“Bikini Bodies Are Made In Winter”

T or F?  Bikini bodies are made in winter.

If you’re me, the answer is . . . really effing F.

So, I have been less than “nailing it” over the course of these winter months.  What I have been doing cannot even be described as bumping or tapping.  I’ve been downright, straight up, and absolutely struggling.  However, with all of my notions of failure, I have not thrown in the towel, and that alone is a success that trumps all deficiencies.

I have (close to) perfected the skill of not dwelling, not getting so bogged down by my perceived defeats that I either succumb to a depression or decide to no longer strive.  I had worked so hard, and currently, I feel as though I have backslid.  I have gained back a few of my lost pounds, and though that does not seem altogether Earth shattering, it is still detrimental to my well-being, particularly the head game.

So, before I become irreparably downtrodden and continue to backslide, I have taken action!  First and foremost, dear reader, remember several posts in the past when I wrote about comparison being the thief of joy?  I am fairly certain you recall it; I know you have read and memorized every titillating post, but just in case this singular write up has elusively slipped from your memory, in summary . . . COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY.  I believe this sentiment to be true not only in examples of comparing oneself to others, but it is also legitimate in instances of comparing our current habits, or lack thereof, with our former ones.

My POA, or plan of action, is to start slow.  I have been active only intermittently since October, and I will not allow myself to reflect on my past routine for any purpose other than to eventually implement it again.  I know it is not reasonable currently to wake up, feed my Fitbit a couple of miles and walk the dog before work, hit the gym for an hour and a half during lunch and breaks, respectively, and after work, do body weight exercises and thirty minutes of yoga.  I cannot immediately pick up where I left off, but I can once again realize this system.  I have done it once before, which means I can do it again.  My temporary faltering is not synonymous with inadequacy.

In order to get back to the grind, I am actively executing three premeditated ideas.  If nothing else, I have spent four and a half-ish months reflecting.

  1. Set a reasonable goal that is not associated with exactness.
    • So, no goal weight by THIS date, no specific distance run by THAT date.
    • Goal: GET OUTSIDE.
      • My (reasonable) goal to get outside is to help me ease myself into warmer weather.  I struggle in the heat, and I hypothesize that this is attributed to my consistent indoor exercise.  When I participate in a run that takes place in the blistering, dastardly heat of August, and I have trained only in air conditioned spaces, the humidity is utterly oppressive.  If I exit my comfort zone and walk and run outside effective immediately, perhaps the heat and humidity will not be so onerous because I, like the temperature, have transitioned with the seasons.
  2. Set a futile goal free.
    • So, quit a previous goal that was once attainable but has since become insurmountable.
    • GOAL: Let go of RTY 2019.
      • I will most definitely continue to track my mileage and progress toward 2,019 miles run this calendar year, but it is no longer a set in stone goal for myself.  I am so far behind the eight ball nowadays, the daily commitment to complete the Run the Year objective would be adverse.
  3. Do what makes me happy.
    • So, by doing something that makes me happy, all else will fall into place.
    • GOAL: Get run registrations completed.
      • Unquestionably, running events thrill me: 5Ks, 10Ks, halfsies!  The training up to is oftentimes arduous, but when I cross that finish line, the effort is SO worth it.  So, I have gotten my run list compiled for the season, with openness to two or three more.  I have also started to work on my 2019 run playlist.  *Feel free to leave a comment with a few songs that get you up and running*  Ba-dum-chhh

So, my bikini body was not made this winter.  However, an improved adaptation of “AmyBP (oneword)” is in the works.

Finally, a shout out to Erin for sending me this beauty!  Impeccable timing, my dear!

tapeworm

P.S. I’m for serious regarding *Feel free to leave a comment with a few songs that get you up and running*

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Mainely A Stereotype

I reside in a small town.  Not only do I live in a small town, I live in THE stereotypical small town.  Think: Mayberry combined with Cheers (yeah, the bar) ’cause my residential township is quaint, peaceful, and the locals know everybody’s name (exception: seasonal tourists, but many of the locals are nosy / social so they know the tourists’ names too!).  So, for the sake of my privacy, all the while giving my home a name, I shall refer to this quaint land of familiarity as Cheersberry . . .  or Maycheers . . .  or . . .  ORRRRR . . . I will use these interchangeably.

