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  • Guest Blog | Susan Bodiker | What's In Your Gym Bag?

    There’s the obvious, of course—your hip and happening From Thick to Thin gear, shoes or sticky socks, water bottle, healthy snacks, your favorite music download. But are you carrying some other, less welcome baggage? You know, the self-defeating lines we feed ourselves: The “I’m too fat…too old…out of shape…not good enough…not coordinated enough” to do this routine, wear these clothes, hold this pose…One. More. Minute.”

    It’s a short walk from the self-defeatist messages we tell ourselves in the gym to the posture we automatically adopt when confronted with a new challenge or situation that takes us out of our comfort zone at work, say, or with friends. When we go along with others’ plans because we don’t think our own are worth satisfying. Or support others’ goals at the expense of our own because we don’t think we’re important enough.

    Your body hears everything your mind thinks. The hurtful things you say to yourself leave scars that restrict you from going after what you can do and what you deserve. They make you feel bad about yourself, your body or your capabilities by reinforcing your worst fears or opinions (which are very often wrong). Holding you prisoner in a jail of your own making.

    How to escape? Don’t let those negative messages go unanswered. Deconstruct what triggers them and whether or not there’s truth in what you say to yourself. If there is, figure out what you could do to overcome the problem. If the story isn’t true, work on ways to mute the default thinking that leads to self-sabotaging behaviors. If you’re going to tell a story about yourself, make sure it has a happy outcome!

    So next time you prep for the gym, pack some positive mantras along with your equipment. You’ll be amazed at the benefits you begin to see in your body and your state of mind.

     


     

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    Susan Bodiker founded One Girl Wellness to help girls and women overcome the image disorders that eat away at their self-esteem and keep them from engaging confidently in their world. She has recently published a e-book, “Fat Girl: how to let go of your weight and get on with your life.”  

    Check out One Girl Wellness on Facebook

     

  • Guest Blog | Carin McCoy | Me Against Myself

    I put off exercise for a long time. A looooooong time. I’m talking like when dinosaurs roamed. Then, Bam! 5 years ago, I had two beautiful kids and I decided I wanted to show them more of me. More of what I as their mum could achieve & hopefully show them the endless possibilities they had within themselves as well.

    The main reason I’d never had a go was pretty superficial & even shallow. But, like most of us, ultimately ran much deeper.  I would rock up to the gym and scan the room. Was I the biggest? Was I the slowest? Was I lifting heavy enough? Was I running fast enough?  Man, in the end the only thing getting a workout was my overactive brain! When I stopped and thought about it, Me VS Me was and had always been my biggest fight.

    photo-2Most of us compare. I guess, to an extent, it is human nature. If used positively, it can give us that little edge to push ourselves harder and really give it all we have got. The problem occurs when it stops you in your tracks and stops you from having go, from picking up that weight, running in that event & basically just living a life.  We are so hard on ourselves – our own worst critics. I’m not sure about you guys but when I’m sweating my guts out, grunting and, lets face it, at times swearing at my poor trainer…the last thing I am capable of doing is checking out what the guy next to me is lifting, what pace he is running (OK, OK! I lie a little…I may be checking out certain things at times…haha!) You get my drift though! The moment we all realise that ultimately it comes down to “ME AGAINST MYSELF,” the harder we will push, the fiercer we will train and the healthier we will all become.

    Competing against the person next to you is not doing you any service. Really, when you think about the limited time you have to exercise, ain’t nobody got time for that! I’m focusing on using all that energy (which let’s face, it some days there isn’t much of it! 😉 ) to kick some ass when I’m working out – and hell, we need to be comfortable in ourselves when we do just that!

    So how am I working on this? A training journal is helping me keep track of my own individual progress. It not only keeps me accountable, but it reminds me right there in print the progress I have made, my own individual goals and dreams. Note I said, ‘my own,’ not that of the other people at the gym.

    Today I will shift the focus from what MY body looks like to what MY body can do.


     

    photoCarin is a proud half marathoner & triathlete, who is a strong believer and advocate for the body positive movement. She believes everyBODY should have the right to unleash their inner athlete & feel the thrill of smashing a goal.

