Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Monday, October 24, 2011

491 days

Something has been catching my eye these past few weeks.  I get a glimpse of it and I have to look twice.  I see it and my mind does not register the site before me.  I study the view and ask myself "When did this happen and what does the future hold?"

My hands, my hands are aging.

I keep telling myself the reason the look of my hands is different is due to my workouts, my body is responding to that.  Much like the definition I am seeing in my shoulder blades, triceps and biceps my hands are changing too.  But today, while I was at the gym it hit me... hard.  My hands are getting older.  

For years my hands have looked a certain way and now the look I am use to is leaving me.  I feel like my hands are an advertisement to my age, screaming out... "She is almost 40, she is almost 40!"  Like somehow my life is going to change when the morning of that day,  491 days from now, arrives.

The fact is, I AM getting older.  My body is showing signs of it and there is no getting around it.  I may not have the plump skin of a 20 year old girl, the smooth wrinkle free face that they have, or even the ability to put on the cute and innocent charm anymore.  But what I do have is this......

None of these things I had at 20 years old or even in my early 30's.  I have learned so much about myself in this journey I started almost two years ago and I learn more everyday in the eyes of my husband, my children and my clients. This kind of learning and self awareness is amazing and has certainly been worth the wait.

So yes, my hands are getting older... my body is getting older... my soul is getting older.... but I am on a path in life that has me learning and appreciating everyday and all the good that comes from it and I feel younger then I ever have before. 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Dang YOU additctions.......

Addictions come in every form and every walk of life.  We have SO many in this world it is amazing to me that we are all still functioning... but I guess that is the point.... most of us are not truly functioning and living life to the fullest.

Addictions:  Drugs, Alcohol, Food, Shopping, Sex, Porn, Sleep, Sugar, Carbs, Prescription Drugs.. This list goes on and on and I truly believe one addiction is not worse then another and they all stem from the same thing.  Self Doubt and Evil.

As a trainer and a nutrition coach food is the BIGGEST addiction I see my clients go through, some of them do not even know they have an addiction but I watch and learn their patterns and can see where they are struggling.  It is my job to not only help them through this addiction but get them mentally on the right path.

I have a food addiction.  When I get hurt, upset or get into a disagreement with someone I turn to food.  I go into what I call "Auto Pilot Mode" and find myself in my pantry or my fridge looking for food to eat.  A chip here, a piece of toast there, some fruit, before I know it I can be off my calorie goal by over 500 just trying to cope with the mental issues I am facing.  THIS IS AN ADDICTION that I struggle with and try and learn from.

I have a client who comes home from work, if I do not get her in the right mind set on the way home, will go home and decompress with food.  I hear the same thing from her she "just does it."  She did it when she was in High School and she continues the pattern in her adult life.

I have another client who stays up late at night, or if she can not sleep, and she watches Home Shopping Network.  She not only buys things she does not need, she eats.  A yogurt here, a bowl of cereal, she has the same issues... food addiction (and shopping)

It is a terrible cycle that most of us can relate with and it's my hope for ALL my clients and friends that they can be honest with me and share their weaknesses and addictions so I can share with them the tools they need to get over it.  It will never go away, but we can silence it and control it.

We all need help in our lives and we all need support from others, we just have to come out of the shadows and ask.

I work on my addictions everyday.  I tell myself I am strong, I can beat the feeling I am having at that very moment that is pushing me to fail and I can find strength in numbers.  I also tell myself this is EVIL trying to take over me and push me into failure.  Evil wants me to fail, Evil wants me to beat myself up and Evil wants me to doubt my every move.

Well.... Evil.... YOU WILL NOT WIN.


I AM A WINNER...... and my clients are too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"I don't have time to workout, my life is too busy."

"I don't have time to workout, my life is too busy."

These words make my blood boil and make me laugh at the same time.  People can make as many excuses as they want for the reasons they do not want to workout but in the end we all have the time to do it.  Gyms are open 24 hours a day, we have the ability to wake up early and get a workout in before work, we can workout when we put our kids to bed, we can workout with our spouses... there are a thousand excuses and a thousand ways around them.  Bottom line... you have to want to do it.

If you are happy where you are, if your weight and your clothes are not an issue..WONDERFUL!  But if this is not the case for you don't sit and give me, or other people around you, reasons why you can not workout.  The truth is you don't want to!  You have it in your mind it's too hard and you're too afraid.  Just say that instead of some excuse because you are not fooling anyone and you will have more respect for yourself.

