2014: Looking to the Future

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Source: Truefunny.com

Every year is an opportunity to start over again.  I know it sounds corny but it’s true.  Does it happen throughout the year?  Of course.  But the start of a new year is a great time to go big.  To dream big.  That’s what I always do and that’s what I am going to continue to do.

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in 2014.

  1. Learn to DJ – This might look familiar.  2013 was pretty crazy.  So much so that I really didn’t have the motivation to learn a new skill.  I’m passionate to find something I am passionate about – so as the search continues, my dabbling in activities continues.  I’m going to make it happen.
  2. Do something about my less desired tattoos – I was fortunate enough to get an amazing tattoo by DJ Tambe late in 2013.  His work has made me realize how shitty my other tattoos are and I need to do something about it.  Perhaps removal or lightening and coverups are in order.  I have all year to figure it out.
  3. Read more – It’s nice to be unplugged (even though I’m reading on my Nook) and take the time to enjoy the quiet and the story.  I like to read while taking a bath so it’s increased my relaxation time tremendously.  I’d like to keep that going!
  4. Compete in the figure division – I have been with a bodybuilding team since June and I have actually done more damage to my body than good.  Yup.  I’ve packed on at least 10-15lbs and binged on not-so-good foods.  It’s time to get serious.  It’s not just a goal, it’s a lifestyle and I need to remember that food can do some real damage to my health.
  5. Go on vacation – I planned a trip in 2013 so I need to make it happen in 2014.  Malta, Finland, and Germany – here I come!
  6. Make a living doing what I LOVE – This one is going to be tough and probably won’t happen over the span of a year but it doesn’t mean I can’t get started.  I’ve come to realize that I want different things out of life and that my definition of success has changed, quite dramatically, over the past few years.  Another post to come on this subject.  I feel so enlightened!
  7. Learn to play the piano – Yup, I’m gonna try again.  Two big new skill things on my list this year but I LOVE music.  I NEED to make this a reality!  This is my goal.
  8. Be comfortable in my body – This kinda goes hand-on-hand with item #4.  Since I’ve gone off of the deep end (nutritionally and physically) I don’t love my body.  I want to feel confident, comfortable, and sexy in my own skin.  I gotta put in the work.
  9. Spend more quality time & have a better relationship with Eric and the cats – Often I find myself doing other things while they’re around.  Sure, we are together, but we aren’t really together.  I’m hoping #5 and #6 can help with that.
  10. Be bold – When I was younger I had more confidence.  I was still difficult to get to know, but I wasn’t really shy.  Now I am very shy and very much an introvert.  I feel like I miss out on opportunities because of this and I’m tired of it.  I just watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this past weekend.  In the movie Walter is shy and quiet, but imagines these grand scenarios of what he would want to happen, or say in his head.  I want to do and say those things.  No more daydreaming.
  11. Do more of what I want and less of what I don’t want – Sounds simple enough, right?  I’m tired of doing things I don’t want to do because I feel like I have to do them.  I’m going to do things because I want to do them and because they light a fire in me.
  12. Make more memories – I want to live my life to the fullest.  More adventures, more quality time, more meaning.

I think this is a good starting point for now.  What are YOUR goals for 2014?

How Do You Know?

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I am up and down.

If you recall from my post last week so I was super excited and very motivated.  I was ready to get in the gym, get my shit together, and get my life back on track.  Today I feel like shit.  I am sure you have days like this too, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am still super grateful for the opportunities the Air National Guard has presented me, it’s just the other stuff.  Long story short, my workout buddy canceled on me the first day we were supposed to train and then never mentioned it again.  A few days later I went to the gym and she was there working out with someone.  Oh well.  I guess it was too good to be true.  I know people say you need to rely on yourself for motivation, and I wholeheartedly agree, you do.  I do.  It just makes it easier to have someone else to help out in that department.

Moving on to what I really want to talk about though.  How do you know you are doing what you were meant to do in life?  This morning I was chatting with a co-worker of mine, one of the very few human interactions I have during my workday, and initially we were talking about work but then the conversation shifted to funny and once again to depressing.

She was telling me about a reality show called “Best Funeral Ever” and a crazy epidosde about a guy who loved candy and had passed away.  His pastor gave the service dressed in a gingerbread costume and his casket was covered in chocolate and the family members came and ate chocolate off of the casket.  No joke – see for yourself.  Anyway, then we started talking about serious death stuff.  And life.  And purpose.  And it made me wonder…  When I am going to be where I want to be in life?  When I am going to do what I was meant to do?  When I am going to feel like I arrived?

How do you know?

