I want to make one thing perfectly clear to all my friends out there in blog land. I write a health and fitness blog, but by no means am I doing everything right. Not even close. I make bad choices and mess up all the time. I am naturally clumsy and not all that athletic. I drink wine. I have a deep love for chocolate covered pretzels. I want you to understand that I even though I sometimes use this blog as an outlet to share my accomplishments, I also want you all to know about my shortcomings and failures. Why? Because this blog isn't supposed to be about me. It is about health, fitness and real life. No one out there is perfect and good at everything all the time. This is a lifestyle, we shouldn't be expected to strive for some standard of perfection that doesn't exist. All that we are expected to do, no matter where we are in our fitness journey, is to do the best we can with what we have.
These are the two main rules I try to follow regarding my own health & fitness:
Move: Exercise almost daily. Miss a day, or three, or a week. Get back to moving as soon as you can. Try to keep exercise on the forefront of your mind, as a priority. Do the best you can. It's OK to be busy, just don't be lazy.
Feed: Eat real, whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Mess up. Go back to eating real, whole, unprocessed foods. Mess up again. Enjoy life. Have balance. Don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. Commit to a healthy lifestyle that allows indulgences without guilt. Disordered eating is not healthy either.
I have been fairly successful in some fitness related activities:
- Once I held a 7:30 plank. I haven't planked in two weeks. The plank police are all over my ass.
- Once I came in first place in my age group at a small local race.
- Once I finished a race with a 8:00 average pace. I really wanted a 7:59, but 8 was the fastest average pace I had ever finished any organized race.
- I ran 7 half marathons and managed not to die at any of them, I am sort-of not training for my 8th.
- I finished Insanity with Shaun T. and got the t-shirt.
Note the trend. Most of my successes are in running. I am pretty good at running and cardio based exercises. I'm certainly not the fastest and I can't run the farthest, but I have out-achieved what I thought I could do. To me, that is true definition of an accomplishment. Running is my comfort zone.
What happens when you do things outside of your comfort zone? Most of the time you suck. That is why it is so uncomfortable. In order to not to suck at things, you have to do them more (not less).
The Things I Suck at (and other true stories):
- CrossFit: I try my hardest at CrossFit, I really do, but I am not very good it. I often come in last place. This is all new to me. It feels really hard. Lifting heavy (or let's be honest here, light) barbells is not my comfort zone. Pull-ups and handstand push-ups seem impossible right now. Sometimes I really struggle. But you know what? I've only been at this for a couple of weeks. I show up and do the best I can so that someday I can not suck at CrossFit. I believe I can get there.
- Vlogging: Ask anyone who knows about blogging and they will probably tell you that vlogs (video blogs) are the blogs of the future. If you watched my first ever attempt at a Vlog, you can see my problem. I am just not comfortable in front of a camera. I talk too fast, I can't organize and edit (and edit and edit and edit) my thoughts in the way I can when I write a blog. I am a much better writer than I am a talker. I just need more practice (and maybe a teleprompter.)
- Self Study: I have been talking and talking and talking about getting my personal trainer certification for at least a year now (I am being conservative, it has probably been longer). I thought about it a lot. I dreamed about it a lot. I just didn't actually pick up the (very expensive) text book enough times to actually learn anything. I did learn one thing though, I learned that I suck at self study. I need a course. I need lesson plans, homework, pop quizzes, and midterms. I've always been good at school. Reading a long boring text book at my own pace just doesn't work for me. Now that I figured out what doesn't work, I have adjusted my game plan for success. I am signing up for an online course through NASM. This will provide me with more of the structure that I need to succeed.
In my (humble) opinion, as long as you are trying to do the right thing most of the time, you'll be OK. The key is to never throw in the towel and give up completely. Always get back up and start over. Keep trying new things even (especially) if you suck at them. Don't be afraid to change gears. If something isn't working for you, find a new way to make it work. If something seems too hard, keep doing it. Keep living life to the fullest, keep dreaming, and of course...
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