Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I found out today that my trainer Ty quit very suddenly on Monday. I won't go into the details because it ended badly for Ty and he ended up being escorted out. To say the least, I am saddened. I was just getting to know Ty and appreciate some of the things he brought out in me. I was just getting into the Olympic lifting, which I think will propel my athleticism to knew heights. I texted him and he says he is trying to find a new gym--I will have to decide if that will work or not. I already have a lot to juggle.
Also, as of this week, my Muay Thai coach Eric is no longer teaching the daytime classes. He is still teaching the evening classes, so I need to get my butt down there on Tuesdays and train with him. Nate, my Jiu Jitsu trainer, will be teaching Muay Thai now. He does MMA and has also trained with my old coach, Kru Mike, so I know it will still be good. I am bummed not to train with Eric more often, though; he is an exceptional Muay Thai instructor. On the other hand, Nate gives me an excellent cardio workout because he really keeps me moving. I suppose that building my endurance will have its upsides.
I was just getting comfortable in my new routine at my gym and now it's getting switched up. Ultimately, I still need to get through those doors 4-5 days a week and continue to kick ass.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I hope all of my SparkFriends had a nice Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty laid-back, enjoyed spending time with family. Also had my Tofurkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Mmmmmm...
I haven't thanked everyone individually for the comments on my "Technical Difficulties" blog last week, but I will get to you. At first I was apprehensive of sharing that kind of personal information, but I'm glad I did. I appreciated people sharing their thoughts and experiences. I also realize that I deserve so much better than sitting around waiting for some jerk to contact me, wondering what's wrong with me. Well, there's not a damn thing wrong with me. I actually filtered e-mails from him to my trash, so I won't hear from him (unless he texts me, in which case I just won't respond). I know I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I think it is very cold to blow someone off after being intimate. I don't need someone to come crawling back to me after blowing me off and then having no luck elsewhere.
Actually, I feel a little burnt out on dating for the time-being and realize that it has been a bit of a distraction from focusing on my own personal goals. I have been tying up a lot of my time with dating, and it is getting me nowhere. So I'll return to focusing my efforts where I know I'll be satisfied: MMA. My rib is completely healed, and my knee is completely pain-free. Now I just need to do some hardcore focusing on conditioning and flexibility. I've never done a sport that really relies on flexibility, but I will do much better in Jiu Jitsu if I work on it. Also, I haven't done a lot of cardio outside of MMA training, so I am going to do more walking and jump rope workouts. I have been getting the itch to run again, but I think I will hold off on that for a bit until I'm in better shape and more accustomed to MMA training.
Yesterday morning my alarm went off in time to get to Jiu Jitsu. I rolled over and hit the snooze and dozed off. I repeated this process until it was too late to get up to go to Jiu Jitsu. I reset my alarm to get up in time to get to Muay Thai.
My alarm went off in time to get to Muay Thai. I rolled over and hit the snooze and dozed off. I repeated this process until it was too late to get up to go to Muay Thai. I reset my alarm to get up in time to get to my training session with Ty (which was not optional). I finally rolled out of bed, poured coffee down my throat, ate toast and soy milk, and headed to the gym.
I pulled up to the gym, opened the door, and 4 guys, including Nate, the owner and my Jiu Jitsu trainer, turned and looked at me.
"Where were you?" Nate asked sternly. The guys from my class were looking at me with the same look.
"What? Uhhh...well...I was umm," I stammered, then nearly whispered, "I was sleeping."
He stared at me and then slowly shook his head. "Well, don't let it happen again."
"Oh...uhh...no, I won't, I'll be here." I whisked away to get warmed up for my training session with Ty. And I had a big smile on my face.
Rather than feeling bad, I felt wonderful that my trainer cared enough to ask why I wasn't there for training. I have appreciated so much about my new gym, but I hadn't felt particularly like anyone was counting on me being there or that anyone would particularly notice if I didn't show up when I would normally be there. Now I realize that I am really part of a team and there are people who are going to call me out if I am not there. Now this journey isn't just about me, but about the community of my MMA team.
