A final word

The last day of 2017, and as I started on January 1, I end it today at the gym. Nothing big or crazy about my workout. A fun day with my beloved landmines List and working at enhancing better form and technique followed by yoga with dear friends. I am reminded again and again how much room remains for future improvement.

I made huge strides and much progress in 2017. It was not so much transformative as educational and expanding my horizons. I lost some weight, gained some noticeable muscle definition. I literally worked my ass off to make these hard-fought gains.

And I loved almost every single minute of it. Maybe not in the moments of sweating and swearing frustration (there were many), but in the elation of triumph when I finally gained some mastery.

My evolution into humble gym badassery took tiny steps forward.

Despite all that, it has become apparent to me that further change is in order. No easy way to say this, but I am shuttering the blog with this final entry.

There are a lot of reasons why, yet none of them profound or even that interesting. Mostly, it’s because I’m reinventing yet again and hanging a new shingle. While that sounds really dramatic, it’s not. It’s just the last couple of months of not blogging and investing some time and energy in other avenues of my life have shown me that I want a different direction with my writing.

That said, come visit me at my newest venture, TheCookieDoughChronicles.com.

For those of you who have read, commented, followed – my deepest thanks. I love the community I have built, and I hope we meet again with my new venture.



2017 – Finality of training recaps

Okay, I’ve been MIA way too long for my own comfort. And here we are, final Thursday of 2017, final session of 2017 with fab trainer J.

It’s been 2.5 years of working hard at getting fitter, and it is a long war I am winning. I am so much better off than when I started and continue to maintain this buzzy excitement about the training and the practice and the overall results. No matter how long it seems to take, I have made a lot of inroads toward reshaping my shape. The results are not what I expected, but as I have learned throughout this journey, my initial expectations were based on faulty data and needed to be discarded before real work could begin.

In my fat loss group on Facebook, I made a really stark comment today in response to a friend complimenting me on my discipline and dedication:

I feel it came down to a choice of modifying my lifestyle or accept that I was sitting around waiting to die. When I look at it like that, another BAS (big-ass salad) with chicken seems very, very palatable.

I made the right choice. It’s been a long slog, and sometimes it felt like I was pulling several big weights along with me on the uphill battle. But to feel this good about myself and in my own skin: worth it.

I have ambitious plans for 2018, because frankly, I need to blog to truly feel the weights and measures of my progress. Plus I have missed it.

For right now, though, it has been a busy and somewhat sad time since last I was here. Unless something freakish happens in practices over the next few days, I close out another year completely injury free. Not just for this year, but the entirety of the 2.5 years since I began this adventure from couch potato to gym hamster.

I have also realized some deeper mindset gains, in that I have been able to take days off – as many as 3 consecutive days off – without a mental meltdown of any major proportion. The world as I knew it did not end. I returned to the gym and the equipment was still there (although I did immediately notice the gym sweat smell) and I had not completely forgotten how to wield my beloved dumbbells.

As for today, it was primarily a technical review. We updated my warm-up with new ideas and order of exercises I already do and know well. We reviewed some landmine movements and layered in some new, more technical cues into the mix. I occasionally still wonder what happens when I run out of new skill building. In my head that’s when we add more weight and I start relearning all over again under the new load.

I still love review days. I have learned to embrace rather than fear the trainer eye, which is no small cakes when I look back at the landscape of my journey thus far. Even my own eccentricities about what I think about while lifting or self-examination of where I am going wrong (this time) are positive pursuits, not occasions for crippling negativity and feeling like the village idiot’s dumber sister.

Those days are still prominent in my thoughts, even though I have moved so far away from them. I was telling a friend today that it is easy to unconsciously fall into the trap of thinking we are weak or less worthy or horrible people when faced with new obstacles and challenges that cause us pain or anxiety or fear. From very personal experience, I know how difficult the habit of a negative mindset is to replace with a more positive countenance. My awareness of my negative girl in her cage is important to maintain lest I become lazy and inadvertently free her to overwhelm me and undo all my hard work at the first opportunity.

As the year winds down and I look back at all we have done this past year, I find I have a lot more respect for my own ability. There were 106 training sessions in 2017, and I am very proud of not having had to cancel a single session or, to the best of my recollection, having had to request a reschedule. While I have not always been 110% into the session – I had occasions of not enough sleep, low energy, generally undefined malaise – I have shown up with enough time to warm-up appropriately. I have paid attention and I have learned. I practiced consistently on my own, enough to show definite improvement and advance to new and different challenges and move weightier weights to and fro. I have overcome so many big and little hurdles.

My forward progress with the better health quest continues.

I have also grown so much as a better, more well-rounded person. While I may be stronger, fitter, and overall healthier, I have also gained wisdom, insight, and strived to improve my standing as tribe in all the realms of my life.

With regard to 2017, it was a successful and satisfying year. I am looking forward to and eagerly anticipating all that comes to me in 2018.

The very BEST outcome of today? Another trainer’s genuine compliment on my emerging deltoid muscles. While not a fisher of positive reinforcement, I am also not immune to happy glow of spontaneous compliments. My method of just blindly working at trying to practice, trying to learn, trying to stick with it does not leave me a lot of room to stand around admiring my work in the mirrors. My style is more about when I randomly notice that something has changed. Maybe it’s the way my clothes fit or a new crease between muscles. Maybe it’s just the scale finally giving up and grudgingly dropping to a new lower amount.

I am really happy and content to feel good in my own skin. But to have someone say something nice about the work I am doing, it’s the BEST feeling.

If I don’t make it back here, I wish you all before 2018 dawns, I wish you all a safe and happy new year. I am tying up some loose ends with blog housekeeping and fully anticipate being back in business next year.