Fantasy Football

I’m in a fantasy football league this year with my boyfriend and his family.

imgresMy brother has been doing fantasy football for years. I like watching football and understand how the sport is played. I know some of the best players names and enjoy following the sport.

At least a little.

This whole fantasy stuff has taken it all to the next level.

The draft itself was terrifying because I didn’t even understand how to draft people. I was picked last which means I always picked two in a row. Which means I got extra amounts of time in which I was unable to breathe because I was too busy screaming out of stress and crying that I didn’t understand what was happening or what to do and yelling at my boyfriend to come help me then accusing him of somehow cheating me out of a good team even though I have no way of showing he was doing anything other than helping me.

*WHEW*

In case you couldn’t tell by that run-on sentence during which I never took a breath while typing, you can imagine what the draft experience was like.

Then, I found out, that I actually have to keep up with this stuff. I have to play certain players and there are trades and stuff. And I can do research on who’s playing who and what it all might mean and strategize how best to do the best and oh god I’m having another mild panic attack I’M DONE WITH THIS BLOG NOW I CAN’T THINK ABOUT IT ANYMORE. I’M GOING TO GO DO THE ONE THING I TRULY ENJOY ABOUT FOOTBALL SEASON… DRINK BEER.

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Attitude Adjustment

attitudeI had to check myself before I wrecked myself the other day.

It was the first Saturday of the New Year and I went to the gym in late morning. And, to no surprise, it was packed.

And, unfortunately also no surprise, I immediately became a brat about it.

As I walked in and looked at the crowds of people on the machines and on the equipment, I got testy. I kept thinking somehow they were in my way. I felt so self-righteous that this gym was my gym. And that they were in my way. And how dare they even consider slightly inconveniencing me.

In short, I was a little biatch about it.

But halfway through my workout (when the endorphins started kicking in and I was calmer than before), I realized I was the one with the problem. Here are a bunch of people who, sure, don’t really know what they’re doing yet at the gym. But you’ve got to start somewhere. They were not at all getting in my way. It’s not like I go there with a really clear training plan of certain exercises I have to hit and certain goals that have to be attained. Usually I go with a body group that I’m going to focus on for the day. And then I look around and see what’s available.

These people weren’t my enemies. They were my new friends.

Sure, many of them may not stick around past February. But some of them will. Some of these people will have made it their New Years Resolution to get in shape and go to the gym all the time, and this will be the very exciting start of that journey for them. These are more people I now have something in common with. New people with whom I can talk working out with. New people who can complain about the lazy people who don’t return their free weights with.

It’s so easy to think you’re entitled to something. So much of our world today makes you believe you are entitled to whatever you want in the exact circumstances you want it and exactly when you want it. IWWIWWIWI, I believe is what it’s called (I Want What I Want When I Want It). I wanted to have the gym completely quiet and to myself. I wanted to be able to choose any time and go without any convenience to me. I wanted to have access to all the equipment I could possibly want for my workout at any given time even if I wasn’t using it or didn’t end up needing it.

Entitlement is gross.

I’m not proud of my attitude that day. But I am glad to be reminded that it’s so easy to fall back into a negative mindset. It’s easy to forget that other people are not your enemy. I live in Los Angeles…like millions of other people. If I start getting frustrated at crowds or traffic or whatever, I’ll never be satisfied in this city. Or any city. In fact, if I start wanting everything in my environment to be exactly how I want it without any distractions, I might as well move to a tiny hermit shack in Montana and hide from the world.

I’m not proud to say that I’ve considered this at times.

Then I remember, I love people. I love LA. I love being out of my comfort zone and having shared experiences and the excitement of a crowd. The only reason there’s even a gym close to me is because there are lots of other people who are members. I don’t keep it alive on my tiny membership fee alone. If there weren’t lots of people who belonged, I’d have to go somewhere else.

We need each other.

So I have to wait an extra few minutes for the leg press machine in January because some girl is doing 20 sets of 10 lbs. Whatever. No big deal. She’s gotta start somewhere. And I’m not going anywhere. So I’ll wait.

And I’ll be sure to check myself before I wreck myself.

Armband

armandI got a little luxury lately.

It’s really not a big deal.

It’s a minor change. Something I used to have but didn’t upgrade and lived without for years.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint.

It’s pictured here.

I got an armband for my iPhone while I workout.

I’m really excited about it.

It’s so simple, I know. I just never made the commitment to getting one because I always tucked my phone (which I keep around for music purposes not for phone calls, silly) in my pants. Or sometimes in the back of my bra.

