Fitness Cruise 2017 Life Lessons

A month ago I was on a cruise ship sailing around the Caribbean. I wrote a blog about it on the plane ride home, but something happened and that particular blog has disappeared. I was disappointed when that happened because I put a lot of work into that thing…but then what happened was now, I have had a month to reflect on that week and have an even deeper appreciation for the experience. The lessons that I learned are ones that I feel a need to share.

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First A little background. We signed up for this cruise over a year before it was scheduled to set sail. The Tonya that signed up for the cruise had just come off of running 681 miles in 2015 (or what I liked to call 20FITteen). I was feeling pretty good about my self and even my pants size (mostly). I was pumped for this cruise and I was hoping that it would keep me motivated through the year of 2017. Well… life kind of happened. I ate too much, I didn’t push myself hard enough in the gym, I didn’t run enough. . . I bought bigger pants. I have no reasons, no excuse, no justification. But let’s just say that by the time the cruise came around I felt like I was not worthy of going on a cruise that was about fitness or healthy living. AT ALL. Don’t get me wrong, I was way excited to be on a cruise… just didn’t feel like I would fit in. I wasn’t happy with what I had done. I was ashamed and spend A LOT of time beating myself up and not putting anything into action. But then something magical happened:

I embarked on a journey with these two lovely ladies:

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We left from Miami and sailed to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and then on to Grand Cayman Island (my favorite!) and then a final stop was in Cozumel, Mexico.

The reason I even found out about this cruise was because I have been a long time fan of the show the biggest loser. NEVER, until Season 11 did I really care or feel any sort of connection with anyone from that show. However there was this one particular contestant in Season 11 that I admired. Her story, her attitude and her outlook on life was simply inspirational. Before she got onto the biggest loser she, herself, lost 100 pounds. Her smile light up the room and I thought, I could be friends with this girl. And Holy crap, if she can push herself at the gym… why can’t I! Her, and her super cool mom were my favorite. Well, I started following Courtney on Facebook and her posts keep me positive on a regular basis. When I found out she was going to be on this cruise I started to round up someone to go with. Luckily I have cool people in my life who want to spend a week on a boat with me :). So, had it not been for Courtney I wouldn’t have found out about this trip to begin with. Anyways… this is getting long already. I would probably write a short novel about all the things that I learned but from here on how I am going to go Listy. So in short.. these are some of my fitness cruise takeaways:

  1. From the moment I stepped into this group of people I felt worthy and I felt like I belonged. NO ONE cared that I had gained some weight and that was AWESOME. They were there to support me and encourage me. I will never forget!

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  1. Be yourself. This goes back to Courtney. You know, you can be ANYTHING you want to be on social media. Courtney is exactly the same as she is online, in person. She is Genuine. It reminded ME to be genuine as well. Love ya Courtney!DSCN1957
  2. you just never know whose life you are going to influence. I am sure I have said this before, but it’s worth saying again! This women right here is just as inspirational as her daughter. I won’t ever forget your encouragement and your attitude Marci! And of course Kevin too. You guys are so much fun and I wish we lived closer!

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3. Fitness and healthy living takes a team. A tribe. A support system! I am  GRATEFUL for mine little circle, but sometimes I don’t let them in on the struggle or know how they can be supportive, but I know they are ALWAYS there. These two are a great example of how you can keep each other going. The winners of season 11. Well the winner and the runner up…but they are ALL winners in my book. Sisters. Such a bond and make me appreciate even more so the bond that I have with my sisters. I am so glad I got to know these girls. They truly are an inspiration. Even years after the show, staying the course and being so dedicated to being the person that they know they are. PS. I now want to go on another trip to NYC and take a Soul Cycle class with Olivia. Love you ladies!

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4. I wish i had a picture to go with this one… but i don’t. I met this girl named “Murn” who taught me a few things.

