Follow my nerdy adventures of getting into shape and becoming a healthier pirate.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Fan Girl's Moment of Clarity : The Out of Body Work Out Experience

This is a late night ramble is brought to you by copious amounts of  Netflix and mid-afternoon coffee.

I am such a fan girl. I truly am. I geek out over almost everything that is near and dear to me. And lately, the near and dear has been Netflix’s stunning Defenders series. Daredevil. Jessica Jones. Now, Luke Cage and soon Iron Fist. I know the Punisher is not a part of the whole Defender troop but he’s getting his own series so I’m mentioning him. I prefer these superheroes. The ones in the grim and grit and truly getting an ass beaten. The Avengers are nice, but, they are a little too flashy for me.

I know what you’re wondering: where the hell am I going with this? How does a discussion about the B Team Marvel superheroes got to do with a fitness quest? Honestly…everything!

Here’s a hint into my head space. How I get through my work outs…I tell a stories to myself. I remove myself from reality. I know, sounds crazy (and I’m not denying that I may be a tiny bit loony tunes). But it works. Got zombies chasing you? Better run faster because they want your tasty brains. Hitching a ride with the Doctor? Hunting demons with the Winchesters? You see where I’m going with this.

Today, while freezing my backside off at bootcamp, I felt myself go to a different place. It was a subtle shift. We were doing back and forth sprints. My stride changed. It was longer, it was faster. I was no longer in Oklahoma City. I was in Hell’s Kitchen trying to keep up with the Punisher and Jessica Jones. It was an instant, but it was enough to make me feel like a total bad ass. It was a moment of clarity of a work out that I could not DREAM of doing six months ago. But there I was, acting like I was some super hero. It was all in my head. But it was what I needed to get me through the work out. If I didn’t complete sprints or the jumps or the gorilla walks or the burpies (burpies…ugh…) then I wouldn’t be able to keep up with The Punisher.

For some reason, my mind keeps going back to the Punisher. Not the Tom Jane Punisher. Netflix’s Daredevil Season Two Punisher. Which, can we step aside from my weird fitness motivations and talk about Punisher? Jon Bernthal (whose name I just learned. I was calling him Shane from Walking Dead) was refreshingly and unapologetically awful and wonderful all at once. He was Frank Castle. He was Punisher. Sure, he’s the classic archetypal anti-hero, but Jon Bernthal added emotion to the character without making him soft (like Tom Jane).


Fitness. Working out. Healthy shit.

I know most people focus on their breathing and form and all sorts of things when working out. Me? I can’t do that. I can’t be in my head space like that. Maybe  Maybe it’s the writer in me. I prefer to just let my mind drift, finding inspiration in my racing heart, pulse pounding, the smell of sweat and ragged breathing. Those things take me to the place where I can aspire to be…well…a superhero. But not a shiny ones. The ones who put in the work, the ones who are get busted up a little too easily. Why? Well, you don’t see Daredevil giving up…do you?

If you need some motivation let me say this to you: Never give up. Never surrender. And always Slay On Playa. I would assume that’s what Jessica Jones and Luke Cage would do anyway…

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Never Give Up; Never Surrender - Finding and Hanging on to Motivation

