On Giving Up

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I’m an eternal optimist, with a dash of sarcasm and cynicism. Above all else, my continual outlook on life is through rose colored glasses. Full of hope! Hope for this blog to take off. Hope for the awesome six pack abs. Hope that someday I will have someone who will do my laundry for me and I will never have to fold a stitch again! (that would be the sarcasm)

Sure I have doubts. Sure I have bad days that make all those hopes seem like far off places. It doesn’t mean they aren’t possible. Even the laundry service. Like that’s a real thing, right? It COULD happen. So why give up on my dream? .

Most of us drive cars. I’ve been in an accident before. It was not a pleasant experience. Scary, painful. Totaled my car, gave me whiplash, lost my bike rack and bike etc. AND it was my fault. Not a great day. Luckily the other driver came out unscathed. However, I did not wake up the next day and say “yep, over that! Not driving ever again!” I could look at myself as a failure. I could say I was stupid, made a huge mistake and drop out of the game. That’s not how life works.

We’ve all seen the stories of people who have overcome really adverse conditions to reach their goals. Whether it be the boy who came from the streets to be the first college graduate in his family. Or the triathlete who overcame a physical disability. Or the severely overweight woman who fought her way to be healthy. All these people had in common DESIRE. A desire so strong they would go to great lengths and fight some harsh realities to reach their goals.

So why,when it comes to fitness, are we so “all or nothing” about it?

Maybe we feel as though fitness is not necessary. Makes it easier to let go perhaps? That’s crap, because your health and well being are absolutely necessary. Maybe we feel like it’s not as important as other areas of your life? Again, crap. It is completely necessary to take care of ones self. Maybe you don’t really feel like vanity is that important. Who said this is for vanity?? That’s a judgy reason to not be healthy. There a millions of people who walk around daily without a six pack who are perfectly healthy individuals. Me included. Maybe we feel unworthy in some capacity. As if we aren’t good enough or capable enough to reach our goals. Now that is an area worth exploring and likely the culprit.

I do feel like there are two big issues at hand when it comes to the reasons we give up. One is desire. The second is self worth. I’ve had this particular blog entry sitting here for the better part of 3 weeks. I got busy with life (first excuse), had a small health issue pop up (excuse number two), kids (#3), I wanted sleep (#4) and the list goes on. Bottom line is I was blatantly choosing not to write. Although I desire to get this thing off and running, at the end of the day (which is usually the only time I have) I was choosing to go lay vertical and watch the back of my eyelids. So clearly my desire to do the work it takes wasn’t there. I have zero hesitation with waking up at 4am to get to the gym by 5am to start an intense workout. You’ll see me popping out of bed faster than you can say “swim suit season”. But to stay up late AND have to get out of bed at 4am? Nope. That’s what desire for more sleep looks like.

What I found, though, is the longer I went, the easier it became to come up with excuses. Then the easier it became to go straight to “I’m not good enough. This isn’t working. I don’t really know what I’m doing here. What direction am I going?” Blah, blah, blah, blah. So I stopped and applied the same focus, attention and desire I give to fitness (Which is zero fucking excuses) to my blog. Yes it’s going to take a long time to get it where I want it to be. Yes this is a huge learning curve for me. It’s wrought with new things I don’t necessarily want to do or have the skills to do, but I’m going to have to figure that shit out. I wanted it, now I have to work for it. Put up a fight for it. Even if it’s me who I’m fighting.

Same with fitness, you actually have to work at it. Put effort into it. Be present to make good choices. It’s hard, tiring, we get all whiny about it (me included). So what if  we have one bad day? Should we go all sideways then give up? No!! Let’s say one day I had more than once piece of cake, more than one glass of wine, on top of some other horrific food choices AND no workout. GAH!!

Oh well! Oh. Fucking. Well.

I kept moving forward because it was necessary. If I had given up right then and there, I’d still be stuck with no abs. If I had given up on driving after I crashed, I’d be paying Uber to drive me around. If I had given up on my blog, I wouldn’t be here to inspire one person to not give up. I desire it. I desire to have the abs. I desire to be fit and healthy. I desire to have a blog. I desire to drive.  So I do the work. Pretty basic, right? If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. There is nothing more to it. You’ll trudge through the uncomfortableness of learning something new. You’ll suffer through the pain of a new workout. You’ll be successful at making appropriate food choices. You will do ALL of those things to get to your goal because now you want it. Put up a fucking fight for what you love!!

Your desire to change has to be greater than your desire to stay the same.

Then you’ll feel the shift happen. You won’t give up because you can’t.

V~

Can’t or Won’t

Don’t you hate it when someone says you CAN’T do something? I mean that right there is fighting words. Maybe I “can’t”, but that sure as heck doesn’t mean I don’t want to!! The moment we say “can’t” it triggers something in our brains. That fight or flight. The “Don’t tell me how to live my life!” mechanism goes into full swing for me.

