We Go Back

Have you ever heard the phrase “glory days”? Do you have any of them?

I have had when I like to call Glory Kicks throughout my adulthood. I identify these as times when I made choices and did things that moved the ball of my life forward. In all of them- I learned lessons about myself, but as their title would indicate, the lessons were sometimes short lived- a kick I was on.

For a period of time in college I was on the Atkins diet. This served me well- I was a carb addict and by tracking and limiting the carbs I lost good weight. Unfortunately I also began an unhealthy obsession tracking my ketosis. Like constantly.

What I learned: Carbs make me gain weight and cutting them out helped me lose. Meat and cheese is took expensive for a poor college kid. Tracking sometimes makes me a little nuts.

Also while I was in college, I enrolled in a tae kwon do class to get an extra few credit hours. I learned a ton and I had so much fun in the process. I earned a medal in a form competition and I got a green stripe when I tested at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, when the class ended I couldn’t afford individual lessons so I stopped.

What I learned: I love the discipline and fitness required for martial arts. Martial arts have a significant cost associated for lessons.

After college and after the job that helped me gain 100 pounds I stumbled on Nerd Fitness. I jumped into the community and challenges. I started running and tracking my food. Eventually I realized I had an issue with gluten. I lost 100 pounds and was so happy. Then things went sideways and I had conflicting goals. After I ran my marathon I was stuck with- Do I run? Do I lift? Do I eat to train? Do I go back to calorie watching? How do I keep doing what I was doing when I just got married and our eating and fitness habits re so different? Slowly I started putting weight back on… then I had a baby.

What I learned: I don’t need the quantity of food I had been consuming. Some running was great for me. Gluten is bad. I like being strong. Too many goals makes me stop achieving any of them.

Most recently I completed a DietBet challenge. Normally I don’t just shoot to have a weight loss goal, because there are so many other and better markers of health, but I needed to do something to motivate me out of my slump. This plan worked- I woke up early and went to the gym 3 days a week, tracked what I ate, and lost 9.4 pound in 4 weeks.

What I learned: Money can be very motivating. Working out early helps me start my day. I still don’t need to eat like I’m nursing.

So here’s what I’m getting at- our lives are races that we run and we have these power bursts (or kicks) that propel us forward. We just need to be able to look back at what we learned and put those ideas into practice when we need a jolt.

For me this looks like: Eat only what you need; not too many carbs and avoid gluten. Choose a sport or activity that allows you to be disciplined; don’t just go willy nilly and play it by ear (have a plan). Get up early and either workout or at a minimum get your head right. Have a financial stake in your success.

These rules are specific to me, not a blueprint for everyone. They can get me where I want to go because they are time tested.

I think that anyone who is willing to look back with a discerning eye on their life, like I did, will see patterns of what worked and what didn’t that they can lay over their current circumstances to help define a beat path.

Also, I think I’m going to go back and try tae kwon do again.

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Baby Vs Barbell

Life is really busy right now. All the moms in the room, I’m sure, are nodding knowingly. My little man will be 4 months old on Monday and I feel like I am just now getting back into the swing of things. This new found rhythm made me think that going back to the gym would be a snap.

Mr Ham and I located a gym very close to our home where there is daycare ($1/hr! Amazing!) and we signed up right away. I was pumped. I know that lifting again will get my head right and will help me feel more like myself. Unfortunately, there is one thing I didn’t take into account:  Mom guilt is real.

Monday afternoon I rushed home from work to get my workout clothes on. I was pumped. Then I realized that I could no longer just drop everything and lift. My body was different now and my baby was nursing. I would have to time things just right so that he had food and so that my body wouldn’t be uncomfortable. Timing this sort of thing out is hard, guys.

Not only that, I also had to take into account the effects that lifting would have on the quality of his…dinner. (There’s no way to phrase this that doesn’t come off slightly awkward!)

Thirdly, lifting always leaves me a little sore the next day (DOMs) but I never took into account that it would make me sore for 4 fulls days. It was such a chore to just walk up the stairs- it was hard to get down and play with my son when I was as sore as I was.

All of this made me feel guilty- was he going to suffer just so I could start to get my body back? I felt so guilty, like I was taking from him. See- mom guilt is real.

However, what I realized then and have to remind myself now, my body will serve both of us better if I am healthy and strong. There may be some stumbling blocks on the way there, but if I am careful and take care of my body well (hydrate, lift smart, keep walking) I think the both of us can benefit from this process!

I’m excited to get back under the barbell! Time to get to work!

 

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Join the Rebellion!!!

