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Nothing A Good Workout Can't Cure

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Yesterday was my favorite workout day. Lifting & Zumba! emoticon
I lift for an hour with my trainer, and she has got me on a new routine that I just love. It is difficult, exhausting, and leaves me pouring sweat. Love, love, love emoticon
There are a couple reasons I love lifting with her:
First of all, I just love lifting weights and feeling strong. We workout in the weight room of the school I work at, and a lot of teenagers pass by the window and see us. It used to bother me back when we started, but now I just feel good setting a positive example for all of the girls. The boys tend to snicker and make comments, but since I know I could probably bench press most of them, I let it slide.
I also love working out with someone. I usually run or go to classes, and while this is fun, I am rather reserved and don't talk a lot in group settings. My trainer and I have actually become really great friends, and our weekly lifting session is also time for us to talk about our problems and our lives. I sometimes think of lifting as therapy because the combination of talking and lifting heavy objects can make almost any problem disappear.
The second half of my Wednesday is Zumba. I love teaching. On Wednesdays I love the added challenge of already being completely exhausted - because when I do this new lifting routine, I leave shaking and completely spent.
I have a regular group of ladies that come to my class, and it has also become a support system for them. Last night, one of my regulars showed up and looked exhausted and depressed, and I immediately knew something was wrong. The first thing out of her mouth was "I hope tonight's class is a doozy. I need it." It made me smile.
I don't just do Zumba in my classes. I also add in a song for either legs or arms (depending on the day) and an ab workout at the end. I love Zumba, and it is great cardio, but I am strong believer in the benefits of strength exercises. So, I kick these ladies' butts. emoticon
Wednesdays is always legs, and I was dying by the end of the song - after the 150+ squats I did while lifting, but it is so worth it to know that I'm helping other people. We had fun, sweated a ton, and laughed. I knew she was feeling better by the end of class, and as we walked outside, she said "I so needed that tonight."
Me too.
So, needless to say, I am sore this morning, but it's a good sore that makes me feel like I've made progress. I've found that Zumba after lifting actually helps loosen me up, and I also sleep like a baby after working so hard. I feel great this morning and ready for a new day. My problems seem smaller and less overwhelming, and I feel good knowing I made someone dealing with difficult issues feel a little bit better.
So, the next time you want to skip a workout because you had a bad day, grab a friend, lift some weights, dance like crazy, talk it out, and sweat. You'll feel so much better if you do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon I love Zumba!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/2/2012 4:10PM

    Awesome loving it is key! Keep it up

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I know when I'm having a tough day I SO look forward to my exercise classes at the gym!! They mean a ton to me and that is so cool that you provide that for people!

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CHANGINGSAM 2/2/2012 9:41AM

    I need to come Zumba with you! Haha. It sounds like a lot of fun! Right now, I am doing Wii's Zumba fitness, and I really like it, but I miss doing it with others. I might join a class when I lose some of this weight.

It's great that you're close with your trainer! I like the idea of ST and therapy at the same time!

Keep it up! emoticon

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    Awesome!!! Nothing like an incredible and extremely challenging workout.

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GIANTMICROBE 2/2/2012 7:21AM

    Teenage boys are jerks, period. I have never come across one that didn't have to snicker and make comments about a girl working out. Clearly they're intimidated and afraid :P

Your workouts are crazy! I don't know how you keep it up for hours a day, I really don't! One hour is like my max.

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RUBY_TUESDAY21 2/2/2012 7:09AM

    Absolutely. I had a crap day yesterday, but after an hour on the elliptical last night, I felt so much better!

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    I have found that too. Sometimes after a stressful day I just NEED to run, it is a literal physical need that comes over me...and I don't love running (I don't hate it anymore but it is the most effective cardio for my schedule and I have to do it for karate anyway). I think it is the psychological perception that I am outrunning my problems that creates the need, but regardless of why I always feel tons better emotionally after a run from stress.

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Perfect Day For Change

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Feb. 1st is here! It's my birthday month, so this month needs to be amazing. I've had a rough couple of weeks, and I am so ready to get back to my normal self. Today is the perfect day to change things up.


