Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." -Vince Lombardi

Well its Thursday, December 29th  and 2011 is almost over and I am happy about it. Not necessarily happy in that sense, meaning not in terms of that emotion, but happy to start a new year. 2011 was a roller coaster of emotions and lessons learned. One of the most powerful lessons was about not trying to be perfect or trying to get everything right. I thought about this b/c I created this workout group for my sorority sisters on facebook and someone posted that they (in short) kinda OD'd on chocolate and they were feeling guilty about it and she said:

"Yall ever have days when you do wrong and you know it before you do it? Most of the regular posters in this group probably don't because you guys are so focused."

What a beautiful teachable moment! A gang of us jumped on the post to say we ALL have those times! The list of people included two of us who have been featured in national fitness magazines (Go Soror Mimi), a Soror who just did a marathon, another soror who has dropped to a size 4, another who just celebrated hitting her weight loss goal, and I added that I started the group and I have those days so we all can relate!

I found this quote and it spoke to me:

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." -Vince Lombardi

No one is perfect, life sure ain't and maybe its just where I am now but damn it life is too short to stress yourself out with trying to be perfect or beating yourself up b/c you are not prefect.

That doesn't mean the answer is to throw in the proverbial towel and not set goals or try to improve on your/my health and fitness goals or any other goals you/I may have but I think for me, I am putting this journey into its proper perspective for a change.

I want to feel better, look better, and treat myself better.

That doesn't reduce down to a number on the scale or a dress size. Nor does it mean I HAVE to workout x amount of days a week.

I will set goals and move towards a more holistic approach to this journey by just treating myself better meaning more sleep, less likka (sniff), more massages, less stress, more planning, less impromptu unhealthy choices.

My cousins came from Jamaica this week and my treadmill was broken well the button you use to lift it up and down came off so its been out of commission for really a year and it was a life save 2 years ago when the weather was so bad I couldn't get out the house to exercise! I would just watch 1 hour of Law & Order and clocked in a workout. So I am going back to basics and will use my treadmill to make sure I will get in at least 30 minutes of exercise more days than not.  

FYI I am very sore from this week's workouts and I will push ahead into the new year! I set one goal so far 37 pounds by my 37th birthday but my trainer asked me about my more immediate goals. So I/we set a 10 pound weight loss goal by Valentine's Day.

Needless to say (since I havent shared it lol) I need to work on my 2012 Vision Board. Its sure been a busy period so I haven't had time to give it the energy it deserves but it was fun to look back at a few! I posted them below! I hope a few of your try to do one of the new year and are willing to share them!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Need a Towel?

Well its the day after Christmas and all is well! The visit with Mom is going amazingly well and I am feeling good! I must confess, like most of America during the holidays, the scale is up :-(  I know why so no need to lament over it. 

On the positive side I have been hitting the gym! I went for a Christmas eve workout and today for a post Christmas day workout! I WISH  I could take the credit however my personal trainer is the angel on my shoulder or the angel in my blackberry telling me to come work out. He is so... invaluable! There  is something to be said for pursuing your passion. He clearly has a heart to help others with health and fitness even today afterwards he texted me to say good job. Its the little things that mean so much to me along this journey.

But for the jokes b/c you KNOW I got 'em! Charles did one of his signature Chizel It classes today. So it was a combo of cardio and strength training. We set up two steps in the shape of an L and went to work! We added bicep curls, chest presses, rows, etc. all while stepping up and down on the steps... yes both steps! So we would go on the step in front of us then turn to the left and go up and down on the step to our left and back in front! Then to mix it up we would do squats and when we got "bored" lol we'd do 32 jumping jacks to mix it up! I felt in my zone to quote Jay Z & Kayne so I was going hard with the jumping jacks which I typically don't do. I usually do some form of a modification but I busted all 4 sets out and Charles had to stop and say "I see you pumped up today! That's right break free..Break free with exercise!" 

That struck me because I have had a lot of things going on in terms of death. I mentioned last post and after that our family cat CJ died on Christmas eve :-( She was almost 17 years old so we knew it was time that's almost 109 years in human years but it didn't make it any less sad. I am tearing up just thinking about seeing her. I must say I have been very sheltered from death to be 36 years old. I know people who have lost many family members and friends and I doubt it is any easier for them but I feel like I am so ill prepared to deal with death.

I have been feeling very sad lately and Charles's words really hit home because I can't let the death around me stop me from living my best life. Exercise and journaling have been life savers for me. That was a good reminder for me today... There are undeniable benefits to both for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. So I am grateful that Charles is such an encouraging and caring person b/c I needed all of that today! 

But enough of that...*exhaling* 

The workout....

