Posted by Amy | Posted in Having It All, Mind Games | Posted on 23-02-2011
Tags: Fit Girl
I’ve been in the head space of ‘choice‘ and ‘transformation‘ lately. And it really is as simple as declaring who you want to be and backing that up with action. But it is the action part that’s tricky. Just like when I started running, I had no idea how to be a runner. I just ran. Then came leaning about form and training programs and buying good sneakers.
To change your life, all you need is action even if it’s small, tiny, seemingly meaningless action.
I was chatting with a friend who is a new mother AND runs her own business from home. Her convictions to get fit and healthy get stalled in the whirlwind of her life, where there are days that she doesn’t even get out of her jammies. For her to say “I’ll start Monday on a XX Diet and work out an hour everyday” is not realistic. Well, no, she might do it for a day, but I can bet it would be back to jammies in a matter of days. Been there. Done that.
So what do you do? Baby steps right? Well, sometimes even baby steps need training wheels. So maybe the first step is to get out of your jammies every day. And do that every day for a week, and then add to that next week and keep going.
This week, my baby step is to record what I eat, even if its terrible. I don’t know why I lie on my tracker, no one sees it but me, and it only hurts me! So tracking honestly is my goal.
What action can you take this week that will bring you closer to your goals?
Posted by Amy | Posted in Having It All, Mind Games | Posted on 22-02-2011
This is the blog post I don’t want to write
This blog was never intended to be a confessional. Nor did I bring it into being as an act of catharsis. This is not therapy for me. It certainly can be therapeutic and affect the air of a kiss-and-tell, but that is not the goal. I always intended Fat Girls Can Run to be an inspiration for myself (and others perhaps), and to serve as a witness to the absurdity that is my own thought process. First and foremost, this blog is a creative tool for self-expression. I like making myself laugh.
And perhaps this blog is agent of change, no, a tool of transformation. I’m going to circle back to this, so stick with me.
Decide = Dead?
“Choice”. Stop a minute and consider what it means, what it REALLY means to choose. Choice is a heady concept, powerful and really really scary. Or amazingly freeing, depending on how you choose (wakka wakka) to look at it. I’m sort of in the “scary” camp at the moment, but that in and of itself is a choice.
Choice is not a decision. They are two different concepts. When you decide, you evaluation options, eliminating the less desirable and what you have left is your decision. When you decide, you are intentionally picking the least crappy option and knowing dealing with the consequences.
Example Of How to Make a Decision
I don’t want to use certain chemicals in my hair. Yeah, I’m vain like that, so don’t hate me because I have beautiful hair. I’ve only recently unlocked the secret to not having the White Girl Fro so I’m OK with being obnoxious about it. This now means that shopping for hair care products is an adventure. I go down the shampoo aisle, picking up every bottle and putting it down if I encounter one of the yuckie ingredients on the list. I’m typically left with 2 to 3 potentials which go into the next round of decisions, an elimination wherein price, smell and yes, bottle and logo design come into play. It’s like a great caged death match where the last man standing is your decision. DECIDE does have the Latin root for kill after all.
Choice is easy, sort of
One of my favorite tweeps, @FatGirlVsWorld once said “Will power implies that struggling against the way you’ve chosen to live your life vs letting your choice guide you” or something to that effect. I rushed to write it down, forgetting that I could just copy and past it. Yeah, sometimes I’m smart like that. Anyhoo….
Choice is not decision making. Choice is powerfully embracing a way of being, an idea, a flavor of ice cream, whatever. It is not eliminating options dealing with what’s left. Choice is not dependent reasons and rationalizations, although you can spew all the reasons and rationalizations you want. Choice simply is. and since it simply is, when you are true to the choices you make, all obstacles can be treated like irrelevant white noise.
