I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Facing the truth.

Today was my measuring day. I knew that, and I couldn't postpone it longer, but I surely secretly hoped I would. It was time to get a sobering news and face the consequences. Of what? Oh, please, there were plenty of set backs last month. In fact, I felt that I was making 2 steps forward and 1 (or even 1.5) steps back. First, the running went kaput. Running was what produced biggest change in a previous month. Then, there was a binge (and general lackadaisical approach to eating). Stephen was back, so was me back to cooking meals - my kid grew up with a full dinner served and everyone has to sit down and eat together. That meant I love what I cook, I need to try as I cook, and when I do sit down, while I avoid forbidden items (like pasta and rice and potatoes), I tend to eat chicken that I sauteed in curry sauce instead of boiled chicken breasts. I have clients most of my evenings, and that cuts into an opportunity to do a cardio workout in the evening, and in the morning, with an hour of weights, I can only squeeze 30 minutes of exercise machines. And, I do need - and want! - spend time with my kid and my husband. I actually believe it is more important to hang out with your kid when he is 15 then when he is 2 or 8 or any other age. Surprisingly, my son wants to hang around. So, we go to the gym together, but he is done in 10-15 minutes tops. I can get extra 30 before I start feeling guilty (while he is at the pool alone). So, here we go. We had two birthdays in the lab where I partook in testing a spelt flour banana bread and homemade oatmeal cookies. And then, of course, was the race and standing around aid stations - I had nuts, cherry tomatoes, watermelon (not bad foods, but really bad quantities), and even 2 burger patties.

So, I was ready to get sober. 12.2%. And while the number itself is awesome, don't take me wrong, with only 0.7% body fat drop it doesn't bring me any closer to where I need to be, and the last 4 weeks had been if not a waste, than not a progress I wish they were. I think coach Drew ran out of encouraging words for the first time in 3 months we've been working together. He tried, though. But, he also said "We need to drop 2% or more in the next 2 weeks". 2 weeks! 2%! Holly cow! He took pictures, but I don't believe he'll be sending them so I don't get too disappointed. I put great muscle on, but that was the easy part. My body is designed for it, for being a potential body builder - the problem is, this is not what we need (in fact, I was told to stop working my quads because they are popping more than needed for a Figure show). What we need is loose the fat. What means a really - really! - strict food intake (I hate word "diet") and more cardio. Yeah, right. No running, no time - and more cardio.

More cardio. Drew says he is almost surprised I don't feel any energy sunk, but why would I? My body is used to high and quality miles. It has a certain threshold above which it doesn't feel any strain on it. And a certain type of movement as well. My body is not stupid, you can't fool it by throwing 30 minutes machine routines at it. It may get tired and sore, it doesn't shed calories as easily...

I am also finding it more and more difficult to withstand the questions of my co-workers and other random friends on why to do it. Often, instead of "go for it", I hear "Common, you look great, why suffer?". Sometimes I feel like I did when I was trying to quit smoking and had my "friends" saying "But you're not doing it that much, and you do other healthy things, don't be hard on yourself...". Kind of eluding to "Seeing you propel forward makes me look bad" type of thing. I did quit smoking. I can achieve the other things too.

Unlike the last shake-out, I am not complaining here. Rather, calmly accessing my chances and figuring out how to make it happen. I want it more than I did when I started, because I am stubborn, and I put enough effort into it. I am, though, honestly, loosing concentration here somewhat because it's been a long haul and slow grind to the result. You know how they say that to stop making mistakes first you need to admit and accept to yourself that you are making one. Why would you lie to yourself? Who is out there to judge you, but your own self? It is so much easier to work hard on "pumping iron" than on monitoring and preparing right food when there are so many other things interfere. I am not even using it all as excuses, just simply stating facts...I know I am really hard on myself, and feel like I got no will power at all. Pisses me off.

Work has been pretty unproductive lately, soon after my presentation, and that doesn't inspire either. Not to mention my heel injury is not any better - any at all. Wish I knew what the hell there really is, but the doc didn't want to do MRI since it doesn't really matter, the treatment is the same. I am just not the kind of person who takes prescription without knowing the cause... It's like everything needs to have a fresh start and begin anew. There were good things too:) I was called "tiny" by a massage therapist (I had never ever in my life been considered tiny!), and the girl from my gym and Bikram studio salivated over my abs (and she was ripped herself!) So, at the least, I am better than where I was when I started:)) And so it begins, final push. 6.5 weeks. We'll make it, right? Why going hiking and turning around 300 feet from the top, if you don't reach that top? I am like that. Purpose of the end result drives me. I love to enjoy the ride, but there are times when the ride has to hopefully have a high point.

p.s. I was pointed out to this article about training as a Kenyan runner, and it was a fascinating read. You can apply it to anything you do in life. If you want to excel l - you have to work for it as if your life depends on it. I copied a few paragraphs I found inspiring and teaching if you don't want to read the whole (long) story.

