“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” -Napoleon Hill
I love this picture. It was taken in 2013 on Lake Lewisville just outside of Dallas. I got this crazy idea to do a handstand on the nose of the boat. I held it for a good three seconds before a wave hit from another boater and knocked me over the side. 😂
I used to love to do handstands anywhere, on anything. I got it from my father. He was a gymnast growing up and whenever he went to a new city he would pick a landmark or a cool location and do a handstand picture.
When I got pregnant with Ryder I had major balance issues. It was a weird feeling. I was a gymnast and a cheerleader so balance was never a problem for me before. While pregnant I was constantly stumbling or running into things. It was almost like being tipsy drunk, just without the alcohol! My doctor said that happens to some people but it eventually goes away. It went away completely about 6 months after I had him. And thank goodness because it’s not a fun feeling to have regularly. I had so many bumps and bruises on my legs from running into things. It was not a pretty sight.
I don’t know that I’ll ever do a handstand on the nose of a boat again but I’d like to think maybe one day I could. I’m still building back my upper body strength and working on my balance. For now I’ll stick with on the ground handstands. But this will forever be my favorite handstand picture. I’ll keep it as my “goal picture.” Balancing on a boat just standing is one thing, but doing it in a handstand position is a whole other level!
Everyone has goals, big and small. It’s your focus and determination that will get you there!
Some people expect to see huge changes and major progress milestones when they start on a new diet and workout. For some this may happen. For others it’s a slow progression. I think you should celebrate even the smallest milestone.
These two pictures were taken three months apart. I started back on my daily apple cider vinegar and made a few small changes in my diet. The skin on my stomach (where my pregnant belly was) has tightened a bit and I’ve lost an inch around my hips/waist. An inch may not seem like a lot to most people but for me it is. I’m not exactly a big human. I’m 5’3 128lbs and have a BMI under 22. I’m what you’d consider average size for a fit person. I don’t want to lose a ton of weight. Sure, I have a little I could shave off. But mainly my goal is to build a little more muscle and maintain my size. I try not to focus too much on the scale. Weight can be irrelevant to some of us. On a “normal” health-line chart, I am considered overweight for someone my height. HOWEVER the general average doesn’t factor in muscle. So my weight may seem heavy on this scale but it’s due to the muscle I have “weighing me down.” Not a bad problem to have!
I always tell friends, be careful when weighing yourself. Your scale isn’t telling you your muscle to fat ratio (unless you have one of those fancy scales 😂). If you’re working out and eating well, and see the numbers go up, do not freak out!! When your body starts to burn fat, those fat pockets deplete themselves of fat cells and fill up with water till the body shrinks them and they all together disappear (for some). Not to mention you’re probably putting on some muscle which will add to that extra weight. Base your size off your clothing! Are your pants starting to fit a little looser? Maybe they actually fit better now! It all depends on where you started. Everyone is different. Try not to compare yourself to others too much (I know easier said than done). Your body type is different than everyone else’s. No two people are the same. What works for some might not work for all.
Measure yourself, monitor your clothing changes, do whatever helps you to see those small but big changes. Celebrate even the littlest milestone. You deserve it!
Leg day! My favorite day! Here are a few exercises from my leg day workout! I know there are “real” names for some of these exercise moves but back when I was a gymnast, this is what we called them and it’s just stuck. Call it whatever you need in order to remember the exercise! 😉
These will get your butt and thighs burning. You should feel it in your butt, thighs, back and arms the next day!
•Squat raises (version 1) 4 x 12 w/ 25lb plate
•Cross lunges 4 x 12 w/ 40lb bar
•Teeter Toters (this is what we called them when I was a gymnast) 4 x 10 w/ 20lb KB
In college after I stopped cheering (yes I was a college cheerleader. Go Tech!), I needed an outlet. I loved to workout but it wasn’t enough at the time. I was so used to the thrill of being on the field during football games in front of 80k people. I wanted that thrill again. A trainer at the gym I was going to approached me and asked if I’d ever competed in a fitness/figure competitions. After talking to him a bit I thought ok this could be the thrill I need! I told a few good friends at the time what my plan was and almost all were supportive. Some were confused and thought I was getting into body building (not that it’s a bad thing, BB just isn’t for me). One friend actually said to me “you already look like a man with the muscle you have, why make it worse?” That comment would make a lot of people insecure. Not me. I saw it as a challenge. I thought, I’ll show you worse! And by worse I meant more lean and fit! I had muscle but it was thin muscle. My legs were muscular from tumbling and stunting. My arms were sculpted but not huge. So I used this negative comment as fuel.
I competed in my first figure competition that year and loved it! It was the scariest most exciting feeling ever! I’d never felt anything like that in my life! It’s one thing to stand in front of 80k people in a crop top uniform and tiny skirt and have them all lookin at you. It’s another thing to be in a swimsuit and have them literally judging your body! I remember shaking like a leaf up there. But I was so proud of myself after I finished. I took 9th out of 26. Not great but not horrible for my first time around. Not to mention I knew nothing about diet at the time so I was just winging it!
Looking back on old pictures now I still don’t see where the muscle I had “looked like a man.” I’m bigger now than I was then when I started. I have to think that person was just insecure and jealous themselves.
Now days I don’t compete on a competition stage but I do push myself in the gym like I used to. I love to look in the mirror and see muscle. In my mind I think back to that former friend and the comment they made and it makes me smile. They saw man muscles. Well guess what, my husband loves it. He actually told someone the other day his wife was jacked. To a fitness lover that just makes your heart melt.
Forget the negative Nancy’s of the world. Don’t let them tear you down. If you’re like me, use it as fuel! The only thing that matters is what you think, and of course the positive people around you who will lift you up!