Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Confession: I Wanna Get Buff

I promised to talk more about my change in perspective about my workouts, so here goes.

I've never really felt the need to be in great shape. And I never have been! I've been skinny and not-as-skinny, and I've usually been in decently good shape. I've exercised throughout most of my life, with a couple spotty teenage years where I'd go a few months at a time being slothful. I've also always been a fairly good eater, though my eating habits certainly got better after I went vegan almost 2 1/2 years ago. People have usually thought that I'm athletic, because my body type puts on muscle pretty well and I have freakishly low blood pressure (thanks, Mom!). I'm not actually good at any athletic endeavors, however (thanks again, Mom!).

But as I was saying, I've never needed to be in great shape. I've wanted to be skinny, and I've wanted to be healthy. Right now I wouldn't say I'm skinny, but I think I'm "fine" and I'm healthy. I'm not at my lowest or highest weight.

In case you've forgotten what I look like, this is me wearing shorts a couple weeks ago:

And from a recent Fashion Friday post

I've been thinner:

(Fall 2009)

And fatter:

(Spring 2007) Ohh, freshman year of college, I do not miss you. Not at all. Plus, this is me pre-vegan. I do not miss those pre-vegan days, either!

BTW... I have no idea why I'm posting these pictures. I just got the desire to be all honest and open and I'll probably regret this tomorrow. In fact, I already regret putting up that last picture. But I love it so much when other bloggers are honest to the point of embarrassment, so I guess I'll do it to myself, too. But no promises I won't take this down someday.

I've always felt like I'm not the kind of person to be in great shape. I think there's two reasons for this:

1) Confidence (or lack thereof) -- Not wanting to push myself is part of a lack of confidence in myself. Most people who know me would characterize me as extremely confident, because I am, but I have often lacked body confidence. Not a strange thing for young women, I know.

2) Self-Acceptance. Here's the other side of the die -- I am good enough. I like myself. I think I'm pretty and healthy and I don't want to feel bad about myself.

But I recently starting thinking, is "good enough" the best I can do? Why should I settle for good enough? I only have ONE LIFE. This is all I get. So I'd like to try being all that I can be!

This doesn't mean I've set out a big plan for myself. I'm really good at making extensive plans and not as good at keeping up with them. So instead of a whole new plan, I'm just focusing on a different goal and letting that inform what I do. Instead of exercising and eating just to stay healthy and happy like I have been, I'm going to work towards really getting in shape. That primarily means stepping up my weight-lifting, which is something I enjoy, anyway, but had been inconsistent with. I haven't been pushing myself, mostly because I lost interest in being skinny. I don't know why, it just doesn't interest me much right now. I'd much rather see if I can get some definition in my arms and uncover my abs. Now that would be fun. But this does not mean I will start running. I hate running. Running can go screw itself.

So, that's all. I'm sure I'll write more later as I figure out what this means, but for now all I know is that I'm admitting to myself and you that I want something more and I'm going to work for it.

15 minutes bike
20 minutes ballet
Strength/weights: quads, hamstrings, inner/outer thigh (Pilates), squats, abs, lower back

10 minutes bike
10 minutes kickboxing

My deltoids and biceps are suuuper sore from yesterday, and the groin muscle I pulled in my sleep last week was twingeing a little bit so I stretched quite a bit. I probably spent 45 minutes or so just stretching.

Food Diary:
Breakfast: Steamed veggie bowl (just like last night's dinner) - fat-free refried beans, broccoli slaw, broccoli, cauliflower, sauerkraut, sprouts, pico de gallo
Lunch: 1 Dr. Praeger's patty, 1 serving edamame, 1 serving Dal Mix, coffee
Dinner: Salad - spinach, arugula, sauerkraut, sprouts, mustard, pico de gallo, TJ's fat-free balsamic vinaigrette, Dal Mix
Snack: 1/3 cup oatmeal with peanut flour and flax
1 cup chocolate almond milk (unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp cocoa powder, and stevia, put into a jar with a lid and shaken vigorously)

By the way... encouragement and commiseration are welcomed. Telling me I need to start running is not. I wasn't joking about that part.



  1. You know what you'll get from me, Erika. Unconditional love. I can't help it. I think you are now and always have been so beautiful, amazingly loving and interesting, and such a good person. And I support your decisions, whatever they are, because you are always so thoughtful in considering your goals.

    I think all the pictures you posted are lovely, including the one from freshman year. I remember shopping for that dress and some other clothes with you that year and we had so much fun dressing you up.

    You can do what you think is best about keeping up or not keeping up all these pics, but they tell a story...one that comes right to this moment where you decide to go for more in your life. I think that's cool and the pics are part of it. Thanks for sharing your inner thoughts today. I enjoyed living life along with you.

  2. I totally understand your situation, and agree - even though I love my body, I could really get into a few small changes. I think the key thing is to do it out of a place of love, not self-hatred. You look amazing, but it's about feeling amazing too, and that comes with time :)

  3. Jeanette -- Thank you :) And yes, I think you're right. The pictures tell a story and there's no reason to be ashamed of it.

    Faith -- I so agree -- "do it out of a place of love." That's perfect, and exactly what I want to do.

  4. Go Erika! This is inspiring. I'm one of the least healthy vaguely thin people I know...and it sucks!

  5. Thanks! Wow, I never thought it would be inspiring. That makes me feel good =)