When You Battle the Voice Inside Your Head

Last night was tough. Earlier in the week I went to my first kickboxing class since I had the baby. It felt fantastic! I was so happy to be back, and of course I challenged myself to do exercises that I am not quite used to again… but it really felt amazing. Naturally, I have been sore since that class so I took the next day off to recover.. but anyone who’s ever done a REALLY good workout knows that it’s actually the second day off when you can barely move.

So yesterday, was my second day. It was my second day and emotionally I was feeling defeated. Looking at my post baby body I have been feeling frustrated, disappointed, and quite frankly: ugly. Silly, I know… but honest.  I felt tired, I felt sore, but mostly in my upper body in abdominal area–which clearly meant I was totally fine to do my lower body– or at least I thought.

Hubby and I went downstairs to set up for our workout, and I created my plan for leg day. Ugh. It was horrible. It was that kind of workout where my head fought every single movement that my body was doing. It felt like I should have had an angel and devil positioned on my shoulder whispering lies to me.

The first exercise that I wanted to try (since obviously the only thing to do when you’re already tired and feeling defeated is introduce new exercises, and increase your weights) was Ham curls on the TRX. I set the goal for 12 reps, and forced myself to do 4 sets. Why did I want to do 4 sets? Well, because that voice inside my head was telling me that 3 wouldn’t be enough to feel anything, so suck it up and do it. So, I would get to about 9 reps and want to cry. Not because it hurt, and not because it was hard– but yes it was hard. I wanted to cry because while I was doing the reps I had to battle the voice inside my head that was telling me each rep sucked. I was literally trying to ignore phrases like
“Why are you doing this?”
“That rep did nothing for you”
“Just quit, you’re never going to loose this baby weight”

It was awful. And it didn’t stop there. When I got to my deadlifts with the trap bar, I decided to add 10 lbs to each side. I honestly think I was getting so angry at myself that I would counter my negative comments by increasing the weight and working harder. I finished 3 sets, and there was that voice again:
“You know, you did 3 sets, you’re sweating… just stop there”

No. I wont stop there. Screw you, voice.

I have to say, I was so thankful to have my hubby there with me last night. There were so many times where I felt like I could have just crumbled and sat on the floor crying. But each time he saw me struggling, he would stop his set, come over and help me refocus and get back on track.

I’m realizing more and more that this journey to “get my body back” requires a lot of love and support of those around me. I find that there seems to be a faux timeline that I’m getting sucked into of when I should “fit into my regular pants”. It’s crap. I will fit into those pants when my body is ready to. I’m 7 weeks post baby and I have GOT to stop putting pressure on myself to be back so fast, because it will quite honestly hinder any progress that I’m working hard to achieve.

Ugh, that damn voice. It really needs to SHUT. UP.
fitness

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A Shift in Perspective, and Body Position…and Weight….and…

When I started my serious fitness journey 3 years ago, I created a scrapbook. Part of it is the teacher in me who wanted the plan, got excited and ran out to buy all the materials to make the plan look pretty… and part of it was because my husband told me (with brutal honesty) that he didn’t think I would follow through. As much as that hurt to hear, I know that based on previous attempts to “get back on track” often faded off after a few weeks, and old routines came back.

So I created a scrapbook which consisted of 4 pages per month:
-Calendar to track daily physical activity
-Calendar to track what I was eating
-Monthly page dedicated to pictures to track my progress (unflattering angles and all)
-A comment page–> This page was the most important. You don’t always have positive workouts. In fact some days you can feel so discouraged that you want to quit. I thought if I was going to be successful, I knew I needed to write about the bad days as well. It would be a lie to only include those amazing days where I felt like I could take on anything. It’s looking back on the days where I felt tired, weak, and saw no results where I can take pride in saying that I pushed through and achieved my goals.

This scrapbook took me from September 2011 until September 2012, and I filled every page. On the comments page, I can remember adding in other accomplishments like “I went up from 10lbs to 15 lbs with my weights today!” Or “Today I bought a pair of shorts that were size Small! or Size 4!” and I would tape in the tag for my own validation. It had never felt so much pride in shopping for clothes, in sizes I had truly convinced myself I could never wear because I am a tall woman.

You can imagine the irony I felt when I went shopping a few weeks ago for a new one-piece bathing suit for lane swims at the community centre.

I’m not a stupid woman… of COURSE my body is going to change, and I’m going to gain weight. I am having a baby. And don’t think I haven’t heard all the comforting words from friends and family:
“Your baby needs to eat, so feed yourself!”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re having a baby!”
“You’re not getting fat, you’re PREGNANT!”

