Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don't Say Dancer

Sunday, I was called to instruct my first Yoga class.  I was just filling in as a substitute, but I was nervous like crazy.  I had been called one time before, but no one showed up because of the weather.  I have been considering getting my Instructor Certification for quite some time, so getting this call was super exciting for me.
I grabbed my "just in case" class format that I had written and made sure to get there early.  I set up the room, complete with candles (battery operated and flame less, of course) and soft Yoga tunes.  My first 'yogi' made me really concerned that I wasn't well equip to teach this class.  She sauntered in, thin, tall, and blonde, carrying her own mat.  Her just as thin, brunette, much taller friend came in soon after.  I was totally intimidated.  I started worrying that maybe I shouldn't be there, that I was going to make a fool out of myself.  I just knew that they were wondering why a fat girl thought she could instruct them.  As more people arrived (fifteen total), I made sure they knew that I was just the sub and that Cathryn would be back next week.  Thankfully, my great friend Ashley decided to be a Yogi for the first time that day (I called her prior to let her know that she should come).  Having a familiar and friendly face really calmed my nerves.
So class began...  I felt a surge of confidence.  I was calm and felt at ease, totally in my element, it was like it was any other class (only I was talking through the entire thing).  I made sure to try not to emulate Cathryn's normal class, but made it my own (I'm such a rebel, right?).  I didn't even notice the goddesses to my left again until it was time for balancing poses.  We started with tree pose then I asked the class if they had any requests for their favorite balance pose (all the while I'm thinking to myself 'don't say dancer, don't say dancer').  Brunette goddess pipes up "How about dancer?"  Crap.  Dancer it was.  This is not my best pose.  So I told the class that they should watch brunette goddess instead of me for this one.  They all giggled and everyone survived, even me.
I forgot, again, about the better-looking-than-me girls to the left and moved on to finish the class.  I only lost one soldier to sleep during Corpse (relaxation) Pose.  It wasn't until after class was over that I told everyone that this was my first instructing experience (not counting the living room yoga lessons I've forced my husband to participate in).  They were all really surprised (even the goddesses), which I took as a huge compliment.

As I was putting everything away after class, I was literally shaking with excitement and pride.  I can't remember a recent time (other than giving birth to my son) that I was so proud of myself.  I haven't felt that confident ever in my life.
I have been putting off signing up for my Yoga Instructor Certification course, partly because I'm afraid of failure, and mostly because it will be slightly intimidating to be the only fat instructor at my gym.  But, after this experience, I know I can do it.  I will do it.  Who cares if all the other instructors are beanpoles?  I know who I am in Christ, and I love who I am.  I paid for my course today, and will soon be certified (as soon as I take the test) so I can start teaching my own classes.  I am so looking forward to being able to do something that is for me, but will be helping others at the same time.
I got a call tonight to sub tomorrow morning for the 9:15 Yoga Basics class.  I'm really looking forward to it, but am kind of regretting that I made chili (with beans) for dinner tonight.
Be confident, be healthy, love yourself.  And remember... You're In Good Company.

Top Ten...So Far

So I've officially lost my holiday pounds, FINALLY, plus a few more and I'm feeling great!  I decided to compile a top ten list of the best things about exercising and weight loss (so far).  Here goes:

10:  I finally weigh less than my husband.  He has started to workout pretty diligently so this means that I will have to start working twice as hard to maintain this achievement (he can just think about exercising and lose weight), but, right now, I am really proud!

9. I had the confidence to teach my first Yoga class, and will be beginning my instructor certification very soon.  A few months ago I thought that I would need to lose 50 more pounds before I could start instructing, how silly!  You don't have to be skinny to instruct, you just have to be motivated (and flexible).

8. When I get out of the shower and wrap myself in a towel, the edges of the towel actually touch now!  It's like the towel seams are neighbors instead of foreign countries.


7.  When I look down, I can see my toes (and I can polish them without being out of breath).  Enough said.


6.  It feels like shopping every time I can fit into an previously outgrown shirt or pair of jeans.

5.  I can run (well jog, anyway) up a flight of stairs without feeling winded.


4.  I have much more energy and I sleep so much better.


3.  Because I have a positive outlet for any frustrations I may have, I am a much better wife and mother.

2.  I have a sense of humor again.  I have been so displeased with my appearance that I was starting to become sort of sour (and that's not me at all).