It’s So Amazing…

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As we speak, I am sitting in my Air National Guard office having lunch.  I am here on orders and will be over the next year.  Not only that, but I have a shiny new 1Lt bar waiting for and I’ll be putting that bad boy on next month.  If that wasn’t amazing enough, I just found out that another girl here is starting her journey to be a figure competitor too – now I have a workout buddy!  Sometimes things just happen.  I can’t help but look at how I got to where I am today.  It’s been a journey full of twists and turns.

In September 2012, Eric landed a new job with AT&T.  We knew he would be relocated, and it was never our plan to have me stay active duty for 20 years, so while he was away in training I was planning for my separation.  I decided to transition to the Air Force Reserves.  With 11 years of active duty I figured I might as well put in the work to make it 20 and get my retirement.  I contacted the in-service recruiter while we were still living in Florida and to make a long story short, he dropped the ball.

Fast forward to March 2013.  We just found out we were being relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah and the in-service recruiter still had nothing for me.  Eric and I packed up our house and two kitties and made the long trek across the country.  While in Utah I called and emailed the in-service recruiter.  Nothing.  I decided to call the Air National Guard.  I was in touch with a recruiter that day and he told me the medical group had an opening for a training manager.  Just what I wanted.  We processed my paperwork and I seamlessly transitioned from active duty to the guard.

Let’s go ahead and jump to July/August 2013 now.  I secured a full-time position with a contact center 50 miles from the house.  The job paid well and my co-workers were pretty awesome.  Meanwhile, the position of a lifetime opened up in my guard unit;  there was a vacancy for a Medical Service Corps (MSC) officer.  I put my package together, interviewed, and was selected to move forward for approval from National Guard Bureau.  They would have the ultimate say.

In October 2013 I took my GRE (which was part of the selection package for National Guard Bureau) and while waiting for the results, my commander called me and asked me if I would be interested in a full-time 1-year position with my new rank.  I happily agreed.  On November 23rd I received notification that my commission was approved and on December 2nd I started working at my unit full-time.

So here I am.  I am on military leave from my civilian job and while I love my co-workers, I just could not pass this opportunity up.  I am commissioning in January and will be starting my new career as a medical readiness officer.  I found out that someone else here had the same training goal as I do and now we can keep each other motivated.  And it’s all because things just fell into place.

It’s so amazing.

 

WANTED: Utah Gym Partner/Friend

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Desperate?  I know.  I should be able to do this alone.  Right now, I can’t.  Someone isn’t always going to be there to hold me accountable.  Right now, I need someone to.

Research shows that 80 percent of people believe they’re more likely to fit in workouts and stick to their routines if they partner up. Even better, a study from the University of Pittsburgh reports that women who exercised with a pal lost a third more weight than those who hit the gym solo.

That fun fact is from Kristen Dold’s article Fun Workout: Team Up.  I have always been a pretty independent person.  I think that has made me into the self-sufficient person that I am and I like that, but it comes with its disadvantages too.  Moving around and never really settling has made it hard to make and maintain friends.  The good friends I do have live hundreds and thousands of miles away.  Kinda makes it difficult to get together and do things.  I wish I had a good friend here who I could rely on.  We could go to the gym together and hold each other accountable.  Do fun shit.  You know, things most people do when they’ve lived around the same people their entire lives.

Maybe one day.

STRONG Fitness Bootcamp Day 2

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Today I woke up around 6AM and headed down to the hotel lobby for some “grab and go” food.  While I ate breakfast I watched the news and just reflected on how amazing last night was.  Afterwards, I hopped in the shower after and got myself ready for the day.  Last night we were given STRONG Fitness tank tops and I have to say, I was very self-conscious about showing my flabby arms and armpit fat bubbles in it.  To keep myself calm I looked in the mirror and reminded myself that once upon a time these women were once where I was.

I was at the gym and ready to go by 8AM.  Everyone started to trickle in and after a while we finally kicked off the day.  Everyone was looking super fit and fashionable in their fitness attire – I don’t get it.  How come these ladies look like they just walked off of the page of a fitness magazine?  I look like I just woke up after a heavy night of drinking and put clothes on.  Story of my life I guess.  So, back to the important stuff…  We kicked off the day with a warm-up routine led by Jessie Hilgenberg and let me tell you – I would have been content with that alone.  It was a brutal routine but maybe that’s because I am not in the best shape.  After the alleged “warm-up” we did a circuit.  The circuit was brutal too but it was a bad ass workout.  I have to say, it was the first time I had ever worked out with those crazy large ropes and that crap was super hard.  At the end of the minute with them my legs were twitching uncontrollably – it was pretty sad.  I am up for the challenge though – I want to see if I can get better at it.   I don’t know how everyone else felt but after one round of the circuit was done I was done.

