How to Age the Right Way

I’m 37 years old. My joints ache more than they should. The anxiety is still present, but somewhat controlled (still, some days are better than others), asthma is under control, and I still push myself further and further at the gym. I aim for high standards, and there are times I get discouraged because I can’t ignore the fact that if I were in my twenties, I wouldn’t experience half the pain as I do now.

Admittedly, I imagine what it would have been like if I had started earlier, like in my twenties. But you know what? The gym just wasn’t where I was supposed to be at that time in my life…

And so I quickly jump back into reality; to the present, and stay informed through research as well as personal experience (what’s worked for me and what hasn’t),  so that I can continue to drive my passion of fitness and health to the max. After all, I want to look good, but I also don’t want to deprive myself of the opportunity to maintain my independence as well as the ability to demonstrate an insane amount of strength and endurance as I get older.

Medicine and science has come so far that the average life expectancy has increased dramatically from what it used to be. But even though medicine and science are much more advanced, more and more people become too reliant on it and therefore, leave it to such advancements in medicine and science to treat them for high blood pressure, diabetes type II, etc, rather than becoming proactive in their own healthcare.

I want to be as full of life and energy as I am now, if not better as I age, rather than have my age be a deterrent for what I hope to achieve. And it won’t.

I mean check out 62 year old Andreas Cahling out on his Facebook page.

This is a quote from two of his recent Facebook posts:

“At 62 – as a master’s bodybuilder it is about getting the job done with a minimum of wear and tear while paying attention to restorative possibilities. Avoid toxic commercial hormone disrupting, estrogenizing skin products. Stay strong. Many things raise or decrease your testosterone levels and receptor capacity.”-Andreas Cahling

“At 62 – Exercising and eating natural foods while maintaining adequate testosterone levels are among the keys to staying in shape for life. So is the avoidance of hormone disrupting commercial skin products.”- Andreas Cahling

And here’s an inspiring photo of him found doing a quick Google search:

6kn8JWH

 

His philosophy on aging and maintaining performance and the ability to continue his passion (at his age..because age is nothing but a number), touches on nutrition as one way to achieve/maintain results and longevity….

And while many (I’m pretty much open) have different approaches and/or viewpoints as regards to nutrition, (I mean it’s a huge debate) it does really come down to:

1) Finding what meets your needs/goals. In other words, what is sustainable to keep YOU on track to meet those goals? And…

2) Finding a manageable balance between aesthetics and overall health as we get older… “you’re not as young as you once were”.

Because, let’s face it, What good is a nutritional approach, if you’re just going to hem and haw and feel absolutely miserable? What will happen?

Simple. You will fail. You will feel discouraged and disgusted. And then it begins….

What’s going to make you look better? What’s going to make you feel better? What’s going to make you perform better? However and unfortunately, I think it’s safe to make the claim that aesthetics blows any and all rationale out of the water.

Aesthetics allow one to look visually appealing, but has no bearing on an individual’s health status.

Do you agree?

It’s not always the “quality” of food that you are eating that determines health, but simply making adjustments that will make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients/ breakdown of protein, carbohydrates and fats rather than ultimately discovering that you are deficient in any of those components to the degree in which it could potentially stifle your overall  performance, energy, independence, among others.

For example, if you choose to follow the infamous “flexible dieting” approach, (however, this can apply to any nutritional approach), it would be wise that you don’t solely rely on one or two food sources ( I am not going to identify those food choices because it just causes stress as well as alter your relationship with food in general). In other words, it is important for whatever approach you choose to help assist you in your goals to choose from a vast selection of foods that will provide adequate nutrition (vitamins, protein, fat, and carbs).

While I will be pursuing a nutrition certification beginning in March, I am not a registered dietician or a nutritionist, therefore these are not meant to be recommendations or to diagnose/cure anything. This is just an observation touching on the various, ongoing debates about the “diets” (I even hate the use of that word) circulating the Internet (among other places).

It pains me to see people who are just determined to lose weight, gain muscle, improve performance, focus on longevity so much so that they will innocently attach themselves to a diet approach that may or may not be aligned with their goals or just simply not right for them ultimately experiencing side effects other than making progress towards their actual goals. Most are steered away from their actual needs, which then can become a limiting factor, preventing them from reaching their maximal potential in becoming the best version of themselves over the long run.

Getting proper nutrition also needs to be a resource for optimizing performance and health in spite of age. When we lack certain components of nutrition, we are allowing ourselves to age faster and it shows. Bottom line: Nutrition=the ability to be more mobile therefore achieve more (or just continue to do what we used to to some degree) as we age.

