self-appreciation

self-appreciation

Why is it so hard?

This past Sunday was the 6th Annual Swing-A-Thon charity event at #39MinuteWorkout. (It was also our Erin’s 23rd birthday <3 . Love you Erin! Forever my baby, no matter what age.) Peter and I joined the event for the first time. All was just as David promised. It was a fun-filled 3 hour block of camaraderie with friends. Laughs. Lots of cheering for each other…and collectively, we raised over $29,000 for Casey Cares. WOW. Talk about a winning experience. It Felt So Good to be working on behalf of someone other than ourselves. The Human Spirit is Boundless when used for Good.

At the event, this beautiful, talented woman named Gina was snapping photos. She was the record keeper of this day in the “book of our history”. You can tell when a photographer transcends to become an artist when she glides through the room, practically unnoticed, sharing a moment about you, for you, with you, all with the lightest touch….and then with a click and a whoosh….she’s gone. On to another treasured moment.

Today, I was feeling down. Nah, be honest Diane. You were tearing yourself down, one knick, one chip, one negative thought at a time. You see, I’ve been slipping. I’ve LET GO. Been eating granola bars, ice cream, yes…my baby’s birthday cake. The first week it happened, I skipped my WW meeting and I promised I’d stop. Week two just passed. Seriously Diane, you have to stop. Today was day 1 of week 3. Can I stop? The Doubt began to scare me.

Then it happened. My image of myself was replaced by this one….

Gina pinged my Messenger, with a picture. A black and white image and these 8 words…

“I think you look like a badass here!”

I look up to the universe tonight and say a humble thank you.

Thank you for putting people in my way, that help me climb down off of my own back, and learn to appreciate myself. Appreciate what I have accomplished. No, simply appreciate who I am. Me. Not my weight, or my BMI or my dress size. Just Me. Thank you for allowing me to see myself through their eyes, in those moments when I am blind in my own.

I had to google what “appreciation means”. Yea, I know. It’s a common word. One that we say often enough…but do we really know what appreciation is? Do we? …and do you know what I found? Take a read of this definition….straight from Merriam Webster herself.

Appreciation”: recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something

Did you pick it up?

Enjoyment. En-JOY-ment of the good qualities of someone.

Man, when was the last time you stole a minute or two to enjoy the good qualities of YoURseLF! If you are like me, that would be a BIG FAT NEVER! We’re too busy seeing ourselves as a giant “human project plan”. Eyes on the prize to change ourself, to fix ourself, to be someone other than ourself. A better me, a new me, a different me.

Wheewwww….deep breath in. Deeper breath out.

Tonight, I’m sitting here at our dining table. Some political talking head is jibber-jabbering and making promises on the tv in the other room. But I’m just sitting here, with you, and with the picture Gina took of me this past Sunday. I’m enjoying myself…and what we did together on Sunday. And I think YOU SHOULD TOO!

I appreciate what I have done. What I’ve accomplished. That I can even swing a 44 pound kettlebell and look like a badass while doing it. When did THAT happen. Oh but Diane…..it didn’t “happen” at all. You MADE it happen girl. You and your badass self!

I’m taking a few minutes tonight and I’m enjoying being me, right now, this night, just as I am. I hope you are too. Revel in it. Roll around in it like when you were a kid jumping into a pile of leaves on a sunny October day.

I’m so grateful for Gina. She was our muse with her camera on Sunday. She floated through the room like a gentle breeze. She captured you too – in all your F.I.E.R.C.E moments. Can you feel it? I KNOW you can! EN-JOY IT.

Then we learn how to find more moments like this.

Ciao for now..Diane

nice quiet reckoning

nice quiet reckoning

busy work week, late nights, less sleep, fewer planned meals, more desserts.

The whole week.

Saturday morning, I chose to sleep in before I even went to bed last night. I’m super tired. Mind, body, spirit.

The whole day, I’m like an old Ford choking on bad gas through its carburetor. All the poor feeding of my body is compounding how run down I feel.

The only good realization? Monday is a holiday. No work. LONG WEEKEND! Ahhh…so good. so good.

Again, before I went to bed last night, I made a promise to myself. Tomorrow, we get back on track. Back to taking better care. Back on the path to feeling strong again.

So this nice quiet long weekend, where we don’t really have any obligations — I’m taking these 3 days as a quiet reckoning. All that went down this week has lead me to how run down I feel. But turning this around is just as easily in my control.

I slept in till 9am. Woke up and took a hot bath. Eased my way into waking up. Was great however…I still feel tired. So its more than sleep. Even though its cold outside, brrrrr freezing cold…. Peter and I took the dogs for a walk. We didn’t want to go. Even the dogs didn’t want to go. But we went anyway.

