I started posing practice today. And, I am sorely out of practice. Aside from the "drive-by" posing that I do in front of the mirror, between sets, and for progress pictures, I have not done any real sessions. Also, I am in a very different body and just about everything that I used to do is no longer effective or just looks odd. Today, I decided to devote about 15 minutes to posing just to see "what I am working with", now. Over the next few months, I'll be playing with a few styles to determine what is going to work for me. If you are going to look at anyone, why not look at the professionals. The pictures below were taking from this year's Arnold. I was going to post just a few. But, I found it fascinating how each woman executed the mandatory poses:
A. B. C. D.
E. F. G. H.
I prefer the straight leg to the bended one (much like Courtney West [B.]) I am playing with my arms though. My posing on the left is much weaker than the right. And, I think playing with my arm placement will help. Either way, I worked up the nerve to have a 'posing party' in two weeks at my gym. And, four people have RSVP'd, so far. I should be a lot of fun. And, it will be nice to get together with other competitors. I know one woman who is doing an INBA/ABA show and the posing is very different and they will do a T-walk.
It is funny. Two things that I wanted and needed to happen, this year, are coming to fruition. Time management has become key with this gift. That is how I look at it. I am a lot busier. There is little down time; but I choose to embrace it, plan for it, and be the best that I can on any given day. Instead of leisurely evenings, I spend them studying for school, for my entrance exams, or for my certification. I do not mind, though--these are things that I want and have wanted for a long time. So, like bodybuilding, the reward is just delayed. I am thoroughly enjoying my teacher credentialing program. Right now, I am reading a section on integrating technology into class instruction--right up my alley! And, we had to create a functioning website from a template. I spent a lot of time on that it. What great practice. Now, it looks nothing like the original template.
As for training, my new program is wonder! I am wearing pants that I used to wear close to showtime; pants that I could not fit in a few months ago. That was a small and noticeable change. Aside from the physical changes, I just feel great. I also got a diet upgrade--more of everything. Which was following by a drop in weight! The body is absolutely amazing. Erik, my coach, asked me if I wanted to lean out and see where we are or keep building. I felt like there was game show music in the background. I would love to see 'what lies beneath'; but, I decided to be patient and keep going. After that, I got my new diet--with a weekly free meal. I have decided to use it as a monthly 'crave meal'.
It looks like it is going to be an early one for me, tonight. I am going to begin the long weekend with a great leg workout in the morning!
One of the key reasons for deciding to change my lifestyle was to be an example to my daughter. I took a look at myself at 185 pounds, slumped over, frumpy, pulling on my clothes, disintrested in going out, and I did not want to be that mom. I wanted her to be proud of me when I walked onto her campus, "That's MY mom!" But, there as something that I as extrememly cognizant about. I made a conscious effort to not say that I was 'dieting' or 'on a diet'. I was sure not to complain about what I ate or the quantities. I wanted the focus to be on actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, meeting challenges, and doing something different--but not on weight.
Even today, I do not weight myself in front of her and talk about my body and hers in positive ways. And, conversely, it is clear that judgements are not to be made on others. We do talk about healthy choices and the consequences of making poor choices over a long period of time. But, it is not a value judgement, rather, a decision. And, sometimes decisions turn into ahabit.But, habits can be changed. And, to change requires hard work.
She recently had her first sleepover with her cousin of the same age. My daughter is tall for her age. And, she has always been bigger. My daughter is an endomorph. We knew this very early on. It was not only apparent with her family. But, even as a toddler we noted that when she was not in preschool, where play was more frequent and for longer durations she would gain weight. Now, a couple of pounds means little to an adult, but on a child it makes a noticeable difference. Armed with that information, we knew it was critical to keep her active and feed her wholesome foods.
Now, her cousin is clearly a mesomorph. Her father played basketball and is about 6'3-6'4". She is very tall and lean. I expected that the comparisons would begin. My daughter is usually the only one is the apartment and there is no one else to make comparisons to or with. But, with another girl here and as they became comfortable enough to change in the same room, the mental list began. Days afterwards, my daughter proclaimed that she was 'too big' and wanted to know 'what to do'.
