A Real Warrior, A Real Struggle

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Late 2011 vs Mid 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I walked into Synergy at 5:30am to Rob’s “Good morning Sunshine” and instead of my normal response, I plopped down in his office and just started crying.  Poor Rob – Coach, Trainer, Therapist, “One of my girls,” and a true friend – He sees it ALL.  I was in pain and couldn’t understand what happened to the progress I’d made over the last 15 months.  I was feeling pretty defeated and like no one could possibly understand how both physically and emotionally painful this set back is for me.  In typical Coach Rob fashion, he gave me some sage advice and asked me to write a blog about my set backs because, “It’s real life.”  

From 2011 to mid 2013, I had gotten much healthier and was in great shape, so I was devastated when my car accident restricted my ability to work out for almost a year.  I gained at least 40 pounds and felt like I was back at SQUARE 1.  Let’s BE CLEAR, I am NOT one of those girls that can work out 3x a week and eat healthy and stay in shape.  It takes work.  At any size, I have been very active, able to do yoga, and run around in stilettos; after my accident, I could do NONE of these.  For me, this was unacceptable! IMG_4459

When Rob and I started working out, I took breaks between exercises within a set and often times, I would have to sit on the floor and stretch before I could continue.  But I WOULD NOT QUIT – I persevered!  IMG_7948There were days I would work out 3 times a day, once with Rob, once in the pool, and then cardio.  I was on a mission.  From the end of April 2016, only 3 months out of surgery, to December of last year, I made huge strides.  I dropped weight, was able to regain some of my balance, and could workout without taking breaks! I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!  

During my recovery period, I have been plagued with a lot of emotional life changes.  I am going through a divorce, I lost my career, because of the extended leave of absence, and I was/am (2 years later) in a horrific lawsuit with my car insurance company.  So, I threw myself into looking for a new career and working out.  After several months of looking, another of Coach Rob J’s Real Warriors, Steph, helped me find a new career I LOVE!  Her team at Hire Ups is AWESOME!    I was finally feeling like I had gotten my life back!  Within 3 days of being back in an office environment and sitting, I was in excruciating pain and absolutely ready to give up.  You know that saying, “a body in motion, stays in motion?”  Ummm that’s TRUTH right there!

IMG_1040Due to the pain, I went to my surgeon and received less than stellar news about the future of “my back health.”  My last few sessions with Rob had been emotionally taxing, because I had lost a lot of my agility, balance, and stamina.  The biggest deterrent for me, the pain.  I was/am scared of the pain that is waiting for me with every workout.  I told Rob through tears, “I just can’t do it (I have never said this phrase to him until that day!), I am just so frustrated.”  He let me cry and rant and curse a little about the uninsured driver that changed my life and then he leaned across his desk and said, “I’m sorry Sunshine, but you can do this.  We just need to go back to what we know works.  Baby steps.”  So here we go, BACK to the beginning…For the record, I HATE BABY STEPS!           

 

Food, Fitness, & the F-Word Set #2 — Accountability!

IMG_5599ACCOUNTABILITY!  WOW! Of course I get this question, when I have gained 9 pounds in the last 5-6 weeks!  “How do you hold yourself accountable? Do you have accountability partners?”

Accountability plays a huge role in the implementation of any plan.  It seems anywhere you turn, there are support groups, fitness trackers, and friends who can help to keep you focused on the temptation-filled path to success.  Lately, my path has been filled with  the temptations of Ampersand Ice Cream, inactivity, poor time management, and comfort food.  SO, I clearly needed to answer this question because I have not been holding myself accountable for a few weeks now.

The last few months have been crazy for me!  Job hunting, juggling some stressful things in my personal life, and insomnia have completely thrown me in to survival mode.  Let’s be REAL here.  I could have worked out my stress and frustration at the gym, but instead, I soothed my frustrations with the crutches to which I have always turned!

My accountability comes from the scale, my friends, or the Greatest Of All Time Trainer (GOATT) Coach Rob J.  I know I am not supposed to, but I weigh myself daily and it helps me to continue to making good decisions, or so I thought… As long as the number on the scale stays the same or goes down, I am happy.  AND since I just admitted I have gained a few pounds, I am not very happy with myself.  I learned decades ago to not obsess about what I weigh but — Let’s face it, the scale doesn’t lie.  IMG_5013

I am blessed to have amazing family and friends who are a great sources of motivation, mentorship, and accountability.  I spend time with friends who are active and open to meeting for coffee and a walk on a Saturday morning, meeting up at the gym, or available to talk me off a ledge when I really want to take a flying leap off of the healthy wagon.  The problem is, I have not been reaching out!

