Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't sweat the small things.

I have spent the past several weeks fretting about something incredibly stupid. I was going home to my mother's wedding, and I knew my father had moved back into town. I haven't seen the man in quite a few years, and I am not particularly fond of him - and that's putting it EXTREMELY mild.

I was scared stupid that I would see him and he would call me fat.

My weight is my greatest weakness. I can't handle it when the scale calls me fat - there was no way I could survive my father doing it.

So for weeks, I stressed over it. I cried when the scale went up because it meant it was that much more likely to happen. I had many a depressive episode in that time period, and was not very good to myself.

Then I went to the wedding... and guess what? He didn't even show his face. I stressed out that bad over something that could happen, never stopping to think about the opposite - what if he didn't?

Once I realized I was in the clear - I felt light and happy and relaxed. Finally. I realize now that this one thing has been stressing me so bad, I couldn't even function at times. And that's just silly.

He didn't show up. Crisis averted. Instead of being called fat, the opposite happened. Everyone, who I haven't seen in quite a few years, told me how good I looked. That I looked healthy and gorgeous, and one person even spent a good amount of time talking up my awesomely muscular arms. Seriously.

So I'm sharing a wedding photo with you:


My mom is the bride, I'm in red on the far left. I do realize I am not wearing shoes. I was starting a Thing. (Ok, what actually happened is that my mom had a little trouble walking in heels, and they hurt her feet. I encouraged her to take them off, so I joined her so she wouldn't feel wierd. Then all the other bridesmaids joined us, and we started a Thing of a Shoeless Reception. It went well.) I also realize this is a cruddy photo from my cell phone. Deal.

I have mixed feelings on the dress, but overall, I feel like I rocked it. Look at me, I'm actually holding myself up confidently and I'm not trying to hide behind someone or in my hair.

In short, I'm awesome. How do I know I'm awesome, you ask?

Because I deadlift a new max of 225 lbs, that's why. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Am Wonder Woman


My socks arrived yesterday. I put them on today and I felt... awesome. You're laughing at me because I'm making a big deal of socks now, aren't you?

As bad as I can be to myself when I'm having my depressive days, when I'm manic, I'm Wonder Woman.

I can do anything. I pulled on these socks and looked in the mirror. And yeah, I'm wearing Bermuda shorts because I don't want to experience chub rub when I run. And I still wear baggy t-shirts and I rock a really sloppy pony tail at the gym. It's probably... not the most attractive outfit.

But who cares? I'm going to the gym. I'm going get sweaty and gross and peel off my clothes and toss them into a gym bag. I'm not at the gym to pick up guys.

So I'm pulling on my Wonder Woman socks, and I'm checking out the capes in the mirror (which unfortunately, you can't see in this photo). And I'm telling myself - you got this. You are Wonder Woman, see? Look at your socks. Now go and be awesome.

Having silly socks made me, I don't know... feel proud of myself. I knew I had awesome socks, and I knew I was going to be awesome this morning... and I really didn't give a damn about what anyone else thought.

There's a line that you've probably never heard me say - I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks.

And the truth is - I didn't. I showed up and there were girls smaller than me, better looking than me, and guys who were way stronger than me.

I won't win a fashion show at the gym and sometimes I look downright silly... and that's ok! Because I'm being myself (and I admit I do have a nerdy sense of fashion going on...), and I am awesome.

So I'm writing this today, after CrossFit when I'm at my highest. Maybe in the future I'll look back, when I'm having a bad day, and I'll remember to just go out and be awesome and not care.

Do what makes you happy. Wear silly socks. Wear a hat, wear glasses, wear your baggy jeans, your painted Converse, your silly shirts, your hand made clothes, and your Etsy jewelry.

Do what makes you feel awesome. For me, I just have to remember that my alter ego is Wonder Woman.

What did Wonder Woman accomplish today? Before 7 AM, she did:
5 Rounds for Time:10 Hang Cleans (65#)
10 Knees to Elbows
10 Push-Press (65#)
10 Sit-ups
What did you do this morning?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A New PR*!

