Posted by on May 29, 2012

Member Spotlight

Ready for some motivation ? Read how Breezey took some ups and downs and turned them into getting herself into better shape ! If you have anyone you’d like to nominate for a member spotlight, contact users lexyloowho or xJenYxvx or email fitocracymemberspotlight@gmail.com.

Username: Breezey
Level: 24

How did you get started in fitness and training?
I was overweight and inactive through my mid-twenties. I joined Weight Watchers after my first daughter was born in 2001 and (from the top of my pregnancy) lost 80 pounds and got down to a size 6. It was the smallest I had ever been. In 2004, my family moved to Ohio from Southern California. And what a difference a change of location makes. I found myself slipping back into bad habits — eating poorly and not exercising. Mostly because it wasn’t really as much the culture here as it was in SoCal. My second daughter was born in 2006 and I found that I had put back on all the weight I had lost. After failed attempts at WW and getting back to the gym (haphazardly), I finally gave up.

My world crashed down upon me when I lost my job in November 2010. I had identified myself with my employer and had loved the company. I was lucky to find a new job and started that in January 2011. But, my excitement for my career had waned and, although I couldn’t have pinpointed it at the time, I was extremely depressed. In April 2011, my employer announced that it was giving away Paid Time Off for training for the Columbus Marathon or Half Marathon in October. I decided it sounded like a good deal and decided to train for it. I haphazardly trained through the spring and summer but had difficulties staying with a training plan. Then, the weekend before the race, I got back into contact with a friend of mine from high school when he changed his profile pic on FB to a race pic. I asked him about it and we got talking about running. He gave me the best piece of advice and told me that I could run…I just needed to slow down, breathe, and believe in myself. From there, with his help, I worked on increasing both my distance and my speed. I started lifting at the end of January when I was fortunate enough to be on the Lokkju Fitocracy Lifting Tour. Lokkjutaught me my lifts and officially took me on as a client at the beginning of March. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of barbells and running shoes! 

How did you find the site? How has it changed your workouts?
I read about the site via the cnn.com article in October 2011. It sounded cool and I waited FOREVER to get my invite in January. When I got the email, I literally stood up and did a happy dance at work! I immediately signed up and never looked back… As for changing my workouts? I was introduced to barbells!! I have learned about nutrition, exercise, and NEVER EVER to do curls in the squat rack. (Heck…I didn’t even know what a squat rack WAS before Fitocracy!)

Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
I am still currently working on decreasing body fat and getting to a healthy weight. I am working HARD to get to the bronze level achievements in all the lifts! (Except Deadlift…I hit that in April!) Right now, I am training to get as fit as possible. As silly as it is, my 20 year high school reunion is in two years and I really want to look amazing for that! I have thoughts of a third half marathon in October 2012 and possibly a marathon at some point in 2014. Beyond that…an ultra beckons…*grin*

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
Trial and error? My mind doesn’t always know what my body is capable of. Two stories: I experienced a terrible bonk in February where I pushed my body way beyond it’s capabilities. I kept running even though I was lightheaded and dizzy and ended up needing a day off work and getting sick as a result. My mind was ready to quit about 2 miles before my body eventually said “absolutely not” at 8.86 miles. Still my longest steady run to date. Story 2: My deadlift achievement. I had been waiting and waiting for lokkju and mearcat to be here to try for the DL bronze achievement. I had pulled 135# before (barely) and I knew I needed 150 for the achievement. I pulled 135# with some difficulty but easily enough that I thought I’d go for it. I went for 155# only because I wanted to absolutely make sure I had the math right. After lokkju and nyrangerfan (my hubbie!) saw me pull that at what they thought looked easy, lokkju added another 20 pounds to it to make 175#. My mind looked at those plates and at the weight and was absolutely convinced I could not do that. After 20 minutes of convincing my mind that I could do it, chalk, and using an alternate grip, I finally pulled 175 and cheered! But, at some point, my body had to tell my mind that it was capable of doing it. I just needed to believe in myself. In both of those stories, it was a matter of my mind working WITH my body to achieve a goal — they needed to be on the same page in order to accomplish a goal.