I have been doing personal training with Ty, and yesterday I started on Olympic lifts. He showed me some techniques and then had me try some. I was shocked to find that the barbell I was working with was 100 pounds. It felt light for all of the lifts except for the snatch. He wanted to see how much I could deadlift, so he had me try 160 pounds.
"Oh, wow...I don't think I can lift that much."
"Of course you can. Just walk up to the weight," he did a cocky walk over to the barbell. "Say, I'm gonna lift this sh*t. It'll be easy. This is nothin'," and then started lifting the barbell. "I think all of your limitations are in your mind."
"Okay, I'll give it a shot." I walked over to the barbell, decided that 160 pounds is nothin', and started lifting. I easily did several of them.
"Damn, you are REALLY strong," he said, a little wide-eyed. "This is definitely something you should be doing." I appreciate having my athletic abilities complimented and that I'm not just treated as that fat girl who is trying to lose weight. Ty has not ever mentioned my weight (other than discussing it the one time I brought it up) and he trains me like he would any other athlete. He expects the same level of effort and performance from me as he would from any other athlete. I was unsure about Ty at first, but I see how teases my underlying talents out of me by pushing me to my very limits. I need to have a little more of his "winner" attitude, too. Ty knows what he's good at and isn't afraid to say it. I shouldn't hesitate to acknowledge my talents, either.
Hmmm...I wonder if I could lift Ty over my head? Image from http://blog.chosenmodels.com
I plan on doing MMA training 4 days a week followed by practicing some Olympic lifts 3 days a week. I am surprisingly sore today from the Olympic lifts (good workout sore, not injury sore) even though I didn't do them for long. I've realized how truly taxing they are. I hope to develop better athletic performance as well as spurring some weight loss with the new activity. The additional cardio should help, too.
I thought my goal of getting out the 250s by the end of the year were quashed by my overeating (and, ahem, overdrinking) over the past couple of weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to see a loss of 2 pounds instead of a gain. I 100% expected a gain. Anyways, who am I to argue with the numbers? As much as I try not to focus on the number on the scale, I am always pleased to have a loss, nonetheless an unexpected one.
I like unexpected surprises, and this past week had a few of them. Perhaps being asked, "Where were you?" was the best one. You better believe my butt will be out of bed and at the gym tomorrow. I hope yours is, too.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Image from redredwineonasunday.blogspot.com
***POSSIBLE TMI...Yes, this blog mentions sex (no explicit details). Please stop reading if that would offend you.***
This week...I'm not even sure what the hell happened this week. It was a blur with some crazy situations. I ignored my food intake. I cried at work. I hardly worked out. My whole routine was just way off. I've generally felt apathetic, although I wouldn't say that I have been feeling negative overall. But this week was just...weird. Part of it is the chaos at work, another part was not going to the gym regularly...I've just generally been experiencing technical difficulties. I can't even think of a cohesive way to write a blog about this week, so please bear with me.
So, onto the sex part. I haven't really talked about my dating life (let alone anything about sex) on SparkPeople, partially because my love life is not that interesting for the most part, and then, of course, there is the PG-ness of SparkPeople. I do go on dates here and there, but most of them are not that great. I'll just say that I think that intimacy is an important part of this journey. This can include back massages from friends, hugs from family members, pats on the back, and...well...you know. I believe the best way to be comfortable with ourselves is to allow others to touch us. I am not talking just about sexual intimacy, but in general being comfortable with those who are close to us. However, I think that having a healthy sex life is vital, and this includes alone time and with others. I'll leave it at that.
I had a date on Tuesday with a guy I met online on a dating website. It was a blind date, and it was not a date where there was any intention of...well...you know. I am happy to say that I was not nervous at all. Maybe it's SparkPeople. Maybe it's being around the guys in Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Maybe it's my awesome friends and family. In any case, I don't get nervous about dates any more. I am who I am, and people can either accept that or not. I am not going to put on a show to make myself seem "better" than I am or act fake in any way. I don't put on any kind of front, which may be to my detriment when it comes to dating. Between the MMA, the brashness, the independence...needless to say, I seem to scare the crap out of a lot of guys. For some reason, these factors become end up being their focus, and never mind that I love other types of exercise, gardening, and saving puppies and kittens. I know dating sucks for everyone, especially when you're an introvert who is also crass and frank.
