As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never thought of myself as much of an athlete. When I think about athletes, I think about someone who plays a sport. Or at least, I used to think that. Over the last few years, I’ve started to adopt a few different outlooks on life, particularly how I view myself and what I’m capable of – even if I don’t think I am!
My parents got me a Nike Dry Fit shirt for Christmas this year and it says “ATHLETE” on the chest. I had this moment of – “did you mean to give this shirt to someone else?” And then I realized it really was for me, and they had seen this shirt – thought of their daughter and bought it. I know that sounds really silly – but it meant a lot to have someone who has known me my entire life pick out a shirt like that for me. They have never gotten me anything like that before – I mean, work out pants, a hoodie – usual stuff. I brought it home and as I was putting it in my drawer full of work out/gym clothes, I wondered if people would laugh at me if I wore the shirt.
I know – I think crazy thoughts sometimes. I realize it’s just a shirt. But I feel like if you wear a shirt with a label people might assume you think that about yourself. Do I really think I’m an athlete?
I’ve been thinking about this question since Christmas, and I’ve been replaying all the things I’ve done in the past few years that might make me an athlete:
1) Trained hard for improved performance (taught myself how to run, swim & bike for a triathlon and 5ks)
2) Routinely practice my technique and coordination so I can continuously improve my group fitness class that I instruct on a weekly basis (TurboKick)
3) Push myself hard during every workout with a focus on being BETTER. Whether it’s practicing TurboKick, at my cycling class, lifting weights or on the stairmaster – I’m pushing myself to do more so I can go longer and harder next time and it will be easier for me.
4) I set goals for myself to achieve and revisit my goals often so I can see what I’ve accomplished and what I still need to work on
5) I encourage other people who are working toward their goals to keep going, keep pushing, and help them establish new goals if they need some support (team work!)
6) Lastly, I push myself to try new things that help me work on areas of weakness. For instance, I’m currently doing a hot yoga class that I honestly hate mostly every minute of…but I know I need to stretch myself (haha) and try new things to keep me balanced.
So while some of these items may not be completely in line with a formal definition of athlete…I think it’s enough for me to go on.
In fact, when I woke up this morning to go work out – I pushed aside all the plain jane work out shirts and found my ATHLETE shirt.
It just felt right.
Running across the finish line at my 2nd Triathlon
I’ve been reading a lot of facebook updates on new years resolutions and I think it’s inspiring to see all the wonderful things my friends and family have on the horizon. If you haven’t taken some time to sit down and think about your goals for 2012 – I encourage you to do that right now. You might just have 1 – that’s okay! Just make sure your goal is about YOU, for instance, don’t make a goal of your husband not snoring anymore. That’s his problem 🙂
So I’ve shared that my goal for this year is to lose 30 pounds – and I’m committed. I’ve spent this week acclimating to a new approach to eating. This is part of my plan to a more healthy life so I can live longer and stronger.
What I’m doing is sort of opposite of so many diets I’ve done before in my life. I’m actually eating more food than I was eating before – but the trick of the trade is to eat the right TYPES of food and to keep the make up of your meals varied. I’m utilizing the Exchange System to guide my daily intake – that’s right – no counting calories. So it’s really weird and I’m glad I’ve had a week to spend getting used to the differences. Exchanges are broken down into Starches, Dairy, Fat, Fruit, Vegetables and Meat. When I met with my nutrition guide at TNT Total Fitness, she gave me a breakdown of how I should be incorporating each of these into my diet. For me – a non-fruit eater (I know – weird! But maybe I’ll save it for another post), she picked a break down that only requires me to have 4 servings of fruit a day which is do-able for me via fruit juices/smoothies.
I’m also eating WAY more often – so never having more than 3-4 hours between meals/snacks. My snacks are way more intense than I’m used to – for instance, a few weeks ago I would just have some yogurt as a snack or some goldfish crackers. But now – a snack would mean a sugar free pudding, 2 cup carrots with 1 tbsp of hummus and fruit juice. Wow – way different, huh?
My plan definitely requires PRE-planning, in fact, I’ve already made up my grocery list for the next week. I picked out 7 recipes so I’ll have lunch and dinner for the entire week (minus 1 meal where I get to “cheat”). I’ll be making lots of stuff in advance – particularly my snacks. My plan also includes exercise 5 days a week.
How specific have you gotten with you plan to achieve your goal in 2012?
Okay, I found this today at GNC while picking up some multivitamins, and I am oh so excited. It comes apart so you can store up to 2 cups of veggies, granola, whatever and then a 1/2cup holder for a dip/spread PLUS a removable ice pack. Pretty cool for us who need to prep snacks on the go! $9.99…check it out at http://www.fit-fresh.com. Lots
of cool ideas!
This week is my first week of putting my new plan into action. I’ve had a few people ask me what types of food I’m eating, so here’s a few snippets from this week. Above – my usual breakfast: turkey sausage patties, 1 slice is 2% cheese (cheddar), 1 whole grain english muffin (Thomas brand) and 8 oz of Bolthouse 100% juice. Today is passion orange guava – apparently it’s a Hawaiian holiday addition – but it’s pretty tasty. I don’t eat fruit – but my plan requires that I have at least 4 servings, so I’m testing out different options for me to still get my fruit in!
I have two snacks everyday – and this is an afternoon snack. It’s sort of a weird combo though – not something I would of come up with on my own, but it’s a sugar free dark chocolate Jell-O pudding, 10 reduced fat triscuits (Harris Teeter brand though), 1 tbsp Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and more fruit juice to wrap up my 4 servings.
This was dinner the other night. I heart stir fry, so this meal was right in line with that….5 oz of shrimp (which by the way is A LOT of shrimp), 1 cup of brown rice and lots of veggies – green pepper, mushrooms, water chesnuts and onions. I used low sodium soy sauce and teriyaki sauce to give it some flava-flav.
So, I know about 10 zillion people who are going to commit to a healthy new lifestyle come the first day of 2012. You know – the ones who say they will lose weight, stop smoking, eat less fried pie (really?) and the like. The ones who take over your gym for about a month, making every cardio machine a race with the clock because they are actually enforcing the 30 minute time limit rule.
This blog isn’t going to be about that.
This isn’t a new resolution for me, and by the way – check the date folks, it’s not 2012 yet. 🙂 I’ve been on this health journey of sorts for awhile now – really the last 4 years of my life have been the beginning of something totally different for me. I was never the athlete, in fact, I sat the bench most of high school volleyball “career.” I have always been chubby, if not just plain overweight – but not so much so that I felt excluded from society or anything. I’m not going to be a contestant on the biggest loser (p.s. Love that show, but always feel badly when I’m eating my dinner while watching it). I’m just a normal person trying to be healthier – so I can live longer and stronger. I lost 30 pounds as of last year and only had about 15 more to lose, but put back on about 12 of it this year even though I was still working out, counting calories and doing “all the right things.”
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? When you know what is supposed to work, and maybe it does for awhile and then it just stops working? Something changes and you are left pedaling backward trying to figure out how to move forward again. So, that’s what this blog is going to be about for the most part. I’m not super woman and I’m not someone who will work out for 6 hours a day and eat lettuce for lunch (aka Crazy Lady). I’m just me and I think that writing this stuff down might help me stay on track as I figure out how to finally lose these 30 pounds and what being 30 is all about.
I do have a plan, and my first day was today – but that is for a different post. I hope you’ll come along with me for the journey. Maybe we can help each other out. Thanks for stopping by!