    You can follow Carin’s blog at www.edsrunfree.wordpress.com
    Or Instagram @edsrunfree

  • Guest Blog | Carin McCoy | Redefining #Likeagirl

    A while ago, someone said something to me that left me feeling confused and I will admit, slightly irritated. They confidently boasted to me that, ‘Oh you don’t need to worry about spreading the ‘Like a girl’ & ‘This girl can’ campaigns message in your household with all those boys!

    Like A Girl

    WTF?! Hold up. Seriously?! The powerful message of redefining the phrase ‘Like a girl’ to mean someone who is strong, powerful, athletic and positive instead of the old ‘You run like a girl!’ insult that used to be thrown around is AS important to be entrenched in my sons as it is for us to teach and model to our daughters.

    My young, impressionable, beautiful boys will see me workout. They will see the real effort involved in my training, and the dedication and strength involved. They will see what real effort looks like – curves, sweat, grunts and all! Boxing, running, lifting, trails, swimming, cycling..adventures! They will see me attempt things and fail. They will see me train for events and succeed. Most importantly, I hope they are surrounded by images that help redefine the connotation of ‘Like a girl.’

    So this mum will proudly wear her #Likeagirl tee while working out around my young, impressionable sons and hopefully the phrase “Like a girl” will never roll out of their mouths as an insult, but one spoken of pride and admiration. I will teach them to believe in yourself, that being strong & fit is also a female identity and the knowledge that we are all strong, equal and we ALL have an inner athlete in us.

    I choose to be part of the change.

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    photoCarin is a proud half marathoner & triathlete, who is a strong believer and advocate for the body positive movement. She believes everyBODY should have the right to unleash their inner athlete & feel the thrill of smashing a goal.

    You can follow Carin’s blog at www.edsrunfree.wordpress.com
    Or Instagram @edsrunfree

    Originally Posted on July 24, 2015 / Reposted with Permission

  • Guest Blog!! "PROTEIN BALLS!"

    249105_10151583749723680_1529127214_nHello, my name is Alex and I am a Crossfit addict. I put in several hours a day several days a week at my box, watched reruns of the 2013 games on YouTube at work, recorded the 2014 games so that I could re-watch the world’s fittest over and over, I made it my mission to get to there in the Masters by age 50 (long term goal) and I dream that I will wake up as Elisabeth Akinwale.

    My boxmate TK and I are always talking about being “bout this life” but being “bout this life” means putting in work in the gym, on the track, on the trail and mostly in the kitchen. You’ve got to take in the “good” carbs and fats, and all the lean protein you can get. I am one of those people who carries chicken breast in a baggie in her purse. Which by the by when people see you pulling out a chicken baggie, you have to wonder if they think you are like a hardcore body builder or you have a weird obsession with chicken. I need of a change, I decided to play to my strengths and head to the kitchen. That’s my segway into talking about my balls.

    (Read aloud in a seductive voice) My balls have steel cut oats, chia seeds, flax meal, nut butter (of course) and dark chocolate and that’s just to start. They are delicious, sweet and give you the feeling that you are being naughty and having a bad treat but you are taking in protein, Omega 3s, healthy fat and my personal favorite chocolate.

    I would like to say that my pastry background helped with this recipe but truth is I was hangry (we all know that hungry/angry feeling) and just threw it together. Little of this and a little of that, add something sticky to bring it together and BOOM there you go. I made them as an experiment and fed them to my guinea pig, TK, she loved them and it was a wrap. I now have to make a few times a week and I often get late night text begging me for more.

    So you know you want to get you some. Get you some the “bout this life” balls.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    I treat recipes as guidelines, follow it as is once, then switch it up the second time around.

    This recipe is flexible: sub out the coconut peanut butter for any nut butter you prefer. Hell you could make it majorly decadent and add, gasp, chocolate hazelnut spread.

    Let’s get it….

    10601133_10152614348028680_198810688_nIngredients

    • ½ cup almond meal or “flour”
    • 1 cup steel cut or old fashioned oats (#notpaleo)
    • ¼ cup flax meal
    • ¼ cup chia seeds
    • 1 cup coconut peanut butter (yes, that’s a thing)
    • ½ c *toasted unsweetened coconut
    • ½ c honey
    • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1 *scoop protein powder

    Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the honey and mix until combined. Once combined, use a small scoop or tablespoon to portion out the mixture. With wet hands, roll the mix into nice round balls. Place the balls on a plate or sheet tray and chill. Keep in zip top bag or in an air tight container in the fridge. Eat as your heart desires.

