CATS_MEOW_0911   66,564
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
CATS_MEOW_0911's Recent Blog Entries

I felt so fit--until yesterday...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yesterday I went to Muay Thai and boxing, and was having a great time until my boxing coach Ty popped a fitness assessment on us. He had us do 1 minute tests where we had to do as many line touches (running back and forth and counting the laps), full push-ups, full sit-ups, and box jumps as possible. I wanted to come up with an excuse and leave--I did not feel like making an ass of myself. I already felt lame because I couldn't do the box jumps because of my knee. I only did 17 sit-ups and 14 line touches, both which were a lot less than everyone else. And push-ups? Zero.


Couldn't do a single full push-up.

I've prided myself in not letting my body size stop me from doing things nor being embarrassed about my body size (although I discover that does sneak in). I have considered myself to be fairly fit--after all, I can easily do 2 hours of martial arts training at a time and keep up with everyone else. I didn't like feeling so unfit with doing that test. It took me back to my gym class days where my gym teacher poked fun at me and students laughed at me.

Except this time, no one laughed. No one mocked me. There was no judgement. "I suck," I said, making sure to draw attention to my level of un-fitness. Ty shrugged, "It's just a gauge, it doesn't mean you suck." I realized that I really need someone like Ty, someone to really push me and force me to do more than I think I can do. I need to have someone like him in my head during those times when I want to slack, knowing that he will be testing my limits at some point. Moreover, I have to remember that my performance doesn't have to do with being fat, I'm just not very well conditioned right now.

I really like Ty because he actually seems interested in getting to know people, which I think is helpful as a trainer because it helps to know what makes them tick. We were chatting for a bit after class. I didn't realize that being a model was actually his full-time job, not just something he does on the side. Rather than being cocky about it, he revealed that he is camera-shy and doesn't like having his picture taken. I was touched that he shared something personal like that, even though sharing it didn't seem like a big deal to him. I feel better knowing that even full-time models feel insecure with themselves. I appreciate that I'm not driven out like an outcast like I was at my other gym, but rather, am forming an actual friendship with my trainer.

I may not have felt fit yesterday, but I am still fit. I can get even better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARKTHOR 10/12/2011 2:05AM

    Two hours of martial arts on a bad knee says anything but suck to me. You can get fitter, you have the power. Today is just a stepping stone along the way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSICALLYMINDED 10/11/2011 10:06PM

    Most importantly you're heading in the right direction! I would fail too, but at least we're not sitting on our butts expecting magic to happen. You're working hard and you know that eventually you will get the results you want.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEORGIZ 10/11/2011 9:52PM

    I am glad you have a positive person like Ty that encourages the positivity you are already bringing to the table (unlike that nasty gym teacher)!
Also, fit tests aren't done so you can compare yourself to others, they're done so you can track your own progress through time. Besides, you're enrolled in a martial arts class, not a "how to do push-ups class" (which would be really lame and no one would sign up for it).
Keep kicking a$$!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/11/2011 7:31PM

    Oh, sweetie, you SO don't suck. Not even close. When I was in my late 40's I started a boot camp class. We did fitness tests. One of them was "boy" or toe push-ups. I could do ZERO, ZIPPO, ZILCH. I am now 52. I can do 60 push-ups on my toes with good (not perfect) form. I don't do them all at once, though I do them within a two minute period with a few seconds to shake the fatigue out of my arms and then get right back at it. I also do planks and I agree with the Sparkler who said planks will help you with your push-ups. There is a 71 y.o. woman who held a plank position for over 30 minutes! emoticon So, you see, you don't suck, you are just too young! Get busy, honey, with planks and push-ups! PS You are amazing and you deserve that gorgeous, wise trainer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APED7969 10/11/2011 5:30PM

    I think I'm pretty fit at the moment and I struggle with even one 'real'pushup. I hate how fitness tests take you back to bad moments in gym class but as everyone else has said it is a baseline and something you will only improve on! It's great to hear you're liking your new gym and trainer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCHELLE62 10/11/2011 5:21PM

    Consider it a "before picture," and let us know when you reach the "after picture." I have been doing quite a bit of walking, biking, some yoga and went swimming yesterday. I feel that for my age and size I have pretty good endurance however there have been several situations that I know I need to improve strenth or balance. One was trying to climb into a friends monster truck. It was bad enough getting my foot up that high, but then needed to heft this much weight up there--it was a joke. I made it, but it wasn't pretty. What I have wondered is if some of this isn't a good idea. Joints and tendons haven't evolved to handle those kinds of extreme stresses that my size puts on them, and I think until I lose maybe another 50 lbs, I really don't want to damage them by risking some actions like running, and hyperextending, etc. Keep going to class, keep working hard, and make sure you blog your milestones for us.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARCHIMEDESII 10/11/2011 3:45PM

    I agree. You definitely don't suck !! Don't beat on yourself because you couldn't do the push ups. How often do you do push ups ? If you don't do them on a regular basis, then you might have problems doing them. It doesn't mean you aren't fit.
There are plenty of different ways to measure fitness. Push ups are merely one way.