1.  My son is benefiting socially from playing with other children during at the gym daycare.



So here's to the next 50 lbs and to getting healthy, mind AND body.
Remember....... You're In Good Company.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Shoot Me In The Foot

I'm not going to lie... I have only worked out twice this week.  Shame on me!  I have excuses though, not good ones, but they're excuses nonetheless... Monday I was sore from slipping on the ice, yesterday my husband told me to stay home because the ice on the roads was so bad, and today... well today I was just feeling lazy (although I got a ton of laundry done, so that's something at least).
There are days in the winter when it is so gloomy, snowy, and cold that the thought of going outside (even just to walk to my car and back) makes me pull my covers tight around me and hunker down.  Then when I do get up early, there are days when I just can't make myself go to the gym.  Then, I feel like crap.  I feel amazing the days I work out, I have more energy, I have more confidence, I eat healthier, I'm in a much better mood.  I know all of these things... so why can't I get my fat rear out of the house some days?!?!  Haven't we talked about self-sabotage before?
Don't we all do this, in some way or another?  You say you don't have enough time for church so you never make time to go.  You say you have a fat belly, it's just your genes; so you double up on the ice cream and steer clear of the gym.  You tell everyone you are dumb; so the people around you start to believe you.  You say you have no energy, so you are exhausted all the time.  It's mind over matter, and it's real.  You can defeat yourself before you even get started.  Probably the longer I call myself fat, the longer I will stay fat.  The longer I allow my self-deprecating humor to persist, the poorer my self-image will be.  The longer I allow myself to not be a morning person, the more often I will skip workouts.
Shouldn't we give ourselves the chance to be who we want to be?  Why do we shoot ourselves in the foot before we allow ourselves to walk?  I hate running with two good feet, it's much harder with a bullet hole through one!!  The thing is, I like working out.  I have fun at the gym.  I love being surprised each day by how much stronger my body is getting.  It's just getting there that's the problem.  I need to figure out a way to not hit snooze, to jump out of bed each day with a smile on my face and to be ready for the day.  Any suggestions?
Give yourself a chance to be great.  Be healthy, love yourself and remember... You're In Good Company.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

ST. JOHN'S BAY SECRETLY SLENDER JEANS:
These are my new favorite jeans.  Very comfy.  They are the perfect jean to slenderize your mid-section, especially that little post-baby pooch that never seems to go away.  They may come up a little higher than what you may be used to, but if you don't regularly tuck your shirt in (which I never do) then no one will know.  I would rather hide my belly button than show the world my Muffin top anyway.  I also love them because they don't shrink in the dryer and they don't stretch out much(so they don't look sloppy by the end of the day) so they fit great all day long.  You can generally find them on sale for $19.99.  Buy them at JC Penney.

TOMS SHOES:
I just got my first pair of Toms for Christmas from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend.  I am IN LOVE with them and now want them in every color.  I currently have them in the style below (in a solid ash color).  I can run around in them all day and never have sore feet (which is huge for me, because my feet always seem to hurt).  They are crazy light weight and have decent arch support.  The best thing about them is that for every pair purchased, one pair is donated to a child in need.  You can find these lovelies at http://www.toms.com/
APT 9 ESSENTIAL TEE:
I live in these tees.  I have one in almost every color.  Seriously.  I love the short sleeve and long sleeve version.  Look, I'm a stay at home mom and I need clothes that are comfortable and are easy to care for.  These shirts are flattering, can be dressed up or down, and are made out of the softest material.  They have enough stretch to make them super comfy, but not enough to make you look like you are wearing a bag at the end of the day.  You can usually find them on sale for $11.99.  Get them at Kohl's.