My mind began to reel, "Don't you DARE develop some sort of eating disorder at six!", I thought to myself. So, I we began to look at our families and their bodies--the 'blue prints'. We discussed how we optimized those 'plans' And, we talked about her healthy habits and all that she did--jiu jitsu several times per week, she is a big vegetable eater, she knows how to make healthy snacks, and we keep fruit within her reach at all times. . I am always evaluating how we can do better by her.
So, as parents, we just keep our ears open and the conversation going. We reveal assumptions and stereotypes...and just hope we do the best that we can as we go.
The answer to that questions is: better than I could have expected or anticipated.
Now, with my business name in place, my focus is on infrastructure and branding. Who knew I would enjoy reading trade magazines about small businesses and target marketing? Getting the certification is the 'easy' part. The real work is in the development. I 'see' what I want and how I want this venture to feel: supportive but firm. Hmmm...that sounds like a mattress. But, you get my point.
Today, I made a movement towards my goal. I casually talked to my school's Dean about doing a couple of fitness classes for parents. I got a enthusiastic, "YES!" My mind started reeling with the possibilities. However, I know to start with small manageable projects. I decided to do 2-3 sessions in the spring. I will probably to one workout session and another session on nutrition. I will also use Body By Design as part of the curriculum. The great part is that I will either be VERY close OR already certified to train.
And, speaking of Body By Design--
I sent an e-mail to Crystal Matthews and Kris Gethin. I described what I want to do. I asked for 10-20 books as 'tokens of completion'. So, those who come to both sessions will get a free copy of the life-changing book. Literally, minutes later, I got an e-mail not only telling me I could get 20 copies of the book, but they were shipped, today!
Further along, I would love to actually 'escort' a few people through the 12-week program and have them experience the transformation for themselves!
This is motivation to train, to study, and to focus. "Living out loud" is powerful. You really do put yourself in a position to succeed. Once you put your goals, wants, dreams, and wishes 'out there', there is no turning back. It is easy to secretly dream. No one can critique or knock a secret. And, you can't fail if no one knows what you desire.
"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. "
Written: December 28, 2010
I have recently completed a seven day rest period, as prescribed by my coach. He said that rest is an underrated part of training. And, since I have not had an extended time period away from the gym since 2007, I suppose it was time. I went into the period, begrudgingly. I did not think that I needed it. I figured three days was more than enough time to rest. I was wrong. After 3 months of increasingly heavy workouts, my body was giving me the sings that I needed to take time away. I was not lacking motivation, which can be a sign. I was following my nutrition and training plan and enjoying my training. I did, however, lose a bit of the strength that I gained. I was also experiencing contant soreness and tightness.
Seven days off was the response. I went through the seven stages of 'grief' during this time. I wrote in my Facebook status:
My prescribed '7-day hiatus' from the gym is over. I think I went through the seven stages. Shock or Disbelief-Does he really want me to take THAT much time off? Denial-He has GOT to be kidding. Bargaining-Maybe I'll just take 6 days off. Guilt-Will all of my hard work go away? Anger-I've GOT to do something! Depression-Sure do wish I could hit the gym (sigh). Acceptance/Hope-This is good for me.
When Tuesday (Day 7) rolled around. I was ready to hit the weights. My motivation was high. And, surpriningly, my strenght had increased, significantly. I put 25 pounds on my rack pulls and 20 pounds on my pec flyes. With help getting the dumbbells up, I was able to do 40 pound incline dumbell presses, on my own. I felt relaxed, strong, and got a great pump. I usually feel 'done' at the end of my training. Instead, I felt like I could have done MORE. The lesson learned is to know when you truly need a break or are just being apathetic. I will also be scheduling at least two extended rest periods per year.
The end of a year, invevitably, gets you thinking about the next. I no longer make 'resolutions' in the traditional sense. Because there is nothing innately different about tomorrow. There is nothing magical. In many instances, one's circumstances are not going to dramatically change, instantanously.
Resolutions are often based in action.
"I am going to lose 20 pounds."
"I am going to fix my credit."
"I am going to pay off my car."
