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Fitness Profile: Me

October 14, 2011

PhotobucketWell, I haven’t really gone into a personal progress update in awhile and yesterday I just hit a pretty big milestone, so this week I am going to fitness profile myself.

I have been “plus-sized” since I can remember. Before I hit puberty I was wearing JC Penney’s plus-size girls clothes, which were politely numbered in half sizes for discretion. A large, tall girl might wear an 18, but a plus-sized one, me, wore an 18.5. At 10, I jumped up to juniors sizes and already wore a 13 (Plus starts at 12). I only had one summer were a 13 fit, and by high school I was a size 20. When I started this blog I wore a size 24, and they were getting too tight.

Since I can remember, shopping for clothing has been a battle and until they put a Torrid in my town, finding pants big enough to fit my body was only possible online. My body is very “feminine” in that my waist tends to be about 10-12 inches smaller than my hips. My thighs, butt and hips are large, they always will be, no matter how thin I get. I loved shopping at Torrid because no matter how frustrated I got with pants not fitting right, or going up a size, the girls there understood my plight–I never felt judged or treated poorly based on how I looked. Instead, I always found a group of understanding women readily offering their support and genuinely knowing what it was like to literally not be able to fit into clothing (something thin people NEVER have to think about). I mean, yeah, clothes may not fit “correctly” on everyone, but thin people can find things that will fit around their bodies and cover them up.

Yesterday this world changed for me.

Yesterday I went to Torrid with a plan to buy some jeans for motivation, as I posted about earlier this month. I wanted to buy a 12 and 10, and use them as the carrot dangling on the end of my stick to motivate myself to work harder. Only two things happened that got in the way: one, 12 is the smallest size they have. No issues right? I’ll just buy one pair and once they fit I’ll find a new place to buy pants and get a 10 for motivation. BUT, then I went to the dressing room and tried them on. THEY FUCKING FIT.

I should be stoked, I should be overjoyed. I’m sitting here writing this post in a size 12. The smallest pants I have ever worn. Since the 5th grade EVER.

Instead I feel scared.

I realized that I will no longer have the safety net of my plus-sized brethren to help me through dressing room panic attacks. I will no longer need a special store to buy pants because I will be able to buy them anywhere. And I will no longer be plus-sized.

In a way I feel like I am leaving a big part of my identity behind in these pants. When they no longer fit I won’t really be the fat girl I’ve always been. Sure, being overweight has been bad for my health, rough for dating, difficult in making friends, but in a big big way it has made me who I am. I would not be so confident in the person I am inside if it wasn’t for these extra pounds holding me back. I wouldn’t have fought so hard to get through college and to prove to my peers that I am intelligent, interesting and beautiful inside. Without being plus-sized I don’t think I would be me.

I realize that this is just a new chapter in my life and I still have a lot of work to go, but it’s almost bittersweet. I hope I never forget what it feels like to be treated differently because I had to buy fat girl pants at a special store.

PhotobucketOkay, so this isn’t really a fitness profile at all, but WTF look at how awesome Jonah Hill is looking now!

I’ve had a running joke for a few years that if I have kids with anyone it would be Jonah, because they’d be the chubbiest, funniest, round kids ever. I’m sure genetics are still in my favor there despite my future baby-daddy looking haaaaawwwwwt.

Good work Jonah, even if you just did it for a role, it’s better for your health in the long run!

Fitness Profile: Ashley P

September 2, 2011

PhotobucketOne of my favorite people, Miss Ashley P. just ran Hood to Coast and was kind enough to let me ask her questions about it! Per usual, my questions are in black and her answers are blue.

You just ran Hood to Coast for the first time, are you game to do it
again someday?

Absolutely. It was so much fun.

I know you ran when you were younger, can you tell me a bit about that?

I started running in high school mostly because of my basketball coach. I was really slow and he suggested that I join the cross country team to get stamina and to run faster, which kind of worked until I tore three ligaments in my ankle. Not that I was really fast before—I just was less slow and then I got hurt and became more slow.

Before training for H2C what was your exercise routine like?

I really didn’t have one except for riding my bike around town every day. I was running sporadically, but not enough to be doing me a significant amount of good.

What did you do to train for H2C?

I ran. Seriously, I ran a few times a week while I was in school and then when I went back home I ran every day pretty much. I took about five days total off during a month of running. Two weeks into being home I also started a push up and sit up routine.

Did you change your diet?

Not really. I tried to eat more protein. When you start running any sort of distance your metabolism speeds up, but I have a good amount of “extra energy” so I tried not to eat as much.

