Saturday, April 28, 2012

Body Image...

Hey guys! Hope your week was great and the weekend ahead is filled with fun.  This is a bit of a follow-up post to last one.  It's something that's been pin-balling around my brain since I saw this magazine cover while standing in line at the grocery store...
Have you seen it?  I'm sure most of you have at least glanced at it in line at the store.  I have to admit that looking at these women just makes me incredibly sad.  We have become a society that is so obsessed with "being thin" that we don't even know what normal is.
As difficult as it was for me to post pictures of myself in a bikini, it was a huge step toward accepting my body as it is...imperfections and all.  I have cellulite, stretch marks and loose skin, most of us do.  Some of my problem areas I can work on and improve, some not so much.  I'm okay with that.
I wrote out a mission statement for myself a few weeks ago.  I put it in my workout binder along with a couple motivational pictures of healthy strong women.  My mission statement goes something like this...

My mission is to sculpt and tone my body so I can rock my size 4 "goal jeans".  I want to feel confident and svelte in a swimsuit this summer.  With consistency, discipline and determination I will transform the good body I have into a smaller, tighter version and take it to the next level of fitness. 

Notice everything in there is positive... nothing negative.  Goals to work toward that are concrete and realistic, for me.
My point in all of this is that I think we need to stop obsessing about being thin (I'm talking unhealthy here people).  Many times we have these unrealistic ideas of what we "should" look like.  Every magazine that's out there shows us women that are airbrushed and photoshopped.  They've done crazy things to get ready for their photo shoots.  There are some women that are gifted with great genes, but for the majority of us this is not true.  It takes an inordinate amount of time, money, energy and deprivation for many of these women to look "perfect". Have you ever read what VS models do for weeks before a runway???  It's disturbing.
I'm willing to deal with imperfections as a tradeoff to having a life.  I am not defined by the number on the scale.  I'm willing to work hard, but not to the point that I cannot enjoy living.
So, work hard to give yourself the best body you can have.  Confidence doesn't come from having the  "perfect" body.  Confidence comes from knowing you're beautiful in whatever shape or size you are.  I'm not saying to settle, I'm saying to love yourself through the process and do your best to have a healthy body image that is accepting of flaws.
I also want to stop and say thank you to the ladies who commented on the last post.  Your words helped me to get over the anxiety I was feeling over posting the photos.

Okay folks, time for you to weigh in...I'd love to here your thoughts on the subject of body image, perfection/imperfection and confidence. Ready, set, GO! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moving Past the Discomfort...

Okay, oh boy.  I'm freaking out a bit even as I write this.  Today I'm posting pictures. Of me. In a bikini.  I took them this morning because I really want to have a comparison shot.  I know my body is changing due to the weight lifting but unless I have a visual aide, I have a difficult time actually seeing the changes.  I have major confidence issues and my husbands' comment  "You don't look horrible" isn't helping lol.  Sometimes they just don't get it!
I'm not fishing for compliments here folks either.  I think that confronting my discomfort of people seeing me in a bathing suit is an important step for me.  I probably won't wear this suit in public without a tank over it since I am VERY self conscious of my stretch marks and loose skin on my tummy, but  for the purpose of these photos (my "before" 30 days of intense strength training), I'm baring the tummy.
For the next month I'm going to hit the weights hard...probably 4 days a week.  Working out after dinner really isn't ideal for me so I'm going back to working out during the "baby's" nap.  I tried the post dinner workout slot and more often than not I ended up feeling rushed because I had to finish before getting the kids ready for bed.  Since bed time is 7:45-8:00ish, that didn't leave me much wiggle room and while I made it work, I prefer squeezing it in during the day. 
So, without further ado...

Sorry about the tan lines ☺
May 25th I'll take another set of photos and we'll see how they compare....
Hope you're having a great week!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Still tinkering...

Hey guys!  Just thought I'd check in.  The water weight that was causing me to play some head games took a hike, and for that I am incredibly thankful!  I just had to remind myself to stay the course.  These are not short term changes I'm making. 
Yesterday I was feeling a little overwhelmed and like my brain has become a dumping ground for too much "diet" information.  There is so much out there, so many different theories, methods and guidelines and I have been a voracious pursuer of information.  The result is that I have too much buzzing around in my head and telling me "But so-in-so says/thinks this is right."  The truth of the matter, only can determine what works for me. DUH! 
While I know I've been on the right track, I got a bit too focused on increasing fat and lowering carbs.   I had been shooting for less than 25g of carbs a day and it hit me yesterday that maybe I need to soften my stance a bit since I wasn't making progress.  Shooting for approx 50-60g a day is still "low carb" and I think more in line with my personal sweet spot. It also allows me more room to eat healthy vegetables and fruits. We'll see, only time will tell.  I'm still confining my carbs to things like non-starchy vegetables and the occasional piece of fruit because it seems the minute I eat more processed or starchy carbohydrates, the cravings come roaring back.  That is a cycle I want to avoid at all costs!
So that's where I am today.  It might change tomorrow (okay not really, since I like to test things out for at least a week or two), but the tinkering continues. 
On another note, the weight training has been going well and I've made some considerable strength gains.  I am now capable of 3(sometimes 4) consecutive pullups and 6 full military pushups (chest touching the ground before coming up).  Some nice muscle tone is forming too.  I tried on my  size 4 "goal jeans" this morning and I'm happy to report that I'm really close to rocking them.  I could probably get away with them now, but I would feel more comfortable if there was a bit more room.  I have a feeling though that if I wore them for an hour and they stretched out a bit, like jeans tend to do, they would be just fine (which is kinda crazy).  It's hard to be too excited about the size though since clothing sizes vary soo hugely from brand to brand, but I still think I'll do a victory dance the day they slide on with ease.☺
Well, that's all for now. Have a  great weekend!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Positive action....