Yeah, it was sweaty. Yeah, it often slipped down and caused me to embarrassingly have to go chasing for it. Yeah, it was uncomfortable. But it was cheap so I liked it.

But I finally caved and got an armband. Well, to be fair, my mother bought it for me for Christmas. Because we all know I don’t spend money on such frivolities (god, I really do sound like such a scrooge!).

The point is, I’ve used it every day. And I love it. And it’s wonderful.

Sometimes you really should invest in the little things that can make such a big difference.

Tennis Ball Masseuse

Tennis_ball_01It’s quite simple, really. Your back hurts. You’ve got a knot somewhere and you can’t reach it. You live alone. You’re too proud to ask for a back rub. You’re too poor to go get one yourself. So you figure out a way.

That way, for me, is to use a tennis ball.

You lie on the ground and roll around with a tennis ball beneath you. Find the spot it hurts the most, hold until you can’t stand it, then release and move on.

I used it constantly on my feet for my plantar fasciitis. And it works like a charm on all sorts of tight muscles.

I’d pretend I’m the first one to come up with this idea but there are hundreds for pictures that come up with you google “tennis ball massage”… so I’m just another of the believers.

Fit for Film

averageI’m shooting a short Western this weekend. I’m very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very (deep breath) very very very very very very very very veeeeeery excited about.

There are gonna be stunts and horses and gunfights and shenanigans. I’m stoked.

I’ve been pushing myself to get in great shape for it so I have the endurance to keep my energy all the way up all weekend long and have the body strength to make my character even more badass and awesome.

Because I don’t want anything about this project to be average. Myself included.

So push it.

I apologize for the use of this cheesy Fitspiration here. It’s too perfect for my current mindset not to use it.

Shape Shifter

Remember when I used to be able to run long distances? Me, too.fatty

I remember in my head. My body doesn’t seem to recall that at all.

I’m trying to diversify my workout. I genuinely love running and haven’t been doing enough of it. And I need to get out and do more of it- whether it’s sprints or short or long distances. I live in a paradise. I need more excuses to both exercise and get outside. Running combines both of them beautifully.

I remember why I took a break from running and I’m ok with it. I like lifting. And I will always maintain that lifting and variations of lifting are a more effective and efficient way to get your body into better shape than any other form of exercise.

I just miss running. That’s all.

My body is out of running shape. I went for a run around my neighborhood this week. I didn’t go fast. I didn’t go far. But I did feel it.

I hurt. I had side stitches quickly (that I simply yelled at and pushed through). I was breathing really heavily. I know because people would turn to make sure I was ok. I took out a headphone to hear myself. It was like a person learning the accordion but not giving enough of a push to make the note come out fully so it just sounds pathetic.

Like I’ve said before, it’s not a matter of getting super slender. It’s just a matter of feeling strong. And when I run, I feel weak.

But I guess it’s always nice to have something to work on.

And based on the amount of chocolate I ate post-run, I’ll be working on it plenty over the next few months.

My Girl, Jill

jillYears ago, I was a big, big Jillian Michaels fan. I read her book “Master Your Metabolism” and was totally hooked. I bought her 30 Day Shred DVD, subscribed to the podcast, and watched more YouTube interviews with her than I’d care to share here. I loved her.

But my fascination started to fade. I realized that she was a wonderful gateway drug into the fitness world for me and gives you that needed boost when you’re looking for quick, easy workouts and ways to regain a healthy lifestyle if you fall off the bandwagon. But like most of my intensely obsessive phases, I outgrew her a bit.

I still admire her work ethic and her workouts, but I’m just not obsessed anymore. I used it as a springing off point for my own research into what works for my body and my own fitness goals.

But then this past weekend, we had a little Renaissance. I was running late in the morning before getting to work and I really wanted to get a good workout in. I calculated how much time it would take to get to the gym, park, and still get in an effective workout before I came home, showered, got ready, and started fighting traffic on my way to work. I realized I really didn’t have time.

Then I remembered my girl, Jill.

I have a her Ripped in 30 program. I didn’t do it much because my apartment used to not have enough space. I also love going to the gym, so I usually would rather just do that. But on this Saturday morning, I realized all the factors were aligning and I could revisit my old fitness buddy for a quick and effective workout.

So that’s what I did. I did the week 1 Ripped in 30 workout. And it was great. It was everything she promises her workouts to be. Quick, challenging, doable, and effective. I even had a little extra time to add some extra arms and abs work on my mat afterwards. And I felt great. She had all the elements that I loved and hated about the DVD that brought me back to my obsessive days.

