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I wasn't last!

Monday, September 22, 2014

I started participating in Scottish Highland Games 3 years ago. I compete in the Masters class for Women. (*please note, Masters means 40 and older) Last year, it was announced that the World Masters Championships would be in Scotland... SCOTLAND!!! So many of my friends were planning to go.

I was just thinking that I'm really not good enough. All I will do is get in the way of those better than I am.

Well, my friends convinced me to sign up. And then to extend the trip to a 3 week long "trip of a lifetime" style trip. We went to the Highlands. Islay, Skye, Orkney and all points off the beaten path. We saw castles (still lived in and totally wrecked), standing stones (the power!), fairy pools, waterfalls, cairns, prehistoric villages, distilleries, battle sites and a few pubs.

And then it came time to throw. Shoulders back, head up, kilt on, I went to the field.
Flashback to a year ago... Fall of 2013. The end of last season, I was hurt. My back was out. I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand, I could hardly walk some days. Several months of chiropractor, building and strengthening low back and core. I was 4 months behind in training before I even got started.

I started with a new trainer who didn't know the Highland Games, but he did know the recovery process. We worked on overall strength to begin and slowly built to strength and speed. But I was behind and getting behinder (yeah, I meant that!) where I wanted to be in my training.

I was training to throw with World Champions, Record Holders, former high school, college and advanced level athletes, from ALL over the world. And then there was me. The fat girl in high school who always was picked last for team games.

I had to throw in 8 events. My goal, even from the beginning, was to not be last in all of the events. I knew, just KNEW that I would be last overall.

Not only was I NOT last. I was only last in ONE of the 8 events. And that was only by 1/4 of an inch. I was one point away from 10th. I picked the caber all 3 attempts. Didn't turn it, but I picked it ALL #!! And it was a beast (15 feet, 62 lbs.), at least by my standards!

As much training as I do, as much work I do on my attitude, some days it's hard to quiet the girl I was 30+ years ago. I AM NOT her any more.

I am strong
I am healthy
I am worth it

And these Women are AMAZING!!

Training for WMC 2015 begins today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINATC26 9/23/2014 1:15PM

    good for you!! And am I just guessing that you also happened to be there during that historic vote? That must have been fascinating to experience!! Keep up the good work, my friend!!

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Frustration and the scale.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I am a Scottish Highland Game athlete. I am working on gaining strength right now. I am also working on losing the gut that I acquired over last season.

It is a difficult task trying to lose weight. It is even a more difficult task trying to balance losing fat while gaining muscle.

I. Am. Frustrated.

I'm doing all the right things. I'm eating better. Lifting more. Challenging myself daily. And the scale doesn't budge. This has been over 3 months, so it's nothing new. I only weigh in once a week if that so I'm not expecting a miracle here! My clothes are getting tighter. So it's not like I'm losing size.

I'm NOT giving up. I'm NOT giving in. I WILL fight through this and I WILL succeed.

Every once in a while, a silly picture pops up that resonates with me. This one hit my facebook feed today.

Stand back. Refocus. CALM DOWN. It's a process, not an event. It will work.

Fighting the fat every day. I will use the anger to lift more and melt the offending fat off my body. I will NOT go back to the old habits of eating my frustration.

Spark on!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JES_VARNER 3/18/2014 3:15PM

    Love the quote! It's so true, and too often we let the fat define us!
You are getting stronger & more competitive, eventually that fat will lose the fight!

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ANDREWMOM 3/18/2014 2:29PM

    I am riding that boat with you all!!! Don't give up... use the fustration for push you off.

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SOXYINMO 3/18/2014 1:34PM

    This boat seems to have a lot of us in it right now, Gretchen! That quote is perfect, a great reminder! You are one of my inspirations and I know you will figure this out. We will figure this out!

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ACHANSO 3/18/2014 12:58PM

    I love that picture and quote. Keep it up-- you have great resolve!

