Fat vs Muscle… 

Five pounds of fat and five pounds of muscle.. Both burn calories. 5 lbs of muscle burns 35-50 calories during the day whereas 5 lbs of fat burns 10-15 calories during the day. You decide..

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Perfection Is Overrated

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I have this idea in my head of how things are supposed to be… How I am supposed to be. I have come to the conclusion that my ideas may not be realistic. I am always striving for perfection in my life, striving for that “perfect” body, for those “perfect” eating habits, the “perfect” life as a single, working Mom who went back to school… I am falling FAR short of “perfection.”

A few years ago when I was competing, I had what I (NOW) consider to be that “perfect body.” In order to get to that point I had to be spot on with my nutrition and training, in other words… PERFECT! Even though life was hard back then, I was able to pull it all off. Life is still hard… yes, it’s a different hard, but still… why can’t I seem to get my shit together and pull off what in my mind is perfection?? OR… Is perfection this elusive thing we try so hard to achieve, but ultimately are unable to get there, or stay there rather, making us feel unfulfilled? I mean, really, the fact of the matter is, I was at my best, but now… well, I am human and imperfect.  I am realizing that trying to be perfect robs you of your growth, success, and joy… at least it has for me.

“Perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen and taking flight.” –Brene Brown.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to be better, we definitely should! There is always room for improvement! But as humans, I think we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves and when we fall short of what we think should happen we are disappointed. We are our own worst critics, after all. Sad. We give others leeway in mistakes and shortcomings, why not ourselves?

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” -Brene Brown.

We need to let go of who we think we are supposed to be and embrace who we really are!  Imperfections and all.  “Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses, they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.” -Brene Brown

Remember…

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H.O.R.S.E.

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So… I played HORSE yesterday with my friend. It has been YEARS since I have even held a basketball, let alone made a shot! It was fun to “play.” I felt lighthearted and happy…like a kid with no worries, even if it was only for that half hour. It was just fun to change up my routine…and my comfort zone. Ha! Thinking about this game of Horse got me thinking about friendship and what qualities I look for in a friend.  

Honesty! By far, this is the number one for me. Not being honest with me is a deal breaker. At this point in my life I don’t have time for games. I SOO appreciate a straight answer, an honest answer. No hem-hawing around, just the honest truth. I am tired of being lied to. 

Open and real.  This actually goes hand in hand with honesty. I have known people in the past who have put on a false “mask,” only showing what they think I want to see. The mask ALWAYS falls off and true colors shine bright. Being open and real is the only way to have a true friendship. No one wants a friend who is perfect.. we all have flaws, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” -Brene Brown.

Respect. This is huge. Being single again I have done the online dating thing. Four out of five of those “first dates” want to be exclusive upon meeting. WHAT? You don’t even KNOW me! BIG red flag! All this tells me is that guy just wants to get in my pants.  NOT going to happen! If you start off on that foot ALL respect is gone before the friendship/relationship even starts.

Sense of humor. I like to laugh! So being able to share humor is very important. 

Encouragement. I have a friend who always encourages me to be better. I don’t think he realizes the impact he has on me. But I am grateful for the motivation. Life gets hard sometimes, I know I have said it before, but having someone in your corner cheering you on, not necessarily trying to solve your problems for you, but just someone who is there simply caring about you, is often times all you need. 

Friendship is an interesting thing.  There is no contract to legally bind you together. There is no real binding commitment to the other person, other than what you are willing to bring to the relationship. I think that is why friendship is so valuable. The option is always there to back out at any time, and yet, with those authentic ones, we never do. But really, I think what it comes down to, at the end of the day, after divorces and breakups, we CHOOSE the people we want in our lives. Being accepted for who you are and being able to trust and know that you will not be judged is what it is all about. What you give comes back to you. “Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life and said, “I’m here for you” and proved it.”–Unknown. 

Simple Pleasures…

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It has been a day of reflection. I am allowing myself to “feel.” That’s always been a hard thing for me, but I’m doing it because it is important…it helps me figure ME out. It’s been kind of a rough day, to say the least.

I washed my sheets this morning and hung them on the line outside to dry. The smell took me back to my childhood in southern California helping my grandma hang out her clothes. Funny how smells can do that! But it got me thinking of a simpler time and how as an adult we.. er I tend to get caught up in the tasks that need to be accomplished and I forget to recognize the simple pleasures in my life. This week I saw a herd of deer on the side of the road on my way to the gym one morning.  I saw a man at a bus stop practicing his golf swing while he waited for his ride. I saw a caterpillar inching its way on the sidewalk. All of these things made me smile. When we recognize the simple pleasures in life they can brighten our day, if we let them! I thought it would be fun (and therapeutic for me today) to list the things that are simple pleasures in my life… Here goes:

