Sunday, May 01, 2011
The arrival of my 25th birthday is something that I have been anticipating for a long time. I really wanted to reach that milestone and celebrate it with pride. For the longest time, I thought that the only way that I could do that was to be at my goal weight. But a few weeks ago, when I came to the realization that I wouldn't hit it, I was OK with that. I feel better than I have in a long time. I've lost 25 pounds since moving in August. I am leaning out and the addition of intense strength training in the last few weeks has been affecting my body composition in a positive way.
I bought my birthday dress all the way back in December. I was 10 pounds heavier than I am now and while it fit well, I really wanted to be smaller in it...to see some curves and basically just rock it on my birthday. I'm so happy to say that when I put that dress on, I felt like I accomplished all of those things. I felt confident...I felt strong...I felt happy with the way I looked. And those are the things that are most important. It's that openness, that confidence that will draw people to you. Because if you don't like who you are...if you aren't proud of who you are...why should anyone else be? Self-love is so important and while it's hard for many of us who are not completely satisfied with our physical appearance it is that love that will push you through the tough times on this journey. Self-love will help you reach your goal and stay there throughout your life. So everyone tell yourself something that you love about you. What makes you unique? What makes you special? What makes you lovable? Then give yourself a big hug...because you're worth it!
I hope that everyone's next birthday can be as amazing as mine was. A day full of friendship, delicious (healthy) food, dancing and self-love.
And here's a picture of that dress :)
And a few shots of horseback riding today
Ruby - a beautiful mare who is 2 weeks overdue on birthing her foal
Zoey, the horse I got to ride. So sweet!!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Given how hardcore I always am, it probably comes as no surprise that I have trouble crying. This morning I just had the most amazing breakthrough at the end of my 6.7mile run. Here is the story...
When I set out around 8 this morning I had a few goals in mind:
~ finish the run
~ run as far as I did the last time I ran it before taking a walk break (I took two last time)
I was confident that I could do those two so I added a final one:
~ try to beat my previous time of 1:13.16
So I set off on my run and in the first mile I was a little tired...my legs needed some warming up, but then I hit my stride and away I went. I was feeling great the first few miles...baby hills were a little easier than last time and I really put my focus into the first big hill. I cleared it without spiking my heart rate as high as I had last time (just by pure feeling how my body reacted) and I was thrilled. The second big hill, which is about half a mile long, was much harder...but I pushed and pushed myself, begging my body just to make it to the top...promising that then I could coast a little. The top came and I relaxed slightly, but kept pushing on. It was hotter than the first time. The sun was beating down on me...and then my first walk break was in sight. As I ran closer and closer I thought to myself...why don't I see if I can run through the first walk break? Maybe I can take my walk break later in the run. So that's what I did...then I said to myself, just make it to the end of this (long) street... and at the turn when I'm heading down the last long stretch I can take a walk. So I did...and then I said to myself well... this long stretch is all down hill...no point walking when I can coast...so I ran...and I ran...and I ran. And then I said to myself... there is no point walking that really steep hill at the end when I've just run the entire thing. It's only 0.09 miles up that hill...let's go for it. No matter how slow you have to do it...just do it. Just run it. And so I did. When I got to the top of the steep hill (I'm talking 40 degree angle here) I was beat...I was tired...but I knew there were only 0.33 miles left. I HAD to do it...I just had to. So I picked up my guts...and I kept going.
There's a song that I always put on at the end of my runs and it's so uplifting that I am able to finish no matter how tired I am. Fix You by Coldplay (
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY9b6jgbNyc ) is the ultimate end of a run song...from the 2:35 minute mark on it just makes my heart sing and makes me want to be more than I thought I ever could. It's in those moments that I think of my brother and sister. In the last mile of my run, when I am tired and weak, I imagine they are my legs and in those moments I know I can fly... As I ran down that last stretch...the music and thinking of them did something to me... I started crying. Now if anyone here has tried to cry and run at the same time, it's not easy. But there I was...finishing out the last quarter mile of my run with tears welling up in my eyes as I tried to choke them back. The girl that walked past me probably thought I was crazy, but I didn't care. I was running 6.7 miles without stopping. I just shattered all of the doubts that I ever had about myself since I hurt my knee. I knew in those moments that if I could complete that run, I could do anything. And when I finished the run, I couldn't stop crying and I didn't care. I had shattered my previous PR by 7 minutes and 20 seconds (my new PR being 1:06.16). My breathing was labored, but more because of the crying than the running. I walked around my complex NOT fighting back tears. Smiling and crying...and then cried more because I could finally let myself cry. I was so unbelievably proud of myself. I knew that every workout I had done up until now was building me up to this moment.
