It is no secret that when I hang out on Pinterest, I have to do so with a timer. I get caught up (as most people do) looking at stuff. What I gravitate toward, though, is not the projects or the recipes or the hair stuff (though there’s some awesome stuff there). It’s the fitness stuff. I LIKE looking at all these motivational posters about strong women. I used to hang out there a LOT when I was running. Stuff like this just really got my inner Shera going ROAR.
Fitness has always been this kind of work in progress for me (and it should be, otherwise you stagnate and get bored). But one thing I’ve always gravitated toward is weight lifting. I’ve been into it since I was 14 (so nearly 20 years now), and people always peg my weight at about 15 pounds less than it actually is because I have considerably more muscle mass than the average woman. I’ve always been strong, and I like it. This is not something most women DO, not beyond those wimpy 5 and 10 pound dumbbells or the gym machines because they falsely believe that they’ll bulk up. I was always one of the only women over with the heavy stuff in the gym. I’m a big fan of Tom Venuto’s work and have done a variation of his Body Fat Solution workout off and on for the last several years. And of course more recently I added the Spartacus Workout to my routine. But I just haven’t done as much weight lifting the last few years as I’d like. A lot of that is having fallen into cardio that I can do while reading or watching TV (hello dear stationary bike). But that just DOESN’T give the kind of results I want. And now that I’m in my 30s, I’m seeing a difference. I’m not as strong as I used to be. And I’m not content with that.
In the Triple Threat Scorcher routine from Spartacus, host/teacher David Jack makes reference to Girls Gone Strong, a phrase I LOVED but did not realize is an actual THING until I saw a tweet go by yesterday by Molly Galbraith, one of the founders. So I spent all kinds of time trolling around the site, looking at their recommendations, blog posts, bios, etc. And came across Nia Shanks‘ Beautiful Badass program. How can I not love a woman whose entire philosophy is Train To Be Awesome? So this morning I bought the program for myself as a belated finished first draft of Riven, early finished Revision Hell present. Still reading through, but I am SO EXCITED about this program! Far too many strength training programs designed for women assume you’re a wimp, which I’m not. This program, oh yeah, this I can get behind.
I made a string of REALLY BAD dietary choices last week that packed on 3 pounds and wrought havoc on my system (salt, refined sugar, and grease are NOT my friends–and the consequences are so much worse than when I was 20). This week I’ve been really focused on resetting my body nutritionally. Next week I want to start Beautiful Badass and get serious about reshaping my body (giving myself the weekend to read the program and get things programmed into my phone).
It’s easy to blame other people. Spouses. That family member who always orders cheese dip when we go out for Mexican (FIL, I’m looking at you). Society for being designed around a 2000 calorie diet that’s only appropriate for 6’+, active MEN. For the fact that the standard American diet (SAD) is totally backward and you don’t LIKE vegetables (chances are you haven’t had them prepared right). For everything being super sized. Lack of time. Whatever. But here’s the thing, folks. Nobody is responsible for you but you. You control what you put in your body and how much. And you can decide whether you want to spend your time and money on taking care of what you’ve got by eating REAL FOOD and exercising or at the back end of your life on medicines and surgeries because your body is breaking down.
So instead of saying you’ll make a change on Monday, next month, when this project at work is over, when you get a new job, when [insert whatever your favorite excuse is], stop talking and start DOING.
Educate yourself. Don’t expect someone to do it for you. Don’t expect it to be easy. Don’t expect it to be quick. Your butt did not expand overnight, nor is it going to shrink overnight.
Fitness and health is a lifestyle, not a shortcut.
Find something you like and DO IT. You don’t have to change everything today. But pick something. Decide to add a fruit or vegetable to lunch and do that every day for the next week. The week after, add another to breakfast or dinner. Get up and take a walk before work (or when you get home). Make a vow to MOVE and keep it. Because even if you’re slow, you’re outlapping everybody whose butt is still on the sofa.