I have various run routes established.  There’s one route that I like to do either very early in the morning or later in the evening because 1.5 miles in, I reach a very small beach, and to witness the sunrise or sunset there is breathtakingly beautiful.  Plus, there’s the added bonus that if it’s a wicked hot day, one can jump in the lake for a little swim!  The picture I have does not depict the rise or set of the sun, but it’s still a glorious view, even at midday.  Also along this route are fellow Cheersberry residents who have become familiar with me and will oftentimes whoop words of encouragement or offer me water.  The Friends on the 4th 5K is mapped along “downtown,” but there is a portion of the run that is residential; many people sit on their lawns to cheer and lightly spray runners with their garden hoses – this is my favorite!  The garden hose incidence is less frequent during one of my “regular” runs, one that isn’t a big to-do / event, which makes it even more special if it should so happen, and once in a while, it does.  Small town livin’ is the tops!  . . . at least for eight months of the year.

Narrows

Summer is now in full swing, and the tourists have come from near and far!  Adding to the small town stereotype, the locals are not always so fond of the tourists, and by this, I mean I am not so fond of the tourists.  The environment changes when the out-of-towners flock to Maycheers in gaggles.  Just last week, I was pushed around and rudely cut in front of at the farm stand, and all of the commotion was caused by non locals.  When running, the out of state cars do not move over to share the road; in the last few days alone, my Radin and I have had several close calls with vehicular modes of transportation.

Yearly, I am prepared for the sudden change in environment at the grocery store and other shopping venues.  What is typically a friendly and patient setting becomes a climate of superiority and brouhaha.  When it’s the off-season, patrons of the grocery store chatter with one another as they wait in line, say “excuse me” if they need to reach something that is in another’s personal space, and offer to help those who may need helping.  Now?  Now, it’s a free for all.  Overall, the from-awayers are impatient, crashing their shopping carts into others because they’re ceaselessly using their cell phones, they loudly insinuate and make certain that we, the townies, are aware that their vacation time is valuable and that they cannot be bothered to wait, and the number of people that aggressively invade personal space is utterly galling.  My intent is not to generalize because I am certain that there are just as many delightful vacationers in our area, but I’m just indicating that the poor behavior is noticed.  I can adjust to the sudden influx of strong personalities, but what I tend to have difficulty acclimating to are nightly fireworks and unleashed dogs.

I love fireworks, but I much prefer them when they are appropriate.

  • Q: So, when are they appropriate?
  • A: Holidays such as the 4th of July or New Year’s, and on Friday or Saturday nights should the desire be to launch the works of fire just for the pure sake of doing so.

I wish beyond all measure that my town ordinance did not change, that fireworks were still banned and illegal.  The nightly fireworks wreak havoc for the wildlife, not to mention the pets who are terrified of the loud noises and riddled with anxiety over the ruckus.  *I am not a parent, other than fur babies, but I imagine that it is exceedingly arduous for those with babies, toddlers, and young children.*  The late night annoyances are also not appreciated by those of us who get up at 0400.  I understand that many of the temporary residents are on vacation, and I acknowledge that they should enjoy their vacation time, their relaxation time but not at the expense of those who live here full-time, year-round.  Cheerberry is not The City That Never Sleeps; we sleep . . . or at least, we used to.  I’m not requesting that the fireworks and drunken carousing cease altogether, I just ask for the commotion to wrap up at a sensible time.