One thing about Coach Rob is that he gives me all of the tools to be successful and make our plan work.  Having him as a motivator and coach has proven to be invaluable, but he can’t workout for me, or keep me from making poor choices.  I clearly need to refocus!

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Example Text I sent COACH from VEGAS!

To be honest, in the beginning, there were more days I wanted to quit than I care to admit.  Due to my spine surgery and weight gain, I was in constant pain and could not keep my balance through even 10 lunges.  I started to hold myself accountable by sending Coach Rob text messages of my cardio and workouts, no matter where I was! I need to get back to this!!!

As of last week, I have gained 9 pounds and I can tell you exactly what I have been doing wrong.

  1. I made too many exceptions on my nutrition plan.
  2. I allowed my life to control my schedule instead of keeping my appointments with the elliptical at the gym.
  3. I stopped sending texts and consulting to my accountability partners.
  4. I started drinking a lot less water! 

SO NOW, I have to refocus and get back on my mission.  9 pounds can easily turn into 19 if I allow myself to settle in to a comfort zone.  Time to hit it again.  Stay tuned for my progress report!!!

 

 

Food, Fitness, & the F-Word

IMG_5599Patience is a virtue with which I was not blessed.  Since I was a child, I have wanted to do things full speed ahead and beat my own personal best.  In 2011, I was told by my general practitioner that I was borderline diabetic and with my family history, I needed to start taking medication.  Devastation. Panic. Tears.  Yes!  I had a full on “terrible twos I want cookies at the grocery store meltdown,” but I was much older and in a doctor’s office without parental supervision.

My visceral reaction was deeply rooted in my fear of developing diabetes and dying of complications like my father, who died at the young age of 56.  The look of surprise on my doctor’s face was not comforting and neither were the rapid fire assurances, explanations, and solutions with which he attempted to calm me.  I took a few deep breaths and as he handed me my prescription, I ripped it up and said, “Give me 30 days with no meds and I will be back.”  (My personal choice to refuse medication was not condoned by my doctor.)  There was  no way I was going to pop a pill to control something I could make better by changing my lifestyle.

A girlfriend suggested I watch, “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.”  I mean let’s face it, when a FRIEND suggests you watch that movie, it kinda says a lot.  I watched the movie, invested in a pricey juicer, and started raw juicing.  For one full month, I walked swiftly into my office without so much as looking at the bagels and donuts.  Instead of high-caloried lunches, I took mason jars filled with unappealing brown and green raw juice to my business meetings.  30 days later, I was down 15 pounds, and the doctor agreed to monitor my weight loss progress instead of put me on a prescription drug.  I took control of my health. 

After surgery February 2016

Weight loss and being healthy is a daily struggle for many Americans and sadly, one I have dealt with my entire life.  FAT, “the F-Word,” stopped bothering me when I was in my mid-twenties.  My philosophy, if “FAT” is the worst thing someone can say about me, I am doing great at this game of life.  The only problem, my health was now being effected, so confident and secure or not, I was unhealthy.  After a few years of my new lifestyle, I was down almost 90 pounds but still battled to lose the last 30 pounds.

In July of 2015, EVERYTHING changed, I was T-boned by a car traveling 55-60 mile per hour, my car was totaled,  and I had to have serious spine surgery.  I was emotionally derailed by my serious fear of surgery and the arduous recovery ahead of me.  My surgery was more complex and more painful than anticipated and I was depleted by the adverse effect my car accident had on my life. IMG_1998 After a trying and crying month of walking around the block with a walker and a month of slowly walking laps in the pool, I was over baby steps.

When my surgeon finally agreed to allow me to slowly get back to my normal workout schedule of 4-6 times a week, I knew I couldn’t do it alone.   I had lost a lot of my balance, stamina, and confidence in my ability to even walk up the flight of stairs to get to the gym.  I needed a cheerleader, a therapist, and a trainer who wouldn’t run when I started crying because I lost my balance on 7 out of 10 reps during leg day.   I needed someone to make sure I took baby steps.  I needed someone who believed I could bounce back, because I didn’t.  Coach Rob was the man for the job! BAM!!! #FoodFitnessNtheFWord

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