Always do your homework and consult with a trusted professional to make the most out of your journey, and not just for aesthetics, but also for longevity, health and prosperity.

Nobody is going to give a shit how old you are if you’re showing up with results, a positive attitude, realistic expectations, and your continuous pursuit of a dream. They will see passion and drive, not age.

Power of Contest Prep

 

To my anxiety-ridden mind:

I know that if I set up something far in advance, I become overwhelmed with you and just unwillingly, sabotage myself ahead of time…

I was doing fine, I set my own diet and followed it, didn’t have cravings, didn’t have the need to constantly go out to eat for greasy food or sugary treats. I was cutting my own weight and doing fine. Once a week, on the weekend, I’d go out to dinner with my husband and that was the extent of it. I felt better, I didn’t have the feeling of being hungry, I was committed and I felt strong. Everyday I woke up with determination and set out to become even better and stronger than the day before; to get that much closer to my goals. Whatever that was. No. I mean it. I didn’t have a goal to drive towards. I was just kind of idling day by day, conflicted and tortured by my own anxiety. I wanted to compete in a figure competition again, but I didn’t want to say “Ok I’m doing it”. Just like that. No, that made me feel too much. Besides, I felt like I was just setting myself up for failure once I spoke about it out loud. If I just kept it quiet and shifted it back into my own head, no one would know, and I wouldn’t feel pressured or anxious. It was my way of maintaining control; or at least I like to think so.

Once I made a commitment, I felt like I lost control and relinquished to some unknown bleak hole that would rupture my very existence; my little bubble that I often contained myself in for fear of treading on anything that might make my mind explode and reel with anxiety; send me into a panic attack because of the secrets I would have to keep so no one would or could judge me or criticize me, or even just sabotage my goal because they didn’t want to see me succeed. Oh but that was me. Right now. All the time. That’s me. So I guess in a way if I don’t speak about my goals, then it’s not really there. But if I take it day by day, than I can better control it all.

The other day, I relinquished control to an online coach for contest prep. Twelve weeks in advance of a figure competition. It started out with a simple email and erupted into a full blown commitment. Right away, I went into panic mode, trying to find a way to make adjustments already; adjustments so that I could maintain some kind of control. But since Saturday, when I submitted the final information and payment, I cannot stop eating. It takes him a couple days to get my custom plan together, so until then I have been thinking of ways to sabotage myself. Apprarently.

I’ve been on a non-stop binge fest. I’m having cravings and urges to go out to eat all the time now. For every meal.

I look in the refrigerator and see food and just want to devour it. I rationalize my behavior; try to soothe my mind. I’ve literally been fighting the urge to just keep bingeing. Part of me says it doesn’t matter, it’s just food, and it’s not going to hinder my goals. But the other part of me reminds me that success doesn’t come from excuses or rationalizations. But, I just want to have control.

Not only that, but I automatically have become consumed with so many antagonizing thoughts and worries that it literally feels like they are taking the very breath from deep within my heart and the lack of oxygen is so undeniably debilitating. I freeze at the thought of being asked to go to lunch with a friend or to go anywhere. And subconsciously, I isolate myself and place limitations in front of me that might otherwise be a challenge or a test of true worth or true strength. Maybe I’m afraid of the answer… I’m almost afraid to question it or to go up against it. It’s fear. I know that. It’s a lack of control. I know that there are options but it doesn’t matter in those moments when I set out to achieve something. It’s like getting in the car and purposely taking the wrong turns or inadvertently making sure that you just keep going in one big circle as long as you know you’ll end up where you started. But I want so much more. I feel it. I mean I can really feel it. It’s like a bleeding wound that burns with even the slightest amount of pressure. It feels like an attack. If you try to cover it up or dress it in bandages, it’ll just seep through or either that it’ll just dissolve the bandage making it as nonexistent as my confidence or self worth. That’s the problem I have very little self worth. I think everyone else deserves much, much more than me, and if I could I’d  be willing to give it all to them. Whether I knew them or not. And then I see these people who didn’t really notice me before or probably more likely I didn’t notice, asking me to do things, go to lunch and I look at them as challenges and obstacles that are trying to block me in my attempt from going any further when even I know deep down inside that’s the biggest lie; the biggest flaw of them all.

