Category Archives: Nerd Fitness

The Secret of Change

The secret of change…

The truth is that I’ve been thinking about change a lot lately. Specifically, that I think it’s time for one. I injured my tendon, which led to a month off from bootcamp to let it heal. In that month, it was my job to wait for the pain to fade, and then focus on daily yoga to help stretch out my tight, overworked body and let things begin to heal more fully.

And maybe that’s what my mind needed too. So the pain began to lessen, and…I got bronchitis. For the 4th time in the last 3 years. I am a bronchitis machine, it would seem. And so I didn’t do yoga, and I shouldn’t have. I listened to my body. I took time off. I slept. I hydrated. I rested as much and as often as possible.

Two weeks later, when the exhausting hacking cough finally abated, I was finally ready to return to yoga…only to discover the pain was back, but different this time. Sharper, lower, less severe but more insistent. So I went back to the doctor and…my tendon is healing nicely, but it turns out that some of the pain was thanks to a build up of uric acid that has formed a sizeable crystal on my heel.

I’m taking a medicine to dissolve the crystal, but as it’s dissolving the pain is much worse and any impact or weight bearing is rough.

So it looks like I’m out another month until the crystal is dissolved. I’m super bummed about it, but sticking with daily yoga and doing the workout Mike sent me a few times a week.

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How I Get What I Want

What do I really want?
1. To go to FitBloggin in Denver
2. To work from home at least one day per week
3. To become a yoga teacher
4. To compete in one strength competition, ideally the Disney Fit Challenge

How do I get those things?
1. Save money. This means I have to stop spending money on toys, incidentals, eating out, and unnecessary clothing purchases. Time to tighten the purse strings big time.
2. Work hard all the time. Meet or exceed deadlines. Take more initiative when it comes to learning more about the company. Come up with ideas and share them more often.
3. See #1, but also get back to regular daily practice as a priority. My time on the mat is necessary to being in the right mental and physical space for teacher training.
4. Keep up with my NF training. It will also help with yoga!

This weekend someone I care about spent several hours in the ER and, in fact, is still in the hospital. The person in question is alright, and wasn’t there for something anyone could ever claim was brought on by bad choices or unhealthy living or any such thing. Still, as I waited out that first night, my stomach a mess from a combination of stress and bad food choices, I couldn’t help but think about choices, health, the passage of time, and about all I want from this life. There are no guarantees, not ever, but maybe there is power in choices. Power to say you’ve done all you could. Power to put out into the universe the right energy to attract what you desire. Power to make a difference, however small or temporary, in the quality of your own life.

I’m caught up in thoughts about the importance of really listening, of making a connection with my true needs and honoring them above all else. It’s a path I’m already on, though one I stray from more often than not. So this week, I’m scrapping the big specific goals in favor of one single goal. This week, I will strive to live the life I deserve. I will do this by making choices that bring me genuine, lasting joy. I will listen to my body every chance I get, and I will remember that one moment or day or week of choices out of line with this path is simply another chance to learn more about how to more fully align.

I’m also working hard to align myself with things that matter, and that get me closer to the goals I have of aligning better with real joy. In part, this means forging relationships with some companies that are pretty dear to me in one way or another. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found a few things that help make living actively more enjoyable for me, and one of them is finding the right gear. Two years ago now I finally bit the bullet and spent real money on a real sports bra, instead of wearing 2-3 of the ones I found at Target or Walmart. The bra? An ENELL. Now I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen as an ambassador for the bras, and I can’t say enough. They’re the only ones that have ever worked for me. They’re super supportive, incredibly comfortable, and the only reason I can do a shoulder stand without suffocating.  More than that, it’s a company out there saying that just because I have a body that doesn’t fit a particular mold, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have the chance to successfully and comfortably move in a way that really, truly brings me joy. THAT’s something I can really get behind. The more I thought about the ways I love to move, the ways that make my body truly happy, the more I realized how much of it was possible thanks to the support of this sports bra. Walking, yoga, strength training…it’s all so much easier with something that’s made for MY body, with the added bonus of doing less laundry since I’m not wearing 2-3 bras for every workout.

In the spirit of reaching out and moving more, I also reached out to be a blogger for Jost Running. I haven’t heard back on their decision yet, but I’m excited because it means extra motivation to get up and moving several times a month. Jost hosts virtual races every month, offering beautiful medals and donating proceeds to a different charity every month. I’ve signed up for their races before, and loved the bling and the donation. Now I’ve applied to blog for them for a few months, which means extra chances to encourage others to get up and moving, and great motivation to get me off the couch/office chair as well. And that should be perfect timing because…I’m probably walking a half marathon in December.

