Tag Archive: confidence


Before I tell you how much I lost in this first week of my extreme personal challenge, I feel I must include this disclaimer. If you are trying to lose weight 2lbs a week is considered a healthy rate to shoot for. That means you have to burn 7000 calories more than you consume in that week or 1000 calories a day. What I am attempting is much more extreme than that…more along the lines of what you see on shows like Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition. Obviously it is possible for people who have a lot of weight to lose to go at a faster rate as long as it’s done properly. If you’re even considering doing something extreme (in other words, planning on losing more than 2 lbs a week) it is important that you see your doctor first and make sure you will be safe and healthy throughout the process. I have been posting my food intake as well as my workout schedule so you can how I’m doing it, but that doesn’t mean that you should do the exact same thing because there are many variables.

My goal is to lose 50lbs over the next two months. Like I said, that’s extreme. If I only had 50lbs to lose I would not expect to be able to do it that quickly. I have chosen to use Beachbody fitness programs as well as Shakeology (also from Beachbody) to get me there because I know they work. I became a Beachbody Coach because I believe in the products and am so thankful to be able to share them with people who are trying to live healthier and happier lives. If you are ready to make some positive changes I would love to help you. Contact me on facebook or twitter so we can talk.

Now for the results. I used the same scale in the same spot of the floor and it’s not broken. Drumroll please……

I lost 14.5lbs! 😀

I almost couldn’t believe it, but it’s true! And the changes I can see in my body don’t lie. I’m going to start taking a photo of myself each week in the same clothes so you can see the transformation and will start posting them once there are a couple to compare.

Now, the question is, how am I going to reward myself? It won’t be with food, that’s for sure! There’s no amount of cake or cookies or candy or ice cream or chips or whatever that could make me feel better than I do right now. I’m thinking some cute, new workout clothes are in order. 😉

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One of the most interesting and exciting things about being human is that we have the power to change our circumstances by changing the way we think. Once we catch a bit of inspiration and turn our new thoughts into new behaviors incredible things happen. Since it is so easy to fall back into our old ways of thinking, it’s critical to protect our new, fragile, positive attitudes. Sadly, the people closest to us can be the ones who present the greatest danger.

In the past week, I’ve seen several instances where a friend was talked out of something that would’ve been so good for them by a friend or family member who probably thought they were protecting them from failure or disappointment. The problem with that is that if we don’t push ourselves to try new things or try something again after we’ve failed we will never change anything!

People think they know us and want us to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, the way they go about it isn’t always helpful. If I’m saying negative things about myself because I feel like I’m failing, I don’t need someone to baby me and say it’s ok to think that way. I need someone to tell me to stop it because they know I can do it! We need to encourage each other to be better, do more, and make positive changes; not to feel that it’s ok to beat ourselves up and stay where we are in life. I saw a perfect example of this on facebook the other day and I know the person meant well, but the situation made me want to scream.

If you’re trying to make positive changes DO NOT listen to people when they try to hold you back even when they think they’re being supportive. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. Just be aware of what they’re really saying and move on. If what they’re saying is reinforcing your negative self-talk, push those thoughts away and replace them with positive ones. Like Chalene Johnson says, “be your own biggest cheerleader”. You can do amazing things, but not if you continue to think about yourself and your life the same way.

If you’re one of those well-meaning friends or family members who feels like you’re protecting someone from disappointment please reconsider the way in which you show support. Instead of encouraging them not to try and to keep thinking the same way, show support by telling them you believe they can succeed. You have no idea how much that means to someone who’s decided to face a challenge and push forward. Not to sound cliché, but be part of the solution, not part of the problem. They will have moments when they want to quit because nothing worthwhile is easy. They way you show your support can be the difference between their success or failure. If deep down you’re afraid that their change will take them away from you, by being there and encouraging them through the tough times you’ll earn their appreciation, love and respect bringing you closer together. If you make every step they take that much harder you’ll drive a wedge between you which may result in the thing you fear the most.

I am very passionate about this topic because I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and I’ve let friends and family hold me back because I listened to them when they said things that made me feel like I could never change. I’ve also cultivated a habit of not finishing what I’ve started and no one has ever held me accountable. They didn’t realize it, but what they were really saying to me was that they didn’t believe in me. We think and do based on our habits so it’s time to start paying attention and to form new ones. We need to stop being afraid to take on challenges and follow through. Sure we may fail, but then we pick ourselves up and try again and again and again. If we quit or never even start we guarantee failure, but when we keep going no matter what we will succeed!

