Wise Words

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“Live from the heart of yourself. Seek to be whole, not perfect.” – Oprah Winfrey

I first posted this photo on my social media accounts thinking I would kick off the day with an inspiring life quote. I initially took it as a generalized suggestion of living a life of fulfillment – in work, family, friendship, love, etc. – rather than striving to be perfect in everything you do.

Working a job that you leap out of bed every day to get to rather than one that you hate but tolerate because it pays you a great salary; remembering that your family is the most important element in life, and that nurturing your relationships with each member means more than, say, a night out with friends, because in the end your family will always be there; holding onto friends that accept and love you for who you are, flaws and all, rather than people who you constantly have to impress and chase for approval; recognizing and admitting your faults and mistakes in your relationship with the person you love so that you can both rest assured that you are understood, rather than being hard-headed and in need of being right.

The more I reread this quote, the more I recognized how much it pertains to every aspect of life.

Because this is a fitness blog, I looked for ways in which it could be attributed to health, fitness and being comfortable and confident in your body. I have worked hard on finding my “happy body” for a while now. I have pushed myself to limits that I never thought I could reach, yet still find myself thinking, “really? That’s it?” or, “I’m not seeing any progress,” or “I should be HERE by now, but I am still down here.” I think these things because I allow myself to get stuck in the “I must be better, I must be the best” mindset. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better, but, why must we want to be the best?

In the back of my mind I know that my progress goes hand-in-hand with the effort I put in. I know that I have my bad days, my cheat days. I know that there are times that I am going to miss the gym, or eat something that is “off-diet,” but why beat myself up over it?

What’s perfect to me, anyway? I should be telling myself, “wow, you’ve never looked like this before,” or, “you feel better than you ever have,” or, “your hard work has and will continue to pay off.” I feel fulfilled and I will keep working hard to feed that fulfillment, regardless of my end-game desires.

We must seek to be whole, not perfect. Who IS perfect anyway?

Thanks for the morning inspiration, Starbucks.

BETTER things come to those who DON’T wait

I’ve never fully understood or agreed with the phrase “Good things come to those who wait”…

20140414-103206.jpgTo me… BETTER things come to those who DON’T wait. Sure, there are some circumstances when the slow and steady waiting game wins the race, but more often than not, I think the opposite.

Thinking back to all of the ups and downs of my journey, the hurdles, the challenges, the hiccups… if I had WAITED to make a change, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. If I had WAITED to take control of my health and well-being, I would still feel unhappy, uncomfortable and unsatisfied with myself. If I had WAITED, I wouldn’t be – in my opinion – the best me that I have ever been in both body and mind.

GREAT things – not just good – have come out of NOT waiting anymore and working extremely hard to better myself. There have been countless times, particularly in the beginning, when I was convinced I couldn’t make the change and that my body was just stuck where it was for the long-term. But, with the support of those around me and with a determined mind-set, I never gave up and accomplished things that I never thought I could. Every milestone I hit to this day, I think back and thank myself for not waiting anymore.

 

It’s a journey

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This graphic speaks a thousand words. It is so spot on in regards to the journey that is weight-loss and becoming fit. There are so many obstacles we must face along the way that might steer us away from our original plan, but that’s what makes it an adventure. If it were simple, we wouldn’t appreciate our successes as much. If we didn’t hit any road-blocks, if we didn’t have any bad days, and if it were all smooth sailing, everyone would do it… right?

Don’t Give Up

20140123-115001.jpgI have been rather down on myself since I had my surgery a little over two weeks ago. My body did exactly what I had feared during the time that I wasn’t able to exercise. I put on a few pounds, I felt gross and I was extremely unhappy with how I looked.

All I wanted to do was ignore what my doctors told me and go to the gym. I am visiting my boyfriend in a few short weeks and I needed my beach body at its best! However, a few little birdies reminded me that doing so would hinder my recovery and make my wait even longer. Longer? Hell no!

I know this meme is in reference to not giving up on your workout when it gets tough – but I thought that it fit how I have been feeling lately. Despite the set-backs I have experienced, in the end you are better off not giving up on yourself and your body no matter what circumstances you might be in.

Ch-ch-ch-CHANGES

A lot is going on in my health and fitness life!

I am a little over 2lbs away from hitting a total loss of 25lbs, I just joined a new gym, and my Color Me Rad 5k Race is next weekend! Where did time go?

