Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding Fitness Bliss

Yoga. I love Yoga. To my very bones I love the stuff.

I started taking yoga classes when I was 19 at the little gym by my mom's house and fell in love. I couldn't afford classes for a few years, but when my son was a toddler, I started taking them again. Probably only went to 10-15 classes and stopped again.

That was probably 7-8 years ago. I haven't stepped foot into a yoga class since the parade of perfect barbies in yoga pants and tank tops at the Big-Box Gym I used to belong to back then. I was always the only fat girl in the back of the class. The closest I came to finding anyone my size was the pregnant woman that sometimes showed up. The instructors have always been fantastic. It was the looks I felt I was getting from the other students that always bothered me.

Taking any kind of group classes as a fat person is never easy. A lot of overweight people refuse to take them due to being self-conscious and worried over how they look in class. Being the only person in an over-sized shirt and baggy pants while everyone else is in skin-tight workout gear doesn't help anyone feel like they fit in with the group. Speaking from a fat girl's perspective, I have lived my life trying to fight against the stereotypes of being overweight. Proving that I am not a sweaty, stinky, flopping mass of rolls has been a life-long struggle. And going into a class where sweating, stinking and flopping the fat around is most certainly going to happen.... it's at least a little bit uncomfortable.

All of that being said, I still went. I still sat with a flat back as my muscles screamed. I still bent my over-sized body parts into the positions demonstrated by the instructors. I went because I wanted to be more. I went because I loved the focus it gave me.

If there is something that you really want to do, do it. The fear of judgement, and the fear of failure are probably what have kept most of us overweight folks just that.... overweight. Most people that I have talked to who are fit and healthy don't look down on the fatties in class. Most are encouraging and supportive that you are working towards bettering your health.

Life is too short to miss out on doing things that you love simply because you have some extra poundage on your bones. I love Yoga. I am finally taking classes again. The teacher this time around challenges me in ways I have never been challenged in a yoga class before. It hurts. I sweat and turn red. I can't do all the moves at least partially right. But I love it. Fat be damned.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Love, Hate and Weights

This is my last week of an 8 week weight-training program. I only had today and Friday to get through and I'm done! I can't tell you how excited I am to finally complete a work-out program. This one will probably... oh no... definitely be my very first. I can't tell you how overwhelmingly thrilled I am to finally follow-through on something fitness-related.

That being said... this is probably the hardest of the 8 weeks so far. And no, I don't mean physically either. This week is all mental. Between work, school and home, I am exhausted. I'm not seeing any movement on the scale or visibly, so I'm frustrated. We upped the reps and this is the heaviest week yet, so everything is a struggle when I feel like it shouldn't be.

Today I hated the olympic bar. Today I raged at every pound, every lift, every push and every pull. Today I could've put it all down and walked away. But I would've regretted it. So instead, I kept moving. I kept lifting and pushing and pulling the metal around the gym. One more day, and this is over.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Listen Closely

I know I have posted before about listening to your body. And yes, I'm going to reiterate it here. If you are in pain, or some serious level of discomfort, you may want to put off your workout.

This morning I had to be to work at some ungodly hour of the morning (also known as: Oh-god-thirty) so I was up around, roughly, 2:45am. Got up, managed to fumble my way through getting workout clothes on, packing my actual outfit, boiling eggs, eating my bran, and testing my blood sugar. What I forgot were my meds, my vitamins, and my lunch. Oh yea, today is going to be a wonky day.

Managed to make it to the gym by 5am and started warming up. That was when I realized that my body was having none of it. Apparently biology wins out over wanting to move this morning. Grr.

So, instead working up a wonderful sweat I will sit at my desk, work on schoolwork until I am able to work on what I am assigned today, and just deal with the fact that my body is staging a mutiny against me. Oh yea, and eat breakfast. Again.

The most difficult about this is not to beat myself up for missing a workout. If I only manage to move 5 times this week instead of 6... I think I'm still doing alright. We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, June 27, 2011


For those of you who actually follow this blog, I'm sure you've noticed I've been lacking in my posts here lately. I have been busy out there living life. But no worries, this fat girl is still moving!

I am currently in week 8 of a weight-training program that my trainer has me moving through. In the first week I was lifting 5-pound barbies* and struggling to get through 12-14 reps with them. This week I have been on the Olympic bar now for a while and have been adding plates to it. I can bench 75 pounds now. And while that may not seem like much, I started out struggling with 20. She has me moving through interval training as well, for the cardio. (Note to self: Write blog post about how much fun cardio can be once you step off the tread-mill or elliptical.) I work out 5-6 days a week without fail. And while the numbers on my scale haven't moved much, my inches are going down... down... down...

Sadly, the first thing to fall by the wayside when I get busy is this blog. I am looking at ways to make it a bit more of a priority than I already do. Between taking 2 college courses every quarter, working out every morning, cooking when I have time, and trying to spend quality time with friends and family... it's no easy feat. Then of course, writer's block hits like a ton of Legos and everything comes grinding to a halt.

The upside of it all is that I've started 5-6 posts that I have been blocked on. So I am hoping to use those for inspiration when I get back into the swing of things.

Also, In 2 weeks I go back to the doc to see where I'm at in the journey to be med-free for my Diabetes. Nervous as hell, but we will see how that goes! I will hopefully be around much more. Who's going to keep you wonderful people entertained if it's not me?  :-)

*Barbies - Weights that are generally under 15 pounds and don't allow for adjustment. Usually the multi-color neoprene weights. Short name for "Barbie Weights".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Food Friends and Family

There is a strange joy I find in cooking for my loved ones. All of the women in the previous generations of my family, on both sides, have always enjoyed cooking "for the troops". But until I really learned to cook for myself I never understood it. The difference is that what I try to cook is smack dab in the healthy zone.

My family can cook. I mean, really and truly throw down in the kitchen. Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday because everyone got together to make the most delicious foods. But we are southern through and through. This means lots of bacon fat, lots of things made with "drippings" and lots of wonderfully tasty baked goodness.

Sadly, I don't have the luxury of cooking like that anymore. But, as that challenge arises, I am excited to meet it. Now, while I realize that Thanksgiving is still about 4 months away, there is the every-day reality that there are five of us in this house and every meal is nearly as big as Thanksgiving.... minus the bird.

I am finding great excitement in cooking healthy foods for my friends and family. I love telling them how there is no sugar in the cookies or muffins they're eating. Or how there are less than 100 calories for a 1/3 cup of the BBQ sauce on their chicken. I love the look of surprise on their face when they realize that eating healthy can taste really really good.

Because, let's me honest... if the food doesn't taste good, there is a huge chance that no one, including myself, would eat it!