Brick wall…

22 07 2010

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable” ~ Walt Disney

I write that quote first thing because I am living with some serious mental blockage. You’d think after being on this journey for almost 7 months the proverbial brick wall would be coming down but I woke up this morning feeling like someone added another layer to it.

As my body changes shape (getting thinner) and I start to notice more muscles coming through (getting stronger) I also spend more time focused on what else is still there: loose skin. I don’t like it at all. I don’t really like the way my stomach feels (skin wise) and I definitely don’t like the way my thighs look. I’m having a hard time not being negative about what my body looks like today even though I don’t weigh 263 pounds anymore and I am stronger right now in my life than I’ve been in the 40 years that I’ve walked this earth.

I want to be strong, fit, fast and at my goal weight of 170 and I want it to happen right now. I know, I know slow and steady wins the race but try telling that to my loose, feels like aunt bettie’s underarm gibblet, skin.

Today I woke up weighing the same as I did yesterday. Same as I did two days ago. Same as I did on Saturday. I didn’t feel fat on those days. Today I woke up feeling fat and unhappy. The mind has a wonderful way of sinking it’s teeth right into you at the first sign of negativity. It didn’t take too long for rest of me to catch up with that negativity and for the first time since I started working out with a trainer, I thought about canceling. I didn’t want to go and sweat in front of other people. I didn’t want to go and look at myself in the mirror wearing a swim suit. I didn’t want Godfather to tell me to jump on that red box. I wanted to crawl back into bed and just forget about this journey.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am a stickler for keeping appointments.

I went. In fact, it was pretty awesome. There were some parts that I  struggled through. I had to look in the mirror a few times while doing squats and the face staring back at me was not thinking the best of thoughts about what my body looked like. Godfather did want me to jump on the red box. He wouldn’t let me leave until I got up there and it took me 30 minutes to battle the “I can’t” and get over to the “I can”. He did this really wicked (and by wicked I mean mind boggling) thing after watching me stand in front of the red box and contemplate why I  couldn’t convince myself to jump. He stood in front of me and told me to put my arms out and not let him push them down. I did. He pushed but I didn’t really waver. Then (with the declaration that what he was about to say was not true but to listen) he said the following words to me:

You’re lazy

You’re fat

You’ll never be strong

Then he told me to put my arms up and BAM he just pushed them down like it was the easiest thing in the world. He then said (with the declaration that everything he was about to say was true, to look him in the eyes and to listen) the following words:

You’re stong

I care about you

You deserve this

Up go my arms and sure enough, he can’t push them down. I was letting myself think all those negative thoughts and they were keeping me from getting on the box. I didn’t jump up right away in a fit of super human power. In fact it took another 15 minutes of serious mental work to jump and jump high enough to land my feet.

So I struggled today at the gym but like I said, it was awesome. At one point Godfather gets down on the floor with me and does everything that I’m doing. How awesome is it to look over while doing “I think I’m going to throw up” crunches and see your trainer doing the same thing? You can’t give up or slow down when you totally want to kick the ass of your trainer and show them who’s boss (he’s still the boss!). I walked away from our session, out of breath and a little irritated with myself. But I also walked away with something else…

One brick out of that wall.

I don’t know where you are on this journey. I don’t know how high your brick wall is or even if you have one. Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish it must be done with every fiber and you must believe. There are going to be days where you just want to crawl into some dark hole and hope that no one notices that you’re gone. You’re going to look in the mirror and wonder if you’ll ever make it. You’re going to wonder if it’s all worth it. You’re going to try to convince yourself you’ll start again tomorrow. Some days you’re going to stand in front of your red box and wonder if you can…

The answer is yes.

You can.

You will.

Right now.

Wonder if what you say helps / Forging relationships / Revisiting an old enemy

22 04 2010

Gah, I so need to catch up on blogs. So much is happening to everyone out there. Struggles and triumphs. Losses and gains. Frustrations and exhilaration. At the same time there is so much happening to me over here as well.

I’m taking another day to post because 3 really kick ass things happened to me yesterday / today and I just want to sit with all their goodness for a few moments before I move on to catching up with everyone out there.

Kick ass something #1

I’ve been a pretty avid follower of Jen (Prior Fat Girl) since I started this LCJ 4 months ago. Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky ones that can’t access her blog anymore due to some mystical creature sprinkling evil “Access Denied” dust on her website. I can access it through my phone but its rather tedious and does not make for safe driving conditions as the only free time I really have these days is in my car.

I miss reading her blogs on a daily basis.

She is one to definitely understand this just isn’t about losing weight but about facing fears and digging deep in the past to make room for a bright future. She puts her crap out there for the world to see and doesn’t really care who sees it. Her journey is hers alone and not for anyone but herself to work through. She is brutally honest with herself and in doing so has forged a path for the rest of us to walk along.

