Posts Tagged ‘fit’

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. I wasn’t really sure where I was going with it, mostly because I wasn’t sure what my actual thoughts on it were.

I know, I wasn’t sure about my own thoughts; a paradox I run into quite often.

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A few months ago I sat down with a friend and we were talking about getting healthy and everything I did to get to where I am today. He was looking to make some changes and wanted to pick my brain; I’m all about that. In the course of that conversation he mentioned something from another conversation he had had with somebody else. (I’m paraphrasing here, it’s been a little while.)

“I’m gonna talk to Moody. He made it, he’s done it.”

He was referencing my weight loss. While I didn’t make an issue of it when he said it, or even think about it for that matter, it started bugging me days later and has been festering in the back of my mind for a while.

While I appreciated his confidence, I didn’t feel like I had made it. Maybe, to the outsider looking in, that seems ludicrous. Let me be clear; I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, I’m happy with where I’m at, and I’m happy with where I’m going. I had to come to those conclusions, though, and I did it quite recently.

When he said that I had “made it,” I felt like an impostor.

“I haven’t done anything,” I thought, “I don’t deserve that.”

Then I moved on. I was able, right after those thoughts, to at least justify it. If I can inspire anyone to make changes to their life and get healthy, so be it. I may not agree whole heartedly with their sentiments regarding myself, but if it gets them started I’m more than happy to contribute.

For a while, I didn’t think about it; water under the bridge, as they say. Then I stumbled across an article about people who used to be unhealthy, whether it was overweight or underweight, and who have now made changes. (For the life of me, I can’t find it again. When I do I will add it to the comments.)

I was a little depressed to realize that the article pegged me. I used to be overweight and had been for so long that it’s hard for me to see anything else. We get this idea in our heads of, “This is what I am and I will be this forever.”

This idea is false. It is a lie we make up for ourselves to limit us. Do not listen to this idea.

People come up to me and say “Look at you! You’re skinny!” I get that they are complimenting me and I’ve always appreciated it, but I had never believed it myself.

Side Rant: Then, I feel like a pregnant woman, because as they say this they go to poke my stomach like they want to make sure I’m not just sucking it in.

STOP THAT. It’s awkward, weird, and sometimes I have this weird reflex of poking you in the eye for doing it. You have been warned.

I had to sit myself down and look at all of the evidence to get myself over these mental hang-ups.

1) I have actually lost weight. The numbers don’t lie.
2) I used to wear 3XL clothes. I now wear plain old large.
3) In fact, all of my clothes are smaller.
4) Well damn. I’m not the person I used to be.

I figured out that it was my own mind holding me back. I wish I could get across to you what it felt like to come to the conclusion that I am healthy. It’s like a breath of fresh air on a crisp spring morning where everything is new, vibrant, and full of potential.

The mirror isn’t lying to you. The scale isn’t lying to you (Mostly. Read this for my thoughts on that). Your clothes are actually fitting differently. You are feeling healthier.

Don’t let that voice in your head tell you that you are who you used to be. Even if you’re just starting out on the road to being healthy, you are already miles away from the person you once were.

-Moody

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I’m disgusted with myself.

Nay, more than that, I’m disappointed in myself.

Now that I’ve brought you back to the worst thing your parents could ever say to you, I’ll clue you in to the source of my misery.

I’ve become a morning person.

I know.   I’m nauseous just writing it.  Some of you understand my shock, but some of you don’t.  So, why is this revelation so awful?

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Because childhood.

There was a day when sleeping half the day away was on my To-Do List, when sleeping in made my day a success, when sleeping in was considered productive in my book.

My dirty little secret?  I like it.

These days, I go to bed excited that I have an alarm set for sometime before 6 (depends on the day) to get me up and to the gym.  I wake up on my off-shift days when I could be sleeping in and go do physical activity.

My 13-year-old self would kick my ass right now for even suggesting such blasphemy.

Despite the betrayal to my inner child, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love the fact that by the time everyone else is starting their day the hardest part of mine is already over.

The benefits I’ve noticed waking up early and getting to the gym really do outweigh the benefits of sleeping in.  I’m more productive the rest of the day, I have more energy the rest of the day, and the endorphins that I’ve got flowing through me make me much happier than the average Northern Virginian (granted, that’s not saying much.)

Besides those obvious improvements, the most surprising benefit to starting out early is actually my improved sleep habits.  I generally go to bed at a decent hour, I fall asleep, and I stay asleep.  Of course, my current night shift schedule tends to wreak havoc on my circadian rhythm no matter what I do but this certainly helps me on my off days.

Now, I fully understand that everyone’s different and everyone does certain things better at certain times.  No big, if you’re the afternoon/evening gym goer then keep on doing your thing.

I used to be the afternoon gym goer and I changed for two reasons.  First, my workout partner liked the mornings.  Second, my gym is way too damn crowded in the afternoon and as much as I like people, I sometimes kind of can’t stand them.

Okay, really, I just don’t like fighting for equipment at the gym.

That your last set?”

“Yes.  But I am going to sit here and text my girlfriend for the next ten minutes.”

I’m not the only person who feels this way, (obscure reference time!) drummer Martin Atkins’ piece of advice for being successful is, “Get the fuck out of bed.”

Eloquent, elegant, and classy.

If that doesn’t do it for you, take it from a former late sleeper; you might actually like being a morning person.  Give it a shot, worst case scenario you just flip the pillow to cool side and go back to sleep.

-Moody

Surprisingly, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve had in my journey hasn’t actually been me.  It’s been everyone else.

Because opinions.

Everyone’s got one.  I’m guilty; I’m writing a blog that’s all about my opinion, which almost makes this post awkward.  Almost.  The difference being, I’m not making you read this.  I am not standing next to you while you’re in the gym pleading with you to stop your weightlifting and try cross-fit, telling you that jogging is just a fad, or attempting to change your whole routine because of some article I skimmed through.

To those of you who do this, STAHP.

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It’s both a blessing and a curse that the fitness community has so many people willing to offer advice.  On the one hand it’s so easy to get information on nutrition, workouts, and motivation.  On the other, and much like the internet, it’s easy to get a bunch of BS information.

“You mean horse tranquilizers won’t stimulate muscle growth?”

“No.   Also, you taking Viagra before the gym is making everyone uncomfortable.”

My earlier post kind of touched on the subject that you shouldn’t worry about what everyone else thinks of you or how you compare to them.  I, for example, am one goofy looking dude running on the treadmill with my size 15 feet pounding away, but I still hop on it every morning because I know it’s good for me, despite the terrified looks from other gym goers.  On the other side of that coin, I shouldn’t stare at the lady on the stair master as she rides each step all the way to the ground like a cheap carnival attraction.  I really can’t look away though, mostly out of jealousy.

Rule of thumb: Unless they are going to hurt themselves or somebody else, let it go.  Don’t go poking your nose into somebody else’s routine/choices because you think it’s your duty.  It’s not.

Even better, if it’s not in the gym, it’s in the grocery store.  Based on my shopping, cart I once had a cashier grill me on my diet.  I didn’t even know that was allowed, clearly I’m going back to the self-checkout lines.

Finally, if it’s not either of these places, it’s the people from the rest of your life.  Most of these people probably mean well, they aren’t out to get you.  But if they aren’t on the same journey you’re on and they are parroting advice from Dr. Oz, you should probably ignore them.

Above all, never second guess yourself because of others.  Find good information and figure out what’s right for you.  Don’t let some “bro” at the gym tell you how to work out and don’t let the lady at the cash register freak out because your cart doesn’t have a frozen and pizza and 3 liters of soda in it.

Do what you do.

-Moody