When I feel a loss of control; I freeze up. My body won’t move. There’s an external force that cannot be reckoned with. Over and over my mind tries to bludgeon the anxiety from my mind, and to tell you the truth, it works for a little while. Just a little while. And if you understand, then you know that you just have to keep fighting; have to keep yourself guarded, not against the world, but from your own mind. You’d understand that you cannot just walk out on your own skin; your own mind. Your body will scream like it’s beckoning anxiety and pain, but we have to remember that we’re so much larger than that. Than any of it.

We are strong enough to rise and succeed. We’ll always find a way to reach another step; another goal. And I know. I know because I did it. I seem to always find my way to the center of my goal; the center of my fear that is engulfed with the belief that I can overcome anything. And so can you. Because if u don’t do it, someone else is going to. Someone else is going to be living your dream; your life. And that control that we may so desperately cling to and think we have is going to turn into feeling of hopelessness, regret, and instead of living you’re just going to be dying. Your just going to fall into darkness and that will transfer into anger. So don’t let fear stop you; the unknown prevent you from living. And not because we have to; not because you think you don’t need to or that you have to give up control. And not because you don’t consider yourself as worthy or deserving.
Besides, I guess we’re not really controlling much when we are losing and surrendering to our anxieties; our fears and doubts. No, I guess we don’t have control if were being suffocated by fear. Fear controls us. And we need to stop it.

So here I go again. Round three to the stage.

How to Keep the Weight Off This Fall Season

Ah! The Fall season is among us. It’s in the air, outside your window pane, on your window pane, and of course! How can you not notice the beautifully colored leaves that float to the ground with every breath a tree takes????

 By now, Halloween has already filled your house with an abundance of sugary treats; temptation lurks everywhere, and I can only imagine that your scurrying around the house trying to hide the devilish little treats before your brain realizes what you are doing. And maybe you’ve even tried to give it away to someone; anyone. I mean, seriously, let someone else buy new pants. Not you…(insert evil laugh here)

 So….Halloween may be over, but that was, of course, just the kick off to the winter blues and the nostalgia that forces us to surrender ourselves every season as we revisit old memories as well as create new ones over and over again with similar aromas, traditions and even the popular flavor of pumpkin (my favorite!) that can still be linked to the Fall season time and time again.

 For some, (or most), however,  it may be a more depressing time; colder weather, less energy, lack of Vitamin D, darkness shields the daylight earlier; faster. And to most, it’s a time many stress and worry about finances; about making it through the holidays debt free and to some it’s about trying to making it through the holidays with a smile on their face, joy in their heart, and light in their soul. It’s also a time to start covering up in multiple layers to outsmart the chill in the air, and psychologically prepare our bodies {and digestive systems} for the overconsumption of treats, food, and bellies that represent an overstuffed turkey on Thanksgiving.  And who doesn’t enjoy pumpkin spiced coffee, pumpkin pie, the sweet aroma of pumpkin, and other yummy sweets and treats? Of course, with Christmas fast approaching, who has time to think about exercising or spending extra money on healthier food choices?  Not to mention, it can be challenging to avoid pumpkin pie, turkey and all the fixings when everyone else has bellies full of joy, comfort, and well, probably lots of gas.

 (Ironically, all of these big meals, comfort foods, goodies, come at a time when people are the most stressed because their wallets are being stretched farther than their paychecks)

 Well, guess what? It’s actually okay to indulge in some goodies and revel in the traditions that surround Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it’s okay to have a piece of candy every now and then too.

Hey. I’m going to enjoy some pumpkin pie.

And no. I’m not going to count the damn calories.

I’m going to sweat, and make my muscles so friggen sore that I won’t be able to move the next 24-72 hours without having to make some minor adjustments, (like have my daughter go upstairs and get me stuff because my legs are too sore to walk up the stairs).  I’m going to laugh about it too. Yep. I’m going to have my cake (pie) and eat it too. I’m going to work for that damn pie. And I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to that slice of pie.

This all probably sounds painful and silly, right?

 But….It’s Fall y’all!

And the holidays are quickly approaching. It’s not an excuse to eat like shit and unravel the tight ball of thread I’ve been carrying around up until this point; this day-this season. But with the aroma and flavor of pumpkin pretty much throwing itself down my throat and into my stomach, how can I resist?

 So how can you enjoy the seasons and the many aromas/flavors that linger and are literally RIGHT IN YOUR FACE???

 Besides Willpower?