I haven’t signed up for the race yet. I want the idea to percolate for a while first, because I have a tendency to jump into these big plans without thinking them through well enough. I did look into a walking half training plan though, and even found a fellow ENELL ambassador who’s fairly local and might be able to meet me for the occasional training walk! I’ve always wanted to complete a half, and when running was no longer an option for me, I figured I would never be able to do it. When I found a local holiday-themed half that accepted walkers, it got me thinking again about finishing a half. If I decide to do it, my training plan would start in early September. I’m thinking I’ll stick to my 2-3 strength training workouts a week, alongside the 4-5 walking workouts for the half training, and scale my yoga back to shorter sessions on a more consistent basis instead of getting in 60-90 minutes but only once or twice a week.

I’ve also been sort of tracking my food lately. I haven’t tracked any amounts or anything, but instead have just been recording what I ate, when, and what thoughts or feelings were part of the choice. I found very quickly that my stress levels and boredom are the two biggest triggers for bad food choices, but that the other key was access. I won’t go buy bad food if I’m at work. I won’t leave the house to go get something bad for me. If, however, it’s already there…I’ll probably consume the entire bag/box/package. So as long as I’m a little more careful about what I keep nearby, I should have an easier time (particularly at work) with controlling emotion-fueled food intake.

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Wrong, Right, and Everything Else

8-11-2014 2-34-37 PMDay 1

What went wrong:

  1. I made it until 1:45 before I had a near break down in the kitchen and ate some PopTarts. So… that went badly.
  2. I also slept awfully last night so my plan for morning workouts was a bust too.
  3. The PopTarts led to four whole wheat fig bars.
  4. I stayed up way too late reading.

What went well:

  1. I only had two cups of coffee.
  2. I drank way more water than I usually do.
  3. I had a super healthy lunch.
  4. I started out the morning with meditation.

Day 2

What went wrong:

  1. Dog poop. Cell phone won’t turn on. Running late.
  2. Waffle taco. Two bites. SO awful.
  3. Another fig bar.

What went well:

  1. Only two cups of coffee.
  2. Lots of veggies at lunch.
  3. Another morning meditation.
  • The present moment is eternal because it endlessly renews itself.
  • Inspiration is just another word for renewal.

What else there is:

I’m feeling delicate, and frankly I have been for a while now. I know it means that something has to change, but I don’t know what. More than delicate, I’m finding the instances in which I think “I am sad” (versus ‘I FEEL sad’) are increasing overall, which concerns me because it means I’m missing something…some sign, some signal.

dcc891ad0b4cfe5c04c504ca894bc111I’m having thoughts around dieting and weight loss again. It’s my go-to for when I don’t feel like I have control. Pics like this one tend to make me feel a little more that way sometimes. I know that if I did a certain set of things – a certain way of eating, a certain way of moving, I would lose weight. I wouldn’t be any happier, perhaps, but I would lose weight and some part of me, after so many years chasing that goal, would count that as a success. It’s also a reaction to being frustrated lately. No matter how many ways I come at it, how many tactics I attempt when it comes to making the food and movement choices that make me feel my best…it just keeps not happening. I set big goals, and then I just don’t. I eat PopTarts and read until 1am, wake up exhausted, drink too much coffee, and repeat. I watch people around me have success in meeting their goals, and I just…don’t. I tried shifting my goals. I tried focus on interior changes. I tried taking baby steps, then super baby steps, then nearly invisible steps, and I keep falling back into the same pattern of eating and (not) moving that just make the tired and cranky worse. The less I get off the couch, the harder it is to get off the couch. But the thing is? I hate getting off the couch. I seriously do. I want to sit and read and watch movies. I want to type and surf the internet and put my feet up. I always have wanted that. Sometimes I find interludes of a particular type of movement that keeps me motivated for days or weeks…and then I settle back into my preferred lack of movement.

But is that really what I prefer? I don’t feel better when I don’t move. I’m more tired, less secure in my own skin. And as I’ve previously established, the eating is about both confidence and control as well. I eat poorly when I feel insecure, when things feel too easily shifted or when I’m questioning my own abilities.

I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to break out of this routine, trying to eat right and exercise in ways I don’t completely hate. I just keep trying and trying and trying and I never succeed. I know it’s not a race, not something with a final end goal, but I never make progress. I don’t get stronger, I don’t get leaner. Not in a sustainable way or in the long term. I’m tired. I’m tired of constantly pushing to go workout when I’d rather do anything else. I’m tired of considering everything I put into my mouth because I can’t be sure without examination what’s behind the food choice I’m making.

I don’t want to be tired all the time. I don’t want to be short tempered. I don’t want to be more and more sad. I don’t want to give up on the things I believe are best for me. I really, honestly feel better when I’m making healthy choices. I just don’t know how to sustain it. I don’t know how to make it work long term. There always comes a point when I step away and then I can’t get back. I took last week off, and now I have even less motivation to do anything.

