Just Workin’ on My Fitness

I have hemmed and hawed and debated and changed my mind about sharing this post, but goshdarnit I’m proud of my hard work and I want to share that with my readers.

Over the last few months, I’ve gotten in shape. Lost a few pounds, toned up my muscles, and I honestly think I’m in the best shape of my adult life.

addy_mooching
Addy actually gives zero effs about whether I’m shape as long as I stuff her face with cookies.

I haven’t really gotten a great reaction to this when I’ve mentioned it to people, and it makes sense. I’ve always been on the slender side, and literally no one wants to hear the thin girl talk about getting in shape. The kinder folks brush me off with dismissive looks and little laughs and the “bolder” people tell me that I don’t understand the true struggle of getting into shape, as if it’s some club that I don’t deserve membership to.

And who knows, maybe I don’t truly understand the struggle like someone else would. We all have our own struggles and approach them in our own ways. But I’ve made some lifestyle changes and worked hard, and I’ve seen the changes in my body.

I really can’t blame them for not seeing the same changes though. They can’t see that my stomach now has real life abs under the squish instead of being pure squish. They can’t see that my legs have gotten more toned and muscular, and they didn’t see me running 2 miles (which is 1 mile more than I’ve ever managed). They have no idea that my leg is more stable over jumps or that I can post without stirrups for a longer time, and they have no idea that when I walk into work without limping from muscle soreness, that is a victory my new muscles have given me.

I’ll agree with those who have told me that I can’t take credit for some of this- I’m genetically predisposed to be fairly lanky, and I still have my early-20s metabolism. But I’ve been cooking healthy food for every meal instead of ordering take-out, staying super active, and drinking tons of water, so I will take some of the credit. To the people who have told me to “enjoy my metabolism” or that it’s “just good genes,” I’d like to point out that my healthy choices have made a difference in my body. It can’t all be metabolism and genes. I’ve chosen to make healthy choices even when it was easier to take the unhealthy route, and I’m thrilled that it has shown in a tangible way.

ridiculous_flailing
Although the genes likely do explain my propensity for ridiculous flailing in any given situation. Probably also explains the pit-stains.

I honestly don’t know what I’m hoping to get from this post- I’m not asking for congratulations or kudos from you all, because Addy has clearly shown her happiness that I’m not as floppy as I once was. I’m not really asking for encouragement either, because I’ve gotten that from manfriend as I’ve kept up with him on a run, and from my trainer as she’s seen me wrangle the Beastly Unicorn around more difficult courses. I’m especially not asking for anyone to diminish what I’ve worked hard for, because I’ve gotten plenty of that in real life as well.

Forgive me if this sounds defensive. It’s not meant to be. I suppose that the real reason I’m sharing this is because I have made such amazing connections with so many of you, and friends celebrate their accomplishments together.

Tomorrow I’ll go back to talking about the ups and downs and successes and setbacks of a working ammy. But today I’m going to take a deep breath and smile at myself a bit and eat a GIGANTIC freakin’ bag of Doritos because GOSHDARNIT I’M SO SICK OF CHICKEN. And I hope you’ll be eating Doritos with me in spirit.

PS- Thank you times a million to Jenn from Stories in the Saddle, who encouraged me to celebrate and write whatever the heck I feel like and forget the haters 🙂

Don’t tell me what to eat!

I hate being told what to do. Hate it.

Growing up, my parents rarely made demands- they expected me to respect their authority and in return respected my right to question. On the rare occasion that Mom or Dad said “Do this now!” it was clear that it must be too important at the time to question. As I was a generally good kid, this system worked well for us and kept us away from any major blow-up fights.

But an unintended side effect of this is that I absolutely cannot tolerate demands. This is quite selective- I’m more than happy to receive assignments at work or be told what repairs my car needs or that the course I’m riding goes like this not like that. Pretty much anything else? Nope. Will not respond. Even if I was about to do what you just told me to do, I will now do the opposite.


source: giphy

Admittedly this is childish. There is no harm in doing what I was going to do anyways just because someone told me I need to do that. It’s just this knee-jerk reaction to the assumption of authority that rankles. Even my own parents- the ultimate authority to a child- didn’t assume total supremacy, so why on earth should some other person order me around? Manfriend learned this very quickly and (bless him) never tries to boss me. He knows it simply wouldn’t work. Suggestions, advice, anecdotes are all welcomed but I tune out as soon as it crosses the line into demand territory.

Just wait, it gets worse.

I can’t even tell myself what to do. As soon as I say “I NEED to get this done right now,” I head off on a tangent. Or I get paralyzed and don’t do anything at all. Or I come up with a thousand reasons I don’t actually need to get it done. Demands are unacceptable from any quarter, even my own brain.

This especially carries over into my food habits. The very instant that I swear off junk food is the very instant I get in the car to grab a dozen doughnuts. As soon as I forbid candy, I load up on Reese’s and start stuffing my face. Even when I was using a calorie tracker, I got rebellious and started eating more just so I could punch stuff into the app. You don’t have to tell me  how insane this is- trust me, I know.

The only way I can keep myself from eating junk food is by letting myself eat junk food.

Despite how nonsensical that sounds, it’s how I work. Defiantly cutting out all junk just makes me focus on and crave it more, so I have to give myself a free pass at all times to eat whatever I want. When I’m not thinking about it, I eat the way I’ve always eaten: pretty lean with the occasional splurge. Isn’t that a “healthy” diet? I tend to stick with foods that make me feel good physically; I know that too many carbs makes me feel sluggish, and I really like chicken and veggies. Sharing meals with health-conscious manfriend helps too- he’s an exponentially better cook than I am so he keeps us healthy and full. Then when I get the 4,000 calorie cheeseburger from Cheeburger Cheeburger one day during lunch, I don’t feel bad. When I say “it’s just one day, it won’t ruin me,” I can actually mean it because I know the next day I’ll be having my usual lean burrito and yogurt for lunch.

Overall I eat pretty well- low in carbs, high in veggies and protein, not too much salt or sugar. But I have a desk drawer of Hershey’s Kisses at work and never miss an opportunity for doughnuts. Manfriend and I are ignoring Valentine’s Day, but you can bet I’m taking this as a perfect excuse for a salty, sugary, bacon-y brunch of epic proportions. After all, I told myself I couldn’t.

How do you try and eat healthy? Anyone else stupidly stubborn like this? (It can’t be just me)