Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fitness First

Fitness First.  This is my motto.  I say it multiple times a day, mostly to eye-rolling people.  It's become predictable.  The moment someone begins to utter an excuse of not exercising- I blurt it out.  I can't help it, it just escapes my mouth without thought!  Here is why:  I have three kids, a husband and a job.  I'm not superwoman so if I can find time to workout 4-5 times a week, so can you.  Its never convenient, its never what I want to do with an hour of alone time and its not always a great time- but I go.  Consistently.  If I absolutely cannot make it, I'll workout in my garage.  Oh, you don't have a garage gym?  I didn't either a few months back in which case I did workouts in my living room (think AMRAPS of body weight movements.)  Here is the thing, its just not cool to be unhealthy anymore.  Maybe it never was but these days its flat out unacceptable.  People think its sooo hard to be fit.  No, it really isn't.  Stop smoking, stop eating fast food, try not to eat everything out of a box, get off your couch and don't drink too much alcohol...and if you do choose wisely.  I don't understand why this is so complicated.  People lack motivation.  I get that but the good news is if you force yourself to suffer through the first couple weeks- it will become a habit. 

 I'm preaching this like crazy lately because I cannot believe how much diet and exercise have changed my life.  A few months back I was getting really sick.  It was happening once or twice a month where I would have an "attack" and was violently ill for several hours.  This would result in a 5-6 pound weight loss followed by 3 days in bed where I could barely sit up.  I wasn't able to take care of my kids, I wasn't able to go to work and I couldn't even think about working out.  It went from being annoying to inconvenient to flat out devastating after 7 months.  After 7 months I decided to see a doctor which led to a specialist which led to thousands of dollars of testing followed by an ER visit and a ridiculous amount of pills.  I was willing to do anything to get to the bottom of what was happening to my 32 year old body.  I felt like I was dying... that might be dramatic.  Let me try again.  I felt like my body was deteriorating quickly and I had no control over it.  It was legitimately frightening to me.  I never knew when it would happen and I never had any warning.  Oh, and the diagnosis... I'm perfectly healthy with probable IBS.   Basically, I'm fine.  Really???  Doesn't seem like it to me!

Sidenote:  For most of you who read this- you all think/know I am a little weird about food.  I've come a long way, won a 13 year uphill battle and have finally settled into a perfect balance in my life.  For me.  

People think I have always been a super healthy eater which totally makes me laugh.  I guess if you call drinking Slurpee's, eating low fat chips ahoy cookies, weight watcher brownies, having subway 4 days a week for lunch and Leo's the other three days healthy- then yes, I was super healthy!   I hate vegetables, love bread and cereal like nobodys business and wouldn't have even have believed a spaghetti squash was real a few months ago.  Enter crazy cross fitter , Jen Tulpa.  After all of the medical testing, continuing to take 3-9 pills a day and still feeling and looking like I might fall over at any given second I phoned a friend.  I figured I had to figure this out on my own.  Jen agreed to meet with me and try to help.   Jen is a personal trainer, cross fit coach and regional competitor cross fitter.  She is a badass and she knows her stuff.  I sat down with her, gave her the low down and she very simply said, "It's your diet.  Give me two weeks."  She handed me a packet with the Zone Diet and told me to follow it.  Religiously.  She also told me to not fight against my body and to only workout on certain days when endurance wasn't too high.  My focus was to be primarily strength training and perfect nutrition.  She also told me that if I didn't listen to her- she would fire me and that she meant that in the most loving way.  Apparently, shes read a book from my past somewhere!  One of my strengths as a human is that if I want to do something bad enough- I can do it.  I'm a determined little person and I can make just about anything happen.  She looks like she knows what she is talking about and I decided to give it a shot.   So... I zoned.  Perfectly.  I held back on the gym which killed me and I did things that made me uncomfortable.  In  48 hours- I felt like a new person.  I had energy.  I didn't crave a nap the entire time I was awake.  I lifted heavier weights than I had in months.  And, I was happy.  I felt good.  I felt like me.  I was a better Mom, a better wife, and way more fun to be around.    All of this changed because of food.  I am still flabbergasted by the very thought  that food has that much power.  I have never believed it my entire life. Until I tried it.  I am a believer.  

I've restored most of the weight loss from the repeated illnesses, I've not only restored but increased my strength and my endurance is better than its ever been in my whole life.  Do I still zone?  Yes, kinda.  I'm zone-ish.  I don't measure anything anymore and I have more days where I will have things off the naughty list but I'm pretty good.  I pack my lunch every day, I eat a big breakfast and I am a spaghetti squash lovin' healthy girl that even loves pepper and onions when cooked just right.  I'm getting there.  I am miles from where I was and I have many more to travel but I'm better than yesterday.  Yes, I still drink diet coke.  You can't win 'em all.  I'll tackle that hurdle....when my kids are older!

So.  When I say Fitness First, please know that all I want for anyone in my life is a healthy lifestyle.  I don't care if you run, Cross Fit, lift weights, jazzercise, mountain bike, whatever.  Just. Do. Something. Eat better.  Spend all the money you usually spend at restaurants on food you prepare in your own home.  Pack lunches at night.  Buy cool Tupperware.  Plan ahead.  Make a schedule.  I promise you this- life just works better when you feel better.  You feel better when you are better.  Eat well and be active.  You won't regret it.  It's not that hard!

Fitness First!

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