But, the real work is in the doing. There are months and months, sometimes years worth of work, discipline and sacrifice to accomplish the goals above. In order to 'lose 20 pounds' it is going to require a shift in the way that I use my time and resources. It mandates a shift in the way that I think. Those are huge changes. To fix my credit or pay off my car, I am going to have to be disciplined in my saving and spending. It is a long term process.
We have to control our thinking, first. And, this is why I think I am enjoying reading Kris Gethin's book so much. I have been reading it between chores, in the car, and while cooking! It doesn't just say, "Here is a training plan and a diet. Go for it." It really lays out where our flawed thinking may be, how to identify it, how to address it, and how to create a supportive community with our motivation may wane (and it will from time to time). the book also focuses on personal responsiblity. We have to identify what are strengths and challenges are going to be and be proactive.
There are so many things that this book has me thinking about--everything from my future business, to my teaching career, to the partnerships that I am trying to form. This book has me thinking about the roadblocks that I have put in my own way.
One of the steps that I have taken this year is to finally get into a teaching credential program. I start in a few weeks. I have to do this. However, I decided not to take out a loan (which would have been easy) and pay my tuition out of pocket. It is a decision that is going to mean that there will be a few months where the budget is incredibly tight. However, the benefit is that I did not add acquire anymore debt. And, as a result, I am actually more motivated to do my 16-month program in 12 to make the most of my investment. It is going to require me to act--study harder, adopt a more structured schedule, get plenty of sleep (or not), and make sure that other areas of my life remain balanced (to a degree).
This decision continued to snowball, I want to get my MA in education through the same program, using the same methods. What I initially thought 'impossible' really was not. It was merely uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable to give up a chunk of income, or sleep, or time. But, the rewards are worth it.
"...'I write'. 'I am a writer'. The second [statement] has a bit more significance--it establishes an indentity and suggests and ongoing commitment...a way of life."(Gethin, p. 61). I JUST walked out of the County Clerk-Recorder's office, heart pounding, with my Fictitious Business Name. I am the sole proprietor of Momentum Personal Training (MPT). Coming Spring 2011.
It was odd--the way that it happened. I was on Facebook reading statuses. I came across one that mentioned a website for small business owners. I went to the site and ended up spending quite a bit of time there. It was for Inc. magazine. There were a few articles that I was reading about people following their passions and becoming their own bosses. I have said that I want to be a personal trainer, part-time at least, but I did not go through with the steps.
Maybe it was the perfect storm--the status, the articles, Body By Design speaking to my motivation and possibilities. I went to my city's website to see what I needed to get started. I just felt the urgency, today. I go back to work, tomorrow. If I didn't do it, TODAY, I would have had to wait until February. I would have run the risk of losing my name. I checked the city's index and my business name was still available. Questions and, of course, doubt ran rampant through my mind.
What am I doing?
I don't have the money for this?
Can I do this?
Why am I doing this?
Can I learn how to do this?
I have known the name of this company for over a year. I bought the website, last year, to ensure that I would have it. I authored a 'coming soon' e-mail and had it sitting in the drafts section of my e-mails. I know what services I would offer. I created a logo.
I packed up my daughter and headed to City Hall.
We went down long corridors, waiting in line, paid three different fees, and emerged 3 hours later as business owners. I cannot describe how that felt. As I look at my Fictiitious Name Statement I am proud at what that means for me and the capacity in which I can serve others. I have a lot to learn. However, I trust my instincts and I have a clear vision and roll-out plan. And, much like bodybuilding, I know it iwll be a slow and arduos process. I am doing the research. And, I believe in what it is I am trying to do.
Now, I can say I am a wife, mother, teacher, business owner, and (come spring) personal trainer.
So, now I am preparing to balance family with work, a growing a new business, and school. This should be a very exciting and challenging year!
My Winter Break is coming to a close. My daughter has another another week, and my husband is an independent contractor; so he makes his own schedule. We decided to go see Berkeley's women's basketball team play Stanford. I have never been into sports. I follow bodybuilding and the phsyique sports, but not basketball. My daughter and husband on the other hand follow the sport and all levels--professional, college, and high school. We entered the gym, Stanford's team was warming up. They did so with precision and purpose. They were oblivious to the noise, bass-heavy music, people finding their seats, the screaming. With their coach or trainer at the helm, I saw them doing, what I now know, was dynamic stretches with and without resistance bands. There bodies were relaxed, conditioned, and responsive. They worked as a unit. The looked solid. They looked intimidating. And, they looked like a force to be reckoned with.