OWL SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS:
I recently found these ate a local Christian coffee shop/book store and fell in love.  My dear sweet grandma collected owls and I have been searching desperately for something that reminded me of her to keep in my house.  Now she is always in my kitchen (which is wonderful because she was the most amazing cook) and I smile every time I see them.  I don't know what brand these are, but I was able to find many similar varieties online.
BIO ELEMENTS SKINCARE:
This is the line of skincare products I used during facials when I was working as a cosmetologist.  My skin changed drastically when I began using this several years ago and I haven't changed since.  The best thing is that you can have each product customized for your special skin type.  My suggestion would be to have a skin analysis done at your local salon (by an esthetician) to see what products would be best for you.  It's a little bit of an investment at first, but I promise you won't regret it.
BIOMEGA SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER:  I used to be stuck on Redken and Pureology, but I have recently been reformed!  BIOMEGA is part of the Aquage company and is considered to be their luxury line (I have also recently fallen in love with Aquage Kenra Volume Mist and Aquage Kenra Blow Dry Spray).  My hair looks and feels the healthiest that it has ever felt.  I use the moisturizing version of the duo.  Call around to your local salons to find out where purchase them.
GLEE:
I fell in love with this show during the first episode.  Singing, dancing, dramedy... what more could you ask for?  All I can say is, I wish the new episodes (on FOX) would hurry up and get here already!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Full Factor

Hi, my name is Kelsey and I love to eat.  If I'm sad, ice cream will surely cheer me up.  If I'm happy, let's celebrate... how about dinner?  If I'm stressed out, how about some cheesecake?  If I am having a pity party, nothing sounds better than a big greasy cheeseburger.  If I'm mad... well then I usually lose my appetite (but not for long).  I suppose this means I'm an emotional eater, but my cravings are not always triggered by emotions, I truly love food.  I don't feel like food fills any void for me, but I suppose I do eat the way some people drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.

I feel like, if I could improve upon portion control, my love of food wouldn't have to be a problem.  I assume the problem lies in what I like to call The Full Factor.  I have no clue when I am full.  Every juicy crispy bite of a cheeseburger feels like the first.  Seconds?  Yes please.  Thirds?  Well I would hate to be rude.  Dessert?  Duh.
I don't feel full until at least a half of an hour after I've eaten and I am absolutely stuffed stupid.  I am like a darn goldfish who has only a 2 second memory and will eat until it explodes.  There have been so many times of mindless eating when I look down and am shocked that the whole (fill in the blank) is gone!  I feel like I should host commercials for the Clean Plate Club.  "I'm not just a charter member, I'm also the founder and president." 
Today, for example, I weighed myself at the gym and I've lost one of my two gained holiday pounds (hooray), so what do I do?  I ask my husband to bring home Chinese food for dinner (I jokingly told him that I just looked too pretty to cook today... he laughed and played along).  Later, while filled to the gills with chicken fried rice, we were making our grocery list, I said "I don't know, honey, all I can think about is ice cream."  So I braved (stupidly risked seems more fitting) the dangerously icy streets for vanilla soft serve mixed with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and M&Ms.  Can we say self-sabotage?
A routine that I got into a while back (but have fallen out of) was to, before sitting down at the table, put all of the leftovers away so that there were no 'seconds' in sight.  That seemed to help.  Eating off a dessert plate instead of a dinner plate is also helpful.  Although this does not make broccoli taste more like chocolate.  What helps most, though, is actually eating at the dining room table and not at the coffee table in front of the television.  This way I have to pay attention to the bites I'm taking. 
I'm fairly certain part of my issues with knowing when I'm full come from years and years of binging and purging.  I've been healthy for 7 years, you would think my goldfish brain would have improved by now.  But I suppose it takes a long time to undo a bad habit, and to my acclaim I've defeated the second half of it (go me).  I know that it is going to take a lot of practice to teach myself the meaning of a healthy portion.  But sometimes this is what healthy portions seem to look like:
I have been trying to remind myself of the advice I gave a few blogs ago, about only eating what you love (it can be hard if you love most all food like me) and not wasting calories on food that's not TO.DIE.FOR delicious.  I've been working on actually tasting each bite instead of rushing through each meal like a competitive eater (which I would probably be good at).  These are hard habits to break.  It's not as if I can give up eating to break my poor behavior, to fix my 'unhealthy relationship with food' (that's what a lady on the radio called it the other day).  I feel like I am trying to rewire 27 years of bad habits... that's not easy to do.  Especially in a society that encircles food as it's core character.  While we can't change society, we can change our behavior.  Gluttony doesn't have to be your lifestyle.
Be healthy, love yourself and remember... you're In Good Company.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Keeping Positive

There are days when I just want to give up.  I get sick of having to work so painstakingly hard to lose every single pound.  I don't want to get up and go to the gym (if we're being honest, I've never been a morning person so that doesn't really help).  I want to eat an entire strawberry cheesecake and chase it down with a Route 44 Dr. Pepper (with cherry and vanilla flavoring added, of course).  There are days when I feel like it wouldn't make a difference, even if I did keep working at it.

