Thursday, September 26, 2013

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes (saying AYO, baby let's go)

We (by "we" I mean me, my dad, and my sister) finally got to go surfing this past weekend! I thought it wasn't going to happen again since it was pouring down rain that morning, but luckily it cleared up. I thought surfing would be a cool experience to have, but I had no idea how much I would really love it.

We started out getting all the necessary paperwork signed. You know, all the stuff that says I won't sue anyone if I die (well, I guess I really wouldn't be suing anyone then) or get mauled by a runaway surfboard or shark or something. Then we had to put on rashguards. Now, I'll admit I had a momentary wave of panic thinking that they would not have a shirt big enough to fit me. That ended up being an idiotic concern because I actually ended up wearing a small! That was enough to make my day right there of course. So we went down to the beach then and had a little practice session right there in the sand learning all the terminology and whatnot. Let me say, it looks pretty stupid paddling through sand.

Then we learned the position we would be staying in the majority of the lesson while waiting for waves, which is pictured below:

And then finally we went out to the water! Now we were lucky enough to have one-on-one instruction, so each of us had our own personal wave spotter. That was good because I had no clue how to tell if I should try for a wave or not. Paddling out beyond the breakers was a pretty good workout, and since I'm a dork, I couldn't help but wonder how many calories I was burning. We waited a little while until an appropriate wave came along, and the my instructor pushed me out into the wave and yelled, "Pop up!" when I was supposed to stand up. And just like magic, on that first wave I stood up with the grace of a professional surfer and rode the wave all the way into shore. Haha, yeah right! I pretty much managed to get into a halfway crouch on the first wave and then wiped out. That was to be expected though. You know how a lot of weight loss support groups like to say, "Fall down 7 times, get up 8!"? That was literally how it was for me surfing. I would say for a solid 45 minutes I managed to get into a crouch and then would promptly crash into the water, and then get back on the board and try again. I was having a great time though. It was cracking me up because my instructor would try to give me pointers after each try, things like, "You need to try to move your feet perpendicular to the board" or "Move your feet a couple inches forward." I would nod in agreement with him, but inside I was thinking," Dude, I''m just trying to stand up on this board! I have no idea where my feet are ending up!" Here's what I looked like in the first half of the lesson:

And then came the awesome moment when I actually did manage to stand up and catch a wave. It was such a rush, and I immediately wanted to do it again and again. I was hooked at that point. It didn't matter that I was so wobbly and bent over that I probably looked like a drunken old geezer surfing. It just mattered that I felt like I looked strong and amazing. And I was told after the fact that every single time I managed to stand up, I would throw my hands up in the air instead of out to the side for balance like a normal person. I had no awareness that I was even doing that. I was totally in the moment and loving it. I just like to think I was acting out that Taio Cruz song "Dynamite." I mean, hey, the lyrics are appropriate here:

 I throw my hands up in the air sometimes,
Saying AYO! Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life,
Saying AYO! Baby, let’s go!

On a side note, what does "ayo" mean anyway? I was so happy my mom managed to get a picture of me upright! She did a great job taking pictures! It was pretty tough to get action shots because she had no idea when we were going to try to catch a wave.

My dad managed to catch a few waves by "knee boarding," which actually looked kind of cool.

 My sister did pretty well getting into a half crouch on waves, and I think if we had had a little more time she could have stood up on the board. I'm sad we didn't get a good action shot of her. But it is cool that my mom got a shot of all three of us on a wave!

So after I caught that first wave and got a feel for it, I did a pretty good job managing to stand up on the majority of the rest of the waves I tried. By the end, I could actually try to implement some of the corrections the instructor was giving me. I also unfortunately learned firsthand why it is so important to keep the surfboard to the side of you and not in front of you. That board will beat you up!

I felt kind of cool afterwards because my dad and his instructor were taking a break on the beach and saw me catch a really good wave. His instructor commented to my dad how determined I looked, that my face said that I was going to catch that wave no matter what. I think that meant my face finally looked how I imagined it looked when I was working out hard. You know, when I thought I looked determined and fierce but really just looked constipated.

