Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fat Acceptance: Part Two

My Weight Manifesto: Fat acceptance, Part 2

Before I go any deeper into the rabbit hole, know that the concept of me publishing body acceptance ideas on a blog who's audience is almost exclusively a weight loss crowd, is not lost on me :) I'm really just getting some ideas out of my head and if you can appreciate some of what I have to say, that's awesome. If not, that's fine too.

One of the people who has influenced me this past year, was the girl I talked about earlier, Mandy. (but her name isn't really Mandy ;) She not only inspired me during yoga, but with her fearless attitude toward her body. She would write about fat acceptance concepts on her Facebook and in the beginning, I'd cringe and try to ignore it. It made me uncomfortable. I, after all, was not just going to accept my body! Gah, how horrific of an idea! Actually appreciate and love myself...just as I am? *insert sarcasm*. Her ideas sort of remind me of this amazing article about being pretty. CLICK HERE. To read some amazingness. In short, it talks about how we don't owe it to anyone to be pretty. And what does pretty have to do with anything of worth anyways?

I met another amazing woman this year. Through a strange twist of events, our paths crossed and we ended up co-hosting a yoga workshop designed around intuitive eating and body acceptance. She's an intuitive eating coach and therapist extraordinaire. We would sit in coffee shops for hours having the kind of engaging conversations that would fill you up for days. We would talk about yoga, and food and body image, and philosophy and it was really great.

She said something that really resonated with me. I'm not directly quoting, but it was the idea that we need to stop thinking that shaming ourselves into eating "right" or fitting into a certain size will fix anything. I seriously wanted to hug her at that moment, and I probably should have. I'd never heard anything like that before, but it was spot on. Not only should we stop shaming ourselves, we should stop thinking that that's an acceptable behavior. I know I've spent many years feeling like if I could only feel guilty enough, I'd change. All this did was make me feel bad about myself and when you feel bad you make bad decisions.

Fat acceptance, for me, isn't about being lazy and unhealthy and pretending to be ok with it. It's about accepting your body for what it is today without the idea that if only it were different, it would be better. Something amazing starts to creep in when this concept takes hold. You become more grateful for what your body can do and how it looks.

On New Year's day I went snowshoeing for the first time. This was something I thought I'd never do because I was just too big. For one, there's the actual shoes. Snowshoe size is determined by weight and in my head I was like, happening. But my husband surprised me with some snowshoes he bought on his own, for me. He even made sure they were the right size and consulted with the snowshoe guru at REI. I love that man. The snowshoe hike was fun, and tiring at the same time. I'd been so worried about the equipment and the altitude (living in CO and exercising in the mountains can be hard) and all the while I forgot to think about the sense of accomplishment I'd have. Here I was, a fat girl, snowshoeing at 10,000k+ feet and I felt totally alive. I had to stop and take a bazillion breaks, but whatever, I did it.

The thing that acceptance is starting to give me, is the freedom to be who I am. I've been living, thinking in my head I wasn't a bigger girl. In denial really. Because of this denial, I'd avoid situations that would cause me to have to remember I'm snowshoeing etc. I wouldn't avoid working out, but rather events where there would be a chance I'd be uncomfortable. The key really is owning it. Like when we went indoor rock climbing a couple months ago. It was me, my husband and our friend who's maybe 5'1" and 110 lbs. Clearly, she's not belaying me. I'd shoot her up off the ground if I fell, and that's just, well, funny.

So, in short, or long in this case. Fat acceptance isn't the picture I had in my head of a woman who was morbidly obese, bed ridden and saying how she loved life and her body. It's not about admitting any sort of defeat, but instead just totally owning who you are. My experience has shown me that we gravitate towards honest authentic people. You know, those people who just live with out filters and excuses. They don't apologize for who they are. My grandpa was like this. He loved to play golf, and he loved being comfortable. He would cut out the tongues of sneakers so they were looser. He would cut the tops of his socks off. He would cut larger neck holes in his t-shirts. The man was all-comfort-all-the-time and he didn't give a damn. On the golf course, it's expected you look a certain way. There's a dress code. You think he cared? Nope. He'd waltz up in his custom scissor cut sweats and bang the shit out of the golf ball and leave people speechless. People loved him because he was his own man. He just accepted who he was, and lived his life.