I don’t think I have a point here, and I’m pretty sure at this point I’m talking in circles…so that’s what I’ve got for now. I guess… I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking for help. Again.

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Right Now! (+Comic Con)

I’m feeling super contemplative today. I went to Tampa Comic Con yesterday (click for my pics – not many), my first ever nerdy con, and it was pretty amazing. Super intense and a little overwhelming too, but overall I enjoyed the experience. Man, I could go so broke if I went to cons more often. Instead of spending a ton of money and buying a ton of stuff, I was careful and came home with some fun prints for the kid and some decals for me. I definitely got excited about the possibility of dressing up for next year’s Comic Con, although I doubt I could handle more than one day there without my introvert tendencies getting the best of me.

It was also nice to get out there because it was easily the most walking I’ve done in quite a while. It was nice to get moving in a climate controlled environment.

In terms of food, I’m a mess. I’ve been snacking too much, overeating, and then skipping dinner because I feel gross. I’m still having too much sugar, too much caffeine. It’s 100% stress related, and honestly right now I only have the bandwidth to recognize it as happening, and no energy leftover to deal with it in any way. We’re having some major financial stress right now, so I’m eating to cope with a situation that I feel utterly out of control on. I recognize that it’s not a helpful choice to make, but right now I just… I can’t.

In line with the images I posted last time though, I came across two more that really held some meaning for me.

Lo and behold, they’re both talking about taking action, about being intentional, about what it takes to truly succeed. Again I feel like there’s something I’m supposed to be hearing here, something I’m meant to be doing…but I don’t know what. Honestly, it’s making me a little bit tired right now. I just having this increasing feeling that I’m constantly playing catch up. There’s never enough time, enough money, enough creativity, enough sleep. I worry constantly about just paying the bills, and am starting to think bigger things like taking Evi to Disney might never be feasible. I worry that she’s still having to be reminded not to put her fingers in her mouth nearly constantly and wonder if it’s because she’s not getting enough attention, enough time, the right kind of stimulation. I forgot to feed her breakfast this morning so she ate a muffin and hot cocoa from DD.

Man, I’m a total Eeyore today. It’s time to step away from the keyboard before this becomes wallowing. <3

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One Month In

In an attempt to keep up with my new habit of more honestly evaluating my work, and also posting Anamaniacs gifs, here’s another installment of where I think I did well and where I think I need to focus harder. To start, I’ll just repost the goals from last time:

  • One baked good/dessert sort of thing per day
  • At least 2 veggies AND 2 fruit servings daily
  • 3 strength workouts
  • 5 conditioning workouts
  • Less than 50% processed foods
  • At least 20 consecutive minutes AWAY from my desk every day

So how did I do? Well…not as well as I would have liked. This week turned out to be a culmination of extra busy, car issues, kid’s lacrosse camp, awful sleep, and extra work hours, and a lot of things fell through the cracks.

What I did well:

  • 2-4 veggies every day
  • 2 strength workouts a week (might still pull off three this week)
  • 2-3 conditioning workouts a week
  • Continued the less sugar route
  • Reduced my processed foods by about 10%

What I’m aiming for now:

  • One truly worthwhile sweet a day
  • At least 2 fruit servings a day (right now I get NONE on most days!)
  • 5 conditioning workouts a week, which include walks and yoga and essentially any purposeful movement that isn’t strength training
  • Another 10% reduction in my processed food intake
  • 20minute break every day at work – this week I missed a day so I’ve had ZERO breaks while trying to make up those hours and, as such, get paid for them
  • 3 strength workouts – at least one done in the morning

I’m liking the way I feel after the workouts, but I’ll admit that I’m finding them a little bit boring. And with the warm up and cool down, all told they take about an hour. I’ve discovered that working out right before bed is a recipe for not sleeping. I’ve just been SO TIRED lately, but I’m still determined to try working out in the mornings instead. I might be exhausted, but getting it out of the way before the day even starts sounds pretty perfect right now.

I also retook my measurements and saw zero change. It was super frustrating, until I posted about it on the FB group for Nerd Fitness and realized a few other things I’ve done that are showing progress:

  1. One pair of my pants feels baggy now
  2. I’ve moved from the Recruit Workout to the Bodyweight 1 workout, and I’m ready to move to Bodyweight 2 now too
  3. I’m completing the workouts faster and some of the really miserable moves (lunges, Spidermans) are getting a little easier.

So I AM making progress. I’m not giving up. I’m also really enjoying the quest features on the revamped Nerd Fitness Academy site, which has now allowed me to give my “character” a goofy cool name and set myself up on the Assassin track (because how could I choose anything else?). I really am a nerd.

