A Product of My Lifestyle

As usual I am amazed by how much the Fitbloggin experience means to me every year… and how darn different it is every single year.  The faces change.  New voices emerge.  New opportunities for selfies appear. :)

I feel particularly compelled to write about one of my biggest takeaways of the weekend:  A simple phrase uttered by our fearless leader, Roni Noone, who is responsible for the organization of this yearly retreat.  And, who is a stunning example of how to lose weight, keep it off, and rise above the challenges that appear along the way.

On Saturday morning, exhausted and geared up in an 80′s workout getupI stepped into a session called “Life after Goal” with very little expectation.

Realistically, I am not at goal.  I am still about 30 lbs from it, which to me is pretty significant.  So, why in the heck did I have my butt in that room?  I was there because I wanted to listen. 

Everyone wants to be at their goal weight.  Everyone wants to be safely across the finish line.  And, I too have dreamed of being one of those people.

Even moreso, I’m a girl who is amazingly happy in her skin right now.  Even with the extra pounds I carry every day.  Still happy, but I wanted to hear what the group had to say and to see what I might be missing out by not chasing after my goal right now.

Overall, I heard Kelly, Sarah, and Roni talk about how life is several years after weight loss.  I tuned into Roni’s comments most, as I’d never really heard her speak about her journey and frankly, she has such wise things to say.

My Body is a Product of My LIfestyle | No Thanks to Cake

THIS IS SO ME and resonated completely…

My ups and downs all relate back to my lifestyle.  I’m never truly SURPRISED when I gain a pound or two… I can always track it back to a specific week and what did or did not happen during that week.  And, when I’m feeling GREAT, I can also tie that right back to my lifestyle… it’s all interconnected.

And right now, my body with that regained ten pounds is reflective of my lifestyle for the past few months… and I totally own it, rock it, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a year! I’ve been getting out a little more, vacationing without a hyper-critical eye on my food intake, and I’ve been living freely.

For the past week, I’ve been at the beach.  Wearing the same bathing suit that I’ve worn for the past few years… but feeling that extra weight more than normal.  When it’s all out there and exposed, it’s hard to ignore… but I had these words in my pocket to reference.

Rather than jumping into that space where I criticize every bit of my existence, I took a deep breath and remembered.

It’s ok… my body is simply “a product of my lifestyle.” What a kind way to look at the current state!  Shifting my lifestyle will yield the results I am looking for… and I looked at these words as a gentle hug that I needed during this moment of realization/discomfort.  Now, when I start structuring my meals, making it to my mat regularly, and getting the sleep my body craves… I absolutely know that my body will shed the extra pounds.

I don’t see these words as an excuse, simply a confirmation that my mind has been elsewhere… and that a shift will once again bring change.

Take a look at your lifestyle… is your body reflective of your lifestyle?  I suspect it is…

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Overcoming the Fear of the Mirror

I absolutely love yoga… if it is a sport, it’s my sport. 

I’ve been practicing for at least two years… and I’ve had the pleasure of practicing with many beautiful beautiful people over the years.  Different flows, different posture recommendations, the ones that are super spiritual, the ones that feel more like a pilates class…. You get it.

For me, it’s that hour that I have where I can just disconnect and breathe.  Yes, we all breathe all the time.  If we couldn’t breathe, we wouldn’t be here after all… I get it.  But when you’re practicing yoga, you REALLY breathe.  It’s the most conscious, meditative, beautiful breathing I do every week.

I can’t get enough of it.

Perfect example, last week I sat in long meetings for days and when my mind wandered, it wandered to yoga.  After sitting in a chair watching presentation after presentation, I wanted nothing than to be in a beautiful supine twist, downward dog, or even savasana.

I’m hooked.  I love my practice.

When I was in Temecula two weeks ago, I went to my friend Crystal’s gym and took a vinyasa class while she killed it on the weights. The class was incredible.  Dimly lit with candles and the most perfect flow.

There was only one problem with this class… and it was that huge plane of glass in the front of the room:  The Mirror.

Overcoming the Fear of the Mirror | No Thanks to Cake

While yoga is typically my hour of peace, the mirror was right there staring back at me and giving me an opportunity to peek at how my body was behaving in most postures.  I got to check my alignment in warrior 2, which was helpful, but I also took time to judge my body which was not helpful at all.

For some reason, peeking at my thighs and checking out how my curves looked compared to the girl to the left of me was oh-so-subtly acceptable from my vantage point.  In the end, the self-criticisim was not okay, but it was what my eyes were immediately drawn to.  And like a new episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians… I just couldn’t look away, even if I wanted to.

Like a dark cloud that crept in over my practice, this reflection was completely consuming.  I escaped only during the final savasana and found myself once again before the closing “namaste.”

While class ended and the day went on, I found myself returning to this question:  Why do I do this?  Why do I pick, pick, pick at myself?

The amazing thing is that if you were practicing next to me, I would never EVER judge you in the way I judge myself.  I would be your biggest cheerleader, applauding your efforts if my eyes fell upon you.  Wondering why I wasn’t more bendy/athletic/wore a flattering shirt like you did/etc.  For years, I’ve taught myself to criticize only me.

Much like I learned to shut of my mind during yoga and to stop checking my to-do list during poses, it’s time to break the cycle of self-criticism while working out…  and, frankly, all of the self-criticism that I have going on.

Anytime in my life where I’ve adopted mantras, I’ve experienced great change.  I’ve felt better.  I’ve smiled more.  I’ve overcome.  As a result, I’ve implemented a new mantra  to use when I hear that “Judge Judy” in my head criticizing my body.

