My CrossFit <— if you’re unaware of the awesomeness/what CrossFit is, I really encourage you to watch that video.
When I decided to move to Australia I promised myself I’d do everything under the sun to make friends. I’d join a book club, a running club, online date, try get involved as much as I could and payforce charm everyone under the Melbourne sun to be my friend.
But of course most of those things are easier said than done and in the beginning I was left scrambling to meet people. (Truth Bomb: the beginning few months of living here I had NO friends. Like, none.).
And I joined CrossFit purely to whip my ass into shape, build muscle, have something to do and perhaps pop out a squat here or there. Never to meet people. Never to make friends, never to gain a social life.
And now? 6 Months on?
Now I think the hardest part about leaving Melbourne will be leaving the people at CrossFit. My CrossFit. The CrossFit I learned at, the CrossFit I grew at, and the CrossFit I’ve met some of the best people I’ve ever met at (Anna & Danya I’m looking at you).
And it’s because of the people at CrossFit I have officially found a way (and a super-duper-whoa intense way) to easily show up, work out, sweat, and get fit. It’s a way that leaves me sitting at my desk at work watching the clock because I WANT to go to CrossFit. It’s a way that even makes me want to rock up on my rest days because I want to see my friends & be social & laugh & joke & say hi-hi-hi to them.
It’s this awesome, non-judgmental place I can completely be myself at. It’s this awesome place full of support, full of people wanting what’s best for me, and people trying to help me. It’s this place I really (really!!) don’t feel self conscious at <— a rarity.
And. And most importantly my CrossFit has inspired me.
It’s shown me how possible it is for me to achieve what I want. It’s shown me how people I would have assumed were “naturally fit/smaller” are not. How they, through squats, lunges, weights, running, rowing etc. have fought hard for their bodies. How it’s not easy for anybody. And how every single person still has to watch what they eat and eat right.
The people at my CrossFit have shown me sexy bodies are not magic; they’re hard work, dedication and, they’re possible.
So with that, let me introduce you to:
Ian. Ian is truly one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and he & his wife, Claire, are a perfect example of how I should never make fitness assumptions - "Oh, they’re just naturally like that. Lucky bastards." In my short 6 months at CrossFit I’ve watched/read/creeped Ian’s progress and dedication to changing his body and he is a perfect example how it’s possible to truly make a lifestyle change. He’s also, umm, pretty ah-mazing at A) Halloween costumes, and B) achieving PBs. He’s a real life, regular Joe, and I highly recommend hitting "follow" and supporting him and being inspired by his Crossfit journey.
Davie. Davie is my good friend Danya’s husband and if you are a personal trainer, skeptical of CrossFit (I SEE YOU OUT THERE), just head over to his blog and read his About Me. Davie’s bloggy, for all you Crossfit peeps, is one of my favourites - filled with Paleo recipes, WOD stories, Tips, Tricks and a great example of why and how CrossFit is just plain, awesome.
And now? some photos from our Halloween Workout!
We had to complete 4 mini-WODs in teams of 4. See the guys hanging? They were the team’s timers. PRESSURE.
Seriously. Who wears white to a workout? Jeesh.
That’s Ian! That’s Ian! He won our CrossFit’s first Paleo Challenge.
This is Fiona. I have a serious girl-crush on her.
This is Fiona’s husband, Karl. I spent a billion hours stalking Karl’s Facebook because a mere year ago Karl did not look like that. Him and Fi are HUGE inspirations of mine that A) CrossFit works and B) Paleo = weight loss.
Oh hai there. Me again. A little gift to you from God :)
Sam & Crystal. Both RXd FRAN on Monday in under 7 min 40. WHOA.
This is Laura and Danya. Two of my favourites at crossfit. And two of my favourite bodies - oohh lala, I went there.
I was in this cheery, good, the-world-is-soooo-great mood this morning, all early for work with jazz hands & everything, and then within 30 seconds of walking out my front door, as I was waiting to cross a road, I saw a car change lanes and hit a motorbike (cliché didn’t check blind spot crash). The bang was SO LOUD it took me a moment to process what was happening as I watched the motorbike and its owner roll about 20 meters on the road. I ran over to her to check if she was okay (she wasn’t), and had to pull (thank you very much crossfit – it was sooo heavy) the motorbike off her. I also called 0-0-0 (Australia’s 911) and waited with the woman as the police/ambulance showed up. The police eventually dismissed me after I gave my report, but the woman was still laying on the ground (hadn’t moved yet) and I’ve been thinking about her all day.
My weekend was quiet on the home front. Matt and I watched The Godfather (I had never seen it & apparently it was a must), and then we were in bed by 10pm both Sat and Sun night because apparently we are elderly people now. Cool. AND, you guys, I hit a new low this weekend - I paid my roommate $20 to do my laundry. Hmm. Yea. So there’s that.
Oh, and, can we please take a moment to Internet-High Five the lovely miss Theodora over at Losing Weight in the City? She ran her 3rd full marathon yesterday and killed it in a time of 4:04:37. We started the Chicago marathon together back in 2010 and it’s been incredible watching her train hard and take off nearly an hour!! Congrats lady! She’s a huge inspiration to me as we started our blogs together, except cough-she-actually-did-it-and-maintained-it-cough. Sometimes, when I get into my I-Just-Wanna-Move-to-NYC moods, I pretend we’re running buddies and bff in the big city. Theodora, absolutely huge congratulations on your marathon time; simply ah-mazing!
