Category Archives: motivation

Perspective.

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I’ve let myself fall into somewhat of a bad head space recently.

Worrying too much about the number on the scale.

Comparing my progress, body, and abilities to others.

Over-analyzing my food choices.

I’ve let my non-scale victories go unnoticed and un-celebrated.

I’ve judged my journey against the path that others are on.

And forgotten that, while food is fuel, sometimes you eat because it tastes good, because you want to and always when you are hungry.

When I’m living out my healthy intentions the right way, I feel energized, positive and optimistic that all my goals will be realized.

But lately I’ve been feeling deprived. Not because I believe I actually am depriving myself, but because of my perspective on my actions.

This weekend a friend of mine, who regularly leads groups of people through the Amazon Jungle in Peru, took me hiking. I knew it was going to be a challenge, mentally and physically.

What started out as a flat path quickly turned into a steep climb through rocks, sticks and leaves.

As someone who only recently became regularly active, I still look at things like a steep hill and think, “I can’t do that.”

Seventy pounds ago, a hill like that would have left me out of breath a few steps in. But this weekend I made it the whole way with only a few pauses to look up ahead or look back at what I had just traversed.

At the top of the hill there was a giant rock he told me I would have to climb to get to the look-out point.

Again, I kept telling my friend, “I can’t do this.” At this point, however, I was speaking more out of fear rather than in doubt of my physical ability.

He saw something that was possible. I saw something that was impossible.

I made it to the top, and despite all my whining, was immensely grateful that he pushed me.

But it got me thinking, how many times has a negative perspective impacted my actions and skewed my journey?

Challenges, of course, don’t always present themselves in forms as clear as giant rocks or steep hills.

One of my biggest personal battles, which manifests itself as a roadblock in many different ways, is to believe that I am enough.

“Enough,” not dependent on my weight.

“Enough,” not dependent on how many times I went to the gym or how many miles I ran that week.

“Enough,” not dependent on whether I ate a salad or a box of cookies for dinner.

Having that experience hiking reminded me how important it is to be conscious of the messages we tell ourselves and the influences we let shape our opinions of ourselves.

Transforming my perspective changes “I can’t” to “I can.”

It makes “I want” into “I have,” and “challenge” into “opportunity.”

I’ve been focusing way too much on my weight, calories and exercise. Over-analyzing all these different parts of my life has made me feel disconnected from my body, not whole and lacking in some way. It’s time now to take a step back, and remind myself that where I am is a great place to be.

“I exist as I am, that is enough,”

- Walt Whitman

 

 

 

 

10K Training Go Time

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I can’t believe I’m saying this.

I’m going to run a 10K. I don’t know when. But I will.

And training starts today.

After checking out a few different plans from Runner’s World and Cool Running, I decided to go with Hal Higdon’s 10K training plan for n00bs novice runners.

 

I really liked the simple layout and think it leaves a lot of room for customization. It also only has me running three times a week, which, considering the condition of my knees and shins, is probably a good thing. I also like that it incorporates two days of strength. That’s currently my weakest  (is there a pun here?) area and the one I want to most improve.

I felt so good on my 4-miler Saturday that I’m confident I can push myself even further. Believing you can do it is 75 percent of the battle and I’m pretty sure the other 25 percent is compression sleeves haha.

This is my "stop taking pictures and go run" face

I’m going to continue with intervals of 10 min. running/1 min. walking because it’s working really well for me right now, and Higdon’s plan encourages walk breaks.

I also already have two more 5K races planned for April 28 and May 6, but I think the schedule will work nicely with them.

I wholeheartedly believe that putting your goals out there is the first step to achieving them. So here it is. I’ll also leave you with this picture of delicious trail mix from Whole Foods that I devoured after Saturday’s run.

How’s that for a Monday? :)

 

 

 

 

Everything is illuminated

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I woke up excited to run Thursday.

It was a bright morning with a slight wind, and a little chilly. I ran slow. I ran steady. I admired the wispy clouds, nodded “hello” at the other morning runners and smiled at the sunshine.

I took time to appreciate the movement of my body. Thanked it for working so hard. For coping so well with all I put it through.

It’s easy to get frustrated. I sometimes get angry that for so many years I didn’t treat my body with the respect it deserved. And now? My knees ache, I’m sore from the gym, my shin splints throb. My body still isn’t used to the physical exertion.

But yesterday I ran through the pain. My mind was strong when my legs were tired. I had my spirit motivating me to complete the miles.

After I finished the run and stretched out my legs, I took a moment to just be still. Let my heart beat slow and my breath deepen.

I stared up at the sun and felt a rush of gratefulness.

One year ago, I thought, I would not have been up before work to run at the park. I would not have seen the sun streaming through the trees. I would not have heard the first signs of spring, chirping birds and a babbling river.

There is pain, there is frustration, there are moments of weakness. Keep going.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu

Glen Rock Opt-In 5K Race Recap

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I knew this race would be for me when I read the description “flat and fast” on Active.com.

All week I debated signing up, however, because my last few runs have been terrible. I’ve been having a tough time getting through just 2 miles from a combination of wind and allergies, so I was less than stoked to conquer 3.1.

Also, I had no one to run it with. Would a race alone be any fun?

Enter: Meetups!

A few months ago I joined a runners group on Meetup.com, not actually thinking I belonged in a runners group, but figuring it would give me the motivation to run faster so I could eventually be in a runners group. Wacky logic, I know.