I still can’t help but laugh at the irony that only a few years ago I was taping new sizes into a scrapbook, and now I’m mortified when I pick up sizes to try them on. AND more overwhelmed, when the “guess” I make, thinking that’s a big enough gap, is either a snug fit or too small.

Oh well, I’ve slowly come to accept this change, and embrace it! I’m growing a human being inside of me. Aside from the SCI-FI component, this is quite possibly the most glorious experience I’ve ever had!

I’m in my third trimester now, and it is blowing me away the changes still occurring in this belly. My little lime is getting much bigger, and quickly!

I have my cousin’s wedding on Saturday, and last week I tried my dress on and it fit. Yesterday, however.. was a different story. Imagine my shock when I tried to put on the dress, and it would no longer zip all the way up. So I took it to the sweetest Nona, who smiled and said it would be an easy fix. Thank goodness for that! Not sure if my cousin would be happy with me walking down the aisle with a jacket on haha.

As these final months creep along, I keep reminding myself that part of the process is change in my body. The shift in my weight transfer, my body alignment, and yes… my sizes. I feel lucky to still be doing what I love. I can still workout, I’m feeling great… I just move slower. And for right now, all that is required of me is to provide a safe and healthy place for my baby to grow.

If that means I have to look a little further down on the rack… then bring it on.

Me…. and the Lime ;)

I’m BACCK 🙂

It feels so darn good to get back to writing! Let me tell you, when you want to be writing about what is going on in your life and how it relates to fitness but you have to distance yourself for a little while it is HARD. But, alas– the time has come to dust off my keyboard and begin my journey on here again!

Why, do you ask, would I leave you in the dark like this? When I was posting about my new goals and how I was going to push through for new accomplishments this year?

Well– actually– it has something to do with the fact that some of my goals have changed sliiighhtly in these last few months. As you may recall from previous posts, I have some race dates approaching in May– and was supposed to have some weight loss goals accomplished by– well– now. Not to disappoint, but weight loss for me is something that is NOT going to be on my agenda– at least for the next.. let’s say…9 months?

Yep. That’s right folks, your MrsKooyFitness is going to be MrsKooyMama! 🙂

I’m finally at a stage in my journey when I can begin to discuss this exciting event openly. And well there are never any guarantees in life, all one can hope for is to continue on this healthy path which will lead to the birth of a happy and healthy baby. But let me tell you– not only has it been difficult not writing on here to share my experiences thus far– the changes I have had to make to my own regularly active lifestyle have taken me some time to adjust to– and be okay with.

Slowly, I’m gaining my energy back (this little poppyseed, turned olive, turned prune, turned lime— has been eating away at my energy levels!) and dare I say– I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the toile– ugh— tunnel?

Today I accomplished a significant landmark for myself and baby lime. (the food references are not my cravings, they are — according to my “in depth” reading on my phone APP “baby bump”– the size of my growing baby!) Last night a good friend send me a text letting me know that our usual running crew were going to venture out tomorrow and try a small 7K to get back on the road. (7K used to be smaller for me.. but lately walking on the treadmill gets my heart rate up there so I was unsure whether I wanted to hold them back) I decided I was going to show up and do my best, and if I had to walk a bit so be it. We typically run before our bootcamp classes on Saturday so I thought if I was going to make the trek down there I would stay for the class afterwards and work at my own pace. My own pace. Something that was hard to dial down.. but I’m getting better at.

So I woke up this morning at 5:15– snoozed until 5:30… and finally got my little booty out of bed at 5:45 to get dressed, pack, and be ready to leave at 6:00. Well– apparently little lime wasn’t having this new agenda. One quick brush of my teeth sent me right over to my porcelain friend. The first few interactions with the toilet had me feeling like maybe I should just call the girls and tell them it’s not the morning for me, and go back to bed. But by the 5th, 6th, and 7th heave-hoe it was time for baby lime and I to have a little heart to heart.

I stood up, rubbed my tummy and said

“Look baby lime– you and I have to learn how to cooperate with one another. Otherwise this is going to be a long journey for the two of us. I’m going for this run today, and baby– you’re coming with me. So please, let’s work together and have a great morning”

So off we went. And you know what?

We did it! We ran 4K together, had a nice pick-me-up at Tim Hortons to refuel, and finished with a great workout together in boot camp!

