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Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/5 - 8/14 Days 217 - 226

Time is going by WAY WAY WAY WAY to fast and I am not keeping up with the blogging.  I really enjoy blogging, and it just does not seem possible that another 10 days has passed since I last blogged.  Shesssh!!

I cannot even begin to tell you all how much better I am feeling now that I am able to exercise again.  It's like I feel like me again.  I was starting to go crazy I sat more in the last 3 months than I have in probably the last 3 years.  I am not one to sit still for very long... heck I have a hard time sitting still for 3 minutes let alone 3 months.

A few house keeping things:

1st  I hope you all are enjoying your book of the month book.  I am excited to read your summaries and have enjoyed the ones I have read so far.  Remember to post your book summary here:  Book of the Month Info

2nd I have received many many emails about my little 30 Day Challenge I have undertaken to get my post surgery body, mind and heart back into shape.  I want to say how much I appreciate all the love, support and words of encouragement from all of you.  This has been very hard for me as exercise is such a huge part of my life and to not be able to partake in it at the level I am used to and want to... to say it has been challenging is an understatement.  Anyways...

Quite a few of you have mentioned wanting to do a 30 Day Challenge similar to mine, so what are you waiting for, DO IT!  I have created a new discussion topic just for all of you called Your 30 Day Challenges Your 30 Day Challenges Everyone has to have a first day so why not make today the first day!?!!?  Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today!  Get started, its your life, your health, your bodies, your minds, your hearts, put your dreams and goals as a priority!  It is scary sharing with the world what you hope to accomplish, what your goals are, but do it with confidence knowing that you have the support of the 1000 Challenge Community to help keep you accountable and cheer you on.  And if you need a little extra support you can follow along with my 30 Day Challenge here My 30 Day Challenge

A few quick notes on my 30 Day Challenge:
  • The "Bowl Mix" you see me post almost daily is a mix of: strawberries, blueberries, acai, peanut butter, protein powder, granola, and a little honey = soooo  yummy!
  • I use two protein shakes: Met-rx and Syntha 6. Depending on the activity and the time of day will determine which one I take.
  • Yes, I use supplements: I take a multi vitamin, Omega- 3's, Glucosomine and Chondroitin, Calcium, a B complex, Amino's and Glutamine.
  • I drink beer and eat "not healthy food" on a regular basis.  I do this for multiple reasons: I enjoy them, I believe that how we FEEL about what we put in our body effects ( i have a long explanation of this I use with clients, but is much to long to type here), us much more than the actual food itself.  I believe life is to short to not indulge in what you enjoy (note I said indulge and not OVER indulge).  I do not believe in diets, I believe in balance this is what I practice myself and this is what I strive to teach to all my clients who I do nutrition programs for.
In my last 3 months of sitting I have had a lot of time to think.  Since I have been inactive and feeling fat, lazy, unmotivated, unattractive etc... I have been thinking a lot about "what defines us," and more specifically, what defines me.  Exercise and my physical self is a huge part of that for many reasons.  When I put my website together several years ago I wrote an article called "What Fitness Means to Me" if you would like you can read that here: What Fitness Means to Me article .  Much of what I said in that article is still very true today. 

You see once upon a time I was a horribly shy insecure 19 year old.  And when I say shy and insecure I am talking that if a girl talked to me I would turn bright red and break out into a full sweat.  I was so socially awkward that I did not know how to meet people.  When people would come up and introduce themselves to me and shake my hand I would turn crimson from embarrassment.  And so life went... I got embarrassed if I meant someone, but if they didn't do the introduction I was alone because I lacked the courage to introduce myself.  Every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw which in turn made me hate myself from the inside even more.  I used to spend upwards of 30 MINUTES in the morning picking my nose because I was so insecure that the idea of someone seeing me with the tiniest fleck of booger on my nose gave me nightmares and anxiety.  This is no exaggeration I was so shy and so ashamed of myself that I just thought I was the ugliest person in the world and was willing to do whatever I could to try and hide my ugliness,  including, but not limited to extreme nose picking.  (As a side note I now only spend about 30 seconds picking my nose).  Fitness, exercise, and the dedication to myself, as you will read in the article above, changed all of this.  It gave me a foundation to stand on.  One where I could develop confidence, charisma, self esteem and most importantly, self love.

I had started writing this blog and then took a break to go hiking.  As I was walking around I was thinking about my blog topic: what defines us, me?  I was walking up the hill about a mile away from my car when a large bee started buzzing around me.  I let it be (no pun intended), but it kept coming after me and getting more and more aggressive.  I tried to ignore it, but then it started almost dive bombing me so I swatted at it trying to shew it away.  It kept coming and getting more aggressive, hitting my arm, then my body, and finally glancing my eye.  I did not want to get stung and I did not want to try and kill the bee so I decided I would just start running; no big deal, I could use the exercise right? I ran for about one minute up hill at an above average pace, (not quite a sprint, but a little faster than a jog), until  I had to stop because I was so winded. 

