I get to…

Since I travel for my work and my average commute is about an hour long, I’ve recently really gotten into Podcasts. Some day I’ll post my current list of favorites, but one I just listened to yesterday was from Ben Bergeron who I feel like I could listen to all day. I’ve also started reading his wife’s blog: HB Unfiltered, which is what gave me the little push and inspiration to get this restarted again. 

The title of the Podcast was appropriate: How to Chase Happiness. If you have 30 minutes, I would highly suggest that you take the time to do so. I won’t summarize the whole podcast, because what would be the point of you then listening to it?

Suffice it to say that the three key components to happiness really struck a cord with me, especially the first one which is all about your mindset. Now keep in mind I also just read the book: Mindset, which goes into full detail the differences between the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. It’s another one that I definitely reccomend. 

Back to the subject at hand. The first point of working towards happiness and shifting your overall mindset is changing your “have to’s” to “get to”. This is so simple, and seems so silly, but is literally so profound. Changing your mindset from a state of negativity to one of positivity can completely turn your world upside down. 

Instead of:

I have to go to the gym…I get to go to the gym. 

I have to go to work…I get to go to work. 

I have to go grocery shopping…I get to go grocery shopping. 

I have to cook dinner…I get to cook dinner. 

How profound is it to change one simple world and turn what seems like a negative connotation to a positive one. When you look at your life with gratitude and as more of a blessing that you get the chance to do these things that many people around the world may never have the opportunity to do, it gives you some perspective. 

For me, knowing that I GET to go to work and help sick patients on their worst day, in the worst amount of pain they’ve ever experienced, makes me appreciate my work that much more. Of course patients come in for complaints that we wish they would see an Urgent Care for or their Family doctor, but maybe they don’t know the difference between urgent and emergent, and they feel like their condition IS and emergency. How do I know? My job is to treat them with compassion and help them feel better and try to figure out what’s going on with them. 

So this simple mental shift has given me a new perspective and a new feeling of positivity and appreciation in everything that I do. Try it out and see if it changes things for you. 

The one thing I’m still trying to wrap my head around is how to deal with people who are consistently negative or who even try to bring you down. How do you interact with these people? How can you not let their negativity affect you and change your mindset and mood? These are the questions I’m trying to answer everyday. 

What have I been up to?

After a 1.5 year hiatus, I’m sure some of you are wondering what the heck I have been doing? Well, I will tell you in the simplest way; enjoying life.

After bringing myself back down to one job, I found that I had more time to do whatever the hell I wanted. I healed my back, I did some Crossfit, I traveled to Europe, I went on two awesome summer vacations, I trained for a marathon, I spent some much needed time with my husband and family, and I studied and just took my PANRE (recertification board exam). I’ve just been doing ALL of the things…and I loved it!

I took my focus from being overworked, high strung, type A to chillax and go with the flow. I have a few things to thank for that; meditation, my husband, running/crossfit, and my family. To say that I was stressed last year is the understatement of the year. I thought I could do so many things at once and looking back on it now, it’s incredible that I even survived each day!

Learning that life is not all about making the most amount of money, paying off debt as soon as possible and not being a 24/7 work horse was a big change for me, but something that was really needed. After I took my PANRE, I realized that I have never felt so happy, relaxed, and balanced like this before in my life. It really is a great feeling.

So the important stuff:

Training for a marathon.
I decided to make my triumphant return to marathon running this past summer when my cousin told me that she had an entry to the New York City Marathon (aka the creme de la creme  of marathons). I have run 5 marathons so far, and took a 2-3 year break to do some Crossfit, but decided to do one more for the sake of New York. I’m currently 4 days out from the marathon and I’m both excited and nervous at the same time. 50,000 runners and a tour through all of New York City is going to be great. The best part is that I get to visit with my Aunt and cousin and hang out with my husband and parents for a few days!

Traveled to Europe.

My husband and I took a 10 day cruise through the Mediterranean Sea in May and absolutely loved it.

