My Own Worst Enemy

Day 16 of the #blogeverydayinmay challenge.

“Something difficult about your ‘lot in life’ and how you’re working to overcome it.”

My most difficult “lot in life” has been my weight and body image. “I’m shocked to hear that,” said no one ever.

But before I delve into all of that, I think it’s really important to identify all the wonderful lots in life that I have been dealt. 

A mama that supports me and loves me through everything I do.

A daddy that teaches me how to live a full and simple life.
Siblings that are just as crazy as I am and are also fiercely protective. 
A grandmother who loved me with her whole heart.
Friends that I am lucky enough to also call family.
A passion for reading.
A love for state history.
A very distinct birthmark on my left ankle and right foot.
A penchant for tattoos.
Well-shaped eyebrows.
Small feet. Big ears.
An inquisitive nature.
A smart mouth.

But I’d say the one thing that I’ve always struggled with is my weight and how I view myself.

The first thing you should know: my mama is gorgeous and petite. She is the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. She’s a teeny 102 lbs and when you see her, you just wanna pick her up and carry her in your pocket. 

I want to just hug her all the time. 

I am built like my aunt. My aunt is 5’10. Unlike my aunt, I am 5′ tall. 

So I don’t exactly have a lot of space for all these hips and back and thighs and shoulders. I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly. And where as my aunt can gain 10 lbs and no one notices, I gain 3 pounds and look like I gained a 2nd grader.

I spent a whole lot of time in high school (and college) wishing that I had a different body type. I wished I was skinny and slim. I wished my thighs didn’t touch and that I didn’t have a butt. I wanted to cut paper with my collarbone and see all of my cheekbone. I just wanted to wear the 00 size jeans from Abercrombie like all the cool girls! A lot of my self image problem came from me. I used negative self talk to bring myself down. And that shit sucks. 

A lot of people have trouble with other people talking crap about them. Nothing anyone said could be worse than what I said to myself. Ever. When I talked to myself, I was never pretty, funny, smart, outgoing, or {insert any positive adjective here}. 

As self talk got worse, I felt worthless and feeling worthless only did terrible things for my body and health.

So then the question is: how did I fix it?

The answer is: I didn’t.

There’s no easy fix for crappy self image. But things changed for me when I started CrossFit. All of a sudden, I was a part of a community of people that admired strong legs and thighs that touched. Being strong is cool to them. So I work harder to be strong.

Will I ever be a size 00 and look like my adorable mom? No, probably not. I’m just not built to look that way. 

Can I work harder to be in shape and fit? Yes. I can. I can be healthy and healthy for me does not mean being a size 00. 

Everyday is different. Some days, I’m great with my progress and want to keep pushing. Other days are harder on me and it’s a struggle to suppress that negative voice. But everyday, it seems, I am able to keep that voice at bay a little bit longer and achieve a little more. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to suppress it for good.

The thing about: Notebooks

Y’all know my story for the most part. Got fat. Tried to lose weight. Failed. Gave up. Tried again. Failed. Gave up.

Until I found CrossFit.

And I’ve talked a lot about how great CrossFit is: from the workout itself, to the coaches, to the community, it’s awesome.

But I’ve never really touched on what made me stay. 

So let me start with touching on why most people quit their fitness journey: results.
In today’s society, everything is so instant. You can pretty much do/get anything you want instantly. Unfortunately, for most of us, our fitness level does not change instantaneously. 

Too often I hear: “I started running and I did it for about 2 weeks, but nothing happened so I quit.” 
2 WEEKS!? 
Excuse my outrage, but that’s actually a direct quote…from me. What a lame-ass I was. 
Did I really think running was gonna change me in 2 weeks? Ya damn right I did. I mean, look at those little teeny chicks running in sports bras everyday! 

When I came to RSCF, my intro coach was Lauren. She’s the only girl coach at the box, she’s super strong, super nice, and a badass. So she’s basically my idol. At our second intro class, I noticed her recording her workout and her time in a little, teeny notebook. So what did I do? I went out and bought a little, teeny notebook and did the same thing. 

Now you’re like, “why the hell did you tell me that?” 
This is why:
That little, teeny notebook kept me coming back to CrossFit. 

I wrote down EVERYTHING in there. I kept track of my WODs, my results, how I modified, if I RX’d, if I PR’d, how I felt, what hurt, what felt better, words of inspiration, bible verses, shopping lists, paleo recipes, everything. 

Now you’re asking, “Okay, Ace, but how did that help? Get to the freakin’ point already.”

The notebook basically showed me that even if I couldn’t physically see progress or I was having a crappy day, progress was made. If I had a crappy WOD, I could turn the page back and see that I PR’d my back squat just a few days before. Maybe I’d run into the scripture that I needed as an affirmation. Maybe I’d go all the way to the beginning and see that, when I started, I couldn’t clean 60#, and even though I had a crappy day TODAY, I can now clean AND jerk #125. 

The notebook shows me progress. 
The notebook always reminds me that today, maybe, I didn’t have a great day, but I’m better than I was yesterday.
The notebook is a reminder of where I started, how far I’ve come, and how much farther I have to go. 

Which kicks ass.

And every WOD, I look forward to putting my results in the notebook and watching me beat me. 

So it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. CrossFit, Zumba, Jillian Michaels, whatever. Record what you’re doing. Write down how many minutes you could do unbroken. Write down how many reps you got today. Take note of how you feel before and after. And watch yourself get better.

The notebook won’t let you quit. 

I love the quote:
“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Give it 12 weeks.” 
The notebook always notices.

So if you haven’t already, go get you a teeny notebook. Write in it. Don’t lose it (I totally lost my first one. I was depressed for a week. I don’t even want to talk about it.) and get your butt to work. 12 weeks. GO!

In case you thought I was kidding about recording EVERYTHING. 
My students said I need to post a picture today because I “look really pretty today and my readers shouldn’t have to always see me when I work out.” Uh, thanks?