Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quit Debbie Downing Yourself

So, I had a crazy busy summer and have entered the fall in territory that I have not been in for a loooong time. I am a full time student again. I graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in 2004 and have just started classes this fall for my second degree. I am a bonified, college freshman. Again.

I am also poor like a college student. Actually, poorer since at least in college-first-time I had 3 campus jobs and didn't have grown up bills like car payments and car insurance. They actually want you to pay that ish every freaking month. Did you know that they are still touting that crap that you're supposed to spend two hours outside of class for every hour in class? Do these people understand the real world and that most students are working their way through school? Ridiculous.

With a brand new schedule, adjusting to studying and adjusting to a much, much, MUCH tighter budget - clean eating and working out have been super tough to work on. And guess what - believe it or not, they are not at the top of my priority list. *Oh shock and disbelief!* Hey, we all have lives to lead. And these things can't be number one all of the time for everyone. You know what? THAT'S OK!

Perhaps you're one of those people that gets really upset with yourself for not getting in your workout 5 days a week. Maybe you get really angry at yourself for straying from your diet for one meal. You might even consider diversions from your plan as failure. I'm here to tell you, just stop it. Fitness is not a perfection that you're striving for. It's something you incorporate into your life. There was a time when eating clean and daily workouts fit themselves perfectly into my daily schedule. Right now, I'm still trying to figure out how to make these things happen. So no - I don't ALWAYS get a workout in. Yes, I occasionally grab something on the go that is not all whole foods and might even have some added sugar. But I AM actively working on it. I'm trying to figure out when I'll have time to workout and study and find a job before I become homeless. I still track my calories and try to make the best food decisions possible in the situation. And eventually I'll figure it out and get into a groove and figure out how to achieve my goals on a budget. But I don't consider myself failing in the meantime.

It's ok to not get it right straight out of the gate. It's ok to take weeks or months to figure out how to make a healthy lifestyle work for you. You can't come down on yourself for not being the model fitness citizen in 24 hours. That's ridiculous. If you give up because you can't be perfect, you're much worse off than if you keep pushing through and figure it out. As long as you're actively making an effort and not just sitting around and complaining without actually DOING anything, you're headed in the right direction. All you have to do is just keep going.

Sweet C

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Can't, Won't and Don't Want To Do It For You

Let's face it, most people are lazy. That's it - flat out lazy. While there is the percentage of the population out there who have valid reasons and problems as to why they can't eat better or workout, the majority of people are lazy and/or just making excuses. Someone who spends half their time watching television, playing video games and going to the bar - then turns around and says they don't have time to workout is making excuses. You have time, you're just not devoting it to a workout and you're not fooling anyone. A single mom who works two full time jobs just to keep food on the table and clothes on her kids' backs who has just enough time to get home and fix them dinner, sleep for a few hours just to wake up and get them ready for another day - SHE has no time to workout.

Let's be clear - people who make fitness and health a priority in their life do it on purpose. They MAKE the time to workout, they spend their money on healthy things instead of junk which is how they can afford it. They don't waste time sitting around playing in virtual reality for hours at a time while consuming thousands of calories. People who make fitness a priority fight mini battles every day. You think I don't want pizza and brownies all the time? You think that given the chance I wouldn't eat Chinese food all day long? If it were possible to LIVE off of french fries and chocolate with no health side effects, there's no question that that's the life I'd be living. But I don't do any of that. I've made a decision that being fit is more important to me than any of these things. That doesn't mean the desire to eat bad things goes away. On the contrary, it's a little voice inside me that I have to argue with daily. Eating french fries every once in a while? Yeah, sure - I'm ok with that personally. Eating them every day? That's basically daring God to give you a heart attack or heart disease.

I'm always happy to help others find their way in fitness. It can be a big, strange, confusing world for anyone who isn't used to living this way. I get it. So I'll always give you tips, pointers and step-by-step guides on how to get involved. I will answer any questions that come up, help you understand why what you're doing matters and make lots of suggestions to help you find a way to get fitter and even like what you're doing. I can be your sounding board, an ear to listen and a voice of reason.

What I can't, won't and surely do not want to do is do it for you.

I can't even count the number of people who have asked for help, received it - and then done NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Made no changes to their lifestyle whatsoever, not even the small ones. Yet they will continue to feel bad about themselves and complain. Where did people get this notion that they could sit back and let someone else do the work for them to benefit from? Who even takes pride in that? Everyone wants a magic pill or a miracle to make them be able to keep doing the same thing they're doing, yet SOMEHOW magically lose weight by changing nothing. Are you serious? Do you understand the amount of effort that I have to put into my fitness daily? Why would I do that two-fold for you even if that were possible?

Why is it that working for something is no longer valued? Our country is built on the principles of bravery and fighting for what you want. Where did that go? Why are so many so unwilling to put forth a little effort to get what they say they want?