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Bad vs. Good

I started my Nerd Fitness journey three weeks ago. I had high hopes for making big changes all at once. Of course, life happens, and not everything went quite as I’d planned. Generally, this would be a time for me to lament my awfulness by rehashing everything I could have done but didn’t. Then, in some cases, I’d backlash with the reasons why I should be proud/am awesome. Thanks for the most part to some #JustTrollin love, I’m changing that up to something simpler, more honest, and less morally charged.

What I did well:

  • Week 1
    • Veggies at 10/14 meals
    • 1 strength workout
    • 5 conditioning workouts (walking, yoga)
  • Week 2
    • Veggies at 8/14 meals
    • 2 strength workouts
    • 3 conditioning workouts
    • Under 72g sugar 5/7 days
  • Week 3
    • Veggies at 10/14 meals
    • 2 strength workouts
    • 4 conditioning workouts (walking, yoga)
    • Monitored my intake of processed foods
  • Overall
    • Transferred all of my workout notes, stats, and instructions into one notebook to make it easier to track and to know what I’m doing at the gym
    • Completed 17 hours of intentional workouts, compared to less than 10 (and mostly <5) prior to these three weeks
    • Upped my veggie intake at dinners and on weekends just by paying attention
    • Started paying close attention to my sugar intake (no more sweetened coffee) and my processed food intake
    • Lost 8.2 pounds
    • Graduated from the Tutorial workout to the first level Bodyweight workout

What I could have done better:

  • Week 1
    • More strength! One workout a week is not enough to see the progress I want
  • Week 2
    • More conditioning. I like walking and yoga. No excuse not to do them
    • Less sugar. Drop that level to even less than 72g, which was an arbitrary MFP value
  • Week 3
    • Step it up with processed foods. Now it’s not about monitoring, it’s about action

My goals for the next two weeks:

  • One baked good/dessert sort of thing per day
  • At least 2 veggies AND 2 fruit servings daily
  • 3 strength workouts
  • 5 conditioning workouts
  • Less than 50% processed foods
  • At least 20 consecutive minutes AWAY from my desk every day
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#JustTrollin

As I sat in the #ToughLove session at FitBloggin, I had a lot of conflicting emotions. I went to the session because I wanted to support Steve & Sue, and I thought it would be interesting. At first, I was feeling pretty resistant. I felt weird, and spent a lot of the session arguing in my own head. I wanted to disagree with what was being said, and at first I did. The more I sat with it, though, the more I wondered if the issue was that I disagreed, or that it was exactly what I needed to hear.

After much thought, I did what I’m finally learning to do well. I reached out to chat it out with a friend. At the risk of looking lazy, I’m just going to paste in the relevant stuff…

H: So now I’m in this spot where I want to do more, get stronger, and specifically clean up my foods…I am an emotional eater from a household of junk food lovers, and I don’t know how to clean up the food. Intellectual arguments don’t seem to work. I know the science. I know the worth of clean foods. I feed them to my daughter. And then I stress eat oatmeal creme pies at work.The session was a struggle for me because I want some accountability, but I’m so damned fragile right now and still trying so hard to figure out what I can do that won’t make me crazy again that I don’t know what help to ask for. Also, I’m afraid of being pushed (either directly or in a reactionary way) right back into the physically and mentally unhealthy things I was doing before.

T: They really ARE out to get us. I know playing the victim card feels like bullshit, but you know what, we’re absolutely the victims here. They are VERY well armed. They have huge budgets, research divisions, behavioral psychologists…you’re targeted SO SPECIFICALLY. (“They” being major food corps)

H: I’m a sugar addict and it scares me. I’m terrified of how much control it has. I’m trying to track my macros now, because I think upping my healthy fat and protein might help curb the cravings.

We talked about how the free snacks at work were a HUGE issue for me, and I got the suggestion to write to HR about it.

T: Talk about the marketing. Talk about the studies. Talk about the snacks that are available. Talk about how much you appreciate the company’s effort to fuel employees through their day, then talk about how TERRIBLE a job they’re doing at it. Then suggest resources that could make it better.

I admitted to being scared to rock the boat, and through a lot more conversation was finally convinced that I’m doing the right thing. By asking for the healthy snacks I need, I’ll be doing a lot of other people favors too because the sugary crap is dragging us all down. We talked more about eating cleaner, about organic foods.

 H: I don’t feed my daughter that way. But when something has to give, it’s always me.

The more we talked, the more I realized what a disservice I was doing to myself, and as an extension, to my family too. I’m worth taking good care of. And when did it hit me?