Days like this suck.  I mean really.  The days that you just don't feel like you measure up to whatever it is you are supposed to measure up to.  For instance, yesterday I slipped and fell on the ice, while holding my 13 month old son.  Talk about feeling like the worst mom in the world.  Luckily we are both fine (besides the entire right side of my body aching like crazy), but an incident like that can really make you feel like a tiny ant just waiting to be squished.  I kept thinking about how clumsy I was and how I shouldn't have been walking on an icy driveway in the first place, and what a terrible mom I am for putting my son in danger.  Hello catastrophic thoughts, goodbye logic!!!

Those are the days when you can't even picture the finish line.  The days when you want to quit everything you have started.  The days when just getting to the gym proves to be too much.

I just finished the book Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado (I recommend any and every book by Max Lucado by the way) and in one chapter he referenced a scripture that I now have on my refrigerator to keep me motivated.

Hebrews 12:1 ...Let us run the race that is before us and never give up.

In biblical times they didn't dance Zumba, lift weights or shoot hoops (otherwise it may say... Let us dance the salsa that is before us and never give up).  What did they do instead?  They ran.  And so will I (well not run, exactly... we've discussed my feelings on running already).  I will continue to persevere and will slowly but surely get healthy, shed weight one pound at a time, and I will continue to love myself.  And in the meantime I will stay positive.  I will not, I repeat: will not, give up!
Be healthy, love yourself... remember you're In Good Company.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dear Mr. Spandex

I want to take a moment and discuss the very serious matter of workout apparel.  I certainly am no gym fashion diva.  Each morning I roll out of bed, throw on my workout gear, wipe the mascara bags from under my eyes (you will NOT catch me at the gym in full makeup on purpose), and go.  But there are some issues that should be discussed.
I first want to address the creator of spandex, who undoubtedly is a man.

Dear Mr. Spandex: I hate your product.  When trying to put it on, I feel like I am trying to shove 3 dozen uncooked rolls into a deflated balloon... have you ever tried that?  I know that you really hit it big when superheroes started wearing shiny spandex in all different colors, but is it really necessary in the gym?  I mean, no one needs to see every ounce of cellulite ever made.  And taking the stuff off!  That's a whole other story!  Add a little sweat (from working out or from the simple process of trying to dress) and trying to undress is like opening a can of biscuits, you never know when you'll finally get the darn thing to pop open, and when it does, you've had the crap scared out of you and there are raw baked goods all over the floor!  If you can design a miracle product that makes my belly button look like it's touching my spine and that I've never eaten a cookie in my life... that product I will invest in.  All my love, Kelsey

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, can we talk about sports bras?  I cannot find one with enough support.  Either I feel like I am being suffocated to death or I feel like my boobs are hanging out at my waistband and at the same time are getting lost somewhere under my armpits.  Suggestions anyone?  While we are one the subject of undergarments, I know that some people are truly bothered by the VPL (visible panty line).  I am not, at least not at the gym anyway.  I've been told that new workout apparel has crotch liners in it so you should feel safe just going commando.  Here's the deal, I imagine that those would have to be some snug pants to make a difference and we all know my love for Mr. Spandex.  The point I want to make is once you've given birth, even a sneeze can be a little scary.  Jumping around can be even worse.  Believe me... mommies need the extra layer of protection, so cut us a little slack in the VPL area.
Lastly, I just want to say that this is 2011 and scrunchies are out.  I know that most of us aren't at the gym to impress each other, but really...  Scrunchies?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fattest In The Room

There is no feeling quite like the one of feeling you are the fattest woman in the room.  There is just something about that awful feeling that can really cut you to the core.
It's that feeling of wishing you were faceless, invisible, but your brain is telling you that you are fatter than every other woman in the room and that everyone is staring at your muffin top and back fat.  In your heart you know that no one is really staring at your gut, but you just can't shake the feeling that they are; that they all are.  But now it's not only your mid section, but your jiggling arms and jelly-like booty.  Oh no, what if they notice the zit that's about to come up on your chin and your unpolished toenails?  At this point you are really wishing that you'd spent a little more time on your hair and possibly invested in a Spanx.  Just a random thought on Spanx... where does the fat go?  I mean, it has to go somewhere... right?

