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Bummed…

I do my best in trying to stay up beat and positive because I believe a positive attitude goes a long way.  Being positive helps me remain focused on my goals, it keeps me optimistic instead of doubting myself or losing faith.  Simply put, being positive helps me to keep my eye on the prize.

But if my journey that I share is going to be a truthful one, it is only fair for me to share my bad days.  Tonight is one of them.

My day started off great, I even had a great workout.  I was pretty pressed for time so I chose to focus on cardio, arms and shoulders.  I limited my ab work to sit ups because I ran out of time.

I came home and showered and that is when things started going downhill.  I bent over to pick up my baby oil gel (I prefer putting it on my skin while it’s still moist).  When I bent over, I had an instant feeling of cramps on the lower side of my left abdomen and shot to the lower left side of my back and down my left leg.  The pain was intense and unforgiving. 

I grabbed my side and quickly realized I was stuck.  I could not stand up straight, when I tried, the pain intensified.  So there I stood in my shower…naked, wet and bent over in pain.

I stood there for about five minutes unable to move until I was finally able to squat down and then stand up. The painful difficulty continued as I tried to dry off and get dressed. 

I’ve spent my night alternating heat and electrodes and have taken pain medication in search of relief.  Two hours after the medication, I’m still in pain.

I am feeling bummed out because as much as I want to move forward in my life, and as hard as I want to train, I feel like the pain of my injury slows me down.  I feel like I live with a constant reminder; almost as though I have someone constantly trying to get in my way of my success.  It feels like I am in a constant battle with my body.

As much as it slows me down, I never let it stop me.  I try to listen to my body.  I know when to rest and when to push hard.  I just miss the days when pain was never an issue.

When I have the pleasure of such a pity party, I often think about the man driving the truck that recklessly smashed into the back of me, shoving me directly into the truck in front of me all because he wasn’t paying attention.

It angers me to know that I can safely assume he has since moved on with his life.  Although my injuries could have been way more serious, or even fatal, I am still living in pain 4 years later.

Despite how I’m feeling, I’m actually laying here trying to figure out how I can workout tomorrow.  I’m trying to consider what routine I can put together and what kind of exercises I can do without injuring myself further.

If this means I can only walk on the treadmill, I will do just that. It doesn’t matter how bummed out I am feeling at the moment, I refuse to lose sight of my goal.  I refuse to allow this pain to become a crutch for me to lean on or to become the excuse preventing my success.

I might be bummed out tonite, but I will be just fine by morning…just wait and see.  😉

Train HARD…Rest easy.

Randomly Focused…(and a little advice)

I am ready for my success. 

Lately, I have developed such an insatiable thirst for my workouts.  Sometimes it is a challenge for me to drag myself to the gym, but once I am there I am fully engaged into my training.  I have really changed my approach to working out by not being so hard of myself. 

In my previous training, I was very strict and militant, almost unforgiving.  I worked out six days a week without fail, which only left 1 day for my body to rest.  I pushed myself to go to the gym when I was not feeling well or felt energy deficient.  It resulted in me getting burnt out.  I now choose to listen more closely to my body.  I am in tune with my body and what it needs and as a result of this, I feel like I am getting better results.

For some reason lately, I have not had much of a taste for any particular type of food.  Many foods that I used to enjoy taste very bland to me.  I don’t enjoy the foods that I used to.  As of now, I am at a point where I am having to force myself to eat.  I wake up and I’m not hungry, but I force myself to enjoy a small breakfast, even if it is a bowl of cereal.  Throughout the day, I have difficulty trying to choose what foods to eat because I don’t have a taste for anything.  But I refuse to starve myself.  I am very focused on being as healthy as I possibly can be.

One thing I have learned over the years is that you get out of your workout and eating habits what you put into it.  I am saying this to say, that if everything is given to you, you typically do not have the appreciation for it as you would if you worked for it.  For example, the more I chose to learn about my body, its functions, nutrition, and fitness the more engaged and committed I am in my workouts.  I had and continue to have a greater appreciation for everything I was doing.  I have become very cautious with what I chose to consume and even more cautious with the type of energy I surround myself with. 