I made eggs and chicken sausage for breaking my fast. Tracking my food like a champion. Drinking my water and nice warm cups of Irish breakfast tea. Sunday 9am kettlebell workout is scheduled and I AM GOING.

I’m calm cool and collected. Not at all climbing on my back about falling off the path. Just looking to feel better, and I know how to put premium unleaded in my tank….so Let’s Go.

It’s the weekend. Do. You. Boo.

Ciao for now….Diane

change

change

Betsy put her hands to her cheeks and said, “your face is so much slimmer.” Not the first place you expect to notice a difference…..but I’ll take it. Cheek bones are da bomb!

If you ask a group of women what she’s looking for in weight loss, slimming, toning – you will get a dozen different answers. We’re not all built the same AND I say GooD ThINg For ThAT! Diversity and variety is the spice of life. Beauty has no definition. I often think that beauty is a feeling, an energy, not a physicality.

Most often what all women want is for someone to notice “the change“. Where ever and whenever it comes, however small. As you start “becoming” someone who enjoys fitness, changes are going to happen. If you are quite overweight, like I was….[was] … so freaking good to say…you want pounds dropping off and you want your scale to clap every time you get on it! Adoration, please, Mr. Scale. Nothing less than adoration….I’m working hard over here!

But that’s not how it often works. One of my trainers, Betsy told me something one night when I was complaining (a little) about the scale not moving. She said, “weight loss isn’t the first thing that’s going to happen“. Huh? BUT I…..wan.t….

Later, David and Abby built on that fact and talked about how muscles are forming as my strength is being built. David is a preacher of “build strength first, then fat loss will come”. This IS why I’m having so much success losing fat with doing Kettlebells 3X a week for 39 minutes a session versus running crazy #’s of miles 6 days a week like I was 7 years ago. {Oh the irony. How perfect is the universe when it takes away the thing I clutched with my fist (running)….and replaced it with what I really needed (kettlebells}. When I was running, David said I was probably burning off fat and muscle. He’s not against running….just not cardio exclusively. Strength first. Always strength first.

So what impact has strength first brought to my life? Let’s review a few of the obvious.

#1 – I’m sitting here today wearing a pair of brand new, never worn Lucky Jeans that I bought 7 years ago. Why are they never worn? LOL, cuz they never fit. Back then, in 2013, when I ran my marathon – I was convinced that I’d never be fat again. I bought all these clothes, jeans, tops, in a size smaller than I was at that time. It was motivation to keep going. Not a terrible idea….I just hadn’t considered that my “change” back then wasn’t as positive, nor as sustainable as I thought. I was about to have a 2013 energy crisis….and revert back to a 260+ pound woman. It was unconceivable at the time. But it happened nonetheless.

#2 – I weighed in yesterday, and I’m 200.6. The day I ran my marathon, I weighed 197. So I was almost 4 pounds lighter back in 2013.

#3 – Back to #1. I’m wearing “the jeans that never fit at a higher weight today than when they didn’t fit.

It’s change.

My body is changing soooo much more with kettlebells than with running. It started with my face. Come here you gorgeous little cheekbones! I didn’t know I’d love you so much until I met you <3

Then, my pooch started to flatten. Come on ladies..you know the pooch. If we were kangaroos, they’d call it our pouch. But it’s the lovely little gift left behind by our babies.

Then my waist started to emerge. A waist! Followed by some collarbones, and then my sneakers got too big….it’s all change. It’s amazing!

Over there —— > Mr. Scale was doing his thing. Loving and hating me, AS HE TENDS TO DO. But my body, S.H.E wasn’t havin’ none of that. She was doing her thing. Burning fat and shifting things….she had her eyes on those jeans….and I didn’t even know it.

This all became real this morning, as I was drying myself off after my Sunday morning bath. I take a nice long warm bath on the weekend mornings….it helps me distract my mind so I can more easily make it to breaking my 18/6 fast later in the morning. I was drying off and caught a glance of myself in the mirror.

What. Are. Those ?

I noticed these two small indents to the sides of my tummy.

BY GOD – I HAVE ABS!

Those little puppies just emerged out of thin air and pasted a smile on my face that will last the month of February. Hot DAMN!

So the conclusion is this. We all walk into our gyms, and workouts and kettlebell studios for a reason. For way too long my reason has been what Mr. Scale had to say. I think I’m learning to care much more about the change my body is delivering. Heck, after I get past 197 pounds, the whole thing is a mystery anyway. I don’t KNOW what exists after that weight so it needs to stop being such a focus. Of course I’m still going to weigh in every week at WW – but the changes in my body are becoming equally, if not more important.