We can't shatter doubts and walls all at once. We have to build a foundation...then pile achievement after achievement on top of each other before we can finally break through that barrier and prove to ourselves we can do anything. It's like the analogy where you hit a stone with a mallet 100 times without making a crack and then the 101st time it shatters. This was my 101st time. I can do anything...I am unstoppable...I know that now and I will know it for the rest of my life.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I haven't been blogging, but if you noticed my fitness activity, I have certainly been working out. Last week I burned 9900 calories in cardio and strength training. This huge bump in activity was largely due to an email I got last Tuesday morning from my boyfriend(?)/guy I've been dating since December. Basically, it said he didn't feel anything for me and didn't want to waste our time. Though this point was reiterated over...and over in the email (wtf, email???). It was brutal. And all this after he was making future plans with me two days earlier. So what did I do? I worked out...hard. And I've continued to do so. I've been doing two a days, sometimes three a days and it's helping me cope. I'm not crying over him, but he wasn't treating me right near the end which caused me a lot of stress (and stress eating). Now I'm taking the time to show myself that I'm worth so much more than the way he was treating me. What better way than to lavish my body with love and attention?
For the first time in a LONG time, I came completely on track...and not just on track, but I'm a bullet train speeding towards my goal. I lost 6 pounds since Tuesday of last week. I have been eating right, exercising hard core and eliminating stress from my life. I know that's some Biggest Loser style weight loss and the pace is NOT sustainable in the long term, but this has been huge. I busted through my plateau and I know I'm unstoppable. I'm hoping to continue losing 2-3 pounds a week in a healthy way, by watching my nutrition and ensuring that I'm eating the cleanest foods and HIGH protein to sustain my workouts.
The keys to my success? daily Turbo Jam sessions, sprints, a grueling 6.7 mile run on Saturday morning, and more intensive weight training program. My outer quads are starting to pop and my stomach is looking flatter than I've seen it in a long time. I know I can continue on this path and I will be close to my goal weight on my birthday.
Another HUGE key to success has been Jillian Michaels' new book, Unlimited! I have two of her other books, Winning by Losing (motivation) and Making the Cut (workout), but this new one is on a completely different level. If I had to put a genre on it, it's a self-help book, BUT the big difference is that Jillian doesn't spout a lot of New Age ideas - they have their place, but would you really expect it from her? haha. Unlimited! helps you to realize that you have huge potential and that you CAN do anything you set your mind to. This book focuses on Quality of Life. Making you the happiest person you can be and, therefore, a productive member of society. It helps you examine some tough issues and dig deep to discover what your true passions and dreams are as well as what is preventing you from reaching your potential. Then she gives you steps to help you break through those barriers and achieve what you've always wanted, but never thought you were able to have or deserving of. It's a really inspiring book and if you are unhappy or settling in any aspect of your life, I definitely suggest you read it.
Although I did figure out last year that finance was not my passion and I wanted to help people lose weight - thus leading me to enroll in graduate school - I did learn a lot from this book so far. The part that resonated the most with me was regarding roles. Roles that we've been put in since childhood that people may have acted on and that we continue to believe to this day. As I was reading her list of roles, I thought to myself... well I know what role I have been "given", but there's no way she's going to say it. And as if she heard me, the next one was it "the ugly, smart one" and then tears were in my eyes. Now, I by no means think that I'm grotesque, but when I was little I always identified with the ugly duckling. I looked different when compared to members of my family. Comments were made by outsiders about my appearance. And I, being an impressionable, naive child, took those to heart. But I was smart... very smart and that's what I clung to. When I was in chubby in middle school and even when I became an athlete in high school...no boys even tried to go out with me (well, one did but he was 5 years older and my parents didn't approve). I was sufficiently planted in the friend zone and I thought it was because of my looks...but I was still smart. Reading the words on the page helped free me from that role (maybe not completely, but I'm working on it every day). I am not JUST the smart one... I can be both. I AM both.
I didn't mean to right a pitch for the book, but I really think it's phenomenal. Even reading it lifts the heart...it makes you believe you can do anything. SHE makes you believe you can do anything...and you can feel her gently (and sometimes not so gently) pushing you to realized what that anything is. You can hear her cheering for you as you discover something that you didn't even realize about yourself.
Even if you don't read the book, I hope that you realize that you are capable of anything if you really want it and are willing to work for it. And I'll be here cheering you on every step of the way :)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Every time I train, I get stronger
Every time I run, I get faster
Every time I try, I get better
I am an athlete and nothing can stop me from reaching my potential.
Today was my second run of the week. On Monday, I smashed my previous PR by 30 seconds and today I did it again. Just when I thought I couldn't do my 4.5 miler faster...I did. I improved my first split time by 44 seconds and then on the way back I was tired... I thought there was no way that I could possibly beat my previous time (45:09.95) All I wanted was to keep running and to finish... so I kept running...and I finished with a time of 43:49.18. 1 minute and 20 seconds faster than my previous time! I really don't know how I can top that next time but I'm going to try :-D
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