Rarely do I read such a lengthy article, and agree with the whole thing, while simultaneously changing my beliefs and admitting I have been doing things wrong.
Johann Hari uses this article to explore that “.. the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection. ”
Our Culture has a distorted view on what addiction is, and sometimes it can seem that what is “repetitive” or “habitual” is actually classified to be addictive behavior.
In our current culture, addiction is mutually exclusive and associated to “unhealthy behavior.”
As Johann Hari had his own reasons to explore the truths behind addiction, I was enthralled at how he was able to empathetically articulate the single reason which leads to addictive behavior; environmental loneliness. Lack of support.
He mentions a study on rats. Rats that lived in healthy social environments chose not to ingest drug laced water, where as isolated rats chose to spend much of their time intoxicated; however when the sad isolated rat was returned to the healthy social environment, the rats avoided the laced water.
Additionally Hari mentions that 95% of opiate addicted Vietnam vets, were able to return to America and live productive lives, drug free with out rehab.
He poses the hypothesis that when people feel happy, supported and safe, they have no need to externally stimulate their opiate receptors, which inherently block pain… emotional or physical.
The propaganda and programming we have toward addicts, is that they need to be isolated, and cut off, until they can “get their shit in order.” And by the hypothesis of Hari, this leads to counter productive results, and actually enables an addict to continue their use, in order to avoid facing their isolation.
Our outdated views on addiction, do not take into (enough) account how unique each individual is, in their own chemistry and motivating life experience.
This begs to ask the question, is there such a thing as a “healthy” addiction?
Take for instance endorphins. Also known as endogenous morphine, which actually means “morphine like substance, naturally released within the body.” We all have opiate receptors in our brain, and things like sex, running, chocolate and extreme physical exertion can cause a natural flood of endorphins in to the blood and brain.
If you have ever heard of “runners high,” it is the point where the body becomes so infused with endorphins that begins to feel damn near invincible. The habit of running and naturally releasing the “feel good” hormone can become addicting; yet have you ever heard of Runners Anonymous? You never hear about runners needing to go to support groups for running too much.
Groups of runners are actually quite supportive of one another, regardless of level.
Addictions are often micro analyzed from the aspect of external introduction of chemicals, however it appears addiction has more to do with an individuals own chemistry and environment mixed with repetitive behavior, than it does with drugs.
Ask yourself this; Do you pick at your face in the mirror while talking shit to yourself?
Do you constantly self deprecate?
Do you cut yourself?
Do you compulsively gamble?
Do you binge and then purge?
Do you eat to console yourself?
Do you throw up after you eat?
Do you bite your finger nails, or click a pen?
This, along with a bunch of other drugless activities can be seen as addictive, depending on the individual (to others it could just be seen as annoying or burdensome.)
Depending on the individual, each of these activities can be soothing, and depending on how it all came about, can stimulate the brain to release endorphins. Numbing and soothing the “addict.”
Endorphins are not mutually exclusive to positive triggers. Endorphins are also released in when the brain when we take risks or go into “fight or flight mode.”
It can almost be deduced that all of us suffer from one addiction or another; if we do anything repetitively and find it comforting or get high from it. It is the brains response to seeking balance and to avoid pain.
And while, those of us who are struggling to get in shape, may not consider our previous stagnant lifestyles as “addictions;” there is something to say about the levels of our own hormones and chemistry which can mirror addiction which led to being unhappy with the self. This is how couch potatoes become athletes… they find a new way to trigger natural stimulation, that is easily attained. The perception pain shifts, and physical aches become worth the natural chemical rush.
If you find yourself, unhappy with your current state of things, and filling the void or blocking the pain; I encourage you to find a supportive activity to get those healthy triggered endorphins running through you. Start viewing your own body as a natural pharmacy that can be adapt genic.
Realize if you are being drawn to dissociative behaviors, something needs to change in your life, because that behavior is born from a lack of feeling supported and uncomfortable in your environment. Lucky for you, change always comes from within, and this may be just the reminder you needed…You CAN do this
Can you become addicted to hating on yourself? Yes, you can, especially if you live an unsupported lifestyle. Does it have to be permanent? No. You just have to find the courage to take the first step.
Laying in bed, feeling the soreness in my muscles; my brain wanders, unattended to dark recesses of fear.
“What if nothing changes, with all this work?”
“What if I am the only one; who loses nothing, and still can’t do a full modified push up, after 6 weeks?”
“What if this program has the opposite intended effect on my body… and I look worse at the end of 6 weeks.”
All these “What if’s” rattling around in my brain.
Do you have them too?
Logically, it can’t get worse. My muscles are sore, that is a sign of progress; but it is a sign, that is at times, easily ignored.
Our brains are amazing muscles. Sometimes we flex it in counterproductive ways, like excessive worry, and unfounded suspicion.
Our brains want to keep us safe from pain, which can translate into it creating elaborate, and highly unlikely situations; which can be emotionally warping. Wrapping us up in it’s fantasy, it is easy to get carried away with the self and “worst case scenario” syndrome.