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Santorini, Greece

We spend two days in Rome, toured 3 Greek islands, stopped in Turkey, and finished back in Rome. We had so much delicious food, espresso and gelato…it was incredible. We went with two of our best friends and had such a wonderful time. It really was the trip of a lifetime.

Healed my back.
Those of you who read here before know that I struggled with a condition called spondylolisthesis and back pain for a good 6 months. I believe this was caused by a diet that caused me to be underfed and overtraining with Crossfit. I can finally say that I am 100% healed and I do not have back pain at all. The break for marathon training helped with this greatly, but also listening to my body and realizing that I am not an elite athlete helped me to bring my focus back to how I’m feeling and whether or not I needed to tone some things down.

Spent time with my husband and family.
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I went on two summer vacations and spent a lot of time with my husband cruising in the Jeep. The past few months were some much needed downtime and re-evaluating what was important to me. I’ve finally figured out those priorities and work everyday to sticking to them and allowing my family and my husband to come first in my life.

So that’s really all that you’ve been missing in the past 1.5 years. I’ve worked a lot, I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve learned so much about myself. I’m glad for the hard times and the experiences that really showed me what is most important in my life. And now that I feel like I’m in such a better place, I can’t wait to see where the next 1.5 years takes me!

Is Society Ready?

This post is definitely a soapbox post. I like to voice my opinions, what can I say.This is something that has been bothering me for a while, so I’m definitely ready to write about it.

My simple question is, is society ready?

Since joining crossfit, lifting, and picking up heavy weights I have noticed a definite opinion of women with strength.

Crossfit and lifting heavy tends to give you an “I don’t give a f***” attitude about a lot of things. It gives women a new attitude about their lives. It allows them to realize and see their true potential and strength. No one and no thing is going to tell them “no, you cannot do this.”

Before I started crossfit, I was back squatting 145lb as a struggle on my own. After crossfitting for 2 months, I recently back squatted 210 lb…more than some of the men at my gym. Back squatting 210 lbs and letting that bar drop the ground is a feeling I love and live off of. It tells my mind that I can do these things. I can lift as heavy as the boys. I am a boss.

On the other hand, crossfit and heavy lifting has opened my eyes to those who don’t like the idea of women lifting heavy. Of women lifting more than them, or of women being bosses.

Before I gave up social media, I couldn’t even count the number of times I saw men and women commenting on female Crossfitter’s/weight lifter pictures calling them “men”, “beasts” or telling them “they look too much like dudes.” The amount of times I read the words “gross”, “too muscular”, and “too manly” was unbelievable.

These are females, with unbelievable figures, and unmatched strength, who should be an inspiration to all and yet are being mocked and called names in a public forum.

Typical Crossfitter.

We all know that the amount of overweight people in the United States is unheard of. I’m tired of people being politically correct about it and saying “obese” or “bigger”. These people are not just obese, they are morbidly obese. The more I look around in the world, the more I see that the “overweight” are out numbering the “healthy weight” people. They will probably die because of their weight and medical conditions related to it. People need scooters to get around the grocery store, or Target or Walmart because their “knees hurt and they have arthritis”. Your knees hurt because you’re fat. The stress and strain you put on your legs with each step is tearing apart the little cartilage you have left in your knees.

I’m tired of tip-toeing around people who are obese, while the rest of society can make fun of fit people and crossfitters because we “talk about crossfit too much” or we’re “obsessed with it”.

We’re obsessed with it because we love it. I know that everyday that I go to crossfit or even just work out, I’m improving myself, mentally and physically. I know that every time an obese person finishes two hamburgers at Red Robin with 3 rounds of fries, they’re putting themselves closer to the path of death (I’ve literally seen this happen). And yet, they can sit there behind their computer screens and call women men or gross without one second of hesitation.

So my first questions is, is society ready to throw away the previous ideas of a “sexy female”?

Perfect example:

Since when is the LEFT more desired than the RIGHT?