Did you know Australia has less than 1% of the world’s population, but more than 20% of the world’s slot machines? Because they do. It was actually something very noticeable when I stepped off the plane in Australia – how much these people love to gamble. I am not a gambler. To me gambling & slot machines makes zero sense… to me it’s just people feeding their pensions into bright looking, silver, metal, flashy boxes, but nonetheless I can’t comment too much because along with Australia’s love of gambling comes their love of horse racing. And you know what comes with horse racing? Lots and lots of things I love: fancy dresses & high heels, head pieces, champagne, wine & tuxedos. So yes & please to all that. Cue Darby Day next Saturday, and cue a splurge of a $250 ticket. I’m prêt-ty excited about this and you better believe this week is simply a countdown until Saturday.
I’m definitely ready to go home. Gasp! I’m not homesick though, but I suppose I can say that my trip, this trip, has given me exactly what I hoped it would. It’s taught me so much about what I want out of life and despite really loving Australia, I miss my family & friends SO MUCH, the four distinct seasons (yes, including snow), the North American culture, which I had never really noticed before and the routine of life I had back home. I miss thanksgiving & Halloween so much and pumpkin lattes & pie, I miss crunchy leaves, and horse riding in fields with my sister. I could go on, but I’ll spare you… but I’m thinking of deleting my Facebook account for the Christmas season purely because I think it’ll be too hard seeing snow, and bright lights, the festivities of it all going down.
I threw out a block of cheese today. Because if I have cheese in the house. I will eat said cheese in the house. But then I stared at it for a second, and my hand dived back into the (clean - I swear) bin, and saved it. I stood there for a moment debating. Wishing I was normal. Wishing I could swear to myself if kept that block of cheese in the fridge I would eat it at a normal, human pace. But I couldn’t. Sad, I know. And so I threw that cheese back in the garbage. One day. One day I’ll be able to keep cheese in the fridge and not think about it. One day.
I have no goal at the moment. No distinct, running, and/or weight goal. This must change. I thrive on goals and progress and rules and guidelines. I’m going to make sure I change that this week.
A while ago I shared my blog with a friend. Then last week he sent me the below. Often I find inspiration online, through pictures & words, but rarely does it stay with me after I close my screen. This did. I hope you enjoy this and find something in it as much as I did. Liz
I’ve seen it said time and time again that losing it is 90% about the food and 10% about the exercise. I agree with that. But before that, and all during that, it’s also 100% about your mind. You decide. If you think you can change and make better choices, then odds are you can. If you decide you can’t, then odds are you aren’t going to make it very far this go around. Maybe you do better the next time around.
And you know, in sharp detail, what hasn’t worked for you already. Now you just have to find out what will work for you and stick to it. I like to think of a quote I read somewhere years ago. It was some famous inventor and they asked him about why he didn’t just give up after 100 failed tries at inventing something or other. He said that he hadn’t failed 100 times, but that he had discovered 100 ways that it wouldn’t work. You’ve already put in the time figuring out ways it hasn’t worked for you… why not finish it up and find the way that it will? Try #101 might be the right way!
You decide. You decide what motivates you. You decide what goes in your mouth. You decide to walk more than you need to in order to get to class, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. You decide to continue as you are, or to make a change, and keep making changes until you get it right for you. And keep it right until you get to where you want to be. You decide that you will become someone who has willpower, who doesn’t bargain her way out of commitments, maybe who isn’t only motivated by fear but by love… the love you can let yourself have for yourself when you start changing into the person you REALLY want to be.
You get to decide every single day. So, who will you be when you wake up today?
Well gang, it’s (nearly) that time of year again! The time of pumpkin carving, crunchy leaves, delicious candy, fattening (yet delicious) Starbucks drinks, fun-creative treats and trick-or-treating drinking in costume. Except. Oh wait. I am in the land Down Under where the ever-so-important holiday of Halloween is sadly overlooked, but do not fret, my pretties, I’ve decided to reminisce with a Halloween post, and perhaps live vicariously through someone out there.
I used to Hate (yes, with a capital H) Halloweeny because as Mean Girls popularized, it was the time of year where all the skinny-minnie girls got to show off their bodies, and I, of course, had no body to show off.
But over the years I realized how magical Halloween night is, and how with a good group of people, how fun Halloween costumes can be. And so, as promised in 2011 (a year late? Psssh, that’s how I roll) here’s the “How To” on making my all-time favourite Halloween costumes: Tetris Pieces / iPod commercial / trolls / Ninja Turtles
Note how they’re all super easy and for people on a budget - because that’s how I roll.
Ingredients: 4+ friends, kids birthday party table cloth, black garbage bags, back electric tape, boxes, all black clothing.
This is really easy & really cheap, but very time consuming - so plan ahead! We picked up LOTS of regular boxes from Budget car hire, and the rest of the goods from a big dollar store. It’s fairly self explanatory, and just takes lots of planning, and time, but it’s totally worth it - we won best costume that year!!