I don't know the answers and I can't understand that mindset. I've always been the kind of person to go after what she wants and if you don't get it - SO WHAT - at least you tried. And at least you know you tried. Which is better than failing as a result of making no effort whatsoever. I'd rather do my best and make my best effort and take pride in knowing that I'm doing all I can. I certainly don't sit on the sidelines and wish, hope and pray that someone else will do it for me - because guess what? They won't.

You can do it, and I can help you - but I refuse to do it for you.

 Sweet C

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's The Deal With You and the Scale?

Alright people, this is the hot button issue when it comes to people trying to get in better shape. I understand that in our country "weight loss" is most easily measured with a scale. We also quickly feed our hunger with unhealthy foods and expect every solution to come instantly in the form of a pill, technology or the push of a button. If we're already getting so many things wrong, why do you expect the most popular measure of weight loss to be any different?

What do you mean exactly when you say you want to "lose weight?" Do you only mean that you want the numbers on the scale to go down? Let's say I tamper with your scale in the middle of the night. And every week the numbers go down steadily, but your actual body never changes because it's just me messing with your scale. Would that make you happier? The fact that a machine is telling you you're consistently losing weight although you're not actually losing anything?

By "losing weight" do you mean that you want less physical fat on your body and you want to fit into smaller clothes? Because when you lose inches, that's what's happening. Your body is getting physically smaller. This option is definitely the one that I am concerned with. In fact, I don't even use the term "lose weight" anymore because my actual weight on a scale is circumstancial. I'm just trying to get fitter and drop my body fat percentage. I'm really not so concerned with what a little box tells me so long as my clothing and my reflection are doing what I want.

Do you realize that you've been TAUGHT to rely on a scale? The same way we're taught what beauty is, what's in fashion and who we should love. These are all influenced by the environment you live and grow up in. If such a unit of measurement as the scale did not exist, how would you measure your progress? If you could only  judge by your reflection and your clothes, what would be more important to you then - the inches or the pounds? When you stop and think about it, what difference does it make how much you weigh? Do people regularly pick you up? Unless you're a cheerleader or dancer, I would highly doubt that you are lifted by strangers on a regular basis. Do people regularly see your actual physical shape? Because when you lose inches - THAT is the change that gets noticed. The scale just gives you a little number that only you and your doctor know. You're not required to tell anyone what it is and even if you are, you can lie about it. You can't lie about your physical shape. In fact, you may have actually lost ten pounds - but if your body doesn't show it and you tell me you did, I'll think you're lying anyway. So really, what did those ten pounds get you? If you told me you lost ten inches - that's something that would show on you.

I know that in most people's brains, logic says that losing inches should equal losing pounds too. Let me clue you in - YOUR LOGIC IS WRONG. Plain and simple. Losing inches does not equal losing pounds and getting smaller does not always equal losing pounds. I can tell you that I have been two completely different dress sizes at the exact same number on the scale. I don't even know what scale numbers mean anymore. You can take 5 people who all weigh the exact same amount and stand them next to each other and they will look nothing alike. Some may be fit, some may be fat - they'd all weigh the same but look completely different. Because a scale number isn't telling you much. It doesn't tell you what's muscle and what's fat - and believe me that makes a huge difference. It doesn't tell you what size pants you'll fit into.

5lbs. of FAT vs. 5lbs. of MUSCLE. Which one takes up less space? Both show up as 5lbs. on a scale. 

You need to un-teach yourself what you've learned. Stop relying on the scale as your main measure of progress because you will miss the actual progress you're making. You should never make the statement "I'm losing inches and my clothes are getting bigger and I see definition BUT the numbers on the scale...." This is the one statement that makes me crazier than any other. It names all of the things that people typically set out on a weight loss journey for - all of the progress is happening right there. But people are SO caught up in stupid little numbers from a stupid little box that they completely ignore all of their actual progress for something that doesn't actually measure progress. Completely.Ridiculous.

I know that many of you who read this will continue to obsess over your scale. My sincere hope for you is that  one day you will look up and look for your progress where it matters as opposed to staying obsessed with a number you've been taught to obsess over. If this post describes you, please stop. Please throw your scale away and never look back. Please only weigh yourself when you go to the doctor and even then - take into account the fact that you're wearing clothes (hopefully) & have food and liquid in your body. If you're looking the way you want to, if you're losing inches of body fat and getting lean muscle, if your clothes are starting to fit better or get bigger - please, please, please congratulate yourself on ACTUAL progress and stop looking to inanimate objects to give you useless information.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bubble Girl

I function in a bubble. I have a set routine that makes it easy to stick to eating clean and working out because I do things the same way all the time. I have set hours that I'm at work, based around those hours - I have set meal times and a set time to work out. I go food shopping on the same day of the week every week and I prep my meals on the weekends. Organization and routine is basically what I thrive on and I get extremely upset when that routine is disturbed. I am as far from spontaneous as you can get. In fact, most of my friends know that when they want me to hang out or do something with them - I need a minimum of a week's notice. I need to be able to put it in my schedule and still plan around it. And if they think I'm going out every single weekend, that's just not happening. I actually get a lot of things done on the weekends and I just can't spend each one doing things that aren't in line with my goals and priorities. Eating out and drinking every weekend when you're trying to lose weight and save money is just not a smart move.