I. Was. Struggling. I can't lie! At a point I felt sweat drop from my ear! Charles started to say something to me during class and I yelled "I AM SWEATING FROM MY EAR!" To which he replied "Oh! You need a towel?" 

*Falling out* LOL all I could say was "Yes please" lol a few minutes later he came back and said "That's a new one! Here you go!"  LOL

Ahhh gotta love him!!!

All in all a good workout! 

Afterwards I had a meeting downtown regarding my new role in the Junior League! I am chairing the Wise Penny Internship and Mentoring Program. That was my first placement so it is near and dear to me because it is a DIRECT form of community service. I truly enjoyed it when I served as a mentor. The intern I mentored went on to get a full time retail job which turned into a management position 6 months later, she lost weight, and got her own car. A real success story from being on public assistance and working part time! So I am excited about chairing the committee and working with a new group of women! 

Needless to say that's an added responsibility and another potential  distraction from my health and fitness routine BUT the benefits will out weigh the cost. Its going to be all about time management.  I really have no excuse there is a Lynne Bricks gym on the corner so anytime I have meeting I could squeeze in a workout either before or after! The impact of this program is far reaching; it helps the women, their children, and the community. Its a great example of the saying if you want to feed a man for a day you can give him a fish, but you want to feed him for a lifetime teach him to fish. They learn about resumes, customer service, budgeting, and basic life and professionalism skills to change their lives. 

It doesn't get better than that. 

Well anyhoo tomorrow I have another workout planned with Charles. I am looking forward to it. Even though the scale is up no need to compound the food problem with not exercising.  :-)
Plus the exercise is a natural mood enhancer! 

On the dating front I am starting 2012 with a clean slate well that was/is the plan but I spoke with Beres fan and he got me something for Christmas. Humm that makes one of us...Mean . I told him he didn't have to but whatever. I don't want to go into 2012 with any anger or animosity. Life is too short. I am not mad at him... really... I think it has been helpful to see some of my typical dating behaviors done to me... lol... and that's all I say about that. I am bossy and like to have things just so and just so is usually defined as my way. And well there has been a moment of clarity for me. I got the new Drake CD and there is a song on there that says something like "We just need something different." That's poetic to me. I don't think he's a bad person and I know I aint... I'm bossy but not bad... but I think we both just need something different and that's ok! While watching the movie The Adjustment Bureau made me really think about that idea of when two people are inexplicable drawn to each other but they just can't seem to get it right... but only time will tell....another friend wants to hook me up with someone from law school I asked her to wait until the new year... so again time will tell!

I've said it before, my journey has been about going from theory to practice. Its so easy to read something and said Ah ha! I got it but really until God puts you in a position to work things out in the real world you really don't got it lol that's been my biggest lesson in 2011.  

I started reading a new book called The Seat of the Soul. Its very timely and its been an interesting read thus far about life, the ego, your personality, and your spirit. A girlfriend of mine bought it for me for Christmas and we meet for Christmas eve dinner and she gave me the book, some nice perfume, and the sweetest card thanking me for being a wonderful friend and she wished me "happiness, success, and blessings." That made me think of this mantra below (by the way I found these awesome towels on a site called Words to Sweat By)

My theme (b/c I don't do resolutions) for 2012 is Celebrate Life and being Healthy, Strong, Happy, Successful, & Blessed is a great definition for my theme don't you think?! I really want to work on using mantras and daily affirmations in 2012. They are so important! 

I woke up to the movie EAT PRAY LOVE and the scene when Richard from Texas is telling the main character 

 "You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”

My friend and I have had this discussion several times because the mind is so powerful. She also thanked me for all the advice I'd given her. It made me feel good to be appreciated and it made me think of the special people in my life I've been giving more love to..not to get anything in return but just to be appreciative of them but it was nice to feel the same in return! 

So if you want to give more love to a gym rat you know and love and want to encourage we always need towels so check out the towels below!  They'll make a great gift!! :-) 

Till next time peeps!! :-) Thanks as always for the emails and text messages!!! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Black Girls Rock...Climb!

Its been a hectic and heart breaking two weeks BUT in an effort to take a break from all that's been going on I said let me check in and give my review of my rock climbing adventure! I been slacking on blogging and journaling and when things are going on that's when you actually need to take time to work through things and journaling is a good way for me to do that! So here goes! 

As you may recall at the end of last year I had a few things on my fitness To Do List! They were Birkam/Hot yoga, Krav Maga, rock climbing, white water rafting, and becoming a certified fitness instructor! I did finally get to Hot Yoga and Krav Maga. Both of which I enjoyed greatly! The Fall got very busy with my full time job and the many job offers I received to be an adjunct professor so my schedule was very hectic and I stopped both...for now.