I’m so curious. Curious what lives beneath the fat that represents the years of damage I’ve done with sugar and junk food. Curious enough to try to learn how to do push ups. That’s my next goal. And hey, if I fall down and end up face down on the floor…..I’ll parlay that failure into a Plank. It’s all good! Those little baby Abs need attention too. LOL

Happy Sunday 🙂

Ciao for now…Diane

It’s hard to BE on Friday

It’s hard to BE on Friday

If you know me, you know Saturday is Accountability Day. It’s a habit I started well over a year ago — as a mechanism to keep a promise to myself to go to WW every Saturday morning, no matter how my week went. Good, Bad, or Ugly.

Well, it’s Friday night. Accountability Day “Eve” 🙂 I find it very hard to Be Present in the moment on Friday. I can’t help it. 30 years of chasing my tail, chasing the scale…doesn’t die easily. Let’s be honest, Accountability Day over time, has become Judgment Day! I’ve long past created the habit of going to WW on Saturday morning. In fact, I’ve evolved and added a kettlebell workout right after WW, so Saturday morning is a combo.

[Did you also just get the image of a pretzel nugget stuffed with cheese? LMAO, sometimes food is a sickness…sorry, I’ll just keep moving.]

Tomorrow has the opportunity to be a BIG day….or a BIG letdown. I’m sitting at 73.2 pounds lost. Only 1.8 pounds more and I reach the 75 pound milestone. At WW that means I get a charm for my key chain. They give out charms for losses of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25lbs, but then it’s a long road to 50, and an even longer road to 75lbs. So, I’m kissing distance to the 75 lb mark, and I WANT IT!

Who really cares about the charm….I don’t really care about it. What I really want is the payoff. I want to BE PAID for the hard work of eating well and working out and being GOOD.

Ooooh Diane. Remember David. You’re NOT trying to BE good. You’re just striving to BE.

Breathe.

It’s just sooo hard on Friday. I’m at the eve of Pay Day. Weight loss Pay Day. And I want a deposit in my bank. I WANT 1.8 pounds to get me to the elusive 75 pound loss.

I walk into Peter’s office at home tonight and sit on his lap and tell him about this. He kisses my cheek and says, “Diane, remember your jeans are getting loose. Remember?”

I remember.

He says, “if it doesn’t happen tomorrow, it’ll happen the next week.” I’ve been paid already in his love and tenderness.

Peter is reminding me that I’m not letting myself BE …not letting myself BE happy, BE satisfied, BE proud…

So, I’m trying to reframe Saturday Morning. I don’t want it to be accountability day anymore…because I’ve achieved that goal. And just the sound of it makes me feel like somehow I need to be forced to be accountable. That’s so not true. I am completely accountable to myself. I own my choices. Some weeks I give, other weeks I take. I got OK with that a long time ago. Peter is reminding me of that skill. Pull it out girl, you might need it tomorrow!

Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom would take you to your friend’s house for a Play Date? Well, tomorrow I’m meeting Kelly at WW for a meeting, then we are going to the 9am kettlebell workout together. Tomorrow morning, Kelly and I are having a play date! We’re driving ourselves….haha…but I’m excited just the same. I’m enjoying thinking about Saturday morning as Saturday Play Date instead of Accountability Day.

Tomorrow I’m going to weigh whatever the heck I’m going to weigh. That’s the unknown part. Yet, what matters most is the known part. Tomorrow morning I’m going to sit and sip coffee with my friend Kelly, soaking in some new life lessons at WW and enjoying the company…then we’re going on a kettlebell play date. <3 <3 <3

Saturdays are an easy place to BE. L.O.V.E.

Ciao for now….Diane

one in every color

one in every color

Women are notoriously hard on other women. I’m not sure I get it. It must relate back to the cave women days and our innate need to compete for the best man to mate and reproduce with. I’ve seen it in the work place. I’ve seen it in the PTA. Women who climb over the backs of other women, and treat each other more cruelly than men would ever treat women.

Survival of the fittest, I guess. But it sure does make life harder…

As adult women…we tip toe in as we meet new women. Making friends as adults is soooo much harder. There’s no playground to go to, and just slide down the slide, and swing the swings, until you meet some other girl who asks you….”Wanna ride the see saw with me?” BAM – you’re friends.

Life doesn’t work that way when you are All.Grown.Up. Or Does It?