It can be scary in the beginning to know your limits when you’re pushing for two. The important thing to remember though is so long as you have been physically active up to your pregnancy, and your doctor gives you the ok to continue what you’re doing– go for it!

The rest is up to you– and your baby! Listen to your body, ultimately it will tell you if you need to slow down. But let me tell you– there is no greater feeling that knowing you took your time but finished a great workout that not only benefits you, but benefits your little addition. The one who’s also working hard– trying to grow.

Have a wonderful weekend my readers!
Talk soon! 🙂

Remembering All Levels of Fitness and Goals

I’ve written a post similar to this one before, but I felt like I wanted to discuss this topic again in light of the new program that is beginning at our boot camp. We have a 6 week fat loss program called the “Sexy in 6” which continually proves to provide much success toward the women who join; for no other reason than they put in a solid effort and commitment, and keep their goals in front of them at all times as they get closer and closer to success.

Yesterday I decided I was going to participate in the program, and a requirement of the program is to record your weight and your measurements. Truth be told, I stepped on the scale for the first time in months and had a bitter taste of reality. There is a 15 pound difference from where I was in the summer to where I am now.

Yesterday I was so disappointed in myself, but today I woke up feeling more determined than ever to change what I saw. This, I have come to realize, was inevitable. Since the summer when I began to be so overwhelmed with the changes in my life, the regular bad habits crept back in:
wine, beer, deep fried foods, chips, ice cream, and NO consistent physical activity.

Disgusting for a person who knows better but…

I am human and made unhealthy choices when stress dominated my life.

I had an interesting experience yesterday while I was taking my measurements, one that has definitely happened to me before. A woman from the program caught sight of me, and stated
“If I had a body like that I wouldn’t need to be on this program”

Now, as flattering as that may be the reality is every body has their own goals they are working towards
And that’s exactly now I responded.

I know as a female we sometimes use comments like that as compliments for other women, but I have always found it to be completely the opposite. It is so important to validate ANY goal that a woman makes with regards to her health and fitness level. Because otherwise, what we’re saying is that they’re done. Perfect. No need to set any goals, or challenge themselves in any way to be a better version of themselves.

And that is simply not true.

There are always ways to improve yourself, and to be a healthier, stronger, more confident, deserving version of you.

I’m going to propose a challenge to the women out there today:

Try to embrace others who may have goals similar or different than the ones you have set. Try not to pass judgement, or assume that body size or higher numbers on the scale makes a person more deserving of working towards change in their lives. Try to remember that every one has their own demons they’re working through, and what you can do is stand behind them and work with them to reach their full potential; Their full potential, not yours or anyone elses.

Because after all, that’s what makes being united as women so inspiring. We’re all different and have our own strengths. So it should only make sense that our goals may look different as well.

So yes, I do have some weight loss goals added to my list of fitness accomplishments for 2014:

*10 pounds by Feb. 22nd

*15 total by April 1st.

*Fitness Photoshoot in May

*1/2 Marathon at the end of May.

What have I started to put in action to reach those goals?

NO
Alcohol for the next 2 months
Chips, Ice Cream, or other JUNK for 2 Months (once it’s out of my system it’s less likely I’ll be craving them excessively like before)
Sitting on my ass 5-6 days a week

YES
High protein, and Complex Carb intake. After two weeks, taking in carbs ONLY post workout (healthy carbs… not chips haha)
Packing more lunches for school
Making more dinners at night that carry over for lunch!
Running 3-5 K twice a week for the month of Jan–> Increasing to 5-8K for February
Kickboxing once a week
Train (and work out) at Boot camp once a week (sometimes twice)
Gym 2- 3 times (depending on schedule and what I’ve also done during the week)
Begin morning yoga routine again

MY ACCOUNTABILITY
My friend, co-trainer, and fitness partner: Rosie
THIS BLOG–> I’m putting it out there for you all to read to know I’m bloody serious

So there you have it peeps. I’ve made my goals, I’ve posted them for others to see and now it’s time to start my journey towards being a better, healthier version of me.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I'm on the right. Rosie is on the left.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I’m on the right. Rosie is on the left.

What’s a New Years Resolution Really Mean?

Hello Readers!

Well, it’s finally 2014 and once again it’s time to start with those “resolutions”. Every year we all get so excited to start fresh, make some new goals and start over. It seems like we bounce ideas off each other, get super pumped and the same resolutions arise: weight loss, quit smoking, hit the gym, eat healthy, no coffee… etc.

