started and for the length of your journey you must set your finish line for each task you take on.

Last week one of our prescribed workouts included thrusters.   A lots of thrusters for someone like me.   So much that I failed to return to the gym for an entire week because I was so sore.  This in large part because I pushed myself to finish what was on the board, not simply finish what I knew my body was capable of.  Now that should never be the outcome of exercise, not returning to the gym for long period of time.  When getting started returning to the gym on a very regular basis is key.  So scaling to allow that to happen is key.

Scaling can come in multiple ways.  It’s important to speak with your coach to work through what’s right for you.  This week we again had thrusters in the workout.  It was suppose to be 10 rounds of work.  Knowing what I had previously gone through,  I calculated the reps and decided it would be best for me to do only 5 rounds of work.   I got in a great workout.   And with continued progress I will make it to 10 rounds,  that day was simply not today.   Other ways to scale include the modification of movements or reduction of weight being lifted.   Key is,  keeping with a consistent workout schedule and sticking to it.  The volume, weight, speed at which you execute will only improve over time.

Scaling is your friend!   Especially if you are just getting started.   Arrive a few minutes early to class if you have concerns or want to talk through specific scaling options with you coach.

Back to my friends comments about becoming a finisher:)  It’s a good challenge for me to push and this is the balance needed in my workouts.  Sometimes I scale too much.  Finding someone who knows yo well enough to know when to push you vs when to allow your scaled finish line to be the finish is key.  Find workout partners and coaches who support this, and who will support you in what you need to become your best self.

How the un-fit ‘fit’: What we believe is true

Weightloss has been a crazy journey.   I envy those who say “I’m going to lose 10lbs”.  Three weeks later they look amazing, and have hit their goal.   For some of us setting and hitting goals are not so easy.   They don’t just magically appear or happen like it does for some of my friends. Today, I am going to talk about what I believe… and how this is holding me back.

I’ve had a hard long look inside this week, asking myself what do I really believe about me.  What I realized in a short time, is that I truly believe I am suppose to be a large person.  Because much of my family are larger people.   What I believe is that is also the image I fit.   It’s taken a LONG time to peel back the onion on this.  And come face to face with what I really believe.

You see, I want to be healthier, smaller, more fit.  I often make decent efforts towards that.  But something keeps holding me back.  I’ve met with medical professionals.  They have solved the surface issues of imbalanced hormones, changing my eating habits, and developing regular exercise habits.   But in the end, I always give up on myself.   I quit.  Why?  Because I don’t honestly believe I should be healthier, smaller, or more fit.  I want it but I have not yet embraced it.  I do not yet believe that is me.

Several of my posts have talked about sticking with it, and keep re-starting.  I still believe in this.  And I also believe that I will soon turn the corner and allow myself to truly believe I deserve these things I am working towards.  It’s not easy.  It’s not simple.  It takes some soul searching.   A true fitness journey and change in life is not an overnight solution.  And its hard, but stick with it.

Remember all things are components of a successful journey…

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness/ activity level
  • Emotional
  • Mental

Right now, I am working the emotional and mental components.   Trying to find the inner me, and turn the key to truly believe in my end point.  I believe in my journey.   But the minute things start going well, I need to stick with it rather than running away from the fact, some good changes may actually start to happen.

You can do it too!   Believe in you!

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!