Breathless at Warmup


So dear friends of this Fit Fat Girl, it has been about 8 weeks since my official return to the workout world.  Many of you have requested updates and so we begin with being breathless…

Early September, oh those first few weeks were pretty rough.  Arriving at ITS Bootcamp daily, ready and willing with strong mind and body.  Yoga mat prepared for my favorite part of bootcamp, the cool down.  Yes, I am that girl.

Cue the loud throbbing music.  Push ups? No problem! Jumping jacks? Yeah! Calf raises? Feels good!  Full body extensions? I’m on it!  Yesssss, I’m in the zone, champion bootcamper, totally slaying this and that’s when I hear my instructor Krista yell “Ok! Let’s get started!”. Ummm, whaaaaaat?!  Let’s get started? I’m killing it here and she’s suggesting THAT was just the warmup??!!  Oh boy, it’s going to be a long hard road back to wellness.

So often we get hung up on big measurable like the scale or measuring tape.  I avoided those like the plague since I wouldn’t be seeing changes worth shouting out on Facebook.   Over the next few weeks the smallest gains started to appear and those are what I took note of.  No longer breathless running up the stairs at home, unloading a $700 Costco grocery shop didn’t have me crying for a nap, the mutts started getting walkies every day, sleeping more soundly, clothes fitting a little looser and plank time goes from 20 seconds, to 30 seconds, to 40 seconds and then holding for a glorious minute of full on tremoring muscles, but it’s happening.  Baby steps were happening and I have to say that those are perhaps the most hard won.

By week 4, I had quad muscles showing up ready to do what quads are supposed to do.  This meant at week 6 brought the happy day I skipped putting on that clunky, hinged, velcro tangle monstrosity of an aircast.  Yes, FFG folks, that’s it…the BIG update, the monumentous victory after 8 weeks devoted to getting strong, was as simple as taking off the knee brace.  It’s victory in the small battles that will eventually win the war.  So whether you are 5 pounds away from your goal or hauling around 150 extra pounds, we need to acknowledge and celebrate our successes.  Even if it means feeling like a champ for just getting dressed in our work out gear and tying up those runners.  You will get there, you will get strong and you will remember that strength doesn’t come from thing you already can do, it comes from being victorious doing the things you thought you couldn’t ever achieve, even if it leaves you breathless.

A big shout out to the lasses as ITS Fitness, Krista Kot, Shasta Wick and Sonia Machado for making my workouts a safe place to reach for my best no matter how deep I have to dig.

Until next time, Yours in the battle

The Fit Fat Girl on Fire…


A Letter to myself on the eve of returning to Bootcamp…

Peel back the layers

Dear Me,

It’s been 7 months since you’ve donned that workout gear and headed bravely into Bootcamp.  Only one more sleep until you go back, only this time you’ll be sporting a clunky hinged knee brace.  This will guarantee to make you feel even more ungraceful and foreign in a class of athletic girls.  Sorry about that self.  Your bones are getting older and there’s only so much torque you can put on a leg.

Tonight you will gather that old familiar outfit, pull out those runners and head to bed early so you can face tomorrow’s reality rested.  You’ve been in this moment many times before.  Recommitting to getting healthier.  What makes you think this time will be any different?  Well, this time you are scared, scared to death.  Things have gotten way out of hand on the scale and in your closet.  Sure, you can try and blame the fractured leg for inactivity, but that was 7 months ago!  Get over it.  That’s like saying you are carrying baby weight when the baby is already 9 years old!

So self…What are you afraid of?  That you’re too young to feel this old? That you’ve started avoiding certain activities with the kids cause you can’t keep up?  That event the ‘fat’ clothes in your closet are snug? Maybe it’s because no matter how seductive the candlelight might make things look, you don’t feel sexy anymore? Or are you mostly scared because your body isn’t working for you in life…your body has become the enemy? When you move your body, you lose your breath.  This is situation CRITICAL.

A year ago you could have called yourself a Fit Fat Girl.  Run up a couple flights of stairs? No problem.  Play soccer with the kid?  No problem.  Do burpees? Challenging, but no problem.  Walk the dogs? Definitely, no problem.  So what’s the issue here?

Dig deep here girl…You know what it is.  There is a dark enemy trying to defeat you.  It is vicious, it is all consuming, it is relentless and it’s judgement is severe and harsh.  Society does a great job shaming women for their looks, but critic is the most dangerous one of all.

The enemy is the inner voice that you are hearing right now.   It’s you.

Tommorrow morning you will rise, you put on your armour and gather the strength to slay your worst enemy.

You’ve got this.

Love from me, The Fit Fat Girl.

The UPside to being down…

My, my, my!  My efforts of getting back on the road to wellness fell flat, literally!  A couple weeks ago disaster struck by way of an epic wipeout while at agility class for Angus, the puppy.  As a thought maybe they should offer a pre-requisite Agility For Owners class?   After I regained consciousness I instantly knew this was a sinister version of your average recreational sporting injury.   Multiple fractures and torn ligaments in my left leg has me sporting a full meal deal air cast contraption.   Now before I go any further I need to tip my hat to all those who are challenged with health and mobility restrictions. I have been humbled greatly and reminded to value my health more.  It’s very true that sometimes a person cannot deeply appreciate what they have until it is gone.

So now for my answer, what’s the upside to being down?  Read on Friends of Fit Fat Girl…

The first ‘upside’ was through the eyes of my kids.  The Ortho Doc lined up a handicap parking permit.  There was fist pumping and cheers when the offspring determined they were being gifted instant VIP celebrity status, front of the line parking whenever they are out with Mom.  Reality hit them hard when they realized this also meant wrestling the wheelchair in and out of the family vehicle AND pushing Mom wherever she wanted to go.

On a serious note, those first few weeks were very, very tough.  Severe and constant pain.  You know the kind of pain that makes the blood drain from your face and stars appear?  I found myself getting really down about my limitations.  My subconcious was inviting me to a daily raging pity party about the unfair derailment in my life. BUT then I noticed something very interesting happening AND it had everything to with being a Fit Fat Girl!  It dawned on me that I could use my disadvantage TO my advantage!  We all know the science behind muscle, the more weight lifted or reps you do, the more your physique responds.  Well this FFG is pulling around her weight and getting quite the set of pipes as a result.  For example, allow me to introduce the ButtScooch Stairclimber.  This is a better than any set of gymbench Tricep dips or Gluteus Bun Burners! Next on the workout is the WalkerShuffle Shoulder workout guaranteed to be as effective as a Military Press.  Now add to that high rep Abdominal Crutch Crunches as you control the swing of your legs between those cold metal contraptions.  And my personal favorite, the Bulging Bicep Bends that are an easy set as you lift your wheelchair in and out of your trunk. Make sure to end your day long workout with stretches like Straight Leg Sock Removal Reach and Dancer Pose Laundry sorting.

Yes, FFG folks there can be UPsides to being down.  2 weeks to the surgical consult that hopefully determines I can start trying to walk again.  3 weeks to getting in a pool and get moving a bit more.  Be safe out there!