1. Because I went shopping yesterday, and my house is full of beautiful, healthy food options. I know what works for me, and I need to start doing it again. I want to feel good. emoticon

2. It's lifting day! ST is my favorite, and lifting with my trainer is always a great stress reliever. Plus, I feel so fit and strong that I have no inclination to eat junky food. emoticon

3. Zumba tonight. I love teaching Zumba. I enjoy helping others get fit. Plus, it's fun and great cardio! emoticon

4. I can handle my stress. I'm in a very stressful 2 weeks at my job, but I need to stay realistic. I don't have the kind of job that involves real stress. I create it by worrying too much. No more worrying!!! emoticon

5. I'm getting my haircut today. It needs to happen. I've been neglecting myself, and i need to feel better about my looks. emoticon

See, it's a perfect day to change the bad habits I've slipped back into. Perfect day to get myself back on track. But, of course I need some goals.

emoticonGoals for February
1. Veggies/Fruit with every meal emoticon
2. 80% Plant based diet emoticon
3. 3 runs a week (medium Monday, short Thursday, Long Saturday) emoticon
4. Focus on the moment, don't stress about the past or worry about the future. emoticon
5. Focus on what makes me happy. emoticon
6. Stay away from the scale. Only weigh in once a week at the most. I considered waiting until my birthday to weigh in, but not sure I'm ready for that. Baby steps. emoticon
7. Stick with my exercise routine and come up w/ new choreo for Zumba. Shake it up! emoticon

What are you going to change today?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLANNIE 2/1/2012 7:04PM

    There's just something about February that's good - probably because January is now history! Your plans sound great!

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TESS504 2/1/2012 5:10PM


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    emoticon change is good. emoticon

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SNOOKUMS19 2/1/2012 11:08AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANGINGSAM 2/1/2012 10:09AM

    I love the reasons and goals! I definitely think you can do it!


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GIANTMICROBE 2/1/2012 7:23AM

    I need a haircut too! So bad! But I don't have a lot of money... I really should schedule my GREs instead...

This month I am going to try to TRACK! I made two calendars to color- one for workouts (that was fun in January) and one for food!

Happy early birthday!

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RUBY_TUESDAY21 2/1/2012 7:12AM

    Oooh, I need to stay away from the scale, too. I step on it once a day. This month, I'm focusing on eating responsibly. (This means if someone I live with cooks something unhealthy for dinner, I politely decline and eat something else or if my parents want to go out, I find something healthy rather than "treating myself" and eating a full day's worth of calories in one sitting...) Good luck with all your goals! :)

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JOLIE_ 2/1/2012 7:03AM

    I have to put some time into myself, not just working out but I also badly need some time at the hair salon!

Have a great February

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Only 8 :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

*originally posted on my blog http://ifimnotfatwhatami.blogspot.com/2012

After running my first 12-mile run last Monday, my trainer wanted me to taper back down to 8 and run it at a much faster pace. I was totally fine with this. I actually ran about 12.5 miles, though I didnít know it at the time, and it kind of wrecked me for a few days. It taught me how very important it is to properly eat for recovery and that I still have a lot to learn before I am ready for this marathon.

So, after a week of recovery I was ready to run again but happy that I only had to run 8. I found that incredibly funny the first time I said it Ė ďOnly 8Ē. The first time I ran 8 miles it felt like a huge achievement, and now it is a nice, easy run.

Well, usually it is. The challenge yesterday was to run it at a much faster pace than usual. I am a slow runner, and my trainer wanted me to keep up with her and another running buddy for the whole 8 miles. I have to admit that this worried me a little, but as always I gave it my best shot.

It went better than I expected. I had chosen my playlist carefully and only chose songs that were fast, made me want to run, and made me feel strong. I know that most people say not to train for a marathon with headphones, but Iím not looking to set any new records. I want to finish, and music pushes me and makes it a lot more fun.

For the first couple miles I kept up with them easily. In fact, I was kind of wondering if they were purposefully going slower to make me feel better, but I know thatís not my trainerís style. I just had to accept that I am making gains and getting stronger. Yay!

Our running buddy had to walk for a bit because her shoes were bothering her, and it felt strange to not be at the back of the group. I kept feeling the need to slow down, but every time I forced myself to pick up the pace. It was tough. Every step made me wonder how long I could keep it up. The nice thing, though, is that it wasnít all a struggle. I actually had moments of feeling like I could keep that pace for the whole distance, and that helped keep me going.