Finally, leash your dogs!  How do I know that the offenders of the leash laws are out-of-towners’ dogs?  Just like with the humans, the locals, especially those of us who are actively outside and running about the town, have familiarly with the local yokel puppers.  Sunday evening, I took Radin for a long walk.  *Radin and I are not able to run together because we are equally clumsy and end up in calamitous, though comical, conundrums.  So, when Radin accompanies me, it’s for the slower paced meanderings.*  About a mile from home, during our return expedition, an unleashed dog bolted toward us.  I have no doubt that this dog was friendly, but my Radin and I were recently attacked by an unleashed, not-so-friendly dog, in our own yard.  It is fair to assert that Radin and I are now a little suspicious and mistrustful of foreign dogs that come darting at us.  Stranger danger is real, folks!  I should note that Radin does not get along remarkably well with other dogs as a rule, and because I know this about him, he is always harnessed, leashed, and kept close to me.

During our aforementioned adventure, I pulled Radin close to me and commanded him to stand between my legs.  Because my thighs are much stronger than my arms, I know that I can hold him still and protect him that way.  (Hey, I’ve been credited with saving his life during our attack, so I know that I could (and would) do so again).  We began to simultaneously walk backwards, taking slow and steady steps, but the dog continued to dart toward us.  To my horror, the unleashed dog scampered into the road and into oncoming traffic.  Now, I don’t want problems to arise between this dog and my own, but I also don’t want to see harm befall this visiting dog.  I’m typically the person pulling over and rescuing dogs (and cats and turtles and whatever else I find in the road that needs an assist).  Meanwhile, drivers are annoyed because traffic is slow going – Radin and I were nearly hit by two or three vehicles that refused to move over!  Out of approximately seven passing motorists, only one man stopped to help us.  Coincidentally, the other six vehicles had out of state and out of country (Canada) registration plates, respectively.  The man who stopped to help me, he was a Mainer.  Summer folks, enjoy your stay in Vacationland, but please, consider the residents of your interim abode.

. . . I don’t want to be the stereotypical, vacationist hating, country bumpkin so please, do your part in not turning me into a stereotype . . . just sayin’.

Venom of the Greenery Variety

Before deciding upon Venom of the Greenery Variety as a title, I was also contemplating Bitch of an Itch.  Each are accurate.

I was born and raised in Maine, and I have never lived in another state.  Other than a brief stint of city living, I’ve lived the majority of my 33 years in small towns, enjoying the quiet and beauty of country living.  I’m not so country that I own dairy cows, nor do I drive a dusty and rusty pickup truck stereotypically depicted in most cowboy-esque twangy country tunes.  However, I do live rurally, surrounded by nature and woodland creatures; it is abnormal to not see deer or turkeys in the yard, and just last night, there was a fox hanging out under one of my ancient and ginormous oak trees.

It is most surprising then, that for the first time in 33.5 years of life, I’ve recently encountered my very first bout with poison ivy or poison oak or poison sumac; whatever it is, it’s poisonous.  What began as a dot on my neck Thursday, became a line by Friday. On Monday morning, I was peppered in it: neck, chest, arms, legs, wrists, and hands.  Now, just because I live near the woods does not imply that I spend a lot of time in the boscage.  In fact, this is the summer that I have devoted to spending more time out of doors with the purpose of becoming more accustomed to the heat and humidity, and also because I find most aspects of nature to be beautiful, and I miss out on much of that allurement by spending the majority of my time inside.

Though I have spent more time outside this summer, I know for certain that I have not traipsed through the venomous greenery.  So, just how did I get the ivy of the poison variety?  Radin.  Radin gave me poison ivy; it is the only feasible explanation.  Oh, how I do wish my unfortunate tale has an exciting backstory, but alas, it does not.  I got poison ivy from my dog.  However, in all of its lackluster, the true story maintains that I’m “that person.”