On Tuesday, I was feeling great after my saxophone lesson with Jeff because he complimented me several times (a rarity). I met the guy at a pub near my house. We had great conversation and were having a good time, but neither of us are really drinkers. I asked him if he wanted to come over so we could keep chatting (and that was genuinely what I had in mind). We talked for a couple of hours about everything--music (he's a bassist), cats, family, depression, religion, and then a bit about relationships. Well, we cuddled on the couch watching Conan O'Brien, and then...
There it was, the mention of sex.
Anyways, I had a lot of fun with him, and I thought we had a lot in common. He texted and e-mailed (that he initiated) several times since Tuesday, and asked if I wanted to get together Saturday (yesterday). We made plans for Saturday and he knew I was planning on cooking him dinner. Like a moron, I bought all sorts of special foods (i.e. expensive) to make him dinner. He said several times over the past couple of days that he hadn't been feeling well (although he seemed to feel just fine enough to go out to a concert every night). He bailed on me yesterday morning, saying he "wasn't feeling well" and didn't think he would be up to coming over. Well, I found out later that he placed an ad looking for sex. What do I do when I find this out?
I cried. Like a blubbering baby.
Did I cry because I love the jerk? Because I could foresee some big future with him? Because I felt I knew him well? No. It wasn't any of these. Actually, I'm the one who is usually a little detached from--ahem--physical love and generally don't get overly-emotional about these things. But I don't toy with people. I just don't understand WHY people play games. If he isn't interested, he should just tell me. I know that he owes me no explanation and that my frank approach is the exception and not the norm, but I still find it childish and frustrating.
He may have put on a fake front to fool me (and I bought it), but I won't compromise myself for anyone. EVER.
Image from cartoonstock.com
Anyways, I'm upset. I'm still upset as I write this, but writing makes me feel better (EDIT: I'm almost done writing this entry and I am actually not upset anymore). I let Overly-Emotional Hopeless Romantic Optimist Erin take over, but luckily Rational Healthy-Dose-of-Cynicism Realist Erin was right there to soften the blow. While I would not normally write about most dating or sex things on SparkPeople, both have been a great source of frustration for me. I vacillate between wanting to have a relationship, wanting a lover, or wanting to be left the hell alone; my mind and body can never seem to agree. I think I was just caught in a romantic mood this week, plus he put on a good show of pretending to be someone he's not, and I fell for it. I really don't want advice, I know that this was a situation that I ultimately chose. I am glad that finding a partner does not consume my life, but it seems that I would have to put forth a lot more effort to find someone who is genuine and who deserves me. I am not in any way bashing men (women play games, too), but rather, I need to evaluate the traits that attract me to a person and find out how to filter them better. I'll just throw in there, too, that I also have no regrets.
Overly-Emotional Hopeless Romantic Optimist Erin sez:
Image from kellyjotownsend.blogspot.com.
But Rational Healthy-Dose-of-Cynicism Realist Erin knows the guy is a jerk and sez:
Image from tvrage.com
Enough about love. Love, schmove. Overly-Emotional Hopeless Romantic Optimist Erin and Rational Healthy-Dose-of-Cynicism Realist Erin can work on coming to an agreement. I was almost glad to have the distraction this week from the B.S. at work. I should have everything together to get set up to work from home over the next 2-3 weeks. With winter ready to sink its teeth in, I will be very happy to not have to commute in the dead of Minnesota winter. Besides the commute, I will be physically removed from the toxic environment at my work. (This week it was literally toxic, we almost had a battery in a back-up power unit catch on fire and had to call the fire department, and several of us became ill...but that's another story...). Working from home is the next best thing to having a new job, though. I'll stick it out and see how this goes. I imagine I will be a lot less stressed without being in a noisy call center. There also won't be many opportunities for co-workers to stab me in the back since I won't be there. I hope it makes this job a lot better. There are a couple of co-workers that I will miss seeing, but for the most part, my friends have quit or been fired.
