“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*

 

 

 

 

 

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A Smörgåsbord of Thoughts

I often have a multitude of thoughts I want to draft into a blog entry, but since said thoughts have little to no substance, I do not write about them as they come to me.  So this entry has a couple of reflections I’ve been meaning to write about, meaning to share with others.


There are beneficial elements, of being a runner, that are often overlooked.

There are a plethora of obvious reasons it “pays off,” if you will, to be a runner.  Sure, there is the health and wellness perk, the pride factor, and the general sense of accomplishment(s) as milestones are met.  For me, one reason I have benefited the most by being a runner is that I have a pair of running shoes just about everywhere.  *Books and sneakers, they are located in every corner of my world.

I commute about 45 – 60 minutes to and from work each day.  30 minutes into my drive to work this morning, in the frigid cold and heavy snowfall, I gave myself adulting points for wearing my boots like a grownup, and in the same instance, I realized I forgot my heels at home, which I had packed in my Great Gatsby bag in order to change my footwear.  I do not know if you’ve ever been stuck wearing winter boots all day long, but I assure you that it is miserable.  My horrification was short lived, however, because I have a pair of Asics under my desk, in my office.


Achievement

^That is indeed a clicky link.  I had thought to mention Achievement quite some time ago, but I wanted to be sure that it is on the up and up before I went about touting its praises.  In a nutshell, Achievement is an account you create and pair with your wearable tracker (Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, etc.).  When you earn 10,000 points, you get $10.00 deposited into your PayPal account.  You earn points in a variety of ways: by entering your water intake, weight, food, your daily step count; everything you put into your tracker will upload to Achievement automatically.  There are also short surveys (one click answers, mostly) and readings that when completed, add points to your accumulation.

It does take some time to earn the 10,000 points / $10.00; I was skeptical about Achievement, when I first learned of it, because it is essentially free money ( . . . yet earned with your sweat, occasional tears, and yeah, sometimes blood).  I thought I would give Achievement a try because any accountability is helpful, and I am happy to report that I did indeed earn my first $10.00 a few months ago!  Achievement is particularly useful in that when I am feeling lazy (oh, for the last two months or so), I am reminded that the more active I am, and the more consistent I am with tracking of my stats, the quicker I will earn by incentive.

My referral link is above should anybody want to explore Achievement.  Maybe you need that extra push to git-r-done, or maybe you just want to cash in on what you are already doing . . . either way, it’s there for your use (and yeah, I get points when someone uses my referral link.  Who wants to be my first?)!


 

 

LETR 2.0

Despite how many runs I go for or how many races and events I add to that notch on my belt, I may always battle anxiety, jitters, and self-doubt the day prior to an event.  The day before an event is when the Anti-Amy makes an appearance, and AA is currently in mode: full-bore with ill-intentions to wreak absolute havoc in my self-confidence.

Tomorrow is the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), and I am as ready as I possibly can be, yet I am still riddled with self-doubt about my potential performance.  June 2017 was my first LETR, and I did not do as well as I would have liked to, and though I was not alone in that, I have carried the disappointment with me for a year now.

I have a list of reasons I did not do well, and though they have been sufficient for the last year, now that it’s the day before another LETR, I’m wondering if these are solid reasons, or have I been making excuses?

  • Last year’s LETR was on a freakishly hot day, with equally as freakish humidity; I do not cope well with heat and humidity on any level, let alone of aberrant proportions.
  • I did not carry water with me, and there are no water pit stops along the way, but the evidence van (which I have dubbed “the struggle bus”) that escorts runners is loaded with water; I chose not to drink it, however, because it’s kept very cold, and cold water, while immersed in heavy activity, gives me intolerable stomach pains.
  • I did not have my iPod with me.  Though this is seemingly so very minor in the grand scheme of things, the BPMs included in my workout playlist help me with finding a comfortable pace.  Finally, and almost certainly, listening to music must be significantly better than listening to all of my thoughts of, “I can’t do this,” “quit,” or “this sucks.”
  • I succumbed to Anti-Amy, and therefore, my self-doubt and negative thinking overshadowed and eventually overtook the version of myself that is typically dripping with positivity and affirmations.

So, in order to counteract last year’s follies, I have used the afore outlined reasons (or excuses) to devise a plan for a successful LETR 2.0, my second attempt at the Torch Run.  I have a bottle of perfectly room temperature water, in my office, just waiting to quench my thirst.  I have upgraded to AirPods, and I have groomed and perfected my running playlist.  I will not be without water or music.  The weather is entirely out of my control, but I’ve been checking up on it, and as of right now, it’s looking to be about 65 degrees Fahrenheit with a side of cloudy.

Finally, and probably what needs the most work: how to stuff Anti-Amy back down into the recesses of my brain.  AA made a brief appearance this past weekend, as I was at the midway point (1.5 miles in) during the Safe Voices 5K, a fundraiser event for victims of domestic violence.  However, amidst all of my self-deprecating thoughts, I still found a small opening for Amy to glimmer through.  AA was hard on me because I had not run for 9 consecutive days prior to the 5K, and I left the gate already discouraged, thinking I would not improve on my 5K time from my first race of the year (Dash for Dogs, April 29th).  Luckily, Amy stood her ground when faced with Anti-Amy and finished the 5K with a time improved by 1 minute and 15 seconds.  It was again a freakishly hot and humid day, for June in Maine, but I survived the heat though I was quite uncomfortable, to say the least.  So, I CAN do it.

