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Don’t let your mind bully your body

You know that moment when you know you’re making a bad decision, yet you continue to go along with it even though you know that it’s not a good idea and will only lead to a domino effect in making more bad decisions down the line?

Well, I have to come clean. I’ve put back on about 8-10 lbs in the past two and a half months, and I’m hating it. I walk past the mirror and don’t have anything nice to say about myself.

Stress. Kids. Not working out as much due to injury. Lack of willpower. Halloween candy. Ugh, the Halloween candy. And let’s not talk about my addiction to Halo Top Ice Cream.

I can actually pinpoint the exact meal that I ate where I let it all go, leading to that domino effect in poor food choices.

At first, I didn’t notice much in the way of weight gain, because I was still working out a lot and had just done my big century bike ride. But after that ride, I took a long break from the gym due to the back problems that I was experiencing. And then I realized that I felt a little bloated. The scale was only up a few pounds, so maybe it was just water weight… but then, my jeans were definitely too tight to just be water weight.

With the break from the gym, I had de-toned a bit, lost some muscle, and packed on weight from poor eating habits. And I’m feeling every bit of it.

The other day, as my brain was filling with negativity again, I stopped in my tracks. Stop being stupid, I said to myself. I know HOW to lose the weight. I’ve done it before, very successfully. And, thank goodness that I have a relatively healthy body that can still move and exercise to aid in the process.

Be grateful for that.

Don’t let your mind bully your body. You know better.

You. Know. Better.


Image found on Pinterest

So, it’s been almost three months of fooling around, and it’s time to get back on track.

Less carbs. More protein. Less lattes. More tea or regular coffee. Less mindless snacking. More meal planning. And I love Halo Top as much as anyone else, but I don’t need to eat the entire pint in one night while catching up on my backlog of Grey’s Anatomy. No. I really don’t!

And most importantly, less scale, more measurements, more weightlifting. The scale is not my friend, it doesn’t tell the truth, it is not a measure of who I am or what I’m worth. The more I weigh myself, the more frustrated I get, the more upset I become, the more I want to splurge on something to make me feel better. I’ve been known to step on the scale 10 times a day at my worst – and obsessing over numbers is not a productive way to live. Back to weighing once a week.

So, I’m posting this to become accountable. It took almost three months to pack the pounds on on, so I’m going to set a goal to drop it in three months or less, and hopefully get myself toned back up to where I was a few months ago, as well. I have a few friends who are in the same boat, so hopefully we can all be accountable together, staying positive about progress, focusing on exercise and eating healthy, and not obsessing over numbers.

Yesterday was day one, definitely the hardest. Onward and upward!

LeslieNovember 18, 2016 - 6:17 pm

Right there with you except double the time and double the weight gain. I started going to OTF this year, and hopefully it will get me back on track. Good luck! You can do it!

karen lisaNovember 20, 2016 - 12:43 am

Good luck to you too! :)

Yoga, strength, injury, and acceptance

Working out at the gym is very straightforward and cut-and-dry to me. There’s cardio and weightlifting – and even with modifications, I know which muscle groups I’m working and how to build strength. Even if I have an injury, I always feel like there’s still something I can do at the gym.

Yoga is different to me – as it should be! When I first started, I didn’t want to use blocks or props. I thought I was fit – so I could do it all. I soon realized that was not the case. Yoga made me hyper-aware of issues in my body. I realized that MY yoga would not always look like I imagined and that there were shapes I likely would never be able to take due to my anatomical makeup. I had to learn to accept that.

And now, with the issues and problems I’ve had lately in my lower back with lumbar compression and a hyper-mobile SI joint causing near-constant pain – MY yoga is changing again. How many transformations can you take in a year? I guess I will find out.

It has been difficult to reconcile the fact that I am crazy strong in the gym – but there are some simple yoga poses that my body cannot handle – and many that I will never be able to do to their fullest expression – or whatever I expect that should look like.

It’s frustrating. It makes the perfectionist inside of me angry – sometimes very much so. And then the negative self-talk sets in – and sometimes it’s not just negative, it’s downright nasty.

I try to let those thoughts leave my head as quickly as they came in.

Some days, I am successful. Other days, I am not, and my practice suffers as a result.

At the gym, there’s always a different exercise to choose from – can’t do tricep dips today because of shoulder pain? Kickbacks or overhead tricep extensions work just fine, too. How can I make that work for me with yoga? Accepting PERCEIVED limitations and turning them into alternates or even advantages – accepting myself when I feel like I’m failing – letting go of the parts of my body that won’t cooperate and remembering to embrace the parts that do…

So… yeah – I CAN bench press 125lb. I KNOW that I’m strong. But, sometimes all of that knowledge dissolves when I can barely lift my right leg into a three-legged dog because my hamstrings and psoas and lower back are so tight and painful.

Deep down, I know that the asana (the poses) is just a small part of yoga. I have a lot to learn, still, but I know this, and I know I need to stop trying to convince myself otherwise. Acceptance is the only road – forcing my body through anything it shouldn’t do for the sake of what I think it should be like vs. what actually serves me best is detrimental to me both physically and mentally.

