Category Archives: Celebrations

I Am a Gladiator (or FREE CAMP GLADIATOR BOOTCAMP)

879957dfc17a10151c7You guys.

I’m not saying everything is perfect right now. I mean, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m having an early morning surgery to remove some impressively gigantic ovarian cysts. So…there’s that. And food? Still far from perfect, so I’m still trying.

BUT…otherwise? I just canNOT say enough about how much I’m enjoying my workouts lately.

  • I get sweaty and gross, to the point that my ponytail drips and I could legitimately wring out my clothes.
  • It’s all outside, so the humidity is a beast.
  • I get sore, so sore.
  • I have to drink electrolyte water with BCAAs or I get dizzy.
  • Anytime I can, I get up at 5am to do the 5:30am workout.

And I am loving. every. second.

It’s SO hard, and some days I can only do half the reps I’m supposed to, or I have to skip things all together. But I’ve long since stopped feeling embarrassed or weird about it.

The truth is that the environment is amazing. I can go to any camp, anywhere they’re offered, at any time. I can hang with all different trainers, get used to different styles, and no one cares how slow I might go as long as I keep trying.

There are people at EVERY level, from super beginner to competitive athlete, and we all work together to make our workouts awesome.

The trainers are impeccably trained, and all certified.

The workouts are shockingly fun, and the hour goes by SO quickly.

I’ve never, ever felt this good about working out. The group atmosphere keeps me going, the trainers text me if I bail but aren’t obnoxious about it, and I’m already starting to see some legitimate strength and endurance gains.

So, since I signed on the dotted line and put myself out there for a YEAR of this, I want to get as many people as I can hooked on it too.

Want to try it out for yourself? Live in one of these cities? Check out the links to see when and where there are camps near, you:

Sign up with my code, and get the JANUARY 4 – JANUARY 30 camp FOR FREE. That’s a four week camp, that you can go to anytime you want. And it’s free.

Ready? Here’s how:

 

  1. GO to www.campGladiator.com and click SIGN UP
  2. Click REGISTER NOW
  3. Click Single Camp $189, SIGN UP
  4. Click CAMP January 4 – January 30
  5. Select a primary location where you will attend camp most often, you can attend all locations
  6. Click proceed to CHECKOUT
  7. Create an account
  8. Enter promo code in the Promo Code box (HEATHERHURDCHEER2016)
  9. Click APPLY PROMO and the price will change from $189 to $0
  10. Credit card number is required to sign up for camp, but your card will not be charged
  11. Click PLACE ORDER

 

 

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Becoming a Camp Gladiator Convert

633b6127b6515c03486ea73cda8a074cIs it hard to get up at 5am to go to bootcamp? YES. Especially on the mornings when I didn’t go to bed early enough.

Would it be easier, and even more fulfilling in some ways to go back to bed? Yes, yes, yes. Sleep is important too, and I’m sure I’ll choose it sometimes. In fact, I slept in this morning.

So why get up? Because I can. Because right now my body needs, and us even beginning to crave, the challenge. My head needs the community, and the push. When I go to bootcamp, I eat better. I sleep better. I feel stronger. And when I can’t make it in the mornings, I’ll find an evening camp and get in my three camps a week because I want to keep that going.

Have I seen results? Yes? No? I don’t think I look different, and I haven’t weighed myself. But I FEEL different. I’m happier, stronger, and proud of what I’m doing. I do think I’m seeing small gains in what I can do during the workouts. It’s happening slowly, which is how I’d prefer it anyway.

I never, ever thought I’d like bootcamp. It’s outside. It’s (playfully) competitive. We get on the ground. I come home filthy and irredeemably sweaty. There are a lot of other people there who are faster, stronger, leaner.

And it turns out that every one of those things plays a role in how much I LOVE going. Outside can be fun. The competition is truly playful and not mean or weird. We DO get filthy, and sometimes it helps me feel even more like a badass. Those other people? Are too wrapped up in kicking the butt of their workouts to give a flip what I’m doing or not doing, and they’re supportive of everyone else to boot.

I really love it. I signed up for a whole year. It’s not the easiest for me to work it into my schedule some weeks, but I’m determined to make it happen.