Here’s what choice vs. decision making means in practice
I made the decision to stop smoking. My options were 1) enjoy an expensive addiction that will eventually kill me 2) endure the gruesome, painful experience of going through withdrawal and facing a life without an addiction that served often as my best friend and entertainment source. That’s exactly how I saw my options. And truth be told, the “expensive” part was more worrisome than the “kill me” part. This has been a struggle for the better part of a year that I’ve been really quiet about. I’ve done acupuncture, hypnosis, two different prescriptions, the last being more successful in the ‘I want to kill myself and take you with me’ emotions. But it was a decision, not a choice. I never fully embraced the concept of being a person who doesn’t smoke. I never said “I quit smoking”, but rather used a cute turn of phrase “I’m just not smoking right now”. Yeah, I know, you’re about to say “grow some balls”.
I realize that I’m doing this mamby-pamby nonsense with fitness and weight loss right now too, allowing decisions that are not consistent with who I say I am.
About two years ago now, I choose to be a runner. I did not need reasons, I didn’t even need proof that I could actually run. I choose it, I made the declaration “I am a runner” and that was it. All the mamby-pamby nonsense went away because it was inconsistent with who I was being. Runners do not scheme to figure out excuses to not run. Runners run. End of story.
Yup, I’m a whiny little girl
Whew, that was a lot just to get back to the original idea of why I don’t want to write this post. There is a small (sometimes large) part of me that doesn’t want to commit to being fit and healthy. It’s that voice that whines that it’s too tough, that just wants to sit in my jammies with a smoke in one hand and a Ring Ding in the other. And that voice is all Venus-like rising gloriously out of the clam shell of fear. It’s the voice of the Inner Fat Girl. I don’t know what my life looks like at a healthy weight. And I don’t know what it means to be a non smoker. I get this flutter of panic starting in my chest just thinking about how I’m going to screw it all up when the next great drama smacks into my life. That’s what I do – something will happen that will send me running into the comforting arms of old, albeit destructive, behavior patterns and I’m back at that lovely place of Square meeting One.
No. That’s what I DID. That’s who I WAS.
Today I choose different.
Today, I am a runner.
Today, I am healthy and fit.
Today, I am a non smoker.
And yup, it scares the pants off me.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Having It All, Mind Games | Posted on 14-02-2011
Tags: Fab Girl, Fat Girl, Fit Girl, Mother Nature
@LeavingFatville is a Twitter personality I just adore. And of course, she has a blog too. She recently posted about feeling all knocked down over a recent weight gain. In blogger-confessional mode, she came clean about letting circumstances get the best of her and “piling fried chicken on my plate like it’s going out of style.”
This was my response to that post:
So, I have the answer for you. It’s hard because you’ve already decided that you are not a success. It’s hard because you’ve decided it is hard.
Every month I say “I don’t lose weight the week I have my period”. And guess what? I don’t lose weight the week of my period. My period rolls around, and since I’ve already decided that I’m not going to lose weight, it’s perfectly reasonable to eat 2 bags of M&Ms. Since I’m not going to lose weight anyway, yeah, I’ll have thirds on pasta tonight. I’ve already made the choice so all of my behavior AND my circumstances fall in line with that.
Yeah, so you had a bad week. Stuff happened, and you already have this very comfortable set of behaviors and thoughts in place to fall back on. So that’s what you do. And that’s what you will do until you make the choice to do something else. And it is as easy as making a choice, like choosing between red socks or blue socks.
Here’s the kicker that will twist your noodle – there’s nothing wrong.
There’s nothing wrong with making choices that lead to a 5lb gain. Those choices, behaviors and thoughts that got you to a gain are all perfectly OK. There’s nothing wrong with gaining 5lbs. Nothing. The reason you feel its wrong and hard and all the other negative adjectives you can come up with is because you’re comparing your actual real present with fictional story doesn’t exist.
You are who you are right at this very second, and that person is perfect in this very second. The next second is an opportunity for you to choose who you want to be. So who are you going to choose?
