Getting Fit Enough To Play

Let me tell you a neat little story.

My husband has always been a huge fan of playing outside.  Skateboarding, mountain biking, hiking and all forms of getting dirty.  A few years back we decided to go snowboarding, I had tried to ski as a child and really just enjoyed riding the lift so I thought I would be fine.  Well Robert and I rode to the top and I couldn't get down.  A combination of a badly damaged back from a recent car accident and 80lbs of extra weight and I got hurt.  The ski patrol had to sled me down because I was scared, hurt, balling and causing potential for injury to other people coming down the hill.  I spent the rest of the day in the lodge eating Norco and nachos.  That was about 3 years ago.  I vowed to never go again.
Me at the lodge before the snow disaster.  220lbs

Flash forward a few years.  I went snowboarding last weekend.  I absolutely hated having my legs fixed, I was super nervous, but my husband kept assuring me that I was stronger now.  I have been avidly lifting for the last 9 months.  I'm 50lbs less than I was then and there has been some definite healing to my back since then.  We paid for a lesson and I was sure that I wasn't going to get it.  Before I even got to the bunny hill, I fell on my butt- Hard and I was sure this was a repeat of the snow disaster of 2012... but I was okay.

2nd attempt at snowboarding, not dead though

I got on the lift to the bunny hill and I mean I wasn't going to have the snow patrol save me on that little thing... and I made it down! I didn't fall!  I could squat enough to control my body and my board.  6 year olds were smoking me but i was doing it!  The only things that hurt were my calves from working and my fingers because it was 20 degrees.  I made it down the bunny hill 10x and I had a great time.  I ended up with a banging bruise and a minor case of whiplash from that first fall, but I am fit enough to play.  We forget how much fun playing is when we get sedentary.  3 years ago it was nothing short of humiliating torture, and today it was fun!  We are going to go again this season and maybe I'll make it off the bunny hill but a huge part of my goals is being able to live.  I've spent years being too heavy to live.  Too heavy to play, so heavy that all I could do is stay heavy and today I am truly able bodied- nothing close to a great snowboarder though.

Fit Girl Problems

Ever heard the phrase “first world problems”?  I am sure you have.  I mean sure there is world hunger and war but that one time you forgot to charge your cell phone was super inconvenient.  Fit girl problems are a lot like first world problems.  They aren’t ground shaking problems but they still suck.  Here is a list of fit girl problems that I have started to discover.

  • Low body fat = no insulation.  It’s frickin’ winter!  Who decided this was going to be a good idea?  Really 20 degree weather in November?  It’s fine.  I will just wear 3 layers and my muppet socks.
  • Big Booty Problems.  You know how I know my butt is getting bigger?  Because my butt is HUNGRY.  That’s right, hungry.  All day long my butt is eating my underpants.  I have to fish that fabric from my crack countless times a day.  At this point a thong would be a blessing.
  • Workout pants.  Who is designing these things?  Work out pants should not be see-through.  I should be able to squat and not have to worry about my pants turning opaque and providing the gym a peep show.  Workout pants should also cover the whole crack of your butt when you drop it low.  How can you have good form when you are paranoid that you have enough crack hanging out to put a plumber to shame?  Seams.  I don’t have a solution for this one really as seams are gonna be needed when making pants but let’s not make them bulky, bunchy, and cutting me in half, thanks.  Also, if these could not cost $40+ per pair.  I need to have a rotation of work out pants as I plan on sweating heavily in them daily.  I would like to be able to swap out pairs.  I am sure everyone else at the gym would appreciate it if I did as well.
  • More frequent showering.  I hate showering.  It’s the worst.
  • Not eating with reckless abandon.  No explanation needed. 
  • Being judged for not eating with reckless abandon.  Look, I know it looks weird that I am scouring the nutritional content menu at the restaurant but I have goals dang it!  I have found some terrifying nutrition information.  As much as I want to plow through that bowl of 4 cheese mac and cheese I now know that it will cost me much more than my carb goal for the day sitting at 1700 calories and 88 grams a fat.  I know it tastes good, I want it, but not today.
  • Trying to put on makeup after lifting.  Time to put this hard pointy object next to my soft squishy eye and draw a straight line *picks up pencil and barely leans over, starts shaking*.  I mean good my muscles are worked but dang it can I just have the best of both worlds?
  • Wanting to show off your new muscles but no one else cares.  I worked hard for this little tiny indentation.  Everyone should want to see it and express great enthusiasm. 
See it isn't all sunshine and roses here!

