October 22, 2018

2013…This truly HAS to be MY year!!

2013

You might be asking your self, WHY?

Well, if you don’t truly know me yet, then you don’t know that my lucky number is 13! So with it being year 2013 and then my birthday is on the 13th, oh and might I add it also falls on the greatest of all days (at least for me)…it’s a FRIDAY the 13th at that!! So YES this truly has to be MY YEAR!!

friday the 13

Though 2012 wasn’t so bad, the first half I was still recovering from my total left hip replacement. I finally got the “OK” to get back in the gym in May, but no low body weight training til almost August. I have had tons of set backs due to issues that have come up because of my surgery, that left me bed ridden for a few days here and there.

Let me talk about an issue, that actually has become second nature to me…my weight. I am one of those women who can tell anyone any “stat” of my life…whether it be years as a mom (14), years single (37), my age (37), years at the sheriff’s office (10), years dealing with medical issues (19), number of surgeries (20), number of tats (20), how many bones I have broken (seriously I have lost count), how many true loves have I had (1)…see the list can go on forever!

So back to my weight. At my highest, I was 275 (1/1/2005) and at my lowest I was 138 (9/1/2009).  I finally settled at my ideal weight for me, which is between 150-155. But over the last year my complete mindset on my weight has changed. You see being bed ridden from Feb 17, 2011 until January 30, 2012 (being able to get up an about but no exercise at all) left me at 181lbs. So I started back to really watching what I ate, not counting calories, but nutrient content (protein, carbs, fat grams). You see I decided I didn’t care about the number on the scale, I wanted my body composition to change this time, meaning lowering my body fat and not caring what my weight was. I started at 28.3% body fat, which is deemed overweight for my height of 5’7″. So now this became my goal, gain lean muscle, lose body fat. Well I was on a roll up until Dec 8th (when I kind of fell into a slump which then turned into mild depression).  I dropped weight to 160 and my body fat dropped to 21.7%, I was ecstatic! Now I was to only lose 5 or so more pounds but I want to be at 16-17% body fat. Well 3 weeks of depression and not really caring did me in…gained back weight and it wasn’t healthy weight because I was constantly in starvation mode due to hardly ever eating. So the last few days I have refocused and besides my emotional eating last night (yes I am human), I am gonna set out to ROCK 2013!!

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I love Push Ups…but DO YOU??

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I use to be the one who use to DREAD the word “PUSH UP”. I literally would get sick to my stomach at the mere thought of having to do them!

THEN the law enforcement academy happened and I fell in LOVE with them!!! I am not kidding!! I was doing about 2500 different versions of push ups on a weekly basis!! I loved being able to feel myself getting stronger each week…after 6 months…MY arms and shoulders LOOKED AMAZING!!! Then my accident occurred and once I was able to get into a wheelchair and then a walker, I was SO THANKFUL for all those push ups!! I needed all the upper body strength I could muster to lug around my lower half!!

So why am I writing this blog…well I don’t want you to hate the word or fear the mere thought of having to do a push up!! So I am going to give you a start…from the beginner…all the way to the advanced. See where you fit and then just start…even if it is JUST 1….that is more than what you did yesterday! Remember what I always say…baby steps!!!  I will post a video to each type I am talking about to help you understand! 🙂

FOR THE BEGINNER

When I say, use the wall, I mean USE THE WALL!! There is NO SHAME in this at all!! Once you feel you can move on do so, this should be when you can comfortably do 10!!

NEXT STEP

The next step will be moving down to the counter. Do as many as you can with proper form (you never want to give up form) then go back to the wall and do as many there. Keep doing these till you are doing 10 here.

NEXT STEP

Time to get lower to the ground, it’s time to go to a chair! Just like the counter, you will do as many as you can here, then move to the counter and then to the wall. Again, continue till you get up to 10 on the chair.

NEXT IS TO THE FLOOR!!!

This is where you have been dying to get to, right! 🙂  Yes, we are starting out with push ups on your knees. I don’t call these “girl” push ups because I know just as many guys who do these as gals, so they are KNEE push ups. You will be repeating the sequence like in the prior steps. Hit 10 here and it is time for, yep you guessed it, a STANDARD push up!!

 

I don’t care if you only start with 1. You are doing a FULL STANDARD PUSH UP! Let me give you a little tip…keep your feet a little a part…I keep my shoulder with…it helps keep proper form (it helps me due with my back due to my back surgeries I have had).