At the end of the lesson, I still had tons of energy even after 2 hours. I felt like I could keep going forever. That's why I think I would really enjoy trying to surf some more as a hobby. I know for a fact that it was great workout because of how sore I was the next day, but it just felt like tons of fun!  That's a sign of a truly great workout. All in all, it was an amazing day. It was a fantastic way to start off year number 29!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Denial is not just a river in Egypt (insert groan here)

Sad news to start out with...according to the surfing instructor, the water was too rough for our lesson last Saturday. So it had to be rescheduled for this coming Sunday. Therefore, there are no humiliating pictures to show yet. It will just be something for you all to look forward to next week!

I thought about waiting until then for my next post, but there was something I needed to address before then. You guys know that I try to keep it real up in here (okay, I said that in my head and it worked better there than written out) and the truth is that I've been having a "blah" week. I mean, it's really no surprise. Last week was awesome, and this week is just back to normal. It's normal for it to be a bit of a letdown. It just feels like everything is a struggle for me. Part of it is the ongoing dilemma I have with "cheat" food. I ate what I wanted on my birthday. I had a pasta dish for dinner and an absolutely delicious made-from-scratch pound cake (Thanks Mom!) as my birthday cake. But here's my problem. Part of me thinks it is important to have days every now and then when I eat what I want so I do not feel deprived. I think it's an important part of moderation. But another part of me thinks I maybe shouldn't have these days because of what comes after. After cheat days, it's hard for me to eat healthy. It feels like a sacrifice, when normally it feels like a favor I am doing for my body. It's also hard for me to work out because my body isn't used to that kind of food. It just sits there in my stomach like a leaden food baby. So I don't know if cheat days are worth it for me. I haven't figured this one out yet.

I'm trying to tough out this period of low motivation. I'm in fake it till you make it mode. I'm trying to force myself to do everything like I normally do, and I know eventually that motivation will return. I'm also trying not to take my feelings out on my alarm clock. After all, it's not the alarm clock's fault that I feel like turning into the Hulk when it goes off at 5 am. I think what's important here is that I acknowledge the problems I am having with low motivation. It's okay for that to happen. It's nothing to be ashamed of, as I believed before. The only way low motivation can really harm me is if I decided to be in denial about it. It's only when you acknowledge a problem that you can focus on the solution. Hey, I didn't even steal that last nugget of wisdom from anyone. It was a Kristen original!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Like fine wine and cheese, I just keep getting better with age

Tomorrow is my 29th birthday. It's hard to believe that this will be my last year in my 20's, when it seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my 20th birthday. I've always had kind of mixed feelings towards my birthdays. I've always been mostly happy about them, but there was one tiny bit of disappointment every single year. It's not related to getting older either (although the steadily decreasing amount of times I've gotten carded lately is somewhat alarming sometimes). I've said that my weight has always affected every facet of my life, and my birthday was no exception. For some reason, my birthday was the date I got fixated on about losing weight. Every year, I would think, "This is the year I'm going to change. This is the year I'll lose the weight for good. I'm going to lose x lbs by my birthday next year." And every single year after, that tiny voice in the back of my head would remind that I had failed in this goal yet again. The problem was that I had no plan for achieving this goal. It was just something I wanted to happen like magic. It was the same old thing year after year.

Well, this  year everything was different. This time last year I was about 3 months into my journey. I had made significant progress, but I was still obese. My goal for the coming year was no different than before in that I still wanted to lose weight, but I had a plan to actually make it happen. It means more to me than I can possibly say to realize that I have finally succeeded in this goal. On my 29th birthday, I will be smaller than I have ever been as an adult. I've accomplished things I could only dream about last year. I have more confidence in myself than I can ever remember having.