#39MinuteWorkout is a kettlebell gym, with 10+ years of history designing and offering workouts for women in their 40’s, 50s, 60’s and beyond. Walking in there every time is the closest thing to walking into a grown up playground. We don’t have swings, or a slide….but we Do SEE SAWS. LOL

Some workouts are stations, where you all cycle through different exercises for a few minutes each. Other times, we buddy up. This is one of my favorites. I’ve met so many wonderful women, each striving and thriving, against their own goals. Some, losing weight like me. Others building their strength and stamina. Still others, survivors of cancer, or recovering from an injury, or fighting aging by b.e.c.o.m.i.n.g. KICKASS!!

Each of these amazing women have given me something to consider, something that has helped me grow as a person. Once it was a kind word of encouragement. Once it was some help learning a move I hadn’t tried before. But a couple of specific times stick in my mind. Let me tell them about you.

Beth – she is a lovely, warm, generous spitfire of a woman. Ridiculously strong. She throws kettlebells around in a way that I aspire to achieve one day. She’s not the type of woman who calls out cheers and Rah Rahs….but she is always very approachable and generous with her encouragement. One day, a few months ago, just before the Christmas holiday….she and I came together as we were putting our weights away at the endof class. She said something to me, that touched a sensitive spot deep inside my woman-ness. (Is that a word? Woman-ness?) . LOL

I had lost 69 pounds at that point. Feeling good. Loving how my workout clothes were getting looser. But what Beth said, was different. Paraphrasing, she said, “You’re looking great Diane. Your shape is changing. You’re sexy“.

In my brain, I was kinda frozen in time. I probably turned pink and said something that sounded like a thank you, but I scurried away and finished putting my weights away.

But Beth severly affected me. That night, I sent her a FB message…because I was s.t.i.l.l. thinking about Beth, and her words, and how they made me feel about myself. I felt sexy. As if Beth’s words allowed me to step out of the Fat Girl persona I have occupied all my adult life, and become somebody else. Somebody who could be…well, sexy.

Women of a certain size will KNOW exactly what I’m going to share here. When women are b.i.g ….men treat them differently. No, not rude, crude, or mean. Different. And they probably don’t mean it. But it happens. I’ve experienced it as I’ve lost weight. Men, don’t hold the door for you. Men don’t step aside and let you enter the elevator first. They don’t smile at you. They don’t chit chat with you in line for the cashier. They just don’t. And we women…we feel it. And over time, you begin to feel like you don’t deserve it. Ugh, its such a deep topic. But as a b.i.g. woman, your woman-ness turns down like a dimmer on a light bulb. Feeling sexy….is hard. Your rights to that feeling got buried under the pounds.

Beth was like a 9 volt battery to my woman-ness bulb. She lit me up inside. I felt….like a woman. This was a gift from one woman to another. I mean, have you ever…e.v.e.r. said to another woman…you’re looking sexy? I have not. But I’m gonna. Because I can’t say it enough. It MORE than made my day. It made my year. Beth, thank you again.

Second story is Betsy. Betsy is a trainer and she is also a Physical Education teacher. She has a natural way of encouraging everyone, helping them work harder for themselves and recognizing progress. Betsy can make me feel like I can lasso the moon and pull it down to earth. I can’t explain it, but it’s just part of who she is.

One night, I walked into the studio straight from work. I was in my work clothes, a purple dress. I was heading to the restroom to change. I slip in, try to be unnoticed, so the class in progress isn’t ..bothered by me? [Diane, you are SO weird sometimes. Who are you bothering. Let yourself be noticed. People WANT to see you. It’s another Big Person thing. We try to hide in plain sight. Anyway, I digress.]

Just as I hit the restroom door, Betsy’s head pokes around the corner. With a huge smile and an I mean it voice she says, “Diane! That dress! You look amazing. I hope you own it in every color!”

The F.e.e.l.s There it was again. The gift, from one woman to another.

Ladies….if you have experienced pain, or rudeness, or shame at the hands (or mouths) of other women….I’m here to tell you, you are hanging out with the wrong women! Come find some kettlebell girls. They, We, are some of the best women I’ve ever met. Your goals mean as much to them as they do to you. Your progress makes them celebrate you. Your joy is their joy.

I joined a kettlebell gym? No…I joined a community of some of the best people around.

#KettlebellGirlsRock

Ciao for now….Diane

Surrender

Surrender

I’ve always feared losing control. With food. With most things in my life. Surrender is letting go of perceived control over things you never had control of in the first place. Breathe……

I lost my father to esphogeal cancer when I was 13 years old. He was only 55. “They” say…when a girl loses her father at such a young age, she loses her sense of security. I can identify with that a great deal. I was so lucky. So lucky to have a mother who saved us. I mean that, she saved us kids. My mother was a child of the Depression Era. She left school at 17. She had her first baby at 18. She worked to feed her young family. Sometimes it was a can of Campbell Soup for 4. When my dad died, suddenly, after surgery that was supposed to save his life….I learned many years later that my mother was devastated. It makes sense that she would be….but she was devastated on many levels. Not only had she lost my father when he was 55, and she was 45. But she had 5 kids in the house. The youngest only 3 years old. And she had no career. She was a home maker. No driver’s license even.