ADVANCED

Now once you have conquered the standard push up, it is time to have some fun. There are SO many different variations you can do…from diamond, divebombers, spiderman, plank holds, burpees, etc. I add a great video that shows A TON!!! 🙂

 

Well…enjoy doing your push ups!! When you are starting out, do them every day. I have seen tons of 100 push up challenges, but some need to start off with the basics and then once you hit the standard…then get out of your comfort zone and try one, like this 100 Push Up Challenge.

 

 

Staying Positive AFTER An Injury or Surgery

You might be thinking to yourself, is she kidding, everyone at some point becomes negative during the recovery process! My response to that is, you are ABSOLUTELY correct! We do, it is part of human nature for us, but at the same time, we also have the capabilities to counter act that choice.

Let me give you a little background to back up what I am about to say to you. I am a 37yr old single mom and I should have died not once, but 4 different times in my life. I have been told by doctors at 3 points in my life that I would NEVER walk again. I was told my life would NEVER be the same. I lived through 3 near fatal car accidents, my last being in the line of duty. The other thing that almost killed me was when I contracted bacterial meningitis. I have more titanium in my body holding me together than anyone should EVER have. I have gone through 20 surgeries to date, mostly on my lumbar spine, pelvic and left hip. So now that you know a little about me, let me tell you why I am a SURVIVOR, not a victim!Never believe words of people who have NEVER gone through what you are going through, and YES this includes the doctors treating you! You truly are your own worst enemy when it comes to your recovery! It is just like when we want to hit a PR (personal record), if we go into negatively, we might as well NEVER even try! But when we go into with a positive mindset, it is truly amazing what our minds are capable of putting our bodies through! Another thing about mindset, don’t be a stubborn or a prideful person when you reenter the box/gym. You do this; you might as well have just stayed home! Let me tell you this now and get it out of the way – YOU WILL NOT BE THE SAME PERSON AS BEFORE, throw out all your old goals and make new ones for the person you are NOW!!  Now, I am not saying that you will never get back to where you were, hell you might even exceed all your past PRs! What I am saying is your body has changed, PERIOD! There is no going back to the way it use to be. It is time to start finding out what works for the body you have NOW! This is probably one of the biggest struggles people deal with when in recovery. The second is the time from which the injury or surgery occurred to when you actually get back into the box/gym!

So let’s talk about that for a second, that down time can either be used to play the pity card or it can be used to start formulating a path in which you want to go. Only YOU can make this decision. Only YOU can decide if want to be the “oh woe is me” person or the SURVIVOR! And I don’t care how many cheerleaders you have in your corner, NONE OF THEM can do this journey for you! Matter of fact, there will come a point that if you hear one more positive word out of someone’s mouth, you literally might go insane!

In closing, let me just make one thing clear! An injury or surgery doesn’t define WHO YOU ARE…you do!  I am not going to sit here and tell you that it’s going to be easy, it actually might be the hardest fight of your life, and like me, you might have to fight it a few times. But what I will tell you is not only will it be worth it, but you will be stronger than you have ever been hitting any PRs!!!

Oh The Questions I Get Asked…Part I

I get some pretty strange questions all the time and some pretty personal ones too! I am getting use to my life being an open book, whether I am having a bad day, just hit one of my goals, or just an average run of mill day…I am letting people see that I am only human, just like everyone else. I don’t think I am better than anyone, nor do I think that I am a failure.

After all, failure only occurs when you stop trying! I am going to list some questions I have been asked and I am also going to respond to them! I never stop trying, I might tweak it to make it fit better for me, or I might change direction or it might end up turning out completely different than what I pictured, but I never stop trying.

I am going to list some questions I have been asked and I am also going to respond to them!

 

Why are you squatting that way?

You might be wondering what my squats look like now! I definitely squat different than a person who has had no back or hip surgeries or injuries. Can I squat the same way that an Olympic lifter does, yes I can. But in order for me to do repetitive sets, at a solid weight, I have to tweak it. Sometimes my feet are farther out in front of my stance and I squat basically sticking my butt out and chest up. Another way is using plates under my heels. This way takes some pressure off, which helps me dramatically! I also never just push out squats as fast as I can; I use steady consistency throughout the entire movement, sometimes even holding the squat in the down position for a 3-5 count.  If I want to do explosive squats, I never do them with weight; I do air squats, which is still a good training for my glutes, hamstrings and quads. These even work my core.

Why don’t you ever tell me to do sit-ups?

It’s not that I don’t like them; there are just so many other core strengthening techniques that don’t put as much pressure on my lower spine and yield better results (I think).

You have chronic pain? But you don’t look in pain?

This one almost always gets me to laugh. My response, please explain to me exactly what pain looks like. I have learned to mask my pain with a smile. It helps me get through it. I don’t have time to be bed ridden, after all I escaped death 3 times…I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE…even in chronic pain!

