Wednesday, March 26, 2014

beautiful pain

standing in the flames
it's a beautiful kind of pain
setting fire to yesterday
find the light.find the light.find the light...(eminem w sia)

the paradox of strength is that you have to be vulnerable to achieve it. you're stronger where you were once broken...not just true for bones.

i dropped the pretense of being whole and now i find myself more whole than ever. how does that even work. i always thought i'm so fucked up and carried it around. i thought my pain was invisible but it wasn't. my negativity, my depression - it was visible to everyone. when i told people that i struggle with how i see myself, i don't always love myself, and sometimes the days are too dark to get out of bed and the tears just stream down my face, i had the strangest response. no one rejected me or shunned me for it. i found the open arms of compassion and empathy...and i let myself be as i was, with no pretense. in the place of my self-imposed isolation, i found freedom and self-acceptance.

this paradox true even with my fitness - of strength being born through weakness. everything contradicts the way i'm used to thinking. i need to eat more so i can be more lean. i need to gain weight to be stronger. i weigh more but i'm thinner? ultimately muscle is stronger than scar tissue and so that's what i'm building in my mind and in my body. as i lift heavier weights, my mind is letting go of some of the heaviness.

everyone has something...i joined my coach's facebook group a few days ago.people are so candid and open with their thoughts and what they're working to overcome.i'm only as alone as i make myself. the stories of triumph over adversity make me wonder what the fuck i was worried about to begin with?

i still have tough days like this morning when i woke up crying because i didn't like what the scale had to say...the love and compassion shown by friends gets me through the sad days...those friendships have become stronger through my vulnerability. they're the keepers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


i had a butt lift... :)
but no one added any silicone to my derriere. :) ... here's the report i sent to my coach about the good news this week's observations brought me. i had a slump in february, travelled a lot, and then solo-parented for ten days without a kitchen (renos). i'm back in the saddle...

but before we get to the report and the pix...
it's not all rainbows and unicorns for know i think too's what's been in my head.

i'm 45. weight lifting now. am i cliche? i hope not. most of my body looks better than it did when i was 25. but that spectre of aging is always with me.i have friends that are easily 10 years younger or more than i am and the age difference may not cross their minds but it is with me sometimes as i wonder how ridiculous i might seem to them. i wait for them to scoff at me as the young do to the old and frail; for them to gloat with their vitality and resilience.

i told my shrink that if i didn't find a way to deal with the ugliness of getting older, i wasn't going to be around in 10 years. there's no point in hiding that i'm vain, and i'm scared as fuck of becoming faceless, nameless and just an old lady that is invisible.

i've had it good. i've often fed off of the attention that vanity needs for sustenance to boost a flagging self-esteem and a voice that often used to say i'll never be good enough. fuck that voice though and fuck what anyone thinks about me. i'm stronger than anyone who mocks me with their self-centred arrogance. i've survived through a fuck tonne of awful stuff and i will never give in to being some kind of victim-even to aging.

this new found delight when i see how my body is getting stronger in places and ways it's never been before - that's motivating. i'm sure i'll get the crepy skin, the age spots, and the dangling tits that all women have as they age. (i hear labia dangle too. hey do you think women of a certain age and means get labia lifts along with a batch for their snatch?(hairdye folks))

but that's not the point for me - the feeling of strength - of lifting heavier and heavier weights with more fluid motion, it has been very insightful for me. it's given me a different way to fight my fears and to feel like i can be whole. that physical strength gives me inner strength and confidence i've rarely felt. it's so odd. just as i see flab give way to muscle, i'm seeing that despair i've had so often, lift. confidence is with me again and i wonder if i should even say that knowing how hard it has been to escape the darkness...but... fuck it. i'm taking the moment for what it is. life is for living and i'm not into regrets. not now. not ever...and yet, there are only three ppl i'd ever show these weekly pix to.still not there...but on the path...doesn't mean i'll be taking up twerking case you wondered.

ok, enough...pass the chicken please. i still haven't had enough protein and it's almost 10:30 pm. :)

Report to my coach...
Are you still down under? Are you competing? Thanks for the FB link. I'll get on there this week. We still have 2 feet of snow and even though it got up to 50F today, there's a snow storm on the way. Never move here Paul. I think you knew that already though. 