  • follow your dreams.
  • it’s NEVER to late to become what you might have been in life.
  • you Do you. Don’t care about what other people are doing. You do… YOU
  • Every day is CHOOSE day. It doesn’t matter what day it is. it’s ALWAYS choose day. you get to choose your attitude and create the outcome of your day.
  • Yoga: you can’t do it wrong and you can’t do it right.
  • If you aren’t checking yourself out, how do you expect anyone else too
  • it’s important to breathe
  • yoga isn’t as boring as i thought it would be

5. Do something you might be scared to do. I wanted to Swim out to this infateable playground in Cozumel, but it was a hard swim and then there was this REALLY tall slide that I wasn’t sure I Could get to the top and if I did i would be terrified up there. Well I did it and it was totally worth it.

 

6. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN. Wait, did I yell that one? Full disclosure I am still working on this one. But here is what I learned from an entire week of not having my cell phone. I use it TOO MUCH. It wastes a lot of my time. I am missing out on a ton of my life by staring at my dumb phone. I am missing opportunities to connect with people. I use it to prevent myself to have to deal with the real world. It’s killing my relationships. And why?!?! Seriously. There was question whether I would be able to go a week without Facebook but it was SO FREEING! I am not kidding you! I still haven’t figured out how to totally incorporate this into my regular life, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it. I have tried to be more conscience about actually being in the moment when I am with people. It’s such a habit… baby steps.

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7. speaking of that. Be in the Moment was another. Just enjoy what you are doing now. Don’t worry about what’s next or what you should be doing or what ever. Be in the moment.

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8. Don’t judge people. Someone who looks unhealthy quite possibly works really hard and is really  very much healthy. We all don’t have the same standard. People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. And all these people INSPIRE me! A community, A family… that I will not soon forget! Don’t forget to encourage those around you!

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9. Don’t let other people define you. Don’t let your past define you.

10. You are stronger than you think you are. Do something that you don’t think is possible. and Be freakin’ Proud of yourself!

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Sometimes is’s fun to get a little fancy

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Also I would like to report that since I got back that I have been on track and my pants are looser. Truth be told, I have increased my workouts (kinda) and sorta started making better choices… but I am inspired and I haven’t totally given up on the whole healthy eating thing and that progress. I can’t tell you the last time I had onion rings OR a cupcake… soooooo. eventually the pants will fit again. But for now I am proud. I am worthy. I am ME and I am happy. I will keep running and making good choices, and someday I will be in smaller pants.

Thanks for letting me share this incredible journey on the Carnival Vista with you all.

and now… it’s time for my run!

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Scrap camp 2015

Just wanted to write a little blog about scrap camp. I get a lot of crap for going on a scrap booking retreat but I don’t care. I love being crafty and putting my bazillions of dollars worth of scrapbook stuff to good use. Here is what happened this weekend however. I failed. In more ways then one. I failed at being prepared and organized. I forgot super important things at home. I failed at making good food choices… My social butterflyism got in the way of even pretending to be productive . I failed at scrap camp. But it just proves a few things. I guess I am a human being… And I am not perfect. The good news is you don’t have to be prefect to have a good time. I slept it. I took naps. I went for a walk one day and a run the next. The good news is that weekends like this don’t define me. I am back on track starting… Well… Let’s be honest… Probably tomorrow. The intention of this weekend was to make scrapbook pages about running… Well I did a few. And I will share them here. Hope you enjoy the digital journey through my lack of scrap camp productivity. Ps. One thing I did NOT fail at was running 100 miles in Janurary. Nailed it! 103.5 miles to be exact! 568.5 miles left to run in 2015. Totally got this! Will keep you posted!

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The little pull tab, pulls out my January run calendar. Awesome!

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There you have it! That’s pathetic compared to what I know I can do… But it was fun. So that’s a win! Until next time… Make it a great day!

What have I gotten myself into?!?!

Soooo. I should be sleeping but am currently too excited to sleep. Well that might be a little over dramatic… But I do kind of feel like a rock star… So I felt like writing a quick update. As I have previously stated my goal this month is to run 100 miles. Well… I’m proud to say that on the 6th of the month I am at….

