Just saying…

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Healthy Changes.

For the first time in my life, I’ve broken patterns of emotional eating. I know, that sounds pathetic. I probably sound like a middle-aged woman who sits at home at night eating a tub of ice cream. That’s not me. However, I’ve had patterns of having a bad day and going straight to the pantry to whip up a batch of brownies, while enjoying enough batter to make myself sick. Between that and the fact that I used to think I could get away with eating whatever I wanted as long as I put the work time in at the gym, I am working on changing those unhealthy habits.

Since the year has begun, I haven’t binged on anything, let alone anything unhealthy, and I’ve maintained my clean eating (with my free meal per week, which has ended up not being huge splurges either). My cravings have become comical…currently I’m waiting for my broccoli and asparagus to cook as I am enjoying a plate of veggies as a snack. Last night, instead of finding a high calorie, high fat food to feel sorry for myself with, I enjoyed a bowl of frozen grapes.

And I’m not suffering or craving the foods I once enjoyed. I’m enjoying finding creative new ways to make meals. And most of all, I’m enjoying how I feel!

I didn’t have a great workout today and was struggling to maintain my focus during bootcamp, so instead of being pissed at myself, I grabbed the jump rope and some med balls and did an extra thirty minutes of focused sweating and anger management!

I’m proud of myself for continuing to work to be the healthiest version of me!

it’s not ok…(in relations to the toxic use of the “F” word!)

so i’ve been going over and over ideas on what to blog about today. lots of “feminist” topics continue to arise. along with my fit & health issues, most who read this blog know i’m on my “fitness journey” and lately that’s been a main focus of mine. (or as a friend said the other night, “michelle is on her health kick.” newsflash friends, it’s not a fad or diet or “kick” — this is a new way of life and i’m sticking with it! so apologies if you do find my over enthusiastic tweets annoying or my instagram pictures of my clean food makes your eyes roll, but for me to be successful i need to be 100% in it and surround myself with like-minded thinkers…and it seems the more i do obsess, the better i stay on track ūüėČ

anyway, to piggy back off that statement a bit, my twitter account has become 75% fitness and health related. many people make anonymous twitter accounts when on their fitness journey so they can post progress pictures and tweet whatever they want with no worries about people KNOWING who they are. a) i’m not THAT talented to maintain more than one twitter account at a time (yes, i’ve tried!) and b) i actually enjoy this being a part of me and if i can get friends, family, or other random followers motivated to change their lives, then even better!! (i KNOW my sister MUST be completely annoyed with my rampid tweeting as of late as she gets my tweets sent to her phone…sorry ash, but you know how i get when i’m obsessed!) so shout out to the #fitfam on twitter…what an awesome group of hard working individuals of all ages and all shapes and sizes all over the world. dedicated and determined like-minded people working to better themselves in every way possible.

SO MY POINT TODAY (sorry…this is my scattered brain way of getting to what I’d actually like to write about, which hasn’t even come up yet!), i follow a bunch of healthy, fit-freaks like me and there’s been a few girls/women/fitties who i have seen tweet about being called “fat” or “ugly” or “chubby” by friends, family, or even worst, boyfriends. it breaks my heart because i get it. i’ve been there. i was that girl who was called “fat” by my ex. i AM that girl that has a HUGE body complex and am hoping that ONE day i can be happy with what is looking back in the mirror at me.

so i’d like to start by saying, as much as we are ALL guilty of it, the word FAT needs to be erased from OUR vocabulary! everyone’s vocabulary at that. the dreaded “f” word is 100% worst than it’s 4 letter counterpart of an “f” word. it’s way more destructive. the only time it comes out of my mouth is when i’m having a shitty day and feeling bad about myself. so, that’s it, the word FAT is gone from your mouths and shall never be said in regards to anyones body shape.

got it? good!

secondly, who are WE to judge ANYONE? who are YOU to judge? who am i to judge? don’t we all have enough problems and issues and drama in our own lives to be too busy to be judging everyone around us? i mean, just based on everyone’s facebook statuses alone, i don’t think you have the extra time in your day to judge me or anyone else. as women, we are SO quick to judge and be catty or rude…it’s so much easier to turn that negativity into something positive and help someone out or smile! i finished my workout today at bootcamp and instead of gloating or sitting down like i deserved it more than anyone else still training, i grabbed a new lady to our bootcamp and finished the workout with her. i can’t stand women who walk around like they are better than you because they wear a size two and don’t sweat while working out (oopps, yes, that’s me judging a bit, isn’t it??), but you know the people i love? the ones who see you are working hard and are willing to help you get there. the people who include you in their workouts or encourage you to finish your last lap or are genuinely there to see you succeed! those are my kind of people…

anyway, i’m getting off topic, mostly because i’m worried i’m going to get on a feminist rant.