Like you, I have bad knees and I can't really jump up on the box either. That doesn't make me any less fit than someone who can jump on the box. It just means they have better knees ! LOL !!! As the old song goes,"accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". I learned something similar in yoga. You don't worry about what your body can't do. Be proud of what it can do. That's more important.

If you'd like to do push ups, I tell my students three things will help them to do them. practice.... practice... practice... and plank. If you do plank on a regular basis, that too will help you increase your upper body strength to do a good push up. a push up is nothing more than a moving plank. But, enough about that...

Also, keep in mind that if they did the fitness test AFTER your workout you were probably pretty fatigued. That was a rotten thing for your coach to do i.e. give you a fitness test when you've already used a lot of energy to do your workout. They really should have given you the test before your workout when your energy was at full capacity.

So, don't worry, I sure don't think you suck.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    You don't suck...You ROCK!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMILINGTREE 10/11/2011 2:42PM

    One of the things I am finding both wonderful and terrible is the fact that I will ALWAYS feel like I suck at everything fitness related because there will always be progress to make. No matter where I am condition-wise, I will always have a goal to be better. Once you can do one or five or ten push-ups, you will feel like a failure for not being able to do five or ten or twenty. At least, that's how it is for me. I started out being able to run for something like a minute and a half. Now I can run for 25-30 minutes, but feel as if I should be able to run for an hour. My husband would tell you I'm just never satisfied - he might be right LOL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHELLYKOCH1 10/11/2011 1:38PM

    Don't let anyone make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. ~ Paulo Coelho.

You are so far ahead of others (including me) in your exercise. I am amazed at what you accomplished. Your focus is a little askew. Just think of when you could not do any of those things. emoticon Look in your mirror & smile at your fabulous accomplishments.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/11/2011 1:35PM

    You don't suck.

Push-ups suck.

:) Courtney

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSKIMBOLINA 10/11/2011 1:11PM

    Just think, if you take the test again and receive better results, you will have a sense of achievement and accomplishment. It sounds like you've found a great trainer, supportive and encouraging when you're feeling down. That's a keeper!

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/11/2011 1:03PM

    lol I was going to say it's a BASE line! something to compare too!!! i write everything down! and everytime Ithink ARGH I suxed... I look at my chart and there it is in black and white! i actually did better then last time. or missed by X but exceeded day 1 by Y

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/11/2011 12:39PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 10/11/2011 12:35PM

    Yes! I don't think I have yet done a full pushup and I'm pretty light right now. It just means my muscles are jelly and I need to turn them into steel bands!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANGFACEKITTY 10/11/2011 12:23PM

    A fitness test is only a snapshot of a moment in time, your baseline. You have to know where you start from in order to know how far you've come. I agree with Ty, you don't suck, the gauge is just where you are today. You have no where to go but up.

Now push-ups...they suck. I hate them. With passion.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STREAKFREAK 10/11/2011 11:58AM

    Try Crossfit!! You'll love it! It'll give you a broad and high level fitness that will support all the different athletic activities you might want to do. You'd have no problem with line runs, box jumps, situps, pushups, etc...

Something I wrote about it recently:

And NO! No matter what you can or cannot do at the moment, you definitely DO. NOT. SUCK.


Report Inappropriate Comment
ZOOKEEPERMAMA 10/11/2011 11:56AM

    I'm glad your trainer is growing on you. He sounds like a good one. I'm glad he's pushing you and you are responding well it sounds like!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENJESS48 10/11/2011 11:49AM

    Fitness tests are only one measure of how fit we are. And, as always, it's about progress and not perfection. So don't be hard on yourself.

Also, I think it's really great that you've found such a supportive, non-judgmental gym. That alone is worth more than gold. You've found a great place to work out and have the dedication, so you'll soon see great results.