How would you describe the race?

Phenomenal. It was so much work, but there was such a feeling of teamwork (not to mention that no one on the team was really serious about it) that it was a blast.

What are you thankful you did in prep?

I am just glad that I prepared. I wasn’t fast but I ran the whole thing and that’s what I was trying for.

What would you do differently?

I would start more serious running earlier on, and would do more to strengthen my arms and back. (That’s what got tired first actually.)

What advice do you have for someone who wants to train for a distance
race like H2C?

I would say take it slow. It is really easy to get burnt out on running. I trained for a marathon three years ago and that’s what happened. I followed a strict schedule and only took days off when it said I could, which made me loath running. I ended up not running the race and it put me off running for years. I would say do what you can and no more. You will have to push yourself eventually, but your body and brain are pretty good at communicating when that time will be.

Which Spice Girls album was best?

I don’t know…probably the one with that song “if you wanna be my lover” on it.

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This week’s fitness profile is on my friend Josh. We met when he was near his heaviest and it has been amazing to witness his progress. Per usual, my questions are in black, and his responses are in blue. Thanks for sharing, Josh! ALSO, Josh didn’t provide me with a photo so I chose this one because there is a puppy in it and I like puppies.

You’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the last few years, how much do you think?

As of today, I’ve lost 80 pounds. I was 319 pounds when I decided I needed to make a change, and as of today, I’m 239 pounds.

What motivated you to make a change?

My initial motivation, honestly, was girls. When I was in high school, I never really had to learn how to approach girls because enough of them would just come up to me, but when they stopped, I became extremely insecure. But because I had a garbage motivation, my weight loss was up and down. I ended up getting really sick, and I could’ve died, and that’s what really motivated me. I started looking closer at my eating habits, and exercise, and my drinking, and just educating myself on the toll everything was doing to my body, it made me want to be healthy for me. And I’m going to be rich and famous soon, so I want to be able to holler at Erin Andrews when I make it big without getting rejected. Oh, great… I’m doing it again…

What does your average diet like?

Since I got sick, a lot fruits and vegetables. I’ve really cut down on grains, and have almost eliminated gluten all together from my diet. I have spinach in my breakfast smoothie every morning, and usually eat it with lunch and dinner as well. I always eat between meals too, usually grapefruit, or carrots. I don’t eat meat all that much, and when I do, I only eat fish and chicken. Mostly organic. I also very rarely drink any kind of beverage that isn’t water or tea. It’s really a waste of calories. I like to take note of what I eat too, and if I eat something and it makes me tired after, I cut it out of my diet. I only eat for energy when I’m alone. 

What is your workout routine like?

My focus right now is weight loss, so it’s like 75% cardio, 25% weight lifting. I was in an auto accident this last spring, so I’m kind of restricted on what I can do. I prefer the elliptical because running enflames my neck ever since my wreck. I won’t get off the elliptical until I’ve burned at least 500 calories. On average, I burn about 750 – 800. Then I do weight lifting exercises my doctor allows me to do, like lat pull downs, rows, stuff like that. Then I use all the machines that workout my back and abs. I’m really focused on strengthening my core. My routine can also be very bloody. I like to use the elliptical until it makes my nips bleed. So my routine is kinda psychotic.

What were your diet and workout routines like before?

When I was at 319, I wasn’t working out at all really. It was like my goal was to be Jonah Hill’s stuntman or something. Part of why I got so heavy was due to another auto injury a few years ago. Prior to the wreck, I was a gym rat. I seriously worked out for two and a half hours six days a week. I was in great shape. Then I got in a wreck and I was told I couldn’t work out at all. I kinda started to enjoy being lazy, and really partook in the college life. I was smoking weed, drinking and eating ice cream every day. The healthiest thing I was eating was maybe Wheaties. When I got to 280, I quit smoking, but I was still gaining weight because I was too embarrassed to go to the gym. It was terrible. Knowing as much as I do about food now, I can’t believe I put my body through that. Lord have mercy.

What are your fitness goals?

I want to get to a point where I’m just stunning. Ya know? I’m like a 7.5 right now, but I’m aiming for a 9.7 at least. Seriously though, my goal right now is to get to 200 pounds. A doctor told me with how broad my shoulders are, and my overall bone structure is, a healthy weight for me is 210, but I used to be 170 and thought I looked pretty good then. So what does he know? But I want to get to 200, and then I’m going to focus on body building more. Not trying to be Arnold big, but I want to be solid. My goal is to be healthy so I can live for as long that hopefully I’m supposed to naturally live. And I also want to run one of those crazy marathons like Hood to Coast or something crazy like that.