As Stanford went through their drills, the home team arrived on the court. Well, the whole team didn't arrive. Two or three would come out with who I think was the trainer. There were a couple of balls thrown around. Shots were made and many were missed. Players would, occasionally, do whatever popular dance the music cued them to do. When all team members came out. They sloppily ran through drills. Then, sat in a circle and rushed through some rudimentary drills. My husband said, "Stanford is probably going to blow them out by about 20 points." I could not speak for points. But, based on what I saw, a win was not likely.
The game began with the usual 'hype session'. You had your motivational montage, the roar of the crowd, cheerleaders shaking their glittery pom-poms and doing their high kicks. But, that was not enough. Cal lost to Stanford. The score was 78 to 45. Stanford made it look easy. I am not speaking to the skill of each player. I know each person brings their set of strengths. And, like any skill or sport, we have our good days and bad days. But, there are some things that are just apparent. Stanford appeared to be playing a team sport, they learned how to play with each other, how to work together, and how to play as a cohesive unit. They looked polished. They looked like winners. They looked disciplined. They had practiced this game before. They were unshakeable despite the 'rivalry hype' that surrounds any Cal/Stanford match up.
Today, Cal looked like playground players and not 'And 1". Some players could not even shut out the sound of the outside noise. They allowed it to penetrate their psyche. I just thought it was interesting game.
I think watching Stanford reminded me of the focus and discipline that I want to have in the gym. I was a bit distracted, today. It was raining in sheets, so I went to the gym closest to me, to avoid driving on one of the worse freeways in the city. The gym was empty and fairly quite. I just took too long to adjust. to the change in scenary. This will not be an obstacle for me. I also think I was feeling a bit defeated because I could not pull the same weight I did two weeks ago--for whatever reason. I need to be in the moment. Focused on my best 'at that time'.
Written: December 29, 2010
I have kept an online journal/blog at Bodyspace.com for almost four years, now. Last year, I was contacted by the Editor-in-Chief of Bodybuilding.com to be a part of a book. At that time, the book did not even have a name. I started blogging about my journey towards a healthier body because, at the time, it seemed, 'extreme'. It was different. It was a way for me to be publicly accountable. But, at the same time, I really didn't think anyone would read it. Well, I was wrong.
As wrote, I felt better. I was able to identify habits that got in the way. As I wrote, others began to read, too. Eventually, my regular blogging caught someone's attention and I was asked to contribute my story to the book. It is funny. I always thought there would be an after. But, there isn't. As a matter of fact, the picture in the book is from a 2009 show. That was my 'after', at the time. But, I have come so much farther than that. I now see that what I can accomplish physically, spiritually, professionally, is only limited by my own understanding and willingness. Bodybuilding was the imputus for so many positive things in my life. I wonder what 2011 will hold.
>December 30, 2010
I really adore blogging. When I started I made the commitment to do so "like no one was reading them". It really is an outlet for me. I haven't been able to update my Bodyspace blog for several days, as it is being updated to be a supplemental tool for the book, Body by Design. It why I finally came back to this blog and did some major updates, added features, and wrote a few articles! Which works out well because I have finally gotten serious about studying for my personal training certification. I want this blog to be ready to go once I am certified and have a website. My goal is to be able to start training by March 2011. I gave myself that long to study and learn the materials, then I just want to the be ready to register and take the test. I have waiting too long. I am ready to help others changed their lives. I am ready to expand my knowledge of nutrition and training and put them into practice on more than just my body. And, personally, I am ready to start my own business and see if my business model will work. It is an opportunity to see what I am made of!
I envision a small and personal client base, so that I can provide a holistic service. And, I want y clients to be able to succeed without me. I want to develop a client's basic knowledge of training and diet so that they can be independent and confident in the gym, know how to make quick adjustments, and just integrate fitness into their lives.
It is an very exciting time!