Yesterday was pretty exciting - it was a Max Rep WOD*. I love the Max Rep days, because it's when I see the most improvement - and I am such a sucker for progress.

Yesterday's Max Rep was for a Power Clean. My previous max was 85 lbs - which isn't half bad. Before that it was 65 lbs, and that wasn't too bad either. I spent all day thinking about it. What should my goal be?

I set the bar high - I wanted a 115 lb Power Clean. That would be 57% of my body weight!

After work I went home to change clothes, and the post office decided that yesterday was my day - because they delivered one of my gifts early:


I put those bad boys on - and I was PUMPED! Off to CrossFit I go!

We had ten minutes to reach our Max Rep, so I started light - at 65 lbs. I knew I could lift it, but I didn't think it was a good idea to load up the bar right away. After three reps (and it was easy!), I bumped it up to 85 lbs. Two reps, and I upped again to 95 lbs. That's where it started to get difficult... but at this point, I've already reached a new max! Anything else is just icing on the cake!

I went up to 105. It was a struggle, but I got it up.

Up to 115... and unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I could not clean the bar up past my chest. I tried squatting underneath it, but I just could not get it up. I had 5 failed attempts before I realized it wasn't going to happen.

But hey - I got a new PR! 105 lbs! And that's still 52% of my body weight. I didn't fail, I just aimed a little too high. Failure would have been not showing up, or not even trying. I tried - I gave it everything I could. I didn't come up short at all - I increased my max by 20 lbs. TWENTY POUNDS. A 23% increase isn't too shabby!

Following that, we had a typical WOD -
For Time:
21 Burpees
20 Box Jumps (16”)
15 Burpees
20 Box Jumps (16”)
9 Burpees
20 Box Jumps (16”)
Although the RX calls for a 20 inch box, I still can't quite get up there. I don't doubt that I can physically do it - but I hurt myself pretty badly falling off a box a few months ago, and I can't shake the fear just yet. I'm working on a smaller height and trying to work up for now - but eventually I'll be jumping up on that box like it's nobody's business!


* PR = Personal Record
*WOD = Workout of the Day

Friday, May 18, 2012

Afternoon Inspiration

Without a doubt, this might be the strangest inspirational post yet.



I am not even remotely kidding. I often joke that I am Wonder Woman, with the amount of things that I do and still manage to bust out a workout in CrossFit on a near daily basis.

After the incredibly epic depression I was in the past few weeks, I'm rising back up to my status as Wonder Woman, and I ... stumbled across these socks. I was actually looking for a Wonder Woman shirt to use for working out in, and I just fell in love with these socks. They have capes!

However, they're also $15... and frivolous I may be at times, I can not bring myself to buy $15 socks. I added them to my Wish List, which posts to my Facebook. A good friend of mine from work saw them, and apparently agreed that I needed Wonder Woman socks. (Which was then followed up by another dear friend, who bought me Geek Socks.)

So I'm inspired today - by socks! I can't get over how adorable they are. I can't wait for them to arrive, because every time I put them on I will remind myself that I am, in fact, Wonder Woman. (Now I just need to get myself some Zombie Socks for the Run For Your Lives event this fall!)

I'm freaking Wonder Woman......

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trying for a Rebound

I've mentioned before that I am bipolar.

Sometimes, it's not a big deal. I have off days, and I have on days. And in fact, I really like myself when I am having manic episodes - it's when I really feel like Wonder Woman and I can take on the world. It's when I am at my best.

However, that's when I have the farthest to fall. When the pendulum reaches the top of the arch it has to swing back down at some point - and I fell very, very far in the past few weeks. It has taken me days to recover, and even then I still only feel like I am running at half-capacity.

I've always struggled with self-esteem and body image. I don't know that I'll be happy when I'm thin because my body image is so distorted, I only know is that I have to keep trying to be strong and be healthy - and never, ever, ever give up.

In short, the pendulum is still swinging upwards. I expect over the next few days I will return to awesome.

I did, however, spend sometime trying to research why I may not be losing weight - and I found many people with the same struggle. We're all counting calories, or trying to eat Paleo as best we can, and we all do CrossFit - and we're not losing weight.

