I call Bullshit.

For most people success is rarely a straight line- it is full of misfires, stutter-steps, failures, and re-starts. Success for me started on an otherwise normal Tuesday, a day- like so many other Tuesday’s before it- that I could’ve made the choice to stay exactly the same.

But those decisions never really sound like how I just phrased it- do they? We tell ourselves we will start that “diet” on Monday… why? Because we just love how crappy we feel when we eat processed food, and we’d really love the opportunity to feel that way a few more days?!? And let’s not start that new workout regimen till the first of the month- because nobody ever lost weight or got strong when they started on the 13th, 17th, or 25th … right? Right?

It's total bullshit.

It’s total bullshit.

It’s all bullshit.   And yet we still listen to it, obey it, and believe it. We ultimately waste an incredible amount of time by being passive players in our own damn life story. Let that wash over you for a minute. By doing the same thing you have always been doing, by believing in the bullshit excuses, you are simply floating through your life completely un-engaged with your true dreams and goals. If you aren’t engaged and making choices that will bring you closer to those dreams then what exactly are you doing?

I have two major regrets from my weight-loss journey. The first was my all or nothing approach to food.   If I made a bad choice- then I would just chuck the whole day. I would essentially say “screw it” to making good food choices for the rest of the day… because I had already gone and messed it all up with ONE bad choice earlier on. That type of thinking allowed me to be a victim to the “accident/cheat/slip-up”, and lets be honest, I never tripped and fell face first into a pizza, I made an active choice to eat it. This rationale also alleviated me of any responsibility to practice self-control for the rest of the day. This bullshit set me back over and over again.

The second major regret was waiting so long to get into the gym- I wanted to wait till I had lost “enough” weight so that I wouldn’t be the “fat girl” and I would better fit in and fly under the radar. This type of thinking is SO SO bullshit on so many levels:

  1. That thinking means that the current gym members must be assholes and would look down on me for doing the exact same thing they did… join a gym to get results.
  2. Lifting heavy weight and following a training program is THE fastest way to ignite your metabolism and lose body fat… you know- the results I wanted.
  3. I was intimidated because I knew that I couldn’t perform the way I imagined the members inside the gym could. And I was right. But by not joining- I only confirmed that fact and delayed my own success indefinitely.

 

Here’s the thing- I know it takes a lot of guts to dress up and show up at a gym, especially in the beginning… you don’t know anybody, and you don’t know what to do- and everything feels weird and uncoordinated. You can do yourself a world of favors by hiring a personal trainer ahead of time. By hiring a trainer you can make sure that you not only perform exercises safely and correctly… but it also means that you’ll have a friendly face there too.

Here’s the thing… I think that we listen to the bullshit, like what I listed above, in order to keep ourselves safe. The reality is that we are all just very fragile, delicate souls. We don’t want to reach out and make profound change- because it could mean that we have to be really uncomfortable for a while. It could mean that our friends will be critical, or maybe even distance themselves from us… or coworkers may take potshots at your new “fanatical” ways. Making change would also mean that we have to shrug off our safe/damaging habits… which would leave us alone and defenseless to some dark parts of ourselves that are scary to confront. In fact- I can almost promise that there will absolutely be some really gnarly junk that you are going to have to address… after all, you haven’t been listening to bullshit for all this time, for no reason have you?

There is good news though y’all. Once you start ignoring bullshit, and deal with the real issues that lie beneath… there is happiness, balance, and incredible peace on the other side. It’s not all unicorns and butterflies 24/7… But you begin to recognize all that old bullshit when you see it, and you tell yourself to quit listening. You start defending your inner peace and happiness like your life depends on it- because frankly… it DOES.

So what’s it going to be? Are you going to keep denying yourself your very own happiness… just sloshing along through a fog of a life? Or are you going to call out the BS, shrug it off, deal with it… and claim the goals and dreams that have been sitting here waiting for you all this time?

Much Love,
~January

 

January Shiflett, RKC is a personal trainer, kettlebell instructor, obstacle course racing coach, and resident smart-ass at Maximum Body Training in Cartersville Georgia.   You can contact her for classes and training opportunities at January.Shiflett@me.com

It’s Easy for You… You’re Fit.

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“It’s easy for you”… it wasn’t always.