Essentially you figure out the shapes you want and then figure out how to connect them. When connecting boxes, we cut off two of the flaps to the boxes and then joined the boxes like two scissors coming together (it’s kinda hard to explain). Just make sure they boxes are REALLY tight and secure, and the arm holes are in the right spots. Then cover the shapes with black garbage bags, and then the kid’s birthday table clothes (the reason for the garbage bags was to stop them from being see-through). Finally add the black electrical tape to the corners, and voila! (Link to more photos of this epic night)
We went to a thrift store and each bought a worker’s green onesie, along with karate green belts. Next we headed to the fabric store to purchase lots (lots!) of brown felt - this would be used for our shells, and muscly abs - and some stretchy fabric for our eye pieces. And lastly The Dollar Store to grab some weapons.
Everything was easily cut to shape (big triangle areas for our abs, and ovals for our shells) and we used a thick, black, permanent marker to draw the abs on our felt chests, and the outlines of the shells (see Bing for help). We stuffed pillows into our shells and secured them to our backs with safety pins. (Also, we did have a Michelangelo, but she was working late when the pics was taken :))
This gem of a Halloween outfit is probably the easiest. American Apparel for some reason carries nude colour onesies, and you can pick up a colourful wigs at any Halloween store along with a tu-tu and material for a gem on your tummy. (The plan wasn’t to be “ballerina” trolls, but I was too self-conscious in the nude onesie - so the tu-tu was a good compromise).
This night goes down as easily one of my drunkest (so classy, I know), funnest nights of all time.
And last, but not least - iPod commercials. Although part of me now thinks this is a dated idea - sad! It’s also incredibly easy.
Things you’ll need: black outfits, broom stick (no brush attached, just the broom), 4 pieces of each colour bristol board and tape. Essentially we lined up two bristol boards on top of each other and taped the broom stick in the middle of it with 1/2 the broom stick sticking out - the end of the stick went down the backs of our shirts. Then you take the 3rd piece and cover the back. (Again, hard to explain so I hope that makes sense).
Okay. PHEW. So many words and ideas (here some more!). I hope this helps someone with their idea this year - please (please!!) let me know if you copy one as I’d love to see your pics and hear about it.
And, while we’re on the topic of Halloween Costumes - Do YOU have a great idea you’d like to share? Or a link to show us the awesomeness you created? I always love seeing Halloween ideas and getting new ideas!?
Despite my [current] statistics not being too positive (re: 174 pounds | 5’4” | female | 27), I have (in the last 27 years of being in a perpetual state of trying to lose weight) learned a thing or two about the epic battle that weight loss is.
(I just [obviously] don’t do them that well).
I used to be all like “tell me the easiest & quickest way to get myself from point A (overweight) to point B (slender ‘n fit) by doing the least amount of work possible, and still eating delicious foods, hmmm kay?” But as we all know, that didn’t work out too well…
But I’m older ‘n wiser (‘n cooler?) now, so for the sake of my skinny-fit future self, here are a few things (reminders) I believe about weight loss:
Sacrifice: it’s depressing, I know, but there are no magic beans, no secret words, no golden key to the world of being slender. It’s sacrifice & hard work. It’s saying NO to the box of chocolate almonds in the office; it’s choosing a salad instead of a pizza. It’s giving up something (spoiler alert: it’s giving up delicious, tasty, sugary food). It’s making a change. Doing something different. And not sneaking a slice of cheese when you’re trying to decide what to eat (<— totally side eyeing myself on that one)
Do not be fooled (I totes magotes was), but weight loss and maintenance are two very different games. Weight loss is a lot harder, a lot. It’ll come down to a simple extra treat, a mere two or three hundred calories which will determine whether you maintain, or lose. Despite lots of books/professionals saying maintenance is harder, I think the opposite.
A plateau can’t last forever. Water weight. Starvation mode. Muscle weighs more than fat. They’re all nice ‘n dandy if it’s a short-term problem, but the second you realize that that’s been your excuse for, oh I don’t know, a few months, you’re doing something wrong. So stop. Re-calculate and change something.
Exercise. The best weigh (tehehehe) to describe my thoughts on this topic is by saying: You lose weight in the kitchen. You get fit in the gym. Remember that. Always, always remember that. You can NOT out-exercise a bad diet. Know this, otherwise you’ll end up like me with three full marathons under your belt, a trek to Mt. Everest, being a (self-proclaimed, hehe) crossfit all-star, and *still* overweight – go me! But I HIGHLY recommend exercising, it encourages better eating, and just an overall better life. Whether it’s walking, crossfit, running, or dancing just try and move-move-move-move!
Weight loss needs a deadline. Why? Because a goal without a deadline is just a dream. So put a big, damn, red circle with flashing stars on your birthday, or year end, or whenever it is, because there needs to be a start date. And a finish date. Otherwise, like me, you’ll always start tomorrow and be in this perpetual state of limbo. You’ll also know if you “failed,” and can find ways to fix the problemos.
Be realistic. Aka don’t be like me. After one day of eating healthy I step on the scale and then am sad I didn’t lose 50 pounds overnight. Set goals that are possible. Slow ‘n steady, slow ‘n steady… it took me over two years to lose 50 pounds.