Motivation is such a fickle thing. It’s slippery and elusive. It requires effort to catch it. And once you do, you have to dig your fingers in so damn deep that sometimes it hurts.
I am the self-proclaimed queen of the land of Procrastination. I’ve seem to always have a “eh, lets wait till tomorrow,” or “tomorrow is going to be the better time to do that.” I did that all throughout my educational career. But then again, I wrote some of the best papers the night before. I mean, I did crank out an epic 15 page paper on The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane that got a B+. What can I say, when it comes to writing, I work better under pressure. Which could be the reason why I love National Novel Writing Month in November and April. My motivation is to prove I can essentially write a novel in 30 days.
But can I do this whole under pressure thing with other aspects of my life? Because being under pressure helps focus my thoughts and say “let’s do this shit.” I suppose I could say that it has worked and helped me be motivated to try to be a healthier me.
Before we go into what keeps me motivated, let me give you my definition of “healthier.” It’s not to be skinny. I don’t think I could ever by truly skinny with my body frame. I’m short with a long torso and short legs and I am very boobalicious. So for me to be rail thin skinny, it’s not going to work for me. Like I mentioned in my last post where I celebrated losing 20 pounds, I want to be strong. I want to be fit. I don’t want to look like a walking death stick with boobs. No. I want to have health strong fit curves. Because all the best pin ups are voluptuous. That’s what I’m going for.
See? Right there. Motivation. I am motivated by my own wish to just be better. There’s Level one complete! Once you discover your reason why and know that you are doing this whole life update and upgrade for the you and no one else, you beat the boss and move on to level two!
What is level two? Well, level two is holding on to your motivation. You don’t want it to dissipate right off the back. How do I keep my motivation? Well, there’s a couple things I do.
I wear my stinky workout clothes
I like to hang with Ben and Jerry (my treadmill and elliptical) or other workout related stuff in the evening. So, when I get home, after I do the whole family dinner thing, I put on my work out clothes that are a little stinky. In my mind, I think, well, I already stink, might as well be a little smellier and then shower afterwards.
I crank my favorite jams
If you are a music lover like myself, then pick your favorite album that has an awesome beat and blast it. For me, when I’m on the treadmill, it’s Icon For Hire’s new album You Can’t Kill Us. Great driving bass and drums along with inspirational and powerful lyrics help my pound out my 30 minute run. When I’m at home doing my MadFit HIIT and Ab work out, it’s the Rock Workout playlist offered by Apple Music. Whatever fuels you to go forward and never look back…put it on and go.
Run like your life depends on it
Running/jogging is a good way to ease into exercising. So…why not pretend you’re running from a horde of zombies? Latch on to the Doctor’s hand while you flee from the Daleks…or Cybermen…or whatever baddie of the week. Or perhaps you before a chase with the Terminator? The last part of the run is always the hardest for me, so I place my imagination in the driver seat. Whatever it takes to get you through your workout. Your body might be doing all the physical stuff, but your mind is there working in tandem with you. When the body is begging to tap out and you are almost across the finish line, as long as you aren’t broken and bleeding, have your mind push you farther. You CAN do it. Because if you CAN’T…the zombies will eat your brain…
Surround yourself with POSITIVITY
                I’m not going to sit here at this keyboard and saying that changing your life is going to be easy. In fact, it’s not. It’s hard as hell. There are going to be people who are going knock you and spit in your eye. There are going to be people give you a side eye stare and try to Jedi Mind Trick you into failure. Find folks that will encourage you and push you forward. I have been so lucky with the people I have found in my life who are amazing. And if you can’t find a real live person? There are great forums and websites that can help you propel forward to upgrade your life. I highly recommend Nerd Fitness. They are so very positive and talk on a level that is relatable. Because I mean, who doesn’t love a World of Warcraft reference? Even if you are already in the midst of lovefest, totally check their site. My favorite article is Real-Life Role Playing: What is Your Profession? (click the Hyperlink. You won’t regret it.)
But out of ALL of these and MORE advice on how to stay motivated in your epic quest to be a more kick-ass you, the most important is this:
Now, I know this is hard to believe…but…you’re going to fuck up along the way. You’re going to stumble and you’re going to fall down and scrape your knee up. You might even get some busted knuckles along the way. BUT IT IS OKAY. If you want to hang tight to your motivation, you need to get back up. You need to show the world, the nay-sayers, and most importantly YOURSELF, that you are worth the fight for a better life. I fall down all the time. I have those moments where I let old habits in. But, I recognize it. I learn from it. And I become a better persona. Again, getting healthy is not about getting skinny. It’s about GETTING HEALTHY.  Before doing all this weight loss jazz, I loved myself. I loved all my flaws. Hell, I still do. I love the personal growth and inspiration that comes with change. And that is motivating.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my words. I hope, is some way, they not only gave you a glimpse inside what makes me stay motivated, but also helps you find your own path to motivation. It doesn’t have to be just on getting healthy. It could be anything. Just like Big Barda told Wonder Woman when she was captured by Granny Goodness and the Furies: NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER!

Remember to always be yourself…unless you can be a pirate…then always be the pirate!
Until next time…

Friday, June 17, 2016

When A Nerd Decides to Get Fit: An Adventure Towards Being a Better Bad Ass

Let me preface this blog post with this bit: I am a terrible salesman. I am not trying to sell anyone anything. This is just me blabbing and yammering away about what inspires, motivates, and works for me. I am in no way a fitness guru. Beauty and books and writing? Yes. Full blown guru. Fitness and health? Mmmmm…not so much. So with that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with me throwing words at your face.