What about won’t? That too, is a strong response. There are several things we’ll come across that are deal breakers. Things we just won’t do, like base jumping perhaps. That is something I won’t do. Ever. It’s definitely not that I can’t. I could totally go through all the steps it takes to learn how to successfully hurdle myself off a cliff. Plenty of people do it. That’s not my style.

Then there’s the lovely grey area between can’t and won’t. The can’t becomes more about that we “shouldn’t”, or the won’t is forced. Where we won’t do something based upon fear, rather than a knowledge of ones self.

I hear all the time: “I can’t eat that!” or my favorite “no, I really shouldn’t have that honey”. All the while you’re looking at someone who clearly says “yes” to everything else. Wait, is that mean? It’s not my intention. It is my intention however, to draw a direct correlation between desire vs. something they just won’t do.

So, lets say you’re in the early stages of a fitness plan. You’ve made the commitment to make healthier food choices. You go to a birthday party. You know there will be pizza, cake, sodas, beer, the works. You can choose to say “I won’t have the pizza, because I don’t want to” vs. “I can’t”. Which sounds better? The first phrase, right? It immediately empowers you with the choice. You’ve said no. You’ve set the tone for your commitment. Whereas “I can’t” feels self deprecating. Feels like you haven’t been given any other option other than NO.

When I set out to bake a cake (or any other thing I do for that matter) I ask myself what do I want to do? Do I want it or not? I never give myself the “can’t” option. Cause really, it’s not about that. Either I want the piece of cake or not. I go in knowing I will be eating the cake. I go in with a plan. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel bad. I eat the damn cake and enjoy every bite. I did get some looks though, at a birthday party when I didn’t want the pizza. I don’t know, sure I could’ve had a piece or two, but I really didn’t want to. Wasn’t in the plan for the day, so I said no. Sorry to the people who feel like they had to food shame me, but I didn’t want the Fing pizza! If I’m going to eat pizza, it’s not out of a cardboard box. It’ll be out of a hot deep dish.

So the next time you’re faced with a food choice (especially if your goal is to start making healthier choices), think about what it is you really want. What do you want more? The cake or the results of a healthier choice. It’s ok to want the cake! What’s not ok, is to have all the guilt, shame, resentment for wanting the cake. So once you say to yourself “yes I want the cake, but I won’t eat it” it’s SO much more empowering than saying “yes I want the cake, but I can’t have the cake.” Big difference!

Sometimes we use “can’t” to talk ourselves out of something we are just not willing to put the work into. I can’t do a pull up, so I’m never going to try again (that was me after many failed attempts). Little did I realize I could totally do a pull up, I just needed an action plan to get me there and a little courage to get over my “I can’t” crap. I would never, ever tell my child they can’t do something. EVER. They literally can do anything they want. Why would you limit yourself with so many cant’s? The question you really need to be asking is: “why won’t I do it?” Then you start to dig into the real issues behind the can’t.

So, here I’ve gone into the 3rd and final phase of my Jessie’s Girls 3K challenge and I haven’t filled you in yet! My stats: weight is maintaining at 128. I am noticing some leaning out though. I’ve dialed in my nutrition as promised! Watching my sugar. You may want to sit down for this……no alcohol. Yes, that’s right. Not even so much as a small glass of wine. Not that I can’t, I just don’t want to. I know how adversely it affects me. My carbs are going to stay at 185g per day. However, my sugars go down to 10g or less per day. I am doing triple drop sets now. Which means, first set of 5 reps is my heaviest weight load. Then the following two sets, you drop weight down to where you can lift as many as possible until you reach total failure. I aim for at least 15 reps before complete failure. If I bust out more, that’s a bonus!

It’s been a bit of a mental game more than anything. Figuring out what “to failure” feels like. It basically feels like hell. It hurts, I want to cry. Maybe even puke. But I do it. It reminds me of those times where I had to get a shot as a kid. You’re sitting there and you know the pain that is about to come your way. My mom would always say, “you can scream and cry as loud and as much as you want to, but you have to sit still and get the shot”. So I would. I would scream and cry bloody murder, but I sat perfectly still while they gave me the shot. It’s like that. I’m loving the challenge. It’s those moments of pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible is where growth and change occur. I live for that shit!

So I go along choosing this crazy life. I choose to bake and not eat. I’m choosing to not have the glass of wine after a long day (for now). I try not to base my decisions on whether or not I can’t do something. I simply ask: Is this what I want?

If you want to see what I’ve been up to this week food wise and see my progress, follow me on Facebook at Fit To Bake or on Instagram, @Fit_to_Bake_

Thanks for checking in!

V~