Go your own way (guest post)

Thanks Miz for sharing the purple spotlight today. It’s my color, it brings out the green in my eyes.

I’m Rita. I parent a delightful young lady. I am in mad crazy love with a police officer who saves the world from evil every day. I am in college to get my degree and become a personal trainer so I can help people save themselves. The best way I know to support people is to let them be their best selves. That’s what Fitblogger aims to do: support bloggers to get their message heard in a variety of ways. Come on over when you have a minute, we’re all very friendly over there.

Go Your Own Way

I can’t tell you how many times I tried to get skinny.  I’m not shy about it, I’m just not able to count to that high anymore, I get bored.  But it’s high. Really high.

All my efforts had a few things in common: it was the flavour of the month.

I would always look around to see what everyone else was doing. Or saying. Or recommending.

If I didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn and exercise with eye crust still firmly implanted, I must be a failure.  All the experts said it was the best time of day.

I tried to find workout buddies that would wake up at the crack of dawn and not mind my dismal appearance because everyone said a workout buddy was the way to go.

I wouldn’t eat before a workout because somewhere I read that on an empty stomach you burn more fat.

My brain was this swirling mess of rules and regulations.  If I didn’t do all of them, simultaneously, even though certain rules were contradictory, there must be something wrong with ME.

I continued to fail, time and time again.

When it came to food, I was the same.  If my friends were low-fatting, so was I. They were losing so that must be the answer.

Experts would say don’t eat after 8pm, and even though I liked to stay up until 1am, I would abide and starve.

Articles would tell me that carbs were bad, the devil and all who eat them will be fat forever.  I really liked bread, but I gave it up because someone, somewhere wrote this stuff and must know more than me.  After all, I’ve been heavy for 20 years.  I’m obviously doing something wrong.

So here I was, this grossly out of shape, endlessly unhealthy person, sprinting towards every degenerative disease in the known universe and every rule I’ve been told, every piece of advice that is supposed to work, hasn’t.

I started to realize there WAS definitely something wrong with me.  And that something was the fact that I was listening to everyone else.

The day I realized that common wisdom had failed me and not the other way around, was the day I took control of my health, for good.

I hate mornings.  I don’t concentrate, channel Bob Harper, lift, squat or think before 7am.  That’s just me.  I embraced my body’s natural rhythm and started exercising in the mid morning, mid afternoon, or heaven forbid, the evening.  I realized that doing it at all is more important that the time of day in which you do it.  Failing to do any exercise because I wasn’t doing it at the “right” time was the mistake.  Not my hour of choice.

I don’t like exercising with others. Group classes make me want to gag, really. I can’t stand the shared bonding experience of slipping in someone else’s sweat.  If I want to bond with people, how about coffee? a chat at the park, on the phone?  Please help me if I have to try and maintain eye contact with you while we’re chatting and changing. No thank you. Give me a long stretch of dirt road, not a soul in the world and nothing but me and my thoughts; I’m so there.

Before my workouts I like to eat. It helps me to not want to throw up in the middle of it. This little tidbit has helped me maintain a pretty impressive completion percentage on my workouts. Rita 1000, throw up, zero.

As for food, I am fond of fat. Not on my behind but in my food. It helps me not creak when I walk and gives me that shiny coat.  It keeps me full, it brings me joy, it makes food taste better. I just choose the “good” ones.

Remember bread? Remember when we could eat it and treasure it and roll around in the sweet goodness of it? Yup, I still do.  Bread and toast specifically, are something I literally eat, every day. Granted it’s whole grain, flourless, sprouted grain bread that is so dense my husband has used it to level out a wobbly table leg (or two). But it IS bread. The biggest member of the carb family and not a carnal sin.

I’m almost entirely made of carbs now and went from thinking they were like eating instant cellulite to having at least 65% of my food from that part of the food chain. This too brings me joy and makes me happy. Isn’t that the whole point? I just don’t want to live in a world without starch. So I don’t.

The difference, the game changer this time round? This last time? The time when I actually lost the 90lbs that had followed me around for 20 years: I did it my way.

The way that worked and works for me to this day. Not the way that works for you or my friend or my friends sister who heard about this thing from a girl at the gym. A way that respects my preferences, my biorhythms, my daily schedule, my individuality and ultimately, my health.

(Many thanks to Fitbloggers Guide for giving me some love on this Thursday. Stop by there and give em your love as well…)

POSTS BY EMAIL

Never miss a post. Enter your email to get my latest posts delivered to your inbox.

Comments

  1. says

    The “purple” comment at the beginning put me in mind of the current discussion as to whether or not the recent, high-profile suicides of bullied teens is the fault of the Conservative Christian movement. I won’t get into that, because it’s not the point. But I will say that I whole-heartedly agree, and not just in matters of fitness. I often tell my clients that it’s not important whether they’re vegetarian or vegan or raw or primal/paleo; I have been all of those things, and none of them made me feel any different than just eating what I thought made sense. So the point isn’t to adhere to a particular diet; the point is to find something that works for you. That is, something you can sustain.

    Same with life, isn’t it? It’s wonderfully empowering to discover that you don’t have to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Like not dating in high school just because everyone else seems to enjoy it. And not making out at parties in college just because most people seem to like it. And then discovering that the reason why is not because you’re a freak or broken or emotionally/spiritually deformed, but just because you’re different. And embracing that difference. Making it your own. Coming into a sense of security in and knowledge of yourself that you never even imagined; you didn’t even think it was possible.