Actually did this one yesterday and Burn Intervals/Ab Burner today. Wow, I started counting the squats and lunges today for the 3000 in May challenge and stopped counting at 100 which is my goal for each day, but I have no doubt that I actually did at least 200, though. Love it!

Standard Overhead Press – 20lbs each hand/7 reps (same as last time)

Single-Leg Lunge – 25lbs each hand/8 reps (same as last time – 25lbs weights are the heaviest we have)

Standard Reverse Fly – 12.5lbs/8 reps (same as last time – pretty sure I’m ready for 15lbs next week)

Standing Arnold Press – 20lbs each hand/7 reps + 3 extreme (heavier, fewer reps)

Single-Leg Dead Lifts – 25lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time)

Bent-Over Lat Raise – 15lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time, better form)

Frontal Shoulder Press – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time – going heavier next time)

Single-Leg Tap Lunges – 17.5lbs each hand/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time – I was FEELIN’ it with all those extra squats and lunges I’ve been doing!)

Lateral Delt Raise – 12.5lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme (same as last time, better form)

Looking forward to Push Circuit 3 tomorrow! Love the chest work on the floor! The Long-Arm Pullover is still my favorite. 🙂

A Breakthrough – Part 2

Ok, where do I start? Before my husband and I got married or were even a couple we were close friends. As a matter of fact, our friendship meant so much to us it almost kept us from getting together. We were afraid if we took our relationship to the next level and it didn’t work out we’d lose the friendship that meant so much to us. We would spend hours talking about anything and everything and even though we didn’t always see eye to eye we listened to each other’s point of view out of respect. I found him to be intelligent, charming and challenging.

We all have hardships and go through tough times, but my husband has had to deal with more than the average person. For our friendship, that meant a lot of the time I was helping him deal with the emotional aftermath of it all and that was fine with me. It made me feel needed and like I was making a difference. The more he let me in the more we connected and eventually I knew I could no longer be just friends. He felt the same way and we became an official couple in August 1995 while visiting San Francisco with my mom.

Through unforseen circumstances we ended up living alone together, something I would’ve never chosen and don’t recommend. But that’s what happened and through the daily stresses of life and the nagging feeling that we had taken things in the wrong direction our relationship started to break down. The mutual respect eroded away and instead of being the close friend he could go to for support I became the one who took the brunt of his frustrations. What was once a life that felt perfect and almost magical became a mentally painful and unhealthy existence. But I was committed to him and making it work. I couldn’t handle the thought of losing him and the friendship we once shared.

Looking back, I have no doubt that a regular person would’ve left many times over and moved on, but because I grew up in an abusive home I had learned to put up with more than anyone should. I can’t blame him for the state of our relationship, either, because we teach others how to treat us. If I had stood up for myself and made it clear that some things were unacceptable, things would’ve been different. He either would’ve respected me more or ended it, but I didn’t. I became less and less the person who had overcome her childhood and more and more a doormat who was losing her identity all because I was afraid to lose him.

At this point, you may be thinking that he’s a horrible person. I hate to portray him that way, but the truth is that he did do some horrible things. He never hurt me physically, but he caused a lot of emotional pain. That’s what happens when two people with  lot of unresolved issues get together and become each other’s world. Being so young and living together was like putting our relationship in a pressure cooker and neither of us held up under the stress. There were times when I hated him and I’m sure he felt the same about me, but I never stopped loving him deep down. Many times we almost ended it, but decided to stay together despite everything. It was like a crazy roller coaster ride that I didn’t know how to get off and didn’t really want to. I just kept believing that somehow we’d work through it and get back to the way things used to be.

Despite all the red flags, we ended up getting married in July 1998. I hoped that making that commitment would allow things to settle down. We left California and headed for Oregon for a new beginning. But old habits don’t stay behind. We moved in with family by marriage on my husband’s side, but things continued to be the same. There were bright spots. There always were. Just enough to keep my hope for a happy life together alive. Then I found out I was pregnant. For most, that news would’ve brought joy and excitement. For us, not so much. The added stress almost ended our marriage, but again we decided to stay together and try to make it work. We moved out on our own and it was tough. A new baby in a healthy relationship can be difficult, but for us…well, I’m sure you can imagine. Eventually I lost count of all the times we almost split up.

