Priority vs. Passion

If you ever get a chance to read any of Mark Manson’s articles, I highly suggest reading them. Not only is he a talented writer, he’s direct and to the point. Brutal honesty. I love that, cause at the end of the day what else is left?

One of my favorite articles was from October 2015  titled “Screw Finding Your Passion.” In it he discusses the disillusion we have in regards to finding our passion. What we all fail to realize is it’s already in us, we’re just ignoring it half the time. My favorite quote from the article reads:

“Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.”

See. Brutal truth. So, this is how I arrived at baking and fitness.

I literally have ALWAYS been doing these two things on some level my whole life, without even recognizing it.  With baking, I was the little girl who would pretend play at her kitchen cooker for hours cooking and baking up a storm. I was always by my moms side as she made a million Christmas cookies to deliver. I was the teen who did Ski Team in High School and the Cindy Crawford video in her living room on weekends. And not even one time  did this occur to me this was a passion of mine, until recently. Like, wow, holy shit….this is my thing!!

Lucky me, right? Not really. It comes with work. It comes with diligence and making it a priority. Sure it makes it more fun, but I also have to make it a priority. Cause let me tell you, there are plenty of days I wanna sit my butt on the couch with pre-made cookies and a glass of wine and do a whole big bunch of nothing. Problem is….that won’t get me anywhere.

So how does this apply to fitness with someone who’s passion is to sit on the couch with pre-made cookies and a glass of wine doing absolutely nothing? Well, just because fitness isn’t your passion or you have zero drive for it, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it into your life like any other priority. Shouldn’t one’s health be at the top of your priority list? Like if you’re walking around feeling like crap all the time, wouldn’t you wanna fix that? We all have things on our priority lists that aren’t also on our passion list. I mean, lets be realistic, paying bills isn’t exactly a passion. Yet we find a way to get the bills paid.

I think we have a tendency to feel pressured to love fitness. All of us on the other side, who really do love fitness, seem to take it on as our moral obligation to help all those others see the light. We cheer, encourage, support, throw out lots of “atta girls”, coach and coddle you through each rep. We want you to wake at 4am bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to get your sweat on!!

No. Just no.

I love working out, but that still sucks ass. So there’s that. But, I choose that because I make exercise a priority. There are days that I know that 4am is my only opportunity to get it in, so I go. So, sometimes we don’t have to love it. We don’t have to pretend to be that person who’s all excited to be up and at it with the sun. You don’t have to fake it if you hate it. However, you still need to do it. You can go screaming and crying all the way through, but you still have to get it done. If you want to look and feel a certain way, then you better put those cookies away, put a cork on the wine and get your ass off the couch.

Truth is, you may never love fitness the way I do. You may have to drag your tired, lazy, whining ass to the gym every day, but  you’re making it a priority. You’re doing something that’s putting you first. You’re doing something you can at least take pride in. And maybe in the daily grind of making it a priority, you’ll find an acceptance of it, but never love it. And that’s ok.

V~

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~

The Heart of the Matter

I’m a few days short of Valentines Day, I know. I had the privilege of spending some one on one time with my daughter while she recovered from pneumonia. It’s a stressful time. Routines  are thrown off, eating is thrown off, sleep, workouts….everything gets disrupted. Often times this leads to emotional eating. Which leads to emotional drinking. Which leads to cake, cookies, caramel, pizza, maybe a burger and fries. You know. We’ve ALL been there. But alas we forget the logic of it all. We get wrapped up in the emotion of it all. We let our heart strings pull us away from our brains!

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This is is SO me. I live by the rules of my heart most of the time. Although I can think logically (Victoria, you know how much those lulu’s cost. Put ’em down girl!) my heart (aka: emotional need for lulu’s) (yes, it’s a real thing) gets the best of me. Sooooo, then I come home with my bag of lulu’s. Sure they’ve made me happy, but often times there is some guilt associated with it as well. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that emotional eating has never been a huge factor for me. However, I definitely have my moments!  I used to do it more before I started eating a macro based diet. Other areas of my life get the best of me way more than eating does. Lucky me? Nope. But I’ll go through what my brain process looks like.

I’ll use this weekend as an example. Daughter gets sick………

Emotion: I could run a train on that cake right now

Logic: Throw the cake away Victoria. Eating the cake will lead to guilt, feeling worse, you’re just stressed, eating something healthier will help you, not hurt you.

Me: makes two Van’s waffles with peanut butter and a banana all weighed and ready to roll out the door to the doctor. Still satisfying and I can log it! Happy!


 

Emotion: I want everything in the store. The cookies, the crackers, the chips, cereal, ice cream, wine…….ooh looky here, Valentine’s chocolate!!

Logic: Listen, Victoria. You’ve got a sick kid, you’re stressed. You will likely end up not being able to work out. Think this through. How will you feel if you eat all this AND you can’t work out? Like a heffer. Just get some almond milk and some rice cakes please. It’s just a Hallmark holiday. You can do this!

Me: Buys almond milk and some Greek yogurt.


 

Emotion: I NEED an entire bottle of wine

Logic: Really? A whole bottle? No.

Me: ok, a glass will do.


 

So as you see,  I’m thinking through the process. How will I feel as a result of my actions?  Sometimes I just don’t care. Like, at all. But that’s usually only about 2% of the time. I rarely, if ever, mindlessly eat. It just doesn’t happen. Maybe I’m an over thinker. I am thinking about my goals a lot. I am considering the aftermath of my actions. All. The. Time. So there’s that. But if I didn’t, my weekend would have become a free for all of take out and sweets. That would have led to guilt, shame and a really bloated belly. Um, no thanks. Instead I sit here relatively well fed, only one missed day of exercise, not bloated, yet still satisfied.