It all comes down to choice. A choice about who we are in our lives. And there’s nothing inherently wrong about our choices AND we can always choose something different.
So when Mother Nature visits, and I choose to be crappy and miserable and drown in chocolate, there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s nothing inherently “BAD” about it.
It’s not wrong AND it’s not productive given my long term goals. OK, get that — It’s not wrong AND it’s not productive.
LeavingFatville wrote “I’m stepping on the scale for the sheer gluttony of making myself see how badly I’m treating myself” and she tagged this with “Pity Party”. That just about made me want to cry (or slap her silly but seeing as there’s a country between us, that’s not realistic). She had an unsatisfying week and gained weight. There’s nothing to beat yourself up over. When you make choices that are no longer satisfying, guess what? MAKE DIFFERENT CHOICES!
I’m about a week or so away from Mother Nature’s little visit and I choose to make different choices this month. I might still fall into chocolate and gain weight, but it will be a choice that I make knowing it has consequences. I choose how my life is going to go.
What do you choose?
Posted by Amy | Posted in Food | Posted on 11-02-2011
Tags: Fat Girl, ouchie, Tasty Treats
AnchorDude: (finger to ear piece) Yes (offical NewsManNod) We’re just getting this in. There’s a developing tragedy underway in Long Island, New York. We’re going live to Senior Correspondent Smarty McSmartson. Smarty, I have a report of rogue ninja stealth Donut Holes terrorising a sleepy suburb. What’s the latest?
Smarty: That’s right, Bob. What you are about to see is graphic and shocking. Parents, you may want to shield the eyes of small children. At approximately 4:30 this afternoon, this young woman was attacked viciously and violently by a box of Entenmann’s Pop’ems. Miss, can you tell me what happened?
Fat Girl: Oh it was terrible. They came out of no where. Just all of a sudden there were there. Wheat-Free Week shouldn’t have ended this way. (Insert slow-mo image of Fat Girl collapsing into her La-Z-Boy, fanning herself)
Smarty: Authorities tell Awesome News Network that open boxes of Pop’ems have been sighting in isolated locations throughout the town. (Pan across the picturesque vistas of suburban Long Island).
Smarty: The Rich Chocolate Frosted Pop’em seems to target dieters and fitness enthusiasts with particular ferocity.
Fat Girl: (Desperately grabbing the mic) I could have handled just one. I could have fought it off, but there were too many, they just kept chanting: Eat me Eat me Eat me. (tragic sobs)
Smarty: (pan back to Smarty with obvious chocolate smears across his lips, glazed look in his eye). Citizens are cautioned to be on guard. Should you spot a Pop’em, do not approach. Go eat a carrot. (As the shot fades to black, Smarty is seen diving into a box of Pop’ems with both hands).
Thus ended Wheat Free Week.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Running | Posted on 09-02-2011
Tags: Gear and stuff, Running
I finally got fed up with my cheapo headphones. I was actually going to get another pair of Nike Flights, despite the drawbacks, but Murphy being Murphy, Target was all out of them.
So I picked up this safety orange pair of Philips ActionFit earhook sports headphones. The box says they are sweat and rain proof. Bonus. And they even come with different size ear inserts so you can get the best fit.
The sound quality is great IF AND ONLY IF they fit snugly in your ear, you don’t get them wet AND you stay perfectly still, and you don’t mind not hearing anything else while using them like, oh cars honking and what not.
The little bright orange caps are designed to fit snugly in the opening of your ear. Maybe I just have extraordinarily small ears, but even the smallest ear pad thingie did not fit well. No that’s not true, it did fit well, but blocked out all other sound as if I was wearing my gigantic Bose noise canceling headphones. And the sound was great WHEN they’re shoved in your ear like this. However, once I started vigorous activity like running, I was constantly pushing them back in my ear to hear the bass, or else my music sounded tinny and flat. I’m really disappointed I wasted $30 bucks on these horrible orange things. I might have to go back to Nike Flight after all.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Running | Posted on 08-02-2011
And how do I know I do not run as fast as a trash can? As I was pushing through the last few minutes of my run this morning, a trash can came rolling down the street past me on the kamikaze winds we’re having today. There were moments where I was pumping my arms and pounding my legs and just not moving anywhere. I’m sure little kids were pointing out the car windows shouting “Look Mom! It’s a fat girl mime!”