How are you handicapped…you are so young? (Or I get the disgusted look and eye roll)

Yes, I am young, but I have had a handicap parking permit on and off since I have been 18. I have lived MANY years on a walker, trust me no 18 year old wants to have to depend on a walker! But it was letting me walk, something that I was told I would never do! I now have a permanent handicap permit and I don’t use it all the time. I use it on my bad days or when I know I will be walking for awhile because I just might not make it back to my car. You see, I can’t stand long on my left leg. Within about 30-45 minutes the throbbing starts and the stabbing pains kick in.  Then within 15-30 minutes after that all begins, my entire leg goes dead, completely numb. Yet my hip is completely ON FIRE. Then I start over compensating and my lower back then gives out. So yes, I am handicap in the eyes of my doctors (not the government), but I don’t consider myself handicapped, I just have limitations that I have work around.

Oh, you were injured in the line of duty? You must be very well taken care of!

OK…I have one word….HA!!! Not even close! That so called family, the “Brotherhood” you hear about…cut the umbilical cord the night of my accident. I had to literally fight for everything; my paycheck, my healthcare, I was even cut off early from physical therapy before I could walk because I was told it wasn’t necessary. I was forced out because I became a liability. The agency I worked for is not part of a union, so the Sheriff dictates how things are run, he changes the rules to FIT as he sees fit. I resigned after 10 years of dedicated service without even a thank you. So, no I am not taken care of, actually if it wasn’t for my family I would be homeless and many of days my daughter and I would gone without food.

You NEED To Change Your Lifestyle…NOT DIET!!!

There are NO miracle pills, injections, creams or surgeries…there are NO diet centers or diet fads…that will give you the healthy lifestyle you not only want, but deserve!!

Let me explain…I have been there, I have literally tried everything out there (no joke)…it was called being “desperate”.
When I say I have tried EVERYTHING, I am not kidding!! I have done all the silly “fad” diets, all the proclaimed “diet” and “fat burner” pills, to spending thousands of dollars on diet centers, to even starvation. Did they work…yes, but ONLY while I was on them! Why…because the only thing that changed was me following their directions, NOT by me changing my mindset! I knew I NEEDED to lose the weight, but I didn’t want to put in the effort to really do it. It wasn’t until my last attempt did something finally click!

You see, my last attempt was the Lap-Band Surgery, but I made a promise not only to myself but to my sister that I was going to use this as a “tool” NOT a “fix”. And that is exactly what I did. (Yes, I still have the band in, but I no long have restriction in it..meaning I no longer even use it as a too
l). What I had to do was not put my BODY on a diet…it was to FIX my brain and my heart first, my body would eventually follow!6 months prior to surgery, I started doing tons of research, I started asking questions to the right kind of people. I started learning about my body, about the inside. I read everything I could about nutrition. I finally made up my MIND that I was ready to make a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, not go on a diet! I also signed up for my first triathlon since prior to my first accident (at age 18). Instead of spending money on pills or diet centers, I spent it on buying a Tri bike, running sneakers, racing suits, an MP3 player, etc (all which I still have to this day…money well spent!). I started back swimming first and it felt great…I finally felt alive again! I literally was killing myself in the gym, I was working out 6 days a week, twice a day. I wasn’t losing much, but that’s when I realized I hadn’t cleaned up my eating (and even when I did, it wasn’t like I eat now, it was societies healthy eating…ya know the 100 calorie snack packs (GARBAGE)!! )!
There is nothing out there better than what healthy clean eating can do for you, your mind and your body. 80% of what your body looks like comes from the kitchen…the other 20% comes from what you do (physically).It really hasn’t been until these past 2 years…have I really noticed how true this is. Which, of course, has only made me want to know more! Knowledge is power! It’s amazing what certain foods can do for us…from lowering blood pressure, to flushing out toxins and repairing muscles….and it is all done NATURALLY!!!
It really hasn’t been up until this last year after my last 3 major surgeries that I really started honing in on my food choices, how to eat, when to eat, how much of what (protein, carbs, fat ratios), and the actual nutrient value of what I was putting in my body! My mindset changed again towards food…it no longer is food to me…it is FUEL! It’s what keeps me moving, it what stabilizes my health, makes my skin, hair and nails healthier, boost my immune system, aids in my recovery of not just workouts, but from surgeries. I do take supplements and I believe that there are ones out there that ADD to the nutrients you already are eating. No supplement should EVER replace actual food, EVER!!!

This post is not to ridicule anyone for doing anything that is trying to better their health…this is just an inside glimpse at my life and what I battled…and still do…it is an everyday choice I make to be and stay healthy! 🙂