September 29, 2014

What Motivates Me?

I was recently asked by Bryan at Modivated to write about what kinds of things motivate me.  I have to say that it took me a bit to think about.  Not because I couldn’t think of anything, but because I couldn’t really narrow it down!  I’m motivated by so many different things:  people, food, quotes, stories…

So here goes and I’m hoping in some way this motivates others, too!

When I first began my journey it was out of desperation; I had tried everything to get healthy and spent many years just flailing about and failing over and over again.  This time, however, there was a little bit of excitement built into my plan.  I decided that I was going to start cooking in a healthier manner – this was exciting for me because I just knew there had to be a way for me to get healthy AND lose weight by actually eating food that was good for me.  I love cooking and just being in the kitchen is my happy place, so I picked a few recipes and I jumped in, and guess what?  They were good!  So I told a few friends and they told a few friends and people started asking me for the recipes.  I decided that the easiest way would be to create a blog of the healthy recipes I was trying.  Then I got to thinking…would other people want to read about my own healthy makeover if this whole experiment actually worked?  What if the end result of making these recipes into healthier versions ALSO created a new, healthier Jenn??  Could I share my story with others?  Would anyone want to hear about it?  So back to my best buds I went…and every single one of them told me to do it.  I think they may have been humoring me…after all, they are my biggest cheerleaders…but I know in their hearts they truly wanted me to succeed.  That’s how A Healthy Makeover began.

Since that time, every time I post a recipe or share a little bit more of my story, I get the most positive feedback from people.  At first, it was my close pals, but now I get messages from strangers all of the time.  I love meeting people who don’t even know me say that they have been following my journey; and that is a huge motivator for me to keep going.  Motivating others motivates me!

Hearing and reading about other’s stories also motivates me.  I have found a huge support system in healthy groups in Blogland and on Instagram – seeing others on their own journey makes me feel like I’m a part of this wonderful community of people with similar goals.

Another avenue for my own motivation is fitness.  I like to challenge myself and when I conquer something I’ve never done before, it feels great!  Recently, I joined Crossfit and that is a whole new level of fitness for me.  The atmosphere of my particular “box” is really supportive and encouraging – I love cheering others on and it feels pretty great to have that kind of support in return.  Again, surrounding yourself with like-minded people with similar goals is very inspirational.

While it took me a little searching to figure this whole healthy life thing out, I truly feel that where I am today is where I am supposed to be.  I hope that I get to continue to motivate others and I am blessed that I have the same great support in return.

Find your own healthy motivation, and start today.  If you’ve already started, GREAT JOB!  You’ve got this - keep going – it’s a lifelong commitment!  And PLEASE, feel free to send me a note to tell me about it; we’re in this together!


September 26, 2014

Shhhh...I Joined Crossfit...

So, recently I bit the bullet and I joined Crossfit…and I’ve sort of been keeping in on the DL.  I wanted to share why with you today.

I actually used to secretly despise it.  Well, if I’m being perfectly honest, it wasn’t a secret.  Please know that it wasn't the sport itself but the weirdo self-proclaimed Crossfit ambassadors who just wouldn’t shut up about it.  You know the ones I’m talking about.


And to drill down a little bit more, it’s not even the people who wouldn’t shut up about it – it is the cult members who feel it is the ONLY way someone can get fit or lose weight.  Guess what people?  It’s not.  There are some people out there with a definite arrogance about Crossfit and quite frankly, it’s annoying.

The second thing that bugged me about those die-hard Crossfitters was their obsession with Paleo.  Again, nothing to do with eating Paleo itself, but more about the smugness of those touting that it is the ONLY way to eat healthy or lose weight.

I will say this:  Crossfit is a sport, just like lots of other sports.  There’s running (my first love), walking, biking, Zumba, basketball, soccer, swimming, hiking, dodge ball…lots of people love these sports.  Lots of people get healthy doing any of these activities.  Paleo is an eating plan, just like lots of other eating plans.  There’s Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Atkins, eating clean, gluten-free, macrobiotic…lots of people lose weight successfully by following a healthy eating plan.

Truth:  86 of my 90 lost pounds are gone due to eating better and getting my butt off the couch.  

I didn’t follow one plan, but many, and found what worked for me in that moment in time…MANY times what worked for me, didn’t work for long…so I had to switch it up and do something different.  Bottom line:  eat healthy; get moving; be okay with switching it up.

