Sunday, August 26, 2012
Group picture of Jiu Jitsu class taken Saturday. We had a record-breaking 4 women in class.
During Jiu Jitsu class this week, a couple of the guys were talking about how they admire women who do Jiu Jitsu. They said they understood how intimidating it must be to walk into a class for the first time. It's intimidating for a guy to start doing Jiu Jitsu, so it must be even more so for a woman. Then we proceeded to get manhandled and tap out constantly. Jiu Jitsu can be extremely discouraging and humbling at first, and continues to be both in waves throughout the journey.
Yet we keep showing up.
I appreciated that our guys conduct themselves in a way that encourages women to keep coming back to class. I haven't dealt with many problems at my gym, and zero problems at all with the "regulars." I appreciate not only that they don't act weird about women, but also that they are not condescending. My guys roll with me like they would any other person--going harder when I go harder, going easier when I go easier. It sure was intimidating as hell to start doing Jiu Jitsu, and I was nervous almost every day for the first 8 months or so. Now I really feel like I'm "one of the gang" and have a roomful of friends every time I show up. Not only can I hang with these guys, sometimes I even kick their butts. I had a very fun week overall. Everyone in Jiu Jitsu was a little goofy this week, and very high energy. I made it to class 5 days and everyone was on fire, which means I got tapped out a lot, but also learned a lot.
I was surprised to see how much leaner I look in this picture (I'm in the gray shirt walking away from the camera).
My classmate Cassie--at the beginning of summer when we started training together more, I thought we wouldn't get along. We've become good pals and training partners and I have watched her mature greatly.
North-South Choke--if there was ever a reason to do planks, here it is.
I did 3 strength training workouts, which is my weekly goal. I also did a couple of Turbo Jam workouts, and I have missed doing those. They really help my abs. Yesterday, a friend of mine who hadn't seen me in a couple of months told me I was looking good. I do feel like I have a lot more muscle definition, and yesterday I wore a tank top that didn't fit me a few months ago. I am excited to see my body change over the next couple of months with consistent Jiu Jitsu training, regular and varied strength training workouts 3 days a week, and some cross-training. I have also been trying to do a 30-40 minute workout before going to the gym (provided I got enough sleep the night before), such as Turbo Jam, kettlebells, abs, or some combination thereof. I want to increase my aerobic capacity, so I am hoping that will help. I did a workout before the gym twice last week and it was great.
Eating was decent this week. I tracked consistently and am glad to be back to consistent tracking. Yesterday I overdid it a bit, between going out to lunch with some Jiu Jitsu pals and then going to a friend's for dinner. Overall, I only overate by a couple hundred calories, so I never worry about that when it happens 1 or 2 days when I'm training consistently. The scale hasn't budged in a while, but with my muscles becoming noticeable more defined, I will give it a few weeks before I adjust anything.
Now, all this talk about women and Jiu Jitsu is timely, as MMA star Ronda Rousey has been in the spotlight over the past couple of weeks. This woman is amazing--Olympic judo winner, mixed martial artist, and confident and strong. She is one of my current SHEROS. Goes to show that women can bring it just as much as men.
Have a great week, friends!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
A little over 2 years ago, I saw the number 298 on the scale. I found this number utterly overwhelming. I knew I could not keep letting that number climb, but I didn't know where to begin. I already enjoyed exercise, but I was debilitated by a bad right knee and could hardly do any exercise. On the other hand, I knew my knee would probably get better if I lost some weight. So, I slowly started picking away at my eating habits and my thought processes. I started to learn how to stop feeling guilty about everything and to love myself instead.
For the first time in my life, neither food nor weight define me. Being an athlete defines me. My life revolves around exercise and training, not around the number on the scale. I have "only" lost about 60 pounds in 2 years, a number which I know to many may seem rather small. However, at no point have I made any major effort to "diet." Those 60 pounds have come off by making small changes and without me having to turn my life upside down to lose the weight. The weight will continue to come off, and for that I am happy...but then again, I have learned to be happy despite my weight.
Near highest weight (290+ pounds in these pictures).
Most recent progress pictures (although it is from March 2012--gotta get some new ones!)--around 240 pounds.
The biggest life-changer over the past year has been Jiu Jitsu. There is the workout factor--Jiu Jitsu works everything...and I mean everything. I trembled and gasped like I never have before when I first started. Grappling is unlike anything else, and rolling (sparring) against another person adds intensity that just isn't there with other workouts. I feel stronger and am more flexible than I have ever been.
I have also found that I am actually a decent grappler and did pretty well in my first competition, taking second place in my division (the winner was a woman who was significantly more experienced, but I crushed everyone else on my level). I had shed the "I'm the fat girl" mentality and started training and acting like an athlete, and the guys at my gym treat me like an athlete. Anyone who thinks they are too heavy to be an athlete has to remember that it isn't how others view you, it's how you view yourself. It's like I've said before, if you think and train like an athlete, then you are an athlete.
The best dudes around! I wouldn't haven't gotten this far without these guys in my corner.