I read a quote somewhere that said:  "Working out is like driving in a dark tunnel and enjoying the light when you come out."  This is so true.  Working out at first is a dark, dark tunnel.  When I began my journey over a year ago I use to dread working out.  I would try and find every reason why I could not workout.  I had something else I had to do instead of working out, I did not feel good, the kids were sick, I was too tired, a baby kept me up late, it was my time of the month..... etc etc etc etc etc.  There would be days I would sit on the floor and let my treadmill just move so that my family would think I was working out.  I hated it.  I hated walking into the gym.  The gym was too busy, it was too bright, too cold, too hot, too loud, too quiet, the kids were sick, the kids were tired, I didn't like the daycare staff.. etc etc etc etc.  At the end of the day I was left alone with my excuses no closer to being healthy and just trying to justify the extra 75lbs I was weighing by body down with.

Finally, I just got mad.  I got mad at my husband, I got mad at myself, I got mad at my past I was just mad!  I told myself I was going to just go through the motions, do the work and just see what happens.  In reality my goal was to prove I could not lose the weight, that lifting weights and doing this or that was not going to change me.. I had reasons for being overweight... I was on a mission, a mission to prove to everyone it was harder for ME to lose weight.

Sound familiar to anyone reading this???????

Reality was, I did the work and the weight began to fall off.  My clothes started feeling better and I started feeling more comfortable in the gym.  I was still in the dark tunnel but I could see this little tiny light shinning at the end of this long road, so I just kept pushing forward to it. 

It was not all roses and candy for me, it was hard!  It was blood, sweat and LOTS of tears but I finally emerged out of the tunnel and felt the sun shine on my face for the very first time.  Coming out of that tunnel, I had never felt the sun so bright and warm on me as I do now.  I am a new person.  I am alive, healthy and in the best mood EVER!  People notice how great I look, how hard I have worked and the changes I am making.  Having this feeling not only feels great but it also motivates me to keep pushing through to new goals.

Let go of your excuses, plan your life around your workouts and get busy living again or possibly for the first time in your life.  Excuses will always be around, but it doesn't mean you have to let them run you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If only.....

I think Tim McGraw says it best with his lyrics:

"I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years"

My High School reunion is coming up, 20 year reunion.  How does that happen?  I recall being in my teens and hearing the words "20 year reunion" and thinking of a bunch of old people sitting around talking about the glory days... now I am weeks from my own.

The other day I found myself lost in thought thinking about my High School years.  Those were not easy carefree years like I am ensuring my two boys are currently having.  There were a lot of things going on in my life, some not so positive or healthy.  I found myself wishing.. "If only I could go back and do it again, I would make High School so much better."  My mind tells myself all of the things I would do differently and how I would be a different person and how I would not waste my education and time on such silly things that I did... the words repeat over and over in my head...

"if only"
"if only"
"if only".....

I really found myself getting sad about the time wasted and the opportunity wasted until... I had a God smack.

What was there to be sad about?  Here I am 38 years old, I have a great life a great family and I still have AT LEAST another 20 years in me!  I tell one of my clients all the time "don't worry about what you did, worry about what you are going to do to change your life!"  That is me....

I do not need to worry about what I did not do in those High School years and start planning on what I WILL do in MY next 20 years!

 I really believe you can turn around your moods, your behavior and your feelings if you just look at the situation with a positive spin rather then a negative.  So rather then letting the words "if only" ring in MY head I am going to let these words ring out instead....

"I will"
"I will"
"I will"

Watch out for ME in the NEXT 20 years!

Take it away Tim McGraw.......

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The skinny on Skinny Bitch

Off the suggestion of a potential client I read the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.

I have to say that I was extremely disappointed. The authors spent the majority of the book quoting other authors and scientist in regards to the poor quality of our meat, farms and the back dooring our politicians do with meat companies.  Unless you live under a rock, this is not new news.  Unless you have not turned on the TV, radio or even searched the web you already know if you are not buying organic you are buying food that is covered in chemicals and injected with growth hormones.

Their in your face tactic and approach was just them swearing in the book and calling their reader a fat pig, lazy, an idiot and a bunch of other names.  Personally, if I was still 75lbs over weight this would not motivate me, it would infuriate me instead.

I wish they would have just said what this book was about, it is about being vegan, when they finally got past all the swearing, name calling and statistics about the food we eat it comes down to a short book about being vegan.

I have no issues with being vegan, I know that some people react differently to animal products and dairy but call the book what it is... a vegan book, and a pretty short one at that.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Getting healthy is the harderst thing I have ever done.

Yep, I said it.  Do I need to say it again?

Getting healthy is the hardest thing I have ever done!!!

I have not lived an easy life.  I grew up without a father, a mother who was more interested in her own needs then the needs of her three kids, I have been homeless, divorced (a couple of times) a single mother for years, suffered from depression, and unemployed.  NONE of that compared to my journey of getting healthy and changing my future.

My journey started 6 years ago after the birth of my third child, a daughter I had with my new husband.  My husband was very motivated to "help" me get off the baby weight.  We had everything we could possibly need in the garage and he would spell out exactly what I needed to do, it was all there for me all I had to do was the work. THAT was the problem, the work.