As I lay in bed, frightfully imagining that in six weeks, I will be exactly the same; I have to force my logical mind into action. I need my common sense to over ride my unfounded fears.
Everyday is a new one, and some are more mentally taxing than others.
For this reason, it is great to have friends or accountability partners. People who are empathetic, and supportive, when the mind feels weak, and the top of the mountain is out of view. How many of us just quit something because we felt alone and unsupported in our pursuit? The diet that didn’t last a week, or the early morning walks that never continued after the first few? Quitting as quickly as we started because of how lonely the journey seems. In the beginning of every new change, there are feelings of anxiety and excitement, but those feelings quickly change into struggle as one attempts to keep their own motivation high.
The mental downside of any new program, is how to keep your self involved with the desire to show up and do the work. We want to see and experience results quickly in order to KNOW with out a doubt, that it is working. The beginning is hard because you are basically breaking yourself down on several levels, and it is painful, not just physically, but mentally as well. We learned during week one that there are a plethora of excuses to stop, and only one REAL reason to continue.
If you are anything like me, you may need help redirecting those thoughts back to the One Real Reason. You may need to be reminded, All is not in Vain.
I encourage you to reach out when you feel like you may be the only one who feels like they aren’t going anywhere, fast enough. You are not alone. Be gentle with yourself; remind yourself that you are worth the risk, and only You can decide and work from that truth.
Think about it as systematically breaking down an old program that no longer suits you. Think of it as adopting a new philosophy and work ethic. Think of it as a personal Spring Cleaning; sweeping out the old cob webs, for a new and cleaner You.
When you feel too down and out to keep going, know that you have been sweating out your old excuses, purging the self deprecation from each muscle fiber; you are sculpting the You, You want to see and be. Know you are not alone; I want You to be the best You can be for You, and You want the same for me. We know, we will be better for it.
Okay, the first week of badassery has been laid to rest… On to week two.
The mind wants to be over congratulatory, and the body is like “really? you are doing THIS again?”
Propriety says, “We are getting in a groove,” and ADHD says “But what about this over here?”
The first week, is the hardest. It is the hardest because, taking that first step, is really hard. Admitting you are discontent with yourself, and DOING something about it, is hard. Working muscles sat dormant for who knows how long, is brutal.
Why is it so brutal? Change happens in life all the time. It doesn’t seem like people put nearly as much thought, time or effort, into some of life’s other changes; as they do body improvement. I mean, really, think about how life changing and easy it is for some people to get pregnant. And for those, it comes easy to… rarely is there much forethought or planning.
Getting out of shape is easy. It literally takes no thought at all, just reaction. When laziness or sedentary-ness become habitual reaction, shit get’s out of control. You may remember sitting down as a size five, and when you finally get up, you realize you are a sloppy size 20.
A great quote, from some name I do not remember, said “If you want to know how you will feel tomorrow; pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling today. If you want to know why you feel the way you do today; look closely at what was going through your mind yesterday.”
Our bodies are a reflection of our internal state of being. A person can say they care about health, and wellness… and their body can tell you what they really think.
Each and everyone of us, have lives that we live; involving other people. And as much as we feel, our world revolves around us; as main players…the realization is, we are all truly equal and deserving of attention and love.
You know who never gets enough attention; appreciation and love for the hard work they do? Moms. Caretakers.
They worry their little heads off and run themselves to empty for the sake and welfare of those they love. Rarely asking for much in return, but sighing relief when everyone gets along and the domestic seas are calm for a few hours.
We have all seen that lady, who could use a couple extra hours of sleep; but forgoes it to stay up, and put the finishing touches on that science experiment, or that costume for the play. We see how she dismisses her own needs for the sake of others, with out complaint; knowing deep down, there is something she wants, but feels there is no time or energy to ask for.
Everyone has their jobs, and their home life, and that secret and often times silent part of themselves that SCREAMS for attention, but is often times drowned out by the impending nature of the needs of those around them.
All the while, that voice screeches “WHAT ABOUT ME?”
Maybe one day, when it is just quiet enough, and a nap seems enticing, that screech becomes unbearable; and you listen. You listen so hard, you can’t help but repeat what you hear; to anyone that will listen.
And what sounds like a demand, falling from your lips; twists itself into a plead.
Going from a solid “I need this,” to a whimpering “Can I please?”
Waiting for some sort of external validation, that your desires are worthy enough to address.
And, if you aren’t squashed immediately, a seed starts to grow, saying “I will, no matter what.”
Then you see the opportunity for your “will” to become a “do,” and you think… “yeah, it’s on.”
So you pummel through the doubt, and you go that first day, a bit hesitant, but determined; and you get through that first week, and think “yeah, I made a life style change! I am proud of myself!”