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Week in Review: Punched in the Face By a Supermodel

Sunday, October 09, 2011

People seemed to enjoy seeing pictures of my new coaches in my last "Week in Review" blog. I guess they are both pretty attractive. I never really thought of my Muay Thai coach, Eric, as hot before...he's just Eric, a guy who I trained with on another fighting team. My boxing coach, Ty, is a model. I found this out after deciding to do boxing. Rather than being excited, I kind of rolled my eyes, thinking, "Great, how is THIS guy gonna be?" Although I know he's attractive, he's not my type, so I wasn't terribly excited to have a model for a coach. I was just hoping he would not treat me like a fat girl who didn't belong in his class.

I had met Ty briefly when I went to Muay Thai last Saturday and told him I would be starting to train with him. Within the first few minutes of hearing him talk, he sounded like a brash and crass person--I liked him already. I had my first training session with him last Wednesday. Right off the bat, he seemed like a very intense person. He knew that I had done some boxing before and a lot of kickboxing. He seemed to respect the fact that I had some martial arts skills. He told me that doesn't tolerate people f*cking around and that he expects people to keep up at all times. Then we warmed up on the punching bags. Partner work was next. There were only 2 other guys in class. Ty told me I was going to partner with him first and he would show me a bit how he runs his sessions. He held the focus mitts and started calling out punching combinations.

I dropped my hand slightly and he punched me right in the face. Not hard really, but I know I looked stunned. "Keep your guard up, or I'll punch you." He got right back to calling out punching combinations. I could barely finish the first one before he called out another one. Panting and feeling dizzy from his speed, he told me to go work on punching, blocking, and countering with one of the other guys. They also actually punched me. It was different from the boxing classes I had taken before, but now I know I'll be getting real boxing training.

After an hour of boxing, Ty said it was time for conditioning work. He was going to keep us longer to do it. I had already forewarned him that my knee was bad and that it limited a lot of the activities that I could do. He seemed a bit irritated with that. I'm actually glad that one of the other guys had a bum knee and couldn't do all of his drills, either. I don't think he was mad, but he talked about how he had a knee injury before and how we should both be evaluated because there's no excuse to not be able to return to normal activities once it's taken care of properly. I agree and disagree with him on that. I do have arthritis, so there will always be some limitations.

He said, "You'll get no sympathy from me." I told him, "I don't want sympathy, I just won't be able to do everything you want me to do in conditioning." What the hell, he seemed like he could take a little back talk. "All right, just do what you can." I'll see how this week goes; I just need to assert if there is something I can't do right now.

Yes, he punched me right in the face.
Image from

Ty is right, though...I really need to get my knee taken care of. I didn't want to go see a doctor right away when I had health insurance again in September because I didn't want to be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition. I've waited long enough, and I've picked a sports medicine clinic and am going to make an appointment with an orthopedist. I'm almost positive that my knee will need some kind of surgery, I just hope I'm not taken out for too long. Moreover, I hope they can provide some relief and that I'm able to return to a normal activity level with less pain.

This week was very packed, and included a 3 day trip with my dad and stepmom to Rockford, Illinois, for my aunt's retirement party. She had been a neonatal intensive care and flight nurse for over 40 years at the same hospital. Her dedication has always amazed and inspired me, and I hope she gets to enjoy some of the things she wants to do now that she won't be working 12+ hour days. Her party was a roast for her, and with my family, this meant that hilarity would ensue. One of my cousins is so funny that he has been told repeatedly that he should be a stand-up comic. His roast had everyone roaring. My uncle, her husband, was also very funny, but would tear up at times. It was very sweet. I was happy that I could make it down for her party. We visited with my aunt and uncle and I also visited with my grandparents on my mother's side, who are getting to be very frail.

I learned some things about how I have changed with this trip, because it's the first time I've traveled since starting this journey. Normally, taking a trip means a total food free-for-all. Although I overate some (which I do purposely sometimes anyways), I didn't feel out of control. I didn't eat something just because it was put in front of my face. I didn't eat something just because it was free. I didn't eat my dad's French fries just because he wasn't going to eat them. If I ate something, it was because I really wanted it. If it was something rich, I only had a little. The biggest thing was that it wasn't hard to eat like that. I also brought my 20 pound kettlebell and squeezed in a workout.

My stepmom Wendy, my dad, and me at my aunt's retirement party.

I didn't shoot progress pics this month, so I'll just use this one.

I didn't weigh myself this week, at least not on Saturday, my official day. I didn't want to use my aunt's scale and figured skipping a week won't kill me. However, the scale had been down by a couple of pounds when I did a sneak peek before I went out of town. I'm not too worried. My eating hasn't been terrible and I exercise a ton, so I'll just see what this week brings. I am dying to see the scale drop below 250 (it was 258.3 when I did a sneak peek last Wednesday), so I hope to make that happen over the next 6 weeks. It's kind of hard not to lose weight when you're doing at least 5 hours of martial arts training a week. While I don't really care about ending up looking like a fitness model, I hope to become a model of fitness. I'm sure Eric and Ty will get me there in no time, but I'm going to try to avoid getting punched in the face in the process.