In my tribe, we often motivate ourselves by looking further beyond the guy who has become a champion in what he does, we say quietly to ourselves ”If he made it and I’ve known him before he had anything, I too can become like that and achieve something” Once you engraved this hope in your heart, I tell you no discouragement or anything will root it out from you no matter how many years it takes.
I like to keep it real by running in hours or in minutes, forget about the heart rate, how do you expect to improve while you are setting limits on yourself? For me I’d rather die doing something that means something in my life than die being afraid of it.
There is no other way or shortcut but to train hard without holding anything back for later, and all you think of so you can make it to the top is to train more than anyone else, train till your ribs become like guitar strings. Ignore the pain, never quit, even when it rains there is no excuse for not training, for this is a battle of life, and when in a race, you run because your life depends on it.
No one was born with talent, its something we came to find early in life and use it to shape our destiny.
Don't eat as if is Armageddon is coming tonight, for goodness sake, cut the crap, cut the belly and start eating like an athlete whose seeking victory, don’t be afraid of what people will say to you when you are skinny, to be an athlete you have to eat, look and talk like one.
Running is not easy, and triumph of any kind is never savored by those who speak of excuses, but only by those who speak with actions.
Here is the most important thing about running that people don’t know and some coaches fails to apply it to their athletes – running is a combination of four things…
1 – Flexibility.
2 – Endurance.
3 – Strength.
4 – Speed.
As a runner what I can encourage you the most is, try to train with someone who is little bit faster than you, or train with a running group, and whether in training or in a race, don’t place yourself in the back, but be in a chasing position, for its there where improvement comes from, measure yourself by going out of your comfort zone as often as you can. Believe in yourself even if you have failed or savored defeat before, the past never matters, what you can do when you are willing to unleash the fighter in you is what matters on all battles in life.
And when you are injured or sore you mustn’t try to find a shortcut to be pain-free, and to get rid of it, ice , rest, stretching and massage it has always been the way to get back to the battle field.
If you have an injury of any kind, be easy on it and unto yourself, your body is the most important thing to care of in this life, let it heal so you may be strong again, and I tell you this, you will be stronger than you have ever was, patience is the key, train your mind to be of positive mindset, then when the storm is over, take yourself outside and start all over again, remember not to start from where you left, for if you do you may end up being ”kaput”

Our body is a very unique machine, if we can teach to sustain such things in life, it can do wonders and to experience that wonder we must do whatever it takes no matter what.Try to understand life instead of stressing about it, and when setting goals, try not to put the bar too high for sometimes things in life happens that’s beyond our control or understanding, just start by laying it out brick by brick, for it is brick after brick a house will rise to withstand the storm.

Kiplimo Chemirmir

September 1st add-on:
I've been good on my eating plan and making time for cardio 2xday every day since Monday. I am seeing results on the scale now that the muscle-building phase is done, which is good, means I am dropping some fat. Thanks to all for encouragement, I draw my lifeline from those. When I stand on that walkway, I represent all of us who believe and make things happen...


fitmacdaddy said...

Olga...I like your ferocity and determination...Don't turn back 300 feet from the top is an awesome perspective. I know you'll get there and rock that show.

Scott Dunlap said...

The heart of a champion lies in the final mile...go get 'em!!!!

Anonymous said...

Toned Abs could be developed by performing three to five abdominal exercise three to five times a week. Initially a person should start with exercises and repeat them as long as they are comfortable performing it.

Dave said...

you don't know quit...so press on. The one thing you said that stuck with me is, " I actually believe it is more important to hang out with your kid when he is 15 then when he is 2 or 8 or any other age." Thanks for the words of wisdom.

ALM said...

The last 300 meters are the hardest. In the last 300 meters the temptations seem more visable, they have always been there, but sometimes they become more visable when you have faced set backs and are almost there. It's hard to juggle everything, family, work, friends and goals, but you can do it. You're Olga! You're wise, strong,determined and a mental giant.

Anonymous said...

I know how stubborn our ultra fit bodies are and I experienced that myself. Our bodies are used to massive cardio loads so it waits patiently for the next session, holding on to everything. It will adapt but it does takes persistence and patience. You have both. Most people have gotten it in their heads that anytime others push the limits or boundaries there's something wrong. It's quite the opposite. Hard work pays off and is much more satisfying than the short term feel good. But, it's hard and that's why they can't comprehend. Stick with it. My response to the "Why are you doing this, you should just relax" is "it's not for everyone". nuff said!

I am super impressed and super motivated reading your posts. Thanks for sharing the intimate parts of your journey.


Sarah said...

Your transformation is amazing! And you were no slouch before, you know. :-) I know you'll only get better these last weeks because yes, that's the Olga way. No giving up and pushing through to the end. :-)

Stacey (aka UltraPrincess) said...

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

You continue to inspire. Hang in there, Olga!


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