Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's My Birthday and I'll...

...hike if I want to!
Man, I never thought I'd say that in a million years..
Who am I?! 

For my birthday this year, I decided that I wanted to do something big. I knew that I wanted to do something to kick off the next year focusing on my goals. 

I decided to give myself the gift of fitness. 
Near where I live there is a mountain with a Y on it for the local college.
That hike is kind of a big deal, so I decided for my birthday, that's what I was going to do. 
I was going to hike the Y even if it killed me!

I also decided that this was something that I needed to do by myself. 
I knew that this hike was going to be symbolic of the journey that lay ahead of me with my weight loss, and though there will be those who support me along the way, ultimately it is something that I need to do on my own. 

The night before, I wrote out positive affirmations that I wanted to tell myself along the way and decided that I was going share them with others along the path. At each switchback I taped up one of my affirmations. It was so neat to see people stop and read them on their way up to the Y as I was on my way down. 
The affirmations included: You are rooted for, you are capable, you are beautiful, you are enough, you were born to do hard things and you are worth it.

One thing that I loved about the hike was that most people out there were really friendly. As they passed by they would root me on or tell me how awesome I was doing. 
I had to take a lot of breaks. We are talking LOTS. The thing that I decided while at Fitness Ridge, and that I decided I would apply to the rest of my life is: 

I knew that I would need a lot of breaks to get to the Y. I also know that on my weightloss journey I am going to need to take some breaks and THAT'S OK. I'm not talking about several day or week long breaks. I'm talking about a brief break for a meal or a day here and there to let me catch my breath or let me focus. What matters is that if I do take breaks I continue to work towards my goal and keep accountable for it instead of giving up. Breaks are OK! It's all about progress, NOT perfection. 

Once I reached the top I wanted to shout "I DID IT!" but I didn't want to freak anybody out. There's three different paths to reach the Y, one at the bottom, one in the middle, and one at the top. I chose the one at the top. I didn't want to get almost to the top of the Y, I wanted to conquer it, and I did! 

It's a fairly busy path. I saw a lot of wildlife. I saw a squirrel, a cotton tailed rabbit and I was pretty sure I was being stalked by a cougar. It turns out it was just a guy on the switchback behind me, he was hidden and all I could hear was his breathing. It got my heart rate up quite a bit which was ok with me! That means more calories burned...BOOM!

The best thing that happened to me while at Fitness Ridge is that I ran out of excuses. I kept saying that I wanted to hike the Y when I was more fit. Well, I learned there that I can do anything I put my mind to. I may huff and puff along the way and make other people think they're being stalked by a cougar. I may have to take some breaks to catch my breath and refocus myself, but at the end of the day I know I can do it. 

Set your excuses to the side my friends, you were born to do hard things!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Fitness Ridge-The Week That Changed My Life

I have been struggling with this post since I've gotten back.
Not because it was a horrible experience. Not because I hated my stay at Fitness Ridge. In fact, it's the opposite. 
How do I put into words the experiences I had during this week? 
How can I express how important my stay at Fitness Ridge was for me?
How do you explain how something changed your life forever? 
I'm going to give it a try...

If you'd like to see what to expect on your first day you can click here. We woke up at 5:50am every morning to get downstairs on time to go on our designated hikes. 
The first day's hike was fairly mild but I struggled. I saw the van and thought we were done and I really pushed myself to finish strong. 
Once we reached near the van that's when they told me we were only halfway done. My psyche was rocked. It was then that I realized two things. One, my mind was gonna be a huge game player on this journey so I better get it in check, and two, I needed to get a watch. I'm a planner, I know that about myself. So I knew that if I could kind of track the time I would be able to keep my mind in check throughout the hikes. At the end of the hike when they dropped us off the guide asked me if I felt like I could stay with the group tomorrow since they'd be doing a little more difficult hike. 
I second guessed myself some but ultimately decided that how would I know if I could or couldn't do it if I didn't try? 
For the second hike, we went to The Gap. Not the store. 

It was hands down my favorite. I passionately hated hiking up the ridiculously long hill to get to the top. But all of the rock climbing in between was amazing. 
I honestly felt that God stepped in and helped me with that hike. I had an experience that I've shared with only a few people, but I know he helped me. 
I did things on that hike that I never knew I was capable of doing. 
I learned two things on that hike. Are you noticing a trend? One, I learned I really don't like hiking in groups, I really like to huff and puff on my own thank you very much. And two, I learned that I am capable of doing so much more than I realized. 
It occurred to me that this week at Fitness Ridge was going to put to rest all of my excuses. Soon I wouldn't have any. 
For the rest of the week I hiked West Canyon. It was beautiful. 
I also had an important learning moment there that you can read about here
I missed one hike day, Thursday. I just couldn't do it. I had blisters covering the insides and outsides of both of my feet. I was able to get some rest and was completely ready for the events of the day. When they tell you to wear good shoes and take good care of your feet. They are not messing around. Do it! 