I kept up with my trainer for the first 4.5 miles before the aches began to set in. I felt great about this. Itís the longest Iíve been able to go at that pace, and each run seems to be adding to it. It gave me hope that a marathon will be possible with proper training and eating. I was already thinking about my next longer run, and I wasnít even done running.
I did slow down a bit for the last 3 miles, but I was never as far behind my trainer as I usually am. It felt great to run in the cold air, and my feet stayed reasonable dry. When I finished the run feeling good and without stopping to walk AT ALL, I wanted to do a little victory dance. I felt amazing.

I definitely see how runners build up their miles and how it becomes easier the more you run. Iím feeling really strong and determined right now, and though I know I wonít always have a great run, I feel confident that I can do this. I donít mind admitting that I find the marathon terrifying and daunting, but I also think Iím going to learn a lot about myself during the process. Iím excited to do something that is completely for me, and when I finish I will have achieved something that I can be incredibly proud of.

So, thereís my recap of my ďOnly 8Ē run. This week I am adding more days of running because you canít really train for a marathon only running once a week. Iíll keep you posted on how it goes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRINKINGLULU 1/31/2012 2:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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STRONGMOMMA2014 1/31/2012 12:33PM

    That is so inspiring! Way to go!


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GIANTMICROBE 1/31/2012 12:01PM

    Dude, I get tired driving 8 miles. I say it all the time. You runners are really something else!!!!!! emoticon

Hey, how come you're not supposed to train with music?

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JESSNSTONE 1/31/2012 11:32AM

    You are doing an awesome job!

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TESS504 1/31/2012 11:00AM

    emoticon Keep it up!!!

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BLACKROSE_222 1/31/2012 10:25AM

    What a great little non scale victory - only 8! Wait until the day when you are saying it's only 20 Miles! Lol.

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CHANGINGSAM 1/31/2012 9:01AM

    Look at you! I'm proud of the progress you are making! That's incredible! Keep up the awesome work!


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FANCY-PANTS 1/31/2012 8:18AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SNOOKUMS19 1/31/2012 7:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Getting It Back

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What Iíve learned in the last week:

1. Being sick makes me whiny.
2. I make bad food choices when I am sick, which compounds my feelings of grossness (is that a word?)
3. That poor food choices and a less than positive outlook will bring back old, fat Em really fast, and she wants to take over.
4. That I can still let my own fears and insecurities take over if I am not careful.
5. That after 1 day of darkness, I can pull myself out and get back on track.