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Yup. Rocking it! 25 miles in 6 days! And having so much fun doing it. Apparently I needed this challenge. However… My friend Celeste some how conned me into this crazy 2015 in 2015 challenge. Between her and her husband and I we will run a total of 2015 miles this year. Talk about 20-fit-teen! It’s a lot. Like 672 miles per person or something…. But I’m chipping away at it one mile at a time. Will write more about that soon…
In other news I weighed in today… Let’s just say I don’t really wanna talk about it. Lol. I know if I could like…uh… Make good food choices maybe…. It might be better. I’ll figure it out eventually. I tend to go through streaks where my eating is right on… And my activity isn’t. And then it flops. Well…. If I could only do both the eating well and the working out thing at the same time… Wait. I can! And I will… And when I do. I will be unstoppable! It will happen. Not today. I didn’t so much do great today food wise. Gotta get the boredom/ emotional eating under control. Just gotta stop and think before I eat… Which I don’t always do. No worries though… I got this! I’ll be right back to where I wanna be in no time. Meanwhile I am going to keep on running. That is all! Until next time…. Be well!

A picture is worth a thousand words…

I am writing this blog for a couple of reasons… First of all to remind myself how far I have come…. And as a reminder of how I can’t go back. Also, I need to be able to look back on this moment and remember how I felt. Sometimes the feeling gets lost.

First let me be real transparent here… I hardly ever feel real good in my own skin. I think a lot of people struggle with this. I know I am not alone. I tend to struggle to see the good and emphasize the flaws. Imagine that… I’m human 😉 lol.

Well here is what happened…. At this years holiday the theme was red carpet. My usual dress code of jeans and hoodies probably wasn’t going to fly very well. Once a year I do make an exception and wear a dress. I usual do so with some resistance and don’t wear it with much confidence. This year however, I found a dress that I really felt good in. And felt I looked good in. And I think that showed in the dress. I was still awkward when I walked because tennis shoes and dress shoes… Well, just aren’t the same. For the record I will choose tennis shoes any day! Dislike dress shoes A LOT! Okay, back to the photo… What I decided to do was to take the dress photo and compare it to a picture that was taken the year I started my weight loss journey. Remembering back to how it felt to be 81ish lbs heavier. How people looked at me and made comments and comparing that to now. I am without a doubt in the best shape of my life and I feel really good about it. Yes, I still have goals to hit… And am not exactly where I wanna be. However…. I feel healthy and strong and my head is in the game (it isn’t always). I have said it before and I will say it again… It’s a lifestyle. It’s a journey. It is NOT easy..lol but totally worth it…and does NOT happen overnight. Oh, and if I can do it.. So can YOU!

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Some Things I learned in NYC

Just got back from the most magical trip to see New York City at Christmas time. No one does Christmas like New York City!
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My sister Jen and I went to celebrate her golden birthday at the end of December.

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That’s her. With her birthday dessert (that we shared)

As I mentioned before I usually go into a vacation in panic mode. This time I made a clear decision not to panic. The reason behind the panic mode is always food/ lack of exercise related. My pre New York decision was to not freak out. Eat what I want to and not really worry about working out. I was/ am willing to deal with the consequences of these decisions. I decided it was one vacation. I can (actually I already have) get back on track. The same can be said for the holidays. It’s just a few days. If you made good choices most of the time… One holiday or vacation will not derail you. Don’t let them. My head is totally on the game… And I think that is what helped me to not freak out. Also came to the screeching realization once again that when I eat like crap… I feel like crap. I am on day two of my stomach protesting my NYC decisions. So, where my brain was okay with it all… My body isn’t happy with it. Too much cheesecake, French fries, pizza (that was totally worth it!)….

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And the list goes on. One day I had one of those giant soft pretzels for lunch. It’s true. I am sure in each of these situations I coulda made better choices… But I was on vacation mode. I was under the “vacation calories don’t count philosophy” and was perfectly okay with that.