Back to this whole Crossfit thing.  Yep, I (reluctantly) drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and I signed up.  Am I ashamed?  Hell No.  Do I feel like I have to explain myself?  Well, kind of.  JUST because of what I wrote above.  I want to separate myself from all the crazies!  Again, I am in NO WAY bashing Crossfit, but I want to assure you, I will not become one of THOSE people.
So, if I felt so strongly about it, why DID I join?  Well, for a few PERSONAL reasons.  1) A year ago I hired a personal trainer, and she proceeded to kick my ass and made me love fitness even more than I thought I could.  She stole my healthy, fit heart.  She is also a Crossfit coach; and 2) I was ready for something new, to change up my workouts and wanted to do more strength training. 

I’ve never done any type of lifting – well, except food off my plate and into my mouth, ha!  – and I wanted to learn.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to lift properly for about 6 months now and while I am also a member of a big, national gym, nobody at that gym wanted to take the time to show me how to lift properly.  Yes, there are weights there, and seemingly there are “trainers” there that are supposed to have the knowledge to train us, but after numerous attempts asking for assistance, no one ever would.

I had heard about the Crossfit culture (the one that is encouraging and supportive) and it appealed to me.  I don’t think that every “box” (what Crossfitters call their gyms…I seriously cringe a smidge when I use that word because it’s so…well, Crossfitty) is the same, but the one that I have joined is great.  There are many reports of how the mentality of Crossfit is all about more…more weights, more squats, more burpees…more, more, more...but this particular box, Iron Musket Crossfit, is not like that.  AT ALL.  I have encountered the most caring, encouraging, certified trainers that I could have hoped for.  They watch us like hawks.  “Jenn, no more weights for you, you were struggling on that last squat…” or “You’re done; rack it.” Which means, put the damn weights down, now.  I feel like they are watching out for us.  I never felt like that at my other gym.  There’s comfort in this.

So what I’m here to say today is that I’m a proud Crossfitter.  It is what I was looking for in the next step of my journey and quite frankly, it’s just fun.  I look forward to seeing what the next workout will be…I love challenging myself in ways I didn’t even know I could.  If you’ve been following along on my journey this is not at all news to you.  I love hearing people yell my name in encouragement and I love encouraging my fellow boxmates…I’m not even sure that’s a word, but that’s what I’m calling them.

Oh, and the whole Paleo thing?  Haven’t heard a word about it at the box.  Nada.  Not sure if that means they are saving it for a later date or if they are of the same mindset as me:  eat healthy – enjoy life.  I’m really hoping that’s what it is.  I’ll keep you posted.

What I’d like to impart to you today though, is this:  Just do you.  Whatever makes you happy, and brings YOU joy, do it.  Just don’t put others choices down – what works for you, may not work for me and vice versa.  Isn’t the goal to get healthy?  That’s my goal…and I’ll be here to cheer you on – whatever YOU decide to do.

September 8, 2014

Catching Up.

Hey there!  It’s been a little bit since I posted and I’m going to be better about that, I swear!  It’s just that sometimes I don’t have a whole lot that is new to report so I don’t really feel worthy of taking your time, ha. 
The only NEW news that is going on is that I finally drank the kool-aid and joined Crossfit.  Is it weird that I have been sort of keeping it on the DL?  I don’t know if that’s just because EVERYone is joining or at least talking about it…I have no idea.  The reason for me, though, is that I just wanted to be challenged; I was ready for something new.  Most of you know now that I am obsessed with fitness, I really do love it…I am surprised at how easy that part of this healthy journey is for me.  I always make the time to work out…I just feel good doing it and it makes me happy, so I do it.  But I like to switch things up; I like trying new things and that’s what Crossfit is offering me, right now.  I want to learn proper lifting form and I want to challenge my body to try new things and get strong.  That’s what my focus is on right now:  getting strong.  I don’t want to get to my goal weight and have only lost weight – I want to be healthy all around.  My current class is Exercise Physiology and I am learning SOO much about how our bodies perform and react to certain types of movement and how it functions.  It has really made Crossfit so much more interesting from a physiological point of view.

Stay tuned, I’m sure I will have lots more to share…but I promise not to bombard you with all things Crossfit because let’s be honest, that’s annoying.
Another thing I’ve really been focusing on is clean eating…and by that I don’t mean any type of “plan” but just trying to incorporate more whole foods, reducing sugar intake; getting back to basics.  My next class is Nutrition and I cannot wait to get into it and learn more.
One last thing to share, and if you follow A Healthy Makeover on Facebook you’ve seen this pic, so my apologies for the redundancy…recently I celebrated my 43rd birthday so I decided to look back and see if I could find some pictures from 10 years ago and I found this lovely piece of goodness.  Birthday’s are great to reflect and it was nice to look back and see how far I’d come.  I spent ALL of my 20s and 30s overweight.  I am so happy that I finally made the decision to stop the regret cycle and actually do something that I’d be proud of.  I just can’t spend another 20 years of my life as an obese person.  I wonder if I even had another 20 years?  Pretty scary.