It makes me wonder– how can you ensure these resolutions stick, and that after January it doesn’t simply go from the trendy ‘quick fix’ and get checked into the “not right now”.. only to be forgotten about until the following year when you announce that THIS will in fact be– THE YEAR— (you have to add a strong, thunderous voice here for dramatic effect)

I’m going to use my students (yes, my grade 2 students) as guinea pigs this year. We’re going to sit down the first week back and begin to ask the question “What is a resolution?” and “How can we make a resolution that we can be successful at?” Together, we’re going to develop a criteria for creating goals– SUCCESSFUL goals, track them and here’s the best part: we’re going to ATTAIN THEM, and SURPASS THEM.

These are life skills that most adults struggle to work through, so it is not going to be an easy task. I want to break goal setting down for them by using a SMART method:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time Orientated

I have several goals for myself this year, and I have decided to break them down according to the length of time it will realistically take for me to achieve these goals, so that I have multiple moments of success throughout the year!

I believe that it is so important for you to continually feel success when you decide on a goal. This is so that the goal does not stay abstract, it becomes a reality. For example. This year I’m going to train for my first 1/2 marathon. I didn’t feel like I was ready last year when my friends completed one in the fall. I had a lot of personal things going on, and began to loose touch with this side of me. For the first time in months I feel positive about being about to balance areas of my life to fit in what really makes me happy. I think what I’ve really realized with regards to balance is that it’s perpetual. I will always have to revisit, and organize my schedule because I am always changing and growing within my life. Much the same as creating goals for yourself, — or in this case “resolutions” .

It is not accurate to say that in 2014 you will: __________________. There are so many factors that will change throughout the course of the year, so my personal viewpoint is that your goal(s) need to be attainable in shorter durations so that they are consistent with the growing and changing individual.

Here are my goals for the first 5 months of “2014”

January-> have written 8 blog posts, run 3-5 K twice a week, and start off my math qualifications for teaching with a BANG!
Feb- March–> 8-10 more blog posts, increase frequency of running to three times a week–> solid 5-8 K, finish up math course even stronger
April-May–> Seriously focus on 1/2 training, complete the 1/2 at the end of May, start training Girls on the Run (running/ emotional growth program for young girls at school), continue to post about my training and experiences, conditioning my core & muscle strength

REVISIT Goals, visions and accomplishments– reset and get ready to dominate the second half of the year!!

Here’s to a wonderfully healthy year, full of exciting moments and to relishing in the joys of accomplishing and surpassing even the most extreme goals. Always remember that ANYTHING is possible, but it’s not enough to dream about it. Plan for it, write it down, set a realistic time frame for it and that goal is as good as yours.

i can

A low-energy Kind of day…

I’m tired.
I’m tired, and my body is exhausted.
Today at the gym was tough. The weights I normally use were felt SO much heavier, the reps that I’ve been doing were never ending, and I was continually winded through each set! Today at the gym, was TOUGH.

Okay, so now that I’ve expressed myself, got it out of my system and took a moment to highlight all the negative words–it’s time to let it go

This is something I’ve been working on lately. I’ve been practicing recognizing emotion- anger, happiness, sadness… or in this case: fatigue. I’ve been training myself to take a moment to experience the emotions that I’m feeling once I recognize them. I think this is a really positive and healthy way to move through experiences that may occur throughout the day.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well… actually, it’s not. Allowing ourselves to verbalize & actually feel certain emotions (especially the negative ones) can be extremely difficult for some people!

Today I had to apply this to my workout, and believe me– it happens to the best of us!

Here’s the thing:

You’re going to have days where you are tried.
You’re going to have days where you just don’t feel like going for that run, hitting the gym, pushing for the full reps.
You’re going to have days where you just want to quit.

Don’t do it. Don’t let your mind win, and don’t loose your focus.

You can feel all of these things, but still push forward with your workout and get it done.
That is why acknowledging that you feel this way is extremely important!

If you ignore that you’re tired, and you try to go hard through your workout, you could injure yourself. BUT– acknowledging the fatigue, taking a moment to reset will help you push through the workout with proper form & help possibly prevent injury!

So today I pushed it at the gym… and told myself to reset, find a nice strong breath… and push through with a strong finisher for my ladies at boot camp!

And now, as I lay in bed ready to turn in for the night… I can go to sleep feeling satisfied that while I recognized that today was a low-energy day… I didn’t loose focus of my goals. I let go of the feelings, and finished the day in my favorite way: STRONG & DETERMINED.

Good night my readers!!