"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is."
-Derek Zoolander, "Zoolander"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 9:33PM

    It sounds like you will get a good work out with Ty and the boys and possibly an occasional black eye. LOL. EEK!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALISHAB3 10/10/2011 2:33PM

    You have some serious guts (in a good way, not a fat joke.) I don't think I could tolerate some guy punching me in the face. That would not be good. I wish I was cool like you! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEMINIAN1 10/10/2011 11:01AM

    He's not "my type" either.
I didn't comment on him in your "Week In Review" Blog.
Different strokes, for different folks ... :-)
Different lids, for different pots ... :-)
Hey Erin, I am super happy that you found a gym that's compatible with you.
emoticon to your Aunt! emoticon
"The biggest thing was that it wasn't hard to eat like that." emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love the dress! You're lookin' happy and great!
I love the "Zoolander" quote; and if you ask me, there is a lot more to life.
Have a good one.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYWOMAN 10/10/2011 2:40AM

    Yay! Congratulations, most sparkly Erin, for being assertive with your coach, for deciding to get your knee examined, and for the very conscious way you chose to eat on your trip. You are amazing, and you look so pretty in your dress!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIKINGSD 10/10/2011 1:23AM

    emoticon Protect that pretty face :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/10/2011 12:01AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/9/2011 11:38PM

    Great blog, as per usual. I liked your response to your beautiful boxing boy, about your knee. You are one tough emoticon. PS Cute dress!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILLYBEAN25 10/9/2011 11:22PM

    Sounds like a wicked good set of classes/training you've got going on there. You'll feel great when you are fast enough and strong enough to punch him in the face right back! Keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I'm glad you are enjoying your new class. Sounds great.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/9/2011 9:08PM

    U are doing awesome!! Great pic! And one day you'll punch supermodel!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAOSTHEORY635 10/9/2011 7:45PM

    There's something about martial arts that gets you into fantastic shape. I miss it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZOOKEEPERMAMA 10/9/2011 7:17PM

    You're doing great! I had knee surgery last year. I injured my knee 10 years ago and finally had surgery after all those years of complaining and using it as an excuse. It does take you down for the count (no boxing pun intended...) for about 6-8 months, but it is so totally worth it. I can walk again! I can RUN again! Let us know what the ortho says!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVERSTEPH 10/9/2011 7:09PM

    "While I don't really care about ending up looking like a fitness model, I hope to become a model of fitness. "

Fabulous! I love your attitude. Keep up the great work! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I love this blog. Your trainer sounds like he's going to be the type of guy who riles you up to keep you working as hard as you possibly can.

And I love the Zoolander quote! I love that movie, especially the gasoline fight, ha! That scene cracks me up every time I think about it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CELTICCAT50 10/9/2011 6:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm impressed boxing !
That is sooooo kool !

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/9/2011 5:47PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
BCARSON11 10/9/2011 5:20PM

    Way to go in the boxing class! Just keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment

JILLBYBEAN25 on the disconnect in SparkLand

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

SparkPeople is such a vast virtual land, it's easy to get overwhelmed with trying to connect to people. JILLYBEAN25 wrote a blog entry talking about feeling disconnected on Spark. Her blog got me thinking about ways that I could be a better friend to my fellow Sparkers. I know I am very lucky to have come across some of the coolest people on here and befriend them. I usually feel bad that I don't have enough time to read and comment on everyone's blogs, though; I may be able to read through them while I'm at work, but don't comment. I still feel like I am sharing in their journey because I keep up with what is going on with them, but maybe they need to know that I've been there. Sometimes I will realize that it's been several weeks since I've checked in on a SparkFriend, only to find they were having a problem and could have used some support. Sometimes I go to contact a SparkFriend only to find their page has been deactivated. Sometimes I realize that I didn't get back to someone when they asked me a question. Sometimes I don't thank everyone individually for their comments on my blogs.

I am amazed at some people on here who are both successful on their own journeys and are constantly there for others. It seems some people have an amazing SparkSuperpower where they can do it all. I do feel disconnected at times because it can be so much to keep up with, let alone trying to take care of myself while I'm at it. How can we find the balance between caring for ourselves and being there for our SparkFriends? I hope my SparkFriends know I appreciate them, but maybe I don't express it enough. I hope they know they can contact me anytime to vent.