Anyway... Luckily, days like these are pretty rare for me now; for a few reasons (I'm still fat, believe me).  One, I have a loving and supportive husband who always makes me feel beautiful.  Two, I try to surround myself with people who aren't superficial and who cherish me for my friendship (and I cherish their friendship).  Three, I know who I am and I know that it is a huge disservice to myself to let my catastrophic thoughts run wild.  Four, I know that I am, as always, a work in progress.
But still, there are times when you simply cannot make yourself feel positive.  We all have those days.  Most days in my workout classes, I scan the mirror and I truly am the fattest in the room.  There are days in Zumba when I can't make myself forget that I jiggle WAY better than I shimmy.  There are days, like today, when I realize that I've only been to one cardio class since Thanksgiving and the scale says I'm up 2 pounds... crap.

But then you have these AMAZING days that you don't care what skinny little twit is next to you in the gym because you feel great!  Those are the days I love, the days when your hair lays just right, and you feel good in your jeans, and there aren't any pimples in sight.  Shouldn't every day be like that?  I don't mean to come off as being exceedingly superficial and self-absorbed.  But we all know that there are times when the way we appear (or the way we think we appear) can really affect how we feel.
I think it's important to feel comfortable in who we are all the time.  To love ourselves in the body God gave us, no matter how hard that may be sometimes.  To not let 2 pounds (it's after Christmas for crying out loud) ruin your day.  After all, does it really matter what our bodies look like, or is it really what's on the inside that counts?  I know what I believe, but society has a screaming In-Your-Face opposing view.

I imagine that's what I will struggle with the most in this weight loss journey, the set backs (because they will  happen).  I want to love myself along the way, but it's difficult not to get frustrated when you see yourself make poor choices.  But, to my defense, I am working on the portion control (successfully some days, unsuccessfully others) and I've been off "the hooch" (soda and caffeine) for 3 1/2 months.  So that's one accomplishment I can be proud of.
The most important thing of all, is to focus on being healthy.  Like I've said many times, I don't want to be skinny (mostly because I've come to terms with the fact that I never will be), I just want to love myself.

Be healthy, love yourself... and remember you're In Good Company.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yoga Flatulence

Picture this... you're in a dimly lit room, filled with soothing music.  The light from the candles is bouncing off the mirrored walls.  You are nailing your Yoga poses today, I mean you rock.  Really.  When, suddenly, you notice a little churning in your stomach, not too bad, but enough to be mindful during Downward Facing Dog.
You're stomach begins to tighten a little more and you then become really worried.  You've heard it before, the lone fart let loose in a Yoga class.  It is always followed by muffled giggles and a look in the direction of the guilty party.  The guilty party is always thankful that the room is dark enough that no one can see her reddening face.  You don't want to be that person.  You squirm uncomfortably and feel lucky to have made it through Child's Pose incident-free.
You roll to your back and your instructor calls out the Supine Spinal Twist.  "This stretch is really good for the intestinal track," she says.  "CRAP!", you think quietly to yourself.  Again, with no incident.  You think you're in the clear.  But then that darn Happy Baby Pose... you can feel it coming and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  You know that you're going to be that girl this time.  Maybe they won't hear it, maybe it won't stink, maybe the fan will reduce the sound.
There's no stopping it now, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip.  It was loud.  People look your way, your face turns red.  You pretend it wasn't you.  Your choices now are to look around as if to find the culprit, or to pretend you didn't hear anything at all.  You can either grab your shoes and run (yes, this would be a time you might see me actually running) or you finish the class like a big girl.  All you know is that next time you will skip the A.M. fiber and pray for your future workout sessions to be gas free. 
If this has ever happened to you... well, you're In Good Company.