So, go cut yourself a larger neck hole in that t-shirt and get out there!

Monday, January 7, 2013

My weight manifesto-Fat Acceptance-Part 1

My Personal Weight Manifesto :)

fat acceptance: Part One

For me, this used to be a four letter word. My eyes would widen when I'd hear it, and I'd internally
*gasp* if someone who was actually fat, talked about just accepting it. My brain wasn't ready to hear it and I did quite a bit to not process what that statement personally meant for me. This all started, ironically enough when I was teaching an ongoing weekly yoga series about body acceptance. For me, body acceptance meant accepting where you are, but with the thought always towards ultimately changing. I, of course wouldn't relay the last part of the message about change, but it was always there tweeting away in the back of my brain. I'd use the word acceptance, but it never felt like a good word to me, it always felt like defeat.

My intentions with the word acceptance, however,  have always been pure. It started back in 2005 when I was going through my 500hr, year long, yoga training. What a transformative year that was for me. I remember hearing a story about living in a Zen Buddhist Monastery and how every day, all the people would sit on their meditation cushions and meditate...for hours and hours each day. The specifics of the story have faded over time, but the gist was. You'd sit in meditation with the intention of being there (all day, possibly) but you were free to go when ever you saw fit. Before you left, you'd approach the teacher and he would ask you if you were settled. If you were, and only you could determine that, then you were free to leave. But what did "settled" mean? In this instance it meant essentially, are you leaving to escape your reality? Are you leaving because your knees hurt from sitting cross legged? Are you leaving, because your mind won't stop chattering? Are you leaving, for any number of reasons that have to do with being uncomfortable, in either mind or body? If the answer is yes, that it's likely you're aren't settled and that maybe you're leaving to escape a situation. This has no inherent problem attached to it, but when you see how this idea can translate into your life, you see that this pattern of being, can lead to constantly escaping for greener pastures, all the while not being able to see the beauty of what's going on in the moment.

For me, this used to translate something like this. Am I trying to lose weight because I feel like my life will be better, prettier, worthier, more successful etc.? In the times where I'd have a serious come to Jesus meeting with myself, the answer was usually yes. I was trying to escape my body and trade her in for a shinier, newer, more put together model. All this, while operating under the guise of "I'm totally settled and accepting of how I am". I had convinced myself, even though I knew better, that my life would be better if only I was thinner.

There was this beautiful girl in my Body Acceptance yoga classes, let's call her Mandy. She'd come to class, and laugh and sweat and move and I liked her. One day during class I walked over to adjust a posse, and I caught a glance of one of her tattoos. It simply said fat, in a cool, bold, typewriter-ish font. In that little nugget of a moment, she was my new hero, and that was just the beginning of the unraveling of "Fat Acceptance"

Stay tuned for so, so much more...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The great and powerful scale

I've had two breakdowns in the past week because of the scale. I'm eating healthy and clean and working out 6 days a week. Then I step on the scale and it's all like, you're not good enough, you're still fat, this isn't working, you're no good, you'll never lose weight...and on and on and on.

So, today after my second breakdown where I was in tears at the Transformation center, I've decided the scale and I need to officially break up. That damn thing undermines all the positive progress I've made in the past month. It undermines every last bit of it and it's causing me so much stress. SO much stress. I, along with all my coaches, really believe it's the stress that's keeping this weight on me right now. That, along with the constant reminder that I'm not losing weight which is making me second guess this whole thing.

The first two weeks of this transformation were really fantastic. I was for ONCE, trusting this process and just going with it. The past two weeks have been me just white knuckling it and being almost painfully perfect, hoping I could literally will the scale into submission. The truth is, I have no idea why the scale didn't go down. It could be a whole host of things, but I just need to enjoy this process and let the weight on the scale take care of itself.

The scale has been the great and powerful Oz in my life for so long, so I'm not gonna lie, this is really really hard for me to give up, but it has to be done.

So to kick this new "non scale" world off , I'm going to say all the ways the scale did not determine my success this month.