That sweet little baby brought a new sense of purpose to our lives, though, and slowly we began to figure things out. Just when we started to gain some momentum in the right direction I found out I was pregnant again despite our best efforts to keep that from happening. When he was born I fell in love all over again, but the stress of providing for our growing family was driving a wedge between us again. Our relationship was nowhere near a place that could handle more strain and we ended up separating. We had both had enough and as much as it killed me to let go of the hope I had for us I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I can’t even tell you now exactly what it was that made us decide to go to counselling and get back together. I’m sure it had to do with the kids and not wanting them to grow up with divorced parents like both of us had. And despite everything I still loved him. We didn’t stay in counselling as long as we should have and so even though we were making some progress there were many times when it felt like we’d move one step forward  then two steps back. Then I was introduced to a book that gave me the tools I needed to make some changes that finally pushed us out of that rut. That book was The Love Dare. When I started it my husband wasn’t even speaking to me and for what seemed like the thousandth time I was sure our marriage was over. But I took it seriously and by the second week not only was he speaking to me again, but he was buying me flowers for no reason. Things were starting to feel a tiny bit magical again.

I wish I could say that I’ve continued to do everything I learned from that book everyday since I read it, but old habits are hard to break. As much blame as I can lay on him for the problems in our relationship, I have to accept responsibility, too. Our friendship, the foundation of our relationship, was broken down from both sides. Along the way, I stopped listening to him and trying to see things from his point of view. I started feeling like I already knew what he was going to say and would cut him off before he could finish his thought. That made him feel like there was no point in talking to me so the two people who once shared anything and everything suffered a complete breakdown in communication.

With the help of my wonderful, supportive friends I realized that I couldn’t continue to be a doormat and expect our relationship to heal. I had to start respecting myself if I wanted him to respect me. Going back to work played a huge part in that as I felt like I was contributing not only to our family, but to the businesses I worked for. I was able to start lovingly, but firmly communicate to him what was unacceptable and what I needed from him even though sometimes I felt like I was talking to a wall. Then I discovered Turbo Jam and Chalene Johnson. Her outlook on life has pushed my “recovery” to a whole new level and my life has completely transformed.

So what does all this have to do with staying in bed with my husband until 3-something in the afternoon on a day he should’ve been at a job fair giving his resume to potential employers from all around the country? Well, despite my new outlook on life and the vast improvements to our marriage we’ve never found our way back to the friendship we once had. Of course, after all the years of trials and heartache I know it will never be exactly the same as it was, but I believe in some ways it can be even better if we can rebuild it. One of the most frustrating things has been that I’m learning how to be happy and successful and even though I’ve been able to share that knowledge with my friends I haven’t been able to with him, the person I care about the most who needs it the most.

The alarm went off when it was supposed to, but neither of us got up. Then it went off again with the same results. Finally, it was time to get the kids up and off to school so I got up and took care of that. He still wasn’t up despite much nagging and pleading from me. Taking into consideration that he normally only gets 3-5 hours of sleep on  weekdays and that we had stayed up until 4:30am getting everything ready for the job fair, I wasn’t at all surprised that he wasn’t getting up. I climbed back in bed and quickly fell back asleep next to him. The next thing I knew we were both waking up and it was after 1:00. So much for the job fair.  

Out of nowhere he started to ask me some pretty odd questions saying he just needed me to answer even though it didn’t really make sense. I went along and that led to a conversation about why he does what he does…including skipping the job fair even though we spent all night preparing for it.  A real conversation. Both of us taking turns talking and listening. He was opening up and asking for my help and I finally had answers for him. It was amazing…dare I say, magical. The conversation even turned to me when he asked what kinds of things I was dealing with. I realized that I couldn’t remember that last time he had shown that kind of interest in my well-being and it took me off guard. I’ve spent lots of time talking with friends about my issues, but in that moment I didn’t know what to say. Finally, I found a way to open up to him and trust him with my vulnerability. I think he sees me differently now, in a better light because he’s realizing again that we’re in this together and need to lean on each other the way we used to all those years ago.

At one point, he started to say something and I felt like I knew what he was going to say so I cut him off. Instead of shutting down, he pointed it out and asked if he could finish. When he stopped talking I asked if I could respond and he said no. He could see it was killing me and explained that that’s how he feels when I don’t let him talk. It was the most vivid “a-ha moment” I’ve had in a very long time. I felt such remorse for making him feel that way for all these years that saying I was sorry didn’t feel like enough. Over the years, I’ve apologized for many things that I ended up doing again and again so I know the words probably didn’t mean much to him. But the point hit my with such clarity that I can’t imagine doing that to him again. Not that the temptation won’t arise, but the understanding I have now will always make me think twice before I open my mouth and close my ears.

Yes, he missed the job fair, but it worked out for the best. We had a major breakthrough in our relationship which to me is more valuable than all the money in the world. There will be other opportunities and I know he’ll end up where he’s supposed to. The important thing is that we’ll be there together, happier than we would’ve been if things had gone as we planned, and for that I am eternally thankful.