The person on the left appears to eat nothing and is probably associated with some type of disordered eating. I can’t say for sure, but that’s speculation. The person on the right is probably “obsessed” with Crossfit or working out, again I can only speculate. Would it not be better to be obsessed with something healthy than not?

Just a thought.

– – – – –

My second questions is then is, is society ready to accept “muscular females”?

Women who do cardio for 1 hour, 7 days a week think that lifting weights will make you “bulky”. This could not be farther from the truth.

I will not explain this in much detail because the amount of times I  have tried to explain it to people makes my head hurt. Women do not have enough testosterone to get “bulky” like men. Those body builders you see who have huge muscles as women and probably don’t really resemble women anymore take steroids. There is no other way to go about getting like that without taking steroids.

The average woman who lifts will never, ever be able to look like a man.

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And lifting 5 lb dumbbells is going to do nothing for you. You want to tone? That’s not going to happen. That doesn’t exist in the realm of 5lb dumbbells.

Those females who are “toned” are that way because they have decreased their body fats. They do that through diet and lifting with minimal cardio.

So if you want to lose weight and “get toned” *insert eye roll* then pick up some heavy weight.

Recently I have been told by 2 family members that:

A. “You don’t want to get too bulky doing Crossfit”

and

B. “You’re looking awfully muscular…how far are you going to go with this.”

Have you ever thought that maybe muscular is what I was going for?

My goal through this journey is to lose fat. Do you know what happens when you lose fat? You get lean. When you get lean you see more muscle. When you see more muscle, you turn into a man and everyone starts freaking out.

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I have been muscular and athletic for as long as I could remember. I’ve been fat once, and then lost a whole bunch of weight…including muscle and felt good about myself. Then I saw people who lifted weights and did crossfit. Those people who have 6 packs and amazing looking arms.

THEN after I started Crossfit, I knew that it was now something more than just looking good. I was lifting the heaviest I ever had and sometimes more than the guys. Now it was about being strong mentally and physically, as well as the benefits that come with lifting weight and HIIT training to the body. Then I began to see the calm that I got after doing a workout. How much more at peace I felt and more like myself I felt after completing a hard workout and leaving it all at the box.

When people tell me I’m getting “too bulky” or “I’m getting too muscular”, it really makes me sad. It really just punches me right in the face and says “all of your hard work still isn’t good enough.” People are going to continue to criticize me no matter what my body looks like. Although people won’t tell you when you’re fat. That’s shit is just rude and insulting. People will always compliment you when you’ve lost weight, but when you start to pack on the pounds, people just turn their heads the other way and let ya keep on putting them on.

BUT NOW, now anyone can tell a female that she’s too muscular. Can you tell a person that they’re too skinny?

I didn’t think so.

And yet we can always comment when someone is too “bulky”.

– – – – –

So for my two questions:

Do I think society is ready to throw away the previous ideas of a “sexy female”?

Yes. People are starting to realize that the body of a model or Victoria’s Secret Angle is unattainable and sometimes sick. They see that health and muscle is real beauty. More females are catching on to this, but not enough.

Do I think society is ready to accept muscular females?

Absolutely not. There will always be obese people and un-motivated people with plenty of opinions to share. Crossfit and weight lifting are getting bigger, but we’re not there yet.

People will continue to call us obsessed and say that all we do is talk about Crossfit, but ask any of my friends and they will most likely tell you that I occasionally talk about it, but I usually don’t bring it up unless someone else wants to talk about it.

I talk about it on here a ton, because I like to track my workouts and consider this a personal journal.

– – – – –

As for myself, I will continue to get “too bulky” and “too muscular”. I will continue to kick ass and back squat 260 at some point. I will get lean, and you will see more muscle, maybe a 4 pack, and people will freak out. I will probably be told that I look too muscular for my sister’s wedding (even though I’ve already cleared this with her).

I’m not going to stop doing something I love just because someone else doesn’t like the way I look. My health and my happiness both mentally and physically are more important than the opinions of a few people.

I love this lifestyle and will continue to do it until I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And maybe, just maybe, then I will reconsider my approach to fitness.