i worry that men (or boys) think it’s OK to call women “fat” or “ugly” because they see us do it to eachother, or even worst, they see us do it to ourselves. well, it is not ok. those are words that never leave us. you think i will ever forget how my ex grabbed my arm and said “your arms are big, you could use some work there” — there’s no way in hell that i will ever forget those words or how it made me feel. you think i will ever forget him telling me i was “fat” when i was the one who went to the gym and worked out? nope. and when i brought it up and said it’s not ok for him to say those things about me, do you think i’ll ever forget how he began to laugh hysterically and say “it was just a joke!” no way. it is NOT ok. i don’t even need to go into a reason why, it just isn’t ok. it isn’t ok to make anyone feel absolutely horrible about themself. it isn’t ok to tell someone who already thinks they are the size of an elephant that now the person they love thinks that too. (i really can get into it and go into bullying and all that, but i’m going to keep it at this)

newsflash, there actually isn’t enough GOOD in the world. there aren’t THAT many people going out of their way to make strangers smile. we have shootings and suicides and violence and hate daily. and it’s NOT ok to put people down and make them feel bad. (why is this SUCH a hard concept for people to get?!??!?!) it absolutely guts me everytime i read “my boyfriend called me fat today.” Did he think that was going to put a smile on your face?!? Did he think you weren’t already self conscious about what you looked like?!?! did he think that was going to put you in a super happy lovey dovey mood?!?!?!

i apologize for the rambled post. i just feel quite strong about this and think men and women alike need to be nicer to each other and themselves.

and for any female in a relationship with a male (OR vice versa!) who puts her down in one way or another, i pray that you have the strength to realize that you deserve SO MUCH BETTER and you do not deserve to be told those things. looking back, i was stupid, and believed him. why i didn’t leave his skinny (never-goes-to-the-gym) ass right then and there disappoints me today. i don’t know YOUR relationship, but i do know that anyone that puts you down is NOT the right person for you…even if you do love them. and as hard as it may seem to leave and cut them out of your life, know that you are worth so much more.

it’s toxic.

and it hurts.

and allowing it to happen isn’t ok either.

so be strong, stand up for yourself, and know that you are beautiful and deserve nothing but the best!

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my ever-so-unpopular-opinion OF the biggest loser…

last night, the ever-so-favorite show of many premiered.¬† i must say, i have NEVER watched a single episode.¬† i’m not sure why, but i’ve always been turned off by the concept of putting “overweight” people on TV to watch them sweat and fall over until they lose half their size.¬† yes, i know the show CHANGES LIVES and does a lot of positive…but i just don’t like it (we’re all entitled to our own opinions, right?!?).

so, since i’ve changed my own¬†lifestyle pretty drastically in the last six months, everyone was telling me how inspiring the show was and how much they LOVE Jillian Michaels (again, have never liked her…still don’t), so i decided to give it a go.¬† maybe it’s hard for me to understand because even at my heaviest or when i was the least out of shape, i was still exercising.¬† i’ve been exercising since i was 5.¬† i’ve been pushing my body my whole life, even if i hate it, i’ve known what a “tough workout” was before i hit puberty.¬† so it’s actually unfathomable to me to see SO many people who just don’t work out (that sounds super naiive, and i’m forever grateful for having parents who were active and allowed me to pursue my athletic goals).¬† and then not only do they NOT exercise, but they eat absolutely horribly!¬† maybe it’s a turn off and i don’t respect the way they have treated their bodies — maybe that’s what makes me cringe just seeing the commercials.¬† maybe it’s the fact that i feel like it’s a mockery. making women who clearly are overweight weigh themselves in front of america in “crop tops???” obviously they signed up for it and know what they are getting into, but even at my gym, the weighing is done at each own’s discretion and there are even room dividers for people who are uncomfortable putting it ALL out there for the whole gym to see.

then there’s the issue of weight loss vs. fat loss.¬† as any fittie knows, muscle weighs more than fat, and clearly these participants have a bunch of fat to lose, but are they gaining muscle?¬† i’d be more interested in seeing their fat percentages go down than their weight.¬† anyone can stop eating or even go anorexic and instantly lose five pounds (trust me, i’ve done it)…but eating right, exercising right, losing FAT and gaining MUSCLE is what i’m interested in.¬† hell, my goal in November (before i started eating clean) was to lose 30 lbs by thanksgiving…that was absolutely INSANE of me!!!¬† when i started eating clean, i lost a percentage of body fat in a week…but weighed the exact same…lost inches, but weighed the exact same…i wasn’t so concerned about the number on the scale anymore, but more concerned about my measurements and body fat!!