I know that JILLYBEAN25's sentiment is shared, and I think she portrays this frustration in a wonderful way. Her blog expresses in a very honest way how we can all get a little lost in SparkLand, which could ultimately derail our goals. I hope she does stay, as she seems like a wonderful Sparker, and I'm glad I came across her blog to see why:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 10/8/2011 6:24PM

    Oh my gosh I love the comments on here! Just wanted to you to know that your blogs make you an amazing Spark Friend. You put yourself out there, and it helps me feel not so alone. In your previous blog, you said you hold parts of yourself back.... I do too, and I'm cautious about what I'm going to put up on the Internet.
But the parts of yourself that you reveal in your blogs are honest and brave, and you inspire me to do more, to write more, to open up.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Most of understand how hard it can be to keep up with everything and we just do our best. We don't want to be a source of stress for our sparkfriends. My door is always open and the tea pot is on. People can check in when they have time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/6/2011 5:35AM

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILLYBEAN25 10/6/2011 1:40AM

    Thank you for posting the link to my blog. The outpouring of support and people who feel the same way made me feel less like a unique case and more part of a group of people going through the same thing. It definitely helped. I want to make it an integral part of my Spark Journey to support others as I would like to be supported (and work on not expecting anything in return, but to simply do it out of love.) Thank you again!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/5/2011 8:57PM

    You make some really good points, and this is actually something I thought about from the beginning. When I joined SP at the end of August, I signed up for about 14 teams. Then I realized that I should probably slow down and find my way around first, meet a few people, and go from there.

Don't forget, you have 302 (302!) SparkFriends! You can't possible keep up with that many people. Again, I'm going slow with that too, and not friending every person whose blog I read, or who leaves me a comment. It's just too much, and I want my experience here to be meaningful and to work for me, rather than become a source of frustration.

This is by NO MEANS a commentary on you or the number of friends and teams you have. Like CANNIE said, I think you're great, supportive, and responsive. It's just another way to go about making SP effective.


Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/5/2011 7:02PM

    I will check out her blog. I just want to point out that I think you do an exceptional job as a Sparkfriend. You share wonderfully informative and well composed blogs, you send notes and goodies, you show interest, and you share your triumphs and your struggles. I fret about not keeping up with everyone and worry that I may slight someone inadvertantly, or not be there for someone who could use the support, but, then I remind myself: we are all adults on individual journeys and we are responsible for ourselves. So, let me make you a Sparkly promise. If I need you (and believe me, there are questions I know you can help me with so you WILL be hearing from me when I get to a certain point in my strength training) I will ask you. If you can't get back to me right away, I will be patient. I will not pout or take it personally. I may even pester you. I will not hold you responsible for how I feel, I will be grateful for whatever support you are able to offer. You are a blessing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRAWRS 10/5/2011 2:08PM

    Like you, I read the blogs at work and can't always comment. But I always read!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKYWATCHERRS 10/5/2011 12:50PM

    I think that we have to do what we can and let that be okay - if we tried to keep up with every single SparkFriend we have and respond to everything going on with them, then Spark would be a full time job. And it just can't be. I do agree that it's easy to get that disconnected feeling and to forget about people, or fail to make consistent check-ins with them. But we do what we can, we do our best, and that has to be enough.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 10/5/2011 12:44PM

    I think it's a cycle - sometimes I'm really involved and sometimes I fall behind. I usually have people in mind knowing they're working on things and I try to at least scan on days I can't be involved.

I think it's worth discussing though as you and Jillybean have done.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARCHIMEDESII 10/5/2011 12:30PM

    For someone just starting on Spark People, the website can be really overwhelming in many different ways. Before I came here, I was on another weight loss website. It was much smaller and as a result, the members were much more familiar. Which is not without its own set of problems. but, that's a story for another blog.

When I came to SP, the first few weeks seemed overwhelming. Back on the other site, I more or less knew everyone. Here, it was like the first day of high school. I just don't know anyone and everything is sooooo different. After a while, I started talking to people and making Spark "friends".

Like many new members, I joined a few spark teams only to leave after a few months because I was the only person starting threads or people were asking the same questions over and over. In the time I have been here, many of the spark friends I made at first have left. Others are still here. Some come and go.

One thing I've learned is that while Spark People is an amazing community of people, it's also a very transient one too. So, I can understand how some one might start feeling disconnected. It's because people really do come and go for many different reasons.

Thanks for posting that blog !