But, then, all of a sudden it is the weekend. A holiday weekend. And you have kids, and things to do. You slip your empowered self, back into the closet in order to fulfill the many roles and demands presented to you by anyone and everyone, but you. And it seems daunting. And you wonder if they actually SEE you, the YOU, you want to be. The YOU, you are, with out them. And then you feel guilty… because it feels selfish to honor the part of yourself, which is separate from those who rely so heavily upon you.
Maybe, you wonder, “is it worth it?” Maybe, you think, “do I really have time for this?” Maybe, you keep showing up with some sort of guilt on your shoulders.
Admittedly, I am not a mother. But I am a care taker… and I have already mulled some of this over in my mind.
On prediction, I am sensing that week two is going to be brutal, in a new mental way. It is the absolution of making a decision and sticking with it, with out excuses. It is the psychological fuckery, of admitting to yourself, that you HAVE TO, NEED TO do something for yourself.
Class is ONLY a half hour. Sticking to the dietary changes is an ongoing job, and life continues it’s path around all of that.
It will be easy to stumble. However, stumbling isn’t the end of the world.
Keeping focus may be hard, because life keeps going the 23.5 hours you aren’t “working” yourself out. But that one half hour, every day… is priceless and all about you. It is so deeply about you, that it is bound to knock emotional boundaries loose; emotions and feelings you may not realize you had stored in the recesses of the folds in your brain, and those atrophied hamstrings.
The work you are doing at Fit Body Boot Camp is hard, hard enough to allow you a half hour to readjust your thinking; back to the moment that includes you and your body, and not the impending laundry. Maybe by week two, you are potentially arguing with yourself, that even a half hour a day is too much time to spend on yourself… “I mean after all, it ends up being approximately 3 hours a week, I could be ironing pleats into pants that do not require pleats.”
You haven’t yet made it to the 21 day mark… that place where “new habits and routines” reside.
Day 6 is closer to day one, than day 6 is to day 21. And day six is still so far away from 6 weeks.
It can seem daunting, and almost unreachable.
I ask you, what are you trying to reach?
If it is to be a centerfold in Fitness Magazine… I say, “GO for it.” If it is just to have more energy, and to feel better about yourself while trotting through the normalcy of life..”GO for it.”
For every valid reason to move forward with the excitement and mystery of life; there are a million excuses not to, and most of them revolve around some martyrdom for the sake of some one else. What makes you think, that you don’t deserve the same treatment?
We live in a world where self worth is rated on a scale of superficiality. And it can seem as though, taking a route to a healthier body may be placed in that category; somehow making it frivolous and easily dismissible. The superficial aspect denies the whole person, that wants more out of life. The person that would rather worry about the form and the focus in function, than just impressing lookers on.
It isn’t superficial to want to love your body. It isn’t superficial to want to feel sexy for your partner. It isn’t superficial to want to wear a smaller pair of jeans; all the while living and playing the many roles we all have. In fact, to attain that comfort, is one less thing to worry about.
Week two isn’t just about showing up; it is the first step in asking the self a bunch of “why’s” sat dormant. Lucky for you; you are not alone. And yes, YOU are WORTH IT!
It’s crazy to think that 10 years ago today… I was in jail.
It wasn’t for very long, but when you haven’t thought too much about your white privilege, even 18 hours seems too long.
I never thought I would be the kid in my family to go to jail. I was the honor roll student, who; on paper, looked like the All American Over Achieving Teenager. I was involved in student mock trial, I was obedient (overall) to the Law and God.
In fact, I never thought any of my siblings or cousins would go to jail. Even the trouble makers; over all, we were all really good kids, brought up with respect. None of the boys were very violent.
Looking back, maybe it was obvious I would be the one to go, if one was to go.
My temper was far worse than any of them. And my quickness to hit or hit back, was evident. Maybe it was because I was the only girl around 3 boys; maybe it was my latent anger issues at losing my mother at four years old. Maybe it was a little bit of both.
January is a very precarious month for me. My mother’s mother was born on January 31,1927. My mother died on January 31, 1985. I went to jail January 17, 2005 and I got pregnant on January 31, 2007 (HA! The Chaste Moon or Snow Moon). My first niece was born January 29, 2014.
Lot’s of birth and death and change seems to occur around me at that time of the year. I should have expected it. My life was already in a sort of shambles.
I was living with whom I thought at the time to be “the love of my life”; below poverty level, working two jobs, and fighting all the time. The honeymoon period ended as soon as we moved 1200 miles from where we met, and from there things were on a rapid down hill slide.
Both of us had lost a parent at an early age, and were quick to anger. I never hit him. He smacked me more than once to get me to shut my mouth; but he never “pummeled my ass.” He would get in my face and yell at me, maybe throw my stuff around, but I never thought he would go “too far,” or at least further than I could handle.
I moved out once, before the night I went to jail. I didn’t have enough in my paycheck to pay my half of the rent; and most of our issues revolved around money, which was just an avoidance of deeper emotional issues. I was accused of not pulling my weight. I would rather run than fight again. So I packed my things, took them to a friends house, and left a note.