The other three left were white water rafting(which I won a free trip to in Deep Creek at a Fundraising event! Stay tuned Spring 2012!), rock climbing, and becoming a certified fitness instructor! Well lo' & behold someone remembered me saying that I wanted to try rock climbing and there was a groupon for the intro class at Earth Treks  which is an indoor rock climbing center! Sweet! I jumped on it and I found two other people to go with me and boy was that an adventure!

Firstly, I will say rock climbing is more mental than it is physical. I was really concerned that I would not be able to do the climb because I do not have a lot of upper body strength. I can leg press close to 400 lbs but in terms of my upper body I am still working with 30 pounds weights on the machines and 15-20 pound hand weights when I workout with my personal trainer Charles! But thankfully one of the first things our instructor said was "Anyone can rock climb as long as you can walk up stairs!" He explained the movement actually comes from the legs not the arms. So that was a relief. Kinda....


The tricky thing is the walls are TALL... See exhibit A above! The walls were as TALL as they look in this picture! LOL I do not have a fear of heights BUT even I took a pause for the cause when it came to looking up at a 44 foot wall that I was expected to climb with only some rope holding me up!  But I did it!

The hardest part for me was rock climbing requires too much concentration to just get ready to climb the wall. You have to learn how to tie several knots and of course you would want to get that right in order to...not fall to your death! You also have to learn terms in order to do this safely! For example:

Belay off -Called by belayer to confirm belay has been removed from climbing rope. Response to Belay off request.

Belay on -Called by belayer to confirm belay has been (re)applied to climbing rope. Response to Belay on request.

Yeah uh huh?!

But the knots. The worst part for me. The first knot is called the Figure Eight Knot  and it was hard to learn! It really requires patience and paying close attention! But seeing as how I am Chatty Cathy I spent a good bit of time begging my friends to remind me how to do the knots over and over LOL

But I made it!

I made it!

I will certainly say it was hard and I didn't look down not even once! This activity requires a lot of trust because your partner is on the ground basically as your safety net. They help you get up by keeping the rope tight and help you get down by making sure you fall down at a safe pace.

The rocks on the wall are not evenly distributed and they are not the same size so that also creates some anxiety as you try to move upward. Now of course for an outdoor rock climber that is what you need and want to prepare you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because that's how it would be in the real world so to speak.

All in all rock climbing is not for me. I don't do death defying things. I don't have that inner thirst for that kind of rush. I like the ground. I like my bones in good condition and honestly I may just be too ADD to appreciate it. I do however have profound respect for rock climbers. That isn't easy but I guess like any other challenge if it was easy everybody would do it! ;-)

Other random observations:

(1) My friends and I were the only Black people in the that was three outta 30-40 people who were in and out including employees. Well..that's a lie... until a Black man came in with his son who was clearly biracial. Hummm can I make that assumption? Humm in Columbia, Maryland?! Why yes I certainly can (lol) he looked shocked to see three black women there so I guess it was a good day to break stereotypes all around!

(2) Kids are fearless! There were babies there! Okay maybe not babies but they were little and short (maybe 5 years old?) and those suckers were tying knots and scaling walls like Spider man! I was in awe! I guess there is something to be said for starting something this crazy so young...before your good sense kicks in and says you have too much to lose to climb up the equivalent of a 3 story building lol

(3) Its not "fun" in that sense of the word. Well at least not the way I define fun.  Its challenging. I think Body Combat, Spinning, Socarobics, and other aerobic activity is actually fun so I enjoy it. Rock climbing...not so much... My hands got sore, my mind had to focus way too much for my taste on a Saturday morning, and the equipment is smelly. Yeah I said it! LOL On the flip side I can see how an adrenaline junkie would love the challenge and the idea of risking their life for the rush of ascending a wall or mountain if only for the bragging rights alone. I get that. *slow wink* Rock climbing isn't for everybody but I think its a great way to try something new and check it off your bucket list if you really feel like you've done it all. It is cool to do something other people can't or won't even attempt. The "Ohhs and ahhhs" and "WOW you did that?!" can be addictive. And this is not to say I would never go again but I didn't leave there with a monthly membership either. LOL

Ultimately I think most people learn that you are your own best competition. A lot of people have told me I am competitive and I laugh because I am but its so not about anyone else its about how to I top Cylia from last year, week, or hell last night! That heffa be on it! So surpassing old Cylia is my goal in every area of my life. That's what makes my heart pump! So new Cylia may see the benefit of doing it again maybe to go on a higher or more challenging route but I doubt it! *Kayne shrug*

I am a Gym Jones fan and the creator/innovator Mark Twight is a mountain climber and I see his insanity in a whole new light now.

