Summer of Fun

 

As I was looking at Facebook and going through some of my pictures I couldn’t help but smile. As a mother of active teenagers and then the wife of a game designer I am always busy. Running here… taking kids there… then adding in the normal stuff that every household has to deal with: groceries, dinner, cleaning, WORKING… but this summer, this summer was a little different. I took time to do things for me, and let me tell you, I loved it. Not only did I love it, but truly, I needed it.

When I started the journey of #becomingabetterme, I had to start out by figuring who and what I wanted to be. Sure, I wanted to weigh less, I wanted to be healthier, I wanted to be nicer, but honestly, I wanted to be happier.

That was where I had a problem. I have never really been in a place that allowed me enough time to stop and figure out what is that made me happy. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom and a wife makes me happy, but I needed to know what made HEATHER happy. What HEATHER wanted out of life. This summer has given me a glimpse of all of that.

This summer started off with my Journey concert at the track. Then Def Leppard/REO Speedwagon/Tesla at Klipsch. Then two concerts in one weekend Chris Young/Brad Paisley followed the next night by Gwen Stefani. Then last concert of my summer was Rob Thomas/Counting Crows all at Klipsch as well. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but music is a big part of my life and to get to see some of my faves belt out their songs live, well, that is epitome of happy in my book.

Let us not forget my birthday extravaganza… I realize my birthday was a singular day, but as a lover of my special day, I tend to drag it out for at least the month.

Now only was the summer music packed but (as always) we added Gen Con to the mix. (Did I mention I am a huge nerd?) Four days of nothing but gaming… the “four best day of gaming” to be exact. Never a dull moment there. Not only did I spend a lot of brain power winning over half of the games I played, but I got to enjoy the cosplayers in their personalized versions of pop culture, comic, or game character costumes.

To round out the summer, there was a Housing Conference in Detroit I got the privilege of attending. For those who do not know, my job is all rules and regulations and compliance and structure… and I love it. My part of the conference was learning more rules and how to figure  cash flow and net operating income (blah blah blah, right… wrong. I LOVE IT!). Yes, it was mind melting, but I love learning how to do my job better.

Needless to say, in a matter of three short months I squeezed in a lot of play time. Which by extension was time practicing being a better me.

Before I sat down to write this, when I was looking at my pictures I started to get a little down on myself. I ran no real races (yes I have done a couple of virtual 5ks, but no real ones), I haven’t been with Mr T (my trainer) since the beginning of May, and there really hasn’t been a week where I have gone to the gym more than two times, where I was going three to four times each week… but then I looked at what I had done.

I spent time with friends, I walked miles upon miles without flinching, I made my brain stronger, and even taught the noob gamers a thing or two ; ) I enjoyed myself and still did what I needed to do to figure out that I am more than a mom or a wife… I am a person and the happier I am, the more productive I can be!

Once I got past all of that, I also realized that I did put in some serious gym time, and even managed to keep my weight right where I left off in May!

I can honestly say, with the kids back in school and the summer winding down I am looking forward to seeing what comes next!

 

 

 

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I Can’t Unsee That

A good friend and I were having a nice conversation today. We talk daily, so we are always sharing things we have seen. Somewhere in our conversation he pops off with a “Hey, did you see the article about the Playboy Playmate body shaming a woman at the gym?”  I had not seen or heard about it, so he sent me the link. Before I read it, I was a little annoyed, thinking that someone was getting shamed AT THE GYM, stupid – but then, I read the article. I WAS LIVID!

(To start I will say it was posted on TMZ, so feel free to give it a read for yourself)

The long and short of the story is this Playmate, Dani Mathers, is at the gym, in the “locker room” and took a picture of a naked gym goer taking a shower and body shaming her on social media. Her Mean Girl antics have got her into some seriously hot water (and I personally vote for jail time), but the kicker is her public apology that basically said, “I am not sorry I am a b*tch and meant what I said, I am sorry I got caught saying it out loud!”

After talking telling my friend I read the article, and finished practicing my swear words, we changed the tone of the chatter. We talked about the big what if…

What if that were me??  I have been going to the gym for about two(ish) years now, and am past the initial ‘everyone is watching me’ feeling that I had at the beginning of my visits… but what if I wasn’t… what if someone actually shamed me in my first visit… WHERE WOULD I BE??