There he was the next morning at 6:30, waiting for me outside my job. He looked haggard; exhausted and tear stained; begging me to come home, telling me that we were family and that he loved me, that things would be different. And because I loved him, and believed him, and knew deep down, that our issues were emotional; because I was for the first time in my life, COMMITED to another human and our relationship, I went home to him.
And things were okay for a couple of months. He even said “We have to cut this shit out, or one of us is going to end up dead or in prison.” I definitely agreed.
The night I went to jail, was an average cold wet Oregon night. I worked my second job at a fine dining Italian restaurant in downtown Bend. It had been a busy night, so I stuck around after my shift to help with extra clean up and a shift drink. One hard cider turned into three; and on an empty stomach. I didn’t feel tipsy or buzzed, I was at work for a couple hours and felt fine to drive home.
I drove the three miles home feeling quite sober and when I got out of my car I felt drunk. I made it half way to the door and realized I left the dome light on, and turned back to shut it off. I leaned in turned it off and grabbed a couple of items from the back seat. As I shut the door a cop car pulled up and an officer got out and approached me.
“What are you doing?” He asks, holding his flash light directed at me.
“I forgot something in my car. Why?”
“There have been some break in’s in this neighborhood,” he gets closer to me. “Have you been drinking tonight?”
I knew he hadn’t caught me driving, and we were standing directly in front of my house; so, thinking I wouldn’t incriminate myself, I was honest and said “yes.”
I don’t remember how, but this led to a road side sobriety test. Wherein I got incredibly nervous, and full of adrenaline not only because of the Law, but because my boyfriend came out of the house. I knew either way the cookie crumbled, I was going to have hell to pay.
My boyfriend was obviously pissed to be woken from his beauty sleep. A look of loathing and disappointment was severe and evident across his face.
About the time I saw him, was about the time I spelled my own last name wrong. Things were definitely going from bad to worse. I already knew, my boyfriend would probably be mad that I was home later than usual… and he HATES cops… now one is interrogating me in our front yard, and I am FAILING.
He finally speaks up and tells the officer, “It’s fine, she lives here. That’s my girlfriend.”
The officer says “Fine, you can go in, and make sure you stay in, for the night.”
I say “okay” and “thanks” as my lover escorts me to the door. That is when things really start to blur. I am shaking, and as we cross the threshold he says, “I am disappointed in you, we will discuss this tomorrow, but I need some fucking sleep because I have to be up in 3 hours, so you need to sleep on the couch.”
I didn’t argue, I just went to the couch with my work clothes on.
I must have laid there a while, and decided to go to the bathroom and take my contact lenses out. He heard me from the bedroom, and got out of bed in a rage; yelling something along the lines of “lay down or I am going to lay you down.”
Now, I just don’t think this is something you say to a person whom you have hit more than once, and is also a rape survivor. Add in the chemical mix of alcohol and adrenaline; I became a self preservation machine. I don’t remember much, but the tussle. He came at me, and instead of swinging, or blocking; I grabbed his hair, and I held on, keeping him arms length away for as long as I could until he pulled away, leaving me with tufts of his hair in my hands.
He was livid. “You have to get THE FUCK outta this house, but you are not driving that car! I am going to pull the spark plugs out of it, but you, you need to get the fuck OUT!”
I started freaking out, telling him not to touch my car. I followed him out the front door grabbing at his t-shirt, ripping it away from his body. I got in front of him, attempting to block him from getting to the car, my hands still on his shirt, which tore some more; I lost my footing on the front stoop and fell backward holding the shirt, he was pulled forward and stepped off the stoop directly onto my face, breaking my nose.
I started bleeding immediately, and he saw it and freaked out. He ran into the house and locked the door, and called 911. I got up and went to the window, I saw him on the phone in the kitchen. I tried the locked door. It had since started raining, and I was soaked from falling on the ground. I noticed the blood, and I wanted to go inside; so I started banging on the kitchen window. The longer he ignored me, while on the phone; the more frantically I started beating at the double pane. That was until I busted through both panes of glass and shards were shot into my chest from the argon gas compressed between the panes.
My boyfriend yelled at me, saying the cops were on the way, and that he wouldn’t be letting me back into the house.
I was freezing, I had no shoes on, I just wanted to take out my contacts and go to bed. I didn’t want to fight, or go to jail, or deal with cops, or blood. I just wanted to rest. The escapist in me thought about running to the near by park, or hiding in someone bushes; the educated part of my brain reminded me of all the episodes of “COPS” that I had seen; and that no one ever gets away. So I sat patiently freezing on the front stoop until the Authorities arrived.
I don’t remember what they asked me. They took a statement from him, and in Oregon, in domestic disputes involving a 911 call…some one has to go to jail; and because one of the responding officers had already logged me in their book that night; I was the lucky winner.
I think the officers felt a little bad for me and the state of my face. Both of my eyes started to swell shut and shiners were becoming evident. As I recall, they didn’t cuff me; I had no fight left.