 This post is about the moment I decided that I needed to be a little more Kick Ass. Because let's face, I'm already awesome...
For anyone who follows me on Facebook, I’ve been dropping little bits of info about working out and trying to be a better me. Why am I doing that? Well, it’s to keep me accountable. If I’m telling the whole world “Hey! Look at me! I’m working out!” and then I stop one day, people are going to question me about it.
But why the sudden need to work out and get healthy? Let me tell you what it’s NOT about. It’s not about confidence. Because, honestly, I got that in spades. Yes, I have points of not feeling confident, but that’s human nature. I love me. I love all my imperfections: my foul mouth and dark side that comes out when I write, my stretch marks and saggy boobs, my short torso and long legs…you see where this is going.
The one thing though that I didn’t feel was strong. I didn’t feel like I could keep up with my two sweet hellions who seem to have superhuman levels of energy. I want to be able to keep up with their craziness. But most of all, I want to be there for THEM. For a long time.
My mom and one of sisters starting their own weight loss journey was what set me on the path intially. My sister has lost like 20 lbs and my mom 30 lbs (at the time). They are doing Weight Watchers. And that’s cool. But…that didn’t work for me. It was too broad for me. Meetings and such things? Not for me.
Shortly after learning of their weight loss success, that’s when things click. One of the most wonderfully badass ladies I know, Jenn, pushed and tugged for me along into being her Accountabi-li-buddy. It’s better when you’re working out and dieting with someone who shares the same sense of humor and mind set. Honestly, everything kind of happened at once. Weight loss challenger? Check. Boot Camp on the weekends? Check. Treadmill? Check.

With my hand across my heart, I can say that a majority of my weight loss success is owed to the wonderful support of not only my husband and family, but Jenn and our coach/co-worker/buddy, Cody. Cody is someone who is encouraging, not a Judgey McJudgerson. “Can’t do a burpie? That’s cool, try it this way. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to do them soon.” A smile, a laugh, and kind words go far in my book. And, it’s not about getting buff. It’s about being HEALTHY. Having a HEATHLY lifestyle. You don’t HAVE to run every night. You don’t HAVE to do a boot camp. You can just simply walk. You can dance. You can do whatever you want, as a long as you start someone where and move forward.
My starting weight with this whole weight loss challenge thing was 229lb. Now, I’m 5’5” (on a good day). And though the weight was pretty even distributed, that’s still quite a bit on my husky frame. But, I don’t want to be rail thin because if I was, I would probably look like a Death. I want to be curvy because the best pins up and sexy pirates were buxom…and strong. Don’t forget that. I want to be healthy.
So how in the hell am I doing that? By doing a bit of a life style change.
I try to walk every day.
I try to jog/run three days a week.
I go to Boot Camp once a week
I do dance off's with my daughter (she's got made skills)

I make healthier food choices, which includes meal replacement shakes.
I stopped drinking soda. I haven’t had a Coke in almost two months!
      (But I do still drink coffee…that I cannot give up…EVER)
See? Simple things. Little things every days adding up to big piles of awesomeness.
With all these changes, you might wondering, “how much weight have you actually lost then? Huh?!” Well, I have lost around 20lbs. As you can see, I’ve already started to tackle the next 20lbs. Go me!
I have been pretty fortunate with meeting some incredible people through this journey and have the absolutely best friends/family support on this amazing adventure to becoming an upgraded version of myself. Like the Bionic Woman! Or a Cyberman! No. Not Cyberman. Those guys are bad news…
Like I said at the beginning, I’m a terrible salesman. Because, well, I don’t want to sell anyone anything. I want to inspire. As a writer, I create universes and worlds and people that I hope one day will be read inspire. Inspire what? Who knows. Depends on the story. But for this blog review, right now, I suppose what I’m trying to inspire is that you have one life, and you can do with it what you want. But the question is…do you want to feel helpless? Or do you want to feel strong and in charge?
For me? I’d prefer to feel strong and in charge…if only to flex my biceps and tell random folks that it’s ‘this way to the gun show.”
Thank you for taking time and reading the ramblings of the 30 something Nerd. Next blog post will come soon (hopefully…maybe next week…don’t know…depends on Life). I say this on my other blog, but I just want to remind you to always be yourself…unless you can be a pirate…then always be a PIRATE!!