As for what I want to learn about — EVERYTHING. I’m an insatiable learner and perpetual student. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who knows me about what I want to learn about. I want to learn how it all works, where the programs came from, and how misconceptions continue to perpetuate in society.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
I have LOTS of weaknesses. Most of them revolve around chocolate and carbs.  Seriously though? I get very excited about things and expect quick results. Once the fun and excitement of something wanes, I find sticking with a routine difficult. So, I always need lots of change in my routine and my diet. I am easily distracted by “fun things” when the day in/day out of regular training starts to get a little boring.

What I excel at? I’m a perpetual student…I love to learn. To that end, I ask lots and lots and lots of questions. I probably ask more questions than anyone else I know. I also love to answer questions. That comes from my love of helping people. And I’m a really good friend. Once you’re my friend, you are pretty much my friend for life. 

What motivates you?
People motivate me. I have a deep (odd) belief that external motivation doesn’t work. Over the years, I have experimented with many different reward systems for eating right, exercising…I created a board game a few years ago, bought myself gift cards, promised myself a pedicure…whatever. But, the point is…none of them worked in the long term. Ever. The only thing that has ever worked for me for motivation is the fear of letting someone else down. It is easy to cheat yourself and let yourself down. Don’t feel like it today? That’s ok….I’ll make it up tomorrow or the next day. That attitude is really easy. But, I love my friends and disappointing them? Or not meeting THEIR expectations? THAT motivates me…

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
Lokkju works my nutrition plans for me. He gives me the macros to hit and I hit them. Right now, I’m carb cycling and working on a cut to get down to the weight and body fat percentage that I want to be at. I’ve been doing this since March and have seen a HUGE difference…lost about 15 pounds and down about five percentage points on my body fat. That is in addition to going from a size 14 to between a size 8 and 10.  As for supplements, I like ON Whey — I’m especially a big fan of the Cookies and Cream by itself. The vanilla ice cream and chocolate flavors mix well with anything! Favorite concoctions I’ve created are a vanilla frappuccino type protein shake and a peanut butter chocolate ice cream dessert I call Iced Peanut Butter Cup.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Nobody has all the answers. Follow your own goals. Be positive!! Sometimes the workout or run is terrible…and that’s ok. Slow down…breathe. Believe in yourself. You CAN do it! Don’t let your mind sell out what your body is capable of! And, more than anything, surround yourself with others who believe in you too.

What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
My secret weapon is my husband — nyrangerfan. I could do nothing here or in life without his amazing support. He believes in me and makes sure that my gym time is a priority in the house. He has been understanding of a radical change in lifestyle with the high protein/carb cycle diet. And he’s always, unfailingly there for me when I have troubles believing in myself.

Paying it forward pushes me. Being able to be a role model for my daughters as a strong, confident woman keeps me going. The knowledge that I inspire others and can help others in the future become strong and confident helps me get to the gym on days where I feel very blah. I know how hard it is to get started in fitness when you aren’t fit and the negativity that can be associated with that for people. Knowing that I can pay it forward in positivity to others…that’s my secret weapon.

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
POSITIVE! Fitocracy has brought me to fitness and taught me that there isn’t one way that works for everyone. I was a cardio bunny (for lack of a better term) with barbie weights my whole life. Running brought me to fitocracy and fitocracy opened my eyes to things that I now love (like barbells and protein shakes) and things that I still think are a little nuts (like IF and 9:00 minute planks). And, I’ve learned that that is a-ok. I may never do IF or get into YAYOG, but I love watching people who are passionate about it! And….if I ever change my mind…I have a whole site of supporters here to teach me about it! I have met some very good friends on fitocracy who have crossed the divide into being IRL friends — MauriceReeves, tehblister, lokkju, SilverSwift, MearCat, Roryn…and my fitness wouldn’t be the same without them.

One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
If I can learn to do it, you can learn to do it! Relax, slow down, and breathe. And those words will get you through anything in life.

 

How do you manage staying fit and being a mom?

I couldn’t stay fit and be a mom without the amazing support of my husband, @nyrangerfan.  He supports my endeavors and we work as a family to ensure that time for exercise is always there.  Having grown up in a family that didn’t really put an emphasis on anything athletic or active, it is important to me to instill the fun of activity in them while they are young. So, we make sure that exercise is something that everyone is involved in.  We all enjoy hiking and taking walks.  My younger daughter even made a New Year’s Resolution to run a marathon when she was five!

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