Sure, he would tell me what exercises I needed to do, but I had no clue what I was trying to achieve. On top of that I continued to starve my body thinking if I ate less that would get me down to the weight I wanted to be at.  Or if I was not starving myself I was making myself and my family instant potatoes, mac and cheese, canned foods I had no idea that the little work that I was doing was being wasted because I did not have the entire plan in place.

Over the next three years I had two more kids and continued an endless battle of trying to lose weight.  But that was the KEY.... I was trying to lose weight.  My goal was to get skinny, get the scale down to a smaller number and try and look like the wife I thought my husband wanted me to be.

At one point in our lives we have to say to ourselves and to those around us:  "I am NOT going to try and lose weight anymore.  I am NOT going to go on a diet anymore."  Instead we need to be honest and be true to our bodies and say:  "I am going to get healthy."  

We live in a society that pushes images of skinny girls on us and makes us feel if we do not look like that too we are not worthy.... BUT we are!

I am happy to be in a better place in my life., I am healthy, I feel great and of course the weight came off. Now I am happy to be heading into the next chapter of my life.. getting others healthy as well.

Watch out... here I come!

Funny things my kids say....

09/08/08 One day when Elianna was crying Gabriella gave her binki to her. Gabriella came up to me and said....
"Mom, I saved the day!"

Gabriella and Michael were walking up the stairs together when she looked at Michael and announced to him...
"I am the Girl in THIS big house!"

Gabriella: "I like all my family!"

If I tell Gabriella that we are going to do something she will say...
"Okay Mom, that sounds like a great idea!"

Gabriella and I were making cookies together one day. She asked if she could eat some of the cookie dough so I gave it to her. She looked at me and said...
"Your the best mommy in the world."

Gabriella's babysitter, Cindy, told Gabriella that she had to pick up her toys and get ready for her rest. Gabriella aksed Cindy..."If I don't pick up my toys I go straight to bed?"
Cindy responded, "yes."
Gabriella said "I'll just go straight to bed then."

Daddy walked outside to go to the BBQ in the backyard. As soon as Gabriella heard the door open she started to scream.. "wait for me, wait for me."
By time she got to the backdoor it was already closed and daddy was outside. She stood at the glass door in a real quiet voice she said... "Oh, dear."

Reuben and Gabriella were playing in the cupboard in the kitchen, they had closed the door and were sitting in there together in the dark. Gabriella flung the door open and announced..
"Welcome to outer space Reuben!"

Gabriella introduced Reuben to a little friend of hers. When the little girl said "Hi Reuben" Gabriella said.. "NO, his name is BABY Reuben!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts have power, and you have got to harness that power by chaning how you think.

The title of this blog says it all.

One of my friends always says to me that her and I are the drivers of the "Crazy Train."  We will make jokes to each other on facebook or in text that says... "choo choo" or "slow down so I can jump on the train".... in reality we both know that we allow our minds to run away with our sanity.

Unlike most people I can admit this and try and learn from it, but what really stands out to me is how often this happens in the lives of others around me especially when it comes to losing weight.

Like most people, you look at exercise and fitness as just one more thing to do, something you "should" do. You do your best to "fit it in" to your otherwise full life. You start an exercise routine with the best intentions and then stop soon after.

If you are thinking about being fat, worrying constantly about weight, then you are actively working against yourself. Your negative thoughts and feelings have created your weight problems and have made you unhappy with yourself. It’s time for you to break the cycle.
You can do that with “Metaphysiques.” This is a powerful mind body practice. Instead of focusing on being fat, you have got to focus on being fit. If you think healthy, it eventually will become a reality for you. Choose to focus on thoughts that feel good, and are positive, is a sure way to create the body you want. The by-product is a beautiful, sexy body. Start thinking exactly how the people with hot bodies think.
At the same time, do not hope; KNOW that you will lose the weight. Just like everything in life, great things come to those who work for a goal and assume the outcome will be in their favor. You’ll be sending out the right energy, and its energy that creates your new reality.
Every one of us has the power to think ourselves into a positive situation. You can do things you never thought you could do. You will create the body you want, starting with your personal dialogue about yourself. Thoughts and feelings turn into actions, and actions turn into reality. Remember, you are opening a new chapter in your life, one that is much more in control and energized.

Don’t fill your head with negative self-talk like fat, ugly, or failure. This inner self-loathing conversation is toxic and success blocking. If you think that you can’t lose the weight, then you know what you are right! The word can’t get so stuck in your subconscious mind that your body believes it and obeys it! You have trained your mind to believe you can’t and now you have told your body the same thing.

Thoughts release neuropeptides-chemicals of emotion - that travel to cells with ever we think or speak. They affect the tension in your muscles, the rate of your heart, your ability to digest food, your overall health, and more. Angry, bitter, or critical thoughts produce chemicals that depress your immune system, make you sick, and keep you fat.