1. Berries in my oatmeal

2. Being lazy on a Sunday

3. Hugging my kids tight

4. Watching my kids play

5. The smell of rain

6. Watching the sunset

7. Watching the sunrise

8. Rainbows

9. The smell of fresh cut grass

10. Laughing

11. Staying up late taking to  a good friend

12. That feeling after a good workout

13. A gentle breeze

14. Blowing bubbles

15. Walking on the beach

16. Breakfast in bed

17. Holding hands

18. Laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds

19. The sound of birds singing in the trees

20. Bees pollinating flowers

21. Helping someone in need

22. Making someone smile

23. A sincere compliment

24. Building a sandcastle

25. Going on a picnic

26. A tropical breeze

27. Playing in the rain and jumping in puddles

28. Pillow fights

29. Peppermint patties

30. A good book

31. Walking barefoot in the grass

32. Kissing in the rain

33. An uncluttered room

34. Waking to a clean house

35. Taking an afternoon nap

36. Laying back and watching the stars

37. The mountains

38. Jr. mints

39. Watching animals in nature

40. A fresh snow

41. A clear desk

42. Swinging on a swing

43. PB&J sandwiches

44. Watching the ocean

45. The first drink from a can of Diet Coke

46. Pretty flowers

47. Watching my kids on Christmas morning

48. Basking in the sun… 

49. Pine-cones

50. Snuggling under the covers on a stormy day

51. A nature hike

52. Listening to good music in the car

53. Taking a long, relaxing shower

54. Acorns

55. Disneyland

56. Being inspired to be better

57. The color red

58. Dogs

59. My kids’ smiles

60. Exercise

I‘m pretty certain I can come up with a thousand more, but you get the idea. This little “exercise” has definitely brightened my day! To quote The Office, “There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things.”

 

Back to Basics…

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When I first started lifting weights seriously, I did certain things almost religiously. Sadly, I haven’t been doing some of these “basics.”  As of late, that is changing!

Have specific goals and write them down! I don’t remember the last time I had a solid goal, sheesh! I’ve been flailing aimlessly, and I have really felt it. I always do better with a goal in mind! (I think we all do). So, I have set some new goals for myself and I plan on being stubborn about these goals but flexible with my methods.

Be consistent. Consistency is essential because without it, NOTHING is achieved. A lack of consistency can bring on a lack of interest.

Educate yourself…Read/learn new things. This has been extremely motivating for me in the past. Reading about other people’s experiences and learning from their sucesses/failures. Learn about a new supplement or a new way to do something.  It just keeps the mental juices flowing.

Nutrition…meal prep! Planning and preparing healthy meals for the week is key. It’s organized and there is never the question of “what should I eat?” Meals are measured, weighed, and ready…Grab and go! I like to do my meal prep on Sunday mornings.

Hydrate. Drinking enough water is important since muscles don’t work as well when they are dehydrated. Drinking water also balances your body fluids and helps keep your organs working properly. I like drinking about a gallon of water a day.

Rest and recovery. Get enough sleep. This is SOOO important! Probably THE most important part of recovery. If you don’t get enough sleep, that recovery, which is the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place. Everyone requires a different amount, but 6-10 hours should be sufficient. If you feel rested in the morning, you’ll know you’ve had enough sleep.

Keep a fitness log / food journal. I have become very lax on this one. Must be that I didn’t want to remind myself in writing of my poor food choices. 🙂 I have started keeping track again. I had forgotten this is a motivator for me.

Weekly weigh ins/progress pics. I don’t have a coach to answer to right now, but I still need to do this to keep myself in check. Pictures say it ALL! You may not be able to see the small weekly changes in the mirror, but when comparing pictures from previous weeks, you can see the changes. Again, this is motivation for me.

These are the basics! Going back to the basics always strengthens your foundation and gives you a solid place to fall back on.

Weight Gain 101

  

This is it! I’m coming clean!  I have gained weight. 20 freaking pounds of weight! There is embarrassment and shame in this for me. How could I have let myself go?? Why didn’t I just have more willpower? I KNOW I am stronger, tougher, and more dedicated than I have proven over the last year, but I have been lacking in something. I took before pics this morning. I can’t .. won’t post them just yet. I’m still trying to adjust to the visual. Why do pictures look so much worse than the mirror?? Sigh! 

 I‘m ready for a change! I’m tired of doing the same things over and over and getting the same results…results I am NOT happy with!! My problem isn’t working out. Working out is actually the number ONE thing that has kept me sane and stress levels down. My problem lies with my nutrition and lack of mental prowess. In my defense, I’ve had major changes in my life.. I KNOW! Excuses! No one cares about excuses!

This past week I have been thinking a lot about what is working, but more importantly, what ISN’T working in what I’ve been doing. So… I’m going back to the basics. Back to the simple fundamentals of bodybuilding/fitness. Back to being ME! I’m tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m tired of my clothes not fitting. I’m just tired.

But… If you are interested in gaining some fluff and spillover like I have, being the helpful person I am, I will list the top five things that aided me in my weight gain. Ha! 

1. End a long term relationship. I DO NOT recommend this! But sometimes there is just no other way to progress and be happy. Most people lose weight with this step… Not ME!

2. Find comfort in food. Especially chocolate chip cookies… and don’t forget to eat the dough! Ha! 

3. Plan to NOT plan your diet. Eat whatever and whenever you want. 

4. Move from 5000 square feet to a mere 600 square feet… with two kids.  And put ALL your stuff in storage. This move was actually a good thing for us, but it has been quite the adjustment to say the least.

5. Go back to school after twenty-four years and start working on your bachelor’s degree. Whoa! This has been a HUGE adjustment. It took me three months, if not longer to find my groove. I just finished my first semester. (Flying colors) 🙂 I have loved being back in school, I’d forgotten how much I like learning. 

*Note: Please do not follow these steps! Actually, the last two are good things, just don’t overcompensate with food..