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Posts tagged "FITNESS"

Body Peace, Six Packs, Weightloss Loss And Feeling Good

Something that helped me when I first started feeling worn down by the pressure to lose weight (before I was ready to let go entirely) was giving up the idea that weight gain or loss was “bad” or “good”. I’d already given up the scale because it wasn’t helpful or healthy for me to have it around, but I needed to work on gaining acceptance of my body in all states.

That meant finding joy in jiggles. And shimmies in shakes. And magic in muffin tops. And celebration in cellulite. Because my body was and is gonna change. But how much energy I spent perfecting it or fighting that change the was up to me. And I was TIRED. And I needed that energy elsewhere.

At the time, illness had given me a wake up call that there were more important things in life: it had forced me to re-evaluate why being as small as possible took up such a big part of my life. At first, I decided to call weight changes “feedback”. That worked for awhile. Weight gain was no longer failure or something I had to urgently address. It was the result of my life at the moment, which included periods where I couldn’t move like I wanted to, didn’t have the energy or motivation to eat how I wanted to eat (or, many times, was eating more after a period of restriction). It gave me freedom and wiggle room. I’d never felt those things before.

I repeatedly told myself “it ain’t a big deal”. I’d been heavier before, I’d been smaller before and in my head I decided that’s how life goes. I got rid of the “wagon”. I knew I felt good when I could move and I ate tons of veggies. Putting my energy into that goal instead (feel good), replaced the “I suck at life because I’m fat” guilt trips I used to have that never, ever, served me. Ever. So much energy had gone into feeling bad about myself. I decided that was enough for one lifetime.

The idea that “old Chichi” would have thought “current Chichi” was too fat to…

- Have a fitness page
- Be a trainer
- Share anything with the world
- Be inspiring
- Be herself
- Be happy
- Call herself sexy, beautiful or awesome
- Take pics of herself
- Live freely
- Eat what she wanted and do what she likes.

… seems freaking crazy to me. Cray cray all the way.

Getting to a place of peace with my bod took lots of little steps and changes in my thinking. And time. Each small step lead to bigger ones, and soon the whole idea of having to mold my body into perfection seemed dumb, dumb, dumb. But when I look back on my journey, I realize that for me, it wasn’t just ONE lightbulb moment, but a series of them. And daily effort to keep my environment and headspace clear. Others might feel the same way; if you are struggling with having a “lightbulb” moment and the mantras aren’t working, start smaller. One step at a time. Some people have massive “a-ha” moments. The rest of us have to work at it a bit. All you need is the desire to want to change your narrative. And some guts.

I gave up magazines and blogs I was obsessed with, but we’re making it hard to love myself. I started questioning marketing, specifically in fitness. I shared my thoughts and found others who felt the same way. I dug. I looked for the root of where and why I was dissatisfied with my body, and opened up to seeing how I’d been taught to hate it. I decided the only “rule” that served me was “it should feel good”. And obsessing over my bod didn’t feel good.

This meant giving up working constantly towards six pack abs and living my life to be as lean as possible. But it also meant giving up the idea that anyone else should feel that pressure either. I gained an appreciation for my love of physical fitness, but as a marker of individuality not superiority. I like what I do. But not everyone has to. I hate the notion that some people would consider that “lucky”. It’s not luck, just my thing. I like burpees. She might like knitting. We’re both awesome.

All this to say, I never found body peace in abs or weight loss. I found it in being okay with OR without those things. I found/find pleasure in eating well and moving, but never in thinking those things made me better than anyone else. I found love for myself when I ditched the rules on how, when and what I needed to be allowed to feel that way. For the first time in my life, I feel confident that I’d be just as awesome in a body 100lbs heavier because my priorities are straight. I’m grateful for what my bod can do, but if for any reason it can’t do it any longer, I know I’ll be okay. I’m not sure the same can be said for a lot of weight loss enthusiasts: take away their abs, guns and ability to do what they do, and they might not be able to identify themselves.

Just some things to think about. Baby steps and end game are very different, but my end game would not have been possible without a TON of baby steps and effort.

What’s your end game? If it’s body peace, six packs and weight loss might not cut it.

Wall Play!

Had a FUN time playing on the wall yesterday! Spiderman’s got nothing on me, lol.

Haven’t felt confident getting on the wall since my neck injury and was very slow adding arm/back/shoulder training when I healed (that was not happening again, lol). But I declare myself officially good to go!