I had the pleasure of working with a trainer a few months ago, and I enjoyed our training sessions, and it felt good to have someone push me beyond my limits.  But I felt like I lost my connection to what I was doing somewhat because I had someone doing everything for me.  He told me what to do, how many repetitions, how long to rest…EVERYTHING. I guess you can look at it as me losing my mental connection to what I was doing, and what I was focused on achieving. 

When my sessions ended, and I had to rely on myself, it took me a minute to get back into the swing of things.  I am so thankful that I have always kept notebooks of my workouts because on my first day back to organizing my own workouts, I went completely blank.  So I used my workout journals as my guide until I got my rhythm back.

I feel more connected to my workouts when I plan them.  I feel more aware of what I am eating when I read about nutrition.  I comfortably know what exercises to do when I know my body by muscle groups and functions and I know how hard to push myself because I listen to my body.

I guess if I were to give someone advice, I would strongly suggest taking the time to research your nutritional options, learning about your body, and choosing a goal that works for you.  Take the time to research and map out what will work best for you and your body type.  Keep a fitness journal so that you can keep record of what does and does not work well for you.  In short, simply do not rely on all of the information that is put out there for quick and easy ways of losing weight.  Look at everything with a skeptical eye, and read up on it before committing yourself mentally, physically and financially.

I apologize for the randomness of my post.  I guess you could say that I have a lot on my mind to share.

Stay Focused! 

Work In Progress…

Construction

 

 

After a training session that I had on Monday, I sat with a new friend and we took a few minutes to catch our breath.  As I wrote down the exercises that we performed, we began talking about the different goals that people have in the gym.  I remember her mentioning that she did not get why there were slender people in the gym.  I did not find her statement to be offensive because it is a common assumption that we all have when we are losing weight. 

When you’re losing weight, you cannot imagine why someone smaller than us would want to workout.  We imagine that once we reach our goal weight, or goal size that “that’s it!”, “I’m done!”.  The truth is, that is when the REAL work begins, but that is a whole other post subject.  The goal is not just about losing weight, it is about changing our lives as a whole so that we can grow from our previous way of living.  Our goal should be to evolve to a healthier lifestyle that we will continue to maintain. 

<<<Back to the Story at Hand!>>>

My response to her observation is that people who are new to the gym or feel self-conscious about being in the gym should remember, that EVERYONE in the gym is working on something about themselves.  Some people are there to lose weight, some people are there for health reasons or to maintain a healthy weight, and slender people are there to work on their bodies as well. 

I told her about a friend I had named Jennifer that was 5 foot 8 and was naturally slender and basically wore sizes between 0-3/4.  She was the opposite end of the spectrum from me.  As an emotional eater, I tend to eat when I am stressed or unhappy.  Jennifer lost her appetite during those instances.  It never occurred to me until I met and became friends with Jennifer, that slim people were unhappy with their bodies as well.  In Jennifer’s case, she wanted to gain weight, but it was very challenging.  It was as difficult for her to gain a pound as it was for me to lose a pound.  She was self-conscious about her appearance, about how clothes fit on her body.  It was not any different than the experiences and insecurities I had with my own body.

The point that I was trying to make was that we are all a work in progress.  Although our goals may be different, the gym is where we all go to work on ourselves.  We go to they gym to pay our dues with hard work, sweat, grunts, heart rate and deep heavy breaths.  We walk in fast, and walk out slow.  You start making friends with the people you see there regularly.  You learn from each other and complement one another on your progress.

So the next time you walk into the gym and feel the eyes of other members burning in your back, just remember, we are ALL there for the same reason and that is to improve ourselves.  Don’t let others discourage you let them motivate you.

Stay Positive and Stay Focused!