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November 15, 2015

Sometimes when you say I just can’t help it, other people here I give up, or I don’t care. And sometimes those people are right, but sometimes you really can’t help it. Sometimes there’s more going on than you could possibly know. And that doesn’t mean that you should let your life spiral out of control, that you should sit back and watch as it falls away from you. What it does mean is that it’s time to ask for help, to reach out, to ask questions and understand everything that’s happening. What it means is that there might be factors outside of your control, but that doesn’t mean you have no control.

For a long time, I let myself believe that I didn’t care, that I had given up. I had no control around food I said and I thought that I meant it. I thought it was my fault. I thought that I had just given up, and that I was ready to let everything go. I thought I wasn’t supposed to care about my health anymore or that maybe I had just stopped. And maybe, for a while, I did just stop. I felt hopeless, helpless and I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. But in the end, I finally did reach out. I started paying more attention, I started asking questions of myself and of the people who I trusted. I ask for help, and in the end I got testing done.

As it happened, I had a pretty severe hormonal imbalance. In the end I still didn’t know affixing it was going to solve any problems or make everything worse. But I knew it was worth a try or at least I hoped it was. Now I’m several weeks into hormone therapy, and all of a sudden things feel clear again. Finally.

All of a sudden, my ridiculous cravings for everything bad for me, everything sweet and heavy, everything that would make my stomach hurt or make my head hurt or deplete my energy seem to be gone. I’m not so hungry, I’m not so tired, I’m not so sad. Finally.

I’m not saying everything is perfect, or that everything is fixed right now. I’m not saying I’ll never struggle with food again where that I don’t already do it every day. But now it feels like there might be some hope. I finally have some energy again, & I finally feel like maybe it’s okay to not eat that afternoon snack just because I’m bored, or sad. I finally feel like I want to get off the couch, at least sometimes.

Now I find myself thinking about going to bootcamp. I’ve gone 3 times in a week, which is completely weird for me, and even weirder? I think I’m liking it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hate the workouts while they’re happening. But the way I feel afterwards, and the way I feel about going and getting them done, is amazing. The way I feel when I know I’ve completed a workout, pride and happiness and fatigue and soreness, it all feels worth it when I think about everything I can gain. I can gain strength, confidence, belief in my ability to do…whatever I want to do.

I feel like so much of that had fallen away in a cloud of so much sadness, and that I was really losing a big part of who I was and my motivation to do much of anything. I wasn’t writing, doing yoga, in fact I was barely moving more often than not. I was managing my walk training, but barely and with zero motivation or heart in it. Now that I’m looking at boot camp more often, I’m actually seriously considering backing out of my half marathon. It’s a weekend we might not even be here, and I just feel like I can only focus on one thing at a time right now. Boot camp gives me the opportunity to get stronger, – a quarter, to eat push by someone who knows what they’re doing. It gives me the chance to be surrounded by other people who are supportive, as you want some of the same things for themselves.

It’s not a perfect place. Sometimes it’s a little bit triggering, with everyone focus on calories in or out, weight lost or gained, or how big or small they think they look in their pants. But still, it’s a good place to be for the most part. People’s hearts are in the right place, people are supportive and happy, and people want everyone to succeed. The trainers are cool, and the workouts are really really awful but at least I feel challenged. The more I think about boot camp, the more I feel like I can see a different future. I feel like I can see myself doing this regularly, maybe even liking it sometimes. I can see myself stronger, happier, more confident, more able to do the things that I want to do. I can see myself feeling better physically, having more energy, continuing down this path of less snacking and more mindful eating. Most of it is the hormones, which I couldn’t be happier about. I’m just so glad it worked. I feel so much relief, so much, knowing that I have half a chance now.

But it’s not all on the hormones. It’s still up to me to make a difference, to make the right choices all the time. It still up to me to get up, get dressed, and go to bootcamp. It’s still up to me to make the right choices with food. It’s still up to me to be mindful of how easy it is for me to fall back into serious sugar addiction, and constant snacking just for the sake of snacking. I have to keep thinking, all the time. It’s something that used to drive me crazy, to think that I would always have to be fighting. But maybe that’s just the way it is for me. And maybe that’s okay.

