Tuesday, July 19, 2011
(This is how I feel...minus the drink and cigarette, don't do that stuff anymore. )
In a previous blog, I was kind of worried about my legs and feet swelling almost 3 times their size...well it didn't really go away...in fact, it got worst, so worse that I finally gave in and went to Medical--
Now before I get my head bit off about why in the world didn't I go much earlier other than the fact that I am stubborn and I hate going, first I had to walk half a mile to work to tell my Major about it, then walked almost 3/4 mile to Medical--yeah no cell phone and no car really sucks, especially when your legs and feet feel like they are about to explode with fluid.
But I realized that since I drink over a gallon of water a day, low sodium, no empty carbs, and no dairy, and even increased cardio my legs stayed in some degree of bloatedness for a while now no matter what I did that it was time to just go ahead and do it.
So I went and got all the tests done and the Doc said to stop taking all natural supplements, including multivitamins--and no exercise until Thursday when I have to come back for the results.
Me: "Can I just do cardio?"
Doc: "No, that's exercise."
Me: "Walk around the compound?"
Doc: "Just to and from work that's all."
Me: "Got it Sir."
Yeah I think I panicked and freaked out the minute I left Medical but by the time I got back to work I was fine. Yes I was bothered about not exercising and having to change up my eating and the possibility that something major could be wrong with me that can really set me back in my fitness goals...but while on this journey I have learned that getting all upset was the worst thing to do at this moment. So here was my thought process with dealing with this situation.
1. Get it out of my system...for 5 minutes. Hey, I'm human. So I just let it all out in my mind the consequences and the fears of the situation...then I took a deep breath and pushed on to:
2. Realize that none of this is beyond my control. I have serious control issues, I will own up to this. I absolutely hate not being in control of things, especially my own body. But I have learned that stressing over it is only going to make matters worse so I will only focus on what I have control of, which is to monitor what I eat for the next few days and elevate my legs every night, keep drinking plenty of water, and most importantly take this time to relax and get some extra sleep that I desperately need. Finally:
3. Pray and/or have confidence that things will workout the way I need them to. This surprisingly is the most difficult one for me to do because of my control issues mentioned before. But also in my journey I have desired to get closer to God and I have understanding that when given to Him I should not worry or stress over my dilemma. I have to just let go and let God. But I also know that I am capable of being strong and not letting anything beat me down and cause me to lose focus on everything else that I am working on to accomplish.
By the time I got in to work, I was telling them the situation with some jokes included because I have to be able to display strength and courage in this time despite the uncertanity of what the diagnosis could be. This may be difficult for some, but child, just fake it to make it--cause snotting and crying at work in front of everyone is not a good look.
So my mantra for this experience is: No matter what may come my way, I will stay strong with a smile on my face.
I know that in the end, I will still continue on and accomplish everything I set out to do no matter what the results are on Thursday.
So tell me, what have you done when there were setbacks in your life?
Please visit www.thekoiexperience.com
Friday, July 15, 2011
My inspiration, Alicia Harris.
Ok I have my first confession to make. I have an addiction. Ok I have a few, but the one I will talk about today is weight training. I have a sick infatuation with it. No, for real. I love the feeling of picking up a semi heavy weight and slinging that iron all over the gym. The looks of men when I walk over to the rack and grab something heavier than 10lbs, like “She knows that’s too heavy for her,” then when I put that thing to work, the consensus is, “DAAAAAMMMNNNNN!” Then when I’m done, my heart rate is crazy, my arms, legs, back, abs are shaking and I’m seeing these curves start forming everywhere—no it’s not fat rolls, it’s pure unadulterated muscle. I feel like I could punch a hole in a brick wall and it feels great! I think muscles on women are one of the sexiest attributes we have—it shows that not only we have inner strength, but are capable of outer strength as well.
Well, of course you would think that, you’re a freakin’ MARINE. It’s your job to be all strong and stuff.
No people. Yes, we are required to be physically fit…but there’s no requirement for women to weight train. In fact I am usually one of the very few women hitting the weights in the gym, yes even the ones on base. So I have to deal with the awkwardness of being alone on the heavy side of the weight room, while my female counterparts are hitting up those pretty colored ones making sure that they don’t sweat their makeup off—or there’s the diehard Cardio Queens who wouldn’t touch a weight unless the Commanding General ordered them to.
Ok well, I’m still not convinced. I’m not giving up on cardio and I don’t want to look like a man or lift anything heavier than my purse!
Ah so! Still not convinced? Well not only will I give you reasons but also a gift at the end!
1. You Will Be Physically Stronger. Chores will be easier, lifting kids, groceries and laundry will no longer push you to the max. Not to mention you will increase joint stability and reduce your chance of injuries. It’s good for your bones. So yeah, weight lifting keeps you from breaking a hip and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
2. You will lose body fat. The more you weight train, the more muscles you develop. The more muscle, the more fat you will burn off. It’s not that big ol’ bulky muscle that men have, it’s lean and defined muscle, which can put your metabolism into overdrive--it burns fat so all that squish will go away and some nice toned arms will be revealed.