It felt nice. Though, I predict having trouble getting dressed from til Saturday, lol. Played hard. :)

If you’re fairly advanced/comfortable, the wall can be an awesome at home tool. I usually wear socks (no marks) and when I first started, it felt safer to have the couch pillows as crashmats. You can elevate from chairs, sofas, benches to get comfortable, and avoid it if you’re injured etc. It’s easy to get hurt if you’re not careful, overly ambitious or not comfortable. You can grab a bud to spot ya too. ;)

It’s fun to playOUT instead of workOUT! Try something new!

"No, you won’t get big!" (Because big is bad, right?)

"It won’t make you bulky!" (Because to be bulky is to break the rules of femininity, didn’t ya know)

"You won’t look like this (insert image of female body builder). You’ll look like this (insert image of crazy toned fitness model)" (because there are only good and bad bodies. Anything that doesn’t look like the model is bad, ya heard.)

"You’ll get lean, sexy muscle!" (because all other muscle is unsexy, and you only want the sexy. It’s all about being fuckable )

"You won’t look like a man" (because the WORST thing you can do as a woman is potentially confuse 2-3 stupid people about your gender. Peeps need their boxes & labels, or else…uh, chaos?).

Heard any of these phrases before?If not, you may have been living in a bubble, lol. At least, in fitness. But while they are common (and kinda true, at least in terms of women not being equipped for fast, large amounts of muscle gain), I’d argue that they do little to actually address the major concern of women who are scared about weight lifting. Because it isn’t actually about the muscle.

It’s all well and good to address the female concern of becoming too “bulky” by offering the standard go-to “no it won’t” answer. And the facts, of course. There’s lots of ways to do that, and they aren’t necessarily ineffective: plenty of women have started lifting as the result of reassurances that they won’t get “too big” (whatever that means to them). But still, the fear of size is a big issue, even amongst educated women who can recite the facts behind muscle growth verbatim. And that’s because the standard - and scientific - answers fail to address the root of the problem. They may even reinforce it: when we say “no worries, you won’t get bulky and muscular!” we reinforce the idea that muscle is a undesirable thing…

…and that’s just IT.

Because when women say they’re scared of getting too bulky, what they are actually saying is “I’m scared of breaking the rules about what women should look like and be seen as less desirable”. And when they say they’re scared of being too muscular, it’s a fear of being judged:the culmination of their experiences & observations. If it were a movie, think of a sassy montage of every single negative comment, statement or stance they’ve ever heard about women with guns. And while the media can be cruel, the people around us can reinforce negative notions with tiny comments, judgements and reminders. Negative attitudes towards women with muscle can be subtle, are generally accepted and pervasive.

If you pay attention to the way women with muscle are treated in the media, it’s hard to ignore the negative connotations and strong statements about femininity. Think about celebs like Cameron Diaz, Michelle Obama, Pink, Madonna, Jessica Biel, Serena Williams, Beyonce etc: though often revered in fitness circles ALL of these women have been on the brunt end of body shaming, particularly about their muscled bits in the mainstream media. They’ve all had strangers “debate” their bodies, been called “too muscular” and had millions of people comment on how they “should” look. Which isn’t actually unusual for ANY women in the public eye, but is particularly helpful if we are to understand why so many women are scared of muscle. (if you’re doubtful, feel free to google any of the names with the words “too muscled”).

So, MY thing is this… if we really want to address that concern head on, we have to dig a little deeper than “don’t worry! You won’t look like a man (and conversely become less worthy because you’ve been told that having visible muscle as a woman makes you less f*ckable or desirable). We also have to dig deeper than JUST supplying the facts- which ARE facts, by the way: women don’t have enough testosterone to build significant size, the loads you’d need to be lifting to build significant muscle are VERY heavy (if you can lift it more than 8 times in a row, it’s generally not enough to encourage growth, less even. 5lb & 10lb weights will NOT do much for the average woman) and muscle building takes time. SOOOOO MUCH TIME. Getting big does not happen by accident, overnight, or even
over hundreds of nights).

We also have to own our shizz more often. Especially people who WANT women lifting and getting strong. Say you are a trainer or enthusiast who spends at least SOME time trying to promote the benefits of resistance and strength training for women AND you simultaneously (and perhaps inadvertently)….

1. Make occasional comments about how a female celebrity (or any woman really) is starting to look “manly” or needs to cut back on training (without actually knowing anything about her regimen).

2. Refer to muscular women (and there is a BIG range, no pun intended) as “She-Hulks”, “Trannies”, “Scary”, “Wrong”, “Androgenous Sea Creatures” or “Gross” (PS: transphobia sucks, but that’s another discussion entirely #ally).

3. Reinforce the notion that women with visible muscle are unattractive, undesirable, unf*ckable, unmarryable and otherwise unworthy in ANY way (big or small). (Example: suggesting that muscular women may have a hard time finding a partner, or wondering aloud if they intimidate men). Not about personal attraction (we like what we like), but in general. Back hair isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but saying all men with back hair are undesirable is silly, wrong and downright offensive (right? Right).

