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.

 

Advertisements

One Year.

20140224-110238.jpgI never thought I would post this. It’s been a year since I began my weight-loss/fitness journey.

I am not much of a selfie poster; definitely not much of a personal photo poster. Every time I looked at the photo from last year and compared it to a progress shot, I thought hell no, I will never share this with anyone beyond my boyfriend and perhaps my mother. I hated, well… I hate looking at it. But then I thought, why not? You may not be comfortable with how you looked a year ago but that’s just it… it was a year ago. It isn’t today. You’re better today. Why not allow yourself to be proud of how far you have come rather than hide it?

I did something about it, that’s what matters.

Today I am far more comfortable and confident in my own skin, I am healthy, I am fit, I am 40lbs lighter and I feel that I earned the right to post a damn selfie.

This is a year’s worth of hard work. This is a year’s worth of not only undergoing a total body transformation but a lifestyle transformation as well. I committed myself to a regular workout routine (that I once considered an obligation and now I consider a want and a need), and I have also changed my eating habits drastically.

It’s true, what they say, about eventually not craving the crap once you stop eating it. People tell me to splurge, let loose a little and go ahead and “let yourself” eat some cookies – everyone else is.  But that’s the thing… it’s not a matter of not allowing myself anymore. I just don’t want it. I don’t crave it. I don’t need it.  I prefer a yummy smoothie over a plate of bacon for breakfast; I prefer a nice salad topped with all of my favorite vegetables, egg, chicken, you name it… over a burger and french fries; I prefer to snack on blueberries, cherry tomatoes, and hummus and carrots instead of a bag of chips.

Now, I don’t deprive myself of a “treat” that doesn’t fall within my regular diet if I do occasionally  want something like that; I know I am allowed to and I don’t cheat myself. I just no longer have the regular taste for it and that’s just fine.

Additionally, I exercise regularly. The gym has become my home away from home. When I’m away on a break day or something, I miss it. People look at it as obsessive, but I don’t. I wake up in the morning and yearn for the exhausted feeling of accomplishment that I get at the end of a great workout; I crave the endorphin high I feel from a run, especially ones that are faster and further than those previously; I stretch and get excited when my muscles are so sore that I struggle walking to the bathroom or removing my clothes for the shower because I know that the soreness is a sign of a killer workout.

I also look forward to signs of progress. To me, there are few feelings better than noticing your progress – no matter how small. The little changes in your body that sometimes even happen in just days, that the average person wouldn’t notice (if they do, they’re looking too closely), but you do. It’s the best. I get excited when it’s time to try a new workout routine, and it’s thrilling to me when I give a new meal plan or exercise a shot and can notice the changes that occur with it.

Learning my body has been interesting, difficult and exciting all the same.

So yes, I will flaunt that selfie and I won’t feel an ounce of shame about it!

Turn a Setback into a Comeback

I am not at my best. I have had a few “cheat” weekends that I haven’t been able to bounce back from yet and it’s a total buzzkill.

It’s so hard to eat clean and train the way you are used to when you are out of your element! The past two weekends were spent out of town with friends and my boyfriend. Plenty of drinking and unhealthy eating. Suffice it to say, I have gained a few pounds and feel nasty. While I was able to sneak in a hard workout on both weekends while I was away, it wasn’t enough!

20131028-154833.jpg

Lucky for me, my boyfriend and one of our friends workout the way I do so they were itching to get to the gym just as much as me. So, when I DID workout, they were killers because I had drill sergeants at my side. But, of course, they weren’t killer enough to cancel out the damage done at all the bars and restaurants.

When I haven’t been out of town, I can’t say that I have done my best to eat well. I mean, I don’t have a terrible diet… I naturally prefer healthier foods (with the exception of nachos. I am always down for some nachos), but I just haven’t tried as hard.