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So, that’s one part of the puzzle. I just work through the emotion of it. I bring myself back to the logic of it. Food is Fuel for my body.

There’s literally no other person in the equation. It’s just a game between you and food. No one else. There are so many other areas in our lives that are controlled by things other than ourselves, which can make decision making damn near impossible sometimes. But food? NO. No way! Don’t complicate food when SO much of our lives already are. No one is out there force feeding you cake. Not even me! Sure, you may be thrust into situations where food choices suck, but you can choose to have only one slice of pizza and a glass of beer, rather than 4 slices and an entire pitcher.YOU call the shots. End of story!

Today I have no progress pictures to post. This weeks progress comes in the form of these thoughts and the fact that I didn’t throw my macros out the window of the 7th floor pediatric unit.  Thanks be to people who live my lifestyle and came to the rescue!

I felt successful this week in reducing my carbs. It wasn’t a huge adjustment for me, but I do see the results of it. Going into week 6, all my macros and calories stay the same. Workouts stay the same with the exception of increasing the weight amounts. Looking forward to hitting the ground running this week!

So, before you grab the biggest spoon in your house to enjoy whatever confection you desire……let your logic speak to first. Think before you eat!

 

V~

 

 

 

Should-ing Accountability

What I SHOULD have done is gotten up super early today and published this post by this afternoon. I want Monday’s to be my accountability post from here on out. Especially as I  lift and bake my way through the Jessie’s Girls 3k challenge. However, I wanted to sleep. So now I’m up late doing it.

My decisions as of late seem to be at odds with one another. Where (I think) I should be and where I could be. Like this post for example. I thought I should’ve had it done by today. I was a little hard on myself for not getting that done. This was not from any external pressure. No one told me I had to have it done today. No one gave me a deadline. It was my own self dialogue. My own internal battle.

In todays world there *seems to be a lot of external pressures to be/act/live a certain way. However, I’ve yet to have person hold a gun to my head saying, “Victoria, you must build those biceps or we’re not going to love you.” Right? How we process all those external pressures, is how we arrive at our “should.”  Everyone I surround myself with is supportive of me (and the size of my biceps). When it comes to big life choices, no one was there telling me I “should” do any thing. It was me who was “should-ing” myself to death.

So, are we Should-ing our accountability?

I should’ve done better. I should’ve lost more weight. I should’ve met ALL my macros. I should’ve made that weight heavier. I should’ve not eaten that extra brownie. Well, you know what? Should-ing isn’t going to change any of that.  Instead own it.  It’s ok that all those things didn’t happen. No one really cares!! We care because you care about it. We care because of your health perhaps. But beyond that, it literally does not matter!! Own it and move forward.  It’s our own internal dialogue that gets us into this spiral. We can get stuck there for a time. Even when everyone is telling you, “you don’t HAVE to do this!” you do, because you think you “should”……….. and there you stay. Stuck.

And lets not get need confused with should. You’re probably saying, “That’s all well and good Victoria, but there are some people who SHOULD lose weight.” No, it’s not should, they NEED to. For their health. For their life. It’s like saying someone with cancer “should” get treatment. No, they NEED treatment. So the fact that you should’ve lost weight is a cop out. Did you need it or was it just a “should” statement?

I don’t exercise and count (almost) every morsel of food because I think I should be doing this. I definitely don’t do this because I think this is what I should look like. I’m doing it because I WANT to do this. I like doing it. I find it interesting and challenging. It’s really hard to be in any position when you think you “should” be there. Its miserable. So if you don’t want it, maybe you need it. Change that thought from “I should” to “I need” until you can get to a place of acceptance. Tough. Trust me, I know. But it’ll come round. Even if its “I need to do this for my kids.” or  “I need to do this for my health.”  Anything to get that “should” from stealing another moment.

Ok….On that lovely note…..Let’s have some fun at my expense, shall we??

So when I started my fitness journey WAY back in the day, circa 1995, I believe the heaviest I ever weighed was 155lbs. Now, on a 5’5″ small frame female that’s heavy. Plus it was NOT muscle. By 2002 I was down in the 125-130 range. That was my “I just want to be skinny” stage of life.

Then after having my first baby I was able to get down to 135 and maintained that for a very long time. But after my third baby, I was back up to 156 and wanted to get back to my normal self again. (read  the post “My Fitness Journey” for a more detailed explanation)

Last year when I started the Jessie’s Girls program, I was at 126 and I maintained that weight all the way through. My current weight is 131….meh…you know, a little fluff, some added (intentional) weight, PLUS muscle….that all adds up to about about 5lbs! I rarely weigh myself anymore. I’ve come to learn that the number on the scale is merely an exercise of learning what my gravitational pull on the earth is. I look at myself. I asses how my cloths fit. I assess before and after pictures. Progress pictures all the time.

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Far left hand was from February 2015 I weighed 126lbs, the last picture was June 2015 I weighed 126lbs.

So here I am today. Like literally only moments ago at 12am in the morning. After a long day and night of food and water……you can see why I chopped my head off of this picture. No need to frighten people away from my blog. I believe my current weight is 131lbs. A little extra fluff around the mid section as I take on eating a higher amount of carbs in this beginning phase of the Muscle Building 2 program.

 

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I’m currently in week 3 of the Muscles Building 2 program. I lift 5 days a week with steady state cardio 3 days a week and 2 days of HIIT (high intensity interval training). Each week I have increased my weights. At week 5 I will reduce my carb intake and continue lifting just as frequently. So that’s where the leaning out process will start to happen for me. I will start to really see all the muscle I put on during this first phase of work. Consistency and dedication is all it takes!

So as the weeks and months press on, you’ll get to follow me along this journey. Follow my progress and set backs when they happen. I will not work on what I should be doing, but rather what I need or want to be doing. What I need is all around me!

V~