First the good news. As much as I hate having those pix taken, when i compare the side view of Dec 10 to March 10...i can see i have a butt and it got higher so my legs look longer...that's so crazy (in a good way) and I was completely surprised to see it. Now...more good news. I wore a fitted suit jacket yesterday. I've had it for 10 yrs and it fits my shoulders and chest and back but the middle was ridiculously loose. I could grab at least three inches of didn't look goofy but i was really surprised. also, i have a waist now. it goes in. like other people. it doesn't just go straight from my ribs to my hips. it dips in. i don't think i've ever had a skinnier waist... as well, my booty shorts which fit me at 105-my race weight -they now are looser than before...but i'm heavier than i've ever been and that freaks me out. So does the fat on my back under my shoulder least, unlike winter around here, there are some changes that make me optimistic. 

i see the changes when i'm lifting because certain muscles are starting to show up. I also see the weights getting a little heavier each week. On my detailed report you can see how much more weight I can lift now than I did at the start. I feel strong. 

Diet - well - i do have my kitchen now. haven't moved everything back into it but it is it ever nice to cook again. So...I'm a bit off esp w 2 extra grams a fat a day this past week. The carbs are low but the days were wonky from day to day. This week I'm aiming for that level consistency again. I've changed the workout week so Day 1 is Monday so I can take Sunday off because I have trouble getting out of bed on Sunday mornings. lazy ass

Booty call
finally-- the pix...can you see my butt lift? it's awesome. i might start twerking any minute now...
nov 9                                               dec 10               mar 10

Sunday, January 19, 2014

steady as she goes - lessons & pics from week 10 weight lifting

PROgress - make sure you say that with a long o, yo. PROOOgress.

I'm on week 10 of my training. it's coming along well. i'm impatient. i want results sooner, faster but the changes are happening under my skin so i can't see them. i also keep slipping on my food or chips call my name and if i see a cookie the kids have left around, it may disappear without a careful around me.

really though, this balance of spacing out my food throughout the day and making sure i'm eating the right ratio of fats, carbs and proteins -it's challenging. more challenging than lifting weights that make my wrists wobble wobble wobble.

here's some emails between my coach and I. i like them because you'll see he's pretty patient with me and you can see my doubts. but i stick to the plan (mostly) and in the pix you can see, stuff is still happening though i feel like it is so so so slow. have i mentioned i'm impatient?

Happy New Year!
The holidays are making me cranky because the days aren't consistent
and that irritates me when i'm trying to nail down training.

I've attached my report and some pix. Will send 2 more emails w the pix.

i just don't see any progress now...maybe it's the -15F weather that's
bumming me out.
Don't worry they are temporary and you should learn how to deal with social situations. -15, is that even possible. 

After looking everything over I am certain you will come back down as soon as you get back on schedule. The 11g of fat on average is 100 calories a day which is more than I would say your metabolism can adapt to at this stage quickly. However, getting back on track you will find it comes right off. It's the holidays and they should be enjoyed stress free. 

Come to Florida and get out of the cold. Don't change anything diet wise for now until we have a consistent weigh in. 
Paul Revelia
NGA & IFPA Pro Bodybuilder
Owner, Pro Physique Consulting

-15 should be illegal. :)

Ok, we'll stick to the current plan. I have a question about why my shirts are tight now.
I haven't gained much weight. I wore a work blouse today-buttons up the front. 
It gaped at the bust and was tight under the arms. It's never been like that before. 
Also I've noticed that with my long sleeve running shirts, the arms are pulling up and they seem short now...
is this because of the extra weight? Should i be trying to lose more? It's kind of a downer and makes 
me feel like a fatty.

Yeah-florida would be good right about now-but i'm not going anywhere warm until i'm bikini 
ready... and i have a ways to go. :) 

Are you suggesting you are adding muscle, that's kind of what I like to do. You describe extra muscle in the shoulder, back and arm area. 
For reals? This is good? Ok. I have faith. Food will be better this week. Seriously. I have muscle...go figure....but i thought muscle was leaner? 

Muscle is all lean, there is no such thing as fat muscle, they are different substances all together. If you add muscle it will increase your size, the fat you still have is there as well which gives the appearance of being bigger. 
Me: (in my head)
great. i have my fat layer and now muscle too...super size me.

The proof is in the pudding...but since i pudding would mess with my macros, the pix are the proof.
Day 1 November 9          Week 4, December 10     Week 9 January 17


Monday, December 16, 2013


i've never eaten so much and lost weight. it's strange but it's perfectly rational. my approach to weight loss was calorie counting. it was great. i could live on coffee and eat a bag of chips for dinner, stay under my calorie goal and lose weight...the flabby crabby part is sort of a buzz kill though.

my coach works with me on my nutrition and the basis of the diet are macronutrients. He gives me target amounts that I'm to eat for fat, protein, fibre and carbs. Do you know how hard it is to hit the right ratio on target?

this macro diet has so much potential food diversity-it's fantastic.The whole family can eat turkey chili instead of beef chili and it's 70% less fat. I do have a protein shake most days and until now, I've mixed it with water, creatine, and chia seeds. At my new gym, before I ordered a smoothie, they provided me with the nutritional information I needed. I was pleasantly surprised.Sign me up for a pina colada mango smoothie anyday!