My son suggested we go for a walk yesterday. He was kidding. I did go, though. That’s three days in a row so it’s looking like I’m getting back to normal again. Just have to say that after not walking for over a week, Thursday’s walk made me realize how quickly we lose what we don’t use. Ouch!

I started to take some photos and realized the batteries in the camera were dead. That problem is solved now so I’ll have to get out there today and take some. I could’ve said, “maybe I’ll get out there and take some,” but I’m learning that thoughts and words have a profound effect on the outcome of our lives. By simply changing “maybe” to “I’ll have to” I’ve set myself up for success because I’ve told myself I’m going to do it. My attitude is completely different.  Instead of thinking of my walk as optional I’m planning the best time to go.

I used to hate exercising, but now I love it and the workouts I do now are more challenging. If anything, you’d think I’d hate it even more, but I took Chalene Johnson’s advice and started telling myself I love it. There are times when the workouts feel especially tough. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this today. I just don’t have the energy,” I tell myself I can do it and that I’m fine. It may sound crazy, but it works. And not just with exercise. We can change our perspective on anything by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

I’m realizing that I need to expand my ability to do this to other areas of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking about how I’m not organized or good at keeping the apartment clean because of my background. I’m not saying that those things weren’t true, but now I’m going to tell myself that I’m awesome at organizing and cleaning. Does that mean that suddenly everything will be perfect? No, but now instead of focussing on what I can’t do I’ll be looking for ways to be better.

In the past, I’ve had a pattern of starting things and then not finishing them. I think it’s fairly normal to not finish every single thing we start, but once I had given myself that label I became “the person who never finishes anything” which set me up for failure. Now I’m going to be “the person who follows through and finishes things.” No doubt the temptation will arise to quit things when they get hard, but now I know how to push through it. Instead of telling myself I might as well give up because that’s what I always do I can talk to myself the same way I would a friend who is tempted to quit something worthwhile.

The Golden Rule says treat others the way you want to be treated. I think there’s a flip side to that. Treat yourself the way you want other people to treat you. If a friend kept telling me I might as well give up because that’s what I always do or I can’t do something because I don’t have what it takes to succeed I would be seriously offended and probably wouldn’t be their friend very long. But that’s exactly the kind of stuff we tell ourselves on a regular basis. We need to learn to be our own biggest cheerleader and stop sabotaging ourselves. When the negative thoughts start to seep in and take over we have to make a conscious effort to fight them off. Thoughts are only as real as the actions we take because of them. If the thought crosses the mind of a successful person that they’re not successful does that make it true? Not unless they allow themselves to believe it and stop doing the things that have made them a success.

I dare you to try it. Identify something negative you continually tell yourself that keeps you from doing something you want or need to and start telling yourself the opposite. If you find yourself thinking it won’t work, you’re still doing it. Cut it out. Adjust your attitude so it’s positive. You CAN do this. Now I’m going to go for a walk, just like I said I would. 🙂

I looked at the list before starting this one. One particular move caught my attention…Single-Leg Sumo Squats. I was scared. Turns out I didn’t need to be, but it is the most effective move I’ve ever done for targeting the inner thigh…WOW!

Sumo Squat – 25lbs/8 reps

Single-Arm Row – 25lbs/8 reps

Chest Fly – 17.5lbs/8 reps

Bowler Lunge (single best outer thigh/hip move) – 25lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Double-Arm Bent-Over Row – 25lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme

Bench Press – 25lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Single-Leg Sumo Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row – 20lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme

Long-Arm Pullover (love this one!) – 20lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme

For those not familiar with this program, weight amounts are for each hand with the exception of the long-arm pullover. So for, say, the bench press it’s like doing 50lbs if you were at a gym on a machine or 35lbs for the chest fly. 🙂

Wow, this one is intense!

Standard Overhead Press – 15lbs/8 reps

SingleLeg Lunge – 15lbs/8 reps

Standing Reverse Fly – 12.5lbs/6 reps

Standing Arnold Press – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Single-Leg Dead Lifts(!) – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Bent-Over Lat Raise – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Frontal Shoulder Press – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Single-Leg Tap Lunges – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Lateral Delt Raise – 10lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Whew!

Looking out the window this morning I did not want to go out for a walk, but I made a commitment. When I stepped outside I wanted to turn around and go back in. It was raining, not drizzling, raining…and windy. I was determined to get over to the tree and take a photo so on I went. Before long, I noticed that because of the raindrops pelting me in the face I was walking faster than normal. Not necessarily a bad thing. I pushed forward, took the picture and decided to head back. A forty minute walk is much better than nothing.