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I totally feel you on this one. Sometimes it feels like there isn't enough time in a day to get to everyone. I try my best, but ultimately, we need to take care of ourselves.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/5/2011 12:14PM

    i will check it out. i always hope i'm there for my spark friends but sometimes you miss things. we all have to remember nobody is perfect

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMILINGTREE 10/5/2011 11:39AM

    Thanks for pointing out Jillybean25's post. I think most long-time sparkers have felt that way. You do a fabulous job, by the way. It's hard, sometimes impossible to thank every person who leaves a comment or to comment on every post you read.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARKTHOR 10/5/2011 11:35AM

    Well said. We can't be everything to everyone all the time here, there would be no time for anything else. But, we can try to be good friends as much as possible. I think you do that well.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEATHERM4444 10/5/2011 11:22AM

    Hi! Sometimes I don't feel like I keep in touch with my Sparkfriends and check on them like I should. My goal is to start doing better about that. I have met some really great people here, and I want to encourage them like they encourage and support me. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Week (and Month) in Review: 75% Me

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"If you feel you are down on your luck, check the level of your effort."
-Robert Brault

September was a very "Eh" month all around. It wasn't awful, but definitely not a month that I look back on and harbor super fond memories. I didn't lose any weight, but that was mostly on purpose. My birthday on September 11th was anticlimactic, with it being the 10th anniversary of my family member's death, and being ditched by my friend to boot. My friend never apologized, and she never called me back, so I haven't talked to her. I didn't go to kickboxing much--I mainly went when my brother was there, as I knew I had a partner who wouldn't be a jerk. I did stick with my strength training plan (Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System) and am finished with the hypertrophy phase (except for one last pesky back and biceps workout that I can't seem to squeeze in this week). Overall, the month of September was "Blah", until the end of the month when I wasn't there for a friend, and I realized how much I've let my body fat control my brain. I did my best to give 100%, but in retrospect I could have done better.

October is going to be different. For one, I am done with my muscle building phase, so now it's time for some hard-core strength building and mad cardio. I am at a new boxing gym (more on that later), and I love it so far. I feel refreshed and balanced, and ready to BRING IT. My eating has been right on most of the time. I've stayed out of the candy drawer at work for at least the past 3 weeks, which is really hard to do when things get stressful at work. Now it's no big deal and I am used to not automatically reaching in there. My goal is to stay out of the candy drawer until at least Halloween, but I think I will make it a permanent habit. Staying out of the candy drawer probably saves me anywhere from 200-700 calories a day. That's a lot of pounds that are going to go bye bye.

Anyways, I digress. The end of September ended up being a bit of an epiphany. I learned that I am seriously holding back, and I already thought that I was being pretty open. With you, my SparkFriends, I am. But in real life, I have been trying to hide behind a facade of fat every chance that I get. It took someone who is creepily good at reading me to set off the light bulb. I've talked about my saxophone teacher Jeff a bit, and that's because he is unlike most other teachers, or people, I've known. He kind of freaks me out. I'm pretty good at reading people, and I'm also an introvert and try to keep quiet and keep to myself. Well, instead, I'm stuck in a room alone with someone who has been able to trick me into changing my thinking and who can read who I am as an entire being just by hearing me play.

Last week at my lesson, he told me to play a piece I had been working on. I played the piece, doing my best to not worry too much about messing up, while still trying to make it sound like a song. After I was finished playing the piece, he said, "Well, that wasn't bad. But you need to open up more. You were only about 75% 'you' when you were playing that."

I know I blushed immediately. Most people who have spent a lot of time with me in person wouldn't know me well enough to say something like that, because of the efforts I make to keep people at bay. I am not used to people who can tell that I'm holding back, let alone calling me out on it. I was actually a little speechless. "Okay, try it again, but more open this time...just play."

I'm not normally prone to opening up on command, but I played the last part of the song like he said, and each note was loud, clear, and had a life of its own. He smiled, "Much better!" I have tried to keep that tone while practicing this week, and I've tried to call myself out when I'm not being 100% me. I have tried to catch myself when I'm holding back and figure out why.

My "Reality Check" blog was written 2 days after my lesson with Jeff--he just has a way of planting seeds in my head. This week I realized how much I've held back because I am self-conscious about my body size. A childhood friend had a kickboxing fight, and I didn't go because I didn't want to run into my old Muay Thai coach. I was embarrassed for him to see me this overweight. I regretted that I didn't go and have been kicking myself all week (figuratively). To remedy this, I decided that enough was enough and I was going to pursue a new gym with new trainers, which also meant I would see people who I used to train with my old coach, Kru Mike.

