Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back in action!
Greetings and salutations my friends! So, here we are, 10 days after my first experience with shin splints, and I can honestly say that I don't ever want to experience them ever again as long as I live! I'm no wimp, but geesh do they hurt!

I'm not 100%, but I did do a very low impact workout yesterday and walked one of the dogs. There's no way I'm going to try to go full-bore with a workout until I know that I'm ready to go. If I do, I realize that I'll just be back to square one, icing my shins and feeling icky about how I feel because I can't workout.

All too often, those of us who live for our workouts push ourselves to get back into the game too soon. When I rode horses competitively, if my horse had a tweaky tendon, or some mysterious lameness, there's no way I would put him back into work until he was ready to go. Six months of hand-walking an off the track Thoroughbred who is on stall rest is no fun. That said, I now totally understand their exuberance when finally put back to work. It's easy to do too much too soon. You just have to ease back into it, whether you're a human or equine athlete. Somehow, some way, you have to temper your enthusiasm at first. It is for the best.

So, no impact exercises for me during the next week. I can walk the dogs and do my weight workouts, but sadly, no Turbo Fire, no plyometrics drills, no running. It's for the have one body, and you need to take care of it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No pain, no gain, right? WRONG!

Greetings and salutations everyone! I know that all of us have experienced some sort of pain caused by injury at some point in our lives, right? So, what do you do? Does it require an immediate trip to the doctor, do you rest, or do you push through?

Many people, myself included in the past, would just push through the pain. We would grit our teeth, hope that we 'worked out of it,' and push on. No pain, no gain, right? Sadly, it really should say, "Pain, no gain," simply because if you ignore it long enough, the pain is going to get louder and louder until you finally are forced to listen.

The problem is this...if you're anything like me, I LIKE to workout. In fact, it's a major part of my day that leaves me feeling good about myself. I feel sort of lost without exercise every day, even if it's just a walk with my dogs. There's a part of me that NEEDS to exercise. So, if I'm injured and need to rest, I have some major issues with the fact that I can't walk the dogs, do P90X, or push play with Chalene and Turbo Fire. Injuries just honk me off!

Alas, here I am again, injured (insert frustrated sigh here). On Monday afternoon I did my scheduled P90X Legs and Back workout, bright and early Tuesday morning I did a 30 minute HIIT, and by Tuesday afternoon, the front of my left shin felt like it was on fire. Wednesday was a rest day, so I didn't workout, but I did walk my 3 dogs for an hour. Just walking, right? I figured it would be no big deal. Sadly, by the end of the third mile with the third dog, I had to grit my teeth against the pain in my left leg just to make it home. My poor little pupster, James, couldn't quite figure out why mom was walking so blasted slow!

It's been four days and I'm SO sick of this. But here's the deal. When you're in pain, your body is screaming at you to listen up. If you hurt enough to notice it, you had better listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you choose not to, a week of inconvenience may very well turn into a month or longer.

I did manage to do some push-ups and core work today, things that won't aggravate my left shin, and I am icing and stretching the injury like a good girl. I am feeling better...almost good enough to walk some dogs! But, I am going to force myself to stay immobile for a few more days to make sure that I've given my body time to heal.

Pain doesn't necessarily mean you're doing something right...pain means you'd better listen and you had better listen NOW!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Day Dawns--Facing Reality and Taking Action
Greetings and Salutations! Today's blog is a challenging one for's one in which I finally take a really close look at the things that stand in the way of my goals regarding my personal fitness. It's a look I've been dreading, but one that I know must be dealt with.

As many of you know, I've been able to lose just over 30 pounds in the last 20 months by revamping my nutrition and working out regularly. I'm excited about the changes I've made, and proud of what I've accomplished. But now I'm stuck...and I know exactly why. It's 100% my nutrition.