 Eat smart. Don’t say, “It’s the holidays, let’s go shove everything down the pie shoot and pray to God that we don’t gain one pound…okay ten pounds”! Or pray to God that we’ll have the strength to burn it all off with some hard work or maybe that you’ll just be able to have the strength to pull one pant leg over one slightly overgrown thigh and hope that your ass cheek will cooperate to let you button it up. But if all else fails, and you really can’t resist binging, eat the pie, keep your ass on the couch, and I don’t care if you don’t even button your pants. Buttons can be a tad overrated anyway. Invest in some leggings. I do. At least leggings stretch and don’t serve as a constant reminder that your waist has expanded a couple inches or so. Besides your ass will look AMAZING in leggings anyway because leggings don’t have obvious seams outlining your every line and curve on your body. Oh! And leggings don’t come in number sizes. That’s pretty friggen’ amazing too.

 Don’t over-indulge. Remember, everything in moderation. And for cripes sakes throw some heart pumping exercise in there somewhere…you know, for balance.

 Also, make sure it’s worth it. If you’re going to indulge, make sure that it’s at least satisfying. And for real, if you work for it, you will feel so good when you’re enjoying all of the flavors of Fall. And without getting all technical on you, if you’re going to enjoy a sugary treat, I say work for it, and I mean it. Following intense exercise, devour your sugary treat without guilt. As long as you worked hard and aren’t overindulging or double dipping all day, every day, that sugary treat will be less likely to get stored as fat and instead will be used for repair and recovery for your body.

 Timing I’ve said it again, and I’ll say it again! While exercise can produce aesthetically pleasing results, the right kind of training for your body as well as proper fuel, will allow you to burn more calories at rest in the long run.  

 See! It doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Especially when it’s fall. Especially when the holidays are approaching. Especially when money is tight.  

 As always there are, however, ways to participate in the Fall Season and be on your BEST behavior (hehe)

 Here are just a few tips I use (Note: If you can’t already tell, I really love pumpkin a lot):

 Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice Coffee (sadly it doesn’t taste like pumpkin spice, it does have a great aroma and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside) I drink my coffee black.

 As for the canned pumpkin that I rejected earlier today, I do use it to make certain meal options (and that’s not saying a whole lot). Calm down. Don’t get all giddy. I’m not referring to recipes here; I’m just talking about opening up a can of pumpkin puree and adding it to other edible things. After all, pumpkin does have a pretty good nutritional profile; it is a great antioxidant as well as a great source of fiber, and because it doesn’t have much flavor, it can actually be added to pretty much anything without altering the taste. (But as I mentioned earlier, when it comes to something like pumpkin pie, I’m going for the real deal. But first I’m going to work my ass off for it and eat it only AFTER)

 So…go to your local grocery store or health food store and buy organic/regular (whichever fits your budget) 100% canned pumpkin puree and enjoy the health benefits I mentioned earlier by just adding it to sauces, pancakes, oatmeal and anything else you can think of. One way I like to add pumpkin is by adding pumpkin puree to diced tomatoes, low sodium tomato sauce, various spices and then serving it over brown rice, brown rice pasta, or spaghetti squash. (It’s not hardcore or anything, but it’s tasty and does the job).

 Buy a pumpkin candle (you could also purchase other scents reminiscent of the fall season) and place throughout the house.

 Fill your house and/or your work space with fall décor, winter décor.  

 I work hard in the gym and I refuse to be a slave to the kitchen. Some may enjoy baking and coming up with alternatives to food otherwise known as “junk food” but I can’t be that fancy and complicated. Nope. The only thing I can do is make suggestions, don’t expect fancy- schmancy recipes here. To me, chicken is chicken, and a potato is a potato. Mix it together and BAM! There’s my “recipe”! If I have a craving for some damn pumpkin pie, I’m just going to go to the store buy it and eat it. Hey, in my defense, it did have “no sugar added”, ignore the fact that it still had about ten different ingredients or chemicals in it that I had no idea what it even was. Not cool. Not fair. But on that note, I would like to also share with you that I did notice that the canned pumpkin I have at home had a recipe for a healthier version of pumpkin pie; no added sugar, very basic ingredients, but I placed it back and shut the cabinet door. You see, I’m tired. I have other things to do other than bake a pumpkin anything with fewer ingredients. Besides, a lot of alternatives can be just as unhealthy as just eating the actual product itself (For example, a lot of artificial sweeteners cause stomach/digestive issues for me.)  It’s not just a tight budget, it’s also time consuming. I just want to eat. I don’t want to bake for cripes sakes.

 There are times I stumble upon recipes that are on various websites/blogs, and admittedly they look so damn delicious, but for some reason I can’t ever find the “place an order” or shipping/billing information. Sigh. BIG SIGH.  I guess I’ll just stick to leaving my ass on the gym room floor and indulging every now and again. God help me.

