Running Start

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RUNNERS

Today Jessica and I (finally!!) took the Good Form Running class at Big Peach Running Co. I mentioned wanting to go before I started training for my half marathon, and I really wish I had taken the class before I started running to prevent the shin splints I had at the end of 2013. The class was super informative, and we both learned what we need to work on to be better runners. I learned I was running with a heel strike, and I need to stretch more to loosen up my calf muscles. I also surprised myself that I have more muscle than I think I do and having a weak core is not my issue anymore. By the end of the class, the instructor said I was running with a mid-foot strike. Success!

We went over the four basic principles of proper running form, which are posture, the mid-foot strike, cadence, and lean. I’ve watched video after video after video trying to achieve this running form, but I couldn’t put the skills into practice on my own. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get my body to run in with the mid-foot strike. In class, our instructor had us practice marching in place so we could feel how our feet should be hitting the ground. Then we starting running from marching, and we instantly had better running form. He instructed us to practice this move outside of class. A good trick is to march while waiting at a stop light to keep yourself moving and to remind yourself of the proper foot strike. For more information on proper running form, check out the Good Form Running website– I have it book marked!!

Jessica and I go back in two weeks for the second portion of the class. In the second class, we’ll go over proper stretching and core building exercises (which include one legged squats!). I am excited for the second class and to try out my form next weekend at my 5k. The timing on my classes couldn’t have been better.

Here’s to my running start on 2014!

… And my fantastic lunch today!

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“The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” – Stephen Smith

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followyourdreams

It’s winter. It’s cold. Do not let the bad weather stop you. Pick a race, set a goal, and go for it. Setting goals turns dreams into reality. One of my favorite quotes is, “dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.” Setting goals is the second part of this quote. By setting goals, you’re living like you may not get another chance to make your dreams come true. I’m taking my own advice. On January 18th, I am running a 5k with my friend Tricia. I am finally getting back to running outside. I’ve been working out a ton, but running outside still gives me anxiety (and I’ve been avoiding it). I’ve set a goal, though, and I am going to kill the 5k! I’ve always dreamed of being a runner, and I don’t care if it takes me a million tries, I am going to be a runner. So, I ran outside at the park today with Sophie, and I did surprisingly well. It’s all mental, people!

Along these same lines, I’ve wanted to write a blog for the past couple weeks about the anxiety and shame overweight people have when they first start working out. I said to myself too many times to count that I’d join a gym once I lost enough weight to not be the fat lady at the gym. I know I am not alone on this, either. I also always wanted to grab some shoes and run on the sidewalk, but I didn’t want others to see my belly bounce or see my terrible form. Worst yet, I didn’t want them to look at me a think, “look at her trying to be thin, she’ll never lose weight” and laugh out-loud at me. I didn’t want people to know if I failed. I’m telling you, I had these thoughts daily as I ate Taco Bell secretly in my car at night. I’d think this would be my last fast food meal, and I’d start working out soon. Then all the anxieties and images of super fit and “perfect” people at the gym pointing and staring and actually coming up to me and saying I’m too fat to be at the gym. My fears were really, really detailed! Sometimes I’d cry and sometimes the Taco Bell was comforting. I’d go back home and go back to Taco Bell the very next day.

I remember when I first started running with Jessica (who is very slim but works out a ton) at LA Fitness. I was done with my run, and she was going to run a little longer. She told me to stretch. There was another row of treadmills behind us packed with people (all really in shape people). She kept looking back and telling me to stretch. I just stood there paralyzed. I didn’t want the people to see me try to touch my toes and stretch, and I didn’t want to admit to her I was too embarrassed to stretch in front of others. Finally, she finished up and we stretched off to the side.

I was surprised when I read Fit to Fat to Fit, because it’s about a male trainer who purposely gained weight to understand his clients better and to show them weight loss is possible. He went from super confident to experiencing some of the same fears of judgement and social anxiety I’ve experienced since gaining weight. He stood in front of his closet trying on clothes over and over to find something that made him look less fat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late to hang out with friends, because I’ve tried on twenty shirts to find out that hides my back fat roll (which I no longer have!!) and my stomach bulge. I’ve actually canceled many, many times with friends at the last minute, because I couldn’t bare the thought of being the fat chick at a bar or swanky restaurant. To all my friends, I apologize. I’m surprised ya’ll stuck around with how many times I’ve shown up late or not at all.