You have to have a zillion “Ah-ha moment” moments throughout the whole process. There obvs has to be a big, kick start one (like that time I thought there was a dappled light on my legs. But oh, no, wait… that’s just my cellulite) AND then they need to continue each week, day, meal. We live in a world of delicious food everywhere, so yes, of course weight loss is hard. You have to keep reminding yourself why the food isn’t worth it. Why there will always be another *insert treat here* in your future. And no Liz, no. It’s not just “now or never!” (sometimes I feel I get anxiety when I’m near food: WHAT IF I DON’T GET ANY? OHMYGOD).
Weight loss requires sleep. I used to give this point the side-eye until I realized that oh-so-very clear correlation between eating poorly and being tired. For reals. Sleep makes everything better. So shut yo computer, and snooze!
You gotta drink LOADS of water. I am awfully bad at this, but I really do believe it’s one of the top things to do to lose weight.
A Calorie-Is-A-Calorie-Is-A-Calorie… OR IS IT? Unfortunately I can’t really write too much on this topic because I don’t know enough, but lately I’ve slowly (I’m looking at you Crossfit) started thinking/believing in the whole “no portions, eat the right foods, it’s not just about calories, eat as much as you want” dealio (cough Paleo cough). Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmmm???
Diets are NOT BAD. Most people (ie me) need help to lose weight and diets kick start weight loss the first few weeks. They give someone structure and guidelines and do actually help. And (this is shocking) they ALL work. All. Of. Them. Work. The key is finding one you like, one that works for your lifestyle, and one you can actually do for more than two months.
Binging is bad. I know this, because I have an awful history of eating all the food in my house and/or store (read my battle with binge eating here). Binging is all mental and professional help may need to be considered - especially if you’re someone who’s like me and gets an A++ 90% of the time in eating, but then can literally consume 5,000 calories in one sitting.
Okay. PHEW. I think that’s it. Pretty straight forward, right? Ba-hahahahaha. I laugh because weight loss is HARD. And no, you’re probably not the only person in the world who simply just loves the taste of food (<— I seriously used to think that), everybody does, and most people are struggling.
Also, Little Blog, as I get the question, “How Do I Start Losing Weight / Find motivation?" a lot, here’s a link to my original, "So, You Wanna Lose Weight?" post, which may help you out.
Oh-Oh-Oh, also, I’m interested in what the People-Who-Live-In-My-Computer (aka YOU) think about weight loss. Want to correct a tip of mine? Or tell me what your #1 tip to lose weight would be? YOU DO? Excellent!
A reverse before/after photo. Before: 150 pounds (Aug 2011) | After 174 (today). It took me about 20 minutes to squeeze into the dress in the 2nd photo… throughout the wedding I was terrified the zipper would break.
Enough is enough. Stop throwing yourself this one-lady pity party with lots & lots of cheese and wine. Yes, I saw the amount of cheese you consumed yesterday. And let us not forget the two glasses of red. Alone. In your room. Watching The Bachelor Canada. Oh yes. I’m outing you.
Look, you know how to do this. You’ve done it before and you CAN do it again. Remember how long it took you last time? Remember how hard it was? Well yea, it’s going to be all those things again. But remember how worth it it was? Remember when that zipper zipped upped? How you ran into your roomate’s room to show her? And the feeling of stepping on the scale and seeing a loss of 50 pounds? Remember how awesome it was fitting a size medium jacket? Remember the powers of the white dress? Or how freaking GREAT your legs looked?
And remember the hard work. The lifestyle change. The running. The salads. The swimming, kayaking and horse riding. The being active? You’ve changed. You get that right? You sometimes feel lost and alone in Melbourne and feel like that gives you an excuse to just sit around and do nothing. But you’re better than that. You know better than that.
You also know how to lose weight. Yes, you do. You know a chocolate cookie here or there adds up, as do those sauces on your steak. You know you HAVE to at some point switch to salads, and say no to the office treats. And you know Liz, you have to stop lying to yourself.
I know sometimes the pressure of your blog leaves you gasping for air; it leaves you feeling like you’re failing with thousands of eyes on you. But you’re not. You are that exact same girl from last year. This little weight gain? it’s just a glitch in the story, a hiccup that will have a great result.
Get that great result. Earn that great result. Go to bed early. Hit your snooze once. Put effort into the little things such as your nails, and your hair. Shave your legs (Matt will appreciate this one). Continue going to crossfit. Continue running. Continue trying, and fighting, because *gasp* you know too well that life is better less fat. It’s easier. And you feel better. Eat salads and say no to sugar. Don’t step on the scale after two days and feel discouraged from no results. It’ll take time. And It’s going to be hard. But Liz, it’ll be so, so worth it.
You know how to do it. You’ve done it before. So throw out the sh*t food in your cupboard, my friend, let’s do this. Once and for all.