She does this really cool thing where she invites all us girls to take pictures of ourselves after working out. I have been sending her pictures of my running during the c25k program. You know the ones with my little signs stating how long I ran for.  Yesterday I was catching up with her blog and read how on Saturday she had completed a 5k. It was awesome looking at pictures of her crossing over that finish line. I can’t wait until that is me (June 12th). It just so happens however on Saturday I ran a personal best in distance (3.22) and sent her the following picture:

This was taken right after finishing. I’m crying and sweating and trying to get the salty sting out of my eyes.  I get home late last night, get my bag together for today’s gym date. I’m tired. I’m sore. I”m nervous about seeing Superman. I look down to plug in my phone for the night and there is the beacon of light I needed to get that motivation / determination back into my head.

Jen sent me an email.

I won’t go into details about what the email said but it was enough to stop me in my tracks, take a deep breath, read it 5 or 6 times and promptly push save so that I can read it again (and again).

It’s like the high school football quarterback throwing the pigskin around with the freshman during tryouts. I am the freshman and so many of you are the quarterback. Coming here and leaving me comment or taking the time to send me an email encouraging me to keep going has been a tremendous amount of help.  If I don’t say it enough, Thanks! What you provide to me now will be given out ten fold when I am the quarterback and the new freshmen on campus want to throw the football around.


Kick ass something #2

After 3 weeks of working with Superman, an intense session with my therapist yesterday and a talk with my husband, I’ve decided to go ahead and commit to seeing a trainer 2 x week.  Seems silly that I would need a therapist to help me get to this decision but it goes so much deeper than just making the decision.  For the first time in my life I finally feel there is enough self worth to stand up for what I need. Feeling that and knowing how to do it are two different things.  I didn’t need to convince my husband that I was worth it, I needed to convince myself.  I didn’t need to convince my husband that spending the money was okay, I had to convince myself.  I told him I felt guilty about spending the money to which he replied: “I never feel guilty, so I don’t want you too either”…

Sometimes the worst battles are the ones you’re having internally.


Kick ass something #3

Speaking of Superman. I met with him today and it was pretty awesome. Today = upper body.  I got to work on this machine:

Minus the chair…I got the bouncy ball! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! He had to help me on a few things but I went to the end like a trooper. Then he took me into the boxing room! KICK ASS for sure. The boxing room has 12 bags (3 rows of 4). He strapped me up and said two full body swings into each bag. Oh man nothing to rile a girl up like being told to beat the crap out of some bags.  After that he had me start at bag 1, kick it’s ass, run to bag 12, kick it’s ass, run to bag 9, kick it’s ass, run to bag 4 kick it’s ass and repeat until he got tired.

Right, until HE got tired.

And then repeat the entire boxing process (each bag twice, then crisscross) . It was AWESOME! I think that Superman is warming up to me. I could be wrong but he did swear in front of me (I swear like a sailor and told him so in the beginning) while quoting a line in a movie so I’ll take that as a move in the positive direction. He’s very much a “all business” kind of guy. I’m an “all business” kind of girl so it’s a good match.

The very last thing we did…

That’s right, the dreaded brick wall. Last time I did this, it brought me to tears. Today, I was going to win this damn fight. However I’m full of anxiety because I’m remembering how it went last time.

The last time I did 6 knee pull ups (4/12)

Today I did 15 (4/22).

You lose brick wall, you lose!

3.1 / Superman / emotional gunk…

12 04 2010

*Disclaimer – I am extremely emotional today. It’s a combination of TOM and my morning session with Superman. That being said, what I write at the moment is just how I’m feeling. If I could crawl back into bed and cry myself a river of waaaa waaaa waaaa’s I would. I can’t so I’m gonna write about here and see if I can get my shit together…


I started running at the end of January. I couldn’t run a block without wondering where the nearest hospital was so they could put my lung back or whether or not someone would get mad if I threw up on their manicured lawn.  Each time I ran I wondered if it would get easier or if I could go farther. I spent countless hours wondering how I was going to go 3 minutes without stopping.

Then it was 5 minutes…

Then 8 minutes…

20 minutes…

Until finally 10 weeks later I hit the 30 minute mark.

I had graduated the c25k program but I still hadn’t reached the 3.1 mile mark. I started with another running program that takes you from 5k to 8k not because I want to run a 8k (which I do) but because I wanted the longer music intervals to help me build up to 3.1 miles.

Last week I got all the way up to 2.81 miles. I thought I was going to throw up (and I almost did). I could feel that 3.1 mile mark just out of my reach. I needed to get there just so I can stop thinking about it. My first 5k isn’t slated until June 12th but I need to get past that distance now so it wouldn’t weigh so heavily on the back of my mind.

Sunday I woke up with a goal and that goal was reach 3.1 miles and run for most of it. I’m alright with running a certain amount of minutes and walking for one. This will probably be my usual practice once I find a comfortable pace and for now the podrunner program has me running for 8 minutes and walking for one.

I start…

It felt good to be outside running. It was early enough on a Sunday morning that my little city hadn’t even started to stir yet. I think I’m running faster this week than I was last week. I know I’m zoning off a lot more than I was before. There was nothing to think about until I came to the cool down portion of podrunner. The whole podcast lasts about 46 minutes and minus the warm up I had 41 minutes to run a 5k. I knew it wasn’t going to happen so I would have to really push myself to run during the cool down and if necessary keep going after the podcast was finished.