Being heavy consumed me. It took over my life. I couldn’t get up from my desk at work without thinking about looking fat in front of my coworkers. I could go on and on and on. I never changed, though, because I had irrational fears of active people rejecting me. The funny this is, now that I work out at the gym and in a challenging group exercise class, I know my fears couldn’t be further from the truth. At my group workout class, Blast 900, so many of my classmates have come up to me after class to tell me good job. They’ll comment and say it’s great I’ve made it to so many classes. If my form is bad, they’ll stop to show me lift the weights the right way. In the gym, no one has ever looked at me weird or said anything mean. My fears were all in my head. Furthermore, I now know a lot of active people are really positive people. They’re excited you’re getting healthy, because they’re passionate about health. They want everyone to be healthy! They’re proud of you for trying to get into shape.

And you know what, if I ever do run into the one negative person who does say something about my weight, I don’t care what they have to say about me or my form or my fat rolls or anything else for that matter. I’m out there trying. I’m out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. You’re out there trying. You’re out there trying to be better. That’s what matters. Please don’t allow yourself to be trapped in the same cycle I was stuck in for years. It’s such a debilitating state to live in– just step into a gym or go for a run outside– you’ll be glad you did.

It’s all mental, people!

P.S. Check out this kickass kickboxing class you can do with dumballs or just your arms at home. I loved it!

Haters Gonna Hate

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Someone asked me recently, “Why are you blogging your weight loss?” and then they asked, “Isn’t it embarrassing since you’re not thin?”

fearsI think these questions need to be addressed. First, I am blogging my weight loss, because it keeps me going.  I blog because if I don’t blog, I fear I’ll stay overweight forever. I fear if I don’t lose weight, I’ll lose out on a long and healthy life. I also hope to inspire others to try a healthier life style, too. Sure, I could wait until I’m fit and only show those photos, but it’s nice to see the journey along the way. Second, sure it’s embarrassing. Hey, look, I have  a fat roll in my picture. Hey look, I can only do very basic things in the gym right now. But I’ve found people are going to judge me no matter what I do. I’d rather have them judge me for trying rather than not trying. Third, these questions bring up an issue within our society. I’m not any less of a person for being overweight. A thin person is not automatically a better person than I am. Someone working out is someone working out… It shouldn’t be considered embarrassing because they’re bigger… Shame on anyone who things that way!

I have faith I can do this (and haters gonna hate).

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Running… And Laughing!

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My trainer and I had had some fun while running at Piedmont Park today. Gotta keep it fun!!

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Roar

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weekrecap

I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar

Have you ever let someone toxic into your life? Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in their bullshit that you totally lost yourself? I spent a good portion of my 20s falling a toxic guy around (literally around the country). I don’t know if he was intentionally toxic or if he’s truly sick, but I let our relationship destroy my life. I feel like I am starting to put the pieces back together. Or rather, I’m growing stronger and putting pieces together that were never really in place. I’m learning to heal. I’m learning to deal with my past without food. I am learning I am good enough and capable enough to have a good life. Katy Perry’s song “Roar” is my theme song right now. I feel great, and I don’t ever want to go back. You’re gonna hear me roar.

This week I met with my trainer in Piedmont Park. I felt a lot more confident, and it was much more fun. We sprinted as fast I could, jogged, and walked several times. Then we hang up the hill backwards in a squat position (omg painful!). After that, we ran up some stairs and jogged around the track. I also met Jessica at LA Fitness for a yoga class. This was our first yoga class, and it was fun but totally not what we were expecting. This was an athletic yoga class. She’s actually pretty sore from it, and I didn’t the stretching I was hoping for from the class. I would try yoga again, but I think the instructor just had a very niche way of practicing yoga. Next week… Zumba!

I also made it to the official Atlanta Half Marathon training. We ran in town, and it was pretty hilly. I was very surprised by how supportive and friendly everyone was from the time I got there until I left. I’m super shy, but it was easy to meet people and talk to everyone. I also felt comfortable running with everyone. Even though we’re just running, it did feel more like a team or at least a common camaraderie. It did get tough to finish, but I pushed through. Jessica and I had a celebratory breakfast after, and then I came home to ice my legs. I’m excited for next week!

Loving it!

P.S. If I can do it, so can you! ❤