~ People do time capsules of things. Here’s a time capsule of my thoughts at 27 years, 10 months, and 15 days old. These are the thoughts I believe on this day, I’m sure in the next 10 years they’ll all greatly change ~
On my body
My whole life has been a rollercoaster on the way I view my body. In the last 4 years I’ve gone from hating, despising and wishing I was anybody but me, to accepting. To understanding the potential it has, and becoming fully aware that I, and I alone, am in complete control of the strength, and size of my body. I like my teeth, hair, and smile. And I’ve learnt to see the potential of what my body is capable of (marathons, hiking, crossfit, travelling). I have accepted that ‘weight loss’ and I will be bffs for life. And I’ve learned (and this is rather recently) that it’s not about one specific “ah-ha” moment, but rather a series of making better decisions each, and every day. I now realize how much binge eating & being overweight is mental (for a long time I really thought I just liked food more than most people). Currently I am considered “obese,” and currently, once again, I am trying to lose weight. Part of me wonders if I ever will… that really scares me.
I believe true love exists, but I also believe that there is more than one person out there for everybody. I think broken hearts are one of the worst things ever, and that butterflies from a forehead kiss are one of the best. I know that getting out of bed when you’re warm and happy in somebody you love’s arms is nearly impossible. Actually, I don’t think I know that much about ‘love,’ and sometimes I think I’m really bad it at; that I expect more than I give. I also know I get jealous really easily, and am hard to read. (One day) I want to get married & have kids, and I know we’re not supposed to say this, but I would be really upset if this never happens to me. I’m terrified of divorce, but know that sometimes ultimately it’s probably the best thing, and one thing I do know about love, is that even if it’s real and pure, and all that, it’s really hard work.
I don’t know; I have my days. I guess if I’m being really honest I like the idea of religion. A lot, actually. I think if it helps someone better their life, and isn’t pushed onto others, I have no qualms with it. But. But I also like to believe that if there is a heaven or hell, it’s not going to come down to me being judged on whether I believed someone/thing existed, or believed in a book, but rather the way I lived my life. From the little things to the big. How I treated others, how I dealt with situations, whether I grew, learned, loved, helped others - whether I was a good person.
Hmmm. I go through phases of being political and wanting to know every and anything about a topic. I research. I learn. I form an opinion. And then I go through periods of tuning out all things political (I am so out of the whole US election at the moment!). I think voting is very important - if you don’t vote, don’t complain. And I always find it interesting that political parties can be so different, yet countries are divided so evenly. Are 50% of the country really ‘wrong’? I also think most people are easily swayed by the media, friends, family and rarely actually research for themselves. And I often think there isn’t really a political party that reflects my current view points correctly; gay marriage, pro-choice, universal health care? Yes please. But I also really believe people are better (smarter) at spending their own money than government is. (note: I’ve never brought politics onto my bloggy, and probably, never again will).
I love life, I do. And I know that’s corny, and eye rolling-worthy, but I’m constantly impressed with people, and the Earth we live on. I love how it’s a choose-your-own-adventure type of deal… if you want it to be. From traveling for the past year I’ve learned the importance of Monday to Friday and creating a life where you don’t live for the weekends, or vacations, but rather your Tuesday booze ‘n books club, dinner with your friends on Thursday, or a night in on Monday. At 27, I can definitely feel a slow shift in the things I want; from seeing the world & adventure, to stability and constants. I am really (really!) craving buying spoons and cutting boards lately.
Good evening team. And how are you? It’s Monday night in my neck of the woods, and what a Monday it has been. I don’t even know why, or how, or what happened, but I was up before my alarm, and kinda, sorta, ready to kick ass this week.
I am still incredibly happy from the whole Marathon & Half Marathon shenanigans that took place yesterday. So happy, in fact, that I wanted to simply write something that I’ve been thinking about alllllll day. Probably more for my record, than anything else.
Remember my first full marathon? The Chicago marathon on 10-10-10? And Las Vegas? And Berlin? Well each and everyone of those marathons I crossed the finish line so ANGRY at myself, or wait, a better term would be DISAPPOINTED in myself.
Especially the Berlin marathon. I finished that marathon in 5 hours and 10 minutes, but had completed all my training long runs, including the 37k (23 miles) at a 4 hour 30 marathon pace. I wanted under 5 hours more than anything, and all I could dwell on from Berlin was how I had failed at that goal.
Confession: even until this weekend I hated telling people my marathon times (or cringed when I saw people through the Stats page look up my times on this blog). I knew I was slow. So slow. And felt a rush of embarrassment sweep over my body when somebody found out my time.
Then. Yesterday. After my half marathon. I watched the full marathoners finish. And?
Something changed in me, and as tears filled my eyes for all those random strangers completing such a huge goal, I was suddenly in awe of myself. As if *I* had done that! And suddenly, my 5:10 marathon seemed pretty damn good. And suddenly I realized that a marathon is a marathon is a marathon and they’re DAMN HARD, and finishing it in and of itself is a HUGE accomplishment. So yea, I got all proud and weird and happy all of today because I had got 5:10 in the Berlin Marathon over a year ago (fun fact: the average woman completes a marathon in 5:10), but better late than never, right? Right.
So what’s next for me? Good question Internet person. Goal setting. That’s what.
I want to get skinner (yessss, I know, but it’s true). Faster. Stronger. Better. In pretty much all aspects of my life. I’m feeling really determined lately, and am feeling really ready to commit (yet again), which means… bring on the next post; goals.