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FitBloggin Recap – Part 3 (The People)

So, who made an impact this year? FitBloggin is a funny thing in terms of the people, because there are SO many people there that I’d love to see more of, hang with, talk to, laugh with…and there is just not enough time to do it all. I can’t possibly see everyone I want to see, and it’s tough, because I know I miss out on connecting with some people who I really want to see. But every year there are a handful of people who I connect or reconnect with in some deep, meaningful way that carries me through. So here’s an ode to some of those people and to the love they so willingly give me, in no particular order. I know I’ll forget lots of people because there are just too many to list.

Steve: Dude. Just getting to hug you every year is nearly enough. Thank you for being there, for listening, for caring. You make a difference for me, and I know I can count on you to be extra awesome.

Dre: Oh Dre. I was SO happy to see you this year. SO SO happy. Thank you for reminding me that I’m beautiful, and for always making me smile.

Kia: I used to say I wanted to be you when I grew up. Now that I know you better, I’m just really, really proud to call you a friend. You inspire and teach at every opportunity, and you’re my yoga inspiration.

Terry: I can’t decide whether you’re most awesome when you’re wacky, or when you’re serious and deep. In either case, you’re amazing. Thanks for taking pictures that somehow look like the real me.

Thea & Dacia & Christie: TEAM HAMCAT FOR LIFE. You were the best roomies a girl could ask for, and laughing ourselves to sleep will forever be one of my favorite memories from this year. Thanks for all the listening and laughing and just getting me.

Libby: LIBBY! Your first FitBloggin, and you freaking jumped in with both feet. I love your energy, and your leggings, and your yoga. You have an incredible spirit and I can’t wait to get to know you better.

Nellie: I didn’t spend nearly enough time talking to you this year, but when I did, I loved every second. You’re amazing, and I’d really like to know where you get all that energy. Thanks for being the Zumba queen this year, and always having a ready smile.

Liz: Never enough time. NEVER. The tokens you made for everyone were wonderful, and mine gets some attention every day. Thanks for helping me remember my awesome.

Kris: You’re so freaking amazing. I’ve never met a more badass unicorn in my life. Thanks for the hugs and the talks and the continuous awesomesauce.

Dani: Oh my friend. I wish you could see you the way I see you. Full of power and strength, and SO MUCH love to give. Watching you embark on your yoga journey gives me chills and fills me with joy. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Kelly: Kelly! Not enough time with you either, but what time there was felt wonderful. You have such a calming, loving presence. It’s awesome to be around.

Brooke: We finally got a chance to hang some this year, and you’re every bit as awesome as I expected you to be. Thanks for sharing my general love of beer and being so comfortable to be around. I love people who make you feel like you can just do you.

Christine: I don’t even know where to start. We had time to get closer last year, and now I consider you one of my best friends. I don’t stay in touch as well as I’d like to, but I am SO glad to call you a friend. We need more time together.

Pauly: I finally met you for real, and you’re every bit as amazing as I was expecting you to be. You’re sweet and funny and have awesome taste in beer. I hope we get more time next year.

Bang: Oh girl. How have I gone this long without us hanging out? You’re wonderful, so gorgeous, and just give off this incredible vibe. Next year, we hang for sure.

Deanna: Hot momma, FitBloggin wouldn’t be complete without you. You rocked the mic and the dance floor, and you (as always) made me feel incredible about myself and the world. Thanks for always bringing your A game in the friend department.

Gail: I feel SO bad that we missed our annual dinner this year. Next year, we’re roomies for sure, and we’ll get our time. Thank you for being so calm, so much a voice of reason, and so thoroughly circumspect. Your perspective is always just what I need to hear.

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FitBloggin Recap – Part 2

Another FitBloggin is over…and I’m struggling with that. In fact, I’ve been struggling to sit down and find the words for this post since the day I came home. For the first few days, I had the typical post-conference melancholy…I missed my friends and felt bad about the time away from family, and tried to shove my way back into my normal life even though I was full of new thoughts and feelings and notions about the world.