3. You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk.
Women develop muscle tone and definition. This is a bonus. It is impossible for women to get super big because we don’t develop enough testosterone to do so. Now for those ladies that are big…well trust me, it’s not natural. One of my closest friends is a natural body builder and she is absolutely ripped, but she is definitely not huge.
4. You will improve your Athletic Performance. So you love your cardio? Zumba is your thing, maybe Yoga? How about sports? Whatever the activity, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury. So yes…strength training can make you better at cardio related activities, who would have thought!
5. You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression. My favorite reason of them all. Hitting the weights has truly become my therapy. Not feeling good? Then train. Not happy? Then train. Need an instant mental and mood boost? Then train! The science is simple! If you suffer from feeling down at times or serious depression, then you can find solace in weight training! When you train, you receive instant release of "feel good" hormones called endorphins. You enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after you finish your workout. You know if you can achieve getting through your grueling hard core weight training workout, you can achieve anything!
Ok, ok I got it, I have SEEN THE LIGHT!! Now where’s my gift?
Since you are excited about giving weight training a chance, you may not know where to start. So I will give you the guidelines that I used when I began to take weight training seriously: The Female Training Bible ( www.bodybuilding.com/fun/womans_lean
_sexy_bible.htm ) made by the wonderful people at BodyBuilding.com
It gave me everything I needed to know about how to start a weight training program and how to incorporate cardio into it as well so I can have full benefits of each.
In the future I will start posting up nice little routines that you can follow as well just to change it up because remember, your body can get used to the same thing over and over again so you have to keep your muscles guessing.
So you tell me, what has prevented you from weight training? If you are a beginner and would like to write about your first experience weight training contact me and you will be spotlighted in an upcoming series of The Koi Experience!
Please visit my blog www.thekoiexperience.com for more of my jouney to living a healthy lifestyle.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
So if I haven’t really made it clear to some, I am currently deployed to Afghanistan right now. I started another blog prior to arriving here, pretty much to chronicle my experience. Unfortunately, I realized that it was a whole lot of “if I told you I would have to kill you,” and Groundhog Day. Fortunately when I started this desire to work on issues that I was having as Jen—because for a couple of years now I’ve only ate, slept and breathed how I could better myself as a Sergeant.
Trust me, I wasn’t the most pleasant to be around sometimes.
Since being over here it was brought to my attention how negative I have been about myself physically. I am my own worst critic when it comes to my appearance. Now I know that I am not an ugly person, but at times I do criticize things about myself—honestly I’m quite brutal.
Now wearing this uniform 7 days a week, hair always tied back into a bun does make one forget sometimes that they are a pretty attractive young lady. The only time I feel good about my body is right after a successful workout, before I have to put the uniform back on.
I don’t usually take any compliments from men seriously over here (for those that don’t know, we are not supposed to have “intimate relations” while out here so for most men everyone’s attractive if they can sneak a piece with someone) but today I met someone that made me genuinely feel good about myself.
Today didn’t start off great, after a killer workout this morning my feet were sore so I tried some foot pain crème I got in a care package, unfortunately I had a very bad reaction to it and my feet swelled up and are on fire right now as I type. So since I have to walk everywhere—to the chow hall, back and forth to work (1/2 mile one way), to the nasty port-a-johns outside—I have felt completely miserable. Oh and there was Operation Golden Flow where I had to walk a quarter mile to pee in front of another chick...
In a nutshell, I was feeling pretty damn fugly.
Well without going off into a different tangent, sometimes when you think you’re at your worst, someone else can see you as a thing of art.
So it made me think, why do I tell myself that I’m unattractive? If I think I’m so jacked up, then why do I work out twice a day, eat clean, maintain my hair and study how to better take care of myself? So I decided that now I’m causing sabotage to myself, which goes against my last post.
So here’s what I intend on doing from now on:
1.Continue to appreciate all the hard work my body is doing when I work out. Yes, when I take a shower after the gym I take the time to thank my arms, legs, back, abs, etc. for putting in the effort to be amazing. Hey before you judge, give it a shot.
2.While I’m getting ready for work, I really take the time to look at myself—look at the things I like about my face. It’s not being conceited to know that I have a nice smile. It’s gotten me far I think.
3.When I walk to work, I have time to really think about what I’m grateful for, hell I’m grateful that I’m used to this long ass walk and I’m not covered in sweat and want to die when I get there! Seriously, though…think of at least 10 things you are grateful for when it comes to you while going to work, before you know it, you will begin to feel pleasant and clear headed.
4.If something bad happens, like your hair gets messed up, you spill something on your clothes, or your feet swell up to the size of watermelons—don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths, and just realize that this kind of thing happens to everyone and it’s not just you that goes through these things. You are who you are no matter if you look flawless, or you have a big ol’ zit in the middle of your forehead—this is only temporary and it will pass.
5. Find one thing that no matter what, it will make you feel good about yourself. This has changed up for me but as of now it is my hair—I’m transitioning to natural and my hair is growing fast, thick and wavy—oh gosh how I love my waves! So sometimes when I’m feeling a little gross and unfeminine, I go somewhere alone, pull out my compact mirror and admire my wavy hair, like I said before not conceited—unless you do something like that in front of a bunch of people, then yeah, it’s not a good look.