As usual, these things are often easier said than done. I can only continue to try my best to be mindful with every movement, let go of expectations, and only take postures that are safe for my back and will keep my body strong and healthy. Regardless of how I wish it looks – it’s about how it feels inside that truly counts.


That time I did 2 crazy athletic events in a span of 3 weeks

This post should have been published in September, but it took me a while to finish it. I am trying to catch up again with my blog… so here we go.

I was signed up to run the Terrestrial 5K on August 13th, a race I ran last year and absolutely loved, and I found out that my friend Shelle was going to be running the half marathon at the same event. She said her ankle had been bothering her, so she’d planned on finishing the half, but was going to be doing quite a bit of walking. I said, that’s fine. I’ll just hang out and wait for you after I finish.

Then she asked, “well, why don’t you just run it with me?!”

I marinated on this for a couple of weeks, pretty much leaning towards, NO WAY.

Then she asked again the week before the race. I had just recently finished a 50-mile ride on my bike, so I said to myself, if I can ride my bike for 50 miles, I can SURELY jog/walk 13.1… right? RIGHT!

I emailed them the next day to change my registration to the half marathon.

HOLY CRAP, what had I just gotten myself into?! Not only had I not even bothered to run at the gym in 3 months (spin bike for the win!), but I also had never run more than 4 miles… Um… ever?

Yeah, I was going to do a half marathon.

With no training.

Yeah, I can totally do this!

Honestly, I just wanted to finish the thing – didn’t care how long it took – didn’t care if we came in dead last (spoilers! we didn’t!) – I just wanted the satisfaction of saying – I DID IT!!


The day of the half, I went to my usual Yin Yoga class in the morning (the race was at night), and got the most wonderful deep stretch. My amazing instructor, Rose, led our class in poses that really helped align my hips, stretch out my quads and hamstrings, and made me feel like I’d just gone for a visit at the chiropractor. I honestly had never felt better in my lower back and legs. All of my yoga friends wished me good luck and I really began to get excited, knowing that I would be crossing an item off of my bucket list in just a couple of hours!

That evening, I headed over to Shelle’s house and we got ready to go.

I was very nervous before the race, but once we got started and got through the first mile, I felt better. Crossing the 4 mile mark was a big deal, as my longest race before that was four miles. Soon we made it to the halfway point. It was hot, and my back was just starting to get sore, but we were making good progress. As we went further into the course, we reached a huge hill that was tough to go up, but was amazing to run down! There were people on the sidelines from the surrounding neighborhoods sitting on chairs and blankets cheering us on! It was a great feeling!

By the time we got to the last two miles or so, my back and hamstrings were very sore. But we were almost done! We powered through and finally – finally – we reached the finish line!

Post-race, with our medals

Running through the finish line

Race photos courtesy of True Speed Photo


After the race, I was sore, but didn’t feel too terrible. I had to go out and get my 13.1 magnet for my car. Slapping that thing on was an AMAZING feeling! I did it!!

Proud Moment - getting my 13.1 sticker

Guess what! The story doesn’t end here.

I was scheduled to do the Metric Century route of the One Love Century bike ride (that’s a 62 mile bike ride, or 100km) just a couple weeks later, over Labor Day weekend. Naturally, I asked Shelle if she wanted to participate with me, and she signed up! I was excited as I had just done 50 miles at a good pace of 15mph a few weeks earlier, and I knew that even with the elevation in the 62 mile route, I was going to do just fine.

As we got closer to the ride, we discussed doing the full 100 miles. Well, why not? I’ve already done a half marathon and survived. I can do this too!!

I’d had some issues with my lower back before the half marathon, and it only got worse as we got closer to the bike ride. I was determined not to let these problems stop me, though. I had already come so far, and I was going to achieve this goal! I took it a little lighter at the gym and did a lot of yoga and felt confident that we would get there.

Soon, September 3rd arrived. It was Century Day! We found out that the 100mi route included over 5000 feet of elevation gain, right before we started! Holy cow! I knew there was elevation, but that…. was a lot…. and way more than I had trained for. We decided to make the decision when we reached the break away point if we would continue on – or just do the 62 miles instead.


Here’s me and Shelle right before the ride started:

One Love Century

One Love Century

There were lots of rest stops, and the scenery was simply beautiful!

One Love Century

Soon it was time to either continue on the 62 mile route or break off to finish the ride with 100 miles. There were not many people doing the full century, but I felt that we had come this far and it was Go Big or Go Home – we were going to do it! Right after turning on to the century route, we came across this beautiful peacock and took it as a sign that we made the right choice.

One Love Century

One Love Century

ALL DONE!!! Can’t believe I did it.

One Love Century

Stats for the ride – 101.6 miles at a 13.6 pace – over 5,300 ft of elevation gain! wow!

I am super proud of myself that I was able to complete both a half marathon and a 100 mile century bike ride… without REALLY training for either one. Just goes to show, we are often stronger than we think and our bodies can do a lot more than we can imagine. Also, I’m lucky I had a good friend by my side to motivate me through it!

Kayla @ a paper arrowNovember 16, 2016 - 9:25 am

I have to find out more about this Terrestrial 5k! Too cool.

karen lisaNovember 20, 2016 - 12:43 am

It’s a great race! Definitely check it out!