My mom took jobs that saved us. She created a belief that we were safe, and loved. That we would be okay. Us kids went back to school. Tried to move forward. But my mom spent many years scared. Figuring it out day-to-day — how to raise this family on her own. It shakes me to the core to imagine myself there.

When I was 17, a junior in High School, everyone was talking about college. I remember my biology teacher asking me, where I was going to go to college. I told him – “I’m not going to college”. He was rattled. Here I was a straight A student, but I was lost in the world. My older sister went on after HS to work at the same company where my dad worked. My older brother join the Navy. This man, my bio teacher, took me by the scruff and taught me how to aspire. How to apply to college, how to get financial aid. I dared to dream…and went on to college. The first one in my family to do it.

Why is all of this relevant to my 54-year old present journey? I think (I think) it formed me very young to be risk averse. To make small calculated moves in my life. To ensure I had firm ground under my feet. To keep myself safe….in a world without my father.

I have an intimate relationship with control. A foundation in belief that if I maintain a safe place, a controlled world, that I can worry less. THAT IS THE BIGGEST LIE. Because all that I have been doing…ALL OF IT….has been about worry.

Control is the “perceived solution” to worry. They go together like hand and glove. Like peas and carrots as Forrest Gump said.

So as I begin this walk to BE….my first step is surrender.

To surrender this perception that I was EVER actually in control of anything. I still believe that I own my choices. Don’t get me wrong, we all pay the piper for our choices. What my surrender means is…that not every outcome is directly related to my actions. There is a world of mysticism, charm, luck, biology, magic and gravity out there that directs some of my outcomes.

And I’m going to surrender to it….let my choices guide me….and Be Here Today.

ps – Mom, your children are forever grateful to you. You saved us during a time when your world was so out of control….most people would have curled into a ball and cried in bed. I am my mother’s daughter…and you are my most precious blessing.

Ciao for now..

Diane

Just Be

Just Be

Woo-eee, he rattled my brain tonight.

Thursday night workout with Drew was just awesome. I worked hard, left full of sweat and accomplishment. Perfect end to a busy day.

I arrived early…just ….cuz. My mom used to say, “Diane, you were born 5 mins early…..and it hasn’t worn off yet!” Haha…it’s a personality trait. Well, being early today meant I had a chance to meet up with David. He said…come sit down, we haven’t talked in a while. He said, he’d been thinking about me.

Of course…I immediately fall into my own personal guilt trip. “Yea, I fell off the wagon last week, ate my stress, ….but I pulled it together David, I fixed me…I’m….bette…r…”

My words blew by him like a breeze, he paid them no mind. He and I were NOT having the same conversation, I was about to realize. He said…”I want you to learn how to just be.”

<crickets….crickets>

Um. Be What, David? What’d’ya want me to be. Cuz, I’ll get started on that right now. You assign the work and I produce. It’s how I’m wired….so….just tell me what’I’gotta’be…and…

But then it clicked. I was a little slow. I was already deep in my self-judgment zone. It took a minute to climb back up to street level, put away my guilt trip and be present with him. He wants me to stop driving.

Hi, my name is Diane. And I’m a driver. I drive. I have a drive. I drive myself, I drive others. In fact, I have a hard time “not driving”. Ask Peter. He’ll tell you. (Actually, please don’t ask him. Im not sure I’m ready to hear what he’d say….LOL)

I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl. When I’m “All” in, I get LIT, in my brain, on an idea (a goal) and I’m like a stick of dynamite. I start driving myself like that dynamite is about to go off, and I have to GET THERE man. By now, after all these years…I should know how this story ends. I drive myself to exhaustion. Then I stop driving. I run outta gas. And then the “Nothing” part takes over and I fall back. Allllllthewaayyyybaaacktothebeginning…..

So David sits there in his chair. CrissCrossAppleSauce he called it…LOL . He was deeply reflecting and said I wish you could turn yourself off and Just Be.

Yea. Me too. Whew…. easier said than done.

He said he knew I was going to come to this point. This mental challenge point. I nodded. I knew it too. I’m about to that weight where I ran out of gas last time, seven years ago. That mental wall, where I can’t see over or around it. What’s over there? What does it feel like past there? How do I get over it, around it, how to I blow the d@mn thing up so I can keep walking my journey?