I didn’t blog when I first lost 20lbs because it took me a little bit of time to maintain it. I was seesawing between 19 and 22lbs for a couple of weeks before my body seemed to finally accept my protests and the fact that I wasn’t done losing weight! I hadn’t been doing much differently. Ate well, worked out regularly, the usual. I was confused. I started making smoothies with frozen fruit, almond milk, power peanut butter and protein powder and was convinced that that was my issue. It probably wasn’t. I just needed something to blame it on, I think. I also am running outside a little more which set back my strength training. That’s the likely reason.

Now I can proudly say that I am over 20lbs down and going strong!

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No, this picture is not me. I sure wish it was! I peruse Instagram, Pinterest and a bunch of fitness blogs for motivation every so often.  I have decided that this is my goal body, and I will bust my butt til I get there! Healthy, toned and achievable with hard work. No belly button ring though, never been a fan of those.

I did a little before and after collage of my own on my phone and the difference is definitely noticeable. It’s a nice reminder of my hard work, and great motivation to keep working for more.

In other news, I am finally making the gym switch! I have been working out at my local YMCA for forever. I like it there, I like the people, I like not having to wait in line to use machines and all that jazz. However, I have felt a little limited and would like to be around like-minded people. The Y has wonderful regulars, but they are all much older than me and are there to walk around the track and chat with their long-time gym buddies. I want to be somewhere with people my age that are working toward the same goals! I’m also running close to the end of my family membership allowance.

That being said, the boyfriend added me to his account at LA Fitness yesterday (woohoo, discounts!), and off I went! It was definitely more crowded than I am used to (which I should have expected since I went during the peak hours), and I didn’t know anyone which was kind of a bummer. I am sure it will get better with time. I am definitely excited for something new!

Last, but surely not least, my first 5k is next Saturday! YIKES! I have been running regularly and don’t feel prepared yet, but by next week I think I will be in a good place. I have been giving morning runs a shot and will be doing my first double today! Ran this morning, gym this evening. There is a cycle class at the gym that I am hopefully going to give a try today after some quick weight training. You can find me at the BACK of the class!

Color Me Rad 5k – Boston

20130425-101509.jpgThe Color Me Rad 5k is in Boston on July 27th and I am officially registered! I have not run a race in 6 years.

Eeek!

Check out the race page here, it looks like a lot of fun! You wear white and spectators throw paint on you as you run. By the time you hit the finish line you are multi-colored. Yay!

I have 3 months to get back into running shape. I’m excited to have something to train for!!

Exercise Therapy

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“You’re only one workout away from a good mood”

Amen to that! There is so much truth in this. Exercise really is the best therapy.

I have had some not so great days at work over the past week, and let me tell you… as soon as I started working out at the end of the day, I felt a million times better.

The moment I simply ARRIVE at the gym, my mood does a complete 180. It’s weird how that works. By the time I make it through the locker room and down the stairs into the gym, I am on cloud nine – a kid in a candy shop, anxious to try everything. Between doing something good for yourself and knowing that you’re going to be sore as hell in the morning if all goes as planned (yes, I look forward to the pain), I am happy as a clam. So imagine how good my mood is after I have a killer workout and am running back to my locker drenched in sweat, salivating for my post-workout protein shake that I had been day-dreaming about. Heeeeaaaven.

So, to those of you who are stressed out, anxious, unhappy, or simply in need of a pick-me-up… I suggest you treat yourself to a good workout. You’d be surprised what it can do for the body AND mind.

A Little Pick-Me-Up

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“Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.”

I stumbled across this and it was just what I needed. I thought I would share for anyone else in need of a little motivation.

This quote speaks volumes for me.  Going through a big lifestyle change is hard. Really hard. Between the dietary changes and a serious workout regimen, it is so easy to get caught up in where you think you “should be,” while losing sight of how much you have already accomplished.

I am as impatient as they come. “I want results and I want them now!”  While I am not where I think I should be after 7 1/2 weeks of this change, I overlook the fact that I have already lost 10lbs and FEEL so much better than I did before I started. That’s a huge accomplishment in itself, and I sometimes forget that.

This goes back to the point of my post “Ambitious Goals for April.” I just need to keep telling myself that time is my friend and that the end result is what matters most!