The Dreaded Holidays

Nothing is better at halting progress like life. This last week was Christmas, so you know that I did. I decided to quit going to the gym and eat like a psycho. My cat died, it was Christmas, my son sliced up him arm going through a window and I found myself totally unable to keep up with my priorities. Its so obnoxious. I have these huge goals. I love going to the gym and eating according to my goals and yet I just didn't. I ate so much on Christmas I woke up because I had to barf. Seriously?!?! Who does that? My eating patterns resemble a crack head. I eat a cookie and I find myself waking up in the night, itchy like "its cool, its 3 am you should drive to the Winco and get some cookies"

My gym buddies calling me up asking if I want to go to the gym and I just cant. On Christmas I got lifting gloves, a belt, headbands and I found myself a little embarrassed because people were giving me things to support my goals and I was eating doughnuts in the other room. And when I say doughnuts I mean like 5 doughnuts, big ones. Not just a dainty little old fashion. I know that our holidays are centered around food. We love to eat. I love to eat but the longer I stick to my goals the easier it is to see that I hate over indulging. I was (and still am) so swollen, I feel like I've lost a month worth of progress and the most important thing... i didn't enjoy it. I was puking on Christmas and I couldn't even chalk it up to some great cocktails.

So, I am taking it easy for a few days. Basic foods in small quantities that are healing and nourishing to my body but not in the form of restriction. I have no intention of punishing myself for my over indulgences. but I am done. It has been really easy this time to recognize the suffering in eating like shit. I feel like shit. Even if you are eating food sometimes that doesn't parallel your goals it is so hard to recognize the suffering. I am stocked up on lean meats, nuts and vegetables and I am so excited!! I went back to the gym tonight, sore beat up and bloated and didn't skip a beat. I cant promise that the next holiday that rolls around I wont jack up my plan, but with every "failing" my bender is shorter, and my dreams of abs didn't drift so far away.


I think one of the most frustrating parts about working out is that no one really notices the hard work you have put in.  People sort of notice but they aren’t going to notice the subtle differences that you can see.  That’s why pictures will help you on your journey.  You can see where you have been and where you are going.

I have been noticing a lot of new muscle definition.  It’s weird how happy it makes me.  I feel proud when I get an unsolicited “I can really see your shoulder muscles working” when I am mid rep from my husband.  I enjoy seeing new lines and definition in the mirror.

If you were to ask me a couple years ago if I ever thought I would be getting this into exercise I would of laughed long and hard right in your face.  Working out always seemed like a long exhausting accomplishment that I was not capable of.   I have 2 young spawn at home, a full time job, a husband, a menagerie of critters, where am I supposed to fit exercise in there?  Buy low and behold I have. 

I started out slow for an obstacle course that I failed miserably at.  I kept up the running after my injury healed and signed up for little fun run’s here and there.  The key to keeping active, for me, is to sign up for an event that I need to train for or keep fit for.  So, I have slid from solely running to incorporate some muscle building as well.

I am excited to see the changes in my body.  It isn’t something I ever thought I would see.  I want to share with people because I am excited but I don’t want people to see me as a braggart.  No wonder those fit people like to walk around without there shirt on.  I mean I do it too but that is because I am hot in the temperature aspect of my life not because I want praise on my abs.  By all means though, praise my abs too.

So even if you are not the photogenic sort, take some pictures before and during your journey.  On your longest dark days when you feel like you have not made any progress you will be able to look back and see where you started.


I recently talked about the fact that I will be entering into a figure competition in May.  This is a super exciting/nerve wracking time for me.  Just the thought of doing it makes me an excited bundle of nerves.  Like most people who do new things I want to be successful.  To help keep me on the path to success I have shared my goals with family and friends.  I get a lot of good support but I think the number one reaction I get is a nose wrinkle, squint and “you aren’t going to get too big are you”.

I assure them I will not be “too” big.  I try to explain the difference between bikini, figure and physique.  I will then show them what I refer to as my Instagram crushes.  My two favorites are Nicole Wilkins and Sophie Arvebrink.  Seriously, if you haven’t looked them up go do it now, I will wait.  They are adorable and have amazing shapes!   Now these ladies do figure work.  They are muscular but not overly so.  I find their shape amazing.  They do have some broader shoulders but it doesn’t look disproportionate to their bodies.  This is a body type that took some obvious work and dedication.

Almost every time I hear “Oh no.  Her shoulders are too big”.  And every time I sigh in exasperation.  The legs and butt seem to be easily accepted but the upper body is still a region of taboo.  Problem is how funny would they look if they did no arm/shoulder work and focused on legs and booty only?  How many times have we seen dudes who skip leg day?  Let’s not skip shoulder day ladies!

But it can be very disheartening to hear.  The very look that I will be striving to share a category with is considered “gross” by some of my loved ones.  Nobody wants to feel like they appear physically unattractive to those whose opinions mean the most. 
It is OK to have personal preference and opinion.  That is what helps this little world go round.  I don’t find the top of the tier body building women’s look would work well for me.  That’s the kicker, the “for me” part.  I can appreciate the time, dedication and sacrifices those women have put into changing their bodies.  The hours in gym and the science of calculating food in the kitchen.  How much ridicule do you think those 
women have to live with?  

Anyone who is striving to do a body related competition is already going to have a melee of challenges.  Obstacles regarding food/diet (social situations anyone?), balancing gym and home life.  They really don’t need to hear the discouraging words that you think they are “disgusting”, “gross”, or “too big”.  If you feel that your opinion would add value to the situation try to phrase things a bit more tactful.  Remember that there is a person attached to that body that has very real feelings.