Granted, the distance of our leg of the Torch Run is about six miles, double that of a 5K, but I’m going to keep it simple and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  If I have to climb into the struggle bus again this year, then so be it.  My goal for this year is simply to do better than I did last year.  Perhaps there truly are a plethora of reasons as to why I didn’t perform well last year, or maybe there is only one: I just didn’t have the will.  If the latter is the truth, I have plenty of will this year.  Underlying it all, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is for a good cause, and you can read about the LETR Maine here.

Wish me luck!

 

Fitbit Faux Pas

In looking back over my previous posts, there are a whole lot of I’ve been sucking, but I’m ready to not suck type posts.  In fact, these are the majority of writings housed in this here blog.  In keeping with my newfound mentality that I need to be kinder to myself, it’s about time I start writing about the (what I deem as) small victories, the battles I win within the war.

I was absolutely exhausted yesterday.  I am no stranger to poor sleep, but after a stretch of sleeping well, the poor sleep is hitting me with a vengeance, harder than ever before.  However, despite my complete and utter exhaustion, I worked out.  Granted, it was a short workout, but it was exercise nonetheless.  I’ve been sticking to only cardio as of late, and I know that in order to become a better runner and to get toned, I need to throw in some weights.  So, I busted out the kettlebell.  Side note: while I am fueling my rejuvenated desire to establish a fitness routine AKA working my ass off literally and figuratively, I am also mid-remodel.  So, I’m awake by 0430 hours each day, commuting approx. / more than 1.5 hours each day, I am working my FT job, exercising like a fiend, and at the end of the day, I’m doing manual labor / construction projects in the rental home on top of keeping my own household afloat.  Yeah, I’ve just blown my own mind in regards to the time I’ve wasted trying to figure out why I’m so tired these days.  Thank you, blog, for making my fatigue obvious.

As I was writing . . .

Despite being extraordinarily tired yesterday evening, I busted out the kettlebell.  The workout was difficult, and I was panting like a laboring dog, but I know it’s not supposed to be easy.  I was encouraged, motivated, and inspired when I began to feel that familiar burn.  IMO, there are some pains that are pleasurable, and the burning and aches from exercise fall into this category.  I was proud of myself just because Hey!  I did it!  However, there was a tiny piece of me that remained disappointed in myself because I did not obtain 10,000 steps yesterday.

I have realized that to gauge my success 10,000 steps at a time is a Fitbit faux pas.  I need to focus less on the numbers (Fitbit, scale, etc.) and focus more on my feels.  Right now, I feel pretty proud of myself because Hey!  I’m doing it!

*P.S. Any recommended kettlebell exercises are welcomed!

Progress Not Perfection

For shame!  It has been seven months since last I’ve written.  Between my last blathering in August of 2017 and now, I’ve been knocked down again and again and again, but hey, this is me getting back up.

In September of 2017, I fainted.  My last thought before the episode was I feel dizzy, as I placed my hand on the door handle to enter the bathroom.  I apparently was able to open the door, for when I fainted, I fainted into the shower, hitting my head.  My Mum drove me to the hospital after I made my way across the street with tears spilling from my eyes.  My best guesstimate, as far as the time I was “out,” is no more than 30 minutes; this estimate is based on two times: the time it was when I last looked at the clock and the time I arrived at my parents’ house.

At the hospital, I underwent EKGs, CTs, so on and so forth.  I was thrilled when the ER doctor indicated that I have one of the healthiest hearts she’s seen.  Shout out to running!  Long story short, there was nothing in any test indicative to the fainting episode, it was just my luck of the draw that day.  As a result of the whomp to my head, I was out of work and all physical activity for over a month because I had one heck of a concussion.  I had the typical symptoms: headache, forgetfulness, impaired speech, light sensitivity, nausea, and emotions ranging from sadness (full on with tears) to rage (also full on with tears).  Luckily, I recovered relatively quickly, and I was cleared to start exercise (slowly, progressively) by the end of October.  Since October, I’ve been gunshy as far as getting back into my normal routine.  Though I could not participate in my last 10K of the 2017 season, I was indeed able to enjoy my vacation to NYC, albeit difficult at times – that’s a lot of lights and sounds for someone still nursing concussion symptoms.

While in NYC, I used the hotel’s gym only once, and I only ran one mile when I did.  However, this was still a win in my book because a) I did it after over a month of running zero miles and b) I used an unfamiliar gym in an unfamiliar atmosphere in an unfamiliar state.

Now, here is is March of 2018, and I am just getting myself together again.  I have had some stern chats with myself as of late.  Though I have gone on short walks during short breaks and used my gym’s work intermittently, I have not yet established that routine, that sweet spot I was once accustomed to – when my body craves gym time and my mind and heart are set on making it a reality, not just a brainstorm.

After many setbacks, many of my which were of my own doing, I am finally ready to really and truly work hard again.