I only went to Muay thai once this week, and luckily it did not bother my ribs. My ribs seem to be completely healed now, and I am going to return to Jiu Jitsu on Monday. If my ribs seem bothered, I'll hold off for a bit longer, but I think it will be okay. So I will be back to doing Jiu Jitsu followed by Muay Thai Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Muay Thai sparring on Saturday. I have missed my classes terribly; I've been very restless without the intense workouts. Of course, I miss seeing the guys at my gym more often, too. They are a great support system.
I'm making some decisions about playing my saxophone. My teacher Jeff thinks I should join a community band. One thing I didn't think about when I started taking lessons was whether I would be able to join a group and make it to rehearsals and performances, given that I work evenings. I am checking out some options in the community.
Whether it be love, my job, playing my saxophone, doing martial arts, or being a friend or family member, I say:
Image from fahrizal-blog.blogspot.com
The technical difficulties are behind me. The emotional ones? Well, those will need some tweaking. This week I aim to return to my regularly scheduled normal routine--the gym, eating well, yoga, lots of saxophone playing, more time with friends. But I'll hold off on love being a part of my routine for the time being.
Image from igetthatalot.wordpress.com
Thanks for listening!
Image from cheezburger.com
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Yeah, I know, the title may be misleading, but this week was a great improvement compared to the previous couple of weeks. My attitude was on the fritz, I've been overeating, I haven't been able to do intense exercise and because of my ribs, it really hurt to scream. Maybe it was good that it hurt to scream--I had to find other ways to handle my frustrations. I tried watching funny videos to cheer myself up, but it hurt to laugh, too.
My saxophone teacher Jeff was poking fun at my gloomy attitude this week when I expressed frustration with my playing. "Well, walking is too hard, I guess I'll keep crawling. But hey, crawling is too hard, too." At least it got a giggle out of me. I think I am finally becoming more tolerant of the learning process of playing a musical instrument. Moreover, I think playing has revealed how self-conscious I really am, about everything, and with Jeff's help, I'm learning that being self-conscious is not necessary. I am learning to be more accepting of mistakes, and if I mess up, I can just take it from the top right away. I'm not sure if playing my sax has made me less self-conscious, or if I have become less self-conscious in general, thus more comfortable with my playing. Either way, I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin despite a stressful couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, the past couple of weeks of work stress and having an injury have truly revealed my perseverance. I have been far from perfect with my eating and wasn't able to do intense exercise, but I didn't disappear. I went through the motions the best I could if that was necessary. I had a "Screw it" attitude, but towards the people who are causing me stress, not towards myself. Yes, crawling is hard at first, as is walking, but it is worth it to keep on taking those steps, even when they are painful.
Although my rib injury was a bummer, my greatest irritation over the past couple of weeks has been my job. I have yet to hear back from the other company, but in the meantime, there is hope for my current job. For starters, I am going to tell my boss (not my immediate "supervisor") that I think that a final warning write-up is extreme for the "problems" that were brought to their attention, which included occasionally making fun of rude callers. If we are making fun of a jerk caller, it is usually banter between co-workers, so I am far from the only one who engages in doing that. It was written that making fun of callers is "rude to my co-workers." And then, of course, there was one of the newer staff members who tattled on me for warning her that she could get written up over petty crap. I also think that it would be extreme to fire an excellent staff member like myself over something so trivial. My "supervisor" also talked to at least 2 other staff members about me (the 2 who told me about it), asking if they had a problem with me. I think it is unconscionable that my "supervisor" went on a fishing exhibition to try to get people to trash me. Fortunately, my boss sees the value in having me as an employee and is going to allow me to work remotely from home. I am very excited for this opportunity. I believe that it will solve the problems that I have at this job because I won't be in the physical presence of the backstabbers. I need to put together enough cash to get a new computer, but I think I will be able to pull it off over the next few weeks. However, if I do hear back from the other company, I will still see what they have to offer. I think my current employer will see how much I really do when I'm there once I'm not there, such as advising other people on their cases. In any case, I can't wait for the day I can finish a workout, shower quickly, put on some pajamas, and pad over to my computer to work. I have been waiting for a while for this.
