Regardless of the food we eat; the way and how often we exercise; and what our end results will be, we all have to start with setting a goal. Some people have the goals of losing weight, others have a clothing size they want to fit in, some want to add muscle mass, others want to improve their strength and flexibility. We are different, and our goals are as different as our method of achieving success. However, this part is only a fraction of a much larger process.
More often than not, there is a deeper issue that has rooted itself within us that has caused us to stray from where we once were or would ultimately like to be. For example, I am an emotional eater. When I am stressed, worried, anxious, depressed, or anywhere in a negative state of mind, I have the tendency to eat. I recognize that it is only a temporary fix that I always regret sinking into, but somewhere along the way I adopted the habit of finding comfort in food. I have friends who are the direct opposite and lose their appetite until they have worked through their problems, and then they regain their appetite. Again, we are all different.
When I first started my She’s Evolving blog, my focus was mainly on weight loss, but that soon changed. I realized that until the deeply rooted problems are addressed, any results will be temporary. I had to figure out what my trigger spots were, and although I’m not perfect and I have not solved all of my life’s challenges, I am working on learning new ways of dealing with my problems. This realization changed She’s Evolving from being solely about weight loss, and became more focused on Healthy Lifestyle Evolution.
We are all more than our problems, and I think that somewhere along the lines, we have all lost sight of that. We are so distracted by the flashing lights that we forget the value and promise within ourselves and each other. We have forgotten the power of positivity, and words and acts of kindness. Our attention shifted to the grand marketing scheme of wanting a lifestyle that only 1% of people actually live. We have been sucked into a false belief of the standards of beauty and hurt ourselves and each other in trying to gain it. Looking like the fashion models and celebrities in magazines is detrimental to who we are because we are comparing ourselves to standards that do not exist. Our life is not airbrushed each morning when we wake up. These distractions devalue us and undermine our accomplishments.
All of this is to say, the less distracted we are the more tuned in we are to what is important, the more we are able to look at ourselves and love what we see. We will be less inclined to lose ourselves in pursuit of impossible standards; which leaves us to be happy with who we are. When we are happy with who we are, we are comfortable within our skin. This means, we are likely to invest in our happiness by taking better care of ourselves, and the world around us.
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.
I am not a trainer, nor am I a degree(d) expert with a wall full of certifications. What I am is a grown woman who has battled weight issues majority of her life due to emotional eating. I am a fitness enthusiast.
I was once the girl who followed fad crash diets that led to no where, or put me in a worse position than where I started. I am now the woman who has a better understanding of how and why I gained weight, and I am more educated on what I need to do and how I need to do it.
I now understand that it is not only about dieting, or exercising to the point of exhaustion-because you are going to bust your ass and EARN the results you want. “It” is in fact, a lifestyle change, a fresh perspective, a new way of life. It is about self-reflection, re-evaluating surrounding relationships, and tough decision-making. It requires unbridled truth.
On the opposite side, “It” also comes with the responsibility of sharing what you know with others and help them to reach their goals. This is give and take.
That is what She’s Evolving is all about. I am about sharing what I know; my own experiences, my own journey, my trials and errors and lessons learned, and I am sharing it them with anyone who will benefit. I am also very open to your journey, your comments your suggestions.
So please, take what you need to achieve your goal…
…and I will learn from you to continue our evolution.
Love Your Body…Enjoy Your Workout!
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!