I left David…and I told him…”I was just about to tell you, I’ll have to think about how to just be….LOL, but that’s exactly what I SHOULDN’T Do” . We laughed it off together. Stop driving Diane.

But that’s my next thing. That’s the key to making the wall evaporate….

I need to learn to stop driving and just let myself be…

Deep breaths… Oxygen is Life. I’m a sentient being… and I’m not afraid. That’s a start…

Ciao for now….Diane

You can’t eat c.r.a.p. and do kettlebells

You can’t eat c.r.a.p. and do kettlebells

I mean, you can…but it’s hard on your body.

I’ve lost 73 pounds through a coordinated effort of working out AND good nutrition. And these two new behaviors are sort of like an orchestrated dance. Eating whole foods gives me energy, balanced blood sugar, and a settled gut. When I walk into #39MinuteWorkout with those assets on my side….I have the ability to put it all out there. I’m not flexible enough or coordinated enough to do all the moves, yet! But when I work out…I go a.l.l. o.u.t.

I put all my heart, soul and effort into it. Every time.

So how do I know…nutrition makes kettlebells possible? Well….let me tell you about tonight’s workout. It’s a case study, for me anyway.

I’ve missed 3 workouts. Last week was just awful at work. So much stress, high pressure projects, preparing for some senior executive meetings. Last week was a string of late nights that kept me from getting to my workouts. I made it home late at night, with just enough energy to clean up, prepare for the next day….and E.A.T. my stress.

Oh, I fell down the rabbit hole this week. Sugar. Junk. Snacks. Whatever I could find in my daughters’ snack drawers. And once I started gorging….I cared very little about how far off track I went. Who am I kidding? I cared. But the vicious cycle was starting again. I was getting down on myself. I was getting sad. Then I ate more. And felt worse. On and on it went all week long.

Fast forward to today. I promised myself I would go to workout today. I saw it as an end of the cycle. A period, an exclamation point! Diane – WAKE UP!

Heading out to my workout, I felt like I was driving to a stranger’s house. So nervous. How w.e.i.r.d. that those feelings can come back in just 1 week. But then, I walked in. There was Abby and a couple of others. She said hello, she smiled. And I was fine. I was in a comfortable head space. That’s how it feels there. It’s a real community. All I had to do was S.H.O.W. U.P. Diane, just show up.

I worked out. It was harder than it needed to be. Yea, the weights were heavy, because that’s how it feels when you’ve been away. My little muscles got little-er in a week. But what really shocked me was how God Awful my gut felt.

Every burpee, each jumping jack —- I felt my stomach twisting and turning. My gut was UP-SET. When we were done….I tried to relax. Was fighting nausea and intestinal pain.

That’s SUGAR.

My gut is not used to sugar anymore….and I was creatng a toxic soup in my stomach…then expecting my body to perform. 39 minutes of kettlebells and Toxic Sugar Gut are not a good combo.

I drove home tonight and made myself a pot of hot decaf tea. I did not feel like eating. I wanted to settle myself. I think tonight I’m beginning the cleanse to get back into shape.

I want to be the person I was becoming.

I took a bath, dropped in a Lush bath bomb. Let myself soak in the warmth of the water, soak in the aroma of jasmine, soak in the sips of hot tea. Once I toweled off and slipped into my night gown..I felt better.

My muscles are that nice sore feeling, the kinda feeling that makes you know you did something good today. And my stomach feels more settled.

I feel more like me. I’m showing up for myself.

Ciao for now…..Diane

3+1=-70

3+1=-70

Being a Weight Watcher all my adult life, post babies, I’ve asked myself many times….why hasn’t all this “know how” cured me yet? Well, it’s math, baby. 3+1

Journeys are not straight lines. The shortest distance from Point A to Point B may very well be a straight line, but journeys are not really about distance. Journeys are about skills and adaptation. “I want to lose 112 pounds”. That’s my journey. Let’s Go To Point B! Come on, I’m motivated. Let’s go. Let’s go now!!

Well, Ok Diane. Then you can start WW and start tracking and follow your points system and go to the Workshops every week, and lose 40. Then maybe you’ll start running and training and run 5Ks and a Half Marathon and even go for broke and train for a marathon and lose 80! Woohoo!. But then…you may get burned out and need a break, so you’ll stop running…and….ugh…gain back 50. Then maybe you’ll hurt your left knee and get sad and quit on yourself…and gain 16 more. Grrr. Where’d that Point B go again? What happened?