I was taken to the county jail, which at that point, I didn’t even know where it was located. I sat in processing, and the check in officer asked what the other guy looked like, to which I answered “I think he lost some hair.” He suggested I check out the domestic violence programs in town. I asked for an Advil, and was told “no”, then escorted by a female officer into a large bathroom; where I was instructed to completely disrobe so that I could be cavity searched. This was like some worst nightmare (I didn’t even know I had) coming true.
I was issued some ugly scrub type inmate clothes and taken to a holding cell until I would be moved to the general female population later in the morning.
They put me in a temporary tank with a woman who was probably in her late 50’s, early 60’s. She was screaming and violently banging on the plexiglass. “GIMME A NEW GODAMN DIAPER! I SWEAR TO CHRIST I WILL WIPE SHIT ALL OVER THESE WINDOWS!!! I WANT A CLEAN DIAPER YOU MOTHER FUCKERS!!! FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING PIGS!!!””
How the hell did I get here? I was freaked out; worried, tired, and scared as shit. I huddled in the corner with a blanket and cried. Again some compassionate officer must have had some pity for me, and the elderly lady was removed.
In the quiet cell, I called my dad, 1200 miles away. This was maybe a bad idea, and I could hear the helplessness in his voice when he said “what I can I possibly do, from here?”
I said “I don’t know. I just thought you should know.” And hung up, defeated.
I asked if I could make another phone call at 7:45, to let my boss I know I wouldn’t be at work. I cried and apologized for the collect call, I told them to take it out of my pay check. “everything would be okay. Don’t worry about it.”
I hung up the phone, and about that time I was taken to be transferred to the female jail bird population. I was given a brown lunch sack with a flimsy pen, a toothbrush, tooth past, a crappy comb, and a small pad of paper. I was taken to a 6 bed bunk, and shown my mattress, pillow and blanket. The officer advised me on hours of food and left me to assimilate.
I set my brown bag on the mattress and walked out into the commons room where every one else was socializing. I sat at an empty table and just observed the goings on. I was now apart of the great equalizer, and I had the outfit to prove it. At this point, I realized “I am an inmate.” Yet, I felt no guilt.
Some girl with a bunch of neck tattoos came over to me and sat down.
“What happened to yo face?” She asked.
I gave her a run down of the hours leading to my arrest.
“Damn girl, Imma give you my numba. And when I am outta here, you jus call me, and I will kick that muthafucka’s ass.”
“I really don’t think that is necessary, but I appreciate the offer.” I answered.
Another girl came over. Taller and heavy set, “Girl, you must be tough… you just got here and you are hanging out in commons? Man, I stayed on my bed and cried for a week before I came out to commons.”
“I really don’t think I will be in here very long, and I believe in making the best out of a bad situation.”
Tattoo girl asks “Whatchoo do?”
“Well, I work at a pizza shop… but I am a writer, painter and performer.”
Both girls nod, “that’s cool.” The tall one asks what I perform.
“I perform spoken word poetry. Would you like to hear some?”
The girls get excited and call some of the other women over to listen.
I make it through two of my favorite poems. They ask for a third, I make it almost through the third, and my mind blanks. I can’t remember the end; the lack of sleep is catching up to me, and I think I may be in delayed shock. I get a round of applause anyway, and apologize that my mind is just too overloaded to do any more.
Tattoo girl, looks tough, but she is compassionate. “That’s cool, girl. I didn’t talk to no one for days when I got here. It’s cool you shared that.”
“Enough about me… what did you do to get in here?” I ask her.
“Ohhh, me and my boo got lost in the Wal-Mart parking lot, for, like, three days.”
“What?!?” I query.
“You, know, we got some real good meth, and we couldn’t find out way outta the parking lot.”
In my head I was full of incredulous laughter. But all I could say, was “I can’t imagine.”
Lunch came and went, and all I wanted was sleep, but nothing about this situation made me feel comfortable laying down. I thought about drawing but my hands were shaky, and my eyes were swollen and watery.
At about 3:30 an officer came in to tell me my bail had been paid, and that I would be released. I asked who paid the bail and they said my boyfriend had. It was only $250.00. The kicker was this; in domestic disputes in Oregon, who ever makes the call, immediately has a state mandated restraining order on who ever received the charge. The police informed my boyfriend that he could not pick me up; and they informed me, that I could not go back home if he was there. I told them I didn’t have a ride home, they told me “that isn’t our problem.”
I was given back my damp clothes. No one had grabbed me a pair of shoes, and I had no idea where the hell I was or how I would get home.
Once in the parking lot, I took a look around to try and gauge where the house was in relation to the jail. I saw Pilot Butte to the South East, and started walking along the highway. I must have looked quite the scene, walking shoeless in January with no coat; arms wrapped around myself, wild hair whipped by wind, tear stained face beginning to amplify in it’s bruises.
