Hello! I feel like I haven’t really talked to you since before Christmas. But that’s kind of how the holidays go, right? There is the huge rush to Christmas and then that weird transition time from Christmas to the new year. This pretty much sums it up: Continue reading
“Hey! You have a nice butt!”
I was walking to the store on a Friday afternoon, not really paying attention to the people around me.
“You in the purple shirt! Nice butt!”
That caught my attention. I was wearing a purple shirt. I turned towards the voice, expecting some guy to be standing there and was shocked to see a boy. A boy that couldn’t have been more than 12 maybe 13 or 14 if we’re pushing it. He was surrounded by 3 or 4 of his friends and they were all snickering as he gave me a thumbs up and then raced off to do something else.
I didn’t think much of it because sadly, this isn’t the first time that someone, usually a male, has felt the need to audibly comment on some part of my body. But as I walked on I started thinking, “Why is a boy that young talking about my butt?”
Probably a million reasons. His friends were egging him on, he sees it in the media all the time, he’s watched other boys/men do it in real life, he really like butts, he has no filter from his brain to his mouth… The list could go on and on. And it’s a sad list. It’s sad that this is what both women and men have been reduced to.
Think about it. Everything is aimed at certain aspects of a person but never the whole person. Magazines tout the latest workout for sexy abs or the newest diet for lean thighs or what you need to do to get bulging biceps. We look at celebrities and covet certain body parts. I wish I had Jennifer Lopez’s butt or Taylor Swifts abs or Heidi Klum’s legs. If I was as ripped as Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds, all the ladies would want me.
We, me included, always pick and nag at our “worst” attributes. I want my stomach to be flatter. Everything I do needs to be working towards getting a flatter stomach. We never take the time to look at a body as a whole machine. Something that works together with all the parts to be one awesome mechanism. It’s always about the one part that doesn’t work or look the way we want it to.
I am not my butt. I am not my abs. I am not my arms, thighs, or chin. I am Katie, a human person that is so much more than any one part of me. And so are you. Everyone is more than just a body part and all of us need to start seeing that. To look at people as a whole. To drop the nitpicking over our one flaw.
That woman walking down the street is not a giant pair of legs.
That man sitting next to you isn’t a huge abdominal.
They are whole humans and they deserve to be treated that way. So start by treating your own body as a whole being and then spread that idea to the other people you meet. Maybe, we can start making a difference.
I debated writing about this topic because I feel it can be a little bit like beating a dead horse, especially if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time. But I decided to do it anyway because it’s an important message and it’s January.
What does January have to do with eating? Well, turn on your TV and watch any channel. The majority of the commercials are going to be about some diet or weight loss system. January is the month of resolutions and the beginning of many diets. Gyms have major discounts and are usually packed the first few weeks of the new year. Supplements, vitamins, pills, and all other weight loss tools/systems/plans are everywhere you turn. People and companies in the health and fitness realm know that you’re going to spend your money and they want to make sure that you spend it on their plan or product.
There are so many diets to choose from and it can be overwhelming to decide which one you are going to follow. All claim to have amazing results and some even tell you it can be done with minimal effort. It’s hard not to be drawn in with the before and after pictures, hoping that soon you can have your own beautiful after photo. So you dive in and pick a diet that you feel is going to give you the results you want.
I don’t want to rail against all the diets out there. That’s been done and I don’t feel the need to add to that noise. But I do want to tell you one thing that might sound a little contradictive to that sentiment.
To be more specific, don’t approach the new year with a diet frame of mind. A diet typically has a starting and an ending point. Once you reach your goal weight, you stop your diet and return to your regularly scheduled program. But if you return to the way you were eating before you lost the weight guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to regain that weight.
Which is why I want you to approach weight loss and this new year not with diet at the top of your list but a lifestyle change instead. If you’re truly serious about losing weight and getting your health on track, this is going to be a life long thing. This isn’t a 30-day program or a two-week transformation. This is going to be your day in and day out. When you look back on what you used to be and do, it should look completely different from the here and now.
Don’t let this frustrate you or dissuade you. I don’t want this to make you feel defeated before you start. I want you to feel empowered and ready to face what’s ahead. There are going to be tough days and there are going to be easy ones. There are going to be meals where the only thing you want to see on your plate is a Twinkie and there will be meals where you can’t wait to eat a whole heap of vegetables. And you know what? That’s life and that’s how being healthy goes. It’s a balancing act, a yin and yang, give and take.
So if you are starting this year with the goal of being healthier and losing weight, please don’t think of it as a finite time. Don’t approach your goal in the “diet” frame of mind. Focus on these three little things to help big change:
Small changes. Gradually change your habits so that you aren’t overwhelmed. Once you feel you’ve got one change down add another one. Keep doing this until you have completely turned things around.
Add not subtract. Instead of thinking of all the foods you don’t eat anymore, focus on all the new things you get to eat. New fruits or vegetables you’ve never tried or different recipes than the one you’re used to can make your new lifestyle feel fresh, fun, and exciting.
Know your why. Have a definite reason that you’re doing this and remind yourself of that often. And don’t worry about your reason. If it’s so you look good at your high school reunion this year or in order to fight heart disease, as long as it keeps you motivated, that’s all that matters.
Those three things can help you when the going gets tough and trust me it will. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up, it just means you need to put in a little more effort until you get to the easy parts again. And those easy parts will come, I promise.
