July 16, 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!!!

The Most Over Used Phrase And It’s A Complete Lie!

“I am going on a diet.”

How many of you ever have made this statement? I know I am of guilty of it!

It wasn’t until about the last 2 years have I really understood and began to comprehend the difference between nutrition, diet, and eating. Want to know the difference? It’s easy…THERE IS NONE! Let me explain further.

What you eat every day IS YOUR DIET. That’s what it is called! It’s your everyday eating habits and lifestyle that makes up your nutritional diet. Did you happen to notice that all three words were used in that last sentence?

In order for you to change your diet to a healthier, cleaner diet, is a lifestyle change. I am not saying to go to the extreme tomorrow…I am saying start making a change weekly for the better. Some will be easy, some will be more challenging, but the results you get in return far outweigh ANY “suffering” you think you are enduring. TRUST ME!

You are probably wondering what I mean by a cleaner diet. It’s easy…EAT REAL FOOD! Can it be any simpler? The problem is, is that it is simple, people just don’t do it. Now what exactly is REAL FOOD? Here’s the low down, it’s anything that can be found in nature. If you can kill or grow it, EAT IT! So that boils down to meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruit. If you want to eat even cleaner, you can eat organic, grass-fed and cage free foods. Though it is not a necessity, but choosing those options, you are guaranteed no extra preservatives, additives, or hormones in anything you eat.

How to start making changes? First, don’t worry about counting calories, weighing food or eating 5-6 times a day (to start). Just start eating REAL FOOD, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied (this means eating slower and don’t stuff yourself, give your brain time to catch up to what you are doing). Also, center each meal around a high quality protein source.

As you start adapting this new lifestyle and way of eating, then you can start tweaking. What I mean by that is basing particular foods around different times in your day (which will be different for everyone). For example, if you are going to be training, you would want to consume a solid protein and fibrous carb about 30-60 mins prior too, then a fast digesting protein (like a whey protein shake) and a good carb source right after. I can explain this in further detail in another blog.

Lastly, don’t think if you fall off the clean eating, that you have failed because you haven’t. It’s only 3-4 hours until your body becomes hungry to TRY AGAIN!!

 

My Challenge

Well, as most know, I am doing a challenge to get my butt back in gear after a terrible 2011 (medically that is).  Let me give you a little bit of a background of what 2011 had for me…I started the year off pretty great…in the gym 5 days a week, but then it came to a halt when I had selective surgery in February, it was a surgery I was looking forward to for over 5 years and one I definitely deserved! Then just when I was able to start back up and moving again and got the OK from my Doc to return to the gym…my back gave. I knew it was serious but with NO insurance, I just suffered through it. I gave up the gym and reverted back to being bed ridden. Finally on Aug 9th, I couldn’t walk and my dad rushed me to the ER, basically for them to just turn me away without doing anything! They thought I was a pain pill shopper (yet I never once asked for a pain prescription…since I am immune to them all!). So my dad brought me home and made a call that changed everything. He called my old Neuro Doc from 10 years ago that did all my 3 previous back surgeries. My dad updated him on my situation (including the on the duty accident), this was Aug 12th…I was given an MRI that day and then told to report to his office first thing Aug 15th. Pushed in a wheelchair, I was told by my Doc to go directly to Cape Hospital for emergency back surgery, I had blown out the 3 discs above my last fusion he did 10 years prior. Again, I was bed ridden for 4 weeks, then slowly started feeling somewhat normal…that was until my left hip started acting up! I had an amazing friend, Amanda, who had a great friend, Edward, that she made a call too. Needless to say he is the TOP joint implant surgeon in the area! He told me to come in Oct 19th to see him…he took one X-Ray and then asked me how I was even walking!! I was schedule that day for a TOTAL LEFT HIP REPLACEMENT on Nov 3rd! He was a little concerned due to just being under anesthesia twice already this year, and also knowing that I have to be doubled dosed with it so I don’t wake up during surgery, but he pressed on! The day of surgery he went over the pain schedule…needless to say I cut him off and told him NOTHING works. He was like, “Are you telling me you are gonna have this surgery WITHOUT ANY PAIN MEDS to help?”…yep that is EXACTLY what I am telling you. He wasn’t sure how to take that. After all, I am only 36…how can I already be immune to all these meds!! Well, surgery was a success…12 hours later he asked if he could try a pain med cocktail with me over the next 12 hours to see if he could try to lessen my pain…I said sure. Well he monitored me closely…and I was alert, not loopy, talking fine and my blood pressure didn’t drop…so then he said I should have basically been dead…the mix he gave could put an elephant down. So he took me off everything and I just suffered through it. Finally on Jan 25th of this year, I got the OK to get back in the gym…and oh boy, did I take that seriously!! I gained 28 pounds over the course of 2011…and my joints can feel it!! So I need to get this extra weight off to get my hip flexors and back/core strong again. It’s my challenge…..

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