 T: If you’re making good choices for your daughter, and shortchanging yourself, she will see that. And children respond to actions over words. Careful you don’t teach her to put herself last.

CAREFUL YOU DON’T TEACH HER TO PUT HERSELF LAST.

Well, fracking frack. If that’s not a crying at work type of statement, then I don’t know what is. Further conversation and some serious workplace meditation (thanks, empty conference room) led to the weird realization that I crave sugar when I’m feeling insecure. Because WHAAAAATTTTT?!? I mean, seriously. Knowledge BOMB right there. So weird. I’m sitting with that in an attempt to recognize it, label it as such, and work from there.

In the end though, the long-azz conversations led to me actually wanting to participation in a #justtrollin post of my own. I’m calling myself out. I’m making it clear what I want and how I’m going to get it, and I’m opening up the doors to all of you to call me out (with love, please) when I’m not following through. I’ve been scared to do this, because I spent so much time away from tracking and weighing and working so hard on getting into the right headspace. Now that I’m there, I’m so scared of losing it that I fought the notion of this post. I felt like if I went back to any old habits (blogging? tracking exercise? measuring progress?) I’d somehow be undoing all the work I did. It took my own personal Badass Buddha to help me realize it would just be the next step to build on that work.

So here’s what I want, some of which was straight up stolen from other people’s #justtrollin posts.

  • Clean up my social media
  • Take clear, consistent steps toward cleaner foods
  • Keep up my strength training plan
  • Remember how awesome I am

Social media:

Taking a cue from Thea, I pared down my social media accounts. I combed through my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and got rid of the people I don’t ever interact with. Thea’s right. I can’t have meaningful interactions with the people I actually care about when every feed is cluttered up with hundreds of posts from people who I never have conversations with. Now things are still pretty full, but much cleaner, and it’s easier for me to see the people I care about. Keeping everyone in the loop and staying up to date on their comings and goings helps keep the feeling of community strong, and that community is what helps keep me energized and motivated to make the right choices.

Clean eating:

Today at a team lunch I finally realized something EARTH SHATTERING. Something that, in fact, just proves out my theory that this work I’m doing now is building onto the work I’ve done on my mental well-being instead of tearing it down. Ready for it?

It’s not about not having the pizza. See, we sat down to lunch at a reportedly awesome pizza place. I looked at the menu and thought, “I should get the salad.” I thought about it and I realized I had two distinct choices. 1) I could get the salad and feel virtuous. Virtuous, miserable, and unfulfilled as my coworkers ate pizza around me. 2) I could get the pizza, load it with veggies, and really enjoy my lunch. So I did. I got a thin crust personal pizza with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and spinach. It was wonderful, I loved lunch, and I brought half home for dinner. Making the right food choices doesn’t have to be awful and restrictive just because that’s how I did it for so long.

This is also the first week since I started my new job that I haven’t eaten an Oatmeal Crème Pie. I was eating 3-4 a day on some days. It was getting dark. Stepping away from them is step one in my attempts to clean up the food. First up, I’m cutting back my sugar. I’ve stopped putting any in my coffee, opting instead for coconut oil at home and plain half & half when I’m out and don’t have a nondairy option.

The NF eating plan calls for heading in the direction of paleo, but that just doesn’t jive for me so instead I’m focusing on the things I think will help me the most. Sugar is my first concern, and then I want to focus on drastically reducing the amount of processed food I take in every day. As always, I’m much better about it with Evi, but it’s time to make sure I’m taking care of my own needs too. Processed stuff is going to be difficult, as I’ve developed a lifestyle that’s fairly dependent on those “easy” foods, but it’s worth the effort. It might also be an uphill battle with Aaron a little bit, as I’m not sure he’s sold on the value of them, but I think if I can prove that it won’t be a significant price increase then I’ll be able to sell him on it in time.

Just like everything else, this is also about listening to my needs. I got my mom’s trainer to do my macros for me and I was tracking for a while, but in the end it was making me crazy again. I was angry all the time, and it took Aaron calling me out on it to make me see it for what it was. I stopped and was IMMEDIATELY more relaxed. Tracking just doesn’t work for me, and the truth is that if I’m working hard to reduce my sugar and my processed foods and I’m sticking to my planned workouts, I’ll be more than fine.

How you can help

  • Point me in the direction of easy, cheap recipes using fresh foods.
  • Share your tips for saving money while still getting fresh, local foods.
  • Tell me where you shop to save money on fresh, unprocessed foods.
  • Share ideas on how to make things like lunch snacks for kids that are cheap, easy, and unprocessed.

