Struggles

It’s been quite on this blog since I started my classes, I know. I was never the best at time planning, but I’m getting better. I’ve been here more then once over the last couple of weeks, trying to write about this internal struggle I’ve had but couldn’t seem to find the right words. Then, two days ago I came across this quote that really spoke to me, and was just what I needed to hear (or read) to be reaffirmed in my reasons and beliefs.

“It doesn’t matter what other people do, it only matters what kind of person you want to be!”

Rabbi Mordecai Finley

You see, on the outside I might seem like a very confident person. At least, this is what people have been telling me. But I’m really not. I’ve been having a hard time to stop comparing myself to others, especially in the gym. More and more women have been starting to visiting the gym I go to. Women who lift weights. Women who look buff. And cut. And strong. More muscular than me, leaner than me, stronger than me. And while I know it’s stupid comparing myself and my body to them, and be jealous, I am. Yes, I think it’s great that women stop believing that lifting weights will make them look like a man, and that there are more women venturing into the weight room, and still it makes me feel little. It makes me feel less bad ass, and I feel like I need to prove to myself, and them, that I’m stronger. You’re using 20lbs dumbbells, I will use 25lbs! You’re going for ten repetitions? I’ll do twelve! And while this might actually help me improve my strength, it’s still unnecessary. I know that. But I can’t seem to stop.

So in a quest to gain more, get bigger, get stronger than all these other women in the gym I became very inpatient with myself. I started questioning my habits, my diet, my reasoning for why I choose to eat plant-based. For a second, I was thinking about eating meat again, that maybe I do need that animal protein to gain, even though that same thought grossed me out at the same time. I was considering it. I asked some people whose opinion I value and trust for input on that matter, my teacher (who is a meat eater), folks at the gym, and vegan ladies who lift. To my surprise, even the first two (carnivores!) reassured me to stick to my diet, to stick to my values, since of course, they already realized what took me much longer to see, starting to eat meat again won’t make me happy either. It won’t help me gain if I’m disgusted by the food I eat. I enjoy eating food, food is amazing, and I want to keep it that way. There’s no good in seeing food as the enemy. And then the quote was the last little bit of affirmation I needed. Now I got a meal plan that should help me reach my goals, I’m reading “Thrive – A Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life” by Brendan Brazier, and I feel so much better.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t always easy. There will be rocks laying in our path, but what matters is how we deal with them. Do we stop, turn back, or do we find a way around or over them?

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Mind over Matter

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m about to start a two semester certification program in Personal Training and Fitness. Classes start next Tuesday, and I’m super excited. I take this as a good sign!

This morning I logged into my Student Account, and found the course syllabus to two of the classes I’m really looking forward to: Weight Lifting and Fundamentals of Physical Training. Is it crazy that I’m really looking forward to get started on this? I just can’t wait to learn more and everything about this Passion of mine. One of the assignments for the semester is keeping a workout journal, in which we log all the exercises we do in class, including sets, repetitions and weight used, and attribute them to the muscle group(s) they benefit. I’m already keeping a workout log like that for my regular gym sessions, and I found it to be a great tool to keep track of my progress. As an extra credit assignment, we can keep a Food Log as well. Both, a Workout and Food log can help you stay on track and meet your goals.

When you keep track of what you eat and drink on a daily basis, you’ll not only get an idea of how many calories you consume, but also the quality of those calories. It can give you an idea why you’re gaining, maintaining, or losing weight, and how different foods effect your body, mood, and performance.

Keeping a detailed workout log, can help you track progress, which is a great motivator. You have the proof right there on paper, that this week your body could do what it couldn’t the week prior. For example, you were able to complete more reps, or you’re able to lift 10 extra lbs.

Anyway, what I’m really trying to get to is this: I’m so excited and scared at the same time. I’m wondering if I really have what it takes. I’ve been thinking about becoming a Personal Trainer for over a year now. Thing is, I’m kind of shy. I don’t feel comfortable standing in front of people and telling them what to do. But I love helping people. Fitness and Healthy Eating became a big passion of mine, and I’d love to share it. I’d love to show people how regular exercise and healthy eating can change their life’s, the health of their body’s and their minds. So it will definitively be a challenge, but one I know I can overcome, if I set my heart and mind to it. And this is something that running and weight lifting taught me: I can do whatever I set my mind to. We are capable of so much more, if we start facing our fears, and putting our minds over matter.

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“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” -Unknown

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I was never big on New Year Resolutions. In fact, not even once do I remember making any. And it wasn’t any different this year. Until yesterday. Let me just start by telling you 2013 wasn’t the best year for me, and ended in a personal breakdown. It became clear to me that things need to change, and so I began coming up with my first ever New Years Resolutions a couple of days late. One of them being, as you might have guessed, giving this blog an overhaul and recommitting to it.

It will become my healthy lifestyle and fitness blog. In the last two years, my interest in fitness (okay, weight lifting) and nutrition grew immensely. So much, that after I began to work at my local gym this past fall, I’m about to start a two semester long Certification Program in Personal Training and Fitness at my local Community College. I’m turning Fitness into a career, and this blog will reflect that. To get a jump-start on this, I decided to join the “From Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a better Blog” Challenge.

And since we’re already talking about recommitting, here’s another resolution: I’m recommitting to my vegan diet. I have been eating plant-based, whole foods since November 2012 with the occasional slip up. Those slip ups helped me realize that I feel best on a vegan diet. This year, I will refocus on that, and I will do my best to avoid any slip ups.

So here is to a healthy, happy, herbivorous 2014!