Choose your pack wisely

The sweet booty pack!!

So if the people you identify as friends are obese then you are more likely to be obese. Same goes for the other end of the scale. Social habits are contagious! So take a good look around and see who is impacting you, and whom you are impacting.

The study suggests that in this case it’s about norming a larger body size. And it also doesn’t matter where they live, if they are important to you they will change your reality and the way you see the world. Besides, just because you can’t hit a fast food joint with them doesn’t mean they aren’t texting you a picture of the triple fatty fat burger they just ordered and influencing you that way!
Here’s the way I see it. If I hang out with people with good habits, they invite me to do things that are good for me. If I Facebook my sister and she’s headed out to train for another ultra marathon, then I’m thinking about running and exercise and am primed to make healthier choices.

In my time as a counselor and my time analyzing human behavior as a marketing professional I have not seen anything more powerful at impacting behavior than the pack you’re running in. Humans are social creatures and we are built to function in a social environment and to preserve our place in that pack. Conformity to group norms is how you stay part of a group. Some groups allow a lot of leeway before they kick you out and others require strict adherence.

So my primary packs are work, family/close friends and my community. I telecommute for work but there’s definitely an impact (mostly in my drinking and compulsive eating habits). My dad’s maniac-level of physical activity definitely impacted my sister and we all tend to want to do physical activities together. My community is a drinking club with a running problem. Thus I drink a lot and thankfully run a lot! When I try and cut back on the drinking, temptation is everywhere! Even if the group supports my decision (they love a designated driver), the delicious beverage of the moment is staring me in the face. But then again, I have never run so much even in the crappy dark rain of winter.

So the lesson of the day for me is: check out your partner, your family and close friends and your community. Do you want to be like them? I hope so because you already are!

Now where are my new big bosomed best friends? I gotta get these Bs up to Cs! (Just kidding, I know my boobs are already perfect).

Only social pressure would make me do something like this!

In the words of the one and only glorious Freddie Mercury, 
"Fat bottomed girls make the rockin' world go round"

Yup, This is true.  I watched a documentary on what makes women attractive on a subconscious level and the first thing is a symmetrical face, followed very closely by figure. Very specifically wide hips & butt and a narrow waist. It is the easiest visual representation of health in a woman. Well I totally have wide hips and a big butt, so I should be maxed out on the attractiveness scale right? Nope.  I've had an office job for 15 years, bend at the knees to pick things up, and had never done anything more than a body weight squat (incorrectly) prior to coming to Mike.
The first time I came into see Mike, his obsession with glutes had me floored.  What is this dude talking about? and why doesn't he say butt? booty? rump? I've known plenty of butt guys in my life and I have never heard "look at the glutes on her"   Why does he have to be so technical? Is he a butt guy or a doctor?  I'm so confused.

Having a nice butt is way more complex than being a fat bottomed girl.  Ive come to learn our glutes (OH look at me now, calling them glutes) have all sorts of important jobs.  For me superficially I really just want a nice butt, but if you read my previous post, I also NEED strong glutes to support my poor little noodle spine.  I have come to expect that when I meet with Mike I am going to receive an ass-whoopin.  Literally & Figuratively.  It seems in this new world of fitness I am venturing into glutes are gold.   We also see this in Hollywood, but more the "appearance of glutes".    Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, Nikki Minaj --Lets just be really honest their butts are hideous.  Compared to the glutes of women who regularly weight train, there are stark differences.

I think I want the easy way.  I wish it was as easy as a butt implant or a 30 day squat challenge.  After a 30 day challenge I'm still just a fat bottom girl.  The deeper my goals grow inside me, I'm realizing I actually want to be a fit bottomed girl.


There are a few things that get me really excited; baby animals, free stuff, awesome sales, cake (really any bakery good), finding money in my pocket, to name a few.  I found another thing that makes me very excited.  Seeing more muscle definition! 

The first time this ever happened was after I started running regularly.  It was an odd way to realize the newly visible muscles.  I was getting up off the toilet and thought “OMG where did that muscle come from?!” (in my leg).  I then spent some extra time admiring my newly discovered muscle.  I fell off the running wagon for a while and the muscle wasn’t as prominent and I noticed that made me a little sad.

Now that I have been working with Mike there is a lot more muscle definition I am noticing.  It’s probably subtle that no one else is really going to notice.  Mike can see some change but I think he has a competitive edge of what he is looking for.  It is really noticeable when I am at the gym lifting those dreaded heavy items.  I have noticed it in some of the pictures I have posted.  It makes me excited. 

I think the part of my body that will stay stubborn to the end is going to be my stomach.  The kangaroo pooch feels justified in staying right where it is.  Yea, yea, abs are made in the kitchen but so are brownies.  You see the dilemma.   I am still striving towards success in the eating aspect of my goals but it is HARD.  There is now way to fluff that and make it pretty.  I guess if all this were easy everyone would do it.

Now, if you excuse me, I am going to go admire my new found muscles in the mirror.  

How bad does it have to hurt?

