Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I still have "it"

So just a quick note...

I ran this morning in the crisp cool fall temps. I was nervous after Saturday's tough run but as I got to my first mile "marker," I realized something that just made me grin.

I was dead on my regular pace. And when I got home in just under my usual 3 mile time. I couldnt help but just keep grinning & realizing that I really didnt lose any endurance at all!

Perhaps it was just a tad too warm on Saturday for a long sleeved shirt or maybe it was just an off day for me.

Whatever the reason, I'm just glad to know that I still have it in me to crank out the mileage.

Go me!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today I'll become the bull!

So you are thinking, "Heather's lost it." Well, perhaps but in the last few days, I've heard this song. It's called Become the Bull by Atreyu. The part that stands out to me of the whole song is this...

Back and forth the struggle consumes us all.

Trying to keep a level head.

In the most unsettling of times.

Today I'll become the bull.

It reminded me of the struggles that I've faced & the ones that I battle with lately. It really came to mind as Kevin & I ran this morning. I felt a bit uncomfortable running with the extra weight but knew that I just needed to put on my big girl panties & get out there! Kevin even asked me if I wanted to stop & just walk. I said no & asked him to not allow me to do that. I needed to just do it (Nike was right!)

I know these things to be fact:

1) I will drop the fluff.
2) I have not totally lost my endurance.
3) I haven't lost "it" but rather just need to re-ignite "it."
4) I may never compete again even though I absolutely loved it but I will continue to challenge myself!

How do I know these things to be fact? Well, it's the common theme of "I." Dont you see it? I want these things to be & as a result will make them happen.

I am going to do whatever it takes to make it all happen. It's simple you know. Just take the bull by the horns. It's how the song actually starts. Is there really any reason to not make things happen in our lives?

So I'm going to become the runner that I once was. Just 2 months ago, I could run for an hour without batting an eyelash. You see, it wasn't that long ago. Just a little conditioning & a few more weeks until I get back there again. It's only uphill from here. I like the challenge & will conquer this one like I've done all others.

Nothing can stand in my way!

No obstacle is too "this or that" to keep me from getting there.

I'm a goal driven person so I'll continue to strive for my best. That may never make me the best but I'm okay with that. As long as I continue to challenge myself, improve upon what I've done before then I am a winner.

Today, I'll become the bull.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Free your mind?

For the record, I hate coming up with subject titles. I try to think of something witty but it just doesnt happen!

So last night, I rejoined Weight Watchers officially. Actually, I'm a Lifetime member (September 2006) so I didnt really rejoin but started going again so that I can reclaim my body. I was admittedly embarrassed. You never want to be "that" person. You know...the one that gained weight again.....the one perceived as having lost control over food.....the one that couldnt maintain her goal....

Well, when asked what happened, I explained that I dieted for bodybuilding shows (takes too long to explain figure), the extreme dieting made my system backfire & I had to do a repair program to fix it. Makes you wonder if they are secretly rolling their eyes. Wouldnt it be easier to say "well, I just ate too many zebra cakes."

I was not the only "returning" Lifetimer. There were others & they'd gained back everything...then some. Me? Gosh, I've still not outted that have I? Well, I'm 20 pounds heavier than I want to be.

My goal time frame? To fit comfortably in my fave skirts when we go on vacation the end of October. Pounds? Well, I want to get back to my goal weight which is where I was when I started an online program last June. I'd maintained that weight for almost 2 years. I know it's doable & a realistic number for me.

So what about this free your mind thing that I taunted you with?

Well, that comes from the meeting topic from last night. WW offers "Tools for Living" & each week a different one is discussed. What's the irony that this week's topic was Positive Self-Talking? It was definitely what I needed.

So here's the main point: Manage Your Thoughts

This is accomplished by....

1) noticing when negative thoughts come into your head (do you notice how sometimes they just sneak up on us & fester?)
2) challenge the negativity (say no to the thoughts tell you that you "cant", etc.)
3) turn around negative thinking (instead of saying I'll never fit into those pants tell yourself that you will & you will rock them)

What really struck me last night was the realization that I had started to feel like a failure for gaining back some of the weight that I'd lost. In reality, gaining back 20 pounds is FAR better than gaining the entire 100+ that I've lost. But still I'd let the thoughts creep into my mind that told me that I failed yet again.

It hit me the hardest talking to my best friend yesterday afternoon. I mentioned to her that I was thinking about going back but was embarrassed. She said I was being silly & that lots of people have that happen. She's right, you know. Not one single person in that meeting was going to be judgemental & think any less of me for having to return to lose again.