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Eat more to lose weight??? Yep, for me it worked!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

This last year I went a little crazy. Ate too much, drank too much, gained back almost 30 lbs. It was the Highland games and there was beer and pasties and haggis. Dinners and camping and sweets. I did get injured. Holidays happened (seriously people STOP with the frickin cookies!!!) Mostly, there were excuses. Lots of excuses!! But what it came down to is this:


My pants are too tight or not wearable. I will NOT buy a size up!!! I am uncomfortable. I know I can do better.

About a month ago, I decided to get back on the proverbial wagon. Eat healthy. Back to the gym. Getting my body back in shape for September when I will be going to Scotland for the World Masters Highland Games. I know I won't win, but my goal is to simply not come in last. (Yes, that is realistic, I'll be throwing against several world record holders. Unless I get bit by a radioactive spider, emoticon winning ain't gonna happen!)

So, now I'm eating healthy. Measuring and weighing. Working out 2 hours at the gym 4 days a week and an hour or more on the other days. One month and my weight actually went up.

Seriously... WENT UP!!!

It turns out that I never changed my tracker. It is incredibly difficult to admit failure. But the only person who I was "fooling" was me. So I shut off my pride for a couple of minutes and reset it to my current weight. Added in the workout tracker. Then I totally FREAKED out when I saw how many calories SP wanted me to consume.

I talked to my trainer and he was shocked that I was eating so low. At that point I was eating 1500-1700 cals. So, not starving. But lifting weights and doing cardio as much as I was, my body was locking down and holding on to the fat.

I forgot one of my favorite analogies. Food is fuel.

I'll say that again... FOOD IS FUEL.

So think of it like this. Your body is a car. If I'm driving 10 miles to the supermarket. It doesn't take much gas (fuel). But if I take that same 10 miles and I'm driving up a mountain, I'm going to use more gas.

If I'm strolling 5 miles at a leisurely pace on flat ground, I'm not going to need much fuel (food) to supplement my daily intake. But if that 5 miles full out running trails is in a hilly forest, I WILL need more fuel.

Now, what that does NOT mean is "eat what you burn" ie, if I burn 600 calories in Zumba, I can eat 600 more calories. I might add 200-300 calories. But eating at baseline was only hurting me. My body wasn't getting the energy (fuel, gas, calories) I needed to lift as much as I wanted. I was lethargic and unmotivated in cardio classes.

"Just showing up" does NOT cut it. Yeah, it's better than sitting on the couch, but it is not going to get me to my goals.

So, I stepped on the scale. One week, 4 lbs gone already. I'm not done. I have a long way to go. I will reset my trackers whenever I need to. Dammit, I WILL get to my goal!!

I can't speak for the exact number of calories In/Out. I surely am NOT a nutritionist or a health professional. I'm just saying that this worked for me. If you are stuck. Hit a plateau or are confused with your nutrition, SEEK HELP. There will be someone at your gym, your doctors office, Heck, Sparkpeople has some GREAT staff and it's all right here.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Spark On!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRENJET 1/17/2014 7:46PM

    Awesome blog!! Thanks for some very important reminders...when we gain weight, at first we'll work so hard to get it off that eating more just feels wrong. But of course you are right!

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BOBINVA 1/16/2014 3:37PM

    Awesome blog. Changing your routine and doing more strength will increase your weight in the short run do to additional muscle. We do need to need to consume enough calories so that our bodies do not think they are starving. Absolutely. Self preservation mechanisms in our bodies will cause the storage of fat so that we will not starve when our bodies are told food is not plentiful. Thanks for posting this.