Just popping in for a quick hello. I caught a cold so the past few days have been kinda blah.  I cut back on my exercise but I've been trying to keep moving even if it's only for a short burst, like skipping home from the park.  Some of you probably think I've gone a bit whack-a-doo lately, what with the pogo sticking, cold showers, and now skipping down a public street.  Eh, I've always been a bit odd ☺  I truly think we don't take enough time to do simple, fun stuff (like skipping with the kids).
Anyway, moving on.  I did have a bit of a freak out moment this morning.  The past two days when I've gotten on the scale and the number has been higher.  While I've been working on breaking my emotional connection to the number, it was so disheartening to see, especially since I starting tracking my food again. Intellectually I know that I'm retaining fluid,which is something I do easily, but the other part of me went "WHAAAAAAA!! I gained 4 LBS".  But then I pulled it together and asked myself "Have you been overeating?" "Is this 'real' weight or not?".  Since the answer to both questions is emphatically "NO", I decided today's focus will be drinking plenty of water and green tea to help flush out the excess.  Positive reaction, not negative. If the answers to the questions had been "yes" a different course of action would've been necessary. I know by now that my weight can fluxuate dramatically because of water weight.  Having a good day with my eating despite the negative feedback from the scale is an important step for me. Strong foundation, strong foundation...
So, what's your relationship like with the scale? Love or hate?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Looking for a Laugh...take 2

Here's a short video of me on the pogo stick. Sorry it's sideways, I can't figure out how to get it turned. I also had some technical difficulties getting it uploaded, so I'm hoping this works...
 It's hard to look cute bouncing around in the backyard, but  it should give you a chuckle.  I didn't bounce long in the video, since that would be boring, but afterwards I ended up going for 3+ minutes of consecutive bouncing (twice). 
Have a great weekend peeps!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fun Fitness

Sooo, how'd you do over the holiday?  I'm happy to report that I stayed clear of the candy (even when my husband practically shoved a chocolate egg in my mouth).  Sometimes I don't know about him lol.  I knew it wouldn't taste as good as it smelled and I didn't even want to go down that rabbit-hole.
Adding to that victory, I've been sticking to my "plan".... lower carb,  whole foods, active lifestyle.  I feel good and I don't have the urge to binge (this is HUGE for me). 
Currently, I've shifted my focus to finding fun things to do that keep me active.  If you're friends with me on MyFitnessPal  you know that I recently bought a pogo stick.  You read that right, I said a pogo stick. ☺ I'm having lots of fun bouncing around my backyard on it.  My kids think it's amusing to run around me while I'm bouncing, which adds a level of difficulty, as I'm dodging them.  It's great exercise though, and fantastic for your core!

Another thing I've realized recently is that I love hiking.  This goes back to my childhood.  We    backpacked and hiked growing up.  I didn't realize how much I loved it until I took the kids a while back.  There's just something about it that soothes and energizes me all at once.   I've got a lead on a hiking pack for the baby (thank you Craigslist) and I picked up a book on easy hiking trails in my general area.

 I love getting outdoors with the kids, so I can't wait to do more.  Hopefully hubby will come along, but if not, that's okay.   
Here's a few pictures from our last trip....
Nice right?
Anyway, summer's coming and if I don't figure out a way to get out and active with the kids, I think I'll go a little bonkers.  Hiking trips should help break up the norm!

Hope you're having a great week. As always, just keep moving forward....

I'm curious, what's your favorite fun exercise or activity?? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Building a Strong Foundation...

Are you all geared up for the weekend?  Jelly beans, marshmallow creatures & chocolate eggs.  UGH! Candy of any sort is usually one of my biggest weaknesses.  Not this time though!! I've learned that I can't just have "one piece" since that leads to me inhaling the whole spread.  Since I've basically been maintaining my weight  for the past few MONTHS, it's time get serious and start moving things forward in a positive direction.  Concentrating on how I want to live my life.  A candy binge/sugar coma  isn't going to get  me to my goals. 
I like lifting weights.  I like going for long walks.  I like eating low carb, moderate protein and high fat.  I like eating a large variety vegetables.  I like being able to look at the scale as a part of the picture, but not the final word.  I like taking cold showers (I get out feeling invigorated and ready to roll).  I like the fact I'm strong enough now to do a pull up. These are all positive things that will move me forward. 
In a month I'm turning 30.  I want to have a solid foundation to keep building on. Chocolate bunnies and colorful egg shaped malt balls make a crappy foundation.
Hope you all have a great weekend and start building your own strong foundations for a healthy future...