I wasn't just winded I was spent.  My heart was racing, I felt like I was going to throw up.  I haven't felt like that in years.  I almost broke down crying when the realization had set in that my body had de-trained so much in the last 3 months that I was now struggling to do something that once upon a time used to be the norm.  WHAT HAPPENED?

I walked for a couple of minutes trying to catch my breath when suddenly the damn bee reappeared.  Picking up where it left off it started attacking me again.  Just as aggressive as last time - this thing was not letting up.  So I ran again... for about another minute until my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my throat.  I had escaped the bee, for a few minutes.

The bee and I danced this dance for the next 10 minutes until I finally made it to the car.  During this encounter I realized something else... exercise, working out, being physically fit it gives me strength.  Not just physical strength like I can bench press 300 pounds, but an inner strength a sense of knowing that I can do virtually anything an everything I want.  Now suddenly I am unable to outrun a bee - ouch!

I have always been one to take on physical challenges head on.  Last year I remember debating with a friend of mine over my decision to climb Mt. Whitney.  To me it was already a done deal, I had not the slightest doubt that I could do it.  I knew I had a level of physical fitness where I felt I could do anything.  She believed that I needed the appropriate altitude training to make a real attempt at the summit.  She was right, acclimatization would have helped, but in the end my belief and knowing in the strength of my physical fitness level prevailed and I accomplished the 22 mile day hike in about 11 hours.

I have had similar discussions with friends over other physical challenges: 1/2 marathons and a marathon, weight I am capable of lifting, doing lunges for distance and a long period of time; each time I have been presented a challenge I would set out to conquer it.  Now, I can't outrun a bee.

You see for me being physically fit, my body looking a certain way, having a certain energy level it all defines me as a person as that is what I have worked so hard to become.  A confident, charismatic, disciplined, energized, high self esteem, full of self love, strong - not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well, person.  All of the above are facets of who I am that I have worked at for years to create.  And all of them derive directly from my dedication to exercise, to fitness, and to myself. 

What we do, how we conduct ourselves, the actions we take in our day to day life; they will ultimately define who we are.  I was so bummed because a big part of who I am was removed, thankfully temporarily, form my life.  I have not lived an un-active life for over 10 years.  It was tough going back to that.

Who we define ourselves as individuals is a personal choice.  One that we all have the power to make and become whatever we want to be.  Where so many of us fall short is the follow through on the action needed to create that which we want.  I had wanted to be "buff" all through high school, actually from the time I was about 10 years old.  However, I never was because every time I ever started working out, I would always quit.  It was "to hard" to stay dedicated to it.  I "did not have enough time."  My attitude about myself changed the day I finally decided to commit to myself, to not give up.

What do you define yourself as?  Is it who you want to be, or is it who you are settling to be?  Do you want to be more, to be greater than you already are?  Is there an action you could take, some area of your life that you are not following through on that if you did, it would take you and your life to a whole new level? 

I ask myself the above questions often.  They act as great accountability questions for me.  They help me to stay on my life purpose.  They allow me to continually to define myself in the way I have always wanted to.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,



  1. Awesome blog like always! Always giving me things to think about, Mr. J. Thanks for the self-reflection questions and for being so open and real with what you are struggling with. And I think you are kicking that 30 day mini challenge's butt!! =)

  2. Great blog Jesse, I always used to think that I was the only one thinking like that and being so shy, but since I started with the challenges It all changed. I'm more confident now in the things I do and don't care what people think of it (It's my life, I have to live it not them). I'm still nervous when I go to a birthday party though cause just as you I don't want to shake everybody's hand, I can feel the eyes burning when people are looking at me, but it's a work in progress :). Thank you so much again for your honesty and being so open. Carpe Diem

  3. Nice Pics,you make the day different,I like your activity.....

  4. This hits close to home as I've experienced this as well. I had a medical issue that prevented me from physical activity for a certain period of time. I felt like a seal, felt lazy and was very unhappy. Excercise is a big part of my life as well. When I was told that I would have to stop my physical activity, it was hard but I dealt with it. I focused on the end result which was the chance to be able to excercise again. That hope is what kept me going through the difficult times. After all, it was just a temporary halt to my life. However, that halt seemed to take forever!

    It is interesting what life throws at us. If we gradually get back into our normal routines, we feel so much better about ourselves. I do. I'm back in my comfort zone and that is a reason for me to smile even more. I love your metaphor with the bee and am so glad it did not sting you! Your metaphor made me smile and reflect back to when I was in a similar situation. I'm confident that you will be back to your usual self in due time. Thank you for sharing and for the pics! :)

  5. I loooove to read your blog :)Be still my Lucky Star:)