Strength training:

I’ve done decently well with sticking to the Nerd Fitness workouts so far, and I’ve also been pretty good about cutting myself some slack when life gets in the way instead of declaring myself a FAILURE for veering off the schedule. I’m not loving the workouts, but I’m trying to remember the purpose of them, and I do feel pretty awesome when I’m done. I was amused to discover a fair amount of motivation the other day when the gym was playing American Ninja Warrior during my workout. Turns out that watching people do cool things involving strength is pretty motivating sometimes.

I’ve switched to doing the first level of the bodyweight workout instead of the tutorial workout. I think the bodyweight is meant to be harder, but it was the better workout for me. The tutorial workout left me so painfully sore that I could barely walk or sit down for four days. The bodyweight workout left me feeling distinctly sore, but not in actual pain. Definitely the winner, and I think it won’t be too long before I can move to the second level of the bodyweight workout as long as I’m consistent about working out.

Finding time for the workouts is tough for me because there’s always something else going on. On the 4th I managed to go to the gym while everyone else headed to the pool and meet them later. Where I find issues is around timing. The best plan is for me to workout first thing in the morning, but I like to take my time waking up. Once I wake up and have my coffee, it’s time to get off to whatever our plans for the day are. During the work week I can go at lunch time, but it’s tough to take the time in a very busy new job. In the end though, these are all excuses. Yes, some work days aren’t going to allow the time for workouts. Yes, some weekends are going to be about family time and relaxing instead of working out and sweat in the gym. But most of the time? Most of the time I need to be making the time to workout.

I also can’t forget the importance of conditioning workouts. Walking is something I love and it’s so beneficial. It’s also an easy thing to work in on weekends during family time. Yoga is SO important to me, so necessary to not only my physical health but my mental  well-being…and for no reason I can think of, I’ve been letting it slide lately. No more of that.

How you can help:

  • If I’m not talking about working out, I’m probably not doing it. Call me on that.
  • Share your ideas, tips, suggestions on how to make time for working out when you’re busy. We’re all busy, and a lot of people are making the time, so tell me how YOU do it.
  • Share the details about when you choose NOT to make a workout your first priority.
  • If I go more than 2 days without posting a yoga pic on IG, call me on it.

Self-love:

Find ways to choose joy. I’m awesome. I know that a lot of the time, but I frequently forget it. It’s time to work on keeping my awesomeness in the forefront of my consciousness every day. I’m working hard on it, and it seems to be working right now.

How you can help:

Just keep being YOU. Seriously, I’m so inspired by everyone around me. My FitBloggin peeps and everyone else I’ve come to share this space with. Share your stories.

So we’re in this together, right? And ♪♫everything is awesome when you’re part of a team♫♪ .

 

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FitBloggin+: Recap & Aftermath

I’m home. I’m reasonably settled in too, which is nice. And what’s more? I have SO MUCH to write about. I want to share where I’m at with my Nerd Fitness journey. I want to talk about my experience at FitBloggin this year. I want to write in particular about the Tough Love session and do the “homework” of writing a letter to myself to call me out a bit.

I don’t know if that’s too much for one post…so I’ll just start going and see where I end up.

Nerd Fitness: I’m doing damned well with this. I haven’t gone perfectly as planned, but the whole point this time around is to remember that life is that way. I’m extremely unlikely to ever be able to follow a plan perfectly to the letter. My first week consisted of veggies for lunch OR dinner every day, and veggies for lunch AND dinner four out of seven days. I did the NF workout on Monday, met with my mom’s trainer for a lifting workout on Wednesday to establish my baseline, and then did some easy strength on Friday. I also did Zumba, yoga, and a 5K. I feel really good about the work I did.

This week’s goal is to do three strength workouts, stick with the veggies, and add in another nutrition goal. Originally that was going to be no grains at breakfast, since the nutrition guidelines for NF are headed toward paleo, but after a long conversation I’ll get to more of later, I’ve decided instead that I’ll aim for less sugar. I’ve already started by putting just plain half&half in my coffee, which works alright except that my body is not a dairy fan…so I tried a tablespoon of coconut oil. You do have to BLEND it in. If you stir it, it’s oily and gross. I used my mom’s immersion blender (getting this one soon – that’s an affiliate link) and friends? It’s SO AWESOME. I used coconut oil and coconut coffee and it was great. Smooth, sweet, no need for anything else. I’m also going to be tracking my sugar, aiming for less than 72g a day, which is the seemingly arbitrary number MyFitnessPal sets when you log in.

I was EXHAUSTED yesterday, so I didn’t manage a workout at all, but I hopped over to the gym this afternoon at work and did the first bodyweight workout for NF. Tough, but I liked it. I’ll be sore for sure.

FitBloggin’14: The first day of FitBloggin this year was a little hard for me. With everything going on, having just moved, so much change…I was feeling unsettled and homesick. It’s such an unfamiliar feeling for me when I’m at FitBloggin that I worried something fundamental had changed and I wouldn’t have the same experience this year.