You truly can be an athlete (and a winner) at any weight. More pictures from the tournament in this blog post: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
I don't want to think of where I would be without SparkPeople. I started in a very dark place, and picked away until I started seeing glimmers of light. From there, the light started pouring in. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish over the next year.
Very proud moment!
Sunday, August 19, 2012
I have been trying to hammer out a blog for a couple of weeks and it just ain't happening. So, I will post a super-quick update blog.
I just haven't felt much like blogging recently, but I hadn't realized that I hadn't written an update blog in about 6 weeks, since my Jiu Jitsu tournament. I have mostly been in a holding pattern...no change in weight (hey, still better than going up), eating has mostly been good, still pretty consistent with workouts. I was a little down for a couple of weeks, and there was some overeating involved. I tend to get depressed in the summer, like most people do in the middle of winter, but have been feeling more myself again.
I have also undertaken a massive reorganization project at my house. I have mostly cleaned out my basement, which has been a monumental task, and mostly cleaned my front and back porches. My goal is to have my house completely in order by the time fall starts, and I am well on my way to that goal. I will talk more about the organization in another blog. In any case, I am very happy to be more organized and to get rid of stuff I don't need.
Jiu Jitsu is going well. I feel like I am continuing to improve and am retaining more information when we learn new moves. I could stand to be doing more strength training, as I have only been averaging 1 strength training workout per week. My goal is to do at least 2, ideally 3 strength training/kettlebell workouts each week. Despite not being very good about formal strength training, my upper body is actually getting pretty ripped. This is partially thanks to Jiu Jitsu and I have been doing modified pull-ups at home, which seem to be helping.
Anyways, just wanted to post a quick blog with an update. So, yes, I am still alive. The blog post I was working on is mostly about this organizing I have been doing, will hopefully post it this week.
Hope all is well in your worlds, SparkFriends!
Monday, August 13, 2012
Weightlifter Sarah Robles.
I often feel out of place calling myself an athlete. This isn't as much the case as it used to be, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a game of "Which One Doesn't Belong?" Granted, I don't feel like I'm treated this way (at least not anymore), but I still feel a bit awkward in my martial arts classes. I don't often see other big martial artists, especially women. I do my best not to show how awkward I feel with all of these very trim athletes I train with, but sometimes I would like to see another serious athlete who also happens to be very overweight.
I didn't follow the Olympics terribly closely, but I did follow the journey of American weightlifter Sarah Robles. She weighs 275 pounds and has been touted as "the strongest woman in America." I have never adored an athlete more in my whole life. She persisted through training with little sponsorship, the ultimate in "if you want it, go and get it." She placed 7th when she competed on August 5th, and I am very proud of her.
I also love her because she makes no apologies for her body size. Sarah has advocated that fitness wear manufacturers produce clothing to fit every athlete. She has been outspoken about the fact that athletes can come in every shape and size. I look at her and I see a bit of myself (not that I'm an Olympian, though!), and I am grateful that she has come to the forefront. I think this is just the beginning for Sarah, and I can't wait to see more.
Check out her blog here:
Image from thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/07/0
ic-weightlifter-sarah-robles/ ; I would recommend reading the article, it talks about how Sarah deserves major sponsorship.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Hmmm, it has been a while since I have blogged. I have not been posting a "Week in Review" blog like I should, but I am working on a blog post. In the meantime, I came across this "50 Things About Me" deal on BAZOOKABOBCAT's blog and it looks fun, so here it is:
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Nope! Came close to being named "Gladys" after my great grandmother, though.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Haha, probably at some point over the past week. I'm like a little kid, I cry if I'm frustrated or upset in any way.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
It's all right.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I'm a vegetarian, so none!
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No, and I don't plan on having any.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Probably. I'd like to think I do my best to be there for my friends.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
I'm afraid of heights, including standing on a ladder, so probably not.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Soy Delicious Peanut Butter Zigzag.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their body language/posture--can tell a lot from that first glimpse.
15. RED OR PINK?
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I don't like when I'm not consistent with healthy eating or exercise.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My older brother Brian, who died at the age of 8 in a car accident (I was 5).
18. WHAT IS THE PAUL MCKENNA TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
19. ANY TATTOOS?
7 of 'em...
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A protein shake after my workout.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The quiet between phone calls at work.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Thunderstorms, chocolate, coffee, rose, vanilla, jasmine, lavender, and lemon.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
A rude pet owner.
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Wow, super tough choice. Probably beach house--preferably with a view of mountains.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
27. HAIR COLOR?
28. EYE COLOR?
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
If I had to pick an all-time never-going-to-give-it-up item, it would have to be black coffee.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Not technically a movie, but watching "Breaking Bad" on Netflix.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
None, wearing a purple dress.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
35. HUGS OR KISSES?
36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Anything with chocolate.
37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
I like to pump it up, baby!
38. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
42. FAVORITE SOUND?
The sound of my dog eating fruit ot veggies (makes the cutest crunching sounds).
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I do an excellent impression of a cat vomiting up a hairball--always impresses on first dates.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Mountain View, California.
47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
49. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?
Are we done yet?
Get An Email Alert Each Time CATS_MEOW_0911 Posts