See, that’s the thing. I come back every year full of…love, support, inspiration, hope, joy, confidence, belief. The list goes on and on. This year, I’m trying not to let it all fall away, dissipating into the ether of my day-to-day routines like it does most years.

So I’m documenting what I learned, who I was most moved by, and how I’m planning to take that forward. FitBloggin is FULL of love and support, and I can’t let it go to waste.

I don’t give myself enough credit. I need to own the things I’m doing well and consistently, because otherwise I feel like a failure when I’m not, and that feeling does NO good, ever. So what do I do well?

I move with love. I find ways to move my body that light me up, inside and out, and keep me consistently moving. It might not be the toughest or the sweatiest, but it’s consistent and brings me joy.

I am lovely. No really. It’s something I’m only just settling into, this idea that I can be beautiful right now, just as I am. I walked in a fashion show (THANKS SOYBU!!!) and people cheered and smiled, and I know I don’t look like a runway model, but I felt beautiful all the same…and that’s when it occurred to me. Beauty isn’t a thing I have to get, a place I have to arrive at. It’s there, all the time, and I just have to relax into it.

I #wycwyc like a pro. No seriously. Some days it’s a thing or two, other times it’s a LONG list of ways I got up, moved more, ate mindfully, drank enough water, and got extra sleep. All of those days are worth celebrating.

— Next up, the PEOPLE who made this Fitbloggin amazing. —

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FitBloggin15 Recap – Part 1

Another year gone, and now I’m settled back and home and trying to make sense of everything I did, everything I felt, and everyone I hugged. For now, a more functional recap will have to suffice.

 

What I Did

I ate wonderful food. I drank great local beers. I saw beautiful street art.

I did hours of yoga, walked 10 miles, did Zumba, did strength training.

I sat in sessions where I cried with pain or hope or joy. I felt proud and scared and inspired.

I hugged people who are painfully precious to me, even when I only see them once a year. I hugged people I didn’t know yet, people who I was only just beginning to make connections with, and who I’ll stay connected to as the year goes on.

I laughed so hard I cried, so hard my abs hurt. I cried so hard I hiccupped.

I WALKED IN A FASHION SHOW, as my tribe clapped and cheered. The generous sponsorship from Soybu meant I got to wear (and keep!) gorgeous, CRAZY comfortable clothes.

I had my butt slapped more than once, by several different people.

I had my picture taken in nothing but capris and my favorite ENELL bra, standing arm-in-arm with several other ambassadors, proud to represent the brand and our own spirits.

I wandered off-site for a yoga class and a sound healing session, both of which left me rejuvenated.

I went to bed early, stayed up late, got up early, and ate a lot of bacon.

I sang along to other people’s lip sync performances until I nearly lost my voice.

I danced so much that I was sore the next day.

What I Learned

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.

By just being me and seeking my own joy, I’m helping other people to do the same.

I should spend more time on my blog, for my own sake and for the support and love of this awesome community.

I definitely deal with some very real anxiety issues, and need to be better aware of them so that I can ask for help.

The friendships I have forged (and continue to make) as I attend these conferences are life-changing, and stay with me even when I see these people only once a year.

Denver beer is amazing. Really amazing.

Yoga lights up my soul. It’s not a new lesson, but apparently one that needed reaffirming.

—–

The thing about FitBloggin? Somehow, every year, it meets me exactly where I need to be met. I talk to the people I need most, do the things that most need doing, learn the lessons that most need to be learned.

So if you’re on the same journey, looking for the ways and paths and people that can support your growth? Join us. You won’t regret it.

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My Secret

Hi fitbloggers –
image[1]
This is me.

I can do this:

and this:
image_2[1]

and this:
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I made this!
image_1[1]

I’ve been to FitBloggin every year but one, and I’ve loved every single one. I’m already planning what to pack and who to hug this year, because I know I’ll be surrounded by unconditional, judgement-free love and support.

But…
I’m terrified.

Because this is also me:
image

It’s not something I’m supposed to know because it tends to drive me to unhealthy places, but after months and months off the scale, I got curious. And it’s….the biggest number I’ve ever seen.

