Motivational Wordplay

i'mpossible

Motivational image #48.

As an avid reader, I’m a huge fan of word play. As someone who is trying to live life with enthusiasm and vigor, I’m a huge fan of motivation. This image makes me smile.

 

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Get Fit, Win Prizes? Sign Me Up!

I’ve been trying my hardest to take better care of my body this semester. I’ve eaten my fruits and veggies (but more fruits than veggies), sweated my butt off at the gym (literally, my butt looks smaller), and tried to move my body around when I can (my random spurts of dancing help here). But, there’s one tool that really helped me stay focused and on target while trying to shape up, and that’s the website, Fit Campus.

fit campusFit Campus allows you to log which exercises you complete while at school, and then they rewards you in all kinds of ways for committing to at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week. Last year a cruise was given away, just for going to the gym! But there are also all kinds of little prizes as well, and I got a Camelbak water bottle the last time the giveaway was running.

It’s always a struggle to drag myself to the gym, and while I usually succeed, there are some days where it seems darn near impossible to make that 20 minute walk, only to walk around some more. I love knowing that Fit Campus appreciates my effort. Also the whole fantastic prize giveaway doesn’t hurt in terms of my endearment towards them either.

Ran some laps for my 5K? Log those minutes! Met up with friends to look like a fool in Zumba class? Log those minutes! Fell over while trying to do a Yoga pose? Log those minutes and prepare an ice pack!

Confessions of a Cheater

Well…it’s been happening for a while now, I don’t know if I’m in love, I’ve tried to stop, but I still plan on doing it.

That’s right, I’ve been cheating on my blog. I’m still very fond of my Living the Life blog and take great pride in all that I post on here, but when I began my Digital Media and Democracy class, it was required that I write another, better, more poignant and expressive blog. And I did.

healthy foodsIt’s name is Smart Eating: How and Why. Somehow this blog really took off which surprised not just me, but also my group mates who exposed me to this sordid lifestyle. No one expected the attraction we would hold for it, or the positive reactions of others, but love is something you can’t control. And I love finding colorful pictures of food to display, I love thinking of new story lines I want to explore, and I love feeling that I’m actively helping others create a sustainably healthy lifestyle for themselves.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ll post something on Smart Eating every day, thinking of witty story lines and relishing the chance to speak to an active audience. I feel ashamed when I ignore Living the Life, but it needs to know that what I have with Smart Eating is real.

I’m still happy to chronicle my life experiences with LTL, but when I want to speak about health and nutrition, there’s only one blog for me.

5Ks and Freedom

Only a couple hours ago I finished running my first official 5K. It was held by the sororities at the University of Maryland to benefit Yeardly Love and raise awareness of domestic violence. I went with my friend Jackie who is a pro at running and has done multiple 10Ks, she was so supportive and it really helped me focus on the run.

It cost $20 dollars to participate, and it return, I received:

  • A free t-shirt
  • A “one love” bracelet
  • Confidence
  • Aching feet
  • A stronger friendshipIMG_1931
  • The sense of community
  • A cool visor
  • Memories
  • Hope for my future plans
  • The freedom to explore endless possibilities

I can’t believe that I completed something so challenging while only stopping to walk for 3 minutes. I had a final time of 33 minutes, but for my first ever 5K, and in the beginning stages of training for the Baltimore Women’s Classic, I’ll take it!

IMG_1933Also, UMD was so beautiful today! We ran around a lake and I just wanted to stop and take pictures the whole time. Instead, I took this one of the Chapel near where we began our race.

Judgement at the Gym

With the first semester of my Junior year over, I’ve found myself 15 pounds heavier than I should be. (Don’t worry this isn’t going to be a weight-loss blog, I just need to explain a bit more.) I’ve been struggling at the beginning of this year to take charge of my situation and do what needs to be done for the sake of my health. For the past two weeks I’ve been eating better, going to the gym almost regularly, and fighting off nightly temptation. There hasn’t been much difference yet but I know my plan is in its infancy, and I’m still proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Even though I’m not always eating right and consistent exercising is a tough habit for me to start, I’ve always tried to make it to the gym  for their weekly BodyPump class. Everyone grabs a bar with various weights and does weight training and resistance-type exercises to great tracks with songs like Welcome to the Jungle and Summer of ’69. Though I love the music and the sense of accomplishment, mostly, I  just go to socialize with my friends. I have about 4 or 5 good buddies who always join in and laugh along with me when another member of our group is totally out of rhythm or unable to use much weight. And after, we all sit around eating fruit smoothies.

This past Friday, after a rockin’ session of BodyPump, instead of going right for our fruit smoothies, my friends decided it’d be good to head to the weight room and do some ab exercises. Not good. The weight room is full of ripped guys with intense grimaces and torn shirts, drinking protein shakes, talking sports, and other manly stuff. Meanwhile, my stomach is bulging, my shorts are too tight, I already worked my butt off, and the last thing I want to see is a room  full of big, bulgy men who are probably laughing at my body. We find a machine where you sit on an incline and lift yourself up to work your abs. I think people are watching. I don’t want to do it. I’m nervous I won’t be able to lift myself up and people will laugh. I’m scared and uncomfortable.

But, that’s not the worst of it. A few minutes in to our routine (rotating between ourselves) a beefed up guy in a sweaty, dark blue muscle shirt approaches. He briskly asks us when we’ll be done because he has been cycling between machines and needs this one. Right away. We all look at each other, then back at him to politely explain how we are a group who all want to take turns. He huffs and puffs and gets into it about being rude that we are going to monopolize the machine. “Excuse me, the gym is packed, you’ve never encountered the problem of someone using your machine before? With all the steroids you’re on, you can probably stand to miss one rep on this machine. Why don’t you go flex for yourself in the mirror instead?” He left, but kept giving us death stares while on another piece of equipment.

But, once my anger towards the insensitive jerk abated, I felt nervous about using the ab machine. I obviously wasn’t in shape enough to use it (like Muscles McGee), let alone be in the same room with this intimidating equipment.

Isn't this intimidating? But, definitely not enough to cause a scene over...

Isn’t this frightening? But, definitely not worth causing a scene over…

I politely passed on my opportunity to use it, and after confused and slightly concerned looks from my friends, we went to get our smoothies.

Now for reflection time. I feel like I am perfectly comfortable with who I am, but sometimes, when confronted with things I don’t like about myself (my fitness level), I get nervous and upset.  However, this situation should not have merited those feelings. Why did I feel so uncomfortable? Who really cares what I do? There probably wasn’t even anyone noticing me! I need to get out of my head, accept all of myself, and be fearless in the pursuit of being “true to myself”. Largely meaning doing what’s right only for me. Heck, I’m the girl who took pictures of the artwork in the lobby! I’ve been trying my best to be healthy! And it’s just a stupid machine! While I may have failed in the moment, looking back on the experience has shown me that I really shouldn’t care about my weight, fitness level, or bulked up gym comrades. All that matters is how I perceive myself, and the rest of the world can readjust itself to suit my perceptions.

IMG_1783 I know, I’m basically a rock star.