2016 is going to be epic. I know I’ve said that before, most recently about 2015, but I had no idea the curveball life would throw me THIS PAST YEAR. No sooner than I had made my awesome list of things to accomplish in 2015 than I got the best news ever- I was expecting. Finally, after 2 years of pushing hard to get healthy and wanting to be a mom, it was happening. Wish: granted- life: altered. Needless to say, most of 2015 was spent taking care of myself by walking and eating right, so that my baby would grow and thrive and in September I gave birth to the most awesome kid on the planet. We call him Bacon Bits.
When I first started reading the articles and participating in challenges on Nerd Fitness, my life looked very different than it does today. Not only was I constantly stumbling and backsliding with my goals, I was also trying to do it all alone. Before long however, I had developed an amazing network of supporters, cheerleaders, and friends. Legit friends, who had my back and who loved me well enough to speak truth when I needed to hear it. These people are my most favorite thing about the Rebellion.

Without the support and advice I get from others who have been where I am, I don’t know that I would be as healthy as I am right now- which also means that I don’t know if I would have my son. The impact of having positive folks in your life, like the Rebels in mine, is invaluable. They encouraged me to try new things, like lifting, running, rucking and those things have changed me for the better- I’m not exaggerating.

Listen, if you’re not happy with where you are, and you feel stuck in a rut, you need to check out Nerd Fitness and see what could possibly lie ahead for you. Read success stories. Learn about other types of fitness. Consider alternatives to your same old, same old. But, whatever you do, do NOT accept the boring, stagnant, discontent lies you’ve told yourself.

This year is going to be epic, I’ll say it again. I plan on completing a GORUCK challenge. I plan on slashing a few more 14ers off my hiking wish list. And most of all, I plan on getting out there and feeling alive- for my son, for myself, FOR THE REBELLION. You should, too! #JOINTHEREBELLION

Year End What’s Up/ What’s Next

Well, 2014, it’s been real.

This year has been a huge tornado of firsts and changes. Sometimes, a few life path alterations keep us pointed in the same direction, but I have had so many this year that I truly feel like my life has started in on a new journey.

The year started off in an epic way- my first lifting meet! I flew down in January to Dallas Texas to meet up with some of the best people on the planet- other Rebels from Nerd Fitness. We met up at a Crossfit gym, and cheered each other on towards a mountain of PR’s. Hanging out with them was a highlight for me, and now that it’s almost a year later, I miss them all so much. Such good people.

Nerd Fitness Crew

In May my best friend and I did our very first Spartan race. It was one of the most challenging things I had done. The water was freezing, the obstacles were difficult, and the finish was epic. I’m thinking I might even shoot for more in 2015…

Spartan

June brought one of the most epic things I have ever done, which led me to one of the most amazing communities ever. GORUCK. I participated in a Light, and now I have plans to get a challenge in 2015, and maybe a few more events? Hint hint, GORUCK, a scavenger in Colorado would be cool…  My reward to myself and a belated birthday present was Ziva, my GORUCK pack. Easily the most comfortable bag I’ve ever owned.

GORUCK Light Class 322

Most of my summer was spent hiking, 14ers in specific. There are quite a few that I still want to get to, and 2015 has their names written all over it. I’m really excited to get back out on the trails and to keep pushing my limits. I was trying to think of which summit was my favorite, but I don’t think I can nail it down to just one. Catching sunrise on Mount Sherman was amazing. Getting 3 out of 4 of The Quad was challenging and fun. Pikes Peak was an awesome hike and though it was long, it was gorgeous, with multiple different types of terrain. Evans’ summit was quick, and the way down was… trailblazing…

The Quad

In August I took a twist with my 5k adventures and started to Ruck them (ie, carrying weight in a pack, and instead of running I do a quick walk, like a shuffle, but more effective.) I had been shooting for 45 minutes or less with the weight, and at the Esprit de She I clocked in at 44:08!!! I was on fire and I felt amazing!

Esprit de She 2014

In the fall I started attending November Project on Wednesday mornings, before work. The workouts are killer, and though I’m the slowest person there, I never feel unwelcome, and I always get a good burn. Free fitness? Hello. I’ve even been given the positivity award twice, which is crazy because THEY are the ones who keep me positive!

NP5280

I finished up the year taking a massive step towards a Life Quest goal of mine (Becoming a Search and Rescue K9 handler). This December, I completed my Wilderness First Aid certification. We spent 2 days in the mountains working through lessons and scenarios, and the scenarios specifically showed me that this is what I want to be doing.

Med Training Group

Unrelated to health and fitness, my life took another huge turn. In September, I felt like I was being called out of ministry. I had been working at my church full time for almost 8 years, and the thought of leaving my job scared me and made me sick to my stomach. But, God provided and showed me where he wanted me to go- and confidently I went. The change has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I know it was the right thing.