These are simple and free ways to give you reasons to feel good about yourself. We are all beautiful, flaws and all. It’s hard in this society to believe that, but this is an age that we are in total control of our destinies and we can create ourselves to be the most beautiful woman we can be. It’s just up to us to be willing to put the work in.
A mantra I picked up from this lesson was, “The only one who can truly consider you ugly is you.”
Please visit, www.thekoiexperience.com , my journey to a healthy lifestyle!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Today this biblical verse came to mind:
"Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get thee behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me..."
Matthew 16:23 NIV
I'm not going to discuss religious views or anything here, I'm going to get on my soap box about people who claim to support you but will attempt to sabotage you when you are trying to do something to better yourself.
In this verse, Jesus used the word Satan as another name for an adversary, or one who is attempting to prevent us from accomplishing something.
Have you ever had friends or family that claims to be happy and supportive of your fitness goals, but then in turn criticize certain actions, or your progress? Maybe you have heard comments such as:
"You work out too much, you should take a break."
"Why are you punishing yourself? You need to relax."
"You've lost enough weight, you can eat whatever you want now."
I believe that comments like this are a term we use in the Marine Corps called "velvet daggers."
Yes it sounds like your friend or family member are just looking out for you, but instead they may be saying it out of jealousy for your hard work--possibly causing them too look at the lack of concern of their own physical fitness and wellbeing.
When you realize that you possibly could have been a victim of a velvet dagger, you may feel hurt and betrayed, even pissed off that someone that you felt like you could trust would deliberately try to sabotage your goals.
I have 5 tips on how to overcome this:
1. Take a moment to assess the situation. This isn't a time to over react and start fights, why should you?
2. Remember why you started this healthy lifestyle journey in the first place. You may have made a list of how working out, eating healthy and losing weight will benefit you. This is the time to look at your list again as a refresher.
3. Decide if this is worth discussing with your friend or family member. It is up to you if you think you should confront this individual on why would they have an issue with your progress. Sometimes the best decision is to ignore and move on.
4. Do not allow the incident to consume you. If you dwell on the statement made, you may allow your frustrations to cause you to make the wrong decision, like maybe you should eat a bag of candy since you've lost 5 pounds...thus setting you back in your progress.
5. Depend on yourself for motivation. The reality is the number one person that can motivate you is YOU--do not heavily rely on others to be your support system. It is nice to have cheerleaders on the sidelines, but strive to be your own biggest supporter in your mission to live a healthy and peaceful life.
I know that it is by my own actions that I will either accomplish this goal or I will fail--it is no one's success or failure but mine--that motivates me to keep going. It also reduces the affect of those who deliberately want to see me stumble.
So instead of punching someone in the head today, I will turn the other cheek and focus on my goals that will cause some amazing transformations in my life.
Friday, July 01, 2011
So this morning I had an awesome workout, killed my shoulders and triceps, abs then a 30 min session on the stationary bike. I love working out Friday mornings because I don't have to get up at 4:30 AM because I don't have to be to work until noon.
After I workout when I shower I take the time to "thank" every part of my body for all the hard work accomplished at the gym.
Yes it sounds crazy and corny but give it a try before you judge me. My self esteem has risen from doing something so simple, thinking praises of my shoulders handling the routine when my right one was strained last week. The weird thing about it (yes, more weird then complimenting my body parts) is that I always end up taking more time to encourage my stomach.
"Ok stomach, good job with the ab workout, do not get discouraged, you will catch up with the others and you will look amazing!"
I feel like my body has changed a lot since deploying and incorporating my 6 day a week routine--except my stomach.
Now I realize that I've lost inches because of the fitting of my clothes and how firm my back is...the issue is how it looks--no my gut isn't sagging over my stomach or anything, but it's not firm enough, like I don't do anything at all to it.
I completely understand that you can't spot train a body part, no matter if I do 1000 crunches a day my stomach won't get flatter (maybe from the vomiting from all of those crunches perhaps) . I have a weight training routine and an ever changing cardio routine and I know that I have gotten much stronger and I really like how my body is looking right now (yes, pics will come soon!), however I have always been subconscious of my stomach because when I have gained weight for some reason that's where most of it would go.
My friend here just screamed at me for this blog, saying that my stomach is flat, lol. But in my eyes, there's a good and chunky glob there just hiding my beautiful ab work. We are our own worst critics, and in my opinion, sometimes it's a good thing within reason.
Despite that, I have the knowledge to know that to see abs I have to drop bodyfat. I am currently doing that right now, so although slow, I will continue with my plan to maintain lean muscle and burn fat.
I will continue to eat clean even though every Girl Scout Cookie that keeps getting sent out here I swear is singing to me to eat them.
I will not allow stress and lack of sleep to twart my goals either (now how many times can you use that word, twart? Nice.).
I will stay positive and be grateful that I am able to do the routine I have now because almost two years ago there would have been no way.
One day I will be able to give my abs a fist bump for the major accomplishment . Yeah a fist bump, because we're that cool.
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