My ribs, which I injured a couple of weeks ago in Muay Thai, don't hurt very much any more. I have very mild discomfort with coughing or sneezing, but it seems much better. I did a strength training workout yesterday and that was fine. I know it was wise to take a couple of weeks off of intense exercise to let the injury heal, and I'm glad it seems to have resolved quickly. I am going to go to Muay Thai tomorrow for the first time in 2 weeks. I have felt like an absolute slug with not being able to go to MMA training over the past couple of weeks. I still have some bruises, so I know I haven't been away for very long, but I was very used to my routine. I will hold off on Jiu Jitsu, which is much more rough than Muay Thai, for a couple more weeks. I'm looking forward to getting back to my routine, plus I have missed my boys at the gym.
My eating has been--what's the word?--atrocious. Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration. I had a big binge earlier in the week, but have otherwise been eating okay foods, just too much. I have been craving carbs in a terrible way, and I know that's just stress screaming out. I am going to make an honest effort this week to track accurately and actually follow that plan without going over my calories each day. I also batch cooked this week for the first time in a while and made a big pot of pinto bean, corn, and tofu chili. That has been a delicious dinner with a warm French roll. I have some other recipes pulled up and when I can shop later this week, I'm going to do some more batch cooking. I plan on making Tofu Fried Rice, Chickpeas and Dumplings, and Curried Lentils with Caramelized Onions. I am so much more likely to stay on track if I prepare really satisfying warm meals than I do if I come home and scrounge for whatever is handy.
I'm glad that it no longer hurts to scream, although now I don't feel the need. Fortunately, my positive attitude has been mostly restored, and it no longer hurts to laugh. This song by comedian Jon Lajoie pretty much sums up my attitude over the past couple of weeks--at least it has provided plenty of giggles over the past few weeks when I've needed it. ***WARNING: lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots (LOTS) of F-bombs***:
Sunday, November 06, 2011
My first week of November didn't start out the smoothest, starting with a couple of blows to my confidence. Part of it was my fault, part of it was beyond my control. The good news is, I now know the difference (usually) between when I am the one messing up and when life is messing with me. I used to slam myself for every misstep, berating every mistake. I punished myself with food, although I called it comfort at the time. I have gone from having the attitude of, "Lose weight, you disgusting jerk," to "Live healthfully because you deserve a full life." The latter attitude was challenged this week, though, and I binged twice later in the week. Actually, yesterday ended up being a whole day of overeating. I guess the upside was that it was social overeating and not me hiding in my house stuffing myself, but still...not happy about it. However, I looked through my blogs to see the last time I had a couple of days of eating like that was in the beginning of September. At least the frequency of that pattern of overeating has decreased significantly.
I also had my annual check-up this week with a new doctor. I had seen her once before for an office visit and thought she was awesome, so she is going to be my primary doctor now. She commended my 45 pound weight loss, and for doing it in a healthy manner. I have to say, although I am not doing this for anyone else, it is nice to be commended by a health care provider. They should be more pleased than anyone about weight loss. I also liked her because while she acknowledged that I am obese (although officially no longer morbidly obese, as she pointed out), she knows that overall I am pretty healthy. If I had to find a positive aspect to the week, it would have been my check-up when I was commended for my healthy lifestyle.