Additionally, work has picked up to the point that I have had more off days than I would like. My job requires a lot of late nights making it really hard to get to the gym AND get enough sleep. I suppose I could take it back to my early morning gym trips pre-work, but then I would be running on 4-6 hours of sleep or less. And as we all know, sleep is just as important as exercise.

On top of that, I pulled a muscle in my hip over the weekend (at least it was from exercise – I think) and am unsure how much running and leg work I will be able to do this week.  I finally registered for the Hot Chocolate 5k and need to be running much more than I have been over the course of the last few months. I still have over a month to prep for it but I need as much time as I can get. The pain I am feeling is indescribable. I can barely sleep on it and walking (stairs especially) is brutal. I have been using a heating pad and plan to ice it tonight.

I know this sounds like excuse after excuse. But hey, at least I recognize it. I know that we all have our setbacks – it’s impossible to train and eat perfectly all the time. While I don’t consider a few bad weekends and a couple of pounds a HUGE setback, I don’t feel great which is reason enough to look at all of this as a setback and use it as motivation to kick my ass back into gear.

Workout Log

20130927-101401.jpg

I finally invested in a workout log!

I got this gem from BodyBuilding.com, and am so excited to use it! Bye bye scrap paper, hello organization! Every day, I would write out every single workout on a tearsheet – every set, every rep, minutes, etc. They are EVERYWHERE and are never put to good use. What’s the point of logging things when you’re just going to lose track of everything? I used to write everything down on paper and then type it all out onto a shared spreadsheet with my trainer. That got tedious REALLY fast. After months of madness, I can finally have everything in one place without having to rewrite it all.

This is also the perfect fitness diary for someone who does more than just cardio, allowing me to track my progress over time. I will use it to not only keep track of distance/time with my biking and running, but also how much weight I can lift with each type of strength training workout. It even has a section to log your supplements and food intake. Hooray!

20130927-140428.jpg

Skinny VS. Fit

I am a fraction of a pound away from having lost 30lbs. I have probably lost closer to 35lbs of body fat, but I have gained muscle so I stick to calling it based on the scale.

My body has changed in ways that I didn’t imagine it could. When I started this weight-loss journey 6 months ago, I obviously had high hopes… but there is always a slight trickle of doubt that burrows it’s ugly head into the back of your mind.

I’ve realized that how your clothes fit is a much better indication of your progress than the scale is. A lot of my clothes don’t fit me anymore – even things that I fit into before I put on some weight. The other day I wore shorts that I hadn’t worn comfortably in probably 4-5 years. I repeat my work outfits on a weekly basis – a good and a bad thing! Good, of course, because I would rather my clothes be big than too tight. Bad, because getting dressed in the morning is so difficult! A pair of pants that used to be tight are now huge, sagging on my butt and giving me a bit of a MC Hammer crotch!

20130904-115849.jpg

People have been noticing my progress much more lately than they ever have. They say “it takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.” Well, that has been true for me in a sense. Not those exact numbers, but the concept.

My friends, family and coworkers have been commenting on my weight-loss more frequently over the past month than they have since I began this process – almost as if all of my hard work just started to show. I have been noticing, obviously. My immediate family has noticed. My boyfriend has noticed. But it has taken some time for others to really see the changes in my body.

Hearing that people are taking note of my progress has been such a confidence-booster, especially considering all of the time, energy and effort I have put in. However, many people keep saying how SKINNY I am getting. “Gosh Katie, you’re just melting away,” “Where is your body??”, “You’re so skinny! 30lbs? Maybe you should stop!” While I am sure they mean well, it’s not what I am going for and I don’t want people thinking that.

My goal is not to be skinny. My goal is to be FIT. 

I lift weights. I am gradually becoming toned. I am not skin and bone – which is what I consider skinny. I actually still have a ways to go before I am actually “skinny.” There is a huge difference between melting off the fat by dieting and/or increasing cardio for exercise, and eating clean and doing heavy strength training. I am leaning out, gaining muscle, and getting HEALTHY – not skinny.

Here’s to not quitting!

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!

20130716-113259.jpg

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!