We went out for a birthday dinner at a steak restaurant and the restaurant's web site showed you the nutritional info for each item on their menu and allowed you to create a meal that met your requirements - before you even got to the restaurant...i didn't quite stick to the plan when i ordered the dessert  -- but i'm tricky like that - it's good to be spontaneous sometimes, no?

so, yes, abs are made in the kitchen. i'm really paying attention to what i eat. everything i eat, i put in my online diary. i have a running tally going all day long. it doesn't take long. the mobile app makes it easy. sure, it takes time...but i need to take the time to think through choices. i can see what the impact is going to be on my daily macro targets based on choosing one thing over another. another interesting observation is that my nutrition tracker also recommends a target number of calories for slow weight reduction. Using my macro targets, i rarely max out my calories but i am never hungry. here's what happened last week that taught me about food choices.

last friday, i was on a school trip with my daughter. we were spending the day outside tromping around the snow and having a campfire lunch of roasted hotdogs. I brought along veggie dogs - was happy to see how much protein they had. I hadn't counted on the white buns being so high in carbs.the sweetened hot chocolate really did me in (sugar means carbs, gulp). i was hungry by dinner and I had used up all my carbs. Well, I listened to my body and had a nutritious dinner. i chalked up the extra carbs to learning and moved on. i wasn't going to starve for the rest of the day and be cranky. when i look at the week overall, i'm right where i'm supposed to be.

so, i live, i learn and i'm feeling healthier. i see the difference in how much additional weight i can now lift compared to five weeks ago. for some reason, it seems like a lot of little muscles are showing up these days when i watch myself lift. the middle of my back hurts and it's a good sore. it's just a good feeling all over. it keeps me going back to the gym for more.

last week, my coach said the active weight loss phase is done for now and it's time to move into some the "reverse diet" phase and he added more carbs to my target - which i've learned does not mean a bag of chips! i have trepidation here because it seems wrong to add more food to become leaner, but i've put my faith in an expert and i've made a commitment to myself and i see results far sooner than i'd expected. here is a pic taken this morning from the end of week 5. It looks the same as Dec 2 (the pic i posted last week) to me but in other areas, i can feel more muscle...i'm just too shy to show you those...maybe someday.

5 wks, Dec 16 
Day 1, Nov 9 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

back to front...lessons & pix from week 3 weight training

I run…therefore I am… well… not quite.

first, i fell in love 
I started to run because it was a challenge, it was hard and there was no way to short-change it and cut corners. Running burns calories so efficiently and is a great way to stay skinny…for those that do it right. then, I fell in love with it.

Initially, I had loved running for the freedom it gave me and the way I could feel a part of the natural landscape and experience the seasons and all the changes around me. I felt alive with the rush of blood and the feeling of snowflakes melting on my face or when I ran in the blush of the dawn as it blooms across the sky…those moments are captivating and make my soul feel so light and free.

But…over time, I twisted the reason for running and made it feel like it was something I had to do – something I was compelled to do because I’d gain weight otherwise. At the same time, I routinely skipped meals to stay skinny. No one likes running with no fuel in the tank. I did that all the time and made myself miserable.

I’d said maybe I was done with running but now, I know I never want to give it up. I just want the best part of it – the part I fell in love with and is still, thankfully so easy for me to find again. my first run in 33 days yesterday reminded me of that.

week 3 - little signs
This week I completed my third week on my weights and nutrition program, I couldn’t be more surprised that while eating, I’ve actually lost a pound a week. I haven’t done very much cardio either – 4x a week with moderate effort 2x and HIIT 2x. that’s it. 2 hours in total of cardio per week plus 5 days of lifting for about 30 minutes each day plus a lot of food.

put away the number
I had the big weight discussion with my coach yesterday. I have a number stuck in my head- it’s what I think I should weigh…but when I’ve weighed that, I’ve been skinny and look good but I’m not deep down strong and healthy. So, with my coach, I decided I’d rather weigh more but look leaner, stronger and sleeker (and maybe sexier?). it’s time to put the number away and think about my sustained well-being. i've had it a little backwards for a long time. 

strong with life
As I turned 45 this week, my goal is to have a long-term approach to being fit and healthy. In this case, my vanity isn’t a bad thing – it’s motivating me to find a way to look the best I can. I can’t keep running with the weaknesses I know I feel. I can’t keep starving myself and feeling miserable. It’s time to retrain my metabolism and most of all, my mindset. It’s also motivating to start to see the wee hint of some results from my efforts.