I’m “that person” who, if it’s going to happen to someone, it’s going to happen to me.  Over the course of the last year or so, I have been dealt an absurd hand of cards:

  • An allergic reaction to facial cleanser that resulted in my eyes being swollen closed for the better part of a week or more.
  • A tumble on the pavement when my parents’ boxer, Gracie, caught a bout of the zoomies.
    • Q: What was in it for me?
    • A: Battered and bruised bones and scrapes and skinless patches.
  • A freak and unprecedented fainting spell whereby I hit my noggin and was left with a concussion, which I still face symptoms from to this day.
  • And now, bitchin’ itchin’.

Probably the most disappointing, other than the itch and pain and overall frustration, is that I had to opt out of the 4th of July 5K I had been so looking forward to running – I had such an awesome red, white, and blue tutu picked out for the event!  However, the rational Amy concluded that the 98 degree weather, coupled with the humidity and my streaming, salty sweat (A+ for alliteration!), would make me feel even worse and allow the rash to spread even more.  I’m almost finished with my Prednisone, and the poison laced patches are now dry so I think I can start to exercise vigorously again.

I have not had a decent run or workout since last Thursday, and while lying in bed, doped up on Benadryl, I remembered that the David Payne Memorial Run (7.2 miles) is July 23rd, and Beach to Beacon (10K) is August 4th.  I am now in full blown panic mode as it’s my modus operandi to doubt my ability, especially when I’ve been forced to slow down in my training.

It’s amazing the havoc a single week down-and-out can wreak on one’s confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Scale Down

From the time I began my journey of weight loss, traveling along the path toward a goal weight, I have tortured myself with the scale.  Perhaps “tortured” is too strong of a word, but there are indeed some days where it has felt as such.

For the month of March, I put my scale away.  I made it the entire month without stepping on that evil number machine!  Well, 28 days to be exact, but that is a month if you round up.  (Hey, math is hard!).

Unfortunately, since I ever so reluctantly placed my feet upon the scale nine days ago, I have succumbed to my former habits, my previous ways.  Old habits being weighing myself in the morning and again at night.  The rational portion of my brain knows that this is completely and utterly counterproductive if not self-defeatist.

The good news is, though I have been lackadaisically counting calories and spent most of February and March nearly sedentary, I maintained my weight.  The bad news is, I clearly have some self-control issues, revolving around my scale, that I need to address.  The mediocre news is that I am now weighing three pounds heavier than I was the day prior.  Again, the rational portion of my brain knows that I did not gain three pounds during the overnight hours so I will not become overly distraught. The bad news is that I have more hard work, far more hard work than I had anticipated, ahead.

The good,  the mediocre, and the bad news: I have 16 pounds until I reach my goal weight.  Why this is good: 16 pounds compared to what I’ve already lost is definitely doable; it’s so feasible!  Why this is mediocre:  16 is a higher number than I wanted to be faced with, especially four months into this year.  However, I know that with some newfound dedication, I can reach my personal finish line.  I just need to tap into my previous level of commitment.  Why this is bad:  I find that I am discouraged, and there is a very real piece of my personality that tends to stop trying, to give up, when I am discouraged and / or disappointed in myself.

Step 1: scale down.  It is time to put my scale away, yet again, and stop defining myself and my progress based on its numbers.  The scale shall not make an appearance for the remainder of April.

Step 2: put myself first.  My most successful months were those when I put myself before all else.  The housework, the cooking, and all other adulting demands waited until after I spent my time in the gym.  I have to reaffirm that putting myself first is indeed OKay.

Step 3: adjust goal.  I originally strove to be at my goal weight by my birthday.  But now?  Now, I will be happy and content if I reach my goal weight by 2017’s Tough Mountain, which is July 29th.

. . . I can do this!

Bot O’ Swap

Probably the most difficult aspect of maintaining my health and fitness blog is that I am attempting to keep it health and fitness oriented.  I am multi-faceted, as are most . . . OKay, ALL individuals.  I do not think it is feasible for me to not include other aspects of my life within my blog.  I think health and fitness are influenced largely in part by the well-being of our mind and spirit, not only a healthy BMI.  I have so many hobbies, and one of my greatest passions is snail mail.  I am a pen pal extraordinaire, a snail mail connoisseur!  I have intermingled my love for tangible mail with my love for a healthier lifestyle.  How?  With a swap-bot group named Health & Fitness Foray.  Note: Anyone who is currently using swap-bot is more than welcome (and encouraged!) to join either my HFF group AND / OR my other, quirkier group, Idiosyncratic Unicorns.