i’m not going to lie, i’m a bit jealous of the ladies who lost 20 pounds in a week…as i struggle to pass my plateau weight this week…but when you take someone who has never eaten well and never exercised three hours a week, let alone three hours a day, obviously that 20 pounds is going to come off quick.¬† (Maintaining after the show is always the issue, but hopefully this is a lifestyle change for all of the participants…but we ALL know that one girl who lost “so much weight” at the gym who hasn’t been back in 6 months and now looks heavier than when she began…).

so maybe i’m a negative nancy when it comes to the Biggest Loser, and maybe i just haven’t given it enough of a chance yet since¬†i have only seen one episode now…but everyone in america cannot “play” biggest loser and afford Bob Harper for an hour every day. ¬†and it really isn’t a show SHOWING anything but Jillian yelling at people falling off a treadmile (and really, if you have the energy to YELL back at your trainer, you clearly have the energy to keep going on the treadmile…just saying!).¬† so I really wish they would focus on explaining things better to the world.¬† explain WHY they are doing cardio and weights and certain exercises.¬† explain the “diets”/new eating habits/changes of¬†the participants are on and why. explain that in actuality they are working out SIX HOURS A DAY (um…yea, you bet your ass you’d lose weight after 6 hours). explain hydration issues.¬†explain injury prevention. explain how someone who is 100lbs overweight can get started on their own.¬† i’d be VERY interested in seeing everything we don’t see.¬† we all know how a elliptical and row machine works, show America what they don’t know.

lastly, i commend EVERYONE and ANYONE looking to improve their health and fitness!¬† i am in no means cutting down participants or anyone else inspired by this show to get fit.¬† the fact that it has had such a great impact on the country is awesome!¬† i just think there is still SO MUCH SO MANY PEOPLE don’t know about working out and eating healthy.¬† and let’s face it, it can be very intimidating to take that first step.

so i apologize if i have offended any Jillian Michaels fans or Biggest Loser watchers!¬† again, it’s great that it is so inspiring and motivating for people.¬† if that is what motivates you, then AWESOME, keep watching and keep getting your ass in gear ūüėČ

just my two cents! ūüėČ

positive body image…

i’ve struggled with body image issues my whole life.¬† i woke up this morning feeling like a fat cow, disgusted with what was looking back at me in the mirror (days like this, i avoid the mirror as much as possible!).¬† granted it was super early and still dark outside, and i hadn’t had coffee yet, but it put me in a bit of a sour mood to start the day.¬†obviously, my “year” (yeah, yeah, 2 and a half days) of clean eating won’t show results immediately, and i have a week’s worth of bad food and drinks i’m working off, but something simple like that is what can easily trigger me (and i’m sure others) into giving up or not sticking to “the plan.”¬† luckily i was on my way to the gym for two hours of sweating, so that changed my mood and outlook quickly, but as much as i’m changing my lifestyle and eating, i need to change my view of myself.

i’ve always struggled liking ME!¬† and any day i feel “fat” is not usually a good day.¬† once that word is in my head, there isn’t much i can do to combat the thought.¬† so i found this and thought i’d share it with everyone to help improve body image!

Ten Steps to Positive Body Image

1. Appreciate all that your body can do.

– i’m coming off an injury (torn calf) at the moment, so i do appreciate the fact that my body has healed a bit and has allowed me to get back in the gym! (i’d REALLY appreciate it if it continues to heal and i can start running again by next week!!)

2. Keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself — things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like

– ten is A LOT!¬†but i’m sure we all have ten things…i think i may struggle filling out that list…so NON-physical things i like about myself: I’m passionate (to say the least); friendly & genuinely care about people; big heart; super competetive (yes, i actually LIKE this about myself); independent; no fear; unique taste of things in life; love to travel; embrace new things…phew i did it!!

3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep.¬† Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.

– just think of that really skinny bitch you know ūüėõ

4.¬†Look at yourself as a whole person…choose not to focus on specific body parts.

– so, i guess¬†that means that i can’t complain about my football player shoulders or my¬†rectangular body…ok.

5. Surround yourself with positive people!

– this is HUGE! i can’t re-iterate this one enough.¬† people that love you don’t care what you look like and they are there to pick you up when you fall down or tell you how beautiful you are on your ugly days! get rid of the fake¬†people who don’t add to your life, they are just weighing you down!!