I blogged earlier this week about my current kickboxing gym, and how I've kind of had it with the catty high school gym style clique behavior. When I'm there, I am 0% me. Sure, I usually get in a good workout, but I dreaded going because of the people. I really do like my trainers there, but my experiences there were marred by the behavior of other members. I have had fun kickboxing with my brother, but we are only able to attend together once a week. I will still try to go when he goes.

I went to a class at a new gym last Friday. Wow, what a difference. There was no avoidance of eye contact, sneering, or eye-rolling from other members. Actually, other members--*gasp!*--talked to me. I had never set foot in that gym before, but I was not treated like an outsider. I was not treated like a fat chick. I was treated like someone who was there for martial arts training, and I've gotten in a couple of great workouts. My new Muay Thai coach Eric and I used to train with Kru Mike, and it's been awesome to return to the traditional martial arts training, with the respect and discipline as well. I will be doing boxing, too, and have met my new coach, but I haven't trained with him yet. I am planning to do a fairly intense schedule there: back-to-back Muay Thai and boxing on Mondays and Wednesdays (2 hours each day) and Muay Thai of Fridays and Saturdays (1 hour each).

My new Muay Thai coach Eric. He's the taller guy. Image from

My boxing coach Ty. He's a model--I thought about posting one of his underwear ads, but my blog would probably get flagged. Image from

I would like to think that I am giving 100% most of the time. When I falter, and decide to give less at any given moment, the guilt sets in. But the definition of 100% varies from day-to-day. Maybe one day sitting in front of the T.V. and giving my body some rest is 100%. Other days, maybe I decide to do something other than working out, when I know damn well I could be working out. For the most part, I feel like I can tell the difference. Part of being 100% is knowing the difference between giving 100% and giving in.

I need to fully accept that my body size does not define me. There is no single thing that defines me as a whole person. At any given moment, I am 100% me, at any weight, in any mood, in every state of being. I am learning more and more that this is excellent. I think October is going to be a great month.

"I've got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end."
-Larry Bird

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 10/8/2011 6:17PM

    Erin, I'm so happy for you! You said Jeff planted a seed, and I guess you were ready for it to really take root!
I could be wrong, but I see you as an extremely sensitive yet strong person, which kind of explains how you stayed at your old gym. You're sensitive enough to feel uncomfortable about the way you were treated, and it bothered you, but you're strong enough to push through the discomfort and keep going.... Still, I'm glad you found a better place. You deserve to be treated with respect ALL THE TIME.

Happy October! It's going to be a FABULOUS FALL!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I think you need to dump us and spent all your time with Eric and TY!! Yeow!! These guys are HOT!! LOL.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 10/5/2011 11:44AM

    All "hotness" aside, I've been scratching my head about the seeming incongruity between the Erin I have a sketchy awareness of, Muay Thai, and boxing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEMINIAN1 10/5/2011 8:03AM

    emoticon on staying away from that drawer!
Here's to a kick butt October my friend!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMRANA 10/4/2011 10:36PM

  Based on your comments, I'm guessing that site for your boxing trainer has gotten a few hits ~ you did mention an underwear ad. emoticon

I'm so glad that you're feeling so good! I think it's wonderful that such a big epiphany came from an unlikely place. Jeff is wise!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/4/2011 9:38PM

    SHeesh, give a girl some warning would you? I think your coaches triggered a hot flash emoticon or two emoticon emoticon. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed your blog (and not just because of the ridiculously beautiful boys). But, candy drawer? THat is evil. I hated when I worked in an office and people insisted on having things like candy drawers or candy bowls or big boxes of donuts, etc etc which I totally understand is my problem. I am quite impressed that you have stayed out of the candy. I look forward to the day that the sight of big gatherings of sugary things do not do a thing to my pulse - I am not there yet. I do not always give in but I ALWAYS take notice. Once again, I am impressed by you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MERAINA 10/4/2011 6:43PM

    OMGAW! I want a coach like that.. no wait... I want a back rub... no wait... LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I love how you always bring in little anecdotes from your lessons. I think nothing has me more reflective as a person than playing music. Being able to play music well requires all of your mind, soul and body. Most people don't understand that. I would love to meet your sax teacher. He sounds like the kind of person I would like to have a conversation with.

And I love that we both had big changes this past week. We are awesome for breaking out of our comfort zones. I want to keep doing it, because it makes me feel victorious!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/4/2011 4:43PM

    Some unsolicited comments - I can't resist. :)

1. Did you apologize to your friend that didn't get 100% of your attention when needed? (Only asking since you mentioned your bday pal didn't.)

2. I think October's going to be SO different, and I think a lot of it has to do with your gym switch. Aren't you so glad and relieved and excited that you decided to make the change? That alone will give you so much motivation! I'm excited for you.