It’s easy. I didn’t build skills for the long term. I didn’t adapt. That’s what happened. Come on, let’s go back home. Home to the dictionary…..

Adapt: to make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify.

Did I make myself suitable for a new purpose? Did I modify myself? Heck no…I just added a running schedule with tons and tons of weekly miles and an exciting new goal to my schedule. It was a temporary (at best) mask set atop of my poor eating habits. I wasn’t making this mistake on purpose. I wasn’t trying to short cut my progress. I think, looking back at it, I fooled myself into believing I had changed. But really all I had done was concealed my bad behaviors with unsustainable new ones, effectively concealing my eating for a time. But the ratio of running to eating was unsustainable. The house of cards had to come tumbling down…and my weight loss successes evaporated right from under me…taking all the good beliefs I had built about myself with it.

The Nutrition talk with David and Abby wasn’t some complicated, “get your composition notebook out” kinda session. He had 3 simple devices that almost felt….impossibly simple. The only trick was YOU HAD TO DO THEM. No problem, I am a.c.t.i.o.n!

  1. Go home tonight and find 500 calories you can cut from your diet every day. This was easy really. I decided to cut out pasta and potatoes and sugar. Cutting sugar was miraculous. Once I got passed two weeks….my cravings disappeared. I had flipped a switch and found balance in my life. THIS WAS LIFE CHANGING!
  2. Follow his Yes/No List. Eat the YES foods and Don’t Eat the NO Foods. I found this fairly easy too. I had been slowly moving toward eating whole foods. I had tried Whole 30 once before, but found it very hard because of all that it took away from my diet. But I really enjoyed using the whole foods lists to select foods. I was tracking my food diary on my WW app, counting points and weighing and measuring for portion control. All of this worked well together for me. More balance.
  3. Adopt 3+1 eating. This one…..was the final puzzle piece that clicked it all into place.

This is complicated math, so take an aspirin and lean in and read closely.

Eat 3 meals..a day. And IF you are still hungry, add 1 snack.

Then. Stop. Eating.

3 meals and 1 snack. Um. Ok. But. No. No But. That’s it. Math Lesson Over.

This was about learning to Not Eat. Now that doesn’t mean Dieting. It’s about dividing your day into “Time to Eat” and “Not Time to Eat”. Something I had never really learned to do. If I every even thought I was getting close to getting hungry…better eat an apple. Don’t let yourself get hungry…or you might go crazy and eat a cow! That’s what years and years of diet mentality does to you. It takes an already unhealthy relationship with food and twists you into even more of a pretzel, until you don’t know when to eat, what to eat, how to eat, or if you should eat. So, in conclusion, just eat. Eat 3 protein based meals a day, and add 1 snack if you need it. Then – call it a day and do it again tomorrow.

So I learned to bulk up my 3 meals. If I would normally eat my breakfast and then have a banana an hour or so later, I would eat that banana with my protein filled breakfast and then that was it until lunch. Then at lunch, I would eat a protein centered lunch (usually leftovers) and add that apple or greek yogurt to my lunch. Then that was it until dinner. Then at dinner, same protein centered meal, with vegetables and brown rice. Then, that was it until tomorrow.

I did add the snack to my day around 2-3pm. A turkey pepperoni stick, or a coffee protein shake, or a greek yogurt with home made cranberry smash. You get the picture. I learned to eat 3 solid meals plus 1 snack a day. Then I learned how Not To Eat, the rest of the time. Soon, I stopped thinking about food during the no eating hours. Soon, the after dinner fast-food tv commercials stopped bothering me.

Soon… I lost 70 pounds, from 3+1 eating and kettlebells 3Xs a week for 4 months.

And I’m not running myself into the ground, and I’m not starving myself and I’m not missing out on pizza night every Saturday with my family.

So far…so good. 42 more pounds to Point B!

Come back soon…I just thought of something else important!

Ciao for now…Diane

No cape required

No cape required

The first night of kettlebells. I put on my workout uniform. (Cuz remember back to my running days? I firmly believe you gain super powers just by donning the uniform – no cape required!)

My brother was visiting from Spain with his wife Paloma and their kids Sylvia and Ian. It was the end of July and we were celebrating my brother’s birthday before he set out to visit my mom and sister in Florida. I had taken a personal day from work and spent the morning baking a birthday cake with my niece and nephew to surprise their dad after dinner. I spent the day 1/2 excited 1/2 nervous about what lie ahead of me that evening. I was meeting up with David and the newcomer kettlebell bootcamp cohort for our very first workout. 6:45p, with a nutrition talk to follow at 730p.