    *Spread the dry unsweet coconut on an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on it because it can burn easily. You are looking for GBD, golden brown delicious. Allow to cool and use in the recipe or store in a zip top bag.

    *Depending on your protein powder you may need to use 2 scoop to get a full serving.

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  • Guest Blog: "The Myth of the Before & After Photo"

    erica-gym-1-3158094511-OWell hello there new friends!  My name is Erica and over the last couple of years I’ve been in BAMF-Beast-and-all-around-BADASSERY mode and have been successful in losing 100 lbs.  And while there are a myriad lessons I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) during this process, the one I want to talk about today is the idea of an “After” body.

    We’re all guilty of it.  We look at magazines, at movie stars, and at those skinny b–witches at the gym.  What am I talking about?  Body shopping!  We’re at the gym, getting our lift on or hitting the elliptical and we catch a glimpse of that perfect gym Barbie doll…and then we think to ourselves, ”Man—if I only had her legs, I’d be happy!” or ”God Becky—look at her butt!  I wish I had a butt that small/big/strong”.  I’m often guilty of building my ideal self…I’ll look at the women at the gym and piece them together, designing what my perfect body would look like.  I’d have strong, lean arms and a round, strong butt and of course a flat stomach with a six-pack, and sexy traps (but not like that girl, because she’s a little too brawny….more like her over there in the size 2 lulus).

    Ierica-trashmore-24-3294007437-O have an epiphany to share with you that has rocked my world.  YOU, yes YOU, are someone’s perfect “After” photo.  You, yes YOU, at the gym, sweating profusely with that self-perceived fluffiness or that flabby arm you constantly complain about.  Someone is looking at you, wishing they could have your arms, legs, back, butt, biceps, or [insert your awesomeness here].  They see you working your butt off and they wish they could have your courage, your tenacity, and your badassery.  No matter what stage of the health/fitness/weight loss journey you are in, you are already an After picture.

    Let me put it this way…at my heaviest, I was a solid size 22 and easily inching my way into a size 24.  I’m 5’2 by the way, so for my height that was a loooot of extra weight to carry around.  I can remember thinking that if I could just get into a size 16 I’d be happy.  I mean, I could shop at “regular” stores and not face the stigma of shopping in a plus sized boutique.  I accomplished that goal and then longed to fit into a size 8, surely that would make me happy!  I did that and I wanted more…or less, rather.  I wanted a size 6…no, 4…no….

    See what I’m getting at?  Even after the accomplishment of losing the weight, I still body shop.  I still struggle to be happy with just me.  By reminding myself that I already am someone’s after photo, I become grateful for my present place in this journey.  I am thankful that I’ve had the courage to develop goals, the dedication to do the work to achieve them, and to now have the opportunity to share my journey with others.  What’s important here is that we realize that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our fellow health-journey-enthusiasts to accept ourselves wherever we are at, love our inherent badassery, and to be role models to those who are also struggling with image issues.

    By the way…yes, people are staring at you when you’re at the gym.  NO, it’s not because you’re bloated or red or sweaty.   It’s because they look up to you.  They want your body, your athleticism, and your awesome athletic apparel 🙂  Sorry—shameless plug, but for real, T2T is awesomesauce!  Embrace the amazing talent that you bring to the gym, the contagious spirit that you probably don’t even realize is present, and that your body is already a masterpiece, capable of more than you can imagine.

    Thank you for letting me share a lesson I’ve learned I’m learning with all of you!  I know this may fall into the category of “easier said than done”, but trust that I’m right in that boat with you.  Little by little our minds will catch up with our bodies’ changes and we will learn to embrace our amazing selves!  If you haven’t been bored to tears yet, you can read more about me as well as my other rants on my blog, Sweat Equity Works (www.sweatequityworks.com or find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sweatequityworks).  And of course, thank you to the T2T team for extending their hospitality and allowing me to share.  You girls rock!