No one. Well, no one but me. I'm being my own worst enemy yet again. I realized as I sat there that I'd already turned the negative thought about being a failure around by just going to that meeting. Negative thoughts were trying to convince me that I couldn't do it. I could have easily given into it & said forget it "I'll never lose it again." But I know me better than that.

I will stay healthy.
I will be in control.
I will be a success.
I will get this weight off again.
I will fake it until I make it.
I will not be frumpy anymore (even if that means having to get a few bigger pieces of clothing.)
I will.....
I will.....
I will.....

There are alot of things in our lives that affect us every moment. Some just creep in when we let them. I let Fat Heather sneak back into my mind from time to time. She's a reminder of who I was, who I dont want to be again & who I'll have to wage battle against from time to time. She was unhappy, unhealthy & just probably not alot of fun to be around.

So as I wage the battle to keep her under wraps, I'll also wage battle against the thoughts getting into my head that help her resurface. It wont always be easy to silence her but it'll be worth winning the battle to become a little stronger each time.

Never underestimate the power of the mind. Once you start to believe something, you will become that something. Good or bad. Keep your thoughts under control. Envision your goal, ideal or whatever & success will come your way!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is it possible???

This weekend was an eventful one with all the rains that hit the Region & it left many with a significant amout of damage to businesses & homes. Today started cleanup for them although many roadways are still closed due to flooding & rivers are still cresting. Scary stuff.

Now, back to the topic at hand. You may ask "well, what is it?"

Balance is the one thing that many of seek in so many areas of our lives. Family, friends, exercise & especially diet. Who doesnt want to eat whatever they want & not gain an ounce?!? Certainly all of us strive for that.

So I sit here today, coming back from metabolic damage from hardcore contest dieting. Prior to that, I've always dieted although it didnt seem as daunting at that time. I was enjoying the foods I wanted & when I wanted them. I was able to strike a balance with an overindulgences by cutting back a bit the next day or paying penance on the cardio machine of choice. It was a good combo. I was running races, feeling great, enjoying good eats without stressing about it at all.

Enter online coaching & counting macros...it all goes downhill. I find myself fixated on how many grams of whatever each morsel had.

Even with Weight Watchers, I counted points but never felt that obsessiveness EVER!

How do I get back to that? I have an idea & I'm working on it.

With that comes the idea of looking & feeling frumpy. I realize at the moment I'm adorning my fashionably frumpy clothes.

I realized that this weekend as I watched the movie The Women. Meg Ryan's character learns that her hubby is having an affair. As she transforms into her own person in the movie, she goes from frumpy to fantastic.

It was then that I realized I've phased back into frumpy. I dont like it but it goes hand in hand about how I feel about myself. It's hard to break past that at the moment when I am carrying around some extra fluff. I dont want to wear my "fantastic" clothes & am content to cover up. Thankfully the cold weather is cooperating with that ability to cover.

So I'm on a mission to go from frumpy to fab once again. I've done it before, had a little setback but am determined to get there again. I owe it to myself & to the people in my life. I sell us all short by being frumpy. It's not a good look for anyone anyway!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I changed the settings so you do not have to have an account to comment!

Why do I share?

So I'm totally humbled & excited about the response to the revival of this blog. It's so amazing to be an encouragement to people. Sharing my story on Oxygen & other boards was not for me but to let someone out there know that they too can do what I've done. It does help me stay accountable though & really helped me through some tough times.

There were no magic pills (although I'd be lying if I said I didnt try), no magic diets (tried them all too) & no magic formula to what I've done to get where I am today.

Honestly, it's all about diet & exercise. In fact, it's about 90% what goes in your mouth that is most important. Now, I'll clarify that by saying I do not feel that you have to eat "clean" all the time. That makes for boredom & can lead to dangerous places if you start feeling deprived. I know because I've been there.

Anytime I felt that food was "bad" or "off-limits" bad things started to happen. Someday I'll talk more about my binge eating disorder (pretty sure most of you never knew about that) but ironically it started out of grief when Craig (my brother) died & was finally conquered when my Mom died. Anyway, more on that another time.

My biggest success was with Weight Watchers & I had the BEST leader ever. She's still around but not a local meetings that are convenient for me. She was as big a support as my friends & family. I will forever be grateful to have met her (Linda H.) & will someday show up at her meetings again.

My point of this is just to say that even though there are so many programs, diets, etc. out there just find what works best for you. Some of the healthiest programs (in my opinion) are Weight Watchers, Body for Life, South Beach Diet & the Abs Diet. All of those offer programs that do not require you to count calories. WW has the Core program that's basically "clean" eating but allows for treats.