You, yes you! The one standing at the beginning of your race. The one shaking in your perfectly-tied sneakers. Psssst, Dear Runner, I want to tell you something;
First, stop comparing yourself to everybody else, because you, Dear Runner, are going to do awesome. You are awesome. You have pushed yourself through sweat, blood and training sessions. You were up early when everyone else was in bed. You were soaked in the rain, when everybody else was dry. You were already sleeping, while friends were clinking pints in pubs. You made schedules. And you crossed off little boxes. And now here you are, about to run a race, your race and you, Dear Runner, are awesome.
And the thing I love most about you, Dear Runner, is how you were once just like everybody else. You probably never won any running awards, or track ‘n field trophies. Hell, you were probably like me and did everything you could to avoid the beep test and/or any form of running in gym class, but then something changed;
And at some moment in time you made that decision to go for your first-ever, heavy-breathing, short dash around your block. At some point you believed in yourself enough that you decided, you committed, and you did it. Again and Again and Again.
And now here you here. Standing at the start line.
So breath, Dear Runner, and take it all in. The moments before the race, 3, 2, 1, and the strides that you’ve worked so hard earn. Watch the crowds. High five the children. And keep a look out for the burst of energy tired runners get when they recognize their loved ones; that’s one of my favourite things about races.
And when it gets hard, because it will, push, fight, and want it even more. You are accomplishing something so few people will ever try, and remember that every stride you take puts you closer to an accomplishment that nobody, anywhere can ever take a way from you.
Dear Runner, good luck. Enjoy the race, your race, you’ve earned it. I wish you the best run, and I, for one, am inspired by you!
Best of luck to all my friends running races tomorrow!! In Toronto - for the Scotia Half & Full Marathon, or Melbourne’s Half & Full - Sam & Krysten (the full!), Amy (her first 1/2) I am SO proud of you girls! xoxoxo
To me? Body image is that overwhelming feeling of how I look when people can see me; Strangers. Or some of my closest friends.
It’s that feeling of sucking in, positioning my purse so that random person can’t see my stomach, or grabbing the couch cushion to cover my belly; it’s wanting to be invisible.
It’s that feeling of wanting to stand tall, strong and proud, walking past a group of people and not even realizing they’re there, it’s strutting by gridlocked cars and not thinking all eyes are on me, and if they are? Who cares. It’s being comfortable in my own skin.
Body image; it’s something I’ve battled with for years & years. And years.
When I started my blog I was convinced my body was an egg with limbs. For many (many!) years I couldn’t bring myself to even walk/jog/run in public because of the fear of, ‘people will see that I’m fat.’ In high school I would walk the hallways sucking my stomach in so hard I wouldn’t breath. In university I would leave for class at weird times to miss the rush hour of people on the street. And if I was late for a class? I’d skip it. Obviously. Because then everyone would see “the fat girl was late.”
And then I lost weight.
I felt better. More “normal.” And my body image of myself started to change. I felt more confident. I’d look people in the eye. Smile at strangers. Want to meet new people. Even run for buses. And sometimes, when shopping alone, I’d actually come out of my change room to use the big mirror - whoa.
And then, now, I have gained a lot of my weight back.
And? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have familiar old days. Days where I just wanted nobody to see the fat hanging over my jeans, or that my jacket didn’t do up. But. But it’s different now. Better. Even at this high (for me) weight I still value myself; I now know my weight, my size, or jeans don’t define me.
I know that if somebody yelled something mean to me on the street (this happened yesterday, "lose weight" he yelled), I am now confident enough to look them in the eye, shrug it off, because I know who I am, and how much more my life is than my weight: crossfit, running, marathons, horse riding, this blog, my relationship, my awesome friends, my job, traveling, hiking to Base Camp, Mt. Everest (exactly 1 year ago today!) etc.
Body image is such a weird thing. It’s this complete game I play all in my head, but slowly, from things like this blog, and I suppose getting older with age I am learning to have more good days, than bad. Slowly, I am winning.
Oh hi there ridiculously, ridiculously, good looking people - okay, okay let’s not dance around the proverbial mulberry bush and simply cut to the dirty-dirty chase.
I, Liz (of awesome fame), am notorious for eating poorly while travelling. Like, probably the worst person at eating healthy while travelling that you have ever, and I mean EVER met. Virtual or otherwise.
Remember how I WORE A BIKINI (<— linked for proof) on a beach in Croatia? Yea, well that was right at the beginning of my trip when I weighed about 147 pounds (66kg). And then remember how A YEAR MINUS ONE (1) DAY later I weighed in at 174 pounds (79.1kg)???? Remember? REMEMBER *shaking your collar as I ask*?!?
For those who aren’t good with math, here the facts:
September 30, 2011 —> 147 pounds (66kg) September 29, 2012 —> 175 pounds (19.1kg)
This means, in 364 days I gained 28.2 pounds (13.1kg). That’s an average of 2.25 pounds (1.02kg) a month
Ps I am 5’4” and 27 as I’m sure someone will ask :)
Well aren’t I being honest tonight? #FACT.
Now look, you may or may not believe me, but I truly, with all my heart, believe had I not gone gallivanting all over the world, I wouldn’t have gained it back. Which means the culprit, my culprit, my excuse, my kryptonite, my Achilles’ heel was (IS) travelling.