I have ran into this comment a few times recently… some version of “it’s easier for you… you are fit… you like this stuff… you aren’t out of shape.”  I am not put off by it at all… but it always gives me pause.  Perception is a funny thing. Most of my “friends” on social media and followers of my blog are aware of my struggle with weight, and my eventual progress with losing it for good… However, it has come to my attention that I have made quite a few new friends that don’t know my story, and therefore- have quite a skewed perception on my level of health-nutty-ness (there are crazies out there that think I don’t like candy y’all!).  They just know that I am now a kettlebell fiending, obstacle course racing, lover of all foods whole and clean.  But it wasn’t always that way.  Just 3 years ago I was an obese (220lbs on a 5’9 frame), smoking, metabolically damaged, completely out-of-shape, unconditioned, uncomfortable, weak and unhappy woman.

I have previously outlined my history of how I got fat, what I did right with food, and exercise to eventually lose the weight.  And while I have adjusted my food to follow more of a Whole30 food plan, and I now have earned my RKC Instructor certification… The highlight reel still holds true:  good, whole, clean foods and lifting heavy things will get you big results.  Now- 3 years after that Drivers License picture up there… I have started a career as an Personal Trainer and I get to run Obstacle Course Races in all kinds of awesome places.  But the most important is that I am now happy in my own skin, I recognize myself in pictures again, I am no longer a smoker, and I am definitely NOT a weak woman.

3 years ago- to this very month I was searching too, looking all over for answers. And I can tell you with absolute certainty, the answer is YES. YES YOU CAN DO THIS. It comes down to consistent, daily, sustainable, and realistic changes. There will absolutely be hard days that leave you challenged to stay on your food plan, and there will be extraordinarily sore days after working hard for your goals… BUT YOU CAN DO IT. You don’t have to wait for a silly arbitrary resolution to get started… GO. NOW. Start today!  Even a small change like tossing your soda for a water will put you one step ahead for tomorrow.

I would be honored to be part of your journey as you transform your life. Whether you are a mom looking to drop weight and get strong; an athlete that is looking to improve his strength and conditioning; or a weekend warrior needing to train for the next obstacle racing season… I would be honored to work with you as your personal trainer. I work out of Maximum Body Training in Cartersville GA, and I am RKC certified. I offer kettlebell classes, small-group, and private training.  I want to be on your team.  Feel free to contact me anytime for more details: 770-773-5987 or check out my profile at Dragon Door.

A Change in Direction

I mentioned in my last blog entry that I try to stay aware of boredom or monotony in my training regimen. As a matter of fact, the image above of me pushing my car was part of a training day that was borne out of boredom and contempt for the kettlebell workout I had planned for the day. I got a great work out that day (I also worked on one-hand handstands); and it did the trick to get me out of my rut.

Lately I haven’t felt as *inspired* about my work-outs. I was getting them done, and feeling good and accomplished, but I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to them. Late last week I saw that 3 of my favorite imaginary fitness coaches (Marianne Kane, Kellie Davis, and Bret Contreras) had combined forces and were launching a new product. Now let me preface the remainder of this post with two disclaimers:

  1. I have not purchased anything other than equipment, and a personal training session during this journey (okay, okay- and food!). The main reason is that I wanted to keep things simple, and not waste any money on gimmicky plans. I wanted to take the time and really work on the basics- and keep the BS out.
  2. I am not receiving any compensation what-so-ever from Get Glutes or any of the coaches for this blog post. I am just passing along the information.

I was really REALLY excited about my 3 favorite imaginary coaches coming together, but was hesitant on spending ANY money on a “program” (see disclaimer #1). However, at an introductory price of $9.95 (and you can cancel at anytime)- it seemed like an easy risk to take. Here is a run down of what the program consists of, taken directly from their site:

“Package Includes:

    • Monthly fitness programs with 3 strength-training and 3 conditioning workouts designed exclusively for Get Glutes Members by Bret Contreras, Kellie Davis, and Marianne Kane to help you finally build the body you’ve always wanted.
    • In-depth tutorial videos explaining each exercise, with guides on how to modify the exercises to fit your fitness level”.

Additionally they mention the following:

“However, don’t let the name of this program fool you. Yes, we put a great emphasis on building a better booty. But this program packs in workouts that challenge your entire body, empowering you to improve your shape from head to toe.”

So, I had Mr. S take a look at it- just to make sure I wasn’t “falling for some gimmick”, and decided to take them up on their introductory offer. I have done all of this months workouts one time through now- and I have to say that I am THRILLED! They use the equipment I already have here at home (in fact they developed the program with us at-home-gym people in mind)- my kettlebell, free weights, suspension and pull up bar. The workouts have introduced new exercises to me (they have video tutorials included with each workout), and the moves are stacked in ways that I haven’t done before. Additionally, you get a different approach from each coach, which keeps things new and refreshing.

I have taken some “before” pictures, and I hope to update in a few weeks with some “progress” pictures of how this program is working out for me. But for now- I couldn’t be more pleased!