In fact, I came across one blog in particular that really caught my eye - her fiery passion and strength really kept me reading. The first post I found, When the Switch Gets Flipped, she talked about how in 10 months - her scale went UP. She's heavy, like me - you have no idea how frustrating it is to see a weight loss blog written by someone who is 150 lbs - and she gained weight. And she's proud of it.
I will proudly wear those 1.5 pounds, because it's obviously not fat - it's plain old Cock Diesel bitches.  It's 1.5 more pounds of badassness.  It's 1.5 more pounds of awesome that I will use to move heavier things around on a big, long, beautiful, and tubular...steel bar (your minds are always in the gutter). - Cupcakes to Crossfit
Then, as if that alone weren't enough - I found a second post where she seemed to be writing directly to me - The Scale is an Ignorant Douchebag!
And although I'm the same weight I was when I started CrossFit in May of 2011, I've lost to date (drumroll, please): 4.5 inches off my waist, 4 inches off my hips/butt, 3 inches off my bust, 2 pants sizes, and 2 minutes off my "Helen" time.  It took me way too long to truly believe the scale is most certainly a tried and true douche. So fuck you scale, you worthless bag of dicks! - Cupcakes to Crossfit
And suddenly,  I realize I'm not a failure, and I'm not alone. Some people are going to lose weight faster than me. Some people are stronger than me, and I'm still terrible at running.

But this morning, I got out of bed at 4:30 AM. I took my puppy for a walk. I went to Crossfit - and I RX'd the WOD.

Warm up:
  • 800 Meter Run
  • 25 Body Weight Squats
  • 25 Push Ups
  • 25 Sit-Ups
WOD:
  • 400 Meter Run
  • 5 Hang Cleans (65 lbs)
  • 10 Push-Press (65 lbs)
  • 25 Climbers
  • 10 Front Squats (65 lbs)
  • 10 Push Press (65 lbs)
  • 25 Step Lunges
  • 5 Hang Cleans (65 lbs)
  • 10 Push-Press (65 lbs)
  •   400 Meter Run
I leveled up in Fitocracy, I came in under my calories yesterday, and I weighed in at 197.6 lbs today.

I'm not where I want to be. But I'm not where I was, either. I have GOT to learn to stop comparing myself to other people and only look at my own progress. I have got to learn to stop looking at how far I have to go, and look at how far I've come.

I have to remember that I'm doing this for ME. I want to be strong. I want to be healthy. Strong and healthy are beautiful.

I know myself well enough to say for certain that I can't do this over night. There will be set backs. My weight will fluctuate. My moods will swing back and forth.

But I will not quit.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Body Image

How do you cope with a negative body image? I'll be the first to admit - the way I view myself is not pleasant. I am my own worst critic and worst enemy when it comes to how I see my body.

I know I'm not alone this. I feel like I am constantly bombarded with images of beauty that I can not achieve - and I don't mean the covers of a magazine.

I frequent sites such as The Chive who frequently post photos of Chivettes, and also contain posts of Mind the Gap and There Are Sexy Chivers Among Us. I visit for my Daily Afternoon Randomness, but the site is flooded with 'beautiful' women, and they are never even slightly chubby women.

Let's not forget any clothing store, ever - Victoria's Secret, Kohl's, Sears, and ModCloth. Even when I'm shopping for plus sized clothing - the model in the image is never plus sized!

Any movie you watch contains women who are incredibly beautiful. I've met photographers who admit to only showcasing models who they find attractive. Half of Pinterest is full of half-naked women who are thin.

When I look in the mirror - here is my honest opinion of how I look.
I hate everything about my body. My face is fat and boyish. I have cheeks that are so big I am embarrassed to smile in photos because it makes me look bigger. I have a fat chin and a big neck. I can't see my collar bone because of all the fat. My arms jiggle, and my breasts sag. My stomach is round and I almost look like I have an extra set of boobs because one of my fat rolls is so big. I have back boobs. My butt is covered in stretch marks. My thighs rub together. My calves are fat and chunky and my ankles look gross. I hate the way I look when my hair is pulled back. I have disgusting little pudgy feet. I have fat little sausage fingers. I have dry, thin, brittle hair. I am 26 years old and I still get acne all the time. I'm super hairy - I have to deal with incredibly thick eye brows, a stupid mustache, hair on my knuckles, toes, butt and back. My body hair is so thick I shave my arms. I paid for laser hair removal surgery because I'm so disgusted by how much body hair I have. I have a happy trail and hair all over my belly. I'm so fat I look pregnant.
I've never felt particularly gorgeous. I have three sisters and growing up they were the pretty ones. My husband is actually an ex-boyfriend of one of them. I was an ugly kid.