Related to health, I also started to see a chiropractor. I am feeling great, and I am hoping that the long term benefits to this are everything that I hope they will be. My Chiro showed us our X-rays and walked us through all the different aspects to them; I feel sort of like an expert on my spine! All the areas where it Zigs instead of Zags directly relate to issues that I have physically and emotionally. It’s amazing.

Upcoming for 2015:

1. More Spartan! I’m thinking a Super?

2. More GORUCK! A challenge in June for my birthday!

3. More November Project! Ya’ll good?

4. More 14ers! Bierstad, Quandary, Democrat…

5. More safety! I’m applying for my church’s safety team!

6. More lifting! I am determined to get my 500# club patch this year!

I’m preparing for a wild ride…

Nerd Fitness 6 Week Challenge (2/25-4/8)

Hello!

I am participating in the Nerd Fitness 6 week challenge that starts Monday!

Below are my goals for the 6 weeks and how I plan on getting there! Enjoy!

 

Goals (Feb 25 to Apr 8):


Fitness/Diet Quests:
1. Eating Well. Whole30 beginning February 25th. I need to heal up my body so that my race goes well and I am at my peak

2. Marathon Training. 2 Runs per week, one is the long run and at least one other training/shorter run. The marathon is the weekend after the challenge finishes!

3. Water. With all of the running I need to be hydrating better. Each day I will drink 100 oz of water. The score for this goal will be directly determined out of how much I drink percentage wise each day over the course of the month.

Life Quest:
4. Clutter. I will spring clean my house, one room per week. The 6 rooms will be garage, office, bedroom, kitchen, living room, and closets. With the hubby moving in we just piled everything in the house and called it good.

 

**If you need to level up your life, join us over at Nerd Fitness!!!**

Losing 100+ Pounds and Finding Myself

In 2008 (when I was 26 years old) I got the worst call of my life. My dad, who I loved more than anyone, had a stroke at work and had been taken to the ER. I flew home as fast as I could, but I never saw him awake again. A week later he passed away.

That day I thought my life fell apart. But, I was kidding myself- my life had started to fall apart way before that. When I got home from Chicago I was in a daze. About 3 weeks later, I started “living” again- going through the motions. You see, my dad was overweight, diabetic, and had really high blood pressure. As they were trying to stabilize him, it became apparent that he hadn’t been taking the meds he was prescribed, like he was supposed to. All of this culminated in an aneurysm in his brain that the neurosurgeon couldn’t correct.  Over the next year, I began to evaluate my own life. My dad was a week in to 51 years old when he passed- way too young. He and I had a lot in common from our love of the outdoors to our love of food. Also, over the next year, my marriage fell apart. I was a mess.

At the end of 2009 I made a clear, conscious decision (a stake in the ground sort of moment) to stop “going through the motions” and OWN my life and my choices. January 2010 I was 267 pounds, an emotional time bomb, and just plain miserable. Nothing I was doing gave me joy anymore. And that wasn’t going to work for me.

I spent the next two and a half years watching what I put in my mouth, and moving my body more. Diet-wise, I watched calories, tracking everything, and then eventually switched to a mostly Paleo lifestyle in the spring of 2012. I don’t do it perfectly, but right now I am in the middle of a Whole30 (from www.whole9life.com), trying to figure my body out. I’m not going for a quick fix- I’ve been at this for a long time and plan to be healthy for the rest of my life.  Exercise wise, I started with walking. I could hardly walk a block before getting winded and the little voice inside my head would tell me “you can’t do this; you may as well go home now.” Somehow, I learned to silence that voice. I started running with my friend La Nae, first with Couch to 5k, then with Lifetime’s Run Club and their trainer David Clark’s organization http://thesupermanproject.org/ . I have since run a ton of 5 and 10k’s as well as 2 half marathons.

In the process of finding a better (best) version of me I stumbled upon www.nerdfitness.com . This changed my life. I had all the individual components, but I couldn’t seem to juggle them all at once. Reading the articles and talking with others who have had success helped propel me into a position to really level up my life. I learned to do some strength training in conjunction with my cardio. I learned a lot about food and have made an informed decision to cut certain foods out of my life. I have made amazing friends, like Amanda(Wicked Pixie) who all support me and encourage me to keep going. The challenges help me take my long term goals and make them bite size and baby-stepped. I have learned to put into action all the small pieces of my life simultaneously. THAT’s where life change happens.

I have now been at this for two and a half years. I have lost 102 pounds (and am still losing) and in the process I have found a reason to keep going- I’m worth it. I’m worth the hard work, the sweat, the pain, and the tough choices. All of it. I am stronger, smarter, and more joyful. I haven’t arrived- I still have a lot of really hard work to do. The difference is that now I know I can.

Before and Now (ironically wearing the number 102 and the day I lost 102 pounds!)