I Liz, (of not-so awesome fame), have no self control when it comes to travelling.
Why yessssssss, I would LOVE a sugary drink Why yessssssss, I would love a cupcake Why yessssssss, I can order the HUGE sandwich Why yessssssss, I’ll just pop into 7-11 for a gander Why yessssssss, I can drink all the wine in the world
Why? Because I’m on vacation of course.
False. False Liz. False.
Now luckily I have become wiser with age (phew!), which meant that this time around when I knew I was heading to Perth for a week I became very conscious of not hitting up every carb and/or sugary drink in sight.
I made a goal, I asked for ideas (thank you so much for the comments - totes magotes took them to heart), I (wait, we - Anna and I) made a plan, and I am soooooo happy to announce we stuck to it!!
Before Perth: 174 pounds (79.1kg) After Perth: 174.4 pounds (79.3kg) (0.4 up? that’s A-okay with me)
(And it needs to be noted that Miss Anna LOST a kg (2.2 pounds!!!)
It’s rather quite simple (and obvious - as the story goes); we simply looked at Perth as ‘real life,’ because, well, that’s what it was.
We easily bought at least 60% of our meals from grocery stores and always tried to plan ahead. We bought nearly all of our breakfasts the day before, and often ended up enjoying a pre-packaged (cheap!) salad at the end of the day.
We always had lots of fruit on hand (for those long drives), and low calorie rice-cake snacks which were so flavourful (mmm sour cream) that they satisfied those “I want a treat now” evil little bursts.
We also (as per the comments telling us to) ordered salads when we could, or ate at Mad Mex (Australia’s equivalent closest thing to Chipotle) for a cool 450 calories a meal.
And, we both tried to continue to track our food on My Fitness Pal, but I have to admit, as the days went on, this became harder ‘n harder.
Now it needs to be noted I didn’t LOSE weight on this trip (but I was/am seriously SO THRILLED I stayed the same and didn’t gain), and that is because we still enjoyed treats here ‘n there. We both splurged one night and got a MEGA burger n’ fries (although we both left the buns on our plates and some fries), and we ate more cheese and drank more wine than we should have. So overall? I would say it was a good vacation-enjoyment-yet-I-do-not want-to-get-fat balance.
A mixture of the good, the bad, and the delicious from our trip:
AND AND AND AND, then, we also (and I have NEVER done this before on a trip) exercised while we were away. Oh yes. You read that right! We went to not one, but TWO crossfits to sweat some of that cheese out.
A huge (HUGE!!) thank you to Coo-ee Crossfit and Raw Edge Crossfit for hosting us. I can’t exactly say I excelled at either of their WODS (WOD 1 and WOD 2) and if you’re a creeper, you’ll notice there are no reps next to “Liz” (me!) for WOD 2. Why? This is because (and I seriously need to work on this as it happened at both new crossfits), I felt my really old, self-conscious, “I AM SO FAT” self creep in.
It was SO intimidating being at a new CF that I completely let my nerves get to me and my obsession with how I looked (re: fat) get in the way of pushing myself. Thus, I didn’t count my reps - as I was too embarrassed by my (what I assumed would be) low score.
But still, I am happy I went - baby steps folks, baby steps.
We also went for beach walks (seriously, sand = burning legs), and tried to stay active as much as we could (swimming/walking). We were THISCLOSE to renting bikes, but we decided the $28 was better in our pockets.
So, the lessons here, and I truly hope I will take this with me for the rest of my days is this:
A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Whether I’m on vacation. Tired in bed. Out with friends for a special occasion. Standing at the fridge and sneaking some ice cream. Or the moment I quickly decide to switch my black coffee for a latte…
It absolutely all counts.
I can cheat myself, lie to myself, forget and move on, but my body is my ultimate food diary, and there is no secret to this crazy obsession I have;
I’m either doing it, or I’m not, and in Perth, I am oh-so-very-happy I (we! thank you so much Anna for helping me!!) did it!
When I decided to move to Australia with the intention to travel and see as much of it as possible, several people told me to “skip Perth.” It’s so far out of the way from every and any where, and "there’s nothing much to do there, it’s just an old Western, big town."
Now, as you may or may not know, I love me a good city; New York City (first) will always hold a special place in my heart, as will Chicago, London, Melbourne, & Toronto, but after the past week I have to proclaim, I absolutely LOVED Perth. So much so I’d jump it into my third favourite city behind NYC & Chi town, and that, my friends, is saying a lot (I’m fairly picky with cities).
A view of Perth, along with their city beach, yes, this is their CITY beach. So lovely.
We put nearly 900km on our little car and zoom-zoom-zoomed down the coast to Margaret River (their wine country), and then back to Fremantle (a gorgeous area outside of Perth), took a ferry to Rottnest Island, and then drove back to Perth for two nights.
We drank, we ate, we crossfitted, we laughed (a lot), we were lazy, we saw whales, we saw seals, we went on winery tours and slept.