Anyway, I got an e-mail the day before the race that the runners group had posted the Glen Rock 5k as an event and knew it was a sign that I should do it. I RSVP’d immediately, then registered.

Then I started hydrating. The day before I had gone out with some coworkers and drank a bit too much and was absolutely dehydrated (Charley Horses, UGH) so I hit up Trader Joes for some Zico Coconut Water, bananas and Lara Bars.

Saturday I woke up at 7 a.m. Breakfast was half a banana, a cashew cookie Lara Bar and a Coconut Water. Fantastic fuel.

Around 8 a.m. I headed over to the park where it started, which was only a few minutes from my apartment. I was a little shocked to see how few people were there and a little worried that it would mean I would be coming in last.

My nerves soon disappeared as I began chatting with Michelle from the runners group after we found each other by text message. Her longest distance was a marathon, and I told her the 5K distance still felt like a marathon to me! I was so grateful to have her there to distract me from the impending start.

The race kicked off with a playing of the Star Spangled Banner and then all 150 of us (hah!) were off!

The race course was an out and back, which I wasn’t too excited about, but it turned out to be a great thing. Around Mile 1 I saw the winner heading back in the other direction – he was FLYING!

It was a sunny day but cold and I was glad I had chosen to keep on my gloves and ear warmers.

It felt like it took forever to get to the turnaround, but once I passed it I was feeling good again. There were a few spectators along the route who were cheering, which I love.

I got a bit of a stomach cramp around Mile 2 so really concentrated on my breathing and the pain disappeared quickly.

At Mile 2.5 Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” came on my iPod and it was just what I needed to carry me to the end.

No heel striking here!

As the finish line came into site, I knew I could cross it in under 36 minutes – a new PR! I saw Michelle on the side cheering and started sprinting!

My official time was 35:31! More than a minute faster than my first race on Thanksgiving where my time was 36:38. Obviously the total time on RunKeeper is a little off because I started it early and stopped it after finishing, but you can see my splits below:

I’m super proud of those numbers! Every mile was under 12 minutes, which is not the norm for me.

This race definitely gave me confidence in running again. There is something about being surrounded by a bunch of other runners that is always so motivating!

After the race I headed straight to Starbucks for a giant iced coffee and then spent most of the day lying around watching Mad Men. A perfect Saturday :)

Hope you all had a good weekend, too!

Fat Acceptance: A Love Story

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I had a huge moral dilemma when I first started this blog. I did not and still do not want to promote diet culture. I know I have written some things that have done that, and it truly feels like a betrayal to myself and of how I actually feel about losing weight.

I’m in a hard place because on one hand I am actively trying to lose weight, but I know the only reason I’ve lost any weight is because I’ve accepted being fat.

I know that doesn’t make much sense on its face, but stick with me for a bit, folks.

Fat Acceptance. If you don’t know what it is, start here.

I’ll wait.

The thing is, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments over the last couple of months about my weight loss, and while I know people are being nice, I’m slightly, ok really, uncomfortable with people seeing my weight loss as inspiration.

Why?

Because I believe you should love your body the way it is right now, and I don’t want anyone to think that my life is better just because I wear a smaller size. I’d much rather promote body acceptance than weight loss.

It’s because of Fat Acceptance that I’ve managed to be healthy at all. Through reading Fat Acceptance blogs every day  of others who were living full, wonderful existences as fat women, I realized I could too.

My life, the one I wanted and dreamed of, didn’t have to wait until I was skinny.

People diet, I assume, because they are unhappy with their bodies. But diets are absolutely not the answer to this problem. You know what might be? Not letting your fat body stand in the way of going to the gym for some endorphin-producing, stress-reducing exercise. I don’t know if going to the gym will help you lose weight, many studies say it won’t, but I do know that your mood will absolutely improve from getting your sweat on.

My self-esteem grew immensely when I stopped believing a diet could change my life and started living exactly how I wanted to live. Me. With my fat body. Right at that second and not after I had lost weight.

Or, from the New York Times:

The aim is to behave as if you have reached your “goal weight” and to act on ambitions postponed while trying to become thin, everything from buying new clothes to changing careers. Regular exercise should be for fun, not for slimming.

Living a life that embodies Fat Acceptance means that I do not pay attention to the things people assume about me for being fat.

And when I truly understood that, the years and years of not living because I was fat ended. And so did my struggle with my weight.

That’s the truth.

I feel like I live between two worlds right now. In one world, I want to lose more weight. In the other world, I know I’m living life exactly the way I want to and that my weight does not have an impact.

It’s an internal struggle and the whole reason I wanted to start a blog.

Right now, I can confidently say that I am healthy and fit. Would you know that by looking at me? Probably not. And these are the kind of societal evils that I have dealt with my whole life and that seep in to my brain and act as sabotage.

Fat Acceptance is about seeing fat as an adjective for your body, not your person. It’s also not an adjective that is synonymous with “bad.”

I can write and read that, but what I really need to do is be feeling it.

Because, truthfully, At 174.5 pounds, I sometimes feel worse about my body than at 243 pounds.

I’ve been wrapped up in the excitement of losing weight, but instead of making me happy, it’s left me feeling like I’m not good enough when I don’t lose weight and that’s a dangerous place that I really don’t want to be in.

I’m putting my struggle with this out there, because really I want to spread a message of Fat Acceptance, not weight loss. This is who I am, Jodi, fat or not.

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu