Monday, January 26, 2015

Getting Back to the Basics

On January 10th, a new 10 week session started at FXB here in Columbus. I was excited for this new round of newbies for various reasons:
  •  I would no longer be the lowest person on the bag shaped totem pole
  • Some friends are in this 10 week session and I’m SUPER excited to see the progress they’ll make
  •  I wanted to see what it was like to go back and do a Week 1 workout all over again

Two weeks have now passed, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this new 10 week session.

I actually know what I’m doing.
It sure is strange to be one of the people in the gym who knows what to do. And more than that, to be one of the FIT members helping the 10 weekers with their form.


I mean, there are still days when I feel like I need to be corrected on my form. I was talking to The Ninja about this last week, and she reminded me that we will always have something to improve—no matter how long we’ve been a FIT member.

Now I just need to do better at stepping up and helping those newbies. There have been a few times in the workouts when I notice that one of the 10 weekers around me doesn’t quite have the correct form. I debate over and over if I should step up to help, and in that time a coach or instructor notices and beats me to the punch.

It always feels great to pay it forward, so I need to remain confident in the fact that I do know what I’m doing and that I can help those 10 weekers.

The basics will always be tough.
As the new 10 week session approached, I was eagerly anticipating Week 1. I wanted to see how it felt this time around compared to my first week. I had visions of pushing through the workouts like I just got my runner’s high. After the brutal week right before the new 10 weeks started—the one where all the instructors competed to see who could most effectively kill us—I figured Week 1 would be difficult, but that I’d make it through much easier this time around. I’d be breathing easier. I wouldn’t feel like collapsing on the mat after the workout.

Well, yet again FXB has given me a hook-cross-switch foot roundhouse right back to reality.

The pace may be slower, the exercises might be basic, but they are still tough. Of course my analytical brain had to sort this out. I know I’m stronger. I know my endurance is better. So why is it just as hard? Why do I face plant into my puddles of Liquid Awesome at the end of each workout? Why am I waking up in the night with my shoulders aching?

My conclusion is that going back to the basics has forced me to challenge myself in new ways.
  •  I want to set a good example for my 10 week partner, so I push myself faster/harder.
  •  I hit the bag harder and faster.
  • I try to kick the bag harder and higher.
  • I’m actually doing all the burpees the FIT members have to still do between combinations.
  • I’m trying to do as many of my push-ups from my toes as possible.
  • I up my bands because I know we’re just doing classic sets, and I should be able to last through the entire set with that next color up.

I have a new appreciation for the start of a 10 week session. Going forward, I now know that I need to use this time to refocus on the basics, and set new challenges for myself.

No matter what kind of exercise program you are involved in, every once in a while take it back to the beginning. Focus on the basics—your form, your pace, your intensity—and see how you can up your game in new ways. Teach someone else. Keep evolving and challenging yourself!

And remember:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Meet my FXB Instructors: The Ninja

The Ninja: a.k.a. Brittany

OK, first I have to say that the top definition for ninja on is really funny. If you dare, go check it out—just don’t drink your water while reading it. 

Why do I dub Brittany The Ninja? I’ve pulled a few of the 'facts' from the Urban Dictionary definition to prove my point:

Ninja don't sweat.
It's called “Liquid Awesome”, people.

Ninja never wear headbands with the word "ninja" printed on them.
All of Brittany’s headbands say, “Farrell’s”

Ninja don't play sports. Unless killing is a sport.
Brittany has killed my legs and arms on more than one occasion!

Can remove a spleen in one swift motion
I mean seriously, have you seen her roundhouse?

There are several other ‘facts’ in the definition that I’m sure Brittany will use to argue that she is not a ninja, but that’s fine. I maintain my position that she represents a new generation of ninjas—one where ninjas do, in fact, wear Spandex.

However there is one main reason why Brittany is The Ninja:

You don’t see her coming.

Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of her cheery voice with her killer workouts. When you see her smile and hear the laughter in her voice, you might think, “She’s so nice, I’m sure she’s going to go easy on us.”

Well, you’d be wrong. One word:


Saturday, January 17, 2015

A diet starts on Monday, but a new life starts the moment it’s ready.

I’ve been around the diet block a long time, and I’ve noticed something alarming.

Why does a diet always start on Monday? Or at the New Year? Or next week? Or after the holidays? It’s like there’s something engrained within us that restricts us from starting at 2:27 p.m. on a Wednesday.

Let me pause and talk about child birth for a moment. Even if you’ve never been pregnant, I’m certain that you have known someone who has been. If not, then I’m sure you watch TV, movies, or read. The point is, you should be able to agree that a baby doesn’t wait for a Monday, or the New Year, or the first of the month, or after the holidays. The baby doesn’t care what plans you may or may not have. Labor begins when it begins.

Some babies come close to when they’re expected, or a little late. When this happens, the parents are usually well prepared. The nursery is painted and all decked out in cotton candy colors. The house has been cleaned and organized, and cleaned and organized again. And possibly even cleaned and organized a third time. (It’s called nesting, and it’s real.) The hospital bags have been packed. When the baby actually arrives, the foundation is solidly in place. Even first time parents are able to start off strong on their own—even if they need to use their ‘phone a friend’ card a few times. There might even be some frantic calls to the doctor, but they are able to navigate their way through the unknown territory.

However some babies come early. When this happens, not only are the parents unprepared, but there could be complications for the baby. The baby might have to fight to grow.  The baby will need a lot of support. An extended hospital stay might be required. The baby might not hit milestones at the same rate as other babies born at the same time who were not pre-mature.

So what’s all this baby stuff got to do with dieting? Nothing.

That’s because dieting was probably the stupidest thing ever invented.

For one, diets don’t last. I can give you countless examples of people who have lost weight on a diet and then gained everything back. Why? Not because that person is a failure, but because diets are stupid.

Second, a diet can make a person feel horrible about themselves. Sure, once they start losing weight they feel good. But it’s not easy getting there. There’s the comments and policing from others—for example a dieter often hears, “Should you be eating that on your diet?” There’s also the disappointment you feel when you ‘fall off the wagon’ or gain everything back once you reach your goal.

A diet is not meant to be sustainable, but a new life is.

If you are one of the many, many people out there who have made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, then I encourage you to look at it with the right frame of mind.

You are starting a new life, and you need to give it the attention it needs.

It’s possible you’ve been working toward this for a while and you’re well prepared. You’re that new parent with all the books and articles and a schedule to boot. If you’re in this camp, just remember that you can’t become complacent. A new life is constantly evolving and maturing and requires different levels of nurturing and support throughout its life cycle. Don’t allow your new life to go into cardiac arrest—keep taking the pulse and adjust as necessary.

However, if you induced labor at the start of the New Year, then it’s possible your new life is like that baby born too early. Maybe you’ve wanted to get healthy for a long time but haven’t felt ready, yet you were pushed into starting something because it’s the New Year. If this is you, then your new life will need lots of support and attention to make it grow strong. It will take extra effort, and you might need to lean on others for help.

I induced labor on my new life back on September 13, 2014. In many ways I was ready, but in many others I was not. Luckily, I found the right environment at FXB to let my new life thrive.

I hope you find what works for you, so you can enjoy a sustaining and amazing new life.

Top 10: Things I hear at the gym

Originally posted on December 30, 2014 on

Ah, the end of the year. I still can’t believe a new year is just two days away, but I’ll go with it. This time of year is marked by Cold Duck, cheap noise makers, karaoke in hotel rooms, and countdowns. There will be no karaoke in a hotel room for me this year, but I’m sure that my New Year’s Eve will encompass the rest... well, maybe not the Cold Duck since I signed up for the New Year’s Day resistance training! In the spirit of the New Year, I decided to give you my own countdown of the top 10 things I enjoy hearing while working out at FXB.

10. The grunts and groans.
Yep, I love to hear my fellow gym members grunt it out. A groan makes it even better. These sounds tell me that I’m not alone in my misery.

9. The laughter.
This tells me that no matter how much we may need to grunt and groan, we are all there because we want to be there. It’s a place to get serious and work on improving health, but it’s also a place to have fun.

8. Ice Ice Baby.
Come on, admit it. You’re a closet Ice Ice Baby lover too. I see those toes tapping when it comes on over the speakers.

7. “Level” ... “10”
I consider this the FXB version of a concert shout-out. The instructor yells, “Level” and we all call back, “10”. Although, I’ve always wondered... if we were all at a true Level 10, wouldn’t we be too out of breath to be able to call it out? (wink)

6. “Are you with me?” ... “Woo!”
I consider this the FXB version of an ‘Amen’ shout-out you might hear in an energetic church. And if we’re not energetic enough, the instructor lets us know and we try again. Similar comments to #7 though... I know my “Woos” always come out more as a deep sigh.

5. “Challenge yourself—band it up!”
This little encouragement usually does the trick for me. I’ll make it through the first slow count and the fast count and think, “I’ll just stick with red.” But then the instructor calls out this innocent line and the guilt kicks in. So I grab the blue.

4. “Pop.”
This sound usually happens after complying with #5. It’s the wonderful sound that comes with the only version of the F-bomb I still allow in my vocabulary—muscle failure. It also means that the band hit the mat rather than my foot when I dropped it!

3. Synchronized Round House Kicks
This really is pretty cool. The whole gym, kicking together to the instructor’s count. BAM!

2. “Great job.”
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. The people at FXB are amazing. There are so many encouraging comments flying around the entire time—from “great job” to “you’ve got this”. Everyone is there to support everyone else and it’s simply awesome.

1. “...3, 2, 2, 1”
Yep, this is the number one thing I love to hear at the gym. It means my 45 minutes (or 75 if it’s a FIT Kick) are over, and that I made it another day!

I hope everyone has a fun, and safe, New Year’s Eve! And don’t forget to sing Ice Ice Baby at the top of your lungs while kickin’ back some Cold Duck!

I’m dropping an F-bomb

Originally posted on December 20, 2014 on

I’m going to warn you now—I’m dropping an F-bomb in this post. However, it’s not the F-bomb you are probably thinking of. I’m talking about an F-bomb that is more offensive than the mother of all cuss words.


Yep, that’s right. I’m dropping it and letting it go from my vocabulary world. This F-bomb will no longer have a place in my arsenal of weapons in my war on an unhealthy lifestyle.

The other thing I’m going to tell you right up front is that this is probably going to be the most difficult post for me to publish. I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to keep doing what I’m good at—hiding. I wanted to keep showing a different face to all those who don’t know that there’s a real me lurking somewhere just below the surface. But then I started thinking about all the messages, emails, and comments I’ve received from several of you telling me how much I’ve inspired you. I realized that it was my honesty that inspired you the most. Because of that, I want to be honest with you now. I want to give you what you ask for, because you have all encouraged me and supported me through this journey. And I also need to do this for myself.

You might remember my post from a while back about how I got to this point. I mentioned that my primary obstacles were my hormone problems, my dysfunctional thyroid, and my emotional inability to love myself. In that post I also mentioned that I make poor eating choices, but I didn’t elaborate. I’ve dropped (not so) subtle hints in a few (most) of my posts that I like chocolate. Well, I figured it’s time to let my monster out.

So, here we go.

Hello, my name is Carrie and I’m a closet binge eater.

It’s been so easy for me to constantly blame my weight only on the three primary obstacles mentioned above. Don’t get me wrong—these are significant, and they are what got me to this point. However, I don’t like to give my binge eating any credit. I don’t want to admit to it. It’s the reason I do it in private after all. It’s a secret that I don’t want anyone to know about. I’ve convinced myself that if people knew, they’d judge me—and maybe you are right now. But along with my new found love of myself, I’ve also learned to accept that some people will judge. Maybe becoming an author has helped me better accept the judgment of others. Regardless, I don’t hate you for it.

So what’s a closet binge eater you might ask? Let’s take my favorite food item—chocolate. When I say I want to eat chocolate, I’m not talking about a Snickers bar from the check-out line. I’m talking about the party size bag of M&Ms. When I want ice cream, it’s not a cone from the DQ. It’s a pint of something with chocolate chips. Potato chips? I can take down a whole bag—but only if they are the Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion. See, that’s one of the funny things about binge eating (at least for me). It’s very specific. I can go into a store looking for those Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion chips and if they don’t have them, I’ll walk out with nothing. I don’t eat just any chips, it has to be specific. Unfortunately, there have been days when I’ve eaten all of the above in one day. I may not eat anything else in that day, but it’s enough to do some damage.

Even though I wouldn’t eat like this every day, it was enough to keep me from making any progress on my weight loss. More importantly, it made me feel like crap. Not just physically, but emotionally. Because after I always felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt like I was deceiving everyone.

I felt like a failure.

I don’t know when this started, and I certainly don’t know why it started. I do know that my two primary trigger points at this stage in my life are:

1) when my husband travels
2) when I’m really stressed out

During the 10 week program at FXB, I didn’t binge at all. I did eat chocolate on Fun Day (and it was somewhere between the check-out line sized candy bar and the party sized bags), but it was controlled. I was actually able to leave some chocolate in the bag and save it for the next Fun Day.

I was thrilled. I felt great. I didn’t feel like I was deceiving anyone.

Then the 10 weeks ended. Suddenly I could feel the pull of my monster coming at me. It’s ultimately why I decided to sign up for the 1 year challenge. I need someone looking over my shoulder, because my monster comes out when no one is looking.

The first two weeks as a FIT member I fought against the pull and was doing OK, but then a couple weeks ago my husband had to travel for work. It was only an overnight trip, but that’s all it took. The pull was too strong. I used the excuse that I had been so good for 12 weeks, surely one binge wouldn’t hurt me. So I ate. And I felt like crap.

Despite this, I did not gain any weight. In fact, I still lost weight that week. Sounds good right? Wrong. To a binger that gives off justification that it’s OK to do it again.

I finished my third novel while my husband was on his trip. I didn’t have any time to recover from my first surrender to fight off my second trigger—stress. I sent my novel out to a few beta readers and the stress of wondering what they thought kept the binge monster alive and hungry for more. I didn’t go full binge, but I slacked on non-Fun Days. I tried to tell myself that I’d just make my Fun Day Thursday rather than Saturday. But Saturday rolled around and I jumped right back on the Fun Day wagon, my monster cheering me on the entire time.

Then this past week I got sick. When I’m sick I’m just the opposite of my binge monster self—I don’t like to eat. I just wanted cereal and a Frosty. My daughter was also sick and asked for a Frosty on the way home from gymnastics. I was on a roll with not following my plan so yep, I had one too. And then again later in the week. I wasn’t eating my six meals, and I basically just let everything from a nutrition standpoint go.

The end result of the past two weeks was an emotional battlefield of F-bombs. There was a part of me that was screaming, “You can control this! You don’t want to eat it, so just put it down. Throw it away! Use your willpower, woman!”

But that’s the thing—once I surrender to the temptation of the monster I can’t control it because I no longer have the control. The monster does, and he doesn’t let go until he’s fat and satisfied. Then he lights the fuse to my F-bombs and sits back with a sinister smile. The F-bombs do exactly what the monster wants—they make me want to go farther in the other direction. They knock me down and make me feel like all my progress has been blown to bits.

So I’m replacing the F-bomb with a new word:


If I can look at these past two weeks as just a setback rather than a failure, I can remain on the right track.

I also realized that I have to let my monster out. Holding it in, keeping it a secret, just allows it to fester and threaten to infect all my progress. I now know that it’s a disease, an addiction. Unfortunately, food addiction is probably one of the hardest to conquer. I can’t stay away from food. I can’t remove myself from the thing that plagues me. Every day, all day, there is temptation from the food in the kitchen to the commercials on the television. But this is the life challenge I’ve been given, so I have to find a way to overcome it.

I will never fully be rid of my monster, but at least now he’s outside. There will be days when only a padlock will be needed to keep him out. Then there will be days when it’ll take a padlock, a three-tier bolt system, a crossbar, a nail gun, and every piece of furniture in the house to keep him from breaking down the door.

And still.

I’m not perfect. I’m not completely healed. I may have a setback every time my husband travels. I may have a setback with each new book that I launch.

But I’m no longer going to blow myself up with F-bombs. And I’m no longer going to hide my monster.

Journey to FIT—FIT Update

Originally posted on November 30, 2014 on

Surprise! So I said I wasn’t going to give you a weekly update now that I’ve completed my 10 Week Challenge. And I’m not. But I couldn’t let this first week as a FIT member go by without telling you all about it.

First of all, I’d like to thank all the instructors from the past week for letting all of us newly minted FIT members know that we are indeed FIT members now. There is no, “I’m just a 10-weeker” excuse to hide behind any longer. We’ve earned the FIT badge, and let me tell you—it’s a heavy load to carry.

There are two primary things I wanted to share with you after my first week as a FIT member.


I’ll have to be honest and say that as the week started, I was worried about my commitment. There was no longer a 5 or 10 week check-in hanging over my head. I was no longer going to have a weekly blog to pour out all my pain/successes/insecurities/etc. Basically—the accountability now rests only in my hands. I’ve not done so well in the past when I’m the only one to own up to. I look the other way, I let excuses creep back in to justify eating something off plan, I give a little slack in the rope since there’s no deadline or rush to meet expectations.

There are challenges that FXB offers, and one just started this weekend. I thought about it, but decided I needed a little time to challenge myself. I’m not ready to fly solo, but I suppose I’ve graduated from a tricycle to training wheels. I’ll probably sign up for some of the future challenges, but I sat this one out. There is also a corporate wide challenge I can sign up for. I’m thinking about it—not because I expect to win. It’s not about winning a prize for me. It would be for the accountability and to have someone still looking over my shoulder every so often, making sure I’m still on track.

I do know that I am committed to this plan. That’s not my concern. My concern is that I’ll let it slack and not get to where I want to be in the time frame I hope to achieve it.

How do I know I’m committed?

My fingernails.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might remember from my post Take Time to Smell the Nail Polish that my nails have long been one of my favorite physical features. I love my long nails and will protect them at all cost. What does this have to do with my commitment to FXB? Well, in the first 10 weeks the boxing gloves we use are large and well padded. This means I’ve had no issues with my long nails getting in the way. There was a special going on when I signed up for FIT, and I was able to select a new set of gloves from two options. One set was similar to the 10 week gloves, just smaller and lighter. The other set had the fingers exposed and allowed the hand to flex. I really wanted those gloves. They look cool (and those who wear them look like they really know how to kick some a..) and they would allow me to do the floor exercises without having to remove my gloves. The issue was I was afraid I’d break a nail. They’d be exposed and I’d likely snap one on the bag. So I opted for the other set.

I’m happy with my new gloves. However... they are smaller and my long nails are still not as protected. They cause my little finger nail to pinch my ring finger, and I can feel some of my nails getting bent with a few of my punches. I could switch back to the old gloves, but I do like the new ones better.

The result is that I’ve actually considered cutting my nails shorter. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m willing to do it. That’s my level of commitment to this program. If you don’t know me, let me tell you—this is huge.


The other thing I wanted to share was my first experience with a holiday week at FXB.

I’ve always said that for me to be successful I have to have a program that fits my lifestyle. This is not a diet for me. I actually believe that ‘diet’ should be considered another 4-letter word. So from here on, I will refer to it as the D-word. I could write up an entire post on why the D-word should be stripped from your vocabulary, but for the sake of keeping this post to a reasonable length I’ll remain focused.

I’m on a lifestyle change. That means my program has to fit with my beliefs. I’ve been on programs before where they approach a holiday with the idea in mind that holiday food is the enemy:

  • Constant reminders of exactly how many minutes on the treadmill it would take to burn off that piece of pie, and how that certainly is not worth it.
  • Encouragement to eat before the big meal so you won’t be tempted to eat all the bad stuff.
  • Approval to starve yourself in the days prior so you can enjoy some bad food, but only if you agree to carry the guilt that comes along with it.

I’m not saying these strategies are wrong—if they work for you then go for it. But it doesn’t work for me. When food is treated like an enemy, the “Love thy enemy” mantra becomes my number one priority. It just doesn’t work for me.

How did FXB approach the Thanksgiving weekend? They made us earn it.

We were worked hard in the days before Thanksgiving. The reminders weren’t, “Don’t waste all this effort by eating pie on Thursday!” It was, “You just earned that slice of pumpkin pie!” It was said with such conviction and pride that I wanted to eat a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, even though I don’t like pumpkin pie. I didn’t have a slice, but I did have a roll with some apple butter and it. was. good!

How about the actual holiday? Since it was on Thursday it was a strength training day. Classes were not canceled. They were offered early in the morning so that members could burn off some calories before consuming more. AND—a kickboxing class was added. Yep, that’s right. No day off, instead I did back-to-back classes. And I’m not talking about just a few die-hards in the gym that morning at 6:30. I’m talking nearly 50 people, burning it out together. Yeah, I earned that roll and there was absolutely no guilt about it.

This fits my lifestyle. I like that food is not the enemy. I like that I don’t have to feel guilty for eating something special on a day that’s not Fun Day.

Yeah, I think I’m gonna’ be all right.

Journey to FIT—Week 10!!

Originally posted on November 22, 2014 on

FXB 10 Week Challenge --> Complete!!

I just read back over my post from orientation day. It’s hard to believe just how far I’ve come in 10 short weeks. Then I read over my Week 1 update. Wow.

On Day 3 of this challenge I was so sore I couldn’t get up out of a chair without crying out in pain (or random nonsense words). Stairs seemed like the equivalent of a modern day torture device.

Now I’m doing Sally push-ups, Sally lunges, Rings of Fire, Gauntlets, Iso-sets, Super-sets, Pump-sets, Density-sets, burpees, and so much more! Reading back over my progress each week, I can tell you that I didn’t need the testing from today to confirm that I conquered the 10 Week Challenge.

But the results are fun just the same, so here you go :-)

Note: all of these results are in comparison to my start, not the 5 week check-in.

Weight: down 9.2 lbs total.

That’s almost a pound a week. I know that I could possibly change a few things in my nutrition and lose at a faster rate (as I’ve done on other programs), but I’m supper happy with this. The eating is my biggest challenge in weight loss. Cravings hit me so hard, and once I start I can’t find an easy way to stop.

I haven’t had any cravings on this plan that weren’t manageable. I’ll take the one pound loss per week if only for this reason!

Measurement: down a total of 7.75 inches

Here’s the breakdown:
Chest - 1.25 in
Waist - 3 in
Arm - 1 in
Thigh +0.25
Hips - 2.75

I like seeing this. In other programs where I’ve lost inches, most of it came from my wrists, my ankles, my neck... while this is great, it doesn’t get me in a lower size! (although the wrist part is good to help my watch obsession I told you all about a couple weeks ago). We’re not measuring those other areas, but I know I’ve made progress there as well.

Push-ups: increase of 12 in 1 minute

I’ve always hated push-ups, and after doing them Sally style I hate them even more. But I will keep doing them because I know they’re good for me!

Sit-ups: increase of 14 in 1 minute

You know, I’ve noticed this improvement has helped me get out of our deep couch at night when the cat has pinned me down and gives me a look that tells me in no uncertain terms that I should not move her just because I want to go to bed.

Sit & Reach: increase of 1 in

As my big belly gets out of the way this can only get better!

Body Fat: Drum roll......

If you’ve been following along, then you know that the evil handheld gizmo and I do not get along. It does not register a reading if the body fat percentage is too high. It didn’t work at orientation, and it didn’t work at the 5 week check-in. I wanted that darn thing to work today...

And it did!! So, I can only assume my body fat percentage decreased by at least 0.3%!! Woo hoo, oh yeah!

Walk/Run: decreased time by exactly 2 minutes!

OK, so I was really setting myself up for an increase on this one, at least from the 5 week check-in. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bad knee. It was cold outside today and my lungs don’t like that. And I still have the cold I’ve been battling for a couple weeks. Put it all together and I was prepared to take the hit.

But I refused to just accept that. In both previous miles, I did run some at the start and then again at the end. It wasn’t much, but at least I felt like I started and finished strong. Today I told myself, “Try to run to the first stop sign.” As I went along, it seemed so far away.

But I made it. And in the process I wasn’t the first one to start walking. Total mental boost right there.

Then I walked for a bit and at one point I thought about running again to another stop sign. My initial reaction was, “Save it for the end, so you can run in while everyone’s watching you.”

Then I just ignored myself and moved my feet, running to the stop sign.

And so it went for the rest of the mile. Each leg I’d give myself a target to start and end running, and then I’d back the starting point up a few feet to prove to myself that my mind was my biggest roadblock.

By the end I was tired. No excuse on cold weather or a cold in general. No excuse of the knee—I was just plain tired.

I could see the end and by this point I had quite a few of my wonderful new friends that were pushing me along. Here’s what I remember of the conversation (because I was concentrating on breathing, not exact words):

FIT member: Are we running in?
Me: Yep.
FIT member: How about from here?
Me: Nope. Need to breathe.
FIT member: OK. (waits a few steps) How about from this driveway?
Me: Not yet.
FIT member: Nope, no choice. We’re running.

And with a gentle push from another FIT member we were off. I made it all the way through to the end, covered in cheers from my fellow 10-weekers, FIT members and FXB staff.

That’s how awesome these people are.

So I had to look it up. The photo below is of me earlier today and of me exactly 13 years and 4 months ago. The form looks about right, now I just need to get the body to match! (in case you're curious, my average mile time for the 3 mile run in the Tri was 12.17 - I have a target!)

Run Combo
It’s been an absolutely amazing 10 weeks. I knew that I’d make it through the challenge, but I wasn’t really sure how much progress I was going to make. I’m so excited to see what will happen over the next year!

I said at the start I’d give you all updates every week for this 10 weeks. That makes this the last update. I will let you know periodically how I’m doing over the next year, but not every week. If you’ve enjoyed these posts, don’t worry—I’ll find something to blog about that I hope is equally entertaining :-)

Thanks to all of you for encouraging and supporting me on this journey. It has reminded me how blessed I am. I’ll leave you all with my response on the FXB survey on what I’ve gained the most from this 10 weeks:

The confirmation that I am enough.

Journey to FIT—Week 9

Originally posted on November 15, 2014 on

What’s more difficult than a FXB workout?

A FXB workout in Week 9.

What’s more difficult than a FXB workout in Week 9?

A FXB workout in Week 9 when you have a cold and the dreaded lady-cramps.

This was the kind of week when I just wanted to curl up on the couch and get all sappy with a Jane Austen movie marathon. But... now I’m a FXB member. Level 10 is not achieved by whining over a stuffy nose under a heating pad while yelling at Lizzy to just give the wonderful Mr. Darcy a chance!

Level 10 is achieved by rolling myself out the door, stepping onto the blue and red mat, and giving more than I did the last time I was there.

I’m proud of myself this week, and I think I can use it as a lesson for other areas of my life. I was given an ample supply of excuses this week to take a break. I know breaks are OK, and sometimes even just what the body/mind needs, however the point of this whole 10 week challenge for me was to push myself farther than I would normally. So I didn’t just go to the workouts and go through the motions. When I thought, “Burpees. Ugh. I’ll just not do them.” I did them anyway. I didn’t pass out and I was happy that I pushed past my self-imposed limit.

I had a similar limit imposed on myself these last few weeks with my writing. I’m almost done with the manuscript for my third novel. Yes it’s been difficult for me to find a writing groove with my new schedule (and for a while my fingers hurt too much to type), but these last couple weeks I realized I was avoiding it on purpose. I thought about it and realized that there are some very specific personal reasons I don’t want to come to the end of this novel. Once I acknowledged my roadblock, I was able to work through the situation and start writing again.

There are so many areas in our lives where we put up blockers. Sometimes it’s out of habit, sometimes it’s because of an issue lying deep in our subconscious, and sometimes it’s just because we’re scared.

Life deserves a Level 10 effort every day. And when you need a break, just figure out a way to do it at a Level 10—which is achieved by not beating yourself up the next day for doing exactly what your body/mind needed!

I wish I could say that I’m now going to curl up on the couch, but it’s a gymnastics kind of day with my daughter. Maybe tomorrow...

Journey to FIT—Week 8

Originally posted on November 8, 2014 on

Every time. I keep saying, “No, this one is worse than that one.”

Faster music (which equates to a faster pace)

And then... Pump sets

And today... Sally Push-ups. I’m not sure I ever want to hear the song Flower by Moby ever again (also known as Bring Sally Up).

And, AND, I hear that something even more fun awaits us next week. I’ll stop being surprised that the workouts can keep getting more difficult. And I will stop saying that each new one is the most torturous. Because clearly I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I’ve just completed Week 8. Only two more to go and then I’ve conquered the 10 week challenge. Let me say that again, just so it will sink into my brain:

Only two more weeks to go. 12 workouts.

If you could see me now, you would see a very unflattering happy dance. Not because it’s almost over. I’ve already signed up for the year session, so I have a long way to go. I’m dancing because I’ve almost made it! Over the past 8 weeks I’ve stuck to this plan more than any other plan I’ve attempted in the past. This week was honestly the first time where one day I thought, “Do I have to go? Would it hurt if I just skipped one workout?” I’m glad for that moment of weakness though—it confirms that I am still normal and that I haven’t been possessed by Hans or Franz (we’re here to pump [clap] you up).

I went to my workout, despite my temptation to stay home and write. It’s this little temptation that inspired my topic for this week’s update:

How I’ve managed to stay motivated.
Fun Day

I had to start with this one. Not because it’s my main motivator, but if I were giving out an M.I.M. (Most Improved Motivator) award it would go to Fun Day. If you remember from my earlier posts, I started this program terrified of Fun Day. Over the weeks I’ve learned that I can eat a few of the things I love—chocolate, pizza, ice cream, chocolate, Sprite Zero, Count Chocula cereal, hot chocolate... hmm, I’m noticing a theme here—but I don’t go overboard. I don’t binge out or get carried away. When the next day dawns, I’m back on track. It was important for me to learn that I can control how much of these wonderfully delicious items I eat.

I also learned that having Fun Day ahead of me helps push off any cravings I might have. On Friday my daughter’s Halloween candy was looking (smelling) really good. However, I was able to tell myself, “One more day. Five more meals. I’ve got this.” I understand now why I was encouraged to embrace Fun Day. I’m still not so sure about FXB’s idea of Fun Friday, but I’ll easily champion Fun Day!

I don’t like tracking my food. Call me impatient, but I don’t like taking the time to write down all the info. This little app makes it sooooo easy. Scan the bar code and done. I can even look up menu items at many restaurants. And, it automatically syncs to my HealthMiles account. This is a huge help in keeping me on track each day.
Counts per Meal

It has been very helpful to have targets to hit for each meal that are balanced. No loading up on carbs for one meal and slacking on the next. Even though MyFitnessPal makes tracking easy, there are still times when I don’t log everything until the end of the day. If I were required to count some sort of total for the day, I’d lose track of where I was and it would be a lot more likely that I’d go over or under. Then I’d be likely to just forgo the whole thing and dig into the Halloween pumpkin container because why not—I’ve already blown it. With this plan, if I don’t have time to log meals immediately I still know my counts at meal time. Snap, snap!
The People

I’ve said this in earlier posts, but all the people at FXB are amazing. I really do enjoy going to the gym to interact with my other gym-mates and the instructors/coaches/staff. We’re all in this together. And, we also know that those FIT members who are kicking the bag well above their heads have all been through the same thing at some point in time. We’ve all done the same grueling workouts. At some point we’ve all felt the burn in our legs and were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to get off the mat at the end of the workout. There’s motivation in knowing that we’re all getting stronger together.

In addition, it’s clear that everyone there genuinely wants to see everyone else succeed. There are no ‘good jobs’ uttered just because it’s the polite thing to say. It’s said with conviction and encouragement.
My Progress

Unlike some programs I’ve been on, there’s no weekly weigh-in to motivate, or demotivate, me. I’ve had to find alternative forms of measurement to track my progress. Here’s a short list of things I’ve noticed over the past 8 weeks (other than the push-ups/sit-ups/mile that’s tracked at the check-in):

- I can do burpees
- I can do planks; this last workout I did them elbows and toes rather than elbows and knees (virtual high-five!)
- In some exercises I’m now using the purple bands (highest level of resistance)
- I no longer face plant at the end of a round of hydrants
- I’m punching/kicking the bag a little harder at each workout
- I can tell that my flexibility is better

In my Week 5 update I shared with you that I have lost pounds and inches so far. However, there have still been days where I didn’t feel it in my clothes. I didn’t see it in the mirror. Others at the gym would tell me they could see I’d lost, but it wasn’t consistent for me. In the couple weeks following the check-in I didn’t feel as if I’d lost any additional pounds or inches. Having other positive things to focus on helped me fight off the parasitic doubts that wanted to take me off course. As a result, I’ve kept chugging and like a light switch I’ve suddenly been able to feel the difference each day.