3. You have a candy drawer at work? Why?!? Maybe chucking the candy and making it a healthy snack drawer is something to consider?

4. "Creepily good looking." Hilarious!

5. I think it's wonderful that Jeff knows you well enough to tell when you're giving 100% and that he calls you on it. Look how that one comment has changed your mindset! What if you have five people who could do that for you? Wouldn't that be amazing?

6. Eric's body is stupid hot. And Ty? Oh my good Lord. Isn't he worried about getting that face smashed in teaching boxing?

7. I think one of the keys to making sure you're giving 100% is making conscious decisions, like you said. If you think about whether to do or not do something, and DECIDE on way or the other, then you can't go wrong. It's those times when we let others or life or whatever make our decisions for us that take away our 100% power. And sometimes giving 70% is giving 100%, if that makes sense, so let go of the guilt and baggage when those times come along.

You're awesome. You're doing awesome. Thanks for sharing. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/4/2011 12:59PM

    wow i would go too if coach is go good looking ;p

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHYL1 10/4/2011 12:38PM

    I don't think I'd be able to concentrate with those coaches! :) Cheers to a great October! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAOSTHEORY635 10/4/2011 12:17PM

    whoa. serious hotness there--no wonder you love the new gym! :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 10/4/2011 9:58AM

    You are going to rock out October!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMILINGTREE 10/4/2011 9:28AM

    Now that you mention it, September was sort of an "eh" month for me too. I only had one outstanding work out that felt fabulous. Most of the time it felt like I was just putting in the time.

Congratulations on your epiphany. You are working on personal development so much - from music to fitness to professional stuff - you are making progress all the time, most likely without even being aware of it.

I read something on Twitter yesterday, I can't remember the quote exactly but it was something like, The more you are yourself, the more accommodating the world becomes. Chris Brogan (who is pretty interesting and quite well known) posted it. Seems like good advice.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 10/4/2011 8:17AM

    Yeah, the hotness factor would be of high interest to me too!!
Here's the thing, friend...if you want to change your life all you have to do is change your mind. The thing that keeps most of us from doing our best is us, but more specifically, our minds.
Glad to hear that your sax teacher might be one of your best trainers yet!!

Comment edited on: 10/4/2011 8:18:32 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENJESS48 10/4/2011 8:16AM

    Isn't it amazing how a revelation in one part of our lives can spill over and improve everything? emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCHWINNER! 10/4/2011 7:24AM

    Uhhhh can I come work out with you??? Okay, I'd probably just stand there and pant/drool, but still! RAWR!!

Here's to a serious October!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/4/2011 6:36AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
APED7969 10/4/2011 4:58AM

    Your coaches are HOOOOOOTTTTT!! I hope you have fun showing them what an athlete you are. I think impressing them would give me some extra movtivation emoticon so glad to hear you like your liking your new gym. Here's to a great October!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DMT1956 10/4/2011 4:40AM

    your here and giving it a go emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Awesome blog from MUSICALLYMINDED about facing our fears

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

My good SparkPal MUSICALLYMINDED wrote a great blog about facing our fears. Tracy has really stood in the face of challenges and plunged in head on. I really admire how she can acknowledge a challenge or fear, yet is able to forge ahead. I have enjoyed seeing her change over the past several months since being her SparkFriend, and this blog shows one of the many reasons why she has been so successful.

Here is a snippet:

"Sometimes we learn the most when we feel the worst about ourselves. If I'm never going outside of my comfort zone, then I'm never going to be most fit person I can be. I'm not going to reach that next level of fitness by hanging around other overweight people, being a couch potato...because that's what's comfortable. I've got to make myself UNcomfortable to get to that next level."

Here is the blog:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 10/4/2011 9:40PM

    You are such a remarkable emoticon. I concur about the blog - I really enjoyed it and particularly liked the part you highlighted above.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Aww...yay for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAKAY228 10/4/2011 11:23AM

    Thanks for sharing the link. It really was a great story about facing our fears and finding the blessing when we do.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JITZUROE 10/4/2011 11:09AM

    thanks for sharing the link! I am headed over rigt now!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/4/2011 2:55AM

MARY emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/4/2011 2:26AM

    Thanks for pointing us in the direction of this great blog. I'm totally spreading the word too! :)


Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIESENIOR 10/4/2011 1:28AM

    Thank you for sharing this blog AND supporting another friend on her journey. Your generous nature is inspiring.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/4/2011 12:42AM

    love the get uncomfortable to get to next lvl soo true

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Last Page