I don’t think I’m okay.
image_2[1]

And it’s not about the weight entirely. It’s also about always, always feeling anxious these days. I don’t sleep enough.

I was meditating this morning, which I’m also being uncharacteristically inconsistent about, and I was prompted to think of my biggest current stressor. And the thing is, its still not my weight. Its job pressure or mom guilt, or a number of other passing stress issues.

So then I was prompted to imagine myself doing something where I felt free from stress, and it’s on my yoga mat. When I’m there, I don’t feel it or think about it or care. Which led to a torrential cry.

The thing is, I’m scared. I’m scared of how I’ll be perceived, or that I’ll spend the weekend feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.

And then? I think about this, and I know everything is going to be just fine:

And if you’re looking for a hug? I’m your girl. I’ll likely be fangirling over some of you, and also bacon.

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Six

Oh my little monkey. You’re six. How? It snuck up on me this year, and even though your birthday was 17 days ago I still find myself a little surprised by it.

You’re six, and less than two weeks away from graduating from kindergarten. You’re funny and silly and super smart.

You LOVE space, like more than I ever could have imagined. You love dinosaurs and the pool, wearing your blue sparkly dress, and having ‘cinnamon bun’ hair. You like when I let you wear a little eyeshadow, and you love playing LEGO Star Wars with your Dad.

You’re kind to other people, and so sweet with our old lady dog. You help around the house, almost always without complaining. You feed the dog for me every day, and even though you hate getting in the shower, you sing the whole time you’re in there.

You love to ask question, and you process the answers in your own time. You like to surprise me by talking through something days or even weeks after you first brought it up.

Right now, you’re keeping a science journal to keep track of your sea monkeys (alien eggs!) and the coral you want to grow next weekend. You’re a great plant mommy to the bean plant you brought home from school, and you’re excited to plant your new rosemary seeds.

At school dress-up day you chose an offbeat character (Dwight from Origami Yoda) and had an awesome time with your own little origami Yoda. You were so kind about it when you saw the one mommy made for you. It didn’t look quite right, but you said it was awesome, and it made me feel pretty awesome. Speaking of Origami Yoda, you love those books SO MUCH. We’re reading the whole series and having a great time.

My girl – you are patient and kind, loving and giving. You like to help others and you love to learn. You are confused by other people being unkind, and you’re super shy in front of strangers. I love every one of those things about you. I love the color of your hair and the particular shade of your eyes. I love the way your body moves and the faces you make when no one else is looking. I love the complexity of your emotions and how careful you are in doling out your affection–affection from you may be hard won for anyone other than me and your Dad, but it’s so worthwhile for the people you choose to bestow it on.

It’s just me and you a lot of the time, kid. I love that you aren’t afraid to talk through it when you miss your Dad a whole lot. I love that we can hang out and have Mommy/Daughter time together and I have genuine fun.

I’m so lucky to have you, and I cannot wait to see what amazing things this new year brings.

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What Groot Taught Me About Christmas

GrootEvi asked for a giant stuffed Groot. I didn’t think much of it because I knew we’d be able to find one. So when we were a week out and I started looking…I was unpleasantly shocked to discover that big huggable Groot is not a thing.

So I decided to make one.

Me. Not a crafter. Not even a little crafty. But I was determined. I started three nights before Christmas, and I FINISHED HIM! He’s adorable but looks nothing like the “real” Groot. He has dried superglue on his head, a floppy neck, and big button eyes. His mouth was drawn with a Sharpie and his hands are shaped all weird. His stuffing is somehow seeping out of the fabric in tiny little bits. He’s far from perfect. I was worried she’d think he was weird or silly or stupid. I was worried she wouldn’t like him.

I worried for nothing. My sweet girl was so grateful. She still hasn’t put him down. She’s thanked me for him a million times and declared that he doesn’t look like the real Groot, he looks BETTER! She says he’s wonderful and unique (just like me, she says!) and it makes my heart lighter.

And then…it got so much better. She paused mid-stocking opening, leaving all those shiny gifts untouched, because she wanted to put together her Lego Chima Phoenix mini with me. She paused BEFORE opening a gift somewhere around the midway point to thank me for her presents – as in, sitting in front of an as-yet unopened gift, she was so suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude that she stopped, looked at me, leaned over for a hug. “Thank you, mommy,” she said. It was just so damned sweet.

