Tag Archives: hiit

The Secret is That There is No Secret

I posted an updated progress photo to my Facebook as my profile picture recently, and along with the tsunami of likes and comments came a message from an acquaintance who attended my high school. She’s a really super sweet young girl who just had a baby and is trying to lose some weight. I understand that it can be difficult to lose weight after a baby, and I can read through the lines of text the desperation of her predicament. She’s unhappy with her weight, but now she has a little human to take care of and less time to take care of herself than ever before. She’s looking for an easy or quick way to get thin or healthy.

I get this question ALL the time. “What is your secret to weight loss?” It comes to me via message or comment nearly every other time I post a progress photo.

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I know what they’re hoping to hear. These fitspiring hopefuls want me to tell them that I ate only dark chocolate for a year or that I took a magic pill or made a wish to my fairy godmother and woke up skinny. We’re an instant gratification age; I get it. Really, I do. I want what I want when I want it. Now.

My response to questions like these get shorter every time, and not because I’m trying to be mean or spiteful but because it’s so hard to explain the changes I made and things I learned in 5 long years of changing my lifestyle. I used to write a novel and get excited that I’d inspired someone to be healthy, but now I realize that no one can convince any other person to make lasting changes. Just like an alcoholic can only change if they really want it for themselves, a person who is overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle can only learn and change by doing it themselves and creating their own motivation. There is simply no way that I can convey to them all of the things I’ve changed and when I changed them over a 5 year span.

I began by logging, then walking, then running, then lifting, then eating clean and using bodybuilding workout programs on Bodyspace. It was such a gradual transition from pop, chips, and candy to water, greens, and lean protein. It has to be done gradually because it’s not a healthy transition any other way. It’s so difficult to see this question because I know I can’t do it justice. All I can do is give them a starting point and tell them to take off from there.

I wish her, and every other person who asks me for advice, the best of luck. I really hope that they learn to fuel their bodies and get healthy. It’s a wonderful thing! I just hope that they know that no one can do it for them, it’s hard, and that I spent hours in the gym and in the kitchen learning how to be a healthier person. I just never want to give anyone false hope that losing weight should be easy, but I do want them to know that it’s worth it.

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Compliments with Conditions are not Compliments

When I started losing weight, everyone had some input on my progress. Most of the comments I got were positive. People were proud of me for having the willpower and initiative to do something about my lifestyle and turn my life around. Once I gained some confidence, I began posting before and after photos pretty often to show off my progress. Again, most responses were positive, but soon it became apparent that some people wanted to make sure that I knew I was beautiful when I was obese as well.

I remember getting compliments as a “bigger girl” that were backhanded, the comments that went something like, “You’re pretty for a curvy girl.”

That is NOT a compliment. Why should I be pretty for a fat girl? Who decides where I lie on the scale of attractiveness, much less how I am placed on the scale relative to girls who are the same size as me? Do we measure attractiveness on a skinny, chubby, curvy, or obese scale separately? Compliments should not have conditions. You either think that I am beautiful, or you don’t.

Now that I’m smaller, I get a lot more attention from those who are attracted to females. Sometimes, that attention comes from people who mocked me for my weight or who never even glanced twice at me in school. They make comments that, “time has been good to me.”

The gym has been good to me. Willpower has been good to me. Healthy eating has been good to me. I worked hard to become the person who finally catches your eye as a worthy match.

I’ve got news for you; my worth is not dependent upon your opinion of me. My worth has always been here. I have always been intelligent, kind, generous, and driven. All I lacked was confidence, and now I have that as well. Now I’m worth your time, effort, and flirtation?

I have no time, effort, or flirtation for a person who couldn’t see past my appearance and into who I really am.

The shittiest thing is that they actually believe that they’re so unbelievably awesome that this compliment is going to be the highlight of my day. They think they’re doing me a favor by even talking to me because they’re so outrageously shallow and vapid. They’re also under the illusion that I somehow had a momentary lapse in memory that caused me to forget how awful or indifferent they were to my presence for our entire acquaintanceship.

The amazing thing is that I’m confident enough to recognize an asshole who doesn’t deserve my time when I meet one.

Who is too good for who now?

We’re Breaking Up.

I’m having some really bad relationship issues. My other half is abusive emotionally and mentally, he puts me down, and he puts the weight of the world on my shoulders. He’s really pretty inconsiderate and is completely unconcerned about my feelings at all times. He’s logical and mathematical, and I think maybe that’s why he can’t understand that I anxiously hang on his verdict constantly. I take it personally, probably more than I should. I go to him every morning looking for approval, and I’m tired of depending on his word to make me feel worthy of happiness.

I’m breaking up with my scale.

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I’m up 5lbs from where I weighed just a week ago. Normally, this would be cause for panic. I would immediately go into a cardio binge and stop drinking my water to lose all the water weight I’ve accumulated. This time, I looked down and thought, “Well, I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.” To explain, I know that I should probably be up a couple lbs from that awesome time of the month full of sunshine and rainbow dust, but I have also been doing some pretty intense HIIT, tabata, and other strength training. In addition, I’ve been drinking 80-100oz of water a day. What’s even crazier is the fact that yesterday I admired my body and its abilities, feeling my swollen arm muscles after an hour of upper body work. The day before, I beamed as my quadriceps bulged under my thinning and constantly firming thighs. Why on earth would I let the scale say that my work isn’t worth it? How could I possibly justify giving up that awesome feeling of seeing new muscles and smaller measurements? Somehow, I let this number gain control over me so many times that I stopped weight training completely. This kind of mentality is what left me with loose skin on my arms, tummy, and legs after I hit about 65 lbs lost. It’s normal to see drooping skin with a huge loss of fat, but it is definitely exaggerated because I neglected my weight training in order to see the scale move. I struggle greatly with this extra skin because it makes me feel as though my work toward an ideal body is for nothing. Some days, I just feel like a fit girl in a shrunken fat suit. Now, in order to see any change in this loose skin, I have to greatly decrease my body fat percentage. One of the ways I can do that is to continue with training my muscles and building muscle tissue.

I’ve heard it said that each lb of muscle you gain is 50 extra calories burned a day even if you’re idle at your desk, staring into oblivion. That’s really something. I looked down at the scale, assessing that 5 lbs, and I decided that it can’t stick around forever. If I continue doing exactly what I’m doing, having fun and admiring the machine that my body has become, how can I fail? There is no way that by eating well, exercising, and building muscle that I will simply continue to gain weight for the rest of eternity. That’s just silly. I might gain muscle, but I will lose fat; that was the ultimate goal from the beginning. Who am I to get upset about weighing in at a higher weight and STILL looking like a million bucks?

Everyone has a different body type that affects how they look at any weight. In addition, my level of dedication to a healthy lifestyle directly determines what I will look like at 153 lbs, the weight I will be when I have lost 100 lbs.

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All of the women pictured above weigh 154. It looks different on various body types, heights, fitness levels… There is no perfect 154. There is no perfect anything. My goal is simply to be the best me I can be, and I can definitely achieve that if I just keep moving forward and meet my goal with determination. I have to do that by lifting heavy, drinking water, getting my heart rate up, eating right, and loving myself. I have to enjoy every moment, because I’ll never be here again.

Keep moving forward.

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Cheers. =]