Hear Andrea’s story of growing up with the Y and how she is still involved now!
If you’re like me, you started the New Year with a few extra pounds from all the holiday goodies. Like I did, you may have vowed to start fresh on January 1st! Get back to basics; eat healthier, exercise more, limit sugar…whatever. You too probably thought the pounds picked up through the holidays (and even before that) would start coming right off. Am I right?
If you are like me, those pounds are proving to be more stubborn than anticipated and have not started falling away as predicted. How frustrating is that!?! You count calories, eat fruit and vegetables, exercise…do everything the “experts” tell you do and still nothing! Or very little. Less than you expected anyway.
I have fairly realistic expectation. I didn’t imagine I would be ready for bathing suit season by Valentine’s Day, but I thought the weight would gradually start to come back off. It doesn’t seem to be working out that way. I can almost hear the scale taunting me from the corner of my bathroom, “Come on, you know you want to check.” I do and I don’t. Part of me really wants the work I have been doing to be reflected in it’s tiny little screen. At the same time, I am not sure that I should care what it has to tell me.
Why? Because regardless of what it has to say I know that I am doing the right things for my body. I track what I eat so I know I am eating an appropriate amount of calories and getting the right balance of protein, carbs and fat. I drink enough water. I try to be sure most of what I eat is minimally processed and contains little in the way of refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. Each day, regardless of whether I feel like it or not, I get up off my duff and exercise.
I feel better, have more energy, sleep well and the people around me probably notice a generally better disposition. If I stay the course and continue making healthy choices (most of the time) the weight will eventually come off. Losing weight is hard! Don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t. There are no short cuts, just a daily commitment to yourself to be healthy, strong and confident.
The scale will still be there, taunting me. But I am certain I will get the last laugh!
Tick… Tick… Tick… that is the only sound I hear at the moment which happens to be coming from the wall clock hung above me. It is 3:18 AM in the morning and I am wide awake, which is very unusual for me; this coming from an individual who adores her shut eye more than anyone should. Its pitch black in the house and the only light illuminating the room is the bright colorful screen in front of me.
Here I sit stuck in front of the laptop looking for my next weekend project all because I am to restless to climb in bed and call it a night. Where do I find myself this early in the morning you ask? I only have one addiction these days that I find myself consumed by, lurking for hours; searching for something to spark a jolt of creativity from me, and its evil name is Pinterest.
For those of you out there who are unaware of pinterest, I caution you, before leaving this page to perform a Google search; might I share a small warning, lol. This site has literally taken hours away from me since its discovery months ago, I have actually lost track of time. I call myself a pretty crafty person, and have always thought that I was a natural at it. Let me just say, my mind was blown. I couldn’t believe all the simple ideas and imaginative creations that were flooding the empty file cabinets inside my head that others out in the World Wide Web had created.
For those of you who are followers, of mine, or those who I am following now, you will I’m sure completely understand my addiction and agree that you to might even have a small one. I will in fact bank on it that you also have lost time over this site as well. Chocolate, diet cherry coke, the food network; all addictions I have come to personally own up too, I can go days without, but not my pinterest. Every single day of the week I sign in and add this or that to my boards. If I want a recipe, a quote, a picture, or even to get ideas on planning a party; anything really! It’s there. From the Christmas ornaments I made in December, the wine bottle crafts I continue to perfect myself on periodically, to the apron I made this past weekend. All these projects were inspired from this site, and I have only a ton more I want to try.
So next time, you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, and you are next to a laptop like me. Go and pin yourself a couple of ideas you can do with the family to your board and create a plethora of ideas to keep those creative juices inside yourself flowing. With Valentine’s day only being a couple of weeks away, get inspired from this site, I just know you will come up with something different this year to surprise your loved one.
That stupid treadmill. Sometimes it is the epitome of a dull, repetitive soul-killing exercise machine. But… somehow, I love it. Wait, wait, wait, allow me to rewind. Some days I love and it and some days I detest it, as with many things in life.
This time of year is tough. If you’re an avid exerciser the gym has a tendency to become a jam-packed breeding ground for bacteria with sweat flying, machines taken, weights misplaced. If you’re a new exerciser the gym might seem intimidating, overwhelming, and circus-y. In fact, these feelings probably overlap for seasoned and new exercisers alike.
My career with the Y began in membership. I was a first face for the organization. I was the peppy, short, blonde-headed girl who talked a mile a minute (wait, I still do this), loved to give tours (hated riding the elevator to the top floor of the Downtown Y, I’d much rather have taken the stairs), got in trouble for not tucking in her white t-shirt under the red polo (sorry ‘bout that one, boss), but loved, loved to work. I’ve always loved to work.
My favorite part about working in membership was January. I felt inspired by the New Year gym-goers. All of these new people diving in, making goals, feeling good. I used to wish, though, that the membership folder they walked out of the double doors holding came with one of those obnoxious scrolling LED signs that read “IT WON’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT”.
I’m no pessimist. My weight fluctuates by the hour (I’m about as certain of this as I am that the devil created Doritos – those stupid chips are SO GOOD), I gain a pound every time I even LOOK at chocolate, and if I’m not feeling a workout one day, I’ll do my best but have learned that I just can’t push it; I wait it out and the next day I’m usually back in my groove. Here’s the thing, though; people get frustrated, they lose hope, it gets to March and the time they came up with in January to hop onto a treadmill suddenly disappears into thin air. It’s hard, it hurts, and a regular gym routine requires a lot more willpower than many of us can find in ourselves. I’ve found, though, that if you have 20 minutes (20 minutes!), it’s better than nothing. It may feel as though it isn’t worth it to change clothes, drive to the gym, and get sweaty for less than a half hour but it IS. In fact, by the time you’ve finally decided you’re going to go exercise for the little time you have, you probably could have already changed and laced up your shoes.
I learned something new about my runner-self yesterday. I stepped on the treadmill armed with my iPad and the newly downloaded NBC app, determined to find an hour-long television show that would entertain me long enough to crank out 6 feel-good miles. Let me preface this run synopsis by saying that I’m no new runner. I’m a running junkie, I’m familiar with the runners’ high, but not every run is swell.
Mile 1: Feelin’ good. Man, Bob Harper looks good this season. Has his 6-pack turned into a 12-pack? I’m not talking about beer here, people.
Mile 2: They eliminate someone the FIRST EPISODE of the Biggest Loser? Ugh, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?! I’ve forgotten I’m running at this point, I’m so irritated with NBC.
Mile 3: Um. Where did this knee pain come from? My knees never hurt. Am I getting old? I’m only 25!
Mile 4: Okay, a little cramp here, a little cramp there. No biggie. Don’t fall on your face, J.
Mile 5: Lets go girl, one more mile.
Mile 6: Cool down. Hop off. Reflect. Good run.
Not to get all insightful and mushy on you guys, but I realized something through my random knee pain (seriously, this is new for me), and my weird peanut-butter- wasn’t-a-good-pre-run-snack-option cramping. This run is for ME. I’m not running for my husband, I’m not running for my job, I’m not running to keep my spot on some ranch in some random television show, I’m not even running for the overpriced race registration I swiped my credit card for last month. I’m running for THIS GIRL (pointing at myself). Nobody else cares about my awesome 6-mile run, or the fact that I went home and pushed through a short (but effective!) strength workout (complete with hitting myself in the head with a 15-pound dumbbell… completely beside the point, don’t ask questions). Encouragement from others is good but we need to learn to be self satisfied, to be proud of our own workouts, our own health milestones. It’s all part of making what might feel like a short-term goal a lifestyle change.
So, my friends, find it in yourself to exercise for YOU, and don’t make it about anyone or anything else.