I thought Perth itself really was a big, little town (kinda like Boston). It was so clean & pristine, and Anna and I kept commenting on how quiet it was. The city only introduced Sunday trading this past August, and they don’t have daylight savings time because the farmer’s believe it disturb the cows’ sleeping patterns.
It’s quite a sprawling city (but really, aren’t they all now?), and had one of the most stunning city beaches I’ve ever seen. One thing I didn’t like about Perth (and this is sooo minor, but it bugged me) was that you have to pay for parking on public holidays - ugh, annoying.
Anywho, the BEST, thing about Perth (besides their constant, warm, weather), has to be Rottnest Island. I had never heard of Rottnest Island until Anna told me about it, and I am so pleased she did! It’s a 25 minute ferry ride from Perth (18k / 11 miles) and is literally a little piece of paradise so close to the ‘big’ city.
In 2010 one of their beaches was name Australia’s top beach and we were not disappointed.
In the morning we went whale & seal watching (super cool - and Aus$50 - so I thought totally worth it):
I had never seen whales before and I (we) got awfully excited when they surfaced, and the seals were sooooooo cute, perhaps even better than the whales. The seals looked like they were doing yoga as they’d lift their flippers into the air to stay cool. The water temperature on the island was 22 degrees (71F) !!
And in the afternoon we strolled from beautiful beach to beautiful beach. If you ever head to Perth, Rottness Island is a MUST SEE, as the photos will prove:
So that’s really it (whoa, lonnng post!), but if by chance you are ever in Australia, and ever get the opportunity to see Perth, I highly, highly recommend the trip out west. The beaches are golden and silky, the sun is always shining and the city so pristine and clean, with a nice old-town feel… perhaps you could even say Perth was Perthfect (don’t lie, you thought that was funny!).
And now, with my Anna-Bear, I get to coast the coast of Western Australian. Lucky me! I love-love-love driving coasts. There’s a goal, a mission, and it’s just you, your friend/s, loud music, the open road, and not a care in the world, but to stop and admire the little towns, beaches or places and people you see.
Matt dropped me off at the airport on Sunday afternoon. We hugged. We kissed. We said goodbye. And then I strolled through the airport gates to meet Anna.
One week. That’s all. That’s all our goodbye, our hug, and our kiss was for. One, simple, easy, week.
But in a few months it’ll be forever. I’ll be forced to leave Australia (government visa issues), and Matt will be forced to stay here (he’s locked into school). And if we’re still together then, we’ll say our goodbyes 23 days shy of our one year anniversary.
And we’ll be saying goodbye forever.
It’s hard. Really hard. Being in a relationship with a defined ending. That little, huge fact has forced us to ask and answer huge questions too early on in the relationship. It’s forced us to figure things out, and jump to conclusions before we’re given a fair chance.
It’s really awful when we think about it. But the rest of the time I believe we’re just like everybody else. Living in the moment. Holding hands, laughing together, teasing the other person, figuring out what they like, how we work together, and what we can never do together (cough shopping cough).
But the mere thought of leaving Matt is so awful I’ve, we’ve, pretty much blocked it out. It’s this huge elephant in our relationship, which we rarely address… we rarely speak about. A month or two ago, as the clock struck an unreasonable hour, I (gross) cried into Matt’s chest as he pulled me in tighter, but we didn’t say a word.
I mean, what could we say? It’s going to happen, early next year, and then that will be that. I already fear we’ll come out of this broken people, ‘the-world-feels-like-it’s-ended’ posts are sure to hit this screen. And then Matt will be here (pining for me – obviously *if I used emoticons on my blog I’d insert a wink here*). And I will literally be on the other side of the world. It’s going to be absolutely awful and there really is no solution; I miss my family/friends too much, and Matt’s family/friends/life is embedded in Melbourne, and I wouldn’t even allow him to leave school or his family, or do something stupid for me.
It’s simple. Our timing is off.
When I moved to Australia I was confident and full of carefree, easygoing, life-planning, thoughts. And yes, I can’t deny it, a relationship was certainly something I was looking for. And then I met Matt. And it just felt right. So easy. So simple. And as I pretty much loved every second I spent with him, I never really looked back.
But I was stupid. Oh-so-very stupid. I had never actually sat down and thought about how the relationships I would make in Australia would be real. With real people and real feelings.
I was so naïve. So stupid.
Moving to a new country has a whole whimsical-cool-exploring side to it, but what people often fail to mention is that from now on, no matter where I am in this world, I’ll be missing people. Either home: my family & friends. Or Australia: the community, life, friends, and this guy that still gives me butterflies when he texts me.
It’s hard, so hard.
However… part of me thinks that if it’s meant to be, it’ll be. I’m not one to let a true love pass me by (I think)…. so maybe it’ll work out. But in the grand scheme of relationships, we’re still *very* new. And then there is the distance. And governments. And embedded lives in opposite cities on the globe… It’s scary. I don’t know what will happen as I sit here in Perth and miss Matt (and it’s only been 4 days!!), but what I do know is that if we go out separate ways (oh God… tears are a-coming), the girl that ends up with him will be lucky. Oh-so-very lucky.
And so for now, in this little, naïve, avoid-the-big-issues world I live in, I pretend it’s me that lives Happily Ever After with Matt, because that’s the only thing I can do, and for now that has to be enough.