How do you get rid of this negativity?

First, you have to make yourself aware of it.  Much of the dialogue that goes on is so comfortable to us that we don't know it's happening.  Second, try to catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself; then say your name out loud followed by stop. Third, rephrase your thinking - out loud - to be positive.

For example, sometimes you may feel insecure about your workout you just did.  Say out loud:
"Michelle, stop! You did your best at the workout and it is going to pay off!"

It is like flipping a switch from negative thoughts to positive empowering thought.  The more you can practicee this the more your thoughts will change to positive ones automatically, and you won't even have to think about it anymore.

You should also frequently say to yourself "I am on my way to changing my life ad I'm proud that I am motivated to change."  Other mantras you could say:

I am getting healthier and more beautiful every day.
I love myself and deserve a healthy body.
I don't need fat anymore.  I am strong.
Changing my body will change my life.

Use powerful, present-tense verbs to boost yourself to a new thought level:  I'm trying to lose weight.... I'm planning to exercises.. I'm hoping to eat healthier... this will help you subconsciously reinforce success.

Thoughts and feeling have power; they can help or hurt you.  Lose the negative thinking and negative emotions and you'll lose the fat.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The power of the mind............

When I was younger I played softball, it was my passion as a kid.  I tried other sports such as basketball and soccer but softball was where my passion was and I was the most successful at. 

I was a pretty good softball player between the ages of 9-13.  My position was short stop and rover, I would jump from either side of the pitcher's mound depending on where the batter usually hit. (determined if we played them previously in the year) I wasn't afraid of that big ball coming at me. I would get down in front of the ball, drop to my knees if it was a grounder and give it my all to stop the runner.  My brother use to take me out to the backyard and hit grounders and pop up balls over and over again at me so that I could run at it in full force with no fears.  Our neighborhood in the summertime use to play softball nightly in the back field of our house till it was so dark none of us could see anymore.  Man, I love that game!

The one downfall to it all was batting.  Batting was another issue all in itself with me.  I had a strong swing at a very young age, my coaches knew and I knew it.  But I lacked one thing, confidence.  I would get up to the batters box and fear would over come me.  By time I reached my side of the batters box my hands would be sweating and I would have the shakes.  It overcame me each and every time.  80% of the time I either walked, by the grace of a terrible pitcher, or I would strike out.  When I struck out I felt as if I had let my whole team down and was a failure.  I would go sit back on the bench and feel horrible about my lack of performance because I knew I was a strong batter and could do better.

In practice my coaches, or our own pitcher, would pitch to me and majority of the time I would hit the ball.  Not only did I hit the ball I would hit it out into left field over the heads of my team mates, it was incredible to watch.  Swing after swing I would hit that ball with all my might and watch it fly out there.  Each time I hit the ball, my confidence would rise higher and higher and I would tell myself that THIS week was going to be different, I was going to get up to that plate in a game in do what I knew I could do... hit the DAMN ball!

Each week, however, I would get the same butterflies as I would see my name on the batting order sheet and as my time approached self doubt would enter my mind again and once again I would go up there and usually strike out. 

I never understood at that point in my life how powerful the mind is and when we let self doubt enter our minds it is a destruction like no other.  Even now, at 37 years old self doubt creeps into my mind and takes over and destroys what I work so hard for. 

Sometimes I will be at the gym working out and my husband will rack a weight amount for me to do and I look at and the first thing out of my mouth is "I can't do that!"  Why is is that we doubt ourselves before we even try?  Why is it that we allow failures in the past to control our future successes?  I know in my mind I could have played softball all through Junior High and High School, I had a talent but I allowed self doubt to take over and stop me dead in my tracks.

I refuse to allow that anymore!  I keep saying I am going to get my body to a certain fitness level and I keep saying I am going to get certified to be a trainer and I keep saying I am going to do my own business.  I keep saying these things as self doubt creeps into my head each time, at all times and today I am saying this to my self doubt:

"You will not control me any longer!" 

I WILL be at my fitness goal!
I WILL be a trainer and a life coach!
I WILL have my own business!
I WILL no longer let self doubt control me!

If I can fight this self doubt that I have had in my life for 30 some years, you can too!  Do today what you have doubted you could do, we all have it in us we just need to say to ourselves one day... "enough is enough!"

"There's always the motivation of wanting to win. Everybody has that. But a champion needs, in his attitude, a motivation above and beyond winning."
-Pat Riley

Monday, February 14, 2011

24 hour withdrawl.... I am going to make it, I am going to make it, I am going to make it......