4. Use the term “real women” or worse, use it in a phrases such as “real women are soft, have curves, are round, are petite”.

5. Make casual faces, comments, jokes or exhibit a variety of other distancing behaviors when it comes to women with muscle.

… you’re doing it WRONG.

Soooooo….. how about we start by looking at our own language, attitudes and treatment of women with muscle? Is there something there you might want to address or change? The attitudes of the people around us are a HUGE motivator: women who have support systems that encourage strength and physical fitness report higher confidence levels, positive self-image and less stress/anxiety over appearance.

Just something to think about. Any thoughts?

F-Bombs & Fitness: Can Swearing Get You Fitter?

Fuck yeah!

Though it’s not always appropriate (or discreet), swearing and hollering during the hardest part of your moves can help you bust out more reps when the going gets tough. Many studies have shown that swearing tends to boost our tolerance for pain/discomfort (but the catch? Only for those who don’t swear very often). For all non-pottymouths, this means when things get tough on the bod, a few f-bombs may help level you up (but pain should make you stop, because, duh).

No need to push yourself to “need to swear” levels every workout (or at all, of course. Different strokes for different folks). But give it a try next time you can. You might be f*cking surprised. :)

Pain study: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-swear/


“From the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, women had to appear as ladylike as possible, even when doing something as traditionally masculine as working out with weights. This girl is doing a seated press with respectably heavy weight, but her high heels and helmet0like hairdo are like fig leaves preserving her femininity.”

Excerpt & image from Venus with Biceps: A Pictorial History of Muscular Women

Chichi a la Cirque Du Soleil! (not really, lol. But wouldn’t that be cool?)
First trapeze lesson = success! Thought I’d share a sneak peek at my  last attempt of the day and first partner catch! Not bad work in an hour, eh?

I’m sore (soooo sore), bruised (soooo bruised), and happypants as hell. It was literally the scariest thing I’ve ever tried (oh-my-gaaaaah), but I’m so thrilled I did it! Facing your fears always comes with a super life high. :) Will be going back for sure.

Went with awesome ladies and we all did SO well! Can’t stop watching the videos (though I’ll only share mine. Will post the “learning/sucking” ones once I edit).
Try something new y’all! Feels good :)
"When women first began to work out with weights, it was considered dangerous to have them lift anything heavy and so they were given only two- or four-pound wooden dumbbells. The fact that women lifted much heavier objects in the home seems to have escaped most of the men who designed the exercise.

Here two cheerful ladies work out in their street clothes in a photograph c. 1910 by Willis T. White.”

Excerpt & image from Venus with Biceps: A Pictorial History of Muscular Women

rockstarkate:

Catspo.

I love her, lol.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Being fit is being skinny you idiot, being athletic and flexible is a whole different thing, you don't have to skinny to be athletic but you do have to be skinny to be fit
fitvillains fitvillains Said:

size10plz:

girlgrowingsmall:

"Fitness." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fitness>.

I don’t know what prompted you to send me the dumbest message I’ve received in at least 6 months, but nowhere in the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “fitness” do I find the word “skinny.” Even synonyms for the word “fitness” focus 100% on health attributes as opposed to size attributes. So I’m sorry if you have this deep seeded complex that refuses to allow you to accept that, from all standpoints of medicine, science, and flat out fact, fitness is irrelevant to body size. That really sucks for you that your brain is struggling to let you come to terms with that. However, it is also 100% not my problem.

tl;dr: Blow it out your ass.

Shut

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A world of fist pumps! Yayayay!

Chair Pistol Progressions For Beginners (Or Those Working On Hip/Ankle Mobility)

I nailed my first right leg pistol this week! Like a lot of people, I struggled with one side more than the other. My left leg was a pistol superstar. My right, not so much. It took me a year of focusing on pistols, mobility and progressions to nail it, and though it’s still not perfect, I’m getting there.

For those working on their pistols, this is a progression I’ve been using (sometimes with weights) to get my descent just right.

Using a chair, balance on one leg as you sit back on to the seat, and use your hips to drive you up. The lower your surface, the harder this is (eventually I moved to a bench). Keep the lifted leg extended like you would in a pistol, with a slight bend in the knee.

This is much easier on the knees and a decent swap if you have a workout that calls for pistols (I use a 2-3 rep multiplier: if a workout calls for 10 pistols, I do 20-30 of these instead).

Give it a go! Easy to try anywhere. (on two legs, this is a modifier that’s great for beginners to practice squat form too).

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