Why do you work out?  No, seriously.  What does it take for you?  Let me share my story as to how I found my way to a personal trainer.  I have always been a little bit fat, I guess I kind'ove liked it that way.  It gave me something to obsess about. I was uncomfortable, but acclimated to my body.  

Until the day everything changed "little" old, 220 lbs of me is driving down Coburg road when I am side swiped by an SUV.  I went through months and months of rehab for my spinal cord injury.  My legs were constantly numb, the pain was unbearable.  Four months of laying around crying, eating only Vicodin for the physical pain and sugar for the emotional pain.  It never once occurred to me that my physical state was a catalyst to the severity of my injuries. 

My injuries were not fatal, but I would have rather they been.  I had fully lost my body.  I lost my ability to walk without hand rails, I had lost control over my hormones, my metabolism, my ability to use the bathroom without help.  I was no longer capable of truly being a wife, a mother, I had fully lost myself.  

So, I got up and ran.  I cried through the whole mile, which mostly consisted of limping.  I'm sure the neighbors thought I was practicing some sort of swag flow, but that was just how I walked.  I felt like I would rather die trying to get better, than die everyday waiting for the doctors to fix me.  I wanted someone to fix me.  The doctor, the food, the Vicodin.  

One day I just woke up and realized I didn't want to live like this.

Now I understand that maybe it might not seem as severe for you from the outside.  Maybe you can walk.  Maybe you are barely overweight or just a little bit soft, but we don't start searching out help because things are okay.  I wasn't okay.  Something inside me knew, that I had to regain my power.  Seeing a trainer is more than having abs.  A trainer is about making a commitment to saving yourself.  Sometimes you have to let go and follow someone in order to regain your control.  I need someone to guide me, not someone to fix me.    

We are all scared to come in for the first time, but it is worth it.  My accident was a few years ago now.  The doctors told me they couldn't help me, but Mike was optimistically excited to help me. We assessed my weaknesses, and started building from there.  There would be well known body builders squatting a semi truck next to me and it didn't matter, because I was proud of myself.  Today I can hike, run, squat with minimal resistance. Losing 50 lbs, feels like a bonus.  The most important part of my journey is when my family says "I love who you are when you are going to the gym"

If you are lost or in pain, physically or emotionally the first thing I suggest to everyone is a trainer.  Are you ready to change?  Are you done suffering?  I was.

I regained my backbone with fitness- both literally and figuratively. 

Breaking Point

I have touched on the topic of hurdles before and admitted that food is a huge tripping point for me.  I love food, mostly carb related things but also sugar.  I love chewing it, tasting it, consuming in mass quantities it, I just love it.  Clearly my love has its limits.  I don’t really enjoy meat or vegetables.  My comfort foods are bread, pasta, cereal and potatoes.

At the gym this week I reached an emotional breaking point.  I had felt like I was doing OK with my food.  Granted, some days I would slip up a little more than other days, I honestly felt like it was all OK.  Unfortunately, there was no positive move in my measurements for the week.  They went in the WRONG direction.  What was I supposed to say?  I broke and cried at Mike.  I didn’t want to.  I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes just waiting for the trigger from my brain to turn me into a red, splotchy, embarrassing mess.  I even had the pre-emptive quiver lip, horrible right?

To be honest with myself at this point, I hated eating.  I hate salads, they leave me unfulfilled.  And chewing through one of those damn things is the most disgusting thing possible.  I feel like a discontent stegosaurus chomping through all those bitter leaves.  I felt hungry all the time.  I rarely came remotely close to my protein goal (which would explain the hunger).  If you are curious to what the cry trigger was it was to announce out loud what I had come to discover, “I hate eating now”.

Fortunately, Mike is a strong man and didn’t wilt under the frightening sight of crying female.  At least not outwardly.  I can only imagine it was an uncomfortable position to be in but he didn’t show it.  We moved on from the measurements to get a workout in and discuss what CAN I do and where is the silver lining.  I can still eat carbs and sweets just not in mass quantities.  I am going to have to be more calculated and cunning in getting them in my diet.  I don’t have to eat salads, perhaps reduce the leaf amount some and try them in a wrap.  Protein is going to have to come from somewhere.  Dairy, meat, jerky (I know technically meat), protein powder, fish, nuts (although high in fat so be careful) and any combination there-of.

It’s hard to get your dietary list and your personal list to match up sometimes.  We get busy, we get stressed, we get careless and make excuses.  Sometimes we eat our feelings, we eat to celebrate, we eat to mourn, we eat when we are bored, we just eat.

I have went three days and managed to get my macros within two grams either direction of my goal amount.  This is monumental for me.  I will be trying to plan my days out ahead of time to make sure I have room for that bowl of pasta at dinner or that Cadbury egg after lunch.  Not every day will be a success (birthday cake is happening tonight, sorry Mike).  There will be slips, falls and full on face plants but I will keep on trying.  And hopefully no more crying at the gym.

***I just passed up free chocolate handouts at the office!!  Feel free to praise me!!***