Now, keep in mind that my nutrition has improved by 150+% in the past two years. I was a Dorito eating, drive-thru loving, Starbucks caramel macchiato swilling girl. I ate too much and I made really bad nutritional choices. Fast forward to today...for the most part I eat about 85% 'clean,' I combine a complex carb with a protein at each meal, I eat 5 small meals per day, and I really try to fuel my body rather than just 'eat.' On most days, I stick to my caloric allowances. Alas, Houston, we still have a problem.

I overheard one of my family members last summer mention that if he or she worked out as much as I do, that he or she would easily lose weight. Granted, I do workout for 45-60 minutes each day and then I walk my dogs on top of that. I probably workout more than the average person, but I relish in it and I love it. That I'm not going to change. But I don't 'easily' lose weight like my family member would...what, pray-tell, could be the problem with Nancy and her struggle?

I've known for quite sometime that I have emotions that trigger certain eating behaviors. I don't binge or purge or starve myself...but I'm a habitual 'snacker.' I'm learning that food, to me, is comfort. When I'm bored, I grab a handful of pretzels or peanuts. When I'm stressed, I dip into the peanut butter jar. I also tend to look at my day as time between meals. Instead of planning my workout mid-morning on Saturday, I have to schedule it appropriately around the mid-morning snack time. It's just ridiculous that I allow the concept of food to control my life the way it does.

I also am learning that I tend to use food as a showing of love. In fact, just last weekend when I was at the grocery store, I bought a chocolate cake mix and icing for my husband because he likes cake (seriously, I affectionately call him Mr. Little Debbie, which is his favorite food group). Back in the recesses of my mind, there was probably some pleasure sensor going giddy with delight because that stinking cake proved my love for him. WHY?

So today is the day that I start working as hard on this aspect of my fitness as I do the actual workout aspect. My plan is to utilize a workbook that came recommended to me by another emotional eater, "The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health." I'm excited about the next phase of my journey and welcome any comments you may have along the way.

Feel free to drop me a message or stop by my Facebook page if you'd like. If you're on the same journey, support is always welcome!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Greetings and salutations my friends!!! I'd like to start off this Sunday with a quote from Jeff Olson who wrote the FANTASTIC book, The Slight Edge. In it he says, "Success doesn't come from nowhere; it can't be conjured up out of thin air. It comes from a very small, tiny beginning--but there has to be a beginning. That beginning is the thing (other) people miss, the thing they don't see. And they don't see it because it's so tiny, it's almost invisible."

For those of you who are contemplating a beginning, be it for your fitness journey or some other lifestyle change, what is holding you back from achieving your dreams? I know, I know...change is hard, but you have to start SOMEWHERE. If you don't take that first step, you'll never get whatever it is that you want. Period.

Maybe yesterday you said, "Tomorrow I'm going to start." Perhaps its the beginning of an exercise program, or you're going to create a budget and stick to it, or you're going to work more on your faith. Well, guess what? TODAY IS TOMORROW. Don't fall into the rut of always waiting for tomorrow because tomorrow never comes. It's always a day away...get it going NOW.

Perhaps you've already had your beginning. If so, how's it going? For many of us, when we commit to change, we tend to get discouraged because change doesn't happen fast enough for us to see. If we're working on fitness goals, too often we want to see a drop in the weight on the scale, or smaller pants, but we expect it too soon. I hear from people all the time who tell me that they worked out for a week and NOTHING. You know what, though? You DID have was just so small at that stage that you couldn't see it with your own two eyes. But, the change was there. Perhaps it was only an improvement of 1/3 of 1%. Sounds tiny, right? But what if you keep proving by that much every day? In three days, you will have improved your fitness by 1%. What if you keep going...where will you be at the end of a year, 365 days of improvement?