Well, this weekend was one of my few-and-far-between outings. A friend of mine will be moving to another country soon and she had her going away party about 3 hours away from where I live. This meant it would be an overnight excursion and a definite change in my routine. When I plan these events into my schedule - I place them in as a planned cheat meal. Since I only do it about once a month, I don't feel bad about letting loose with friends. So, at least that part's taken care of. But, I also realized a few things.

I don't particularly care what people have to say about how I look or dress. Most days, I'm in workout gear because it's easier to have it on and ready for my workouts. But after my workout was done and I was ready to head out, I wondered for a moment if I was appropriately dressed for the public. Once again - not that I care, but there are so few times that I'm actually going out to socialize with people - it felt very strange to get dressed not for an event, and not for working out - but just to go see people that I knew. I wore leggings, a tank top and boots. An overall very form fitting ensemble. I was actually really proud of how I looked because a few years ago, there was no way that this is how this particular ensemble would have looked on me.

And suddenly it dawned on me - THIS was what all the work I'd been doing in my bubble was for. This is why I spend so much of my time sticking to my routine and working hard. So that on the occasions where I DO come out of my bubble - I can feel this happy and confident about all I've done. So I can wear what I want and feel good about it. So I can have some drinks with friends and going away party cake and not beat myself up for it. THIS is the reason for the bubble.

It kind of helped me remember to not get too wrapped up in this weight loss thing. If you put too much focus on it, it will make you crazy. I mean, what's the point in doing all this work if you don't get to show it off? It's fun coming out of the bubble once in a while, so long as you don't let it completely derail your progress. I definitely indulged more than I should have this weekend, and perhaps that's because I'm not out of my bubble often enough. But that's something I can learn from and work on. I'm back on track now, so once again - it's no reason to freak out. This journey is all about living and learning and trying - not being perfect.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm Only Human

I can be a bit of an emotional eater at times. For me, controlling my eating is similar to how I control my emotions. I try not to get bent out of shape over small things. I allow myself to be upset for a little bit - and then I move past it. I also try not to react with a bad attitude to most things and try to calmly think things through and look at the positive side. But after a while of doing this, I always have a breaking point. There's always a moment where I get tired of being rational and just need to let it out in the form of crying or yelling. But usually crying.

I'm in the same boat with cheating on my diet. For the most part, I can talk myself out of straying from eating the right things. But after a certain amount of times talking myself out of it and a certain number of issues arising in my life - I lose it and eat something that is not-so-diet friendly. This week, I was beyond frustrated with my computer. Technology and I already are not the best of friends. If you glance at the previous post, I have a 30 day video series to send to my subscribers. Well, both my webcam and editing software decided that they no longer wanted to be civil to me at all and stopped being cooperative. After the first 24 hours of trying to edit a video to no avail - I hit my first breaking point with the crying. After the following 24 hours (we're at 48 total now) I hit my second breaking point of carbs. Then finally, after 72 hours ~ I absolutely decided that I deserved chocolate. I mean, seriously you have no idea how many times I had to watch myself on video saying the same thing over and over and over to re-edit the same video. I like me, but c'mon.
So, what's my reaction to my carb and chocolate cheats? What would YOUR reaction be? I know a lot of people beat themselves up over this kind of thing and allow it to lead to a downward slope of eating badly for days and feeling down on themselves. That's completely pointless. Yes - I ate some things I shouldn't have. Yes - I skipped a couple of workouts to be glued to my computer and trying to fix this problem for 3 days straight. No - I am not going to make myself feel bad for it. It's called LIFE and it happens. No one is spot on with their diet and workout routine every single second of every single day. Do I wish I would have handled things differently? Absolutely, but it's something I can learn from. I can know that next time - I can't let what's  important to me suffer because of something else that's important to me. It has to be in balance. I got my chocolate and carb fix and I will try to at least balance it out with some extra workouts this week. Not the same as eating clean, but it will make me feel a little better.