Cool down came and went and I was still running.

I was so close. I wanted to stop. I wanted to tell myself that maybe next week would be better. I could see the end ahead of me. Less than half a mile.  It wasn’t as close as I wanted it to be but at least I could see it. I’m frustrated. I walk for 30 seconds just to get my thoughts together and reconfirm why I’m doing this. I’m changing my life. I’m trying to be a healthier person. I don’t want to be fat any more. I don’t want to be 100 pounds over weight. I don’t want to sit in front of the computer for hours thinking about what could have been…I want to find out for myself.

I push through that last couple of blocks and before I know it I’m running past the point where I started 50 minutes earlier and know to be 3.1 miles. I run an extra block and then like usual break down and cry.

I had just run my first 5k. I don’t need to obsess about whether or not I’ll ever be able to run 3.1 miles before June 12th.

I did.

I can.

I will.

June 12th is a long time from now. There is plenty of time for improvement. 50 minutes is a long time (with 4 one minute walking intervals) to do a 5k. It’s a vast improvement over what I was doing 3 months ago (NOTHING!) and if I can do this now…


Today was date #2 with Superman. He took me through the weight machines this morning and all I can say is I’m going to be sore tomorrow. There are few times in my life when I encounter something that I can’t take head on and be victorious. Even in my weight loss journey thus far I’ve been very successful and in that gotten sort of cocky about what I have done in the past 3 months.

Today he brought me down a notch and didn’t even realize it.

I got there early to warm up before our appointment. Do you remember the star pupil in your classroom? The one who always had the best looking papers or who always went the extra mile just to please the teacher? Yhea that’s me…so warm up is done before we get started just so I can have the extra 5 minutes of training. I know how to get on the elliptical for 5 minutes by myself. I don’t know how to lose 100 pounds alone and that’s what I need him for.

He starts me off with leg presses. 45 pounds on each side…10 reps. Break. Add another 45 pound weight just to one side, repeat 10 reps. Break. Add additional 45 pound weight to other side, 10 reps.

I am already on the verge tears.

In the face of fear or something emotional I tend to use humor as a cover. So you can pretty much assume this session was a barrel of monkeys the way I was joking with him.  At one point he gives me a weight bar for bicep curls and I ask him how much they weigh:

Superman: “20 pounds

Me: “Okay next time tell me they weight 300 pounds so I can feel like a super hero”

He grabs the 30 pound weight bar:

Superman: “That 20 pound bar was too light, here take this 300 pound bar and show me what you got”

– you can see why I like this guy right?

Throughout the hour I am afraid I won’t be able to do what he asks me to do. I keep getting to the breaking point and I don’t hear him say “one more”. He must know what he’s doing because every time I feel like I’m going to drop whatever I’m holding he then gives me the “one more” and of course I can’t resist pushing back.

There were numerous times I was grateful that when he said “take a break” he walked away from me.  I needed that time to cover my face with my sweaty baseball cap and contemplate what the hell I was thinking.

And cry.

It hurt like hell today.

The last thing we did was this weird contraption:

It was this that put me over the edge.  I could do the sit ups, leg presses, calf presses, bicep curls, behind the head thingamajiggies…It hurt like hell. I wanted to throw up but I went until I heard him say “one more” and that’s just what I gave him.

This I couldn’t do.

I did the first three knee lifts and just about lost it. I had to beg myself to take my feet off the foot rest when he said “again”.

I did two more and had to put my feet up on the rest again. I know Superman knew I was trying my best. It was me I was fighting. He wasn’t disappointed. I was. He knows what lies ahead for me. I don’t. I just wanted the session to end because I hurt, I was embarrassed for being fat and I felt like all the hard work I’ve put into myself the last three months had just come to a screeching halt.

I had just hit a brick wall and I was not prepared.

He did say “one more” and I gave it to him. I even high fived him after we were done and said “Thank you Sir, see you on Thursday”. I went to the locker room and cried.

Mostly out of frustration.

I have come a long way. I’m doing things now that I haven’t done since high school. I’m doing things that I couldn’t even do in high school. Today’s lesson was that while I’ve come a long way, the road ahead is still very long.

It’s almost like that feeling of cresting a hill and thinking you’re at the top only to discover the mountain range in front of you. You’re too afraid to move forward but can’t go back down the hill because there is absolutely nothing there. That is where I am today and that’s why I’m writing about emotional gunk..

I seriously thought I had started ascending the mountain 3 months ago.

I had just crested a hill.

I’m not contemplating quitting or running out to my favorite Chinese restaurant and consuming a 3000 calorie meal. I’m not thinking about skipping a workout or only doing a half-assed job of it tomorrow. I’m going to swim tomorrow and swim like a damn dolphin. I’m not thinking “what’s the point” of all this. I know the point. I have a life to live and it does not include anything but moving in the right direction.

Superman humbled me today.

I am thankful.