6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you that your body is not “right.”

– i have a HARD time with this one.¬† i’m hoping that on my journey, i find the body i am happy with…not sure i can admit today that my body is “ok” — maybe i will never be ok with it, but that’s one thing i really hope i can accomplish, to work hard and create the body i will be happy in!¬† and i think after all the discipline and hard work, no matter what i look like, i will be proud…at least i hope so!

7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good about your body.

– Lululemon ūüėČ i feel like i rock my Wunder Under crops and they make me feel awesome…especially since i seem to reward myself with wearing my lulu after a good sweat at the gym (or during, depending!). at this point, i know more or less what i feel comfortable in…if i’m dressing up and i don’t feel comfortable, i won’t wear it because i’ll be miserable and second guessing myself all night.

8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages.

– yes, when they said on E! the other night that Jennifer Lawerence was a “bigger girl” because she was a solid size 2 i almost lost it!¬† seriously…let’s be real!!¬† i’m pretty good at this stuff, i know that my 5’11 frame will NEVER be a size 2 even if i was a starving kid in africa…and i’m ok with that!

9. Do something nice for youself — something that lets your body know you appreciate it.

– for me, this would be anything from shopping to working out.¬† i’m one of those that loves to work out in the gym, so it is a bit of a reward to me that i can be in there grinding away.¬† shopping is always a fun reward.¬† i will treat myself to coffee after a hard workout as well.¬† i think these all qualify under that. i’m not huge on messages, otherwise, that would be a good reward.¬† i do, however, get in to see my chiropractor three times a week, so that’s a bit of a reward as well and it keeps me healthy!

and 10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others.

– this is a tough one. i have an obsessive personality and enjoy obsessing!¬† if i don’t obsess, i worry i’m not fully committed.¬† i joked to everyone that if i’m going to do this, it will bring out my obssessive side…and it has.¬† the second i half ass it or let go, i let myself slip.¬† i’m hoping in a month or two down the road, my eating habits of eating clean will be second nature, however i have a feeling that triggers will always be there waiting for me, so it is something i need to keep the reel on.¬† however, i definitely think it’s great to help out others and get out and give back.¬† that is definitely doable!!!

 

So, there you go.  Some are a little cheesey, but if you take something from it to help you love who you are a little more, then great!

There’s a picture I saw today and tweeted, and it was a picture of a super skinny, lean model, but the caption said, “She is beautiful but she is NOT my goal. I will never be her. MY goal is to be the healthiest, leanest, strongest ME. To be the best version of MYSELF.”

That’s all I want — and I’m excited to keep taking steps forward to get there ūüôā

who am i…? (re: about me)

I joined the blog world a few months back while going through some of the tougher challenges of my life. I used it to vent and say things out loud that really could never be spoken to friends or family. However while writing about my sorrows and problems and issues, I felt guilty for being so negative. In turn, I began this blog to help lift myself up and hopefully others in the process. This blog was (and still is) meant for only positive things!!¬†However, this¬†blog has always taken a back seat to my “personal” blog.

Until this year.