"Hello, my name is Michelle and I am a bodybugg addict."  (Crowd says, "hello Michelle") 

It has been 24 hours since I have officially taken off my bodybugg and removed it from my house.  I get up every morning between 5:05am and 5:15am to the sound of my phone trying to vibrate off my end table.  Today my phone went off and not 5 seconds later I had a text message from Carmen saying the bugg did not download and is showing she burned no calories.  Within 15 seconds came another text, and then another, and then another.  By time I stumbled to my bathroom I had 5 text messages from an a panic stricken calorie tracking girl and thought to myself, "I have just transferred my OCD bodybugg habit to one of my Best friends and now she has it!"  :)

As I made my way downstairs to start my normal routine of my day it occurred to me, my routine was broken.  Normally I would get my tea, yes GREEN TEA, and then I would go and download my bugg, post my results on facebook, plan my meals for the day and then play around on facebook as I completed my waking up process (which really meant I was waiting for Teresa to post her bugg updates so I could compare to hers)  With that gone today, I was lost.  I had nothing to download, no meals to calculate and no waiting to compare to Teresa's stats.  I had nothing to do! 

(Luckily there was a HUGE bag from the Coach store to distract me, but only for a few minutes since I could not open the package until my husband woke up.. but that is another blog)

That is pretty much how the rest of my day went.  I felt at a loss, like something was missing.  No downloads to check, no steps to check, just me myself and I.  I found myself at one point in the kitchen and I was feeling like I needed to snack and it crossed my mind, "If I eat that I am going to have to account for it" and then I remembered that I didn't have to account for it... or anything!  Slowly, I started to feel this weight lift from my shoulders as the day progressed and I thought less and less about it and as I sit here tonight typing this I have to say.... it feels pretty damn good to be free of something that watches me like a hawk!

I did the work.  I gave it my all, I achieved several goals and I am walking away... far away.  I am thankful for my time with the bugg and it will be a stepping stone I will use for future clients to come but for me, I am done with it and I feel GREAT!

The question that now lingers is... what do I do with my mornings as I am waking up?  ;) 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm NAKED!!!!!!!!

Do I have your attention now?  (smile)

Today is Sunday, I only have 14 more days of THIS month to see some real changes in my body with my new goal of gaining more muscle.Today I was dealing with sick kids and I wanted to take the day off but I got my behind into the gym with my husband and got it done.

Today Joe really pushed me and I am proud to say I am proud of MYSELF.  Not only did I go outside of my comfort level by increasing my total weight that I use per sets, but I got off the assisted chin up machine and used a bar.

Did you read that part.... A BAR!!!!!!  

Oh my gosh, that was sooooo hard.  However, with a little spotting from Joe I was able to do 25 chin ups in 4 sets and it felt good!  Not good as in I liked the pain and sweat dripping from every part of my body, including my hands, but good as in I accomplished chin ups on a bar and overcame ANOTHER fear of mine.

Yaaa Me!

That was triumph number 1. Triumph number 2 was that while I was standing in the gym waiting for my next set of chin ups it occurred to me that I was afraid of change and I was focusing my attention on something I did not need to focus on anymore..... my Bodybugg.

Oh  sure, 13 days ago I announced I would not post my results anymore on facebook and how I wasn't going to worry about how many steps I took, what my deficit was or anything like that.  But low and behold three days later I was back to posting again.  I was back to displaying my burn, my deficits and still trying to keep up on high number of steps taken.  I had failed myself at letting go of that part of my weight loss journey in hopes to focus on being lean with more muscles.  But today, as I saw myself in the full wall of mirrors with my bugg on my arm I told myself enough was enough!  I did not need to depend on this instrument anymore, I did not need to worry about posting my calories in vs calories out to the world and I sure in the heck did not need to measure my happiness on how many freaking steps I had taken the prior day.  It was time to take the bugg off and I knew the only way to totally be free of it, was to GET IT OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!!

I called up my friend Carmen, who I am nudging down a new road to a healthier life, and told her she was going to wear it for the next two weeks so we could see exactly what she was burning. (See, doesn't that sound like nudging???)  Don't get me wrong, I love my bugg and I have learned so much from it and really give it about 30% credit for my weight loss and lifestyle change.  However, being addicted to the burn, steps taken, and deficit for the rest of my life is NOT what I want for myself.  It had to go, so I could embark on this next journey with a clear mind, a positive attitude and not feel like I have to hit certain targets to be successful.  Those days are gone for me, the thoughts are still there, but living like that has to be over.  There is more to life then counting calories, getting over the top deficits and taking 30 thousand steps a day.  There is a place for all of that, and I am grateful, but once you hit your goal.. and then your next.. and then your next... when do you say enough is enough?

Today is when I say that.

So, Carmen came over two hours later. I set her up with my bugg so she can start to learn and have the benefit of this wonderful device.  I can than celebrate HER journey and her accomplishments and know that I have done a great job and an even better one... going bugg free.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Does not compute!" "Does not compute!"