About Health & Fitness Foray 

“I have recently made several lifestyle changes in order to pursue a healthier, fitter life. Despite every calorie I have counted and every step I have taken, I have found that the most motivating aspect of health and fitness has been the support system(s).

Join this group to meet and swap with others who have similar lifestyle change goals. Goals can range from drinking more water to eating less carbs, from losing weight to taking more steps, from starting to exercise to joining a 5K. Etc., etc., etc. 🙂 This group is not only devoted to health of the body but also to the health of mind and spirit.

By definition, a foray is, “a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something.” Our goals do not necessarily need to be our enemy, but we can conquer them nonetheless!

Disclaimer: This is a group with the overall intent of being supportive, motivational, and influential. Kindness is imperative here. Anyone who is negative or degrading will be removed; bullying will not be tolerated.

I will accept all individuals, with a 4.95+ rating, who request to join the group. I do not want to exclude anybody who has a goal, but the group must be able to depend on each of its members to follow through with swaps. Therefore, a rating lower than 4.95 will not be accepted. However, consider requesting membership once you’ve improved your rating.

I am accepting of newbies as we ALL started somewhere, amiright!? However, any member who does not have any rating(s), within 3 months of joining the group, will be removed. In three months’ time, there is ample opportunity to gain ratings. 🙂 If you wish to earn some ratings ASAP, join the group’s swaps or PM me for a private swap.

I will be monitoring members’ ratings. Any members whose ratings begin to drop will be evaluated. I don’t expect every member to have a perfect score, but if there begins a pattern of flaking or complaints from partners, membership may need to be reconsidered. Note: I am well aware that life, forgetfulness, chaos, stress, postal error, etc. happen so no one will ever get the boot from the group for a mistake, especially when it’s obvious the situation is being rectified. If your account becomes suspended, partially suspended, or you have not logged in for a month or more (with no communication), you will be removed. However, once your account status is rectified, you are encouraged to re-join the group.

There will be type 1, 2, and on occasion, type 3 swaps hosted at HFF. If you have swap ideas, please do not hesitate to reach out to host! I love to have an active group!

Let’s reach those goals, ladies and gents!

Because I want this group to be as active as possible, ALL members will upgraded to officer status. Officer status allows you to invite fellow friends/swap botters AND host swaps. You are encouraged to do both as much as your heart desires!”

Current HFF Swaps

Kick The Bucket

“Kick The Bucket . . . but not really! Here’s the thing . . . we ALL have something we put on the back burner. We all have a “bucket list” of sorts or just a bunch of “stuff” we want to do, but somehow, we never quite get around to it.

For this swap, pick something from your bucket list, and do it. At the very least, start it. (Some tasks are far more time consuming than others).

Send your assigned partner a two page letter (letter set), one page if you write on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, outlining what you chose to do, how you feel now that you can cross something off your list, and maybe throw in a few other things you have on your bucket list 🙂 If you don’t have a bucket list, feel free to come up with something you’d like to do, just for the sake of the swap. What you choose to do can be WHATEVER you like; it is not required to be health / fitness related.

Who can join: ALL members with no recent 1s or 3s (current / previous month). Swap is open internationally.”

Profile Deco_April

“We have done this one before, and I think it’s time to do it again, perhaps on a monthly basis! Let’s decorate our partner’s profile with something motivating / encouraging. This can be a quote, a meme, a photo.

ALL members are encouraged to join. This is an electronic swap, but the same expectations of tangible swaps apply – decorate your partner’s profile by the deadline AND recipients are expected to rate in a timely and appropriate time frame.

Please decorate your partner’s profile with a MINIMUM of 2 of the aforementioned.