I have been mulling this post over in my head for awhile now. I guess it’s been at the back of my thoughts for at least a few months, but I kept pushing it away. I didn’t want to deal with it and ignoring things always makes them go away, right?
If only it did.
So last week when I wrote about my theme for 2016, I knew that I would finally have to deal with this issue. If I really want to grow and mature I have to actually grow and mature. Profound thoughts guys, I know. But for me, it was kind of profound.
I’m not dying, in fact, no one is dying. No one is sick, nothing is horribly or awfully wrong. So don’t worry about that. But there is a big change coming for me and I’m a little nervous. I’m putting on my big girl panties and telling myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
I’m taking a break from running.
All of you reading this are probably cursing me because who cares if I’m taking a break from running? It doesn’t affect the vast majority of people and this isn’t a life-altering announcement. Except that it is. For me.
You have heard me rave about running and how it has given me so much. I am proud to call myself a runner and join the ranks of thousands who log their miles with their feet. I have talked about finally running a marathon, I love watching races, and I love getting outside and hitting the trail.
Until a few months ago that is. Lately, I have been struggling with my running. Instead of waking up excited to head out for my run, I’m dreading it. I find myself dawdling longer and longer before finally motivating myself to get out the door. At first, I thought it was just a down week. All runners have them. Those days or weeks where it’s just a little tougher to get out the door than usual. I thought it would pass, I would get back to my usual enthusiasm soon enough. But that enthusiasm hasn’t returned.
My immediate reaction was to just push through. I’m a runner. This is what I do. This is what I have done for the past eight years. This is how it is. I was just going to keep running and ignore that little voice in the back of my mind that was telling me something just isn’t quite right. And then Adam got a cold right before the new year.
He took a week off from running because he is much better at resting when he knows he needs it most. And because he likes to take any excuse to not run :). I still kept up with my normal running schedule, but I started to sleep in a little with him and go on my run later in the morning. Then I started to get the sniffles on my rest day and when I woke up on Monday, I did not feel like running. Even more than I had in the past few months. So I did something that I rarely if ever do: I decided not to run.
It was a little tough at first and I found a different workout to do inside just so I had some movement. But it wasn’t horrible and I found myself feeling ok about my decision. As it stands right now, I haven’t run in over a week. That’s the longest I’ve gone since I hurt my knee a few years ago. And I’m going to keep not running for the foreseeable future.
Am I giving up running completely? No. I am eternally grateful for everything that running has given me. It totally changed me inside and out and that is truly amazing. It’s because of that that I’m taking this hiatus. I don’t want to keep running until I totally hate it and I give it up for good. I want to find that feeling that I used to have and in order to do that I have to let go.
I’m also not giving up exercise altogether. This decision is opening doors for me to explore other areas of fitness that I had previously neglected. I’ve been doing Fitness Blender’s 5-Day Fit Challenge and I have been excited for every new day. I’ve missed that excitement when it comes to working out.
So what can you take away from this really long winded post? Just because something scares you or you’ve been doing something for years doesn’t mean you can’t change. You are not a tree. If you don’t like something get up and move. Switch directions. Try a new approach. I have no idea what my relationship with running will look like in the coming months but it will always be there, waiting for me.
Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?
Sure you do.
I would say that most of the time when you are faced with a problem or something that you need to overcome, you have a fairly good idea what needs to be done to address those issues. But there is a factor of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being uncomfortable, fear of a different routine, fear of a million different things.
Or maybe there is a factor of laziness. Knowing that the change you need to make takes a lot of work and you just don’t want to put in the hours or manpower.
I’ve been there plenty of times. I’ve been afraid of making a change, don’t want to make a change, and felt like change is absolutely impossible. I’ve been stubborn and stuck to my trusty routine and done nothing. And you know what that got me?
Sure, change is painful, difficult, and scary. But change also is wonderful, enlivening, and moves you forward. If you want to be or do something different, if you want to reach your goals, you’re going to have to change. My high school band director used to tell us all the time, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That has always stuck with me.
So how do you change when you don’t want to? Here are a few things that I do when I know that I need to change but it isn’t coming easy.
Figure out why
Why don’t I want to change? Once I know the motive for staying where I am, then I can come up with a plan to counteract that motive. Most often for me, it’s the fact that I’ve become comfortable with where I am.
Make a list of ideas
I love lists. They keep me organized, help to see what I still have to do and what I’ve already finished. Once you’ve figured out your why, make a list of a few things that you can do to change your habits or routine to start moving in a different direction.
Pick one thing to work on, just one. You don’t have to take on the whole list. That can be a little daunting. Choose a small change that you can make and work on that until it becomes your new habit, then move on to the next thing on your list.
Don’t beat yourself up
You’re going to fail at some point. That sounds harsh, but it’s completely realistic and totally alright. We all fail and if we were perfect, life wouldn’t be any fun at all. The important thing to remember when you do fail is to not beat yourself up. You are trying and that is the most you can ask of yourself. Trying and failing is better than never doing anything at all. Pick yourself up and get right back at it.
Taking that first step and admitting that you have to change is a difficult one. It can take you awhile to get to that point, but the important thing is that you get to that point. Writing this post is just as much for me as it is for you. Sometimes I need a little push in the right direction to start making the changes in my life that I know will lead me to my goals.
Yup, change is scary and trust me I resist it as much as the next person. But when it comes to my health and happiness as well as yours, isn’t being a little scared yet still taking that leap of faith worth it in the end?