But I ran. OUTside. And it was good. Even though the roads are gritty and dirty and wet, running outside is a blessing. Makes me remember why I love running. But tomorrow, it will be back to the treadmill and below freezing temps. Le sigh.
I’m going to try posting screen grabs of my Nike+ account, just to bring some color and life to this page!
Posted by Amy | Posted in Food | Posted on 08-02-2011
Tags: Tasty Treats, Wheat Free
My parents are fantastic people. There are many things I’m grateful for about how I was raised and one of them is a love for food. Yeah, yeah, I know, that love of food accounts for the size of my ass, but that’s not thier fault. Some of my best memories are food related. Mom sending us to school with thermos full of milk dyed green for St. Patrick’s day. Dad going on a massive Quest(tm) for Exploding Noodles.
We do a lot of Food Adventures(tm). We’ll discover an ingredient, or a style of cooking or an international cuisine and explore it fully. I got my love of travel from my dad and that translates into a love of international food. I can hold my own in a “Strangest thing I ever ate” contest with just about anyone (Whole baby sparrows, deep fried, on a stick. Ha! Beat that!). International cuisine has some strage stuff.
We did Chinese food for Chinese New Year (Go Bunnies!) and I was surprised by the vastness of choices I had. This past week has been a bit of a struggle because I was thinking very small. I forget that there’s entire cultures that only do wheat because of western influence. This particular resturant doesn’t do a lot of batter fired food, so as long as I stayed away from noodles, I’d be set. I had rice dumplings, sushi (don’t get me started about sushi served at a Chinese joint. That’s another blog post), stirfried veggies, grilled mushrooms, assorted meat dishes AND DESSERT.
I’m a big dessert fan. Hello? Have you seen the size of my bottom? I need a little sweet treat after dinner. Going wheat-free took away all my dessert options. No cake, no brownies, no cookies. Le sigh. I’ve been making due with hot chocolate. And that don’t cut it. Imagine my absolute glee when I encountered my favoite all time Asian snack – Seseme Seed Rice Ball filled with red bean paste. Yeah, I know, you’re saying “ew” right? Oh ew is not the case at all!!!!!
It’s made out of a special type of rice flour that is chewy and subtly sweet. Since it’s deep fried, the exterior is just slightly chrunchy and the sesame seeds are alive with flavor. So, your teeth crunch through this crispy outside and then hit this soft and warm and chewy inside and then you encounter the red bean paste.
Red Bean Paste, or Anko in Japanese is the only substance on this earth that could rival chocolate in it’s deliciousness. I’m sitting here stumped on a way to describe the taste and texture as we don’t really have anything like it in the West. As the name implies, the texture is a paste, that can either be smooth like silk or a wee bit gritty, like when you cream butter and sugar together for cookies, you can feel the grit of sugar on your tongue. It’s dense and sweet but not overly sweet, just perfectly sweet. And when you encounter it in a baked good, oh my it’s like angels singing.
I mean seriously, if you put Red Bean Paste and Milk Chocolate in a Caged Death Match, I don’t know who would win but the carnage would be delicious. I can eat the stuff straight up, on ice cream, in desserts but hands down my favorite incarnation is Sesame Balls.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Running | Posted on 07-02-2011
So I got home last night at around 5pm. Weird day, won’t go into it, it was just, well, weird. The day was nice, sunny and warm. Well “warm” when you still have 3 foot piles of snow in your drive. Dinner was at least 40 minutes away. I could look at cute puppies. I could check in with developments in Egypt. I could nap.