Body Love Mantra | No Thanks to Cake

I say it during yogic breathing.  I say it when I don’t like how my jeans are fitting.  I say it when that very same body is working hard on a Colorado hike.  I’ll say it when I’m the biggest girl at the pool.  Mostly, I’ll say it….

Simple words to reflect upon, simple words that could cause great change.  While I haven’t conquered it yet, I’m doing something to stop the insanity.  To stop the criticism and to appreciate all that this beautiful body does for me every single day.

I’ll repeat it today, and maybe even a few times tomorrow… whatever it takes.  I’m too proud of myself to let this bully get me down… especially when I have full control over her.

How do you combat negative self-talk?

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Ending My Gym-Cation

I’ve never been shy about telling you guys how much I don’t enjoy working out.  Heck, even Jillian Michaels mentioned that she doesn’t love killing it in the gymThanks for that reality check, Jill.

As part of this healthy living community, I know that I am definitely not the norm.  My social media feeds are peppered with folks that are leveraging those endorphins every single day.  Some of them do it for a living, some of them are conquering new and exciting physical challenges (Yes — I’m talking about you, Alan!,) and some seem to be wired to work out overcoming all odds.

Many of you are going after it every single day in the most impressive of ways.  Thank you for sharing your stories, posting your pics, and displaying your positive mantras.  I’ve wanted to be inspired by you.  I’ve wanted to use your sweatie selflies as an inspiration for me to put on my sneakers and get to the gym.

But… I didn’t, and I haven’t for a while.  While I’ve been hitting up yoga at least once or twice a week, it’s been a long time since I had that super-sweaty, adrenaline-filled night at the gym.  The hardest part… I haven’t had the desire to be there AT ALL.

If you’ve met me and or know me even a little bit, you likely know that I don’t do anything that I truly don’t want to do.  Yep, that’s me.  I’ve been stubborn about this.  I’ve justified it in my head… and I’ve taken a break.  I told myself that I would maintain my weight (and lose a little) solely through managing my food consumption.

So… How’s that Going?

I am a FIRM believer (refer back to the stubborn paragraph above, if needed) that your weight story is told in the kitchen, not in the gym.  For example:  It is VERY hard to work off an extra 500 calorie snack you indulge in every single day.  It can be done, but to me, it makes better sense to just choose the 100 calorie equivalent of said snack, and move on.

This is why I am wildly passionate about cooking, why I am a huge volumizer on the Jenny Craig program, and why I allowed myself to (pretty much) take a month off of working out…

I absolutely know that I can lose/maintain weight by just eating better.  I have for the past month with Jenny!  While the program is working for me, I need a little “wiggle room.”  And, I get wiggle room from adding in physical activity.

Truth be told, I don’t feel great.  I miss those endorphins and the sense of accomplishment associated with even walking through the door at the YMCA.  I also feel like I’m holding all my stress in as opposed to releasing it.  This isn’t good for me.  I can also feel that in my body.  Lastly, summer is JUST around the corner.  Even though we’re expecting snow this week (AGAIN!), I will be in a swimsuit soon, and I want to feel fabulous.

Right now, I don’t feel fabulous.  I truthfully feel like I’ve entered a self-approved form of laziness.  Meaning, I accept it and I don’t judge myself for it… since I wrote myself a permission slip a month ago to take a break.  However, it’s time to tear up that pretty piece of paper.

It’s time to end this gym-cation!  Does this mean that I’ll be at the gym every day?  Probably not.  Does this mean that I’m going to make an effort to add more activity every single week?  Yep.

One last confession:  The idea of doing this… it doesn’t sound exactly fun to me, but neither does saying no to a slice of cake, a piece of pizza, or a second glass of wine.  But sometimes, you just have to do it.  It’s time.

So, starting this week, I plan be there.  I’ll be on the treadmill, lifting weights, and maybe even in that new class I’ve wanted to try.  I may not be the peppiest about it, certainly not the fastest, nor the most excited about it… but I’ll be burning calories and doing something great for my body at the same time.

I’m in Phoenix for the next few days, and I have workout clothes with me… and I plan to use them.  I need this.  It’s time.  I’m choosing me.

Have you ever taken a “gym-cation”?

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Fashionable Workout Gear

Those of you who have been reading NTTC for some time know that I sometimes need a little push to get to the gym.  For me, that can be a friend going with me, a new class to try a the gym, or sometimes, even a new look.
I’m not going to say that I wear makeup when I’m working out or that I fix my hair for the occasion… but I do like to look cute when I’m getting my sweat on.  Especially after dropping 65+ lbs, I don’t like to be in loose t-shirts and sweats anymore.  I like to be in form fitting clothes when I’m working out.  That way, my clothes don’t get in my way… or slow me down!
I also love to accessorize.  At the gym, that might mean a new sparkly headband, a new pair of yoga pants, or even a new pair of shoes!  It’s the little things that help complete my workout look, and check out my newest pair of shoes.  So excited about them!
Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake
These shoes are part of Heidi Klum’s new fitness line for New Balance.  These shoes are just the beginning of what’s available!  Click here to see the full line.
Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

Now, let’s talk about these shoes.  These running shoes are super sparkly – - more sparkly than any other sneakers that I’ve worn before.  They have a shimmery, iridescent look as well… so incredibly fun!

Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

At first glance, I was a little concerned that these shoes may be more for fashion than for function, but I was wrong.  They’re lightweight, but designed to be really supportive.  They look great peeking out from under a pair of yoga pants, or with leggings.  Click here for more details and to order your own pair!

 Heidi Klum for New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve been pinning some of my other favorite Heidi Klum New Balance Gear… Click here to follow my Pinterest Board.

Heidi Klum New Balance | No Thanks to Cake

How do you stay fashionable while at the gym?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Heidi Klum for New Balance through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Heidi Klum for New Balance, all opinions are my own.

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