So find what works for you & dont be led to follow anything that you could not follow for life!

And never ever let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. You can do anything you set your mind too!

It's not always going to be easy but the end result will be worth the hard work!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Long overdue....

Well, I started this blog then let it go but now I'm going to resurrect it for my own purposes but am glad to have friends, strangers, anyone needing motivation following along!

So to back track, I did compete in the 2 figure shows this spring. I had an incredible time & absolutely loved the stage! The prep wasnt too bad, the glitz of it all was too fun & the sense of accomplishment was something that I can never replace. The first show was great & then I had a 3 week period before the second. I had changed coaches between shows to work with someone more local. I learned some lessons there about what hardcore bodybuilding prep is like. Wow it's intense. I was much leaner for the second show but did not look good. I came in looking skinny. I actually refer to it as my "skeletor" look. Still had a great time though!

Once the shows were over, I took a week off from dieting of any sort & a week from the gym. It was great & it was nice to just do nothing for that week. I got back on the horse after than following the off-season plan from my coach.

This is where something went wrong. As I ate healthfully & trained as instructed, the weight began to creep on. Well, some gain was expected for the time being but not matter how well I ate or how spot on my training was, I continued to gain more & more. It was alarming to say the least.

Fast forward to the last week in July when asked by Mandy Polk (IFBB Fitness Pro) "are you okay?" Wow, windfall...I was not. After a 2 hour phone call with Mandy, I decided to work with her to repair my damaged metabolism. The process was a bit crazy, no workouts for a full two weeks & I was eating a ton of food. I almost felt as if I was force feeding myself at times but it was worth it to feel better. My body responded rather quickly but the rollercoaster of emotions was not so fun during the process. For the first time in a couple months though, my body finally maintained. As calories increased though, I gained more weight.

Last weekend, I hit a breaking point with the gains & just realized that I could not continue with the repair. I have a family history of heart disease & the extra weight makes me VERY nervous (understatement.) It's not about vanity at this point because ironically I'm leaner than I was in the past at this weight. So that can be a bonus. Although very much encouraged to stay the course & continue with the last few weeks of repair, I just cannot do it.

Do know how grateful I am to Mandy for even asking if I was okay & for taking time to get me healthier. I may not be fully "recovered" from the failed metabolism & want to take some of this extra fluff off but I've learned how to not do it stupid. No more overtraining, overcardio-ing & no more crazy restrictive dieting!

I do want to compete again someday though. I absolutely loved it but for the meantime I'm hanging up my hooker heels & blinged out suits.

So you may ask....what do I want to do? Well, I wanna rock (lol.) Nah, really I want to start running again....

I started with my best friend back in 2003 & was hooked. I've now completed the following:

2 full marathons
3 half marathons
1 10K (6.2 miles)
1 10 miler
Several other races at various distances.

Oh & I've done a triathlon as a team (did the running leg.)

So on Thanksgiving, I've convinced (well, I think I have) Kevin to run the Turkey Trot with me in Valpo. From there, I'm thinking of the Valparaiso Mini Marathon again in the spring. It's a half marathon & a great course through our city.

As for eating, I'm just going with the flow. I'm eating when I'm hungry (duh, right!), eating what I want within reason (still keeping mostly to healthy choices) & enjoying some yummy (naughty) eats on the weekends. Balance is the name of the game & living life is what it's about.

Here's a note from a friend that really says it best about finding that happy place or balance if you will... (hope you dont mind, K!)

... remember the days when we were just trying to lose weight? Big picture? Grilled chicken instead of fried, ice cream a couple times a week, and fruit and veggies were enough to make it healthy? Remember when we ran, did weights, yoga, swam, and were just plain active and we didn't care about muscle loss or v-tapers? Remember when we didn't care how many grams of protein we ate b/c we were just happy to be eating a little better than McDonalds for 3 in our car? Remember when the scale went down despite conflicting goals of GAIN MUSCLE/LOSE WEIGHT/MAINTAIN :choose damn it, pick one, only one!

Sometimes those of us that have been involved in the fitness industry become too focused on eating amount of protein, x amount of carbs & OMG did I eat enough fat....

Take a lesson from a child. Eat what you want when you are hungry, eat until you are satisfied & you'll be fine.

So this is my journey to finding that happy place. Join me if you'd like, lurk if you will or comment if you feel it.....

It may be bumpy along the way but it'll be worth the ride!