    Thanks for the reminder, today, Rita. And for the inspiration.

  2. says

    So very true! It’s important that we find our own way, what works best for us. It’s hard, though, breaking out of the mold of what we think the perfect fitness routine or eating program is. So thank you for the reminder.

  3. says

    Great post Rita. I enjoy getting the glimpses into your personal side now and then:)

    I am a big believer in us each needing to find what works for us. That said, I am always interested to see what has worked for someone else. Bread and I are still not getting along. Sigh.

  4. says

    Good for you! That amount of weight loss is awesome! I always tell my clients that there are lots of ways to lose weight – lots of nutrition programs, lots of workout programs to choose from. But the bottom line is that they aren’t all going to work for you. You have to take an approach that agrees with you personally and only then will you find the weight loss success you are looking for.

  5. says

    I think you will make a great personal trainer. To me, it is all about finding what you like and what works for you to stay healthy. Until it’s something that fits in your life it won’t really stick anyways.

  6. messymimi says

    When I started doing what I knew was right for me, I, too, lost it and kept it off. Good for you!

  7. charity says

    You sound like me. I’m beginning to think I just read too much because everyone has an opinion and trying to follow them all is driving me nuts. I’m trying to go my own way and know that I am a work in progress and dont have to be perfect (although I still wanna be….)
    Thanks for the post. :)

  8. s says

    thanks for your great post. i can relate to your trying of different diets. at least it was a way for me to find out what works best for me and not some experts.

  9. says

    Thank you so much everyone. It’s not only a real trip to get to hang out here today but I’m glad we’re all getting closer to that place that is truly ours.

    It might just be radical common sense!

    And thanks again Miz for letting me hang out :)

  10. says

    Great post Rita, and all of it oh so true. I agree that one of the keys to success in weight loss is finding what works for you, not by trying to follow the diet fad of the day. This isn’t just some temporary diet, this is the rest of your life – so find something you can stick with for the long haul.

  11. says

    \oo/ Rock on. I always tell people that fitness and nutrition is about finding what works for YOU. I mean, I can recommend what I like and what has worked for me and that’s great, it might work for some other people as well, but it’s not for everyone. And I get that. I told a chick once who told me how she hated running that was fine, that we should find her something that she does like. She said, “Really? No one’s ever told me that before. Most just say to power through it.” Yeah, life’s meant to be enjoyable. We shouldn’t ever have to “power through” stuff that we hate.

  12. Lauren says

    Thanks for a great post! It’s a good reminder that just because everybody else seems to be training for marathons, maybe I shouldn’t feel like I need to because I can’t stand running. I’m perfectly happy with my bike and my weight training, and hopefully that’ll be what works for me!

  13. says

    Congrats on finding what works for you & sharing your optimism & good sense with us. “I embraced my body’s natural rhythm and started exercising…” – this is such an important part of what you said and also what defines each of us differently. Our bodies know what they need and just want us to listen and then act.

    I too am not a morning person but tend toward a curmudgeon-like state of being until about 9:30 in the morning. I found for me, I prefer working out on the weekends where I have time to do my thing and not feel rushed to just get it done. I’m trying to listen and then act. And enjoy myself while I’m at.

    Thanks for the wise words Rita!

  14. says

    Ah, yes I agree the best way is, queue the Frank Sinatra; “I did it my way”.

    That is not a bad tune to have rattling around in my head the rest of the afternoon, Thanks for not for referencing a song title from Lady Gaga…

    Then again, you have done amazing, so you can reference whatever song you want, even if unintended, whatever has you feeling awesome about what you’ve accomplished.

  15. jenny says

    wow what “food” for thought
    I am very overweight and similar to you I have so……….. many thoughts, shoulds, should nots, when, wheres, and whys running around my brain
    it is exhausting trying to unravel them and find the quickest and most perfect of ways to lose this weight and to not”find” it again
    which has happened each and EVERY time I have been lighter and each and every time I am more and more disappointed, confused and saddened by my failures
    Just lately though I have noticed that little bits of information and ideas about listening to my body learning about what suits me , what makes me happy, what do I like to do, what do I like to eat have been popping into my head or I read something (like your post)or hear something (such as Intuitive Eating on Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone) along these lines
    I think that the universe, that my body is telling me to stop, look, listen and learn about me
    I think it has been trying to do this for a long, long time
    What is best for me only me not the person in the magazine, not my friends but me what makes me tick, what gives me energy and what gives me joy
    Thank You your post it is another eye openner helping to show me the right way to go for me and only me.
    Congratulations and the Best of Wishes to you and yours
    Thanking You
    Jenny (with her eyes and mind openning

  16. says

    Love it! I’m definitely not an early morning exerciser… everything is just too creaky/cranky when I wake up. Take Friday, my ankle was hurting bad when I woke at 7AM. No way I could’ve exercised. But, by 10:30 AM, I was doing better and went to my exercise class and did great. It just takes time for the old body to warm up and be ready to move.

    Mostly I am more of a late morning, or afternoon or evening exerciser. And I like my carbs too, I definitely have to have some starchy carbs in my plan or I just run out of energy.

Trackbacks