I even did it again the next morning (for time constraints again).

There’s really no excuse to not getting in a good workout. If you can’t make it to the gym or don’t like going… I don’t want to hear it. My girl Jill has put in a lot of time an effort to create great workouts you can do quickly at home and fit into any busy schedule.

So thanks, Jill. Can I call you Jill? No? We’re not friends? We’ve never met? Nobody calls you Jill?

Aw, Jillypooh. You’re such a joker.

Instagram Fitness

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.32.24 PMI started following some fitness people on Instagram. My friend showed me a good fitness motivation (@motivationforsquats) and I decided to follow them. I can use some fitness motivation. I’m a sucker for a good quote and inspiring picture. So I figured, “Why not?”

It’s a little much for me. I’m used to using Instagram just to follow a few friends and people who post cute pictures of dogs. I’m still adjusting to the fact that when I check my feed at 10 am, I’m going to see tons of pictures muscly people wearing very little clothing.

It’s too early to say whether or not it’s helping or hurting. Maybe it’ll make me feel bad and get my butt to the gym to kill it like those guys. Maybe it’ll make me want to eat more food so I don’t turn into the level of crazy those fitness people are. I don’t know yet.

They do a lot of promotion within their own world for other people and accounts to follow. So if you’re easily annoyed by long descriptions and repetition (verdict is still out for me on this one), maybe it’s not for you. But if you don’t mind and just like the pictures and inspiration, then maybe it is.

I do know that a couple days after I started following some of these accounts, I definitely felt more motivated and killed it at the gym. I also know the next day I slept in and ate a large brownie. Then again, maybe that’s just my personality. Who knows.

I’ll keep you updated.

Bye bye sugah

sugarIt’s time for me to say goodbye to a dear friend of mine. You probably know her. Her name is Sugar, and she’s everywhere.

I’m a pretty goal-oriented person. I set year-long goals and quarterly goals. I regularly check in with my goals and see how it’s going. I’ve had one goal that has just consistently taken a backseat. And as I was looking at the reasoning why, it’s because of that sneaky little mistress of mine… sugar.

I need to tone up and slim down. I need to for my own sake- just to prove that I can. And I need to because there are a few roles and opportunities I need to tone up for (please read my previous post on being fit in all sizes).

So I’ve decided to just make it a specific goal. No sugar for this quarter. April 1-June 30. No excess sugar.

I’m going to be reasonable. If there’s sugar in fruit, fine. I’m not yet giving up my precious alcohol (which I drink very rarely anyway). I’m not going to freak out if I find out there’s some extra sugar in a product I already ate.

I’m just going to go cold turkey on eating foods I know have excess sugar. And if you know me… and how I feel about sweets, you’ll know this is enough of a challenge in itself.

So wish me luck. And any tips you may have on how to get through this dark time, I would very much appreciate.

Fit in every size

I often talk about my own fitness goals and ambitions on this blog. I like sharing my own personal goals and motivations.

As I got to thinking about it, I realized that I probably (unfairly) emphasize size for my own fitness. I’m happy with my body. I like to keep it healthy while still working on constantly improving it.

But I want to be clear about something- you can be fit and healthy at almost any size. I happen to be in an industry where what you look like can often determine what roles you get a chance to go out for. So I spend a decent amount of time making sure I can stay competitive. But I spend the rest of my time making sure I’m showcasing my talent that should get me work no matter what I look like.  It’s both.

I’ve been working a lot lately with a very talented comedian, Justin Harrison, who wrote a book about being a bigger guy and still having confidence in this world. He also has a bunch of cool projects in the works that are similar themes. In working with him so much, I realized that I may articulate a skewed perspective of health. First and foremost, take care of your mental health. Love yourself. If you love yourself, you’ll care more about your own physical health. As you take care of your own physical health, you’ll realize your own strengths and weaknesses. You can slowly but surely improve- whatever that means for where you are in your life. But it all stems from loving yourself first.

I go through phases as a hardcore runner. In doing many races, I see runners of all sizes. I see “big” people competing in half marathons and keeping great paces. I see “curvy” women running full marathons (something I’ve never had any desire to attempt). And guess what? They do it. Good for them.

So just because so many fitness blogs- myself included- can focus on small measurements and celebration of the slightest hint of abs peeping through, please don’t let that discourage you from loving yourself no matter what you look like.

As James Blunt says in a cheesy love song I’ve been playing non-stop lately on my cheesy love songs playlist, “You’re Beautiful.”