 For ways to save money on healthier eating, look for that in an upcoming blog post!

 Have a good day everyone!

One Legally Binding Contract You Should Avoid

I struggle with this too, but I try my hardest to live by this rule: Be realistic with your goals. 

The number one thing I see on social media websites and in magazines is the image to look like a fitness model or a Victoria’s Secret model. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, I’m just saying that in order to look like a fitness model, you have to be prepared to requires a lot of dedication and commitment. If you want to look like a fitness model for a day; fine, but long term? You’re going to have to be willing to completely transform your kitchen and lifestyle, which begins and continues with eliminating any trace of a potential chemical shit storm waiting to happen. I know you can do it, just don’t sign any legally binding contracts unless you want to get sued.

 And none of us are that perfect all of the time. Our bodies are strong, we are strong, but sometimes shit happens. Even if we’ve make the ultimate sacrifice to give up cookies and pizza forever; sometimes our bodies will physically fight us tooth and nail.

 I woke up this morning, feeling more bloated than usual, drank a full glass of ice cold water, sat down at the computer with my oats with fruit and egg whites. As I was about to shove a spoonful of oatmeal into my mouth, my eyes focused in on this article. I couldn’t help but feel guilty for the extra spoonful of oats I put in my bowl or the one extra strawberry I tossed in just because. 

And while I doubt anyone is going to sue me anytime soon, (in fact, I’m sure of it) or no one is going to sever my head if I happen to gain a few pounds, for “not walking the walk, or talking the talk”,  I certainly can empathize with the Biggest Loser contestant who is being sued for gaining weight.  I made a commitment to this lifestyle, and I feel very passionately about it, and I hold myself accountable for making sure that I am constantly, “walking the walk” or talking the talk” but I also remember that [insert dramatic pause here] I am only human. Yep. There you have it. I am human. And so is this woman.

***Gasp***

 I seriously think that they should be more concerned with the fact that she’s human. Oh and the fact that chances are; if you’ve struggled with your weight in the past, no binding contract is going to put an end to that struggle.

 Physically or emotionally

 Especially, if you’re human. Living this lifestyle isn’t exactly what I call as being “socially accepted”. No, what is widely accepted, with an emphasis on socially, is binge drinking and pummeling food, food and more food into our bodies with ingredients that I don’t even think the manufacturers can pronounce.    

 It’s not like it’s a secret. It’s a known fact that people aren’t consciously counting calories or paying attention to how the food that they are eating affects their body. And honestly, from where I sit, and I’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts, counting calories can be a full time fucking job. It can kind of seem characteristic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And I’m no fucking doctor, but I know what it feels like to be obsessive. Trust me. In fact, I own my OCD proudly, it kicks my ass at the gym and it keeps me on track with my diet-but- it’s- not- really- a- diet-, it’s- a- lifestyle. So while I agree that she had a duty to maintain the image that gave her that opportunity in the first place, I also understand that she is human. And unless you’re a wizard, you may gain a few pounds here or there. What is important, however, is whether or not she has the will to fight to get back on track. In my nonprofessional opinion, I think she illustrates the struggle of weight loss, not a lack of self control. Besides, don’t most people who struggle with their weight face a lack of control in their life already? I don’t believe people intentionally sabotage themselves to die young or be obese. No there’s an emotional struggle that is attached to their weight; it’s not just physical.

It is easy to lose track of what you’re putting in your mouth in times of stress, or just life in general. Believe me, I don’t wake up everyday weighing the same either. Maybe I had more sodium than usual, or drank too much water the day before. The body is full of surprises and no one person can get it down to an exact science. During competition prep, or when I did that photo shoot, I had to manipulate my carbohydrates and water intake. Newsflash: Each time a figure competitor competes, they are always trying something new, a little tweak here or there, and their body may be harder and tighter than the last show. Yes, I know people who have shows back to back (one week apart) and they don’t do the same thing that led them to the first show. Again, this is all based on other’s experience, personal experience and lots and lots of research. (That’s my disclaimer right there.)