Life as I know it is about to change..... 

When changes come into my life I tend to run at them FULL speed.  Once I have my head wrapped around the change that needs to occur there is no stopping me, I will give it my all.  This can be viewed from the outside as an obsession, but I call it passion and determination.

When I announced on 1/31/11 that I was going to change up my workout routine so I could start focusing on becoming more toned I had no idea what was fully in store for me.  My workouts were going to be cardio and weights, just heavier weights and less reps-no problem this is pretty much what I was already doing just needed to be more intense about it.  WRONG!

This past week has been tough for me, not because of the routine but because I was looking at my new goal with the wrong rose colored glasses on!  EVERYTHING that I have learned, enforced, tweaked and have been preaching about for the past year is over.  I am making not only a physical shift I HAVE to make the mental shift as well.
"I am no longer trying to lose weight."  
Let me say it again.... "I am no longer trying to lose weight."  
No, I still don't understand those words.  "I am no longer trying to lose weight."

For the past year I have counted, calculated and tracked everything that went into my mouth.  How much calories, how much fat, protein, carbs, fiber the list goes on.  If one week of eating a certain way didn't work I tweaked my plan.  If my body got too use to the caloric intake I switched it up the next month.  It was and is a full time job.  Every day I start my day off with downloading my bodybugg.  How many calories did I burn, how many steps did I take, how effective was my workout the day before.  All these things became apart of my life and the way I lived and the way I got healthy and lost weight.  My goal weight was 135 and then it went to 130 and that is where I stand today.

The calories are STILL important for my new goal of gaining muscle but they are viewed differently.  The goal as a weight loss person is to have a large deficit everyday.  Calories in vs calories out to get that 500+ deficit everyday.  That is no longer the goal for me.  Sure, I will still monitor what I eat and when I eat it but gone are the days of having to achieve a huge burn.  This has really been the hard part for me to get on board with, especially the past two days of this week.

I shared my frustrations with Joe and asked him to listen to what I was saying and help me understand the new path I was starting down.  When I was done telling him the way I felt when I was at the gym and how I was frustrated I was no longer running 3-6 miles a day, this is the email he sent me:
Michelle, athletes do not look the way they do because they ran 3-6 miles a day 6 days a week. Athletes got that way because they bulked and then they cut, that is what YOU have to do. Cardio is for two reasons- cardiovascular health, and weight loss. You have achieved your weight loss goal. If you have not, you should spend the next week doing your cardio and get to your goal BEFORE worrying about muscle but I think you are good at your current weight.
BUT IF YOU DON’T FEEL THAT WAY, stop lifting and finish your goal. Otherwise, you will keep confusing in your mind what your primary goal is, and you will reach neither (or it will take three times as long).
So now what? Now, you want to tone and define. Tone and define is a fancy way of saying you want to target certain areas of your body and build muscle and lose any last scraps of fat so you can walk around lean and trim.
TREADMILL will NOT do this for you. You can not shape your body on a treadmill or doing aerobic exercise. Body shaping is with IRON.
“Aerobic training such as walking, riding a stationary bike, or running is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone and as long as it is used only in addition to a good weight training program. It should never be used as a substitute for weight training since it does not permanently increase your metabolism and since it does not has the ability to re-shape your body.”
IN FACT, too much aerobic exercise will deplete muscle.
"unless you are a competitive bodybuilder with a perfect diet and a superb supplementation program designed to protect muscle mass, aerobic exercise should not be performed for more than 6 sessions a week of 20-45 minutes a day for males and 30-45 minutes for females since this would put you at a risk of losing muscle mass."
Weight Training
Various forms of it. Low reps, high reps, medium reps. What do you do? What your body is not used too. You are trying to overload and shock the muscle. 100 reps of a 20lb barbell will shock the muscle. So will 6 reps of 55lb barbell. Until you keep doing  one or the other, and then you switch it up.

You need to be lifting weights 4 times a week, and then EITHER doing cardio after weight training and resting 100% on off days, OR cardio only on non-weight training days, OR BOTH (cardio up to 6 days a week, either in am or after weight training, no longer than 30-45 minutes a day)
Remember, weight training is for weigh training. You should be resting in between sets so that you can tax your muscles to the fullest on your next set. If you do back squats and spend 60 seconds doing something else, you are back to trying to burn calories in your mind when really, your muscles need to rest so they can recover and be taxed to their fullest on the next set. 

This was a lot for me to take in.  Later last night he continued to share with me the changes I needed to make with my food intake, I could feel my head spinning and knew my eyes were glazing over.  He was talking about how I needed to eat starchy carbs in the morning, increase my protein consumption all to feed the muscles I was trying to build.  All of which I know is true and I will have to do, but for now I want to work on baby steps.