Bottom line. Cut yourself a break. Live a little. Have fun. But get back on track. Can’t be in vacation/ holiday mode forever. I made better choices the last two days and got in two work outs. This is a photo from today’s “little” run…

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The plan was to NOT beat myself up…. But to get back to my normal lifestyle.

We can totally do this. Merry Christmas… Be blessed. And make wise decisions…. Figure out if something is worth spending calories on before you eat it. That’s my holiday challenge for ya. Let me know how it goes. And you don’t have to wait til January 1 to change your life….the time is now!

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I’m the what?!?!

Halloween…. A holiday that’s main focus is candy?!? Yep! For a girl with a huge sweet tooth this holiday comes with a lot of temptation. When I am surrounded by temptation… I am going to be real honest I don’t always handle it very well. And I know this going in….so it leads to a lot of anxiety sometimes. Ask the people that are in my life…. I freak out a tidge. Okay. So there is a Halloween party at my dad’s house every year. This year was no different. And yes I was anxious. Last year, as I have mentioned, I was 3 lbs from my tattoo weight. (Which i have since hit and am working real hard to not screw it up) last year I remember leaving feeling sick to my stomach from the candy and stuff. And not just last year but every year bacially… It’s what I do. Correction: it’s what I have done in the past.

Here is a picture if the candy table…. And I didn’t even take a picture of the desserts… Cookies, cake, cheese cake…. You know. A table full!!!

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Wait I gotta back up. So last weeks weight watchers topic was called you version 2.0. Becoming the you…. You want to be. I want to be someone who doesn’t have anxiety over something that should just be fun… But I wasn’t sure how to pull that off. So, I was freaking out to a friend about the temptations and his response was real simple ‘you’re the boss” is what he told me. I just laughed and said “have you met me?!?!” He reminded me that the chocolate is NOT the boss… I am. Well fast forward to prepping this weeks meeting…. Reading through the material I come across a simple 3 word sentence “you’re the boss”…. Huh. Funny. I feel like I have heard that before. So I promptly told him to stop writing the weight watchers material and to get out of my head. Well… Funny thing…. I actually started to believe that I am the boss. And turns out I won! I left the party having elated ZERO pieces of candy. I had one desert but I accounted for that. Funny thing… I actually lost weight at my Tuesday morning weigh in! Today’s weight was the lowest weight I have been EVER!!! Check it out. I do got this and I AM THE BOSS. Wanna here a secret….. So are YOU!!! Let’s not let the food define us. Sure have a treat… Indulge here and there… But don’t forget who the boss is!

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Mirror… Mirror… On the wall….

Question: what do you see when you look in the mirror?!?! Something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I don’t particularly care for them. I used to avoid the weight room at the gym because of mirrors. Why?!?! Well because when I look in the mirror I see me. All my flaws, imperfections, failures, mistakes and short comings. However recently I have tried looking at myself as other people see me. Full of will power and strength. Someone who is strong and has come a long way. I was told recently that I have no body fat. It made me giggle… Because I still have way more than I would like…. However it made me realize that others tend to see the best in us. I still struggle on a regular basis with accepting a compliment. This is an area I need to work on… I know. Here is another thing… Other people tend to believe that we can face temptation and overcome it victoriously! Why don’t we look at ourselves with love and kindness!?! Talk to ourselves like we would talk to a friend? Build ourselves up… Instead of tear ourselves down?!?! Negative self talk… And not loving ourselves isn’t helpful. You are worth loving. I am worth it. There I said it 😉 let’s not be our biggest obstacle… And a wise friend told me the other day to “not best myself up because life can do that on its own… It doesn’t need help.” Stay strong.., stay the course and make good choices. And let’s work on loving what we see in the mirror!

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Ps. Happy Halloween! This is just how cool I am… Gotta love a day when you can rock a tutu!

I am sure I have more to say but I might be on a sugar high (oops, about those good choices) ….And I might be slightly ADHD 😉