The answer to that is sadly simple, I would be exactly where I was two plus years ago, unhappy, overweight, and unhealthy. Those thoughts alone make me tear up. More than that, I would not be where I am. I know that sounds like a “duh” statement, but there is so much involved in that. I would not have met my new friends (and family) on my Cornfed team. I would not have had enough self confidence to go on adventures without a responsible adult to be my security blanket. I would never had the belief in myself to finish – not one, but tw0 – Spartan races. I would not have been able to better myself enough to become a trusted and respected coworker to my team. Above and beyond all of these things, I would not have found myself. Yes, I found me. I am now the person I knew I could be… or at least am pointed in the direction of becoming that better person I am striving to be.

It scares me to think I would lose my sanctuary. I use the gym as my outlet for daily stress, I go and walk my negative thoughts away, I lift away the ugliness that I see going on in the world, and come out stronger and lighter. I need that.

What Dani Mathers did to that poor woman is the lowest of low, and I only hope that it does not turn her off from #becomingabetterher … and take away whatever it is that the gym does for her. I hope that she has the inner strength to give Dani the middle finger and go right back to doing her thang, and doing it her way!

When I thought about writing this post I was so mad, I was worried that I would just use this as a rant, and I finish up (I am still mad, don’t think for a second I am not) it shows me how lucky I am to go to a gym where everyone is friendly. Thank you for being awesome, AnyTime.

Keep it classy, Dani Mathers… hope orange is your new black!

Making the Day Count and Getting Redemption

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I have heard that on the days you don’t want to go to the gym, those are the days you get the most out of it. I could not agree more.

Allow me to recap my last 20ish hours for you…

I went to bed about 11:30pm, which is not out of the norm for me, but at 2am I was WIDE awake. No amount of counting sheep made my eye lids heavy, and it wasn’t until after 3am that I last looked at the clock. Needless to say, it was a somewhat rough night. When my alarm went off at 7:15, I soooo badly wanted to hit snooze and roll back over, but since it was the hubs day off, I decided I would drag my tail feathers to the kitchen to start coffee so I didn’t wake him. I managed to get a half cup drank and look fairly presentable to head off to work. Really just facing the world with one eye open.

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First coworker gift. Thanks Drew!

I got to work and on my desk was a wonderful gift from a coworker. I really was humbled by this, and so heart warmed to know how my coworkers think of me. (the lil note in the top was his way of telling me who it was from as he refers to himself as the #1 and I play the role of his #2… just a side note and a little office humor)

 

The day drug on and I was losing more steam until, another coworker came in with something for me as well! It was like Christmas in the office for me! I love this gang, but it wasn’t until today that I realized they love me back. Silly, I know, but it is nice to go to work and enjoy the job as well as the people!

In a 3:30 meeting with the boss I informed him that I had to leave at 4:30 to get to the trainer at 5… he was very understanding and we hurried the meeting along, but the closer it got to time to change into my gym clothes and leave the less I was feeling it. Like a true leader he reminded me that I am not the kind of person to back out of a commitment, that I have already come so far, and of course the “you got this” just for good measure. I begrudgingly agreed and left.

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second coworker gift. Thanks Lisa!

 

As I walked into the gym Mr Trainer was there and it hit me… It was time to give back so when he asked me how I felt I was honest:

Me: I am a little tired, but I was thinking…

Mr T: Oh no, what were you thinking?

Me: I was thinking I want redemption.

Mr T: Really? How so?

Me: I want to work on my arms again. Just like we were with the bar and the bells the day I had my freak out. Maybe go a little lighter between the two and slow the sets, but I want to do this.

Mr T: well, ok, lets do this!

And we did! We talked through was what working, what wasn’t. We talked about the machines. We talked about the different movements that caused the pains vs what did not. I used this as much as a learning experience as I did a work out. I could tell he felt as good about what we were doing as I did. It is nice to see your trainer happy with your performance! I felt like I redeemed myself and I believe he felt the same.

I started my day with the belief that it was going to be a bad one. Just a crappy day that would lead to a crappy evening… yes, part of my doom and gloom was precoffee, but still, I was not envisioning the wonderful day that I had… I never expected that my coworkers were going to show me love and support the way they did and that just makes me remember why #becomingabetterme came into being. It’s because of people like them and days like these that I will continue to push forward.