The food was delicious throughout the week. 

Chef Sam even taught a class where he shared some of his recipes. I left with some awesome meal ideas and I've only eaten out once since then. I had to stop at Subway on the way home from Fitness Ridge since I was starving and it was a bit of a drive. I made up my mind that I wouldn't stop for fast food. 
I left there with a taste for healthy food and a love of water, that's all I drink now. 
I love water! 

The workouts were awesome too! I loved that we were able to have so many different instructors and most of them were workouts that we could bring home to do at home as well.

But I must say my favorite part of the entire week was the lectures.

They helped open my eyes to so many things. I learned how to make meal planning easy. I learned about my belief windows and a lot of my core values. I learned about how to plan in weekly workouts. I learned the importance of loving myself and accepting my choice. I learned that it really just comes down to math. I loved hearing Sione's story for the motivational lecture. It was so neat for me to learn about my emotional eating, why I do it and different ways to cope. I got in touch with my 9 year old self and I couldn't be happier. My coaching session with their life coach Jen was eye opening and really changed a lot of my core beliefs about myself.
The most important thing I learned though, is that I've been making this weight loss journey way too complicated. It's simple. 

If the lectures were my favorite part, my close second would be the community at Fitness Ridge. I loved the people that I met. I feel like I made some genuine lifelong friends.

The support I received there especially from the amazing group of bloggers I was with: Jared, Camille, Diana,Mique  and Emily as well as my new friend Lorraine was so helpful. I just loved it there. I can't wait until I have the opportunity to go back! 

At the end of the week it was time for weigh in. I found myself praying that it would be a number that would motivate me to keep going. I knew it had to be a huge number.
I ended up losing a pound. 
Talk about messing with my head! I was so disappointed. 
But I feel like seeing that number on the scale ended up being a blessing.
I had to decided then and there whether or not I was going to throw in the towel because it just wasn't worth it, or was I going to commit to this journey whether or not the scale budged. I then set my goal that I wouldn't care us much about the scale, that I would focus on my daily nutrition and fitness and if I focus on both of those things, the scale will move. And it has. 
Here's the thing with that pound though. The scale told me that I had only lost one pound. Thank goodness I received a sheet at the beginning of my stay and one at the end when I weighed out. It told a lot about my body composition. I had Jared look at it and pointed out some important information listed on the sheet. The sheet told me that while the scale is a jerk, I lost 6 pounds of body fat and gained five pound of body muscle. I also dropped my weight percentage by 2% AND lost two inches of my hips. So while the scale is telling is one thing, our weight, it isn't breaking down all of that information for us. So DON'T get discouraged if you're working hard and the scale isn't moving. It's just showing weight, nothing more. I'm so grateful that I didn't get discouraged and decide it was too much work because since I've been home:

If you'd like to read the experiences at Fitness Ridge the other bloggers had, you can find them here:
Now it's your turn! Are you ready to go and have an amazing experience that will change your life forever? Because Fitness Ridge is willing to give that opportunity to one of you! Enter to win one week at Fitness Ridge! 
Just complete all of the tasks below for your chance to win. The more you do, the more chances that you have to win!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

On Paths and Processes

I had originally planned to post daily about how my journey has been here at Fitness Ridge, but I have to admit that I am so stinking tired at the end of the day, I just want to veg and go to sleep! 
This week has been amazing, I have learned SO much and have grown so much in my short time here. I HIGHLY recommend that if you need to take a break to find yourself again, this IS the place. 

I had an awesome experience today that I'd like to share with you. 
As you know I believe deeply in God as my higher power. I also believe that there is an adversary that is working hard against us to keep us from becoming closer to God. 

As I started my hike today (I burned 1500 calories...w00t), I looked up the path where I was headed. There were a lot of ups and downs on this path. 
I saw a lot of steep inclines in the distance. 
It was the same path I took yesterday, so this time I had some experience and knew what to expect and my perspective had changed deeply. 