When starting this blog I struggled with what to write and how to find positivity again. After a huge career let down, a break up with the man I thought I was going to marry, and a realization that I wasn’t in shape despite thinking I was, my life seemed to be an absolute chaotic mess. Now, with a commitment to my healthy lifestyle, this is where I find my energy focusing and will strive to post positive and encouraging messages day in and out right here.
So what makes me tick and why read what I have to write??
I’ve been an athlete my whole life. And I’ve struggled with my body image and weight just as long. I’ve been a top ranked college athlete and have also coached at the college level. I know the struggles female athletes face and better yet, I know the struggles women face. And for the first time in my life I can honestly say I am getting fit the healthy way. Since the age of 15 I can remember starving and binging. It had been my way of life. Eat too much, starve the next day. Even as a coach, on trips I’d carb overload for a weekend and proceed not to eat the following Monday. Not healthy at all. And I knew it!¬† And, even worst, I felt guilty because it was such a horrible example to set to the young women I loved to coach.¬† I’ve blogged about it before, but last November was an eye opening experience for me.¬† When I sat down with my trainer and we discussed eating and food.¬† I always thought I had been “healthy” — even when I proudly brought my food log in for him to look at, I was doubtful they would find anything wrong with how I ate…boy was I wrong!¬† It wasn’t that I was unhealthy, but the way I was eating and WHAT I was eating was not working with my body.¬† I ate clean for a week and instantly lost inches on my body and a¬†percentage of body fat.¬† I knew then that I finally found my answer to get to where I want to be with my body.¬† With the constant reminder that YOU CANNOT OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET!¬† (I had lived my life thinking I could — so I had some cake, I’ll do an extra class or run an extra mile the next day.¬† Oh, I played three hours of tennis so I can eat that pasta…NOT for me!).
Never in my life, (until I lost my job, fumbled around for a new one, wasn’t finding ANYTHING that would stick) did I realize I had never actually taken the time to work on ME.¬† When I had trained before it was always for MY SPORT or my team or my job — it was always something I did (and didn’t mind doing) but I had to do it because of what I did.¬† I never just did it for me.¬† Finally, I am doing it for me.¬† And it’s filled the whole that was left after the turmoil and mess of last year.¬† It has become a passion and love of mine.¬† I think it mainly is because I can constantly challenge myself to push harder or go farther or lift heavier.¬† I’ve always been someone who loves to work hard.¬† So it was easy to find myself spending hours on hours working out.¬† As I inch closer and closer to 30 (and after the use and abuse my body has already been through), I need to make sure to stay healthy and injury free which leads to the reason why I need to change the way I eat and instead of abusing my body to burn off the “bad” food in the gym, I can get a good workout in 1-2 hours and know I did ENOUGH.
I finished 2012 off dabling (I say dabling only because I had every good intention to stick to it day in and day out but¬†lacked the complete discipline to do so during the holidays)¬†in eating clean, but with the distractions of the holidays, I couldn’t maintain the way I wanted to.¬† Losing ten pounds in the month between November to December, I was kind of shocked despite my lack of discipline.¬† So with the holidays over and the year fresh, I am committed to eating clean day in and day out, allowing myself a “free” meal (cheat makes it sound like you are doing something really wrong, free just makes it sound a little better to me) once a week.¬† I’m looking forward to what my body becomes by my 30th Birthday in just a few short months!
I plan on continuing my positive outlook.¬† I’m hoping I can continue to¬†help motivate and touch other people’s lives.¬† I will continue to learning as much as I can, although I must say, I do feel like I have become quite knowledgable in the clean eating and protein consumption areas in life, with already a lot of knowledge in training and all of that.¬† I will NEVER post something if I don’t know it to be true or don’t believe in it.¬† And I will use this for more than just fitness and healthy talk.¬† I want it to be a platform about and for women, so we may end up chatting politically or spiritually, philosophically, etc.¬† Who knows…whatever I’m feeling passionate about at that moment is usually what ends up on these pages ūüėČ
So that’s me!¬† Looking forward to sharing my journey along the way!

healthy is beautiful.

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i’ve been slacking on my “thankful” posts…and every time i think of what to write about, i’m brought back to being thankful for my health and athleticism, and ability and opportunity to work on my physical side.

for the first time in my life, that’s almost 30 years, i am working on finding the body i like in a HEALTHY way.

as i’ve mentioned before, i’ve always struggled with body image. i’ve always been tall…i’ve always been strong…i’ve never been tiny or skinny or anything like that. at a young age i learned to starve myself and binge and starve myself and restrict things from my diet and push my body to the limits.

starving is a HORRIBLE habit that has always been my go to. PLEASE, ANYONE READING THIS, DONT EVER STARVE YOURSELF. I DONT CONDONE THIS IN ANY WAY. i hate that thats how i coped with “feeling fat” or a bad weekend of eating. and i KNEW it messed up my metabolism even more! so it was pathetic — i KNEW i was hurting myself and still would do it. i felt horrible for being a coach of female athletes and being guilty of restricting myself of food for hours and hours at a time.

For the first time in my life, i see that i NEED TO EAT. Eating is STILL a challenge for me. Some days it’s a chore and i force myself to eat, whether it’s chugging a protein drink or forcing some chicken down, i know my body needs fuel. and it needs the right fuel.

i find myself desperate to shove protein in my mouth now, instead of desperate to keep busy so i don’t realize my stomach growling from hunger!

be healthy ladies. DONT STARVE YOURSELF! it only messes things up more…you feel skinnier but your metabolism gets insanely out of wack. DO EAT! and in moderation and healthy. don’t go out and gorge on donuts and beer, but if you want a beer and a donut, go for it, but stop at one…and get your butt to the gym ūüėČ BE SMART. if you’re hungry, eat. DRINK WATER! hunger is often disguised by thirst. drink some water and see if you still are hungry. and STAY ACTIVE. make exercise fun and you’ll never want to miss a day!