So for my 29th year, of course I want to finish losing the rest of my weight (duh). But more than that, I want this year to be all about stepping out of my comfort zone. I've played it safe so much of my life because of my weight. I didn't want to risk looking stupid or drawing attention to myself when I already felt like I had a huge bulls-eye on my back due to how heavy I was. I don't want to be that girl anymore. I've changed so much for the better this past year in so many different ways. I want this next year to be full of even more positive changes. I want to get to my 30th birthday next year and have no regrets. I may have had some not so great years in my 20's, but I want to know that I finished that decade up with a bang. Because as we all know, it's not about how you start. It's about how you finish.

So with that in mind, I will be kicking off my year of stepping out of my comfort zone by going surfing for the very first time tomorrow. Will I look stupid? I can pretty much guarantee that. But I can honestly say that I don't care. I'm going to be out doing something totally awesome that I never thought I could even attempt before. I'm going to know that I finally am embodying the person that I always wanted to be. That feeling is worth looking stupid any day. Pictures to come next week, no matter how embarrassing they may be.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ya'll ready for this? (Cue "da da da" music here)

So when I was trying to think of a title, I kept thinking of that song from that 90's, the one that I had forgotten was from the movie Space Jam, that starts "Ya'll ready for this?" But then I realized, it's hard to convey music in a written title. Because after the first line, you know it goes "Da da da" but it just looks stupid written out. So for your convenience, I have provided a link to the song on Youtube here if you singing the song in your head isn't enough.

Anyway, moving on. It may come as no surprise to you all that I like a lot of pages on Facebook that have to do with fitness, health, losing weight, and all that other good stuff that I have been slightly (haha) involved with over this past year. So I got to thinking, I should make a page myself. But then I also was worried that that would make me seem full of myself or something. If there is one thing I really can't stand, it's arrogance. Or as we in the South like to say, gettin' too big for your britches or above your raisin's (raisin's as in raisings, not like the dried grape raisin).  It is like my number one personality turn-off. I think sometimes that fear of being seen as arrogant can lead me too far in the other direction though. After all, I don't think the other people that created the pages I like on Facebook are arrogant. They're just trying to share something they are passionate about. So like so many other times, I told that irritating, doubting voice in the back of my head to shut the hell up. 

So without further adieu (I don't really know what adieu actually is), I am debuting my new Facebook page today. The name of it will no doubt come as a huge shock...The Space in Between All or Nothing. Hey, I figured why mess with a good thing? You can check it out here. Or if you're my Facebook friend, you have probably gotten an invite that hopefully you didn't just ignore like I do sometimes (hey, guilty as charged). The tone of the page will be pretty much like this blog (or what I hope the tone of this blog is). A little inspiration, some humor thrown in (duh), a cool quote here in there, a recipe that I may or may not have succeeded at actually making, exercise ideas. You know the drill. And I want you all to post on the page about all of that too! I just want to make a page where everyone, not just people interested in weight loss (although certainly that is probably a key demographic), can come and get some support and ideas from others about living a healthy and active life. If there's one thing I have learned over this past year (well, I hope I've learned more than one thing actually), it's that having support from other people is really vital to success. It doesn't matter if some of those people are virtual friends you have never met in real life. It just matters that they're there through all the inevitable ups and downs. So that is why I have created this beautiful Facebook utopia for people that want to live a healthy and active life. Haha, now that  sounds like I'm full of myself. Really, I just wanted to use the word utopia in a sentence. Seriously though, I hope you like my page and it would be really awesome and appreciated if you would also share my page on your Facebook page.

I've had more and more big dreams lately. Things I never believed I could accomplish before, but now I think "Why not me?" Some people have said I should make my weight loss journey into a book. Before, I kind of thought, "Who would actually read that?" but now I am starting to think maybe I should write a book. Others have said I should try to go on a talk show with my story. And again, that voice in the back of my head used to say, "Who would want to see that? Who would be inspired by me?" But you know what? I have a story to tell. Is it a perfect story? Not by any means. But I think that is what people relate to: the fact that things may not always go perfectly, but I get up and try again. I'm realistic here. I am quite aware that these things may never actually happen. The difference now is that I believe that they are possible though. There is a quote I found and wrote down years ago that I think is quite appropriate here:
Now that's a good quote.