Saturday, January 8, 2011

Motivation & Inspiration

So this whole damn crazy weight loss/fitness thing began when I stumbled onto the blog of a supremely dynamic gal who goes by the internet moniker of "Bitch Cakes".

I started reading and I was swept up in how similar we were in our thoughts and feelings and outlook on life. I realized it was time and started to do my own thing with my own weight loss journey.

I know she's heard it a thousand times and I really do feel like a freakin rock star groupie saying it but it's the truth and it needs to be said:

Because of her blog and the passion and energy that pours of it and her enthusiasm for her pink Hello Kitty cruiser I went out and got my own cruiser.
Also pink but not Hello Kitty.

(Click photos to enlarge)
Sheryl aboard her super fine ride looking so happy! TD Bank 5 Boro 2010
My sweet trusty steed Bison.

Stalker groupie vibe much?

In my own defense since I've been a little girl Pink has been my favorite color and since I got my first allowance most of my funds have gone towards Hello Kitty.
She just makes rockin a pink crusier look so cool!

Besides, even though our bikes are the same style and color the similarities end there. 
She's in WAY WAY WAY  better shape than I am and while I'm huffing and puffing and grunting and walking my bike up hills, she never ever ever EVER gets off her bike for any hills and always makes biking look like so much fun! Total motivation for me! (We all know Cardio is my weak spot.)

It was she who turned me on to the 5 boro bike tour (a zillion thank yous for that) and she that without a word allowed me to turn inward when I thought I was done at the 15 mile mark last year and I was able to do another 15 miles for a total of 30.

After the 5 boro I found that I'm hooked on these bike events.  I also did the Twin Lights Tour last year (which I will NOT be attempting this year thankyouverymuch) but this year I'm going to do the 5 Boro as well as a whole lotta other very cool organized rides.

I went to her blog the other day and she was talking about her new found love of running and how she's totally blowing all of her own goals right the hell out of the water.  
She said two things that really resonated in me and that I took to Boot Camp with me yesterday.

Another Tool for Living I use, Reframing: I think of the distance differently. What I do (and this is how I think about long bike rides too) - is I break everything down to 1 mile. I don't let myself get overwhelmed with the thought of "oh my god! I have to run 13 miles" or "I have to bike 75 miles!" I tell myself I am going to run 1 mile - thirteen times. (or bike 1 mile - 75 times.) Of course it's the same distance, it's still 13 miles, or 75 miles, but just reframing it like that really helps me mentally, especially as I'm doing it. After I finish one mile, I tell myself "I just have to do that 12 more times! I can do that!" It makes it *feel* easier and more doable when I break it down into smaller intervals like that, even though the total is unchanged.

I so totally and completely LOVE this concept. I tend to look at challenges as a whole and while I'm in the middle I don't look back at what I've done but only how much more I have ahead of me to reach my goal.
This can be daunting and spirit dampening when it's a 40 or 50 or 75 mile bike ride.
I'm always talking on here about one step at a time, why not apply that concept to these bike or stair events as well?!

"Your brain will tell you to stop long before your body is ready to stop." (it's true! if your body has to stop, it will collapse. If it doesn't collapse, you can still keep going! Don't listen to your brain!).  But I think my favorite thing I told myself over and over yesterday was "Don't worry about your body. Your body is a machine. It knows what to do. Just worry about your breathing. You can do this!"

The concept of my bod as a machine that knows what it has to do and that my brain is getting in my way is new and one that I really like a whole lot. It makes me feel very strong and bad ass. It also simplifies the whole thing and allows me to focus on feeling strong, not weak and defeated.

In fact, today in Boot Camp we were dragging around weights on chains.

and it was DAMN HEAVY. I found myself repeating over and over "I'm a machine. Brain shut up" Which is clearly a very edited version of the original but it WORKED! I was able to totally zone into body over mind and push through the aches and turn down the voice in my head telling me to stop.

I have to remember I'm way way stronger than I think I am and if I quit on myself, how is ANYONE else going to believe in me? 

I've said before if you are ever around me when I take on these events or tasks I'm sure you've been concerned for my mental health. I talk to myself. Out loud. A whole lot. Often it's just 4 words "YOU CAN DO THIS" or "COME ON D! YOU'VE GOT THIS!" (Sometimes it's just "JESUS Fing CHRIST" but it's usually positive)

Talking to myself really does help. (I'm not so sure the faces and the tears and the grunting and huffing and puffing help but for now they come as part of the package till I'm in better shape.)

It will be these three things that I remember the next time I feel like I can't do whatever it is.


So Sheryl thank you on more levels and for more things than you know! I'm adopting these ideas and will be using them all the time, every day.

Go and check out her blog. If you need to be motivated, she's superb at it!

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