Yesterday, I looked at those steep inclines in the distance and immediately thought to myself, there is NO way I am going to ever make it. 
I kept psyching myself out saying the path was too hard, or my body was too tired.
But for some reason I pushed myself and I'm so grateful that I did. 
Because, you see, those steep inclines in the distance weren't that bad once you got closer. When you viewed them from the distance they looked impossible, but in reality the brush was simply covering up the parts of the path that showed the gradual incline, making it seem steep, when in reality it was doable. 

Looking at that view today, I had the realization that the adversary works the same way that my mind was working that first day. As we look upon our path in life and as we travel it, there are a lot of ups and downs. And sometimes the path seems too hard or too steep. That is when the adversary steps in with his own sagebrush to block our view of the real path that helps us gain perspective that though it may be challenging, it is doable. 

I'd like to think that it was faith that pushed me to take that path the first time I took it. Faith in my God that He will help me if that path gets too hard. Faith in the process that if I work it, it will work for me, and faith in myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. 

 I wanted to share with you one last quote that Sione Fa (you know the cool dude from biggest loser season 7) shared with us in one of his lectures:

Now it's your turn, trust the process and see yourself change forever.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fitness Ridge-Day 1

Yesterday I was so nervous! I knew that today would be the first day of the rest of my life. For some reason I was procrastinating packing and getting all of my stuff together. I think my negative subconscious was just dragging its feet. 
It knew that today would be the day that I'd be kicking it's butt to the curb. 
I realize that I will always have a part of my subconscious that it negative...but I refuse to let it take up SO much of my life. 

I woke up this morning, got everything packed and spent some time with my sweet family. Once it was close to time to go, I held my lil guys' face in my hands and tried to explain to him that I would be leaving for a little while but I wasn't leaving for good. 
He seemed ok with it, I'm not sure if he truly got it. 
Then it was time to say goodbye to my little girlie. She knew something was up. She held my face between her tiny little hands and just started crying "No! No! No!" Thought I know she didn't understand, I still told her "Mommy needs to leave for a little while now so that she could be with you for a long while later." 

It was time to go. I got to ride up to Cedar with my sister and we talked a ton. It seriously is my favorite when I get to spend one on one time with her. She is so in touch with her faith and she inspires me SO much. 

It had one hour to myself. I jammed out to my favorite music and as I got closer to Fitness Ridge, the butterflies started to increase. 
The location of it is perfect. You are surrounded by the beautiful red rock mountains that are unique to St. George. It's seriously a resort. When you walk in it feels like you are walking in to a luxury spa. The lighting is dimmed and the smell is relaxing. I'm thinking they do that to trick you into thinking it really as terrifying as you originally thought it would be. ;) 

The first thing I did was get my fitness stats. I weighed in on this awesome scale that plays music to you as it calculates all your fitness stuff. 
I kid you not it plays a classical music tune. Again, I think it's trying to help you relax before you find out you are substantially not healthy... :) 
After that I got to meet the amazing bloggers that I get to spend the week with. Diana from Livy Loves To Run, Mique from Thirty Handmade Days, Camille from Six Sisters' Stuff, Emily from and Favorite Family Recipes, Camille's hubby Jared from Tone & Tighten. I can tell that it's going to be an awesome week. 

We had a delicious dinner that had some awesome "fried" chicken. 

I seriously need to figure out the recipe! We met some fun ladies that are spending some time here. For dessert we had a  chocolate covered banana. 
If you know me, you know how much I passionately hate bananas. But put some chocolate on top of it and I'm game!

To end the night we had an orientation. My favorite thing about it was that we all went around the room and introduced ourselves, how long we'd be there/have been there and what we hope to take from our stay. Those that have been there longer than a week shared advice with us noobs. 
Some people are going on 12, 13 14 weeks here. It's amazing. I loved hearing what they had to share. I met a cute girl that wasn't part of our blogging group but has a blog and is blogging about her fitness journey! I'm exciting to get to know her better as well. 

When it got to be my turn, I cried. Obviously. I'm a crier. It's what I do. 
I shared what I hoped to take home with me from my stay, and I'll share it here too. 
What I truly want to take home is two fold. 
I want to take home knowledge in order to teach and raise my children to lead a healthy lifestyle so they don't end up where I am now.
They truly do deserve it. 
The other thing that I didn't share is that I want to find JJ again. I know she's in there. 
I know she is begging to come out and she is ready. 
I am ready. I'm ready to work. I'm ready to earn my badge of honor in being a part of this amazing place. 
I'm ready for Fitness Ridge!
Although I must admit I'm not ready for the blisters...
or the possibility of throwing up during a tough workout...
I hope that's not a thing...but I'll find out tomorrow. 
And then I'll let you know!