"Baby step onto the elevator... baby step into the elevator... I'm *in* the elevator." -Bob Wiley

"I am no longer trying to lose weight."  

I CAN end my day with a caloric deficit under 500 and still be a winner!
I WILL still be healthy!
I WILL continue to be thin!
I am NOT on the road to gaining weight again!  
I HAVE achieved my goals I started out with!

"I am no longer trying to lose weight."  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anyone get the plates off that truck that hit me????

Tuesday February 1, 2011

I am aware that I am still in bed sleeping but awake enough to know where I am, I have no idea what time it is.  The house is totally dark, I can hear the heater blowing the warm air into our room and my husband is asleep next to me.  Suddenly I am startled fully awake by the sound of my IPhone alarm going off.  "Ugh, it's 5:15am already" I say in my head.  As I reach over to grab my phone so it doesn't wake up my husband I feel this sharp, yet dull pain in my arm.  My muscles are tight and resist stretching as if to tell me they do not want to be moved. The memories of the following day flood back into my mind washing over me.  Yesterday was the first day of my new workout and I feel like I have been hit by a truck!  I gingerly roll out of my bed in the darkness while every muscle is screaming at me to stay put.  Stay under the warm heated blanket, stay in the darkness of the morning.... but I have to get moving. 

Monday was the start of my total body workout.  I am on a set schedule for cardio and weights to achieve the most I can in the next 28 days, not for weight loss but to acquire muscle gain. Today was a new day!!! I battled with my mind yesterday realizing I was allowing my mind to control the amount of weight I lifted rather then pushing my body to tell me what it can and can not do. I was determined not to let that mistake happen again even though it was only a cardio day for me.

As I made my way into the gym at 6:45am the first thought that came to mind was how surprised I was to see all the people there.  At first I was irritated because in my mind I was going to have the place to myself, but in a split second that irritation changed to motivation because I knew I wasn't alone in this.  All these people here had similar goals in their minds too... to get healthy!  I was ready to go!

I did my warm up, I did my stretches and all was going well.  It was time to get on a bike and get my burn on!  Now, coming from a place where I have been running almost daily and knowing what I burn per minute, per mile and what works best for me for incline and speed I was excited to learn what my potential on this bike was going to be.  So I started to peddle... and peddle... and peddle.  3 minutes into the "ride" I looked at my calories and I was shocked at how little I had burned.  My mind jumped into overtime "Crazy Mellie" speed.  I began counting how long I would have to be on the bike, what speed I would need to stay at to get to where I wanted to be for a burn.  My mind raced with details, distractions and doubt.  Here I was again, of course I did not realize this at the time, letting my mind dictate what I should and should not be doing.  Needless to say, I stayed on the bike for a total of 15 minutes and then I moved on to my familiar love, the treadmill.  Did I just that I loved my treadmill, the one thing that taunts me everyday of my life?  The machine I have nicknamed the "Dreadmill?"  Yes, it is true I love my treadmill.

I ended up doing the treadmill and the stair stepper to achieve the goal I had set for myself.  But, because I struggle with my own demons, that was not good enough so I did 15 minutes of light circuit weights too.  When I left the gym I was tired, but invigorated.  I had done what I set out to do and could check day number two off in my head. 

I am excited to see what day 3 brings me and what challenges I will face then.  It is becoming apparent to me more and more as I explore this new way of life that the biggest challenge for me, and for most of my friends I talk to, is not the workouts.  It's not the eating.  It's not even the time factor, we can all MAKE the time if we really want to.  The biggest challenge is OURSELVES.

Most women have such a strong love for their families, their spouses, friends and animals.  But what kind of love and determination do we show for ourselves?  Do we put as much effort into our own lives and happiness as we do for those around us?  We go out of our ways to nurture those in need, but refrain from giving ourselves the same kind of nurturing.  I am determined to not allow that for myself anymore, and I challenge anyone reading this to do the same!

Determination and decisions that we make when we are in the darker times of our lives control our minds and our bodies.  We have to make the decision to be determined to take care of ourselves.  We all have the same opportunity to have a good healthy life.  A healthy life that will lead to more happiness, better relationships and more love for ourselves.  Some people have determination and some do not. 

WE NEED MORE DETERMINATION.  We need to make better decisions. 

"The only credit we get in life is for the decisions we make."  -unknown

Start today, make the right decisions to change your life, because we all deserve joy and peace.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ready... Set.... Go!

Last night I talked to my husband about my goals for myself in the next 30 days.  I explained to him my concerns and asked him to help me come up with a plan to help me get there.  I want to push my body harder then I have pushed in the past to achieve a goal I have in mind to have more definition.  True to my husband's word he had a new workout for me at 11:00am today so it was all ready to go, my start date was set for 2/1/11.

Earlier today I type out my thoughts and put my goals down for the world to see so I knew I had to stick to them.  But then it hit me.. why wait till 2/1/11?  So I ate my lunch and I got myself ready for the gym and off I went.