What did I do? I ran.
I just through on running clothes, grabbed my iPod and set it for a half hour run. I didn’t fuss about the right socks, or the right shirt. I didn’t make an ordeal about finding gloves and a hat. Yup that’s right, I ran in my opera length hand knit gloves. I just ran. It was above 40degrees. No ice on the roads. Little puddles, and the light was fading fast.
I just ran.
And it was good. I got a half block from home and decided to walk as a cool down. This rolling wave of euphoria started at my feet and rolled up to my head. It was very similar in sensation to a head rush you get from smoking. And it was good.
I hope the weather holds today so I can get out there after work.
Posted by Amy | Posted in Food, Mind Games | Posted on 05-02-2011
Tags: Fab Girl, Fat Girl, Fit Girl, food, Tasty Treats
“Are you INSANE!?” Fat Girl’s cry of horror reverberates off the walls. “What the hell are we supposed to eat then, huh? ‘Wheat-FREE’? What the hell is wrong with you?” Fit Girl and Fab Girl give each other knowing looks – Brace yourself for a two-year-old style tantrum when Fat Girl starts cussing.
“Look, it’s just for a week OK? Just a week.” placates Fit Girl, as she slides off her spin bike.
Fat Girl snaps her Lay-Z-Boy back to it full upright position. Kind of hard to wag your finger and recline at the same time. “Bread is a staple. Pasta is a staple. S-T-A-P-L-E. That means you’re supposed to eat it every day.” Counting off on her fingers, Fat Girl continues, “They eat pasta every day in Italy. They eat noodles every day in China.”
“Baguettes in Paris!” Fab Girl cheerfully chirps from her chaise.
“Why are you doing this to us!?” Fat Girl faux faints into the fully reclined position. Eyes like laser beams go right to Fit Girl’s core. “Torturer. Witch.”
“Oh, they have croissants in Paris too.” Fab Girl moans dreamily.
“I’m doing this for US OK?” Fit Girl brandishes her own exclamatory finger wag. “You’re fat. You’re not in Paris. And my tummy hurts!”
And with that, Fit Girl, Fat Girl, and Fab Girl all fart in unison to underscore the point in classic sitcom perfection. Cue laugh track.
“Mon dieu!” giggles Fab Girl.
Snapping open her Food Tracker to hide her embarrassment, Fit Girl scans her notes with air of coming doom. “Let’s see what did we eat today? Toast for breakfast. Sandwich for lunch. Pasta for dinner.”
Fat Girl adds “Cake for dessert.”
Fab Girl adds “Mini Bagel for a snack.”
“What!? That’s not on the tracker!” panic one-two-punching Fit Girl. Fat Girl and Fab Girl shrug in response.
“Well, That’s a lot of carbs to digest.” grumbles Fit Girl. “I’m not saying we’ll never have cake again, but this is about balance.” Waving the tracker as Exhibit A. “There’s nothing balanced about this.”
I’m almost done with my Wheat-Free Week. I can’t say that my feelings of health and well-being have skyrocketed as a result of not eating wheat for 6 days, but I have had far fewer tummy issues this week. Going Wheat-Free has brought back an awareness of what’s going in my mouth and that’s a trend that needs to continue. I don’t just pop things in my mouth anymore, I have to stop and think if it has wheat in it. At the salon, they were celebrating someone’s birthday with a glorious chocolate cake. I had a knife poised over it to cut a little sliver for myself when I remembered that cake has wheat in it. I had to stop and consider that food and make a choice about whether or not eating this bite of food was in my best interest. The answer was surprisingly no. Yay me.
This whole journey is about finding a balance in life. A balance in work, in food, it fitness. I don’t think I’m going to continue being wheat-free after this week, but rather make very calculated choices on where I want to indulge. Keeping pasta and more importantly, bread to the realm of “special occasion” food like bacon and fried food, could do me worlds of good. Well, that’s the theory anyway.