Since certain family members had been bugging me about taking pictures that include me, I attempted to get a decent one of myself. This is the best I could come up with. Plus, it gives you an idea of how much it was raining.

I actually really like this one, too. Technically, it is a picture of me…just reflected in the puddle.

On my way back, I saw this person and thought, “They came prepared…and probably aren’t from around here.” I don’t know too many Oregonians that actually use umbrellas, unless they’re originally from someplace else.

So you may be wondering what this all has to do with the title of this post. The fact that the unpleasant rain made me push harder got me thinking. We need adversity in life. If we were all perfect, we wouldn’t, but we’re not. It’s the hard times or the discouraging people that give us the opportunity to grow, but the choice is up to us. We can let ourselves get beat down or we can push harder and rise to the occasion.

If we allow others to define us and believe them when they say we can’t transform into something better, we become weaker and weaker. Soon we start talking to ourselves the same way those who want to see us fail do. But enough is enough! We can choose to be our own biggest cheerleader and find pleasure in overcoming obstacles. It’s not easy, especially if we’ve been our own worst enemy. It takes passion and drive so get mad about it! Decide that the negative thoughts that lead to negative actions stop now. We deserve better.

It’s time to refocus all that energy that’s been wasted on worrying about what others think or disasters that may never happen. It’s time to make better use of the 24 hours we’ve been given each day. No more wasting hour after hour in mindless activity that only serves as an escape from our real lives. Let’s make our lives exciting and fulfilling by changing the way we look at ourselves and the world around us.

Instead of watching TV or playing video games, why not workout? Instead of spending time online planting virtual crops or helping your friends build a new stove that only requires one click of the mouse instead of three, why not reach out to someone new and see if there’s some way you can help them navigate through life? We’ve all been through something that someone else is experiencing and could use some guidance.  And with the economy the way it is, there’s always a need for volunteers in the communities where we live.

It’s time to stop giving in and giving up. Let’s be thankful for the challenges we face because they give us a chance to grow and become stronger. Identify your biggest weakness and decide you’re going to turn it into a strength. It will mean getting out of your comfort zone and maybe even encountering opposition, but it will be worth it. Well, what are you waiting for?

Starting a new phase today. Didn’t quite know what to expect, but I’m in love!

Standard Bicep Curl – 20lbs/6 reps

Standard Squat – 25lbs/8 reps

Single-Arm Bent-Over Tricep Extension – 15lbs/8 reps

V-Press Biceps – 15lbs/6 reps + 3 extreme

Single Leg Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Overhead Tricep Extension – 25lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Hammer Biceps – 15lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Heel Squat – 20lbs/8 reps + 3 extreme

Push-Ups – 6 on knees + 3 extreme

Oh yeah…that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Never underestimate the power of the pen (or computer). Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or reach any kind of goal one of the most effective ways to do it is writing down what you’re doing and where you want to go. 

I’ve been working out pretty regularly for a while now, but when I weighed in last week I found that I really wasn’t losing weight like I had been before. The reason? I was getting slack with my eating habits. I had been sort of tracking what I ate on the bodybugg website, but was finding that by afternoon I wasn’t paying close attention to what or how much I was eating which made it difficult or impossible to track. I knew I had to take control of the situation and decided to start posting my daily food journal. Now I’m accountable to anyone who’s curious about what I’m eating which makes me think twice before I put something in my mouth. I’m not saying everyone has to post their journal, that’s just what it took for me. 

If you’re trying to lose weight, you should write down everything you eat unless you’re strictly following the eating plan that came with your workout or using the Team Beachbody meal planner which keeps track of everything for you. There are also lots of great apps that help you keep count of calories, etc. 

If muscle and endurance are what you’re after, write down your weights and reps or distance and speed each time you workout. If you don’t have a tracking sheet for your workout, you can print them out from the Team Beachbody website. They key is to have a record of what you’ve done so you can do more each time.

In all parts of life, not just with health and fitness, writing down what you want to achieve will help you stay focussed on what’s really important. Life is too short to waste time in uncertainty. If you feel like you don’t really know what you want out of life or how to achieve it I HIGHLY recommend doing this free 30 day challenge from Chalene Johnson, the creator of Turbo Jam, TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme and others. I promise you it will change your life for the better, no matter what state it’s in now.

By the way, in the week that I’ve been posting my food journal I’ve lost 5.6 lbs. : ) If you want to see what I’ve been eating or the photos I’ve been taking on my daily walks or read my ponderings on life, getting healthy and helping in the community you can check out the other categories in my blog. I do post some of the entries on the Team Beachbody website, but there’s much more here on wordpress. : )