Going to the gym at 3:30pm was NOT a good idea.  When I pulled into the parking lot it was so full, as I drove around looking for a spot I remember thinking to myself are the New Year resolution crowd going to die down soon?  Finally, I found a spot and I went in.  There was not one treadmill empty, and there were three people standing waiting to get on one.  I found a stair stepper and decided I would get on that thing.  I like the stair stepper because I am high and can oversee the entire gym, I can feel it working the back of my legs as well and that makes me happy.  What I don't like about that thing is it is HARD!!!!  People sometimes look like they are laying on the thing... I want to reach over and smack them in the back of the head and tell them to stand up already!  I got my 15 minutes done on it and I was off to lift some weights.

My weight lifting plan is total body plan.  I will work out every other day with weights, my rep range is 10 with 4 sets and 7 exercises total.  I am excited for this because I want to be in and out of the gym as fast as I can so I was ready for it!  I found a place on the floor amongst all the people, 90% being men, and I started out. 

I have to say this workout pushed me but I felt as if I could have gone even further.  I felt as if my body was a lot stronger then I gave it credit for.  When I was doing "Good mornings" I was using a 60lb bar.  Now this bar was a challenge to maneuver over my head to get it on my back but while doing the exercise I just felt like I could have gone heavier.  The entire workout was a great eye opener for me because it showed me that my mind stops me more then my body does and even though I worked hard and was sweating like my husband when I am taking a pregnancy test I found out I could have worked even harder.

I look forward to my cardio on Tuesday and then back to the gym on Wednesday to give it another go, this time I am going to check my mind at the door and let my body do what it is clearly strong enough to do!

Today my measurements and weight are:
Waist 29
Hips 36
Chest 35.25
Thighs 22
Calf 14.2
Arm 11.5
Neck 12.2

Time stops for no one!

Most changes are usually super good for me.  They get me back on track in areas of my life that I have allowed to lag, they motivate me to do the best I can going forward and they help me realize to keep life interesting you have to change things up.  Some changes make me anxious and can really put me into a mind spin but most I welcome with open arms and an open mind.

It's going to be February 1st tomorrow, the shortest month of the year.  February is a month of celebrations that include Valentine's Day, my son Trevor turns 15 (Ugh, my boys are almost men) I have several friends who have birthdays this month, and it's my birthday.  This year I will be turning 38 years old and yes, I had to bring out the calculator to calculate my age.  I lied about my age for so many years as a younger person now I have no freaking clue how old I really am!!!

I have several things that I am GOING to accomplish this year, notice I said "going" rather then "would like to." One of them is to become certified as a trainer.  I plan on adding to this training formal nutrition education as well and then going out into this GREAT BIG WORLD to help people get healthy.  Our bodies are going through so much abuse with the food and drink we put into it, it is no wonder so many people are dying at young ages.  If I could save just ONE person then I know all the hard work will be worth it!

Another goal for the year is to assist my husband in getting our family back into our faith and by this I don't mean just praying at the dinner table.  Our boys had their early childhood education in a private Catholic school.  I know this early childhood education and exposure helped build a foundation for those two boys that is strong and has seen them through tough years in their lives.  Both boys are extremely level headed, know right from wrong and prove by their actions that they know God is the way to our Heavenly lives and good choices help get your there.  I want this same exposure for the three little kids.  That doesn't mean they need to go to Catholic school, although I would love that, but it means that my husband and I need to bring God back into our home as a daily focus.  For us too, we need to show God is first He comes above all others and it should show in our lives everyday.  I remember when I was younger I use to call people "Bible Thumpers" Now I call those people "rich" and "brilliant" and I want my family to be the same.

I have some other personal goals that are close to my heart that I will keep there for now, but everyday I strive to work towards those goals and be the best I can be at them as well!

My final goal for myself is I am going to STEP up my workout plan for this month!  60 days ago my friend Teresa was nagging me to run and when I say nagging I mean it.  Daily she would comment on how much she ran how much she was going to run how I needed to just get up and do it.  Well, I did it.  I can run anywhere from 3-6 miles at a time and sometimes I do it twice a day.  Running has changed my life! (Thanks T) it has slimmed me down, toned me up and got me past two goal weights I never thought I could even get to.  With T pushing me and my husband's encouragement I can say now, I am a runner.  But now I want to be more then that.  I want to transform my body into a tone, lean vessel that screams health and commitment.

For the next 28 days I will work towards this goal.  I will run still, but change things up a bit and get some more lifting and more eating into my daily routine.  I am very excited for this and I am very excited to share my results with anyone who will listen.  I am going to say that I will see results by 3/1/11, but if I don't I know that as long as I give it 120% I will be on my way to my NEXT transformation!!!!

Here I go............