Well a quick tale from the scale I will not make my goal of 19 L.Bs by New Years Eve! This 2011 was "My Best Life Ever!" and I been playing with this 10-15 pound free space and 2012 I need to be back to goal. As of my last weigh in at Weight Watchers two weeks ago that is 26.6 pounds and I want to reach my Weight Watchers goal weight which is 8 pounds less which is 34.6 pounds total. 

I saw someone else set a goal that was equivalent to their upcoming birthday which was their deadline, so I said I would adopt that too so the new goal is "37 by 37!" Which will be in June! I have already begun to plan a birthday celebration in Puerto Ricoooo --Hoooo!! :-)

I am excited about 2012 even though 2011 is ending on a depressing note due to two untimely deaths of sorority sisters of mine. Both were very unexpected and sudden. I don't know if there is a perfect way for any of us to go and like the Pastor said on Saturday at the funeral "Life is ALWAYS too short!"

I Soror was 62 and the other 32 and I agree both are gone way too soon. It just reinforces for me the importance of being grateful and taking time to celebrate life and that is my theme for 2012 "Celebrate Life"  I will joyfully retire 2011 "My Best Life Ever" and 2011 was just that. I set an intention to do a lot of things and experience some new adventures and expand my mind, body, and soul and I can say without a doubt I did that and I feel great about it. So 2012 I will celebrate that new life I have created and continue to enhance!

My goal will be to check in before New Year but in case I don't have blessed holiday season!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bookcamp Week 4 ~ "Protect This House: I WILL"

Well its Week 4 of Bookcamp! It's getting hectic yall! This video (I hope you watched it) has been my daily affirmation to keep me on track. Truth be told what you take in to live a happy & healthy life has wayyy more to do with what you take in mentally than physically. I love this video and all its Girl Power and awesome attitude of I am woman hear me roar, watch me run, lift weights, and sweat! I really love the video because my trainer makes me do some of these same drills! I know right?! A majority which I told him I can't do and he would keep encouraging me to try it before I told him what I could and could not do.

Look at that stuff though! Who does that? I mean seriously why are we jumping on weight benches?! Running sideways over hurdles!? Doing suicides!? One handed push up on medicine balls? Again who does that!? Well apparently the kick azz US Women's Soccer teams & skier Lindesy Vonn does! Oh and me :-) I do that! *popping my collar*

Under Armour (Go Terps!) has an amazing campaign with this concept of "Protect This House" it reminds me of the biblical saying the body is a temple. Needless to say you need to govern yourself accordingly! Eating right, working out, thinking good thoughts, and giving back to those in need are all ways I've realized to "Protect This House" spiritually, mentally, & physically!

I am so proud of myself; I made it to Bootcamp this morning! I was really debating skipping it because of the event tonight but I got up and pushed my way through! When you have a full time job, work a part time job to the tune of teaching 4 college level classes three nights week, have a 3 hour daily commute, are active in a handful of service and professional organizations, have dear friends in the hospital you have to visit, try to date and find a mate, and still try and keep your healthy lifestyle a priority it can be a bit much!  So I am really glad I got up and made it to the gym at 5:30am in spite of everything I have going on because skipping two days in a  row has been a slippery slope for me so this Thursday morning workout is a good way to keep me focused!

I am already down 4 pounds according to my scale! I will see whats what on Saturday morning at WW but I feel good about my consistency.

I will confess I have been struggling with my food! Tuesday ended on a bad note -read Taco Bell- I don't know for sure but that concept of "4th meal" must be for people with stomachs of steel and not mere mortals like myself! I got sooooo sick!!! Ewwww!

I am still journaling and that's key to keeping me from going too far overboard. But as always it shows me how I gain weight so quickly!  But for the exercising, I would have gone over in my points every dang gone day and I am not eating out big meals or anything crazy its just calories really add up quickly. Here's an example:

Fage yogurt- 3
1/2 cup fresh blueberries 0
apple -0
Jiffy Peanut butter to go -7
Stoffers lasagna- 7
grapes 1 cup-0
cheddar cheese - 3
chicken salad on martin mini roll -8
ok.... McDonald's caramel sundae 10 FREAKING POINTS

TOTAL 38 POINTS I get 32 over my quota that quick... I worked out this day so I earned 10 points but still! Again I am not prefect it just shows me why tracking everything is important so you know what you are doing calorie wise.

As the saying goes "Bite it, write it. Sip it, Script it!" so I am taking all this information down and will work on improving it!

As I go throughout my day I can hear myself humming the Under Armour song :
 "I will, I will, I will... Protect this House! I will!"

So its December 1st already and my Trainer is doing a 21 Day Get Fit Challenge!  I am committing to three 21 days goals 1) Exercising 4 times a week for at least 1 hour 2) Journaling my diet daily 3) Doing daily affirmations

So the question is.....

"Are you gonna let them beat you?
Or are you going to Protect This House!"

June 2008- Nov 2011