I know that part of my lack in inspiration with my training had to do with the fact that I have been “reinventing the wheel” for quite a while now, and frankly was just getting tired of having to write my own “plan” without real expertise on what I should really be doing to progress. So this plan gets me out of having to think about what to do- they have the schedule there, the list of exercises, the video…. all you have to do it just go do it. No research required! Secondly, I needed a shot in the arm… something new. And obviously- a new approach solves that problem too.

So, I am not abandoning my Weightlifting or Kettlebells- they are still definitely there in this program!!! But obviously I will not be able to share my daily workout details while I am participating in this program. I am sure I will return to more independent training at some point, and I will return to blogging my daily workouts then. In the meantime, I look forward to continuing to share any cool and awesome links and information here… and I will definitely update my progress as well! WOOT!

The reason I am busting this blog post out in a hurry, is because I just noticed that they have extended their introductory offer through TODAY! So you can get in on the same deal I did! You can check it out for less than $10 bucks and see if you like it! Here’s the link to their site.

With that in mind- yesterday was an “active rest”… and for many reasons I just *needed* to run. I got 3.7 miles in 40 minutes. It was a truly fabulous run- I even got to wear short-sleeves, and shorts!

Till next time,
~J

Running Day: 01/03/13

20121215-205848.jpgToday is another Workout Of the Day that is delivered daily to my inbox thanks to those friendly spartans.  You can get our own subscription (it’s free!) by clicking here.

So this workout of the day is probably a couple of days old, I just hold on to them in my inbox- and then pick one when I hit a running day.  This one called for running 3-5 miles, doing jumping jacks, crunches, and push-ups.  I ran 3.5 miles, did 50 jacks, did 50 Kettlebell Swings (25lb)- (the ground was wet- so I didn’t do the crunches), and 30 push ups.  I got 15 pushups in one set, and then had to split up the remaining.  But I hit my goal.

Next time,

~J

Kettlebell Day: 12/31/12 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2013 Here we come!

2013 Here we come!

I can not express how GIDDY I am for 2013.  I am very proud to say that I kicked 2012 in the ass… lost a ton of weight, got healthier and *stronger*, and I am biting at the bit for 2013.  I have all kinds of races that I want to participate in this coming year, and I am excited to see how much stronger and faster I can get before race season starts back up hot and heavy.  Squeal!!! I am so freaking excited! (did I mention that I am excited!?)

If you have some how landed here because you are resolving to get healthier in 2013- CONGRATULATIONS! I am super pumped for you too-really! I have spoken with several friends lately that are setting health, fitness, and weight loss goals for themselves.  And while I hear the “damn… I gotta do *something*” in their voices- I have a big shit-eating grin on my face.  Why? Because, I miss some of the early days of my journey.  The days that I realized that I could do something, lift something, or push myself further than I thought was possible.  I thought I was too old, too much into motherhood and homeschooling our two Little S’s, too weak, too beyond hope to be able to approach life with any athleticism anymore.  What I found is that no- I am not to freaking old, motherhood is no excuse, and in return I watched that scale tumble down hill- and my physique improve in ways I had NEVER seen- even in my “more-athletic-college-days”. Now, however, my improvements more refined, the scale could only move 5-10 more pounds (not that I really care anymore), and I am trying to get *better* at those moves that I thought were impossible a year ago… not just be able to perform them.  I miss those big improvements that occurred in leaps and bounds in the beginning.  So if that is you- let me know! I love seeing others “catch the bug” and get excited about their fitness… it motivates me. And again- CONGRATULATIONS on your own journey- it’s gonna be a hell of a ride, and I am thrilled for you!

ANYWAY… Today’s workout was a kettlebell workout.  Another interval workout (40s work, and 20s rest) repeated for 3 times through the circuit.  My reps are in the brackets below:

  1. 25# KB Deadlift + Burpee {11, 10, 11}
  2. 25# KB Alternating Swings {25, 27, 27}
  3. Dynamic Push-ups (feet together, push-up, jump feet wide, push-up, feet together, on and on) {10, 12, 12}
  4. Skater Hops {35, 30, 33}
  5. 25# KB Alternating Ballistic Rows {34, 30, 32}
  6. 25# KB Single Leg Deadlifts {13, 14, 15}
  7. 25# KB Single Leg Deadlifts {13, 14, 14}

Oh, and I warmed up with a new (to me) Kettlebell move that I would like to get more proficient at and include in my workouts in the future: The Kettlebell Side Press…  I did 5 on each side.

Quickie Workout: 12/29/12

No time...