Have I mentioned that I hate being sick? I think I have. The thing is that on top of not feeling well physically and still having to deal with the stresses of life, I tend to wallow in self-pity and let my old anxieties take over. It is not pretty let me tell you.
First of all, my food choices have been crappy. Weíre on a no $ budget right now (until tomorrow when I get to go grocery shopping Ė Yay!) So, my options are limited. I like to eat the same things every day. I enjoy them, and I know that I am making healthy choices for my body. I do not like to improvise, though I am working on it. When Iím sick, I tend to want ďcomfort foodsĒ even though I know that they will make me feel terrible. Example: I ate 3 (yes, 3) bowls of Fruit Loops yesterday. They didnít really taste that good while I was eating them, but that didnít stop me from downing 2 more bowls. They made me feel TERRIBLE. Iíve noticed that eating clean has made my reactions to unhealthy foods even more pronounced.
I also found that old, anxiety-ridden, ďeveryone hates meĒ Em is still waiting in the wings and more than willing to take advantage of my weakness. It was like going back in time. I was worrying about people that I havenít let bother me in months and feeling judged by everyone I spoke to. I was worrying about the future without any real basis for worry. I was getting about 20 steps ahead of myself, and that is never good.
The good thing about all this? I noticed what was happening and took control. I examined my thoughts instead of trying to bury them, and I was able to think about things realistically and find solutions to my ďproblemsĒ. My main problem was just worrying too far into the future. These worries were based in fear. I am looking at a couple new and major challenges this year, and I think that I just let them overwhelm me. I started comparing myself to others and to what I thought I should be. Never a good thing and especially not when I am already feeling down and sluggish.
So, I spent today relaxing, writing, and getting my head straight. I started working on my book again, which got put on the back burner for a while, and itís really helped me relax. I need to just be content with where I am and know that I have the plans and abilities to achieve my goals. I will run a marathon in May, but I am not ready to run one right now. I have time to train and the dedication to do it. I will start studying for my personal trainer certification soon, and I will work hard until I am ready to take and pass the test. I will be a good trainer. I am not ready for that now, but I am happy teaching Zumba and helping my friends get fit. I am happy with life right now. I want to grow and change, and I have plans in place to do it. But, I need to be patient and content until then.
Iíve been waiting to lose some weight before rewarding myself, but I think I need to do something to make myself feel better. This time of year is rough for me, and I want to feel good. As soon as we can afford it (hopefully the end of this week) Iím going to get a haircut. I always feel better with short hair, and Iím sick of ponytails. My husband and I are also going to make an appointment to get tattoos soon. He lost his wedding ring, which heís been worried about doing since we got married 8.5 years ago, and he promised that if it happened he would get one tattooed. Heís kind of nervous about getting a tattoo, so I really appreciate this. (For anyone thinking this is a bad idea, weíve talked about it, and there is no way weíll ever split. Heís my best friend, and we pretty much share a brain.)
Anyway, this also means that I get to get the tattoo Iíve been wanting for years. Iím excited. Iíve also decided that once I complete my marathon Iím getting 26.2 tattooed on my foot. I want to do something major to celebrate it. It gives me that much more incentive to do it.
So, now for a new week. Iím feeling better physically, and my emotional state is much better. Itís okay to be overwhelmed by life once in a while as long as you can pull yourself out. The support Iíve received from my fellow Sparkers has been wonderful and really helped. Plus, seeing otherís achievements made me want to be back on track and achieving myself. The site is great. I keep telling people that, and this is just another reason why it is so wonderful. Hereís to a new week, Sparkfriends. Letís make it great!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SNOOKUMS19 1/30/2012 12:24PM

    Boy could I have written this blog! Thanks for sharing!

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CHANGINGSAM 1/30/2012 10:18AM

    Hope you are feeling better! Here's a new week, so let's start this right!

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ARCHERS33 1/29/2012 6:30PM

Everyone has bad weeks, but it's how you deal with them that shows your dedication. And you've showed that you really want this. Well done you!

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GIANTMICROBE 1/29/2012 6:27PM

    When I am sick I want comfort food too. Pizza, fries, cookies, ice cream, those are the only things that sound good to me. I tend to just let myself eat whatever I want when I am sick.

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FANCY-PANTS 1/29/2012 6:00PM

    Way to shake it off. You're moving in the right direction. Big dreams take time to come into fruition. One day you'll look back and see how far you've come. emoticon

Here's to a new week!!!

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You Don't Matter Anymore

Friday, January 27, 2012

I hate my scale. emoticon
I hate that I get so obsessed with the number. I've slipped back into weighing myself every morning, and at first it was fine. Lately, though, I've noticed that I am letting it ruin my day. Now, I'll admit I've been really grumpy this week. I hate being sick and feeling exhausted because there is no time to actually rest. (Yeah, that whole stay at home mom/work part time/ Zumba instructor thing works well until something goes wrong.) Plus, we're having financial woes due to my DH's impulsive buying, so I'm super stressed, too.
So, maybe it's not completely the scale's fault, but it definitely doesn't help to start my day being angry because I somehow managed to gain 2 lbs. overnight. (I know that's not really true, but still irritating.)
It doesn't help that I use my Wii to weigh in, so I am constantly faced with the Obese music and chubby Mii. It makes me so angry to be so close to "Overweight" but never able to get there. I am the fittest I have ever been and achieved so much, and still I let my life revolve around a number on a machine.
So, I'm going back to a weekly weigh-in and going to focus on other goals. I learned the hard way that never weighing myself lets me go out of control without catching myself, so I need to still keep track, but I'm going to just accept my weight. It's probably not going to change for a while anyway. I've read a lot of articles that claim that you can't lose weight while training for a marathon, and the marathon is definitely the more important goal right now. I talked to my trainer, and I am going to switch my focus to body building after the race and drop the rest of my weight. I like this plan. As much as I enjoy running, I have a feeling that I'm going to need a break from it after I finish this training, and I love, love, love ST. (Did I mention that my trainer has run a bunch of marathons and been a competitive body builder? She knows her stuff!) I'm not really interested in competing, but I definitely want more muscle tone and less fluff.
The thing I keep thinking about is that my weight doesn't really matter as much any more. I may still be obese, but look what I'm doing with this "obese" body. I love my body. I love being able to do all of these amazing things, and I feel really healthy. That's what other people see. Why does a number that fluctuates daily matter at all? If I keep eating well, feel good, and achieve my goals, why worry about it?
I'm not going to anymore.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APED7969 1/27/2012 6:09PM