    Love, E

    (from Andrea… ps, we had 2 other titles for this blog hahahah, and I just had to share!
    “Attention K-Mart Shoppers!”
    “The Myth of the Before & After Photo”
    “After photos are like unicorns. And you’re one bad ass unicorn”)

    erica-trashmore-56-3294014073-OErica’s Bio-

    Three words that would describe me?  Ha!  That’s a loaded question.  Caring, spunky, and driven???  I’m 27 years old and over the last few years I have lost 110 pounds.  I put down the pizza and have picked up weights.  Heavy weights…lots of them.  Over and over again.  And I LOVE it!  Beyond striving gym rat status, I am a medical social worker currently working with renal dialysis patients.  I live near the beach and my daily goal is to laugh so hard that my cheeks and abs hurt!  I have two mottos that I live by:

    1. Sweat Equity Works.  Sweat equity is the realization that you are worth the effort and that you are also responsible for that progress. No one’s going to fight harder than you.  #truth

    2. Embrace Amazing.  Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to experience greatness.  You’re worth it.  #truth

  • Guest Blog! "An Open Letter to my Plateau"

    So, we have been growing our community of awesome people, and I am proud to announce the start of our guest blogging!!! OUR VERY FIRST BLOG, comes from the AMAZING, HEATHER!!!! I love her post, and think it’s SO on point and HILARIOUS, because frankly, plateau’s SUCK!! Here’s a little bit about Heather, and then I am going to let her take it away! 🙂

    I’m a 30 year old lawyer/quilter/obsessive reader, married, have a dog named Zee, live in West Virginia (#dontjudge) and for most of the first 28.83 years of my life I was seriously overweight. My journey began on January 3, 2013.

    10543644_10100701294522025_4610218387807241284_nAn Open Letter to My Plateau:

    I was warned you’d arrive. My husband (also my trainer) told me to expect you. You were mentioned the first workout and each week thereafter (sometimes multiple times a week), but I pushed you out of my mind and ignored my husband (uhhhh, never done that before. Ever. I swear. Uh-huh.). Surely you weren’t coming for me. I HAD OVER 100 POUNDS TO LOSE! You don’t happen to people with my kind of weight to lose – you happen to skinny people who think they need to lose ten pounds (and who usually make such declarations after eating Chipotle). So I ignored you. If I had learned nothing else during all of those years of being overweight, it was how to quiet unpleasant thoughts – I now used those skills on suppressing thoughts of you.

    I worked out a lot – frankly, I rocked it. My elliptical, who I named Eli (#seewhatididthere?!), and I began a serious relationship. I spent less time thinking about you and more time thinking about eating healthy and how the hell I was going to get through the next workout (why did they keep getting harder?!). I lost 90 pounds in 10 months. My goal was 100 pounds in a year and I was going to hit it. NOTHING COULD STOP ME.

    And then you arrived, and I was stunned. You are an unwelcome houseguest. You are the credit card bill after a trip to the outlets. I cried. I was pissed. The scale was stuck at 180 pounds. Was it broken? I checked the batteries. I researched new scales. I tested them at the stores. The numbers wouldn’t move for me. I made my husband get on the scale just to make sure the digital numbers would give a different result. I weighed the dog. How could I make you leave? I wasn’t going to stop eating pretzels. That’s just stupid.

    And then I had a medical complication. Did you know that losing weight quickly can give you gallstones?! THANK YOU MEDICAL DOCTORS OF THE WORLD WHO NEVER TOLD ME THAT. Out of every doctor who told me I needed to lose weight (read: all of them), you think that one of them could have mentioned it. So now, instead of focusing on you, I had to focus on getting my gallbladder out.

    I couldn’t work out for a few weeks and you used that time to spread out and unpack. My goal was now far from my mind. I decided that if you were going to stick around for a while we may as well be friends. The scale had stayed at 180 for so long, I began to rely on you. We moved. I went to picnics. I ate the most delicious burgers and french fries and potato salad. I drank lots of wine. I began working out again, but not as hard – but you, my dear plateau, you would keep me right where I was supposed to be. UNTIL YOU DIDN’T. One day you were there – and then in the middle of the night you packed up and left. WTF?! The scale was up to 190. Ok ok, maybe you left a week or two before and I was so comfortable in my minimal workouts and weekend picnics that I didn’t notice. Again I was crushed. Pissed. I relied on you and you left me.

    So you know what I did? I doubled down. The old me would have wallowed and ate more burgers. Not anymore. I found people who want to push me further in my workouts. I found a Community of Awesome. I forced myself to run. We started Friday night workout parties. And slowly I’m getting back to where I was when we were first introduced – but this time I’m not worried. This time I’m not focused on you or the scale. This time I’m just focused on ME.

    So next time you visit, come on in. Bring pretzels.

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