No time…

Today is a prime example of where my workout routine would have skittered off the rails if I had let it.  Yesterday was a planned rest-day (whee!), and today should have been a weightlifting day- big and heavy since Mr. S is here to be my squat rack for me 😉  Today was also one of my sproglings birthday- and many festivities were planned for the evening.  One thing after another- and before I knew it- I had *maybe* 10 minutes for any type of a work out before we had to get ready and leave for the evening.  In my previous fitness attempts, I would have figured that 10 minutes wasn’t enough time for anything, and skipped it.  That skip would mean two rest days- and for me, those 2 days can easily become 3, 4, and 5… And then figuring I am a failure and giving up for a long time.  I know that about myself now, and will FIND a way to get some fitness in every day- so that I am not tempted to give up when hit with the unpredictability of LIFE. I have learned so many lessons on my fitness journey this past year (and I do hope to continue learning)… a major one is to be flexible and find alternatives instead of throwing in the proverbial towel.  Whether it’s time, equipment, attitude, PMS… there is always an alternative to that excuse.  It’s not usually easy- but those days are the days that you will look back on and be most proud of.

So, here is where my good friend and secret weapon, Tabata, comes in handy.  I LOVE and HATE Tabata.  I love it for its quickness and efficiency, and I hate it for its ability to level me in 4 minutes.  You read that right- 4 MINUTES! Okay, so what is this Tabata that I speak of? It was developed in Japan- and is essenitally 8 rounds of intervals (20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest). However, the intervals are performed at absolute 100% max output.  Good exercises for a Tabata rounds are sprints, jump rope, KB Swings, burpees, etc.  It looks innocent enough, right? Just 20 seconds of work!? Oh put on your big girl panties and get ready- cuz that 10 second break isn’t even long enough for you to remember what your name is.  Tabata should leave you punch drunk by the end if you are doing it right. It’s a crazy awesome workout when there just isn’t enough time…  Well, Tabata actually proves there is always enough time.  😉  No excuses ladies, NO EXCUSES!!!

He's really saying "GET'ER DONE!!!"

He’s really saying “GET’ER DONE!!!”

So, here is what I did with the precious 10 minutes I had:

Tabata intervals (20seconds work and 10 seconds rest repeated 8 times- working as fast and as hard as possible)
1. 25# Kettlebell swings
2. Jump rope
3. 25# Kettlebell swings
4. Jump rope
5. 25# Kettlebell swings
6. Jump rope
7. 25# Kettlebell swings
8. Jump rope
~Lay down and cry. I kid, but you’ll want to.
For a bridging complex between the two Tabata series, I made this up- and just did it with the weight that was on the bar (read: no time to fool around with the plates).  With 55lbs, I did 5 deadlifts, then cleaned the bar to the rack position and did 5 standing military presses, then lowered it to my back for 10 back squats, back up to 5 military presses, lowered down for 5 deadlifts.  So its all one big movement- never setting the bar down… Deadlift, press, squat, press, deadlift.  I did that complex twice, and then re-set my Gymboss Timer for Tabata again (20s/10s) and repeated the circuit listed above.  I was done in 10 minutes, and in the shower (where I may or may not have cried like a little girl).

I hope ya’ll like it.  It’s one of the few times that I just “winged it” and made up my own thing.

See you next time,
~J

Kettlebell Day: 12/26/12

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Today’s workout should really be called “a little of everything” as it really was a huge variety workout. I really enjoyed it as it was demanding and kept my muscles guessing. It’s another interval workout: 40 seconds working and 20 seconds resting. There were 2 sections- each section repeated twice. Follow this link to get the original workout, and some video of how it looks.
I had to switch a couple if exercises (I swear I will get a bench when I grow up), but I was able to do the step ups on a regular footstool.

First Section:
-40lb Front Squat plus Reverse Lunge (left) {10, 8}
-Same on right {10, 8}
-40lb Barbell Rows {23, 20}
-35lb Push Press on Right {12, 12}
-same on left {10, 12}
-KB Swing {26, 28}

Second Section:
-25# side step ups (right) {16, 17}
-same for left {17, 15}
-Toyotas {35, 27}
-Right Arm KB Swing {23, 25}
-Left Arm KB Swing {24, 25}
-Double Jump Burpees {8, 8}

So, I decided to go through the whole thing straight and repeat all of it, instead of repeating each section twice… Just because I like the variety. It left me spent and sweaty- and was definitely a challenge (hello 35# presses!).

Also I want to mention a great article and video that I saw this morning on dirty swings. It’s great for anyone to check out- so that you can visualize what your swing should look (and feel) like. So head on over to Girls Gone Strong and check it out- its a quick read and very informative.

See you next time!
-J