I had probably traveled about a mile and a half when an old Ford F-150 pulled over just ahead of me. The passenger side door opened and a young woman and her husband called to me, “you need a ride?” I looked the truck over, it was old and beat up, a large crack in the back window. I just stared at them for a second, trying to decide if this was a safe thing to do; exhaustion didn’t care, so I said “sure” and hopped on to the bench seat.
The lady asked me where I lived, and I told her my address. They were familiar with area, which left time for them to ask questions like “Why are you walking along the highway with no shoes?” and “what happened to your face?”
I gave another run down of things, and finished up just as we pulled in front of my house. The lady, noticed the broken window, and said “Are you sure it’s safe for you to be here?”
“oh yeah. He’s not here right now… and the window, I did that.”
She looked concerned, but said “okay, be safe.” And they pulled away.
My life changed dramatically that day in January of 2005. I became a warden of the state, I now had a new Master to appease. I was no longer just a person with a couple of traffic violations…I was considered a domestic abuser, a person worthy of charges like harassment and assault; none of which felt true.
I used the hide-a-key to get into the house, took a long bath and l crawled into bed; attempting to forget my current reality.
Mumbling to myself as I drifted to sleep, “Fuck January.”
It’s FRIDAY!!! I made it a straight five day run!! And, guess what?!?! I am still alive!
My body is sore, and tired… my brain has slowed down a little from the hyper-drive it was whirring at last Friday, when I was anticipation of my first day at Cheyenne Fit Body Boot Camp.
I have discovered that most of my anxiety was about attempting to make it to the 5 am class, and the need to have to set an alarm for that to happen. To solve that problem, I decided to commit to a time that is actually more conducive to my natural schedule; so now I can tell people I have got to go get, “My Nooner.” Yes, folks, this IS the MOST action I have seen or had in YEARS! (wink wink)
It has been a pleasant diversion to have something to look forward to on a daily basis that gets me out of the house, and around people with a common goal. It has been very interesting and insightful interacting with fellow Fitters in our private online accountability group.
This is something that most people who go to a regular gym probably have never experienced. We literally have access to 24 hour accountability… if you have the connection to the interwebs, you can get a pretty rapid response from some one. It’s pretty cool. Go to work and tempted by birthday cake? Someone will remind you of your goals. Eat the cake anyway? Some one will remind you, that you are human, and to get over yourself and get back on task for the rest of the day and week.
It’s not even tough love, it is a support group and a common unity. I haven’t been in one of those for a while.
Five days isn’t long in the greater scheme of things, but it does bring me five days closer to how I would like to look and feel.
Many of the things I wanted THEN, are attainable by going through the Fit Body Boot Camp. I didn’t know about the program then; and even IF I had… I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway. I wasn’t mentally ready, I hadn’t reached my rock bottom.
I have literally felt super high all week. I am excited at the fact that this is going to continue to challenge me for as long as I choose to continue… No boredom here folks! I look forward to getting more into the diet end of things, in order to systematically change my bodies current state of affairs.
I’m going to tell you another one of my reasons why this excites me; I am kind of addicted to “before/after” pictures. When I was in high school I was an average sized girl, I have always had big thighs and hips. I wanted to get all my gym credits out of the way, so I took a weight lifting class, along with regular phys. ed.
I found myself in the weights class with a bunch of football players and wrestlers. The coach had us all on one program; weekly maxing out. At my peak I could squat 320lbs. and dead lift 120 lbs. As proud as I was of my strength, I hated how I looked. I was building muscles and not burning fat. I later learned that I should have been doing more reps with less weight. And, that the coach wasn’t worried about the body prerogative his female students.
Eh, you live and learn I guess.
Lucky for all of us our bodies are pretty malleable things, and if we set them up for success, they will usually follow suit.
Back to those Before/After photos; have you ever seen yourself in an old photo and thought, “hey I didn’t look so bad back then, I was being hard on myself,” or the opposite “what the hell.. I don’t even recognize myself”? I sure do. Well I want a new one. One that I look at and say “DAMN!”
And with that, I can’t even think of an excuse you might have today.
: not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people
: given or said in a way that shows you do not think you are better than other people
: showing that you do not think of yourself as better than other people
Day Four of Boot Camp put that word into action.
Ashley was coaching again today, and let me tell ya; to watch her, is a humbling experience. She has worked hard to make these exercises look easy and with precise form.
I will be the first to admit; sometimes I am a klutz (my name ain’t Grace for a reason), and sometimes I really struggle with hand, eye and foot coordination. Today was one of those days.
IT is a humbling experience to KNOW you look like a fool trying to figure something out. However, in my honest opinion, it is better to look like a fool while attempting hard a perfection, than it is to show off and potentially hurt yourself.
Today was jam packed (yet again) with physical activities that I do not have the strength to perform with out modification.
To watch Ashley demonstrate modifications is like watching a knife go through a soft stick of butter; effortless.
So in my head, I’m all like, “Yeah, okay, I can do that.” But in actuality, my body is all like, “What the HELL? This BURNS!”
Modifications are not for pansy asses; in fact modifications are building blocks to getting to the full expression of the desired activity. It is terribly humbling to KNOW that I am not yet strong enough to do certain things that only a few years ago, I probably would have had less trouble with.
It is humbling to know that what looks easy, isn’t always so; and that like a symphony all parts and pieces must work together in harmony to reach the desired effect. It’s humbling to literally have your ass in the air and be called out for improper form.
But, you know what? It isn’t the least bit embarrassing (for me). I KNOW, my trainers want me to be safe and to do things correctly to prevent strain and injury. In that knowing I can let the Ego rest, and just listen and follow directions.
I don’t feel cornered or embarrassed because it is probably rare for a person, who has never done something before, to be perfect on the first try. Again reminded, that everyone starts somewhere. There is no need to be ashamed by the process.
I admit, there are some things in life that I have mastered on first attempt; this is not one of them; and it makes me reflect on those times when it was me in the Master Seat. Did I gloat? Did I criticize those who weren’t up to par? No. I would offer encouragement and advice. This is a huge part of the philosophy of Cheyenne Fit Body, and this is why this program resonates with me.
Coaches are not yelling at you to tell you how horrible you are; They are however yelling at you to keep going, and to not give up. They are yelling encouragingly at you… and when you make it to an end of a session, you really feel like you accomplished something.
Even with modifications, I could feel the burn, and the burn means you are WORKING it!
If your excuse is, ” I am afraid of looking like a fool and being publicly embarrassed in front of people I barely know.” I say pshhha. That doesn’t happen here by fault of any trainer. If you are embarrassed, KNOW , that too is all in your head.
To bring this point home, on the lighter side of things; I asked what some of the Fitters greatest fears were in class. Not a single one said “fear of embarrassment.”
The most common answer, was “Farting during class.” To which one of the trainers admitted happens A LOT.
Let’s face it, gas is a totally normal part of living. Every one does it.
Part of the Fit Body Boot Camp is a dietary change; some are more sensitive to it than others. Farts happen, I like to think of it as, my butt is giggling. Farts are funny, people will use their mouths to giggle about it.
You know what would be more embarrassing than farting? Holding it in so long that you create a pathological distention of the bowel. Imagine explaining that to your friends and trainers.
Get comfortable with natural functions of the body, and you will alleviate a lot of unnecessary worry that may be tainting your pretty little brain.
Are you interested in getting back into shape, and want to do it in a safe and encouraging environment?? Live in the Cheyenne , Wyoming area? Click HERE. Want to find a boot camp in your area, or start one of your own? Click this link.
It has been very exciting getting into this regimen; so exciting in fact, that I have been loosing sleep over it. I am tired as heck, but each time I go to lay down, my brain is spinning over what I did at class. Add that into a few personal issues at home that are giving me paranoia… and you have a person who hasn’t slept much in four days.
I was amped to get up and try the 6 am class; so I did my best and laid down at 10pm. And no matter how hard I tried to clear my mind, or listen to “soothing sounds to sleep to”; something would inevitably jostle me awake just as my body was starting to simmer in to slumber.
2 am, I was jostled, yet again, to my dog. And I got agro… “Why the fuck won’t any one let me sleep, FUCK!”
And with that, my blood pressure was up, and the blood was circulating, and I was again wide awake.
So much for 6 am class.
My natural circadian rhythm, usually lulls me asleep at about 6:30 am. About the time I was born into this world, and gave up the struggle of escape. I knew at 4 am, this would be the inevitable outcome.
Instead of further frustrating myself I committed to making the noon class, which would give me ample time to rest and reset before going and getting my ass handed to me.
Like most first week Fitters, I am sore; but I think I might be less sore then some. I am making sure to take my magnesium, and to start and finish the day with stretches. I had no idea what I would be in for today, but I did see some ones status update… and they mentioned burpees.
I admire a good burpee, I have watched them on the interwebs. I myself , had never tried one, until today. Wait, I am getting ahead of myself.
Today was jam packed with things I haven’t ever done before… like a proper push up.
Yes, today I realized my form in pushups has been wrong, for, forever.
“Elbows go back, Not to the sides! HEAD UP!”
Not only have I been doing it all wrong, I realized the muscles needed to do a full push up; in me, have atrophied.
Instead of getting frustrated, I took it slow and committed to proper form. I didn’t look like a push up even with the modified form. I felt like a beached seal, just sort of twitching. Each one harder than the one before.
“Do the best you can, stretch after each one if you need to!”
Yep that was me. Twitch and stretch, twitch and stretch.
As ridiculous, as I am sure it looked… I didn’t quit. I didn’t push harder than I knew my body could handle.
“Each one you do is getting you closer to a full pushup!”
Which brings me back to the blessed Burpee. Here I am, lifting more body mass than I ever have in my life; barely able to even begin to get my chest near the floor in a push up… and here comes Burpees. A push up is an integral part of a Burpee. But instead of potential hurting myself, trying to get all rambunctious with it, I walked myself through it methodically. I brought myself gently to the ground, got my hands under my shoulders; kept my elbows back, looked up, and twitched. I brought my body back up and reached for the sky…over and over and over again.