1) My blood pressure went from 140/90 to 124/76
2) My resting heart rate went from the high 80's to 68
3) I lost 2.5 inches from my waist
4) I am getting so strong and starting to see definition in my arms and legs. I can incline dumbell press 35's and it's sort of my "party trick"of sorts at the Transformation center. People seem to be "wow'd" by my growing strength. 35lb dumbbells in each hand are freekin' HEAVY, but it ain't no thang. Just kidding, they still totally kill me, but I can bust out 10.
5) My determination throughout these past 4 weeks has really impressed me. Not every day has been great mentally, but no matter what I've felt, I've still done the work and not fallen off the wagon and I'm really happy about that.

So, in short, F-you, scale.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My body feels stuck, but my mind is still going

Hey friends,

I'm in the middle of week four right now and my body has decided to start fighting me. If you remember, I lost 3 lbs the first week, and 4 the second week and then 0 the third week. I've had daily conversations with myself about this journey and I can say 1000% I am not sabotaging myself...for once. Which is great news, but on the other hand, it doesn't explain a big fat goose egg for my third week and for the past couple days into this 4th week. The scale just isn't moving and while my spirits are still pretty high, I'm left very confused.

I'm eating roughly 1500 calories a day. All of those calories are coming from lean organic protien, veggies and whole grains. I'm also working out 6 days a week using the HIIT method (High Intensity Interval Training). Which, by the way, if you want to mix things up, try this.

25 minutes total (can be done on any piece of cardio equipment) or outdoors if you can jog/sprint.

Minutes 1&2- Walk pace
Minutes 3&4-Jog pace
Minute 5- Full out sprint pace

Repeat 5 times for a total of 25 minutes. The goal is to get your heart rate up, but then be able to bring it down during the walk pace. I get my HR up to around 160 and then bring it down to about 125ish.

The other plus side to this style of cardio is that it goes by so fast.

Also, I'm doing weight training 3 times a week with a similar method to this 5/25 method of cardio.

Has anyone else hit a dead stop in weight loss when the know for sure...for SURE they are doing everything they are supposed to be doing? I suppose the only thing I can do is just keep going, but it's just a bit frustrating that my body has other plans...

Hope everyone has a great day


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How many weight loss cliches can I use?

I think something has really changed in me. I can't be 100% sure, but I feel like I'm actually making progress in a big way regarding weight loss. I'm finding, as it turns out, that all those horrible cliche's about making changes are true. Namely, *cliche count #1* taking things one day at a time.

This Transformation thing is really just amazing so far. I just started week 3 yesterday and I've lost 7 lbs total. 3 the first week and 4 the second week. I've really just turned myself over to this process instead of mentally fighting every step, every second, every day. Fighting with myself was exhausting. Especially the part where I was in constant denial of my body, size, and health. Getting into a sports bra and shorts and having your picture taken by someone you don't know was come to baby Jesus time for me. Actually seeing said picture was a wake up call. No more denial. DONE.

I've had this nasty habit of projecting myself into the future when it comes to losing weight. I'd start a new plan and then project my weight loss of (x pounds) and then just day dream about what it would be like to be at that weight. All the things I could do, all the cute clothes I could wear. I'd imagine my new life almost so vivid that I'd forget where I actually was...still fat. I could never just focus on one day. It would always be big picture. I'd want the end result without putting the daily work, simply put.

This time I'm literally cutting myself off from thinking about the future. I'll catch myself and then just bring myself back to what's going on RIGHT NOW. Because *cliche count #2* right now is all you really have. Even when I get "there" I'll still only have that present day. It's not like I'll get to my goal and the world will stop and I'll exist only in this fantasy land I've imagined for myself where I'm thinner.

The second big thing I've been coming up against is just how much I'd sabotage my weight loss efforts. I know everyone says don't weigh yourself every day. And, really I understand why, but it's just something I'm not ready to give up yet. It turns out, it's been beneficial in my understanding of just how far the rabbit hole goes when it comes to me getting in my own way. I realized this past week that really no matter what the scale said it was never good enough and was always a reason to derail myself. If the number was good, I'd reward myself with overindulgence and inactivity telling myself I deserved it. If it was a number I didn't want to see, I'd say fuck it and give up for the day, or week or month. I was constantly setting myself up for failure and honestly I didn't really even know that that's what I was doing.