You have to be patient, you have to keep diligent, you have to keep at it to see those results over time. You can't just expect to wake up the next morning and see a svelte new you the next day. It just doesn't work like that. But compare day 1 with day just might be surprised at the change you see then.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear Tony Horton (of P90X fame) speak. What he said was so powerful to me, and you might use it as a reminder for yourself. "If your worked out today, you're already healthier than you were yesterday." What a concept, right? It also works for quitting smoking, or eating healthier, or using stress reduction techniques. If you make the change today, you've already improved your health. What happens if you do it again tomorrow? And the day after? Eventually, you'll string 30 days in a row together. Imagine how much improvement you will have invested in your health!

If today is the day, then let's begin. If you're struggling, don't give up. Invest in yourself. You deserve it.

Drop me a message if you'd like some help. I'd love to chat with you. If you're a Facebook user, please feel free to drop by and 'like' the page I created to support others who are on this same journey.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

You ARE Great!

Greetings and salutations my friends and happy 2011!

I realize that every time we roll into a new year, millions and millions of people make resolutions. They resolve to make changes, to do things better than they have previously. Sadly, much of this resolve will dissolve over time, and many people feel stuck, and sad, and frustrated, and angry at themselves for not following through. Others will make excuses why their resolve failed, pointing fingers are others rather than looking inwardly at him or herself.

I'm not here today to try to make people feel badly about not finding success in past resolutions...instead, I'd like to offer hope in a new way. Positivity.

You see, I've been the 'big boned girl' (that's the nice way my friends and family would help me to defend the fact that I was fat/overweight/obese) most of my life. For awhile, I'd resigned myself to staying firmly in that role, as it seemed that there was no way to make those changes no matter how hard I tried. It took its toll, though. I felt pretty worthless in my own isn't a good place to be, even for a short period of time (let alone for 20 years).

Finally, for whatever reason, I had my epiphany, my breaking point. I WAS going to do something about my weight. I knew it wouldn't be easy, I knew there would be good days and crappy days, but I would push through. Along the way, I learned something really valuable...positive self talk. Too often, we get stuck on the negative aspects of ourselves. We focus on our fat thighs, the last minute run through the McDonald's drive-thru that resulted in 1000+ calories consumed, the 'muffin top' above our jeans, or whatever negative aspects of you that you just don't like. Let me share a little secret with you...and listen up because this is big...the more you focus on loathing who you are, the less successful you'll be in changing any of those things.

When you start to make changes and work towards goals, you CANNOT focus on those stubborn things that are refusing to get with the program. I'm almost 2 years in on my own fitness journey...I've lost a considerable amount of weight, I've built a lot of lean muscle mass, but you know what? I still have fat thighs! Yep, there I said it...the top six inches of my thighs still carry a lot of lumpy, gross fat. There's clearly still work to be done. But you know what else? There's several inches less of lumpy, gross fat there now than there was two years ago? And you know what else? I can do push-ups on my toes! LOTS of them. And guess what else? I have developed some abdominal definition, and shoulder muscles that look good in a tank top, and calves that look great even when I'm not wearing heels! Most importantly, I've realized that I'm not worthless, that I'm intelligent, have a great sense of humor, am eloquent, have a kind heart, and that I'm strong both physically and mentally.

So while you may feel discouraged during parts of your journey, I have to ask (and I'm borrowing this quote from Chalene Johnson--the creator of great fitness programs such as Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, and ChaLean Extreme), "What positive things have you said to yourself today? Acknowledge your greatness." Come on...shout it out there, if not to the world, at least to yourself. It's important, it will help you stay on track and remain true to yourself.

Take a look at the picture at the top of this blog post. That concrete block wall and concrete pad are pretty darned ugly. They're a bit crumbly around the edges, it's a boring grey's tough to find something beautiful and great in that. However, look at what it was able to allowed a beautiful pink flower to grow in its midst. Instead of seeing the ugly crumbling concrete block, see the beauty in you. Look for and find your beautiful pink flower and remind yourself daily of how great you truly are.

Drop me a message or join me on Facebook so you can have the opportunity to share with me your greatness. I'd love to hear all about it!