I'm only human, and sometimes - I need chocolate. It's not the end of the world and I'm not going to gain 5lbs. tomorrow. I also don't have to let it be the beginning of a llloooonnnggg eating binge. It was one day and one bar of chocolate. And now it's done. I'm moving forward. Allowing yourself to make mistakes and committing yourself to learning from them is all a part of the process.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

30 Day Video Series

So I'm super excited about this idea! In my mission to help 1,000 people with their ftiness this year - I've come up with a fun project. I'm going to do a 30 Day Video Series called "30 Days of Fit Tips". What it will be is a 30 day video series of me giving tips and ideas that I've learned over the years to help you on your fitness journey. One new tip each day. I'm not a professional (yet), but I've been through a lot and I would love to share all of that information with anyone who can stand to benefit from it. Every day (for 30 days) there will be a new video that gives you a tip, an idea or a piece of advice that will hopefully help you on your fitness journey.

All you have to do to see the videos is subscribe to the series by leaving your e-mail address below OR messaging it to me. You must subscribe via e-mail in order to get the secret links to the videos. This is an exclusive video series for those who subscribe only. The series will start on March 20th. Anyone is welcome to subscribe! Tell your friends, anyone you think could use some help. It's completely free and will just be short daily vids that give helpful information for you to use on your fitness journey. It will be me delivering my brand of tough love - I don't BS and I keep it real. 

I would love to help you on your fitness journey and I hope this video series can do just that! Please send me an e-mail and ask to be added to the video subscription list BEFORE March 20th! April 24th!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You Can Lie To Yourself, But Don't Lie To Me

Let's get real. A lot of you are lying when you tell yourself that you're doing all you can to lose the weight. You tell yourself "I'm working so hard and nothing's happening!" Then when I ask you what's going on, your words paint a different story. Here's why you may not be seeing the results you want.

1) You're eating too much fast food and eating out too often. Fast food is not healthy. Period. With the exception of Saladworks and maybe a salad from Subway, you're wasting money and calories if you're trying to eat healthy. Even then - they're still giving you processed meats. Fast food will never, ever be as good as grocery-store-bought whole foods. Ever. As a last resort - ok. As an unexpected delay in meal time option - ok. As a daily lunch choice - no bueno. You absolutely should not be eating out every day and then complaining about weight or money since you're readily wasting both. Paying $7 for a meal daily is far more expensive than buying groceries and making that exact same meal yourself, but healthier. It requires you to prepare a little bit more, but so what? If you're really trying to get healthier, you need to be willing to do what it takes.

2) You're not working out enough or efficiently enough. Adding exercise slowly to your routine is a great idea. Doing a half hour of cardio a week however will not get you far. And if your cardio consists of slowly walking your dog through the park that one day - that's really not gonna do much for you. To efficiently work out and burn calories - you should be working your way up to 5 workouts a week and they should be aerobic. Your heart should be pumping and you should be sweating. Yes that sounds hard because it's supposed to be. That's the point! Find something you like that gets your heart rate up but is also fun. Cardio kickboxing and Dance-Fitness classes are great ways to move it and enjoy it while you move.

3) You give up too easily. Getting fit is not a goal you hit and then stop. It's a lifestyle. Even once you reach whatever goal you have for yourself, you still have to work to maintain it. It doesn't stay on it's own. Your life has to be one that's geared towards change. It's ok to mess up, it's even ok to backslide sometimes. It's NOT ok to stop. What would be the point? If you stop trying, all you'll end up with is being sad and back to where you started. Who cares if you mess up? Who cares if you skipped two weeks of workouts? Just start again! Get back into it. There's no rule that says if you don't do things perfectly, you're out of the game. You are on a personal journey. It's up to you to live it how you want. So quit complaining and get back in the game!

 Sweet Charity

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Mission To Help 1,000 People

Most people make New Year's resolutions on January 1st. We promise to become better versions of ourselves and make this year different than the last. We vow to lose weight, stop smoking, start reading, spend time with family, watch less tv and stick to a budget. Out of all of the people who make resolutions, about 1/3 never make any changes and half of the remaining resolutioners quit within the first two weeks into the year.
So hare are you doing with your resolutions?
I can't say that I make New Year's resolutions. I'm constantly setting goals for myself, all throughout the year. And when I decide I want something, I go after it with all my heart and soul. It's not about how quickly you can achieve your goals - it's about giving your best effort at all times.
So I'm setting a new goal for this year. And I think it's totally do-able, but...

I'd like to help 1,000 people with their fitness this year. Fitness is a huge part of my life. It's not just what I love, it's part of who I am. The amazing changes that have come about in my life especially in the past few years can be traced directly back to my commitment to working on my fitness. I'd love to be able to share the happiness I've found with every single person I encounter, and this year - I want to make sure that I do just that.
If you feel that I have helped you in any way whatsoever with your fitness - physical or financial, please visit and click the "Like" button so we can keep a count of all of those I've helped. If you'd like my help, all you have to do is send me a message! And if you know of anyone that you feel could use my help, please send them my way too. This is the most exciting goal I've ever set because it's not just about me, it's about all of you too. So join me in spreading the message of fitness to all you know and help me reach 1,000 people by December 31st!

Sweet Charity