By weighing in daily (still) and even when the number stays the same or goes up a pound I still do what I know is best for me. I've been doing this regardless of what the scale says and eventually the number drops. I can be up a pound from the previous day and then the next down two pounds. I've noticed that trend in the past two weeks and it makes me wonder how many times I've had a great day, stepped on the scale the following morning only to see it UP a pound and then thrown in the towel. If I had just trusted my body I would have found that it probably would have come off two fold, the very next day! I know everyone says your weight day to day fluctuates based on so many factors *cliche #3*, but I just didn't really believe it. I took the number on the scale and equated it to my own self worth. I still do this and probably will for a long time, but at least now I'm aware of it and can start to work on it instead of being in total denial.

Really, what this is boiling down to lately is I'm learning how to get out of my own way. It's a good feeling and I highly recommend it. 5 stars to trusting the process!

I don't want to sound too preachy or pushy, but if you're interested in Transformation, Bill Phillips hosts week long intensives were people fly in from all over the country and world. He also has a local program which is what I'm doing. Any locals out there? There's an open house on Sunday from 2-4. Here's the link

Don't be put off by Bill's awkwardness on camera or the "infomercial" feel. It makes me giggle.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Transformation week one


This past week I started working out at the Transformation Center in Golden, CO.  Going in to this, I really had no idea what to expect, except that I might meet the muscly tan Bill Phillips.  I was a nervous.

It's been almost a week now Transformation center is really amazing. The people there really get weight loss and how it's so much more than eating correctly and working out. They focus so much on the mental aspect of it, which is really great. They all treat you like you're the only one there and it's a really nice feeling to have so many people who just want to help you and not judge you or scream in your face. Although, I wouldn't mind if Bob Harper screamed in my face...just sayin'.

I started off having to take a before picture in my sports bra and shorts. It was not cute, ya'll. I got the picture back a couple days later and I almost started crying. Like, seriously I had tears in my eyes. My coach Shane really wanted me to SEE myself. Trust me, I saw it all. Even that tattoo on my right hip that was a mistake the second it was finished, but I digress. ALWAYS find a tattoo artist who's on board and excited by your concept.

I've really been doing a lot of soul searching around my weight and my reasons for wanting to finally lose it once and for all. I've been tracking everything. Food, workouts, emotions, thoughts, goals.

My goal for the next 12 weeks is to lose 30 lbs. I have a history of starts and stops brought on mostly by me getting frustrated the weight isn't coming off quickly enough, and then giving up. I'm really trying to stop this habit of thinking. It's clearly gotten me no where but chunksville and I'm so ready to move out of that town.

More than anything right now, I'm trying to only focus on one day at a time. I know, puke! It sounds to trite, but it's the only way I can do this.. If I start imagining a future that doesn't exist, it's not really helpful (as pretty as it might be).  I need to just give in to the process and enjoy it. Double Puke! But, for reals, that's what it's going to take

The Positive this week? I feel a lot better already. Still pretty fat, but a little more optimistic :)

Stay tuned

Friday, June 22, 2012

Transformation Center

I'm taking a big step and will be committing to 12 weeks over at the Transformation center. I've talked on and off about Transformation over the years. Some of you may remember when I did the 12 week Body for Life challenge a couple years ago? Bill Phillips is the man behind both Body for Life and Transformation.

Well, Bill is from Colorado and he just recently built a transformation center for people to come and take classes and workout with amazing trainers and change their lives. When I talked to the people over at the center they were so new they didn't yet have a local program, only a week long intensive program for people all over the world. While this was great, and still is, I wanted a more personalized, long term place for me. They said when they had something they'd let me know.

Well, I got an email last week with some details about the program and now I'm in! I start everything on Tuesday and I'm equal parts excited and scared. Bill Phillips is regularly there at the center, so I'm assuming I'll be meeting him somewhere along the line. He's sort of my hero:) Much more than tan rippled abs, that man.

You can watch this, if you want. It's a video about the Transformation center that Colorado and CO. did.

If you've been following me for the past few years, you know how much I've talked about BFL and Bill Phillips, so this is sort of a big deal for me!

I'll keep you posted.

PS-They said come Tuesday prepared to take before pictures in shorts and a sports bra. YIKES! I won't be sharing that picture ;)

Wish me luck