What advice do you have for someone deciding they need to make a change to lose a significant amount of weight?

First of all, educate yourself. There’s so much out there they don’t teach you in health class growing up. Know what you’re putting in your body. And also, you need to do it for yourself. Do it because you care about yourself. Don’t worry about losing weight because the media wants you to look a certain way or anything like that. Learn to love yourself if you don’t already and you will want to work out.

Which ICP clown would you be and why?

Uhhh… I actually don’t know which one is which. I only know their names from one of Eminem’s CDs. Can I be Eminem?

PhotobucketThis week’s fitness profile is of an old high school classmate of mine, and by high school I mean kindergarten on. Anyway, John has been bodybuilding through weightlifting and was kind enough to give me an interview. My questions are in black, and his answers are blue. Enjoy:

You’ve been bodybuilding correct?

I’ve been a bodybuilder in the sense of the niche field it harbors in weightlifting. My lifetime goals centered around bodybuilding are to be healthy, strong, and happy. The bodybuilding style of weightlifting is what does that for me best.

How long have you been interested in bodybuilding?

I’ve been interested in weightlifting from a very early age. Around 16 yrs old I became interested in the bodybuilding niche for obvious reasons a 16yr old would get interested. In my High school’s gym, we had a lot of competition from good lifters, which further fueled weightlifting for me. I can remember racing to at least two school records with two different folks. We were unstoppable in our own minds., and pushed each other to the limits of our bodies.

What was your motivation to get started?

My first motivation came at an early age. The primary catalyst for my lifting occurred in my gym class when I was 12 years old. Our instructor had brought in some junior weight benches so that us students could learn how to lift. I
gave it a shot, bench-pressing 45lbs before all was said and done. When I got done, I started talking to my instructor about how much a person can lift. After some brief discussion he told me that some guys can lift up to 200lbs! I
didn’t believe it was true. At that point, in that little makeshift gym, I decided I would be one of those guys. Within a years time I was doing several hundred push-ups and crunches per day, I was running lots, and I was winning titles in wrestling.

Do you plan to compete?

At this point and time in my life I am pursuing a Degree in Physics and a Degree in Mathematics as well as managing several clients for a computer/network service I offer. Additionally I am doing research on a subject for my thesis involving a redefinition of the fundamental ideas of forces and time in the universe. I just don’t have the time to get into bodybuilding the way I’d like to. The sport of Bodybuilding demands that you focus most of your day on promoting muscle growth; it demands more than I can offer at this time. In the past I have competed locally and I do plan on returning to it some time in the near future.

What was your fitness routine like before you started?

For me, weightlifting and bodybuilding started so early I didn’t have much of a routine before. By 14 I was on a semi-regular routine.

What are your goals?

For me, my entire life focuses around maximizing my potential as a human. In regards to my goals and my lifting, it is a matter of physical health and wellness. I eat healthy, exercise regularly and perform activities that promote muscle development. The act of exercising is beneficial to my current studies as well. Beyond the hormonal stress relief from activities like bodybuilding and boxing, the increase in Testosterone generated by long term lifting increasing the efficiency of neural connectivity in the brain.

My life goals all wrap up in one package that can be summed up as, waking up everyday with the idea that I am going to go to bed better off than I woke up. I work on being faster, stronger, more eclectic, and smarter everyday.

What advice do you have for someone getting started in bodybuilding?

My advice is to get a hold of someone like me. Bodybuilding is 90% knowledge and 10% working out. Or better stated, 100% knowledge and the workout follows. After all, you only workout for how many minutes of the day, yet
your body is building muscle all day and night (if done right). But I can give some basics to get you out the door:

USE CAUTION at GNC – Supplement only with long term known products and do so to supplement your bodies nutritional needs, not replace hard work and time.

PhotobucketShe played Olivia on the Cosby Show and went on to have a career (acting and music) with Disney. I’ve always like Raven, not so much as a fan of her stuff–I think we were a bit old for That’s So Raven’s demographic, but more like we’d be BFFs in real life if we knew each other.

I was so inspired and thrilled for her when I saw her recently in an interview, she looks great. I love that she talks about the attention she gets now,

“I find it funny that people now come up to me and say, ‘Wow, you are absolutely gorgeous. I’m like, ‘I was beautiful before I lost weight. Egotistically speaking, I thought I was amazing.’”

I think she was pretty amazing before, and congrats to her on the step towards a healthier life with less stress.

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