I had gotten injured in Muay Thai on Monday, so I got myself psyched up for Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai on Wednesday. The moment we started our warm-up in Jiu Jitsu, I knew I was going to have problems. I was very klutzy on Monday, and while I was doing a take-down, my ribcage landed on my partner's knee. It only hurt temporarily and didn't seem like it would be any worse than the typical hit I would take, so I got back up and kept going. It wasn't until I started moving around on Wednesday that it really bothered me. I focused a lot on guarding my ribs, and therefore I sucked even more than usual at Jiu Jitsu. I made it through both Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai (luckily Eric gave us an easier circuit workout--I wasn't the only one sore that day) and then iced my ribs. As much as I didn't want to miss training, I acknowledged that I had to let this heal. I figured it would be better within a few days.
On Monday, I should have told Eric that I didn't think I could do the Muay Boran moves he was showing us. I should have asked to do something else so that I didn't get injured. I was too stubborn, though, and tried the moves anyways. I took it easy on the exercise after Wednesday, but it didn't seem to matter--my rib pain has actually gotten much worse. I can't lay on my left side and a lot of upper body movements hurt. It hurts to cough, sneeze, and laugh. Now I'm pretty sure I actually have a fracture. Apparently bruised ribs can be very painful, too. Either way, I think I'm out of my MMA training for at least a month while allowing this to heal. And yes, I am aware of the complications that can occur with a broken rib and am going to have my mother (E.R. nurse) take a look to be on the safe side. It does not actually hurt to breathe and I can still move freely until I torque my torso the wrong way. Since the only treatment for either a bruised or broken rib is rest, there isn't much point in rushing in for an x-ray.
I have also been considering stopping my saxophone lessons. It isn't that I don't want to play, I just feel like I'm not advancing as I "should" be. My saxophone teacher Jeff is a very intense person, which is part of the reason he has been such a force of change. I admit to feeling a little intimidated by his manner, although he is a gentle person. On Tuesday, as I fumbled through my pieces, I could see disappointment in his face. All I could say to myself was, "Don't cry...don't...cry." I left vowing to practice more this week.
I don't think I am going to quit; I know I'm probably just being harsh on myself. I have practiced, and some days I sound good, and others I sound like crap. Today I started crying from frustration. But I had to ask myself, is it really the saxophone, or something else? On Thursday I got talked to at my work about my conduct, as I blogged about on that day. I hate my job. Hate. It. I'm bored, I'm tired of the B.S. and the unreliable/undependable hours. After my "supervisor" called me and asked for me to come in early, I practiced my saxophone. I was elated at the thought of being fired. My playing was light and airy, playful and easy. I realized that it isn't my saxophone, it's me. It's my job. How can I make music that sounds soulful when my soul feels oppressed by my job? It isn't my saxophone that is making fumbling, stuffy, non-musical sounds, it's my emotions.
I have realized several things about my job:
1) I will never advance at my company because I won't play their games, kiss ass, or tattle on co-workers for petty things.
2) My co-workers will treat me more and more like an outcast due to the factors listed above and I will continue to be bullied, with no recourse from managers.
3) I am probably going to get fired eventually due to the above 2 reasons.
For the first time ever, I cried just by thinking about having to go to work. I really wanted to walk in on Thursday and get some sort of final warning, which is always followed by a prompt firing at my work. Nope, it was just more B.S. to put in my record so they don't feel the need to give me decent raises. I am tearing up right now thinking about working today. I hadn't realized until this week how much my toxic (pun intended) job is affecting my very being. It makes me feel as though I don't have any control over my life. Part of me feels like just when everything starts to fall into place and starts going really well, something happens in an instant to conspire to change things. A tiny misstep has taken me out of my martial arts training for weeks, and I am deeply disappointed. I know that ultimately that only I can sabotage myself. But I've also finally deeply acknowledged that my life can't truly fall into place while I am in my current job, because it is too draining. I have applied for another job with our direct competitor which would have several advantages, including being closer to my house. If nothing else, it would be a fresh start.
This week had a series of missteps that have changed my directions in a few ways, some for the better and some for the worse. I am going to try to watch my step a little more closely from now on. Perhaps the missteps don't take me where I had planned to go, but are meant to steer me in another direction towards where I want to be.
“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”
¯ Zig Ziglar
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