Breaking down some walls.

by Melissa on January 9, 2013

Well here I am, trying to get back into the swing of things, and I forgot that I was starting another semester this week! (What happened to having a break as long as most other colleges? Hmm?) I’m actually pretty excited to be back in class, because I made a minor adjustment in my plans. I decided to steer away from the Exercise Science & Personal Training program, because I already hold my NASM certification, despite having already taken 95% of the classes. I’m waiting on the new nutrition certification that starts next semester instead. So, being proactive, I went for a nutrition and human development class and chose to add in a web design class just for shits and giggles. I would have loved to add another hefty class, but, unfortunately, I have to wait until the fall. Oh, and I snuck a little yoga course in there, too.

As an update on how things have been moving along so far this year, I lost 3 pounds last week! I’ve learned that anything higher than that per week, for me, can be a little tricky to keep off long-term.  That loss normally comes with big changes – heavier workout schedules and completely re-vamped diets. The only changes I made this past week, though, compared to the week before, was focusing on a more plant-based diet. I haven’t eaten as much sugar (more important, added sugar) and I have been staying away from anything highly processed.

The best I felt all week? The morning after a veggie-filled, miles-logged, early-to-bed day.

It’s amazing how someone can fall off track and forget how obvious the solution to the problem really is. Before I got serious about my health, I thought people only worked out to lose weight. (This is a very typical thought, apparently. Now that I know otherwise, it drives me nuts to hear it.) I used to think that the key to weight loss was eating what everyone else said I should – the cabbage soup diet, Slim Fast, the Atkins diet. Little did I know that the second you stopped any of that, you’d gain back everything you lost plus a little more. (And that “little more” always seemed to become “more and more” with every attempt at whatever diet I chose.)

Now, I’ve come to realize I’m an entirely different person when I make the time for a run or a workout. Ever since I kicked the second bout of flu, I’ve been suffering random, rather intense headaches right behind my ear and around the base of my skull. On the days that I’ve gotten my runs in, they disappear. I’m fairly positive I mentioned this same thing last year right around now. Running lifts my moods, eases pain, and helps me focus. My attention span changes drastically after a run, that’s for sure.

So, on the two days that I have run already this week, despite the – sniff, sniff – puny mileage, I’ve felt like I’m returning to me. Running has become a part of me…and I never expected to ever say that. Funny how things change, yes?

The one thing I learned over the last year, though, was how not to go about making changes in my lifestyle. All those “Weee! 5 pounds in a week!” turned into short-lived losses…simply because I thought the “all or nothing” approach worked. Truth is, I did lose 20 pounds last year. I’m proud of that. However, that was it, and it could have been more if I had only been a little more patient with myself and if I had just given myself the chance to get over those mental speed bumps. (You know, the “you’re never going to be capable of making big changes”. Those speed bumps.)

having the heart to change, inspiration to meet goals, setting goals inspiration

I’ve consciously made small changes to my diet (luckily, in general, my diet’s healthier than it was three years ago), and I’m not feeling that sense of panic or deprivation I usually do by now. I chose not to approach change with the “all or nothing” mentality. I chose not to set resolutions this year and just make the changes for good. Make them habits. I’m choosing to break down some walls.

And yes, that was a very long post to simply say, “I’m kicking ass.”

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie H. January 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I have known for a long time that I need to veer away from the sugar/processed foods. Recently, it’s really been harping on me (as I snack on Tootsie Rolls and microwave popcorn!). Thanks for the motivation to really give it a go!


Melissa January 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I’ve always known that my biggest weaknesses (eh hem, cravings) have been sugar (cakes, cookies, but never really any candy aside from chocolate). Processed foods are “meh” to me, really. However, I found out that one student did a study last semester for an honors contract and left a burger from McD’s, BK, and Hardees out on her kitchen counter all semester. Literally. Not a single one of them spoiled. They just turned to hard, dark pucks. Hi, if nature won’t eat you, then maybe I shouldn’t either, no? lol PS: LOVE your blog name… :D


Molly Ritterbeck January 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I love you and your honesty – really – you rock!


Melissa January 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Thanks, Molly. <3 I’m trying really hard to be open and honest this year…about everything. Embracing moments of weakness and using them to fuel change. :)


Heather (Where's the Beach) January 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

So glad you’re making the time for you again after all the sickies. Running makes me a much better person ;-) I’m convinced that’s the only reason the doctor gave me the ok to run right now LOL. I think he could see the insanity in my face. I hope you enjoy your classes this semester!


Melissa January 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I never ever noticed the change in who I have become until I stopped running (for whatever reason…injury, burn out, sickness). I have to ask myself now, how in the hell did I EVER EVER get through life without something like running? I quite literally never knew how to work out or set a schedule for doing so. I look back on how overweight I was in high school (and before I started running) and how absolutely terrible I felt physically and emotionally, and I understand now how much running could have changed my life then. Never too late, though. :) So I TOTALLY understand that how insane you must have been feeling. (I’m going to say it’s safe to compare it to training for a big race, it being over, and then not knowing where to go from there, yes? lol) So glad you got the okay to continue on. <3


Jess January 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm

YES. It truly is about the small changes adding up to really big overall change that matters. Not drastic overhauls, crazy fads or any of that other ‘stuff.’ Small = big in my book. Plain and simple. LOVE that this concept clicked for you this week my friend!

ps. ‘puny miles’ — um, no. a mile is a mile is a mile. big or small, right??


ilene January 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Slow change is sustainable change. I am loving how your are evolving and taking care of yourself! And yes – doesn’t exercise rule? It makes me feel so amazingly good – those long run/early to bed days are my best days too!


Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) January 10, 2013 at 8:21 am

So true. Small changes add up and they make for life lasting change. You got this girlie!


jobo January 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Woohoo! you ARE kicking ass, my friend! You learn SO much from your past, your habits, and patterns, and are more self aware than anyone that I know. As for working out as a way of life vs. to lsoe weight, I totally agree, I feel healthier and generally am healthier when I work out, Less illness etc. Crazy isn’t it? Excited for the classes you are taking and yoga too!


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