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SHKIRK 1/16/2014 1:19PM

  Yes i have found that i can eat when ever i am hungery till I am full..if I eat the right things ! i surprised myself by getting on a detox diet (excluding carbs and low on fat) and not feeling hungry ! I only walk as excersise-3 mph-so i do not need to load up for fuel. Thanks for the words of encourgement ! emoticon

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DIY Challenge

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY Challenge Entry Form

emoticon My Challenge Name: Suck it up, Buttercup!! Why?: I need to stop whining, get off my back side and get with the program!

emoticonMyStarting Weight: 190 lbs (approximate. My scale is dead and I really am not focusing on strength more than weight)

emoticonFour Other things I will be measuring during this challenge & their current stats:
1. Strength Level (low right now, coming back from an injury)
2. Clothing size 12-14, would like to be a low 12 by the end of the challenge
3. Time golfing and practicing, now... none
4. Tracking and measuring food, get back to logging and following a program

emoticonIf I am going to be 100% honest with myself, the reason I am doing this challenge is because:
I'm travelling to Scotland September 2014 for the World Masters Highland Games. I’m not going that far to be last place!!!

emoticonI feel like the reason that I have not been progressing as well as I hoped I would be is because:
I have been making too many excuses. I have not been focused. I did have a back injury that is in recovery.

emoticonThis time, I commit to finishing my challenge because I know that:
People are watching!! (Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they are not watching me!!)

emoticonI'm scared of:
Failing and gaining all my weight back, getting hurt and losing strength. Going all the way to Scotland to make an a$$ of myself.

emoticonI want to: Be healthy, fit, sexy and happy with my body.

emoticonBut I have faith in: ME!! I am the one who put the weight on. I am the only one who can take it off! I have support, I have a plan, I have the means and the method ready to go!!

emoticonAnd THIS TIME, I will NOT quit, because THIS TIME: I have a set goal beyond a number on a scale.

emoticonMy top five non-health related motivations right now are:

1. I will be going clothing shopping with my favorite 11 year old fashionista.
2. I pledge to NEVER have to shop in the “women’s” clothing area again.
3. I want to date more, and I know that it will help to look and feel better.
4. I want to look better in my kilt at the Highland Games
5. I will be going to the water park and I REFUSE to wear a t-shirt over my suit.

emoticonThe best way to motivate me is to:
Let me know you care. Let me know you care enough to notice when I am struggling.

emoticonThe best way I can motivate myself is to:
to be responsible, accountable for what I eat, and how much I move and lift.

emoticon My name is Gretchen and I will Suck It Up and Succeed!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DTSOBEL 11/26/2013 2:50PM

    I love this. Did you print this out and post it somewhere to read daily? These are great goals.

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Starting over... again

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It was a long season. I worked out. I golfed. I threw in Highland Games. I also drank too much. Ate too much. Ate the wrong things.

And I gained weight. Gained my belly back. Made my pants tight. It has to stop! I need to pay attention. I had lost 62 lbs. I gained 10 back. NO MORE

STOP MAKING EXCUSES!! Yes, I bought a house. Yes, I'm working out. Yes, I'm active. Yes, I am coming back from an injury. NO! That does not mean that I can Eat, Drink as much as I want.

Here's the plan:
1. Eat more fruits and veggies, more healthy meat, less carbs
2. Go through cabinets, throw out anything off plan
3. Organize house
4. Schedule workouts
5. Get my back/hip healthy
6. Shop for home gym equipment
7. Beer only on special occasions
8. Bring healthy snacks to Highland Games and practices
9. Watch budget!!!
10. Stop making excuses to eat off plan foods at work and other places. (better planning for football/baseball game days!!)
11. Strength training for Highland Games. Remember, you're going to Scotland next September!!!

There it is in Black and White. 1 lb a week is my goal. 18 lbs. I'm giving myself 20 weeks to cover holidays.

Suck it up buttercup and get this done!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 10/10/2013 2:31PM

    Awesome!!! You can do whatever you set your mind to!

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JUDIL62 10/10/2013 1:34PM

    Sounds like a good plan! I wish I could throw all the junk away in my house, but my husband would just go buy more. emoticon

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SQUIRRELLYONE 10/10/2013 1:28PM

    Plan, plan, stick to the plan, then toss out the plan when it's not working and create a new and improved plan (usually the same one with gold star stickers!)

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