In the days after Christmas, she’s taken Groot everywhere, continuing to extol his virtues to anyone who will listen. She loves him, and not because he’s exactly what she’d imagined getting. She loves him because I made him, and because she’s so full of love that she radiates it.

And that’s the lesson I  more than needed to learn this Christmas. I’m raising a little girl who is utterly infused with love, who’s got so much of it that it’s seeping out in every direction because it just can’t be contained. So I must be doing pretty alright as a mom, and more than that, it’s time for me to soak up some of that love. She’s a reflection of me in some ways, and so it’s got to be in me too. It’s time for me to bask in it, settle into it, direct it where it’s most needed…sometimes that’s inward, and sometimes it’s out.

This year is all about creating space for love.

———————————————————

Another amusing Evi anecdote? My brother brought her a tee shirt from MIT, which she was so overwhelmed to receive that she wasn’t quite sure how to process it for a little bit. The day she finally wore it, I told her how cool I thought it was that she was wearing a shirt for a college she might go to. Without missing a beat, she said, “Might? I WILL go to MIT” and went back to tying her pink boat shoes.

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Gain vs. Loss: Maintaining HAES through Weight Loss

How do you come to terms with results when they require a focus on the same tools that trigger unhealthy thought processes?

When you’ve spent years extracting yourself from the diet and weight loss mentality, how do you make sense of weight loss?  How do you celebrate an apparent result of choices made, when that result represents something that could trigger some seriously detrimental thought processes?

I don’t know what the answer is here. The truth is that this whole thing is complicated for me. I’m not really weighing myself right now, but I do occasionally step on the scale…because I own one?  Because I’m curious? Because it’s ingrained to consider my weight as an important piece of information? I can’t say for sure.

So as it so happens, I weighed myself just before starting both half marathon walk training and Pure Barre classes. I didn’t do it because I was starting those things. It just happened that way. When I looked back and realized I’d completed a month of both, I got curious about weights and measurements – I’d taken those a month earlier for the sake of picking the right sizes for Halloween costume pieces – so I figured I’d see where I was at.

A quick comparison made it pretty clear that I’d made some changed. In fact, I’d lost five pounds and a little over three inches.

I was thrilled. Elated. Then, frankly, a little scared.  I lost weight! Yay! Yay? Is it alright to be happy about it?  If I AM happy about it, is it just because I’m still wrapped up in old thoughts about health and success? If I celebrate weight loss, I feel like I’m just back to using that as a measure of success…which has proven to be drastically untrue for me.

So I’m trying to focus instead on something better. I made changes that I enjoyed making. I chose movement that made me feel good, gave me space to clear my head, and made my body feel strong and capable.  As a result of those choices, and either despite or unconnected from my food choices at the time, I felt better and stronger. I had more energy. I struggled less with mood fluctuations. As a side effect of these choices, I experienced some weight loss and a measurement decrease.  Those changes were NOT the point, are NOT the goal, and CANNOT be counted on as continuing changes even if my behavior remains otherwise the same.  The target I am chasing is the way my activity choices made me FEEL (awesome), the way they made me THINK (clearer), the way they made me MOVE (with confidence). Those are the things I’m chasing as I continue my journey.

And that’s where I feel like I can turn my focus to food. If it’s about losing more weight/inches, my attempts to eat better are never going to work. In fact, lately I’ve been trying to focus on WHY I continue to eat in ways that don’t best serve my body, and the more I think about it the more I feel like having any sort of appearance focus on what/when/why I eat is going to be counterproductive for me. If, on the other hand, I can focus on the things that will make me feel my best, be my happiest, provide me the most energy to get happily and productively through my days…then maybe I can make the choices that help me thrive.

So this coming week will be a week for me to focus on those choices. Even through the weekend, which for me is usually a time of acknowledged crap eating, I’ll be attempting to eat the foods my body needs. I’ll be interested to see what happens in another month if I can maintain the food choices that provide me with my best mind/body connection.

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