Turns out I just needed to settle in a little bit. I had awesome roommates: Dacia, Andrea, & Angela. Not long after I arrived, I got to finally hug Alan & Christine. Then I saw Karen and Deb and Sam & Matt. The hugs never stopped, and I started to feel more and more at home. FitBloggin really is a chance for me to come home to my people again every year. I missed Jen, Meredith, Carla, and Susan like WHOA, but the chances to connect and reconnect abounded.

So what do we DO at this conference? I think it depends on your focus. This year, I spent more time with friends and a little less in sessions, and I don’t regret it at all. Let’s see. We went on a ghost tour of Savannah. Our guide was totally insane and by the end we were pretty bored, but it was fun to see the city at night.

I skipped Friday morning bootcamp in favor of sleeping, then had a great breakfast. I made it halfway through a workout session before an oncoming migraine got the best of me. Lots of water and a little medicine later and I was bouncing back alright. I missed out on CrossFit to head to a session led by Christine, which was full of some really great thoughts on maintaining weight loss motivation, and then we got a little lunch time visit from Mickey Mouse! runDisney was there to talk about their races, but I couldn’t help focusing on the strength competition at the Wide World of Sports. I can’t get the Disney Fit Challenge out of my head, so it might need some more researching. I spent some time Friday afternoon wandering and relaxing, and had my traditional yearly dinner with Gail. We wrapped up Friday night with a drag show (so awesome) and a lot of dancing. I think I got to bed at 1am.

Saturday I got up for the BEST YOGA EVER with Kia, who I adore. It was well worth getting out of bed even if I was a little hungover. Just a little. After breakfast, I went to Steve & Sue’s session on Tough Love. That one was a tough one for me, and it took me the rest of the weekend to decide whether it was because I disagreed with the idea of calling people out, or because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I decided on the latter, mostly after a long conversation with Terry. I’ll get to more on that in the next section.

I did ZUMBA!!! with Sue & Sam, also known as the only time all year I do any Zumba-ing. I love their class because I sweat, I dance, I laugh. I feel sexy and powerful and amazing, even though dancing usually makes me feel pretty uncoordinated. I had lunch at Moon River with some of my favorite people, including a lovely local beer, and got to say goodbye to Sue, who was already headed out. Le sad.

Saturday night I had an incredible dinner at Alligator Soul. The atmosphere was fancy and fun, and the food was amazing. I had a moonshine flight, mind-blowing shrimp & grits, and was briefly married to Steve. We headed back in time for some truly amazing Ignite presentations. My favorite, and not just because I got a shout out, was Dre & Martinus rapping. I also got the chance to reenact a presentation in the hopes of winning a gift certificate. I HATE speaking in public, but getting the chance for some great yoga gear from be present was too much to pass up, so I bit the bullet and got up there.
I’m SO glad I did. I was so nervous, and so amped. I felt silly and weird, but I also loved it. The energy was amazing, and I had such a good time. I always say I’m going to try to do more with public speaking, so there is FitBloggin yet again helping me achieve a goal. There is nowhere more supportive or fun to be taking those risks.

Awesome new bracelet with green beads, and BRAVE ring from bama + ry

After the Ignite reception wrapped up and I managed to get my hands on some SWEET jewelry there was more fun in store. Side note: I love Jasmine from bama + ry SO FREAKING MUCH. For starters, she’s one of two people who understands my blog reference without me explaining it. Secondly, she makes amazing jewelry that’s breathtakingly beautiful and still affordable. I do need to save up for the Maya Collection though, because it’s incredible and I want every piece. More than that though, Jasmine is just…amazing. She’s got the sweetest smile, this incredible understanding of grief and loss, and she’s just…I don’t have the words. I feel like I’d hang out with her all the time if we lived close. I just realized I never got a pic with her and now I’m mad.

And then…I played Cards Against Humanity. First time ever, and fortunately I was with some awesome people who just laughed at my discomfort. J It was completely hilarious, so much fun, and gave me a chance to get to know some great people even better than before. I went to bed at 2am.

Sunday came too fast, as always, but I got up with Christine and headed out for the 5K. I can’t run it, so I walked with Steve instead and it was a great chance to catch up with him. I really enjoyed our chatting, and got a bonus phone booth photo. I had breakfast, got to have some wrap up conversations with a few awesome people, and made the six hour drive home.

And like that, it was all over… except it wasn’t. So many things still brewing. Emails to HR, food revamp plans…all for another post it seems, as this is long as crap now.

Next year FitBloggin is in Denver, and I WILL BE THERE. With bells on, perhaps. Or maybe not. But there. I will be there! I might even be brewing up a tattoo idea so that I can get one there like Dubyawife did this year.