Anyone who needs help / instruction on how to post images to a profile, I will gladly assist you and offer up my profile for practice – just PM me.”

Give Up

“For this swap, send your 1 partner a PC outlining at least 1 thing you are giving up,or at least TRYING to give up, for the month. The thing you are giving up should be something that will benefit you in regards to your health / fitness. A short explanation as to your choice is also required. If you are not trying to give anything up but trying to ADD something to your life / lifestyle, that is applicable also! Don’t forget to explain why 🙂

PC is sender’s choice, all members of HFF are welcome to join. PC can be sent naked or in an envie. 🙂

I can angel, but I don’t expect I will need to.”

Bullet Journal Fun Swap

“For our first HFF:Bullet Journal Fun Swap we will exchange a letter telling our partner what drew you to bullet journaling and one flat bullet journal surprise!

The letter can be typed or handwritten. You can write it on pretty paper or a card or plain paper. Be as creative as you want. Just be sure to tell your partner why you started bullet journaling. For the flat surprise it could be anything you can use in a bullet journal. Stickers, washi tape, tags, etc.

I will angle if necessary!! And don’t forget to put the swap name and your user ID.

Have fun and happy swapping!!”

Move It #1

“This is the first in a series I hope to host monthly, with the mileage increasing (at least over the summer months!).

For the month of April, move an intentional mile every day. Take a walk. Go for a quick run or light jog. Bike. Swim! Row! Elliptical. Change it up. Maybe you can’t get out every day–just make an effort to reach 30 miles by the end of the month.

Track your progress each day (or each mile, if you prefer).

Around the middle of the month (April 13-17th), send a Swap-Bot message to your partner letting them know how far you’ve come. This is meant to provide mid-month accountability and allow you to course correct as needed. This is part of the swap requirements.

At the end of the month, send your partner your tracking log and at least a few sentences about the swap experience. Also include a flat surprise such as a postcard, notecard, stickers, tea, etc. Check your partner’s profile for ideas and avoid allergies, but this is sender’s choice.

In sum:
1). Move a mile every day (average)
2). Track your progress
3). Send a mid-month check-in of your mileage to your partner via SB message
4). Mail your log, reflections, and flat surprise at the end of the month

Hope we all enjoy this and come back next month! Let me know if you have any questions.

Looking Ahead
In May, we’ll attempt 45 miles.”

Needless to say, I intend to update my blog with HFF’s swaps each month.  Why not spread the word?  After all, these swaps are assisting me along my path to achieving my goals!

 

 

My ‘Give A Damn’ Is Busted

Ugh, I am so very frustrated with myself as of late.  “My give a damn is busted” is not entirely accurate as I DO care; I care a great deal.  However, my motivation has been seriously lacking.  I have not been working out consistently, I have not put any new miles on my running shoes, and I have been lackadaisical, at best, with calorie counting.

With my first 5K in less than 3 months, I really need to shift my butt into gear.  I tell myself that “today is a new day,” and then I proceed to fall flat on my face.  I then tell myself that “tomorrow is a new day,” and I try my very best to not be too hard on myself.  I am still hard on myself, but the key word / phrase is “‘too’ hard on myself.”

I wanted to be at my goal weight by June 3rd, my first 5K.  Coincidence?  No.  And just the fact that I wrote ‘wanted’ . . . as in the past tense, this is an indication that I am constantly self sabotaging myself.  I want to be at my goal weight by June 3rd, and I know that with a lot of hard work, I can achieve this.

So, why do I continually strive along my path of self-sabotage?  How can I motivate myself again?  My journey has been a long one, and I have made it this far.  Why am I so hesitant to throw myself back into the lifestyle I had grown to love?  Why have I seemingly given up, yet have not truly given up?  It’s time to go from 0 to 60, and not tomorrow, not with the new week, not with the new month, but N-O-W.

A stumble is not a failure.  The only failure is quitting, giving up on oneself.