    I know how you feel about training for big races versus losing weight. My weight loss has slowed in the past 3 months due to my half marathon training. In saying that it has only slowed, I'm 2.7kg (5.9lbs) lighter than I was when I started training. I've found if I keep my eating really well in calorie range for the majority of the week I can lose weight, and that usually includes (even though I wish it didn't) a big calorie blow out on my long run days because I'm just so hungry! I guess for me it has been about changing expectations - being happy with small losses rather than expecting big ones. I also bought body fat calipers and while I'm not trained to use them I'm sure I can figure them out well enough to get a consistent measurement week to week that lets me see a different sort of progress. I'm also looking forward to two weeks off of running after next weekend to focus on some other kinds of exercise!! I hope you're week improves :-)

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CARLANNIE 1/27/2012 5:43PM

    Let's just make a trip to the Grand Canyon - you bring your scales and I'll bring mine - and we'll fling them over just as far as we can. And when they crash at the bottom into hundreds of little pieces, we'll jump up and down like kids. Let's do it!

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    WTG. Don't let that box w/numbers have the power to make or break your day. emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 1/27/2012 2:41PM

    We all have terrible weeks like this. It will pass and you will be fine. You are feeling good, so you are doing well. Don't submit to the tyranny of the scale.

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SHRINKINGLULU 1/27/2012 1:02PM

    The scale is SO not an accurate measurement of your progress!! To give you a very good example, the jeans I am wearing today I bought for myself at my very smallest when I lost weight with SP back in 2008. I was about 15lb lighter than I am now. To get these jeans on then I had to do all kinds of weird wiggley maneuvers and then lay on my bed to zip and button them; the muffin top was OUTRAGEOUS. Today, at 15lb heavier, still "obese" and 200lb, they fit great! There is room in the waistband even. The scale alone says I'm significantly bigger, but these pants tell me I'm BUFFER, and I'd way rather be buffer!

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GIANTMICROBE 1/27/2012 12:00PM

    I can't believe it gives you "obese" music and a chubby Mii. How do you even stand that thing?!?!?! LOL

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BLACKROSE_222 1/27/2012 11:36AM

    I think this is a plan that we could all use. HUGS, and those silly Mii's drive me freaking crazy too.

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CHANGINGSAM 1/27/2012 10:03AM

    I'm so sorry that you are going through so much right now. Just relax. Every thing will sort itself out. Have you talked to DH about the spending? It might help.

As for the scale, we all deal with that. I haven't weighed myself since Tuesday. My weigh in is set for Wednesday morning. I've done super good this week, and I so badly want to jump on the scale right now to see if I have lost anything. So, I definitely know how you feel. I think weighing in once a week is a good idea.

The most important thing is that you are exercising and eating right. Go off how your body feels. If you are feeling great, then be happy about it. Also, you might want to rely on measurements if you don't already. Sometimes, you may not be losing weight, but you may be losing inches!

Keep up the great work! Good luck with training and the marathon! :)

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DZSWEETIE2005 1/27/2012 9:06AM

    Its definitely hard to just forget about the scale, but as long as I'm not gaining I will just let it go. It can get frustrating, but if I've learned anything in this process is that with enough consistency and patience its going to go down. You just have to be honest with yourself and give your body time. I know personally it took me years to put on all this weight, so I can't expect it to magically disappear overnight (although I wish it would dangit! lol)

You're doing great, and we all have down weeks. Your energy and spirit will pick up again soon. Force it too if you have to! :)

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