If your excuse is, ” I can’t even do a push up.” Eat your words. I can’t do a push up either, yet.
It takes time,energy, and consistency to build and train muscles for strength and endurance. It doesn’t happen over night, and neither did getting out of shape. We can get to either place, just depending on our attitude.
If there is one thing I would encourage any Fitter, or newbie who is getting into fitness to do; is commit to yourself to not get frustrated or give up on yourself. To embrace the knowing it took you a while to get unhealthy, it is going to take you a while to get healthy. If you get frustrated; KNOW the only person you are REALLY competing with, is yourself. If you feel like quitting; KNOW that you began, because you were unhappy with your body, and that ONLY YOU can change that. There is no magic pill that will make you wake up strong and healthy; full of endurance.
I chose Cheyenne Fit Body Boot Camp because it is a very encouraging environment with accountability. It is a place that will make you work hard and will push you; all while working with your current level of fitness. No one makes you feel bad about yourself, or as if you are being compared to any one else.. If you feel that way, KNOW it is ALL in your head. Turn it around if you find you are comparing yourself to some of the more advanced Fitters; then admire them as inspiration toward achieving your goals. Most importantly; KNOW: EVERYONE starts SOMEWHERE.
If you are interested in the Fit Body Program, and my journey through boot camp you can read about them at these links Consultation,First Day, and Second Day. If you are interested in seeing if there is a boot camp in your area click here.
In order to prepare myself, I utilized the wonderful resource of the private accountability group set up by the Admins of Cheyenne Fit Body.
As I mentioned in the previous article Fit Body Boot Camp: Day One, I had a few issues of light headedness and nausea. I didn’t want to go into Day Two with those feelings. I received some very helpful tips from Fitters who had struggled from the same issues.
It basically came down to properly fueling this human driven vehicle with food and water.
I don’t know about you, but I have always had some problems choking down breakfast first thing in the morning, and Day One was no different. A banana and some peanut butter was definitely not enough fuel, and upon retrospect, I went to bed dehydrated and that proceeded into the morning and was further exacerbated by the work out.
By the time I got home on Day One, I was shaking, sick in the stomach and having cold sweats and shakes. It is like my body was shocked into an unexpected detox, without enough moisture in my body to handle it.
I immediately knew I needed to get my water requirement for the day. I also needed to follow the food guidelines given to me in my consult, and concentrate on fueling my body with nutrition.
In order to get into Day Two, I followed the advice of another Fitter, and made a heady oatmeal shake. This make ahead shake is great for planning ahead, and is super easy on the stomach. You can find the recipe for these shakes on this Pintrest page. I added Chia seeds, and Hemp Seeds to mine, as well as strawberry Kiefer and frozen berries.
I got plenty of water in the morning and supplemented with a Super Orange E-MergenC packet that helps to replenish electrolytes.
I made sure to get to bed at a reasonable time; decided I would hit up the 8:30 am class, so that I didn’t feel tired and rushed to consume 3/4 of a 16oz shake and water before working out.
These shifts made all the difference. I had the fuel to make it though the work out without the maladies of Day One. And no, the work out was no less intense.
The entire line up of work outs was very different from Day One, which is great for people like me; who maybe get bored with the same ole routine, everyday.
I am taking the advice of “easing into” the first week.
Sara was the days trainer, and she kept everyone motivated with her bubbly personality. She helped those who need it, and demonstrated augmented form for those who may have injury or just haven’t yet built up the strength to do the full exercise form.
If your excuse is, “It’s going to be too hard for me” think again!
Everyone is encouraged to keep going and to perform all exercises SAFELY!
You work at your own level, and do the best you possibly can. This is where augmented form is helpful. Admittedly, my legs started to shake toward the end, and I felt like a ninety year old trying to pull themselves up from the toilet. I just kept moving, knowing that by next week, everything will be a bit easier.
I definitely sweat more on Day Two, probably because I was properly hydrated. I can’t overstate how important hydration is! The skin is largest organ and sweating is a fantastic way for the body to detox. Working out produces lactic acid in the muscles and when one is dehydrated, it can cause muscle cramping. It is also a good idea to get enough magnesium which assists muscles and nerves in their function.
To wrap things up I will say that the 8:30 class is more popular than the 5am class (go figure .) Many Mothers attend while their little ones stay in close proximity and entertain themselves for the half hour of class.
So if you are a Mother, and your excuse is, “I don’t have anyone to watch my kid for a half hour.” You just lost your excuse. If you have a small child ( or two) that can be entertained by a bunch of adults getting their butts kicked, (or if you let them use a tablet) Even YOU can get an AWESOME work out, in the same time it takes to watch one episode of Dora the Explorer!
Fit Body Cheyenne, can help anyone transform their body. And with a healthy body comes peace of mind.