November 9 and Dec 2

Monday, November 25, 2013


week 2-november 19-26
I took pictures yesterday and they didn’t show any progress. I had been optimistic earlier last week and thought I’d start to see something. I thought I’d been working hard. it’s obvious my diet isn’t where it needs to be. I’m really quite disappointed with myself and I’m embarrassed about those photos. I cried all day yesterday because it feels like I’m going to be flabby forever. Emotionally, my spirits are low. i don't want to talk to anyone. see anyone. it seems like i've found something else to feel inadequate about. perfect.

Monday, November 18, 2013

extra milfy, no bs & an extra shot of sass

i've been leading a secret life and it's time to talk about it. i've decided to strengthen up my body. i've hired a bodybuilder to get to my goal. here's my coach, Paul Revelia, the owner of ProPhysique. there is no comfort zone.i've never done anything like this. it's perfect.

my bodybuilding coach, Paul Revelia, owner & founder, ProPhysique

go big ... or go home
i had a choice to make and i can't do it all. training for marathons has left me lopsided. with a demanding career, 2 active children and an athletic husband, once i'm done running for an hour, or two, or three, the rest of the day is no longer mine. there is simply no time for anything but running.  [read the backstory of how i got to this decision in the blog post before this one.]

wear and tear
marathoning is starting to take its toll on me. not in large ways. i'm fortunate and i've never been injured...but i can feel the structural weaknesses. my piriformis, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and abs, hell even my mid back - they aren't getting the support they need to support my running habit. every once in a while, they grumble but haven't gone on strike yet.

even more than that, i don't like my current shape. i've never been a big fan of my body, but lately i've taken to obsessing over how much i hate some parts of me. it has to stop.

mischief becomes me
time to build some muscle and build back some self-confidence. those are my very simple goals over the next 12 weeks. i simply want to go back to being my usual sexy self and get that twinkle of mischief back in my eye.

weak one
This week was humbling as i literally took measure of where i'm at. i weighed myself and had my body fat and body parts measured. i had to send those horrendous "before" pics to my coach. fuck, talk about a joy kill. (i put one at the bottom - it's the only one i'm sharing out loud.)

slow and steady burn 
the weights were tough and my body is screaming. it feels good to torch my abs and feel them four days later. Paul's my guide on what i should do so that i work in a steady, consistent way towards my goals instead of diving in, doing too much, and hurting myself.

fueling my passion
Paul's nutrition plan for me is simple - he gives me a number of grams that I should take in every day for proteins, carbs, fats and fibre. He'll adjust those as we go along and we see how my body responds. it's challenging as fuck to eat that much protein but carbs and fat don't seem to be an issue at all :) my food diary is because it has a blackberry compatible app. i don't find it an issue to log what i eat.

so much to learn
buying supplements at a bodybuilding shop was definitely interesting. the three guys working all wanted to know about my coach, what my macro diet looked like, and they gave me some good food ideas, and found all the stuff i needed. the most challenging part about the supplements is to drink all the liquid required for a protein shake, for my BCAAs. oh yeah - BCAAs? who am i? i don't know a thing about any of this stuff and that's why i love it. oh, and i now drink green apple flavoured fish oil. smh! :)

in the gym, i'm still unsure and so i go at the quiet times of the day. a trainer showed me the machines i need and gave me some pointers on my form. i watch people on the machines and they give me tips sometimes.

reality check
Here's part of my note to my coach today.

Oh yeah- I didn't really say how I'm feeling about this after week 1. I'm still excited. I've had a taste of the work ahead and it's
humbling. But, I've had to start at the bottom before and I'm not
afraid of the work or the discipline required. There is no romance -
results are earned with the right, consistent practices. This week
overall has been a reality check and so of course, I'm taking that in
and realizing just how hard the road ahead is going to be. I just
really hope I can see some toning/fat loss etc fairly soon to keep me
motivated. For me, results are the only thing that matter and if I can
see that I'm on the right path, I'll work even harder.

the naked truth
here's the only pic of me that i'll ever show you. it was taken on november 10. of course, i'm going to pick the best one to show you. i know that having a stronger body isn't the cure for sadness but knowing that i'm caring for myself makes me whole. that confidence is undeniably sexy.

37.5mm fat on those thighs
simply put, i'm on a 12 week trip to being extra milfy, with no BS, and a double shot of sass...aka - the best of me. :)