Posts filed under ‘morale boosters’

You never know what people are thinking

Isn’t it funny how you can go along, having a not-so-good day, feeling goofy about yourself, being just surer than anything that everyone else around you thinks you’re goofy, too?  Or unattractive?  That happens to me fairly frequently.  Because I struggle with my body image so much internally, I tend to think that others are seeing the “bad” stuff I see in my head.

Every now and then, though, I get a much needed reality check.  My BF and I were at our favorite bar last night, celebrating the birthday of the bar’s owner.  We ran into several regulars including one who had been at the bar for their Halloween party.  I was there, too, in my “Mod Bunny” costume, and had chatted with him briefly that night.

Well, last night, he took me aside to tell me that he had never realized until Halloween night, when he saw me in my short mod dress, that I had the most “amazing legs” he’d “ever seen”.  Wow!  How cool is that?!  He went on for a few minutes, telling me that he’s seen a lot of legs in his day, and mine were truly amazing.  He said he even remembered exactly when, that night, he’d noticed… and he described the moment to me.

It was awesome, and it’s another one of those snippets that will go into my “good things” memory vault, to be brought out when I am feeling unaccountably low. 

Not only was a great morale booster for me, but it also reminded me how important it is that we compliment each other when we appreciate something about another person.  You never know when or how those genuinely kind words will benefit someone.  And, you never know for sure what people are thinking.

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November 7, 2008 at 2:48 pm 1 comment

You can say that again

Words of wisdom from Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., associate program director of the General Clinical Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City:

“Anyone who sustains weight loss, which is extremely difficult, has essentially reinvented herself and is worthy of the utmost admiration and respect.”

September 19, 2008 at 3:35 am Leave a comment

Perspective

No question about it, tomorrow is back on track.  But it does bother me that I’ve had this attitude lately. UGH! Do we EVER conquer this problem?!

I have felt like that SO many times!  It was unbelievably refreshing to read this on Tatum’s Mom’s blog.  i am grateful to bloggers who share their ups and downs.  It means a lot to know I’m not struggling in isolation.  But the question remains: do we ever get over it, past it, through with it?  Or, do we continue to battle against being a fat person for all eternity?

I’m still in that phase where I’m 3 pounds above my goal, and it’s frustrating.  What’s weird is that, inevitably when this happens, someone runs into me and asks if I’ve lost weight, complimenting me on how I look.  It happened just this morning.  As I exited the stairwell, I ran into someone from another office that hadn’t seen me in several weeks.  He said, “Have you lost weight.  You look great!”  Naturally, it was a morale booster.  It also reminded me that exercise can make you look smaller while adding a bit of weight to your body.

I’ve recently increased the weights I use during my strength routine.  Plus, I’ve tried some new workouts: Muay Thai and Cardio X.  I’ve even installed a pull-up bar, doing daily pull-ups, albeit only one at a time.  It could be that these changes are keeping the scale up while whittling my middle.

Thank goodness for blogs and people who share compliments when they have ’em.  It provides much needed perspective.

July 1, 2008 at 1:37 am Leave a comment

Nobody’s Perfect

Fashion critics calling Karolina Kurkova fat have created quite an uproar.  People are outraged, as well they should be.  If the pictures shown as evidence of her “weight gain” are any indication, it’s a patently ridicious assertion.

In reading about it, I stumbled across a comforting little tidbit.

For the record, I’ve been to several of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows (of which Karolina is a star), and ya know what? Almost every girl has a bit of cellulite–some more than others. Why? Because most women, even (gasp!) models, have cellulite, that’s why.

How nice to know!  Most of us aware of the airbrushing that modifies nearly every image we see, but it’s still easy to forget and accept what’s presented to us as reality.  I am *very* relieved to find out that even the most beautiful among us have less than perfect skin.  Maybe I’m not as far off the beauty mark as I sometimes think.

June 29, 2008 at 12:59 am 1 comment

Marvelous Muay Thai

Muay Thai Class It has been an exciting week of firsts!  Earlier in the week, I had my first gourmet raw meal at a raw only restaurant.  The other night, I attended my first Muay Thai class.  Bonus: the class was FREE!  Hooray!!

“Muay Thai—or Thai Boxing—was born on the battlefields of the 15th century, during the legendary clashes between Thai (or Siamese) armies and their bitter rivals, the Burmese. Trained in the weapons-based fighting method known as Krabi Krabong, these early Thai soldiers also became famous for their toughness in close-quarters weaponless combat, where legs, knees, elbows and hands took the place of swords and sticks. This type of weaponless fighting became Muay Thai, known as the ‘Science of Eight Limbs.’ ”

I was introduced to Muay Thai in an article in a fitness magazine over a year ago and was delighted to discover that my city had a studio that offered a free introductory class.  It took me way too long to get around to taking the class, but I finally did.  It TOTALLY rocked!  It was a fantastic workout, tough but oddly energizing at the same time.  What made it even more fun was that my BF’s brother’s new GF took the class with me, and my BF’s brother stopped by, managing to take the “action shot” accompanying this post.  There’s proof!

