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.
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 http://www.labdailyblog.com/?p=4568
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"
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:
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
"If you feel you are down on your luck, check the level of your effort."
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 nextlevelcombat.com
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 malemodelscene.net
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."
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:
Get An Email Alert Each Time CATS_MEOW_0911 Posts