After grabbing some water and snacks, we gathered in a circle and sat on gym mats, benches, and exercise balls.  Jessie had an NLA Stack to give away so she thought a clever thing to do would be to make a competition out of our introductions.  We had to stand up front and introduce ourselves to the group while moving one of these around the entire time.  Surprisingly, it was easier than I thought it was going to be and she thought it was going to be.  A lot of us were moving on to the finals.  I never got to find out who won the stack.  Lucky them though.  That stuff is yummy!  After the introductions, Tiffani Bacchus and Jessie sat down with us and we started talking about nutrition – mainly what our struggles were.  At that point things changed.

The first few girls, including myself, shared brief stories about fitness and struggles with food, but slowly the stories got bigger and the girls shared more.  It was a pretty emotional time, I think I cried listening to every other person, but I have to tell you, I learned so much from those women.  It was amazing to hear how even these super fit, accomplished women had the same struggles with their bodies and food as I did.

We took a break and headed to Whole Foods for lunch – I finally popped my cherry.  Oh. My. God.  That place is amazing.  I raided the hot bar and ate things that I wasn’t even sure of.  It was pretty amazing and all in all I was feeling pretty STRONG.

With just three hours left, we headed back to the gym and wrapped up the girls’ stories and nutrition talk with Jessie and before we even realized it, it was almost time to end the second day.  Jessie finished off the day showing us how to do a few exercises and then we headed back to our rooms to get ready for dinner.

Amy, one of the other camp girls was staying at the same hotel, so we met up and drove to the dinner together.  It was pretty nice chatting with her – she was the only other girl who had not competed before so we had something in common.  She was also super buff and just liked to work out.  Something we did not have in common, hahaha…  Dinner was at a trendy place called True Food Kitchen.  The menu was so much fun and as much as I wanted to order a big old margarita pizza I refrained, and instead ordered some hummus and a Mediterranean salad with grilled chicken.  Both were pretty amazing.  Dinner was great because it was the first time I really got to speak to Jessie.  I’m pretty shy and reserved around new people and it takes a while for me to open up.  We talked about how hopeless we are at cooking and food prep (so glad it’s not just me!), and one of the other amazing girls, Trish, actually opened her home to me and told me if I was ever interested, she would teach me how to cook!  How amazing is that?!  I did walk away from that conversation with some new shredded crock pot chicken skills – thanks Trish!

At the end of the day I felt two things.  Extremely grateful and sore. :)

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Circuit (each for 1 minute):
Prowler push (alternating with partner while partner does high knees next to you)
Double slam battle ropes/alternating wave battle ropes
One-leg bench squat (each leg for 30 seconds)
Renegade burpee
Push-up with front raise
Rear lateral raise then row
Plyo tire box jump/squats (start from inside of the tire – jump up with feet landing on either side into a squat)

STRONG Fitness Bootcamp Day 1

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I was originally signed up to be runner number 12 in the Las Vegas Ragnar this weekeend, but I withdrew to participate in the first ever STRONG Fitness bootcamp hosted by STRONG Fitness Magzine in Phoenix, AZ instead.

I left Salt Lake at 1:35pm and arrived in hot Phoenix at 3pm. After getting my rental car, I made it to the hotel by 5pm. I relaxed for a bit and got myself ready for the meet and greet with the group at 6pm. As usual, I felt a little awkward since I’m pretty sure I was the only person there who didn’t know anyone, but everyone was super friendly and talkative. We met at a place called Stingray Suhsi and it reminded me of Buckhead. I had a great time and have already met some amazing people with truly amazing stories and impressive backgrounds. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the weekend has in store. This was definitely the right choice.

I Has a Problem

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So…remember my awesome post about putting myself out there and doing the work 2 or 3 weeks ago?  Guess where I’m at?  The same. exact. place.  Ughh.  What is wrong with me?  I get motivated, swear to myself that I’ll get through it and stay committed this time and then – FAIL!  I do good during the day and get home and binge.  Just shove my stupid mouth full of all kinds of bad food.  Skip the gym and tell myself I’ll make it up the next day.  I’m so disappointed in myself but I don’t really know how to fix it.  My hubby tells me I must not want it that bad.  But I do.  But I guess my actions say I don’t.

I realized the other day that I am someone I don’t really like.  I thought that would light a fire under my ass, but it didn’t.  In an effort to get my shit together I have pulled out of Ragnar Las Vegas (goodbye double medal) and registered for a boot camp in Phoenix, AZ hosted by another one of my fitness role models, Jessie Hilgenberg.

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I am excited about it.  I just need to get my ass in gear so I don’t look like a complete, unfit fool before I show up.  STRONG Fitness Magazine is also starting up and they will be there shooting images at the camp and they are always looking for people for their mag.  I can dream, right?

Anyway, I got my new plan from Team Bombshell so on Monday I’ll be back at it.  Let’s hope I can get my priorities straight and actually make it through.  Here it is.  I’m going to stay committed for a whole week.  Small goals, right?