After we removed our shoes and socks, we started the kickboxing workout by lining up in the gym, facing our instructor, who bowed to us.  We bowed back, and then we warmed up by skipping rope.  Yikes!  It was *intense* from the get-go.  Next, we partnered up, two on a punching bag, and alternated punching and kicking combinations.  One of the routines was a front kick/3 punch combo… then a repeating roundhouse kick with one leg… then alternating punches where the left punch would increase from one punch to 5 punches and count down again. It was different every time, which I imagine would keep the training from getting stale.  Plus, because we switched off with our partners, it was intervals at their finest!  We ended the class with 50 squats, 45 seconds of mountain climbers, 45 seconds of up-and-downs, 45 seconds of modified V crunches, and finally two sets of 10 leg lifts.  Cool-down consisted of a few standard stretches.

The up-and-downs were the hardest for me.  That’s where you repeatedly go from a push-up position to a plank position on your elbows and back again.  The instructor said I could do it with my knees bent, but I refused.  I do 20 straight-leg push-ups consecutively; no way I’m doing the “girl” version now!  It was challenging, though, partly because of balancing as a I moved between positions.  Eventually my ab muscles started to complain, but I kept at it for the entire 45 seconds!

This class was a huge morale booster, not only due to the endorphin rush.  Even having done my daily workout of 15 sets of stairs, 1st thru 4th, I still had plenty of energy and stamina to get through a high intensity class.  I am in good shape!  I focus on my flaws so much that I often don’t realize how far I’ve come.  Testing myself physically in a whole new way not only reinvigorates me; it gives me a tangible demonstration of my conditioning… and it’s not half bad.  Woohoo!!  I am so happy that my hard work is paying off!  J

June 27, 2008 at 12:44 am 1 comment

Mind over magazine?

Turns out, reading a fitness magazine while exercising can demotivate, rather than inspire, according to a new study authored by Ann Wertz Garvin, a health and physical education professor at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater

“The results suggest that negative effects of reading ultra-fit magazines may cancel out the mood-boosting effects of exercise, says Garvin. Exactly why is unclear, though she speculates that women may become depressed because they feel they’ll never look as good as the magazine models or that the women already look fit but have low self-esteem and seeing the images doesn’t help.”

I can relate to these results although I don’t read while I’m exercising.  (The workouts I do now don’t allow for reading, but even when I went to the gym, I listened to music or watched TV instead of reading.)  I suscribe to several fitness magazines, including Oxygen, which was used in the study, and I can confirm that thumbing through them is sometimes depressing.

The mags periodically bum me out because they set standards that seem impossible to achieve, at least for me.  I occasionally come away from reading them with the feeling that I’m not working hard enough.  Unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t inspire me to work harder; it just makes it harder for me to keep working out.

Thankfully, this isn’t a huge issue for me.  I’ve been extremely consistent with my exercise since I started my lifestyle change nearly six years ago, and I suspect I always will be.  The mags are more disheartening from a body image standpoint than anything else.  Of course, that’s an issue I have struggled with for a long time, so I certainly don’t fault the publications for it.  I have learned, though, to stop reading them during times when I’m feeling particularly negative about my appearance.  No need to add fuel to the fire during a difficult spell.  The mags will always be there when I am feeling more optimistic and can really benefit from the great ideas and advice they offer.

June 25, 2008 at 1:30 am Leave a comment

Are you an athlete?

Yesterday, I gave a website presentation at a trade association luncheon.  As the luncheon wrapped up, one of the attendees approached me and asked, “Are you an athlete?”  I was stunned.  I looked at him curiously and said, “No.”  He commented that my arms were very muscular and that I must work out a lot.  The president of the association hugged me and said, “I’ve been hitting on her all afternoon.”  The attendee, who was apparently a friend of the president, said, “But you’re married, and I’m not.”

I grinned all the way back to the office.  How fabulous that someone noticed my arms and complimented my muscularity!  I have to admit that it’s not the first time; friends down at my BF’s and my favorite bar have said something to me before.  But, this was a complete stranger, and the comment came entirely out of the blue.  It really boosted my mood because I often worry about my arms.  They are, indeed, muscular, but I suffer from the batwing problem that many formerly fat people have to deal with.  It’s not horrendous, but it’s obvious to me… to the point that I am sometimes self-conscious when I wear sleeveless tops.  This made me feel great, extra proud of all my efforts to stay in shape.

And, to think someone thought that *I* was an athlete??  Wow!  I have been the total opposite of an athlete for most of my life, so it’s practically inconceivable to me that someone would view me as such.  Sweet!!

June 19, 2008 at 4:27 am Leave a comment

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