I put on my Underarmour workout pants, sport bra and tank top. Tied up my favorite pair of Nike running shoes (my last pair from the stash I bought on Ebay years ago when they were discontinued…..ugh, they are getting old. Shoe problem on the horizon. )

Filled up my bottle with water, said goodbye to a house full of people and hopped in the car to go to #39MinuteWorkout . Now, let’s just admit it all. Why not. This gym is a small boutique type place. Not one of those big NY Sports Club places. It’s located in a very nice strip mall, on the second level next to a hair salon, above a Dance Studio. It’s the kind of place I would normally walk by v.e.r.y. q.u.i.c.k.l.y. because the athletic-looking people inside were doing crazy shit, (very competently) and making it look easy. This was the kind of place and they were the type of people that scared people like me. They were the reason I had avoided workout classes my. entire. life. The reason I liked running alone. So there was no chance that I would be the least capable person in the room. If I’m alone, I’m as capable as I need to be. “RUN AWAY.” My brain screamed…”RUN AWAY!

Nope. 21 days. Don’t Quit. I walked inside.

My mind was in overload. There were a bunch of people, women, a man or two, riding bikes, doing push-ups, burpees, swinging weights, flinging ropes……doing stuff I couldn’t even describe. It was CRA-ZY. I know now they were doing a workout called “stations”, where you rotate through a series of exercises for a series of minutes each station. So people ARE doing different exercises, on purpose. But back then….it just looked like chaos. I didn’t know who or what to look at first. Now mind you, I was trying to pan-and-scan the room, to get some sense of exactly what I was in for.

Nope. Not possible. No clue. IF I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO WHAT I WAS WITNESSING….GOD HELP ME.

David was there. And his wife Abby. They own the business and are two of the trainers. After the 545p class ended, and the athletic scary looking (LOL, sorry that WAS my first reaction) people cleared out….the newbies started to arrive. Ok. Heart rate going down a little. In came the people with the wide-eyed, stone cold sober look, like me. Don’t hurt us, was our plea.

We fanned out in the room in front of these bosu’s, and David asked one of the women….”what is the heaviest weight you have worked out with?” She answered 15lbs. OK said David…everybody get 2 15 lb kettlebells.

WAIT. That wasn’t exactly scientific David!! So what she can do 15’s!! What does that have to do with me? Why the heck does that mean I can do 15’s? Ohhhh, I could see how this was gonna go. We were NOT going to waste time and chat about what I wanted or have a counseling session about my feelings. Oh no. We were getting started and we were getting started NOW.

Honestly, I don’t remember much more about the details of that first night, other than 1) my pony tail was dripping with sweat by the time I was done and 2) it took the entire drive home to cool down and regulate my breathing, so I could tell Peter what happened.

That first day…I survived. It was HARD. It was the hardest I had worked out in years. Maybe the hardest thing I had done since I ran my marathon in 2013. But it was perfect.

I kept coming back to what David said that first night. “If it doesn’t kick your butt…then it’s a sucky workout.” He said, I’d never have to spend another hour on the treadmill again….unless I wanted to.

39 Minutes It Was.

Yea. Um period. End of counseling session. Pay the doctor.

A collection of other things I think David said: You are stronger than you think. You can do this. In only 3 days, it won’t hurt anymore. Within a week, you will understand the lingo and the basic moves, and within 2 weeks, you will be hooked.

The nutrition talk was just as great. I was ears open, my promise to myself extended to following whatever the man said. Abby is a Nutritionist, so the gym provides all the support someone like me really needed, and I could engage Abby later if I ever needed to shake up my eating program.

I went home feeling wiped out. I kinda limped down the steps to my car, because I don’t know if I had ever done a squat before in. my. life.

David and I had a counseling session. We developed goals for me, and a rough target for me reaching my goal weight.

There was something very familiar about meeting David. Although it was as foreign to me as meeting the Pope. David and Abby were strong, active, muscular, fitness junkies, healthy eaters (not perfect…everybody’s gotta live!)….but they were basically everything I had spent my life NOT being. Yet…what popped into my head after that very first workout, was something I remembered Denise saying in Weight Watchers so many years ago. Whenever someone doubted themselves, Denise would say in her matter-of-fact supportive way…”We will believe in you, until you are strong enough to believe in yourself”.

That’s where I was that first night. I was standing there soaked in sweat, in this foreign gym, with workout instructions that looked like chemistry formulas written on the mirror…..and there was David, believing in me…in his own confident, no-nonsense way…until I could become strong enough to believe in myself. And he was 100% right….It wasn’t going to take long.

I was a.c.t.i.o.n.

So much is about to happen…..come back if you can.

Ciao for now….Diane