I was never very pretty; but I was not fat when I was young. I started gaining weight in high school and kept on going until I hit 215 lbs.

The self-loathing has gotten worse over the years, too. I'm reaching a point where I don't think I can ever reach progress because of how I see myself. I'm so ugly and disgusting now. How is losing weight going to change that? Am I magically going to look drop dead gorgeous just because I'm thin?

Why can't I just ignore what the scale says? Why aren't my husband's words enough? Why do I compare myself against the Internet's standard of beauty - and can I ever stop it?

How can you learn to love something you hate this much?


Friday, May 4, 2012

Afternoon Inspiration

Today's inspiration is brought to you by one of my favorite people on the planet - my best friend Kat.

She started back in January, and though she credited me for getting her started - the work she's done speaks for itself. She has stuck to a healthy way of eating and going to the gym regularly. She lifts weights and she lifts heavy. She runs. She does not make exuses.

I follow her own blog, and she recently posted a progress photo that I feel is very worth sharing:


http://meltoff.tumblr.com/


She has always been a beautiful woman in her own right, but what she has done for herself lately is amazing. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sleep...

I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, we all have.

Lately, I've made some mistakes regarding my health - I stopped going to CrossFit regularly. I let myself fall back into eating habits that were extremely detrimental to my health.

Worst of all - I've been trying to get by on 4-5 hours of sleep a night for the past two weeks.

I've always known sleep was important. It's just as important as what we do when we are awake - and I KNOW my body needs it. I just read an interesting article about what happens to you if you don't sleep regularly - and that you can not make up for it on the weekend.

Let me start by telling you what's been happening to me on my sleep deficit.

  • Most importantly, I'm exhausted. I can hardly keep my eyes open.
  • I get severe headaches when I'm tired, and I become extremely sensitive to light. Working on a computer makes it worse, but guess where I spend 40 hours a week.
  • I have no energy. I have so little energy that when I tried to go to CrossFit, I once dropped a bar on myself and last night I couldn't even finish.
  • I'm irritable beyond belief. One minute I'm crying, the next I'm in a fit of rage.
  • I'm a lot more harsh to myself. I have always struggled with my body image and how I feel about myself, but lately I keep calling myself a loser and crying about how fat I am. I have thus far stayed off the scale, but I know I have gained weight again based on my clothes fit. My pants and skirts are tight and I suddenly can no longer take my wedding ring on or off.
  • My house is... a wreck. There are clothes everywhere, dishes piled in the sink, shoes everywhere, dog toys and dog hair everywhere... it's just a wreck. The only think I've kept up with is the animals and the trash, and making sure I don't leave food out.
  • Last night I realized that I am out of food, heh.
  • I struggle with driving. A lot. I find myself on 'auto-pilot' and I keep finding myself in places and either I can't remember how I got there, or it wasn't where I was trying to go.
  • I forget things, and I get lost a lot. I once drove to Wal-Mart to get something, then stood in the store for 30 minutes trying to remember why I went.
  • I keep losing things. I lost my glasses on my face, once.
  • I'm mean and sensitive. I scream hurtful things at my friends and my husband; and I cry at the silliest things.
In short, I'm exhausted.  I kept telling myself, "I'll catch up on the weekend". Then this weekend came, and I was working at a dog trial from 7 AM to 4 or 5 in the afternoon both days - meaning I got up at 6 both days. I don't know how to catch up on the sleep I have already missed.

I'm considering taking a half day from work so I can go home and get some extra sleep. I know that until I get enough sleep and I stop feeling this worn out, I'm not going to make any progress.