It’s Fine By Me If You Never Leave

reality

My relationship with exercise has always had a remarkably similar storyline to my relationship with men. It all begins with one great day.

You know the day I’m talking about.  It ‘s one of those days that leaves you going to bed smiling and giddy at the promise tomorrow holds… so giddy that you can’t even sleep because you’re too excited and your mind is making a plan for what that week will hold. For guys, it was an upcoming steamy night. For exercise, it was the bikini I was going to get for this summer. Surprisingly similar outfits were attached to both visions.

Morning would come, and I would spring out of bed singing.  The sun is shining, coffee is brewing and I’m ready to meet each challenge that heads my way with the poise of Grace Kelly and dynamic influence of the Iron Lady, may she rest in peace. This manic, likely unhealthy state of sheer optimism and fortitude lasts for weeks on end. Ok, typically about three or four.

Reality would inevitably have a way of rearing its ugly head. I just don’t feel like going to my group class.  The gym is too packed for me to go. My arms are sore. I had to work late. The guy I’ve been seeing started talking about his car more than is necessary, unless he’s at the Ford Dealer. I found someone cuter. This guy is sweet, brilliant, and interesting… buuuut this guy has season UK Basketball tickets. Deuces. (People still say that. Yeah they do.)

Rinse and Repeat 

This cycle was my life from age 16-22. I don’t think there was the slightest problem with the guy side of it. Prior to age 22, there is no way I had the attention span to be in a real relationship, not to mention zero desire to do so. The exercise thing is where the problem resided.

However, it wasn’t until I met the love of my life that I realized I had commitment issues. My friends are probably laughing at this, because I couldn’t even commit to a hair color until about six months ago (light brown, shockingly my natural hair color in case you’re curious). I think I’ve just been born with a restless spirit.

When I ran across this quote while I was perusing an educational literary magazine, I thought it was a beautiful way to state a lesson with which I struggle. Oh, and it was definitely on Pinterest, but educational literary magazine sounds way better, right?

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

Through tough times, it is essential for me to remember why I started something in the first place. I want a stronger, healthier body to enjoy my life. Without exercise, my stress levels skyrocket. I have crazy high energy, and day-um can I wear some jeans now.

When M is really pissing me off (which is rare! Love you), I strive to keep in mind all the good times we have had, and my excitement for our future helps me when I’m convinced for a fleeting moment that I should be single again…after a good boxing class of course, because I am not that rational in the heat of the moment.  Then I remember I’m crazy about that guy, and common sense wins.  I’m still a work in progress, but hey—my favorite part of life is achieving what I’ve set out to do.  And wine.

Cheers!

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No Chrome on the Wheels. I’m a Grown-Up For Real

jay-z

My wedding is four months from today. That has nothing to do with anything I’m about to write. But there you go.

My support system has been an incredible blessing as I’ve transitioned to healthier lifestyle.  An amazing fiancé and a solid group of sexy ladies have kept me pushing through and encouraged me on any goals I’ve achieved.  It’s an irreplaceable thing.

Have you hit a plateau? Have you just lost the urge to go to the gym? Have you fallen into a trap of stopping at Krispie Kreme on your way to work everyday?  Share it with your support system! People who love you want you to achieve your goals and want to help you in any way they can.

Accountability with a group of friends or a significant other, or your mom (thanks mom!) is a powerful tool. Be sure you have someone in that group who will be the person who lets you know when you’re slacking and pushes you to be better. There is nothing that will renew a fire in you more than a friend pointing out that you haven’t been true to yourself and your goals. And that your ass really does look fat in those jeans.

Then there is a different group of friends. You love them. They are so fun…but somehow they convince you to skip your gym session and drink four margaritas with a cheesy enchilada chaser. When you say you can’t hit happy hour because you’re really committed to a group class, you hear a chorus of “What’s one class?”

Jay-Z said it best. Jay-Z always says it best.

All the rappers be hating, off the track that I’m making
But all the hustlers they love it just to see one of us make it

Got Dirt Off Your Shoulder stuck in your head yet? You’re welcome. Your day will now be awesome.

So here’s my point. You will run into people who aren’t supportive, be it conscious or not, of your fitness goals. I’m not saying defriend them on Facebook, as well as in life. I am saying that it will take some effort to change their opinions of how you should be spending your time.  Your eating habits may take a blow or two from them, and you may give into some bacon cheese fries now and again that you otherwise could have spurned.

I always try to make the most time for the supportive, positive folks in my life.  It’s amazing the effect another person’s energy can have on my own! My boss always says that in this world there are energy-givers and energy-takers. So while you’re trying to align yourself with those who are building you up, I also encourage you to identify which category you currently fall into.

I’m like young Marvin in his hey.

Cheers!

The code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules

Image

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the fitness rules I live by. Let me clear up a point for everyone: I’m not so good with rules.  While at my insanely strict college, my lack of respect for arbitrary rules got me in a bit of trouble, namely a suspension.  That’s right, I got suspended from college. It was for having an all-girl margarita night in my apartment at age 21.  I know, I know, the nerve we had in those wild college days. Such rebels.

Anyway, I know this is a repeat of what I’ve already shared: I can’t follow arbitrary rules for the sake of having rules. It’s not in my blood. This is why I struggle with random diet restrictions, strict workout plans, and ideas I find to sound nuts. It’s my life and I’d like to live it, you know?

I don’t want you to think of these as some training/nutrition expert’s gospel truth keys to success. This is what worked for me, and if it works for you that is AWESOME!  My goal with this is to share ideas that gave me results. Disagree with me? Have more? Let me know!

Tips for SUCCESS!

Lift Lift Lift: I’ve said it before; I’ll sing the praises from the rooftops. Lifting is a magical tool for badassery. Get some heavy stuff. Pick it up. It’ll change your life. You’ll have these muscles popping out and a sweet byproduct is your fat will melt off. All sans treadmill/elliptical.

Eat food: Sounds obvious? One would think.  Have you checked the labels of what you regularly consume? If the package says low fat/diet/sugar free, it’s likely whatever you’re eating is a hearty bowlful of chemicals. Try eating the real thing, but less…which conveniently brings me to my next point.

Portion control: Figuring out how much food is required to keep you full and energized is an art. Some may disagree and call it a science, but I’ve found that it takes a lot of personal discovery and testing.  I did do a lot of research on correct portion sizes, and ended up more confused than ever. List after list of eat this at this time with this…no thanks. Solution? I started by using a smaller plate and fill at least half of it with veggies and fruits.  The other half I put some kind of meat/whole grain situation. Adjust as needed.

 Eat when hungry: Don’t eat because you’re bored. Don’t eat because your boyfriend pissed you off. Eat because your body lacks energy or your tummy is growling.

Water: Drink it. Lots of it. It will make you feel full, keep you hydrated, and your skin will glow. You’ll also tend to lay off the soda and sugary juices when you focus on drinking tons of water. Nuff said.

Don’t spot train “problem areas”: You know what’s super frustrating? Doing hundreds of crunches and still be flabby. Strengthening your core is phenomenal, but don’t think that training one spot is going to cause your fat to melt away. I only say this to keep your expectations realistic. Losing fat all over your body will help your awesome muscles pop out. This also means that your boobs might shrink. It’ll be ok. I promise.

Drink red wine! I’m not actually sure that this really has helped achieve my fitness goals.  What I can say is that it clearly hasn’t hindered them, and a little red wine makes life so much better;)

I hope these have helped! If you have any you think I missed, let me know. I might not know of your genius advice yet!

Cheers!