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I Joined the Rebellion

I hinted at having started something new, and I HAVE! I was blogging it elsewhere in secret, but I suck at keeping secrets. Besides, those of you who will see me tomorrow might need an explanation for my stiff legged walking and disinclination to sitting down…so I just pasted in my last 2.5 days of secret journal.

June 23

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

–Dr Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go

Here I go. I’ve officially joined The Rebellion.  I’m tired of tired. I miss feeling strong. It’s time to take on a challenge and own my own fitness.

Why not? I have reasons. I have excuses, I have fears. I’m putting them all aside and giving myself the chance to feel stronger, more awake, more alive. 

Today for me is all about making the right choices, about parsing out my decisions into manageable steps instead of jumping in with both feet and trying to do it all at once.

In the end, my days will look like this:

Nutrition: No soda or juice. Limited alcohol. Veggie with every lunch and dinner. Limited dairy. No grains at breakfast. No after lunch snacks. Lots of water. No desserts. Limited bread, pasta, and processed carbs.

Workouts: Monday – NF strength workout, 20min walk Tuesday – 60min yoga Wednesday – NF strength workout, 20min walk Thursday – 60min yoga Friday – NF strength workout, 20min walk Saturday – 60min yoga Sunday – 60min yoga, 30min walk

NF & Bullet JournalIn the past, I would have taken on every one of those changes all at once. Nerd Fitness really stresses making a few small changes, 1-2 at  a time, so I’m trying to break these up. I’m working on a schedule for rolling out each new change, but for this week I’m focusing on a veggie at every lunch OR dinner, plus doing the NF tutorial workout 3x/ 

Repurposing the bullet journal

For the moment at least, I’m repurposing my bullet journal as a place to keep track of my NF goals… I’m also wondering if the nutrition goals with help with tummy issues, so I’ll track them here too. Today’s tummy issues: moderate, could be cycle related 

June 24

Lunges of Death

I sweated my way through the tutorial workout last night to interesting and humbling results. Here’s the breakdown:

  • pushups – easy on my knees
  • squats – mostly easy, full squat
  • inverted rows – way too easy, did single arm db rows with 5lb
  • lunges  – WHAT THE EVER LOVING HELLO KITTY OH MY GOD I’M DYING THIS IS AWFUL CAN’T MOVE JELLY LEGS
  • planks – easy, straight arm
So… that was enlightening, and I certainly did sweat. The truth is that I was expecting the workout to be SO much easier than it was. I got sweaty. I got my heartrate up. 
 
Most surprising? How easy the rows were (need heavier weights and I’d like to try real inverted rows on a bar) & how HOLY SCHNIZZLE HARD the lunges were. They HURT and by the end I thought I might die. I’m shocked I can walk today.
 
Also? Starving today. I’m trying really hard not to EAT ALL THE THINGS, but also to balance that with the fact that my nutrition goals this week are specific, so even if I make choices that might be a “fail” for an as-yet unassigned goal, I need to focus on the WINS of meeting my intended goals for the week.
 
Physically, I feel alright. I had a burger last night that I think I’m paying for a little. I’m looking forward to my vegan lunch and hopefully a nice walk this afternoon…maybe on the treadmill since it feels like a swimming pool outside.
 
WHY? Why are lunges so hard?
 
Also? I kind of want to go to my mom’s gym once to see how much I can lift.

June 25

I Might Die

Oh God. I thought I was sore yesterday. Today, after FOUR advil, I can still barely move. It hurts. Going to the bathroom is super awful. I have to lower myself onto the seat and pull myself up again. And in my crazy head, I’ve decided a half hour session with Bekah to assess my lifting baseline would be a good way to spend my after work time. Tomorrow I drive for six hours. I’m gonna die. I need to spend at least an hour doing yoga tonight and probably another hour tomorrow morning if I’m going to survive. In food news, I’m not doing well. I read an article about upping fat to fight sugar cravings, so when I get home from FitBloggin I’m going to try a few days of Bulletproof coffee (without the fasting, but with careful breakfast choices) and see if that helps with both the sugar and the super morning hungries I’ve been dealing with. I’m also not where I want to be with conditioning workouts this week…but THAT’S NOT A GOAL FOR THIS WEEK. I have to keep reminding myself to reward the goals I’m meeting and stop thinking about the goals I’m failing at. I can’t fail at them, because I haven’t set them for myself yet. Just because I know they’ll eventually be goals doesn’t mean I fail if I don’t meet them now. I don’t hate the idea of thinking about them now, because by doing so I often incorporate them in tiny ways leading up to implementation… but I gotta give myself a break! Can’t walk. Ow. 
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