 And to ramble on some more about it, all I know is that everyone has a story. It’s not as black or white as everyone paints it out to be. Every ‘body’ is different; when you put stress on your body daily, over time you’re body is going to react to it eventually. I don’t know what kind of diet or workout regimen this woman was on, but maybe the stress finally caught up to her and her body responded by putting on some weight. Maybe no matter what she did to counteract the weight gain, she didn’t know how to fix it. Certainly some people can relate. Have you ever decided you needed to lose weight? And in doing so, you put your body under extreme stress, whether it is through a sudden diet change or you just jumped right into a high intensity bout of exercise 5 days a week? Not to mention, we there are their twisted little things called hormones that make our body go tick and tock. Yea, they have an affect on us daily too. Hormones are responsible for a lot of shit that happens in your body. Some make our muscles grow; lose weight, and some make us cry and crave chocolate and pizza. And…sometimes when they’re fucked with; they can put a screeching halt on any kind of progress that you might have made.

 Really, the only contract that I’m going to commit to is the one that reads, “you are taking on the role as a representative to our brand. In signing this contract, you are agreeing to be real, vulnerable, and be willing to make mistakes.You also are agreeing to never mislead the public in any way because by doing so will only tarnish our brand and in doing so, will lead to the promotion of a negative representation, one that we do not want to be a part of. (Feel free to insert legal terminology as you see fit). Imagine, if the scale were tipped the other way, and she got too skinny????

Wow. To be completely honest, I compare myself to others. I mean, who doesn’t? Don’t say you don’t, I don’t know you personally, but I know you do it. Let’s get real, why else do we have a social networking site that has pictures only? Oh and recently videos too. I’m talking about Instagram, but other social networking sites allow it too. And the obvious, why else would this woman be getting sued for not maintaining an image she had at the time she agreed to represent this company?

I scroll through newsfeeds of fitness accounts that I have clicked the like or follow button and I also flip through fitness magazines with envy. I don’t read the articles, I don’t look at the words, I just look at the images that show defined abs, hard earned muscle, and beautifully rounded shoulders and legs that can put any high heeled shoe to shame. It’s my motivation. But sometimes, truthfully, it can be an unhealthy kind of motivation. Sometimes, my body goes to war with my mind. So I have to force myself to log off whatever social media website I’m looking at, close the pages of the magazine and go to the gym. But I go in swinging, busting ass, and challenging my body every single day, and then I go home eat several small meals throughout the day, nothing special, just unprocessed foods, choose only natural sugars as opposed to foods with added sugars, and even then, I keep that kind of sugar to a minimum, I don’t eat an entire jar of peanut butter, even though I’d like to at times, and I drink a lot of water all day long. But I still don’t have a chiseled six pack, although, I don’t really want one, I get frustrated that no matter what I do, I can’t seem to have my stomach look like a six pack. Oh, I have definition in my abs, but you can barely see them if I’m not standing in certain light, or after eating and drinking water all day.

But I still do it because after three years of being on this fitness journey, I feel like I’ve joined a fitness revolution.  I love that I can relate to the desire to eat copious amounts of nut butters straight out of the jar, the fact that I, too, saturate my Iphone with endless shots of myself in the mirror; also known as “selfies”  and play with filters to see what brings the lines out from my muscles the most. I even get excited when I don’t need a filter at all because I can actually see the lines without a fancy filter, and, I, like many others on Instagram, tag the photo with the hashtag, #nofilter. I am also guilty of carrying chicken around in my purse, owning a ton of Tupperware, which, I might add, honestly frustrates me because I suck at organizing Tupperware. Seriously, I can never find the matching lid. But, I feel like over the past 3 years, while I have lived and breathed the fitness lifestyle, I don’t ever feel that it’s ever enough. I still struggle to find the right balance and I suffer the most when my hormones come to play. I am hard on myself. I’ve always been. Everyday is something different. Not just with my appearance though, with a lot of things. I may take a hundred pictures, but it’s only because I’m searching for the one with the “right lighting” the “perfect lines” and then I tell myself to eat cleaner and train harder. And I do. But then I get mad at myself. I think it’s me. I go back to those images on the social media sites and wonder why I can’t have their abs, or legs or shoulder muscles. I do that and then I usually come to my senses (until the next time) and realize that I have to learn to work with the set of tools God and my entire gene pool gave me. Truth hurts.

 

What isn’t drilled into our minds is that you can’t want to be somebody else; you have to want to be you. All of the time. And to do that, you have to do what feels right for you. It’s hard, I know, but it certainly isn’t impossible. I know that too. Like I said, I’m guilty of being too hard on myself too. You just have to be prepared to fight, accept that you aren’t perfect, and that there may even be some setbacks. You can’t control life, but you sure could make the best of it. And that goes for your body too. You can certainly make the most of what you’ve been given, and try not to forget that you, I mean, we, are still human. Just look at the woman from the Biggest Loser, Season 2, who is facing a lawsuit.